The Walking Dead Zombie Round-Up: The Suicide King
The wait is over and the living dead are once again getting ready to invade our homes every Sunday, because The Walking Dead is finally back! TWD has become required Sunday night viewing here in the Evil Lair, not only because it lets me write these wrap-ups, but also because it’s such damn good TV! The mid-season finale left us on the edge of our seats as the folks from the prison invaded, then barely escaped Woodbury and the newly cycloptic Governor was forcing the Dixon Boys (that’s M’erl and D’erl to y’all) to fight to the death!
Normally, after the previous episode of a show ends in a massive firefight, resulting in casualties on both sides of the warring factions, the next episode will be a slower paced affair. Not The Walking Dead though, nope. We jump right back into the action as the Darryl and Merle are being pitted against each other at the Governors twisted behest. Merle appears ramped up for the fight and gets in a few cheap shots before Darryl starts fighting back, but Merle makes it known to his brother that he has a plan to get them out of here. Merle seems to be kind of a dumb-ass, so I’m willing to be his plan probably sucked. Luckily for the Brothers Dixon, Darryl’s friends are much better at plans and decide to attack when the Governor least expects it; right after their previous attack! Rick and Maggie manage to retrieve Darryl, with Merle in tow. When the group meets back up with Glenn and Michonne, naturally there’s a little bit of static between them all since Merle’s done some pretty terrible stuff to both of the waiting survivors. Guns are drawn (or crossbows and swords depending on the character), heated words are exchanged, and in the end Rick and Co. end up heading home without Darryl, the person they just risked their lives to save. In Darryl’s defense, he was put into a pretty tight spot by the situation. On one hand he has the people he’s been surviving with and grown close to, while on the other hand Merle is his brother. For all his flaws, including the terrible things Merle did to his friends, blood is still blood and Darryl decides to stick by his brother and insist that if the group can’t accept Merle then they will strike out on their own. Since the group makes it clear that Merle is welcome, the prison folks head back home and the Dixon Boys set off on what could possibly be the best Southern buddy comedy since the Dukes of Hazzard. Oh wait, what about Carol, whom Darryl has been pseudo shacking up with? Boyfriend of the year Darryl’s response is simply “She’ll understand.” Yeah, she didn’t. She was kind of broken up about it. Since Shane’s dead, I guess Darryl’s inherited his sense of scum-baggery.
Back at Prisonville, Hershel is bandaging up some of the remaining survivors (led by Tyreese), who’ve found their way into the prison, while Carl keeps watch, making sure they stay under lock and key. It’s become clear that despite the fact that they are incarcerated, the new set of survivors have become somewhat close with the people of the prison, as Beth is walking amongst them with the newborn baby. Some of the newbies are getting a little antsy and think they should make a move to take out their jailers, before Rick returns with the others, but Tyreese manages to keep the situation from erupting. Rick returns sans Oscar (who was gunned down in Woodbury back in the finale by Faux-Shane) and Darryl. Of course upon hearing that Darryl took off, Carol can barely accept the news. She later has a conversation with Beth about taking people back even when they’re horrible to you, so of course you know she’ll probably hook right back up with Darryl when he gets back (because of course he’ll be back at the prison sooner or later). Beth also seems maybe to be getting a little bit too into being a mommy to L’il Asskicker, because she gives Rick a kiss on the cheek when he gets back. Was there something else behind that? Is Carl about to be cock-blocked by his dad? In other doomed relationship news, Glen and Maggie seem to be in a fairly bad place. After her treatment at the hands of the Governor Glen is blinded by his lust for vengeance and he and Maggie appear to be drifting apart.
Things are going steadily South for the Governor back in Woodbury. After two separate attacks and some zombies slipping through the fence, the citizens of the town are starting to doubt Woodbury is a safe place. A mass of them are trying to leave, but the Governor’s men are preventing them from doing so. Andrea manages to keep the situation from going in an even worse direction by keeping the Governors men from firing on the gathered crowd. The Governor seems to be treading whole-heartedly into crazy town, but he shouldn’t worry, because he’ll have some company there. More on that in a second.
There’s a pretty large decision looming once the Ricktator gets back. What are they going to do with the new people? Rick is the one with final say on the situation and the newbies seem like good folk, plus with the Governor possibly seeking revenge, this should seem like a no brainer, right Rick? Rick? RICK??? Oh wait a minute… Rick’s bat-shit crazy. First he denies the new folks the privilege of staying, then just as Hershel is about to convince Rick that’s the wrong the decision, the insanity gets cranked up to 11. Rick sees Ghost Lori looking down on him from one of the catwalk in the prison and completely loses his shit. He starts muttering and yammering while wildly waving his gun around aiming at both his people and the new ones. Earlier on, we’re given a warning sign of the impending craziness when Beth hands the baby to him and he seems overwhelmed with panic or possibly grief over Lori’s death. The newbies are told to get the fuck out and now Rick’s insanity is public knowledge.
I really enjoyed this episode as it ignored the convention of having a slow-paced episode start off a new season (or semi-season in this case) and kept the action and intensity up from the previous episode. I was really hoping we’d seen the last of “Telephone Talking Rick”, but know it seems that he’s gone WAY past that stage of insanity. How’s the group going to react to their head honcho flipping out like that? Can we please just get Darryl AND Merle at the prison already?!?!? Michael Rooker would be such an awesome presence on the show every week, I can’t possibly see how the writers can ignore an incredible plot tool like Merle Dixon. Seems like we’ll have to wait another week to find out the answers to those questions and more. Stop by next Monday morning for another Zombie Round-Up!!!
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