Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3 Live Blog! Episode 15: This Sorrowful Life.

Welcome back, folks!  Grab yourself a drink (we're having some mulberry magic tea, James Ready beer, and Muskoka Twice as Mad Tom IPA, but feel free to make your own choices) and settle in for the latest episode:  This Sorrowful Life.

seems like a harvester of sorrow would be pretty useful for these people.

Who's going to die tonight?
How will the writers drag out one more episode before the final battle (or worse, a cliffhanger leading up to no climax whatsoever)?
Will Merle's redemption arc finally be executed (heh)?
Will we be able to sit through whatever happens to Andrea in the Governor's torture room?
And will this be the episode to make us say "yeah...Game of Thrones is back next week.  fuck this

rick's into giving out roles these days.

hit the jump, in the hopes that we will find the answers to these, and many other questions!

8:25 - hey, c'mon on! the water's fine. even finer are the drinks, make sure to get yours a-going, and to follow along in the drinking game. walker dies? drink. blood? drink. stuff? drink. thangs? drink. character dies? finish the bottle. writers do stupid things? drink 'til commercial. essentially, have fun and have a drink - it makes this a little more fun.

oh, merle. even rocking the dui's in the apocalypse

8:40 - it's pretty exciting seeing this season get wrapped up, in its way... i mean, yeah, finale and whatnot, right? plus, probably no more governor? hopefully please?

in news not related to the governor, the internet has been potentially spoileriffic this past week, and if it's all true, yay on that front. we'll see, i guess.

8:50 - so you better make sure you've grabbed all your snacks and turned the phone off and everything [yah, right], we've only got ten minutes to go.

unlike that poor, old-looking walker in the background.
he's confused, but will probably live forever.
also - why are there pallets everywhere?

9:00 - whelp, here we go again?
do you remember all these important parts? they'd sure like you to.

So anyway, there's a bunch of talk by Hershel about Merle's greatness.
Then some running down of the Michonne treaty and Andrea kidnapping.

we open with Daryl and Rick at the fences.

"It's the only way. No one else knows."

"You won't tell 'em?"

"Not 'til after."

The dudes are going to do something... 

"Tell her we need to talk... away from the others."

Oh good. They're taking down Michonne?

"This just ain't us, man." Daryl says. Hershel agress.

Daryl is attractive.

Rick says this will avoid the fight and needs to happen.

Rick and Daryl determine they need someone else to help.
Rick goes to talk to Merle.

9:02 - Merle's upstairs cutting up beds with his arm?

"Just looking for a little vacay," he tells Rick. "Best dope I ever had was in a mattress."

After finding no smack, Merle is approached by Rick for help. Merle laughs.

"Do you even know why you do the things you do?" Rick asks?

Yeah, do you Rick?

So Rick spills the beans about the Michonne plan.

"Wow. The inner circle. I'm honoured."

Then he goes on a ramble about the Governor's not wasting bullets.

"You go on. Give him that girl. He's just going to... do things to her. Take out one of her eyes. Both of 'em, probably. You'd let that happen? For a shot? You're cold as ice, officer friendly."

Merle then goes on to say they'll need wire "something she can't chew through."
Merle's done this before?

He steps into the light all creep like.

"You know something? You're right. I don't know why I do the things I do."

Merle then goes on to tell Rick he has no spine for it.

Rick tells Merle they need to turn Michonne over by noon.

Way to procrastinate.

Theme music time.

9:08 - we're back at the jail and they're herding wakers.
Rick ran out all scary like to make it seem intense, but hey.

Michonne's out in the field, knocking walkers off like crazy.
Good idea, getting rid of such a useful person, Rick.

oh - lots of dead walkers. drink.

9:09 - so they gathered up some razor wire and put it up around the fence. to flatten tires when wWodbury attacks.

"good idea," Rick says, after being told.
"yeah, it was michonne's," Daryl responds, pointedly.

"We don't need to win, we just have to make their getting at us more trouble than it's worth," Michonne tells them.

Hmm Michonne gets to talk. It's cute and surprising.

9:09 - "Ain't no way," Merle says, looking out the window.

Oh good, they've left him alone with Carol and the baby.

Merle's looking for whiskey. Hell, he'd "even drink vodka."

Carol asks if Merle's "with" them.
Not physically, but in reality.

"It's not time for shots. It's time to pick a damn side."

9:11 - Merle stalks down the steps and tells her she seems different.  No longer a mouse, afraid of her own shadow.

Carol explains that y'know, it was her abusive husband that had her cowering all the time. His shadow.

Merle calls her a late bloomer. Carol returns the compliment.

9:11 - Daryl's in the courtyard with Glenn, fortifying walls and talking about Merle.

"Did he say he was sorry yet? Cause he is."

Glenn doesn't respond right away.

"There's just got to be a little bit of forgiveness, that's all."

Glenn gets all upset and goes on the explain what Merle did, both to himself and to Maggie, which was way worse, handing her off to the Gov. I get it.

9:12 - Daryl's stalking around in the tombs.

"Merle, you down here? Merle"

Daryl finds him, sauntering around.

"Watch you doing down here?" Daryl asks him.

"Just y'know, looking for a little crystal."

Merle jokes about not ruining the good thing he has going for him, then they go on about the Michonne plan.

Merle doesn't think Rick can go through with it. Daryl doesn't know if he can go through with it, but takes Rick's orders.

Merle asks about Daryl's balls, and goes on about how they're all sheep (which is apparently what Daryl would have called them, back when he was parroting Merle.  Woo, mixing animal metaphors!  Let's drink to it).

Daryl asks about what happened with Glenn and Maggie - Merle says he's done worse and takes this opportunity to point out that what they're going to do the exact same thing now with Michonne.
Daryl says something about how you can't do thangs or stuff without people anymore.

Merle posits they need him around to "do their dirty work." and "be the bad guy."
He asks Daryl "how's that hit ya?"

Daryl says "I just want my brother back." and walks away.

Merle grabs the phone and loads up more of his stuff, I assume for this mission.

Merle is so the Pierce Hawthorne of this group - they need him in order to preserve a balance which is wrought by focusing on his (Pierce and Merle's) awfulness, instead of their own flaws.

9:16 - Hershel prays as Rick stalks around and finds wire. A pretty silly montage showing everyone's difficulty with that decision.

Oh hey, it's Lori!

She's not in that crazy wedding dress any more.  This clearly signifies some sort of development.  Clearly.

"You're not there. You're not there," Rick tells her.

Hershel keeps praying, but... well, I can't be asked to transcribe any of it.

Rick pulls up more LAN cable and takes off.

We cut to Hershel and it seems he's reading the bible to his girls.

"What I wouldn't do, to keep you to safe..." he says.

Then Rick shows up.

"Rick, what you're about to do..." Hershel says.

Rick explains he's not going to.

9:18 - shit. Now Merle and Michonne are in the tombs alone, clearing out walkers for some reason.  I guess Michonne's super trusting now?  That's what the writers have decided?
A bunch of walkers enter the room, and Merle KO's Michonne, kills them all, takes her sword and drags her off.

He's tying her up and hooding her, and we head to commercial.

So, Merle's taking matters into his own hand(s), eh?


9:22 - we come back and Merle is telling Michonne the story of the Michonne Treaty (or the Michonne Lake Accord, for fellow Canadians) as they walk down a road. Clearly he's going to take her to the Gov and go for his own redemption.

He tells Muchonne a bit more about their origins as they walk.

They come on a walker and he starts laughing and unsheaths her sword.

"May I?"

she doesn't respond.

"I take that as a yes."

he goes and takes out the walker, then claims he thought Michonne would have ran.

"I wanted my sword back before I left."

I have to say, I really can't stand watching him lead her around tied up like this.  Even if we're rewarded by her killing him, which we won't be!

9:24 - Back at the prison, Rick tells Daryl the deal is off.

"I won't say that's the wrong decision, but I will say it's the right one."

Rick then drops the bomb that Merle and Michonne are missing.

"I'm going after them," Rick says.

"You can't track for shit," Daryl tells him.

Daryl goes on to say Rick has to stay here and protect his family, in case Woodbury comes.

9:25 - Merle's taking crazy about wanting to be with his brother, and wanting to make peace.

"That's a whole lot of maybes," Michonne tells him.

"Gotta play the hand you're dealt.  I've only got one." 

Michonne claims he doesn't have it in him to do what he's doing. That if he were a truly a bad man, he wouldn't feel the weight of his decisions.

"I've killed 16 men since this all started."

Then he pushes her as they carry on. Pretty sure there's a horde growing in the background. They should maybe notice that?

9:27 - Back at the Prison, Glenn and Hershel have a "touching" scene about the watch, and how acceptance is great, blah blah. 

"I know what it means now. I know what it takes."

Glenn goes on to say he wants to marry Maggie?

That's cute.

"I want her to know, before... Who knows."

Hershel nods dramatically from his bunk.

"You have my blessing."

Glenn thanks him.
I thought that's what the watch was anyway?
I suppose I can understand clinging to traditions in the face of zombie-anarchy and impending slaughter.  But asking for Hershel for Maggie's hand?  Seriously?  I can't imagine Maggie would feel too great about that either.

9:28 - Merle and Michonne are running.

"I think we're good," he says, as they come upon some cars.

"Yeah, we're great." she responds.

He ties her up to a column like a dog (great - real cool, guys.) and proceeds to attempt to steal some cars?

9:29 - success! he's hotwired some shitty beater.

the alarm goes off.
oh shit.

9:30 - so walkers start coming from everywhere, and Merle doesn't notice.

Michonne starts calling out to him.

Merle doesn't notice that he's about to get attacked, but he is.

Michonne does get attacked, and starts stomping skulls and garroting fuckers like it's no thang.
or no stuff.

Michonne pops a head off with that garrot, and Merle almost  dies in the car. 

Michonne is almost bit, but Merle comes out with a gun, clears the immediate area, and takes Michonne to his sweet ride.

 They race off as we cut to commercial.

Somewhere in here they do their Walking Dead facts.
It mentioned John Donne's Meditation 17. Neato.

9:35 - so we're back with Merle and Michonne roadtripping.

"So is this your thing? Take out the trash?"

Michonne attacks Merle's honour. Smooth shit. She starts comparing him to his brother.

"Rick didn't ask him to do this, did he?" she asks.
"No, because he wanted it done."

Michonne drops a bomb.

"No one's going to mourn you. Not even Daryl. He's got a new family now."

Merle threatens to cut her tongue out. Says she's as far on the outside as he is.

"Maybe, but at least when the Governor's done with me I won't have to live with myself."

9:37 - so in an ultimate gesture of love, Glenn goes outside, chooses a walker, and rips her finger off to grab a ring. Nice. Maybe start a new tradition, dudes? You've already stated you don't need a wedding (which, way to go reassuring Hershel.  I bet it's real tough coming up with a dowry in these trying times.  Fucking hell, this show).

9:37 - back in the car, Michonne is asking about these people Merle's killed.
Turns out he hadn't killed anyone before Woodbury.

"You know we can go back," she tells him.
"Ain't happening."
"We can. We can just go back."
"I can't go back. I can't. I can't go back. Don't you get that?"
"Why?" she asks.

He stops the car, and brandishes his knife hand?
Then he cuts her free.

"You go back with him, you get ready for what's next."

He opens the door, and hands her her katana.
Whoa. Well done, Merle.  But I'm still not going to respect you.

"I got something to do."

and thus confirms the initiation of sequence 'Merle's Redemption'

oh, cyrus!

9:39 - Merle drives off, leaving Michonne alone in the road.

9:44 - we're back - Michonne is killing that walker he beheaded and Daryl finds her.

"Where's my brother? You kill him?"

"He let me go."

Daryl goes after him.

Back where that horde was, Merle's drinking up and blaring some Motorhead (fuck umlauts) in the car.
Is there a CD/Cassette in there?

okay, probably.

Merle turns open the Motorhead and starts driving.
I think he's trying to attract a horde for Woodbury?
Oh, Merle.

9:45 - Merle's driving along and he's got a pretty solid tail of walkers already.

He dives out of the moving car for some reason, and he's at that barn/silo that the Governor and Rick met at.

A bunch of the governor's men are there already.
Okay, the mini-horde was for here.

Martinez and his men go to investigate the noise of the car and all the walkers.

9:47 - As the Woodbury men start killing Walkers Merle starts capping Woodburians.
There are many, many drinks here.
Merle is sniping a bunch of dudes, maybe 10 walkers and 10 Woodburians.


He's got the Governor lined up in his sights, but a walker attacks him at the window.

He's forced outside, and Martinez and the Governor are on him.  The Governor insists that Merle be left to him - they've got him on the ground, but the Governor wrestles his back inside. And then the Governor bites off a couple of Merle's fingers and then chokes him.  He also spits the fingers out the window.  It's...really fucking gross.  These writers are too into parallels.  It's gotten to a point where, even when it is shocking, it still feels expected.

"I ain't gonna. I ain't begging you," Merle tells him.

Then Governor turns around and says "No," then fires a shot at Merle. We don't see where it hits him, 'cause commercials.

Shit, that was gross. Governor eats people? WTF?
Governor, eating people since before it was cool.

Anyway, calling it now - Walker Merle comes back later in the episode, right?

9:53 - oh yay, we're on the roof with "happy music" (WTF) for Maggie and Glenn's moment? maybe?

but Rick has something to say, so they have to see that.

of course, first he has to take her by the hand and give her a beautifully cleaned and restored, super nice, not-bloody-at-all engagement ring.

she says thanks, and they kiss and head out to the courtyard.
that was actually pretty cute, and it's neat the way Glenn kind of hands her the ring, and doesn't get all super traditional on it.

9:55 - in the courtyard Rick tells everyone about the Michonne treaty.
Most people aren't surprised, 'cause he's told most of them already.
Carol's surprised, and most people notice she's not here not.

Rick says he was "going to do that" but "he changed his mind."

He explains Merle took her.
He explains Daryl went after them.
Then he tells everyone that he was wrong, and should have told them.

"What I said to everyone, last year, that first night, after the farm? It can't be like that."


"I can't sacrifice one of us all for the greater good, because we are the greater good. How you live, how you die, it isn't up to me, because I'm not your Governor. We chose to go. We chose to stay. We vote. We can stay and fight, or we can go."

oh, hot fuzz.

Well, that was a cute moment, and in it, the RICKTOCRACY is born.

9:58 - Rick heads up to the roof, rifle drawn, and sees Michonne!

She's returning to the prison.
Shit - that's going to be awkward.

9:58 - back at the scene of the craziness where Merle almost got the Governor, Daryl appears.
Daryl follows the chain of horror and comes upon a bunch of walkers feeding on the dead.
He offs the first one, but the second is Merle.

Merle is hungry. Poor Walker Merle. Poor Daryl. Man, Reedus owned this scene.

this has been on the internet for, like, a month.

Oh, Daryl starts crying as Walker Merle comes at him.
Daryl pushes him off, still crying. This is super sad.  His body language is amazing - he seems to turn into a child, and it's so painful to watch.
After a few pushes, Daryl stabs him in the chest, takes him down to the ground, 
and works out like, years of little brother oppression by stabbing the shit out of Merle's face.
That was pretty sad.


Okay, episode over.  Daryl's sobbing on his back in Walkerville, on the outskirts of Woodbury, and I really want to know how that will be resolved.

So, that was a pretty good ending for the episode - it was shades of Rick v Shane... It was shades of the death of Dale, but it's a whole other thing completely. Pretty interesting in general. It was kind of bullshit, Merle's (super cliche) vindication coming from the mystical, magical sermonizing of Michonne as she's lead about in chains. Nothing wrong there, right? So I mean, they attempted to redeem Merle in a whole bunch of ways, but I'm not really feeling the fairly racist slant of it.  Surely there must be non-racist ways to redeem racist characters! Oh, it also took forever for them to get to this pretty obvious conclusion. Rick's change of heart was pretty interesting, and Daryl was great throughout the episode. That was a whole lot of bullshit not showing Andrea, though, y'know?  I mean, how long has she been in that fucking chair? Governor is gross, biting off fingers, so there's that.  Should we interpret that as whetting his appetite for torturing Andrea, or vice versa? Ooh, and Glenn and Maggie are engaged/married? Great! I hope they get a nice cell for their honeymoon. 

So - anybody else concerned next week is just going to be a giant cliffhanger to the season 4 premiere? And seriously, what kind of stalling was this week. What's up with Andrea - is she still alive, even? Milton, did he kill those dudes? Is he Gov's brother? Boo. We want answers.

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