> TEOTWAWKI Blog: The Walking Dead: This Sorrowful Life



The Walking Dead: This Sorrowful Life

This week, Team Rick has to decide whether to take the Governor up on his offer to turn over Michonne--and Merle takes matters into his own hands! Err, hand.

Spoilers after the jump!

Well, Merle is dead, for real this time, but he went down in a blaze of glory. He took down a slew of the Governor's men before getting grabbed, beaten, having his fingers bitten off and then shot by the Governor, who is apparently a pretty tough dude if he can beat the crap out of Merle without too much trouble. The Governor, of course, just killed Merle, so Daryl had to finish off zombie Merle when he showed up afterwards. Sad times.

I figured Merle might not make it through the rest of the season, but his death here seemed a little bit on the pointless side, though the episode was a cool character study of Merle--from snatching up Michonne because he sees himself as the guy in the group who can/will get his hands dirty, through to letting her go and running off on a one man assault on the Governor's forces.

After coming to his senses r.e. the Michonne turnover, Rick called the team together and told them that the Ricktatorship could no longer continue--that everyone would need to vote on decisions, because everyone was in this together. From the previews, it looks like the group will be voting to leave, but the Governor's attack will come before they are able to bug out from the prison.

Oh ya, and Glenn proposed to Maggie, with a ring pried from the fingers of a walker. How romantic.

Commenter questions for the week:

For a spontaneously planned attack, Merle, I thought, did pretty well. Distraction, didn't open fire until the Governor's men started firing and so on. The Governor's forces did horribly, especially considering that they were planning to ambush Team Rick. Merle should (of course) taken out the Governor first, and also obviously should have picked a better firing position, less easily accessed by zombies.

How else would you have run a one man attack on the Governor's forces? What could Merle have done differently?

Dictatorship vs. Democracy: What do you think is the best command structure for a survival group?


  1. Always take the high ground !! And watch your six !!

  2. Answer (how to improve Merle's plan):

    1. Have a "ditty out" plan.
    2. Get the Govenor first! NOT fifth or sixth or whatever. This is the
    only reason to run the op not an ancillary goal.
    3. Live to fight another day, if for no other reason than to protect

    Merle just wasn't much of a deep thinker so he acted rashly. Pitty. I hope they resolve something next week!


  3. I agree!!!! The first shot is in the Gov. that was the whole mission thought. Gonna be interesting to see how Darryl takes having to kill merle, will he be okay or start to go batshit crazy.

  4. Only difference between Merle the sociopath and Merle the zombie was motor skills.

  5. I didn't think Merle had it in his character to let Michelone go and take on Woodbury. Very thoughtful of writers letting him go this way. Daryll is going to take this hard, but he's always risen to the occasion. For somebody who is supposed to be 'White Trash', he's been pretty honorable so far.

    I thought it was REALLY STUPID of the Woodbury guards not piece 2 and 2 together (how did this car turn itself, crank up radio and end up here ?) on this being a trap. Merle should have made a 'bomb' out of the car and created more chaos and smoke.

    Good show, the finale next week came way to quickly.

  6. Well, obviously Merle wasn't thinking straight (had been drinking since ditching Michone) or he would have climbed to a higher perch and made sure he had plenty of ammo. After shooting at the Governor, he should have taken the second shot immediately during the confusion, missed opportunity there.
    I still think the crowd at Woodbury would be vunerable to being taken over by new leadership if the Gov is taken out...they seen to be sheep except for one or two of them.
    Hope the finale wraps up the Andrea thread and more...I hate to see the finale coming since we'll have such a long wait for the next season. Sigh...

  7. The wife was highly pissed about Merle....she was just starting to like him! Lesson learned, if your gonna engage a hostile force and you have the chance, take out leadership first...warfare 101...a lot of forces, especially undisciplined ones will break and run or fall into mass confusion if command element is taken out. Merle will be missed.

  8. RomeroNJulietMarch 26, 2013

    The Governor has been winning the propaganda war for the second half of this season. His "Zombie Trojan Horse" had the intended effect: intimidation and demoralization. His sit-down with Rick left him undecided about whether or not to deliver Michonne into the Gov's hands. Also, the prison group has been expecting, at any moment, to make a last stand in the tradition of the Alamo.

    With all these threats and shows of force, he turns out to be a terrible tactician! His men expected enemy forces to show up at a time and place of Woodbury's choosing. With so many levels and silo's, they could easily have placed themselves in great sniper nests. With all their weaponry, superior numbers, and (presumably) communication gear, the Gov's men could have covered all approaches and been instantly aware of Merle's pied-piper attack. With such a poorly constructed defense, Merle might have made peace with Michonne in the car and explained that, for the good of his brother, he was going to go through with his plan. If they, among the best fighters on Team Rick, had worked even a basic plan, they might both have survived and put the Governor down.

    Agreed with some suggestions above...car explosive (or whiskey Molotov cocktail?) could have been a useful distraction. Heck, burning zombies are much more intimidating than normal ones.

    In a survival situation, I'm all about Democracy. You may have natural leaders in your group, and those who make good suggestions, but, at the end of the day, everybody needs to be on board for major decisions: do we stay or go? If you're not into the majority decision, take off with no malice. This might weaken your group, but at least everyone who fights with you is doing so on their own terms.

  9. I always liked Merle as an off the wall character, he was a bad man but he was a genuine unpredictable element for me. How do you think Daryl’s going to react in the next episode? I can’t wait to find out next week. I can’t seem to live without The Walking Dead, and because I work at DISH, I was thrilled to get my hands on our new Hopper DVR when it was released, and I’ve been blown away by it as a DVR ever since. I like how I can use my Hopper DVR to record up to six shows at once during primetime hours. I use this technology to help minimize DVR conflicts, so that I won’t miss my episodes of The Walking Dead.

  10. Dictatorship vs. Democracy? Well that all depends on who is in charge. If I'm the dictator than a democracy wouldn't sound all that great. Then again as a dictator you carry all the blame for decisions. There's always a threat of an uprising--meaning you completely lose control of the group and potentially your life. In a democracy there are still leaders--they just have their power checked a bit by the group. In some ways this is good--you don't carry as much of the blame, but then again maybe the group is full of idiots who keep making bad decisions. Or the majority of the group is more concerned with their own advantages than yours.