The Walking Dead Season 3: Episode 15 “This Sorrowful Life” TV Recap
Warning: Major spoilers ahead!
It’s hard to say goodbye as the end draws near for season three of “The Walking Dead”, but it’s such a bittersweet situation. On one hand, NOBODY wants the season to end because of the long and dreaded wait until October yet we so desperately want to know what’s going to happen on the season finale. I’ve quoted a few times that my favorite moment of season 3 had been when Merle and Daryl finally saw each other once again but without, episode 15 of “Walking Dead” has topped that by so much more.
This week’s episode starts with Rick talking to Daryl and Hershel about tricking Michonne and giving her over to the Governor. Rick seems set in what he wants to do but Hershel is dead set against it. Daryl even mentions that it just isn’t what they do. Rick tells Daryl that this is the only way to avoid the fight and Daryl reluctantly agrees. Rick mentions needing someone else to go along. With the way Daryl wants to go and talk to this person, it’s inferred that they are talking about Merle. Rick finds Merle in a cell, ripping up a mattress. Rick asks him for help and asks him if he even knows why he acts the way he does. Rick divulges the plan to Merle and Merle starts talking about what the Governor would probably do. Merle mentions that if Rick is willing to give over Michonne to torture instead of just ending the Governor’s tyranny, he’s just as cold he is. Merle goes on to mention that he never knew why he did the things he did and that they’re a mystery to him but that he knows Rick and how Rick doesn’t have the spine to do what has to be done. Rick rebuffs him and simply says “We need to get her to the Governor by noon” and walks away.
Carl and Maggie are outside the fence distracting the walkers while Michonne, Daryl, and Glenn enforce the outside of the prison. Merle glances outside and realizes there’s no way Rick will give up Michonne. Carol finally blurts out the question “Are you with us?” Merle a reply that he’s here for his brother and mentions she was not like this back in Atlanta. He comments that she must be a late bloomer to which she replies “Maybe you are too.”
Daryl catches up with Glenn and asks if he’s seen Merle around. Glenn ignores him but that doesn’t stop Daryl from trying to defend his brother. Glenn doesn’t say anything until Daryl asks for forgiveness on Merle’s behalf. He finally talks and says that it doesn’t matter about what Merle did to him. He can’t forgive someone who gave Maggie over to a man who terrorized her. Daryl walks away and tries to find Merle. He finds Merle trying to find drugs somewhere from the main cell block of the prison. Daryl is obviously disappointed in this and Merle tries to deviate from the topic with light humor. He gets back on topic by asking if Merle is in or out when it comes to the “secret” mission and Merle says that he’s in but Rick doesn’t have the stomach for what he says he’s going to do. Daryl, true to the group, tells Merle that what Rick says, goes. Merle teases his little brother by asking if he has balls and asks what happened to him. Daryl finally brings up what happened with Maggie and Glenn and Merle retorts with “I’ve done worse. You need to grow up. Things are different now.” He continues to basically call the group hypocrites because they are doing exactly what Merle did with Glenn and Maggie. Daryl just tells him that he wants his brother back and Merle rebuffs him and tells him to go away. As Daryl leaves, it’s shown that Merle picks up a phone and packs it in a bag.
Hershel is with Maggie and Beth, reading scripture from the Bible while Rick walks around the prison. He stops and breaks down when he sees Lori’s ghost again. He finally has the strength to realize that Lori isn’t there and what he sees isn’t real. He throws what he was going to use to subdue Michonne aside and walks back into the prison where Hershel is. Hershel jumps up and tries to talk to him but Rick just replies “I can’t. I won’t.” It’s unclear whether he means he can’t deviate from the plan or he can’t give up Michonne to the Governor.
Merle takes Michonne to the side of the prison that has the breach. They take down some walkers and Merle knocks her out and drags her off. He places a pillowcase over her head and binds her wrists. Merle holds her at gunpoint and they walk outside. She no longer has the pillowcase over her head and it appears that he’s giving her over to the Governor. He even goes as far as to tell her that Rick was going to do it anyways. They come across the walker and Merle kills it with Michonne’s sword, much to her dismay. They tease each other and he tells her not to get her hopes up of escaping him. As they continue walking, Michonne comments on just how evil Merle really is but Merle still fully believes he’s the bad guy.
It’s finally revealed that Rick is not going through with the plan of handing over Michonne and that they’re just going to have to take their chances. Daryl is mostly relived but begins to worry once again when Rick mentions that he can’t find Merle or Michonne. They run back to where Merle and Daryl were talking. Daryl offers to go after him and Rick wants to go but Daryl tells him he needs to be ready in case the Governor comes knocking.
Glenn talks to Hershel about what’s going to happen. Glenn pulls out the watch and tells Hershel that he finally realizes what he meant when he gave it to him. He asks for Hershel’s blessing on marrying Maggie. Even though they might not last much longer, Glenn wants Maggie to know how much he loves her. Hershel doesn’t give it a second thought and gives him his blessing and as Glenn leaves his cell, Hershel smiles. Glenn ventures out and has a stare down with some walkers. He finds the perfect one and cuts off the ring and pinky finger of a woman-walker. Glenn catches up with Maggie and places the ring in her hand. She simply says yes and they embrace each other.
On Merle and Michonne’s adventure, they come across a motel. He ties her to a column while he hotwires a car. He manages to start the car but causes the car alarm to go off. Walkers come from all directions and Michonne tries to call for Merle but over the loud sounds, she isn’t successful. Michonne manages to defend herself well for being tied up. Merle saves her from a walker and cuts her loose and they make a hasty getaway. Michonne tries to get under his skin by saying no one will mourn him, not even his brother. Merle has pretty thick skin and tells her she’s as much on the outside as he is. Michonne proceeds to tell him that they can just go back and fix this but Merle knows that he can’t just “go back”. Merle stops the car and frees her from her binds, gives her the sword, and lets her go. He tells her to go back and prepare for what’s going to happen because he has something he has to do on his own.
Daryl catches up with Michonne and the first question asked is “Did you kill him?” She tells him no and Daryl commands her not to let anyone come after him and books it. Merle is drinking inside the car with the music blaring. The sound attracts a few walkers but they aren’t able to really get in. Merle just watches as they claw at the windows and just turns the music up and uses this to make the walkers follow him. He guides the walkers to the meeting place and bolts from the car. He takes cover inside the abandoned building. Martinez and the crew are outside, wondering what the commotion is. They start taking out the walkers while Merle takes up a vantage point and starts gunning down the Governor’s men. Just as Merle gets the Governor in his sights, he is bitten by a walker and Martinez and the crew find him and start beating him up. The Governor grabs him and they start fighting intensely. The Governor bites of two of Merle’s fingers and Merle tells him that he won’t beg (a similar dialogue that he made when he was handcuffed on the rooftop in Atlanta).
Rick calls a meeting with the group and reveals the real deal that the Governor made with him. Rick is very honest with them and tells them he was going to go through with it but that he changed his mind. He tells them that Merle took Michonne and that Daryl went after them and he doesn’t know whether it’s too late. He apologizes and retracts what he said after they lost the farm. He continues with a very inspired speech about how they are the greater good and how it’s a group effort. He ends it with a vote on whether they should stay and fight or take their chances elsewhere. Rick walks away and spots Michonne making her way back to the prison.
Daryl arrives at the meeting site and sees walkers and corpses everywhere. He sees Merle has turned into a walker and starts crying as he gazes on his brother feeding. Merle makes his way over to Daryl, ready to bite and Daryl starts pushing him away. As Daryl finally breaks down and sobs, he incapacitates Merle and stabs him in the head repeatedly.
Only one more episode left of season three and let me tell you, my stomach is in a complete knot about how this is going to end. As a reader of the comics, it’s hard for me to even make a projection on how this season is going to end which just leaves me wanting to know even more what’s going to happen. I’ve said this many times and with the end finally near, I’ll say it again: what will we do without our beloved “Walking Dead” after next Sunday?