'The Walking Dead' recap: 'This Sorrowful Life'

Michonne manages to kick Z-butt even tied up.
Courtesy AMC.

I complain about it way too often, but who is cutting these people’s hair? Daryl looks like a hipster had a baby with Jareth the Goblin King. (Nerd alert!)

So this was a big episode.

After having a heart-to-heart with Hershel and Daryl about the Michonne plan (which they're opposed to), Rick goes to Merle for some help. Actor Michael Rooker chews scenery revealing that he knows how much of a monster the Guv is.

Rick wants to know why Merle does the things the things that he does. Maybe Rick should ask himself the same question. Helpful tip: When tying up a kick ass ninja chick -- to deliver to a psycho politician with Snake Plisskin fashion sense -- use use wire instead of rope.

I spent a good three minutes discussing who was driving that truck in the prison yard. Carol? Nope. She was holding the baby. I wouldn't want Merle anywhere near a baby ... or other humans. Merle is making assertions about how Carol is tough now.

Blah blah blah ... Glenn is still bitching to Daryl about Merle and how he threw Maggie to the wolves, er, the Governor. We get it Glenn, Merle is a scumbag and no one in the prison will ever really accept him. What is Merle up to, anyway, when Daryl tries to talk sense to him?

Without Merle's help (but using the wire-tie tip), Rick preps to take Michonne to the Governor. Don’t do it, Rick. Your dead wife is giving you judgmental eyes. He changes his mind about giving up Michonne, but Merle goes ahead and knocks her out cold. I guess he felt he had to take matters into his own hand.

Rick changes his mind in the final hour about Michonne, but he’s sorely disappointed to find out that Merle went ahead without him. (That's why you don't consult a psychopath for advice, Rick.)

Instead of being aggressive sword-wielding samurai, Michonne is a psychoanalysis-wielding ninja as she chats up Merle. And she's obviously getting to him. Even though she's learned Rick was going to sacrifice her, she seems pretty zen about the whole thing.

It seems like it would be hard to hotwire a car with only one hand and a bayonet for the other hand, but Merle manages to make it happen and attract lots of undead problems. Michonne seems to be able to protect herself with both hands tied up because Merle is an idiot and lets the car alarm go off, thus luring a bunch of walkers to them. That’s when a second hand may be handy.

Glenn goes engagement ring shopping in the land of the living dead. Looks like he found a winner. There’s nothing like being in the midst of a war/zombie apocalypse to make you want to get married.

Merle decides to let Michonne go, so apparently her analysis worked. Also, she sells the idea to him that he could change, head back to the prison and be with his bro. After all, despite all the fronting he did, he had never killed a man before hooking up with the Guv and becoming his errand boy. Merle takes off. He's got stuff to do. Everyone has stuff to do during an apocalypse. I think he’s going to die. I guess then Daryl can go crazy about how he wasn't able to help his twisted brother. Daryl and Rick can commiserate about their visions of dead loved ones.

Okay, maybe that won’t happen.

So this seems to be the Merle redemption episode. He hasn't exactly been a softy in the last few episodes but they have been making him more "likable."

Merle has a great idea about luring the walkers with his old beat-up car and some loud tunes. At first it's like he's drinking and luring them so they could eat him as a suicide plan. Nope. He starts picking off the Governor’s makeshift army in an ambush as they are fighting off the walkers he lured to the meeting place (did he get the idea after the car alarm went off or he always had it?) Merle almost kills the Governor, but Allan’s stupid kid gets in the way. At least I think that's Allan's stupid kid.

Either way, Merle gets the crap kicked out of him by Martinez and company. Then the Governor gets his chance and bites off Merle's fingers. It's pretty much the Governor's non-zombie zombie action. Merle says he won't beg, and the Guv shoots at him ... boom! Commercial break.

I hate it when I am right. Let's hope that Daryl doesn't get hallucinations like Rick. That seems to happen when your loved ones suffer a gruesome death.

Zombie Merle
Glenn gives Maggie the ring. Awwww, how sweet. I hope it doesn't have an odor. Plus, isn't it only natural for her to ask him where he got it? Is cutting off the finger from a zombie the kind of romantic overture that makes a girl swoon?

Rick comes clean about the "deal" that he made with the Governor. No one looks that surprised. Carol looks nonplussed. Rick also dissolves the Rick-tatorship he began at the end of Season Two after the farm. He gives a "I'm not the Governor" speech about not being the only leader.

Michonne returns to the prison. For a minute there I thought that Rick's coo-coo pants might shoot at her.

Daryl goes looking for Merle and as it turns out, Merle is a walker now. Daryl has an emotional meltdown and re-kills Merle. It is actually kind of a weepy scene.

Good bye, Merle; you were a racist ass, then less of a racist ass, then just an ass ... then kind of a hero. You had layers.

Sinking my teeth in:

  • Does Daryl have any clue that Merle went out trying to save the gang and kill the Governor? He did see dead humans with bullet wounds.
  • Did Merle embark on a suicide mission or was he planning on heading back to the prison afterwards?
  • Merle has serious issues with losing his hands/fingers
  • How awkward is it going to be when Michonne next meets up with Rick?
  • What’s going on with Andrea? Was she just tied up this whole time?
  • I know I mentioned it briefly, but I think that Daryl is going to go nuts. Or he could turn into a giant jackass. It really could go either way. It doesn’t matter because Carol isn’t going to get laid at this rate.
  • When will Glenn and Maggie have their nuptials?
  • There’s going to be some kind of a showdown next week!
  • Next Sunday is the finale!