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The Walking Dead — The Suicide King (S3E09 Mid-Season Premiere)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Made to Suffer)

The crowd at Woodbury is excited to watch Daryl and Merle fight to the death, Andrea is the only one who tries to resist it. Rather than a joyous reunion, Merle beats his brother, but promises he has a plan to get them out. Before he has a chance to prove this, Rick and Maggie shoot them free. Daryl retrieves his crossbow in the most badass–a very Daryl–fashion, and he and Merle escape. Rick, Glenn, and Maggie easily agree that Merle can’t be brought back to the prison, but Daryl refuses to return to the group without his brother in tow, so he storms off. Rick and Glenn disagree about whether they should bring back Michonne, but Rick, as the leader, prevails in and tells her that they will only patch her up and send her on her way; he’s terrified of new people, and finds any reason not to trust her, even though they definitely need her strength.

I don’t think it will take much abuse-–be it the verbal or physical-–for Daryl to realize that Merle might be his blood, but Rick’s group is his true family. He has finally found a group of people that accept and want him, he has finally taking on leadership and he has Carol back at the prison. I expect a joyous reunion between Daryl and the group, particularly between him and Carol very soon (Hopefully before the Governor launches his attack).

Glenn is no longer the sweet, innocent boy that we met in season one, he has seen the horrors of the world and realized how terrible people can really be. And he isn’t just fighting for his own life now, he believes it is his job to protect Maggie, and he failed. He’s infuriated that Rick didn’t take the time to kill the Governor and he wasn’t even given the chance to avenge Maggie himself. Until he takes out the Governor, Glenn can never forgive himself, and probably can’t have a healthy relationship with Maggie.

When the group rolls back into the prison, Carl seems genuinely surprised that they survived. Rick has the chance to hold baby Judy, and Beth mentions how she has Lori’s eyes. As all else fades away, Rick must wonder if her other features are his or Shane’s. After all this talk of the group’s amazing leader Rick, Tyreese and his group must be quite disappointed. Tyreese promises that they would do anything possible to stay in the prison, even help them in their battle with the Governor, the Rick doesn’t want to be responsible for them, since everyone he tries to protect dies. For the first time, Hershel stands up to Rick, telling him that this is the wrong thing to do, they need to reinforcements to protect themselves. But before Rick has the chance to change his mind, he sees ghost Lori. He is conscious enough to know that he wants nothing to do with her, but he doesn’t realize that she’s just a ghost; he waves his gun around and threatens her. Tyreese takes this a threat to his own life, and he and his group are quick to leave. Rick’s mind continues to deteriorate, and this time it wasn’t just Glenn who saw it. With Daryl gone, there aren’t many people left to take the lead.

Forgetting how dangerous it is outside of the walls, the citizens of Woodbury try to escape. A group of walkers manage to break in and bite one of the citizens before Andrea can kill them. The Governor walks out of his apartment, shoots the man in the head, and walks back into his house in complete silence. Andrea rushes into his place and demands that he give her answers and speak to his people, but he no longer cares about his people. He tells Andrea the whole truth now, thinking that she didn’t deserve to know before, because she was “just passing through.” Rather than become pissed, Andrea tells him not to push her away. For some reason, even after seeing tanks full of heads and his zombie daughter, she still wants to be with him. In my opinion, she’s even crazier than Rick. Because the Governor won’t take charge, Andrea makes a speech to the people about how they have suffered, but they must pull themselves back up; when society returns, the history books will write about Woodbury because they persevered. Though this inspires the people, I find it hard to believe that anyone expects the world to return to the way it was before. Now that Andrea seems to have found her place, it’s hard to know which side she will choose in the battle between Rick and the Governor, they did leave her for dead after all. And they barely reacted to the news that she was still alive, probably because they didn’t have the time to worry about it.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Home)

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