, , | 16th February 2013

The Walking Dead season 3 The Suicide King review

Daryl and Merle forced to fight to the death by the Governor

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The Walking Dead returned with season three part two earlier this week and it picked up where it was left off. Merle was put to the loyalty test by the Governor after he discovered that he lied about killing Michonne. In revenge for her attempted murder, she attacked the Governor and blinded him in one eye. This was no ordinary test as he was asked to kill his own brother to prove he was still loyal.

Warning possible spoilers in the review

The episode began with Merle proceeding to beat up his own brother, kicking him to the floor. In a struggle where they are close enough to talk in private, he tells Daryl to play along. At this moment the Governor and other members of his team are shot at by Maggie and Rick, who have returned for Daryl after they safely got Glenn and Maggie out. Much gunfire and confusion amongst the crowd as a smoke bomb is launched by Rick. It was kind of expected for them to come back for Daryl as he is a very important member of the group but it was a little disappointing that more didn’t happen between him and Merle. They were just thrown into a ring to kill each other so not seeing a reconciling moment between the two after being away from each other is quite normal. Let us also face the fact that they are both old-fashioned men who have a lot of pride and wouldn’t be caught showing crying and hugging as you would normally expect. It was also expected that Merle wouldn’t try and kill Daryl and like-wise for Daryl, a lot of expected things happening but it was done quite well. Daryl fans can be rest assured at least as it was a possibility that perhaps he would die. The crowd during the ring fight was also quite odd, you wouldn’t expect the normal citizens to be cheering the fight on at all, in fact you expect them to be in against it. Andrea also saw what the Governor is really like and what Michonne feared about him and Woodbury, she was held back in the ring after she tried to stop the fight. They all escape into the smoke as the crowd disbands from the gunfire.

Just outside of the walls of Woodbury Walkers discover the opening left by Rick and the group, foreshadowing possible danger to the town later on. Back out on the road Glenn and Michonne wait for their return and as Merle turns up with them they both fly into a rage. Michonne has her sword drawn and Glenn angrily protests to his presence. Merle eggs the group on by calling them “pussies” for having all those guns and not a single one fired at him. Rick knocks him out to calm everyone down. This scene is one of my favourites from this episode, the moment for Rick to knock him out is just perfect and adds to his character as the leader of his group. At the prison the new arrivals are treated by Hershel and they see Rick’s baby being looked after by Hershel’s younger daughter. They are surprised to see a baby born during this time. They are then warned that they have much larger group and that they “shouldn’t get too comfortable here”.

Rick and the group are debating about Merle staying with them, Daryl protests that they are keeping Michonne but not Merle when he is “blood”. Glenn argues that he is his family, not his and his family is right here. This leaves Daryl with the option of leaving the group for his brother. The others quickly defend to say that, that isn’t what they meant , he is welcome with them but not Merle. Unfortunately Daryl argues back with “No him, no me” and with that he leaves the group. Daryl leaving is a big blow for the group as he can help Rick defend everyone, not to mention that him using bow and arrows makes him quite a cool character. Much more unique than everyone using guns. We will continue to see him in future episodes no doubt, it is just a matter of when and if he rejoins the group. With the possible threat of the Governor invading the prison, his return should be expected though.
At the prison the new arrivals take Donna to bury out in the field and one of them suggests taking over the prison whilst Rick and the others are out. Tyreese objects by saying that they are good people and their fate is not decided yet. Meanwhile Rick and the others stop to move a truck blocking the road, a walker is inside and Glenn quickly kills it, continuing to stamp on its head long after the Walker is dead. Rick confronts him about it and they argue about why they went back for Daryl without killing the Governor and that he brought Maggie with him back to that place. He goes onto shout at Rick, “Do you know what he did to her!?”, in reference to the Governor telling Maggie to take her top off in a very tense scene which could have turned very ugly. The argument ends with the fact that they went through all that trouble to end up having Daryl leave with Merle.

Woodbury is in chaos with people trying to leave, the guards are shoving people back aggressively, pointing guns at them, Andrea arrives to calm the situation down. Screaming is heard and everyone rushes over, Walkers have gotten in (as foreshadowed earlier in the episode with one of the Walkers outside the walls discovering the gap Rick and the group used to enter and escape Woodbury) and attacked of the citizens. The Walkers are taken out and the badly injured man lies in agony on the floor, only changing into a Walker is a head of him now. Andrea pleas for someone to do something to help the man, no one responds, the Governor walks out and shoots the man, freeing him from the pain.
In light of the events the night before, you can see why the people of Woodbury would want to leave however given what life would be like outside it doesn’t seem like a much better choice. Rick and the others return to the prison and are greeted by Carl and Carol. She breaks into tears when she learns that Daryl has left with his brother, Rick comforts her whilst Carl shuts the gate. The Greene family have a little reunion on Maggie’s return and Hershel talks to Rick about the current situation. He explains that the Governor had Daryl and Merle in the pit to fight to the death, he remarks “what kind of sick mind does that?”. Hershel answers back “The kind this world creates”, he looks concerned which prompts Rick to ask what else is wrong. He initially thinks it is the baby but Hershel reassures him that she is healthy. In Woodbury Andrea gives the residents a pep talk, saying that they must work together to fight on, rebuilding everything including themselves. Eventually they will be written about in history books for having carried on and stuck it out, she proclaims, a very convincing speech indeed as everyone is settled once again. She even manages to gain the respect of the wall guards.

Rick and his group are discussing the situation and Carol says that it sounds like the Governor has them all outnumbered and more guns. It is clear to Hershel that they could do with reinforcements, luckily there are four new people in the prison. They go over to the Tyreese and his group to let them know their decision on whether they can stay or not. Tyreese introduces himself and puts out a hand to shake Rick’s but he stays motionless. Hershel then introduces everyone, Sascha, Alec and Ben. Rick proceeds to ask Tyreese how they got into the prison, he explains there was a damaged wall. It is also revealed to him that Carl brought them back, he snaps at him and Hershel defends Carl by saying he had no choice. Tyreese goes onto say he heard they could do with the extra help, claiming they will stay out of their way, get the own food, help if they have trouble with another group, etc… Rick replies no despite pleas from Sascha, Hershel then says that they all owe him a lot for looking after everyone but he reckons he is wrong on this one. Rick’s mind begins to play tricks on him as he sees Lori’s ghost. He then loses it, saying “what do you want from me!?”, eventually screaming “get out!” at her. Everyone is concerned for him and Tyreese’s group is prompted to leave them for now as Rick calms down.

That is it for the return of The Walking Dead, not much happened in the episode especially with the build-up to finding out what happens between Daryl and Merle from the mid-season finale. Their rescue was way too soon and they could have done so much with it like more dialogue between the two. They have just seen each other since the beginning of season one and that has been a long time ago. It was sad to see Daryl leave the group but it is expected for his return because of how popular his character is. It is good that the group finally find out that Rick is not very well at the moment since Lori died. There is still the rest of the season to go, the Governor should be making his move on the prison by the end of it, lets hope that the series picks up again and that we get to see some really exciting stuff.

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