‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: Merle Faces The Governor
Based on last week’s chilling episode where Andrea (Laurie Holden) tried to escape the Governor (David Morrissey), you might have assumed this week that she’d be the next one to die at his hands. Instead, last night’s episode, entitled “This Sorrowful Life,” featured a special emphasis on Daryl’s turncoat brother Merle (Michael Rooker).
The episode begins with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Hershel (Scott Wilson), and Daryl (Norman Reedus) agreeing to deliver Michonne (Danai Gurira) to the Governor to prevent further attack. Rick enlists Merle’s help in the clandestine operation, but not before he calls Rick out on what kind of man he is. “I’m a damn mystery to me,” Merle laughs. He also tells Rick that the Governor will most likely not kill Michonne, but make her suffer regardless. Rick, overcome by guilt, goes to collect some wire with which to bind Michonne, and hallucinates a vision of Lori during a voiceover of Hershel praying with his daughters.
Meanwhile, Merle tries to find his place within the prison group, who doesn’t trust him. Merle insists to Carol (Melissa McBride) that he’s only there for Daryl. She says Daryl is there for everyone else and thinks redemption is possible for Merle if he’s willing to work for it. Outside in the yard, Daryl tries to assuage Glenn’s resentment towards Merle – if you remember in an earlier episode, Merle beat him to a bloody pulp at Woodbury – but Glenn is not quick to forgive. Merle, on Rick’s orders, brings Michonne down to the prison tombs, where walkers attack them. He knocks Michonne out, ties her up, and manages to take down the rest of the walkers.
Glenn asks Hershel for Maggie’s hand in marriage before their imminent death, and with the doctor’s blessing, goes to propose to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) with a ring he cut off a walker’s finger. Their silhouettes embrace against a sunset backdrop of walkers in the yard.
On their journey back to Woodbury, Merle has a sudden change of heart and releases Michonne after she begs him to return to the prison. He leaves her on the side of an abandoned road and drives off to confront the Governor himself. Near Woodbury, Merle rigs the car he hotwired earlier to distract the Governor’s security team, blasting music to attract nearby walkers. He begins to shoot the Governor’s preoccupied men down and nearly takes out the Governor himself before a walker blows his cover. During a tense fistfight, the Governor bites off two of Merle’s fingers. “I’m not gonna beg,” Merle hisses as the Governor shoots him.
Back in the prison, Rick gives his group the choice of staying behind to fight or moving on. He leaves it up to them, effectively relinquishing his dictatorship-like control, and watches Michonne, alive and well, emerge from the forest.
Daryl, who took off after Merle and Michonne when they disappeared, finds that his brother has been turned into a walker. Distraught over this revelation, Daryl has no choice but to kill Merle – he repeatedly stabs his big brother in the head and collapses in tears. – Jill Wronski
Now that Merle is dead, how will this affect Daryl’s notion of the Governor? Will he fight harder or withdraw from battle? Either way, one thing is for certain: The Walking Dead’s season finale is sure to be a doozy, as next week’s preview goes to show:
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