Monday, March 25, 2013

The Walking Dead Episode Review - "The Sorrowful Life"

Oh, Walking Dead. I love this show so much.
Before I review this episode, let me just tell you why I love this show as much as I do, especially for those who have never watched this show. I am seriously the most impatient and judgmental TV drama-show watcher there is. I get annoyed with characters very easily, I get itchy for story lines to  end that do not have immediate conclusions, I hate shows with completely unviable and unrealistic plot lines, and I can only watch a show so long that takes too many episodes to conclude a mystery. Examples of shows I attempted to watch but either A) got annoyed with the length of the story arch, B) got annoyed with a character or C) got annoyed with unrealistic situations, would be: Homeland, Prison Break, Breaking Bad, and Lost. I know, all very popular shows. But I am telling you. It takes a show to be very good for me to be addicted to it. Now, comedies, I will watch all day long. One hour cop dramas, like Law and Order and Bones, sign me up. But if it is a show with episodes of a continuing story line from week to week, I am a hard sell. I am currently also watching The Following, but I tell myself weekly "this is my last time to watch it, it's driving me crazy!" And the only reason I am still watching that one is because I love me some Kevin Bacon. But, I digress.

The Walking Dead does two things really well. First, it creates a realistic reality in an unrealistic environment. Obviously, we know a zombie apocalypse is never going to happen. HOPE it won't, at least. And yet, I never think on this show, "That was ridiculous, why did they do that?" Or, "They really expect us to believe that?" This helps because even though I suppose you could ask questions like, "why they can have zombie blood splashed all over them but they actually have to be bitten to turn into one themselves?" You never think to ask those questions because you are thoroughly enjoying every minute of it, that it never evens occurs to you. The second thing it does really well is create a show where anything, and I mean anything, can happen from week to week. This show is completely unafraid to kill off its main characters, and has done so many times in the three seasons it's been on. I love this because, in the case of last night's show for instance, you are so surprised by an ending, that you love it that much more.

Ok, let's get down to brass tacks. Merle.

**The rest of this review contains spoilers, if you have not seen this episode yet, do NOT read this review!**

At this point, I am going to assume you are a watcher of this program. Merle is one I've loved to hate, yet last night, I was actually rooting for him. He is different than the Governor. The Governor is sadistic, really loves to kill (or seems to, especially when showing us his torture chamber or biting off Merle's fingers, ouch!) but there was something about Merle that always said to me, "A bit nuts? Sure. Racist? Absolutely. Realist? Of course. Loner? Yep. Sadistic killer? No." Yet, last night, we started to see that perhaps he just always saw himself as someone who was willing to do the "dirty work" that was necessary, that other people were unwilling or didn't have the stomach to do themelves. When he let Machone go, I knew that he had decided to turn a new leaf, perhaps he learned that he could do the dirty work yet still be on someone's team. After speaking with Daryl (whom I've always loved, especially since the very funny parody commercial for Time Warner Cable, in which the mom tells him "I just had the walls painted" and instructs him to "clean up" the zombies, to which he replies "Yes ma'am."), he began to realize that he has a choice to make, a life of loneliness in which he is capable of turning people over to The Governor for torture, or a life working with others to ensure surivival in their new society, post-apacolypse. I am glad he chose the latter, although we didn't have much time to celebrate in his new-found role.

I really didn't foresee his death coming, but man, he went out in a blaze of glory. His attack was brilliant, from the loud-music-zombie-magnet of a car to masking his own gunshots by the gunshots of the Woodbury residents to hide his attack. We had to know the Governor was going to foil his plan, but not before he took out about 3 men of the Governor's army. The whole time, I was sure Daryl would come in and save him, then plant an arrow right between the Governor's eyes, but then came the gunshot. And alas, poor Daryl finds his brother feasting on some entrails and cries, knowing he must kill him. He looked angry, and I am not sure if that anger is going to be directed at the Governor (I would love to see that show-down) or at Merle himself, for choosing to put his life in danger in such a sacrificial way. Either way, Daryl is going to have some issues in the upcoming episodes, and I am not sure if it's going to be issues I can get on board with or if he is going to turn a direction I am not going to like (this show is full of surprises, I told ya!).

Now, this week's episode and last week's episode are only tied together by the upcoming "meeting" between Woodbury and the prison, but have nothing to do with each other, other than that. I am still very intrigued by the Governor's right-hand-man Milton and whether or not he set fire to the zombies (I hope he did, I want to see him get a little evil) and poor Andrea (whom I didn't like very much until last week and her awesome kick-booty episode) is still stuck in that torture chair. And did you notice Ben got killed? I wonder what that will mean for his dad and survivors back in Woodbury.

All in all, I am very excited to see next week's episode, as I always am on Monday mornings, but I am very sad it's the season finale. This show seems to prove, week after week, why it's so popular and why it has proven to be one of my very favorite dramas to date.

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