The Walking Dead 3.15- "This Sorrowful Life"

A tv review article by: Paul Brian McCoy

 

Walking Dead Logo AMC
 
The Walking Dead 3.15 "This Sorrowful Life"
 
After last week's disappointment (I couldn't even be bothered to write about that crap) I was thrilled to find out that Scott M. Gimple was writing this episode. "Clear" was easily the best episode of the show, so having the new showrunner back in charge for this season's penultimate episode, especially with Greg Nicotero directing, had me hoping for something great.
 
I was not disappointed.
 
As with "Clear," this was another example of how to mix good dialogue that moves the story and develops character with the bursts of action that should keep the less discriminating fans happy. Not a lot happened for most of the episode while Rick tried to talk himself into giving Michonne up to the Governor. But it was before the opening credits, as Rick fills Merle in on the plan, when we realize that it's not really Rick's journey that will be center stage this week, but Merle's.
 
Walking Dead Merle
 
Rick has some things to work out, sure, but it's stuff that we knew he was going to figure out all along. Also, Glenn and Maggie get a nice moment of pseudo-normalcy as they make a commitment to each other.
 
Also, props to Glenn for finding a ring on such short notice. That walker won't miss it.
 
But this week was all about Merle.
 
Michael Rooker is one of the most talented actors in the cast and I'm sorry to see him go, but damn if he didn't give this show everything he had. He makes the other actors better and brings a life and unpredictable energy to every scene he's in. I can't think of another actor who could play a piece of shit like Merle believably and still bring the audience around to rooting for him.
 
Walking Dead Zombie Merle AMC
 
Part of that was, I think, the connection that Rooker and Norman Reedus were able to bring to the characters. We started wanting Merle to become a better person because Daryl wanted it so badly. If you don't tear up a little watching Daryl find his zombified brother, then your heart is a cold butt. That's going to be the scene people are talking about. The scene they remember.
 
But it's Merle's time with Michonne that is really special. Now that they're actually giving Danai Gurira things to do and actual dialogue, we're starting to see just why she won the part. I'm hoping that since it's Gimple's scripts that have done the most to develop Michonne into a character we can care about, that means next season he'll pay special attention to making her the iconic character she is in the comics.
 
I know we had to get through the tough times to arrive at this point, but the writing for Michonne has been abysmal through most of the season. I'm glad the person in charge of the show next season has actually demonstrated that he knows how to handle the character.
 
Walking Dead Rick Daryl AMC
 
I'm not sure what to expect from the finale, to be honest. Ernest Dickerson is directing, so it should be a solid, good-looking entry; but current showrunner, Glen Mazzara wrote it and his work has been kind of sloppy this season. Here's hoping that he pulled it together to make the handoff a smooth one.
 
By the way, is anybody else amused that AMC is doing a Zombie Apocalypse Marathon all week long, showing every episode of Walking Dead in order, leading up to the finale on Easter Sunday? It's almost like they're commemorating the resurrection with a week of zombie entertainment.
 
I wonder where else you could find a week's worth of Easter Zombie entertainmentHmmmm.
Paul Brian McCoy is the writer of Mondo Marvel and a regular contributor to Shot for Shot at Comics Bulletin. His first novel, The Unraveling: Damaged Inc. Book One is on sale now forKindle USKindle UK, and Nook. You can also purchase his collection of short stories,Coffee, Sex, & Creation at Amazon US and UK. He is unnaturally preoccupied with zombie films, Asian cult cinema, and sci-fi television. He can also be found babbling on Twitter at@PBMcCoy and blogging occasionally at Infernal Desire Machines.

 

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