The Walking Dead Roundtable 3.9: “The Suicide King”

Hosted by Fashion and Entertainment Editor Joseph Lamour

Image via AMC.

Like I said in my recap Monday, the mid-season finale’s rescue mission caused some survivor shuffling in “The Suicide King.” Daryl and Merle are together again–and apart from everyone else; Michonne, Tyreese and his group, and the Originals all attempt to get along in this new survivor setup (Spoiler alert: they fail miserably); And Glenn and Maggie begin what seems to be their slow drift apart.

The breakdown: Each week, a Walking Dead roundtabler or I will provide a recap the day after the newest episode airs. The next Friday morning a roundtable discussion of the episode is posted featuring Joe, and a variety of guest commenters.

Jeannie Chan, Carly Mitchell, and Jenn Kim join me to talk about the previous episode before the next one this Sunday.

Joe: Aaaaand we’re back!

Jeannie: So good to be back! Oh, Roundtable, I’ve missed you so!

Joe: Thoughts on the last episode, everyone?

Jeannie: Me first! Seriously, how much of the Kool-aid did these people drink for them all to be so into the concept of pitting family against each other in this sicko Ultimate Fighting Ring? Y’all created this tiny insulated society with your weird rules because, presumably, you realized that you were all doomed and needed to stick together. So, how does it make sense to have two brothers who not only survived after being separated from each other but found their way to each other again fight to the death? Ugh.

Jenn: Also, the terrible over-acting of the extras in that scene must be noted. And as much as I snorted about the over-use of fog, it was pretty badass to see the one-eyed Governor walk out of it before the credits.

Jeannie: Heh heh, did anyone else catch that exchange between Daryl and Merle? “Jackass.” “Shut up.” That was pretty cute, not gonna lie.

Jeannie: …and the moment is over.

Jenn: Yeah, I think Merle discussing how the Governor’s been “putting the wood to your girl Andrea big time, baby,” whilst making kissy faces can pretty much ruin any moment.

Carly: Oh good. I’m glad we’re continuing this pattern of having Michonne say absolutely nothing for herself. I was worried that might change.

Jeannie: Argh! Her silence is infuriating!!

Jenn: She’s a Nubian queen! She doesn’t have to speak!

Joe: LOL. Your impression of the writers, Jenn?

Jeannie: Chad Coleman! Yay! Aw, look at them standing around, chatting, cracking jokes. When was the last time anyone tried to make conversation with someone else around here? This is nice. This is weird. This…is not gonna last…

Image via

Carly: And now here is Herschel echoing the same withholding-of-information pattern that this show has grown so keen on. Honestly, what would it have cost him to point at Rick and say, “Oh, I’m not in charge, that’s this highly strung dude over here.” Just a little bit of give instead of the ominous turn and walk away. At least he didn’t leer and say, “Oh, you’ll see…. you’ll allllll see.”

Carly: At this point, this group is yelling about how they can’t trust Michonne and how they are pretty much ready to off her. It is baffling that she would continue the same plan of attack she’s had this whole season.

Jeannie: Daryl!! Come back!!!

Joe: No no, Daryl, go…you’re better off! I feel like this separation only means more screen time for Daryl, as he won’t be near the Rick-tatorship for a while. This only means good things to me! This also will effectively bring Tyreese, Michonne, and Rick together as a team by default–right?

Jeannie: Uh, excuse me, Ben and Allen–that “little kid and a woman” can totally kick your ass!

Carly: Hurrah! Three cheers for calls for common decency! They heard us, and it is so nice.

Carly: Also, I love that the new couple (I know, they are related but I’m still using the term “couple’) is (seemingly) a well-matched set of equals. It makes me feel like maybe the show is setting them up to be strong contributions to the group instead of a weird mismatched couple that’s there just for show.

Jeannie: Agreed! I love that Tyreese and Sasha are being set up as such strong characters already. I want to rejoice in this but knowing this show…

Joe: I started to mention in the comments of my recap that Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) got cast on Once Upon a Time recently (and my guess is as some version of Jasmine or Tiana, or as Greg Mendell’s out-of-town girlfriend) which means she either could be an important addition to OUAT or recurring, so I’m afraid she’s going to be zombie food soon. This is just conjecture, though. There could be different filming schedules for both shows, and she could stay on both shows.

Jenn: I’m glad to see them on the show, but I have to say it: it bothered the crap out of me that Tyreese had to act so subservient to Rick in order to get permission to stay at the prison. Is this what black men have to do in order to seem non-threatening? Ugh. And since when does Rick have absolute authority and control over the prison and decisions affecting the group? It’s a Rick-tatorship up in here!

Joe: I wonder when more than a weaker or mentally unstable mind decides that Rick is NOT the leader they need. Why isn’t the whole group saying “Mmm…maybe Herschel should be the leader?”

Carly: I feel strangely about this fight between Glenn and Rick…On one hand, I appreciate the standing up for abuses against women. On the other I’m weirded out by the “defending my woman, my property” kind of vibe. I’ll admit there’s no great way to go about that, but I’ll at least point it out. Especially because they’re clearly going to build this revenge storyline off of it.

Jeannie: I don’t know…I don’t know if some man (even if it is Glenn) needed to step in and remind everyone about the way Maggie was treated. Does Rick know what the Governor did to her? Probably not. Was it Glenn’s business to imply that some sort of abuse occurred? No, it was not.

Jenn: I agree, Carly and Jeannie. Ultimately, Glenn reacted out of his feelings of helplessness and emasculation: his girlfriend had been violated (still unclear on the nature of this violation?) by another man, and Glenn was unable to take any action. Ultimately, I felt a vibe of  proprietary ownership over Maggie, particularly because he was so angry that Maggie was able to act by being part of the extraction team and he wasn’t.

Jeannie: Way to handle the downfall of your perfect society like a well-adjusted grown man, Governor.

Carly: Man! Good on ya Carl for reminding the audience that there was ever a man named Oscar who was worth remembering.

Jeannie: Ugh, shut up, Andrea. This is the worst motivational speech of all time.

Joe: It’s simply the most ill-informed speech ever. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Carly: Well. I’m inclined to say Rick is just turning into someone awful, but these lapses in his mental health are pointing to a grander (scale-wise) and more devastating decline. Now that would be something I’m interested in watching.

Jeannie: Is it wrong of me to delight in seeing the decline in Rick’s mental health? I do think it will make things more interesting. And I apologize now, way in advance, as I will inevitably begin to harp on how annoyed I get by the way his mental illness will be portrayed. Also, Lori standing in the shadows in a long, white, satin-y gown? Oh come on.

Joe: It already has made the show more interesting, in my opinion. Let’s just make sure they do it responsibly.

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  • Montclair Mommy

    Okay, I get how the group decided to go along with Rick as the leader, but when did they get so afraid of him? Hershel is the same man who almost kicked them off his property! Why didn’t he mention that to Rick instead of saying something along the lines of “Uh oh, don’t think this is the right choice” in a teeny little timid voice. Why didn’t he say, “Um. Wasn’t too long ago that you had to beg me not to cast YOU out. I let you in and we became family, who do you think you are to decide that no one else is to be let in??!” Why are they so deferential towards Rick when they all (save for the young acting, oddly still naive blond girl that is weirdly flirty with Carl) have their zombie killing cred?

    Oh, and Michonne not speaking INFURIATED ME! Why can’t she just say, “Yes. Yes, I knew Andrea”?? How is that so hard? I don’t get how the writers of the show think that they can make a character that just glowers and never speaks and call it “mysterious” without any real attempt to develop the character. I mean, throw us a flashback scene about her or SOMETHING! At this point the writers get a failing grade on this and I have no hopes that this is going to change…