The Walking Dead Season 3 Ep 15 - This Sorrowful Life - Review

merle daryl rick the governor

The Walking Dead Season 3 Ep 15 - This Sorrowful Life (249 )

What did you think of the show?

  1. Excellent (198 [79.52%])

    79.52%

  2. Good - Some Critiques (35 [14.06%])

    14.06%

  3. Fair - Not What I Expected (12 [4.82%])

    4.82%

  4. Poor (4 [1.61%])

    1.61%

#251
theriderone7

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As for Rick, he gets 10 points from me for being a douche in this ep. I get that he is torn and trying to save as many lives as possible, but his plan was flawed from the start. Merle saw right away that he wouldn't go through with it, but by the time Rick actually backed out, it was too late to call things off. By then he was missing two of his strongest fighters and putting the life of Daryl (his only other fighter besides Glen) at risk to get them back. On the eve of going to war with the Gov, his actions were complete lunacy imo.


This is not entirely Rick's fault. You could tell over the last few episodes that he was undecided about handing over Michonne. He even told Hershel that he was hoping he could talk him out of it. Sure he seemed like he had finally made up his mind this episode, but it was evident (to more than just Merle) that he wouldn't go through with it. If anything, the worst thing he did was tell Merle about the plan.

The fact that it was too late to back out by the time Rick changed his mind is kinda the point. Merle knew he had to get Michonne out before Rick changed his mind, otherwise the opportunity would be lost. Whether Merle believed it would work or not is irrelevant. He wanted to believe handing over Michonne would save their butts. In that regard, he's as willfully blind as Andrea; refusing to believe what's in front of his face based on a thin thread of hope that things could be different.
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#252
UltraAmbiguousID

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Why does Ben have a pillow roll? Dead bodies don't need pillows. :blink:

Was he alive for a bit and tended to while wounded? Still wondering why he was just left there as Merle chow. :huh:


Yes, while Allen was kicking Merle in the head... before the Gov grabbed Merle, someone was probably tending to Ben. Maybe Sasha?

Thinking Ben was left because the Gov probably assumed team prison was going to attack.

The pillow/bedroll is another one of those tiny details which are so realistic. The show does not get enough praise for set decoration.
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#253
Jayne23

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I doubt very much that sasha or any women from WB was there. They don't seem to have women fighters.
I thought about it and that is what Rick should have told TG " how about just having the women fight it out"
TG couldn't use andrea since she is now in torture world......hell maybe rick could have said how about the our women
against yours and you can throw in milton.....
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#254
Luv2readt.

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Did anyone see the guv on talking dead and feel uncomfortable...like he was staring into the camera?

Yes, and he was kinda creepy on TD. He keeps saying that Penny's death had caused the Governor to turn into a bad guy. IMO the Gov was sick all along. I don't believe that the torture chamber was just created, the Gov. led the massacre of the National Guardsmen and ordered Michonne's death before Penny died.
The Gov had needles to sew up his tortured victims so that they would not bleed out too soon, he isn't a newbie to the sociopath club. Poor Andrea.
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#255
Dr Cank

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Yes, and he was kinda creepy on TD. He keeps saying that Penny's death had caused the Governor to turn into a bad guy. IMO the Gov was sick all along. I don't believe that the torture chamber was just created, the Gov. led the massacre of the National Guardsmen and ordered Michonne's death before Penny died.
The Gov had needles to sew up his tortured victims so that they would not bleed out too soon, he isn't a newbie to the sociopath club. Poor Andrea.


I think he probably meant Penny's death (as in reanimation). Not the "death" of WalkerPenny.
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#256
Steph

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I think he probably meant Penny's death (as in reanimation). Not the "death" of WalkerPenny.


That's how I saw it too. I also didn't think he was creepy on TD at all.
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#257
Shambo

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A lot of detail indeed. Why does Ben have a pillow roll? Dead bodies don't need pillows. :blink:


Lmao when you said "pillow roll" I assumed you meant something like a derogatory term like muffin top or camel toe. Pillow roll....funny word it is. Lol.
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#258
Stan

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A fantastic episode, and character examination prevents the usual clich├ęd feeling.

LIKES: Merle did so well examining his fears and their control, and deciding to overcome them. I personally believe Merle intended to use Michonne as bait to get to the Gov. He didn't trust her enough to make her a partner. But she got in his kitchen and made him face himself, he thought of the Walker alternative and did the right thing by her and his brothers team. GREAT.

Loved the Walker gathering and herding, as well as the tipping the drink to the window walker.

I also don't think Merle saw it as a suicide mission. It was well planned and the odds of survival are minimal, but so long as you believe in that chance of survival you'll keep going. He intended to pop the Gov and sneak out leaving everyone who was still left alive. When Martinez figured out what was happening there was truly no escape, and that happened before his missed shot at the Gov.

He received a hardcore stomping before the Gov took him on, thank God he was drunk or it might have hurt! I still feel like I have to suspend my disbelief over the finger biting, but the Gov letting Merle change was so well done I didn't care how much it was telegraphed. Daryl finding him was so well performed. I do think they head-tapped the Woodbury perished before leaving. The dead will feast on the recently deceased until they change, or are bones if the head shots are taken.

Gov really showed up a great villain side in his few seconds of screen time. Good to see!

Michonne shows she can be very conversational when it can make a difference, and when she's studied her target. She went and tested conversationally Merle's resolve and intent until she found the right opening for change. Liked the motel kills. I do presume whoever owned the pimp mobile pre-Merle used a fuel preservative so it had a chance to start.

Maggie looks HOT in her Russian Chick From Indiana Jones outfit. I am so turned on just writing about it that I can't even be upset Glenn's officially taking her off the market! I'm gonna take a cold shower, BRB...

It's taken Rick all season to see that a dictatorship might work in the short term, when survival is mobile and requires absolute obedience every moment to prevent death, but never in a static situation. Maybe phantom Lori showed him that, maybe he didn't have the strength to make the wrong decision.

Carol is a real character now, with growth and development still to be added to.

Overall I have to rate it Excellent, can't wait for the next episode!
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"Step it up to Red Alert!"
"Are you absolutely sure, Sir? It does require changing the lightbulb."

#259
Zombeemom

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I think Merle knew he wasn't making it out alive, that's why he told Michionne to get everyone at the prison ready for what was coming next. I chuckled at his little zombie parade he had going there.

I am interested in how Rick is going to explain this to Michionne. That's an awkward moment there, "Sorry I thought about sacrificing you to the crazy man to be tortured, we good?"

I also like how Rick realized that Lori shows up when his conscious is messed up. Like she's his moral compass even now, she is still nagging at him from beyond.

This season has gone by soooo quick! I'm going to be lost all summer.
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#260
Kiel297

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I liked the episode. Merle's character was so good in a way that while I wanted him to die, it means that I can't enjoy wanting him to be killed off anymore. Daryl's reaction was pretty heartbreaking too.

One thing I wouldn't mind seeing next episode though, as much as people would flip out:

COMIC SPOILER
Spoiler

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#261
StrollingDead

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Good episode, though I would have thought Merle would make it into the finale.

- When Michonne meets Daryl, she says "He let me go" and then Daryl says "_ _ _ _ come after me(?)" Did anybody catch that?

-The car had to be that old to have the flared door-lock knobs that made them so easy to open with a coat-hanger (don't ask me how I know that)- I think Merle's skills were somewhat out of date. Though if the owner had installed an after-market alarm, you think he would have at least changed to bullet shaped knobs.

- Right from the beginning you knew Rick wouldn't hand Michonne over- at first I just assumed it was some devious plot on his part.

-Merle tells Michonne "I can't go back"- because of Glenn and Maggie?- whereas killing the Governor would have made up for that.

-When Rick tells the group about Michonne, it's Carl that shows the biggest reaction, turning his head down, displaying The Hat.

-Between Psalm 91 and the proposal, I think Hersh is about to buy it:

"There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

-Though I would like to see a full wedding, with Maggie holding a bouquet of weeds from the yard, Hershel hobbling her down the aisle, Beth as the maid of honor and Carol as bridesmaid; Daryl as best man and Carl as bridegroom, with Rick intoning "By the power vested in me by the Ricktatorship...."

-The scene where Glenn handed her the ring cut from a walker's hand reminded me of the scene in Beetlejuice where Michael Keaton pulls out a box with a ring on a wizened finger, and tosses the finger away saying "Honest, honey, she was nothing to me".
Can imagine Glenn doing the same thing..."Ooops". Nicely shows the new reality that Maggie doesn't even ask where it came from.

-Wishes for finale: a walker herd overwhelming the prison, wiping out the Woodbury guard at least, and putting the group back on the road. A shootout between the two is just not going to cut it- this is a ZA.
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#262
wyrd

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- When Michonne meets Daryl, she says "He let me go" and then Daryl says "_ _ _ _ come after me(?)" Did anybody catch that?


Daryl says: "Don't let anyone (from the prison) come after me."
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Make love not war!

#263
Chinghis

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Good episode, though I would have thought Merle would make it into the finale.

- When Michonne meets Daryl, she says "He let me go" and then Daryl says "_ _ _ _ come after me(?)" Did anybody catch that?

-The car had to be that old to have the flared door-lock knobs that made them so easy to open with a coat-hanger (don't ask me how I know that)- I think Merle's skills were somewhat out of date. Though if the owner had installed an after-market alarm, you think he would have at least changed to bullet shaped knobs.
{snip}


Hah, I thought the same thing about the door-lock knobs. I said to my wife, "Good thing it's an old car."

Daryl says: "Don't let anyone (from the prison) come after me."

Thanks, wondered what he said there.
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#264
General Ian Zane

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Thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Actually woke my wife up by yelling "he'll no" when I saw Merle the walker. I've never called out at a tv show before.

This is why we love you, Twd. Keep rolling, ye fine cast and crew.
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#265
Zvivor

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The way I see it -- Merle saved Rick. I was so angry at Rick's weakness in proposing to turn over Michonne. I was so relieved he changed his mind. But find to my surprise -- as much as I love Rick -- I am really angry at him for the wasted time and him being weak to the point of disloyalty. Who could trust him now. He jeopardized his team -- they could have been a couple hundred miles away by now, or if not, a lot better prepared. So, for the time he bought Team Prison to prepare or flee or both, I say -- raise a glass to Merle.

To my way of thinking the episode was Top Notch -- deep, complex on so many levels; the sorrow for Darryl heartbreaking, the fear for Team Prison's future heart stopping.
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#266
Deathtecon

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One thing that I noticed was that Merle shot Ben and when he turned he was also feasting on Ben's body.

I wonder how Allen is going to handle this.
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#267
daenerys

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Daryl says: "Don't let anyone (from the prison) come after me."


Thanks. I wondered that myself. As much as I love Daryl, sometimes I really have to work to understand what he's saying!
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#268
StrollingDead

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Yeah, thanks, wyrd. I tried to catch it on the repeat broadcast, but still couldn't make it out.
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#269
bluedev93

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I only have 2 quibbles with this episode:

1) I think Michonne is too smart to go into the tombs with Merle by herself. That seemed VERY out of character.

2) I think that car was too old to have an alarm.. lol

BUT I think Nicotero did an amazing job. The last scene was HEARTBREAKING.


I had the same initial reaction as you did about Michonne, then I concluded that she knew what she was potentially getting into. There seemed to be an undercurrent of her expecting Merle to assault or kidnap her but simultaneously she was aware that at his core, he was a good person who couldn't follow through and he would find that in himself. Granted, a pretty big chance to take on her part.
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Monroeville Mall Skating Rink

#270
Zprime

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I keep meaning to bring this up but hadn't gotten to a pc till now to do so. When Merle was in the car did anyone else notice the nod to the orginal Dawn of the Dead with showing a copy of this zombie?


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#271
Zen_Master

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so, Hershel was not able to talk Rick out of delivering Michonne to the Gov? Rick changed his mind on the strength of his own convictions and conscience?
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#272
cKatana

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I thought it was excellent! I particularly like the whole Merle story line. I think that plan with the car was brilliant. too bad he let that one Zombie mess with his focus...oh well that hubris
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#273
Tobedesu

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One of the better episodes from season 3.
Michael Rooker put in a solid performance as Merle and I was hoping that he might make it to the end.
Just like Shane, Im sad to see Merle go.
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