Stars: Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, Melissa Suzanne McBride, Scott Wilson, Emily Kinney, Dallas Roberts
Writer: Scott M. Gimple
Director: Greg Nicotero
Network: AMC, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: March 24, 2013
Well, THE WALKING DEAD does it once again. It manages to take a very important death and totally make it worth it, while making it heart-wrenching and heart-felt all in one.
“This Sorrowful Life” is a superb episode written by Scott M. Gimple (who takes over as showrunner from Glen Mazzara next season) and directed by co-executive producer and special make-up effects guru Greg Nicotero.
SPOILER ALERT, you’ve been warned!
As the last episode focused squarely on The Governor (David Morrissey) and his preparations for the upcoming battle with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the prison, this episode focuses on Rick’s preparations.
Rick is seriously considering the Governor’s offer to pony up Michonne (Danai Gurira) in exchange for peace between Woodbury and the prison. However, Rick, once again seeing his dead wife Laurie in a vision, has second thoughts. This isn’t who he is. And he sees that he is becoming more like the Governor than he realizes.
So Rick confronts the group and says that it’s no longer a dictatorship – they all take a vote from now on and make decisions together.
Of course, Merle (Michael Rooker), still seeing himself as a bad guy and the one that has to do the bad things no one else wants to do, decides to go through with what Rick couldn’t – to offer up Michonne to the Governor.
However, Merle has a change of heart and lets Michonne go while he goes to the meeting (along with a bunch of Walkers he’s lured on the way) to take out as many of the Governor’s men as possible in order to give the prison more of a fighting chance.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) has words with his brother before he leaves the prison, but that’s the closest he gets to a resolution with his brother’s bad ways. He doesn’t even realize his brother had a change of heart and tried to help him with his new surrogate family.
And with that, Merle, during his attack, finds himself face to face with the Governor who not only bites off fingers on his one good hand, he also kills Merle, so he can live life as a walker.
When Daryl finally arrives to help his brother, Merle has already turned – he’s a zombie and feasting on human flesh.
This moment is very powerful, sad and hard to watch, just for Daryl’s sake alone. And he has to take out his brother. He spent two seasons searching for him and now, having found him, has to lose him all over again.
“This Sorrowful Life” is filled with many wonderful moments, including Glen (Steven Yeun) proposing to Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who naturally accepts and Michonne having a heart to heart with Merle about who he really is before he lets her go.
The zombies are also featured prominently and there are a couple of impressive kills as well.
Still, it’s Merle as a zombie which is how we will remember this episode the most. He did make a huge sacrifice, and there was some redemption for the character, in a way only Merle could conjure up. Rooker will be missed, but with next week’s season finale on tap, things are only going to get better for audiences (and worse for our characters).
Clearly, there will be a high death count next week, let’s just hope not to many more of our fan favorites bit the bullet. Rick has grown stronger and clear-headed as this episode proves and with the Governor going off the mental rails even further, it’s clear that Rick and his group have the upper hand (but they don’t have the numbers).
THE WALKING DEAD proves it’s once again one of the best TV series out there Filled with great horror, amazing characters and exceptional storytelling, it can’t be beat. Maybe next year, it will finally receive some Emmy love because the show is addicting and seems to get better and better with each year.
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Related Link: ASSIGNMENT X’s complete Season 1 episode guide
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD – Season 3 - ”This Sorrowful Life”