I used to think that episode where we conveniently weren’t at the prison were good because they were something different. I liked it because it didn’t have Rick in it. You can find out why this is, after the cut.
“You go on… give him that girl, he ain’t gonna kill her, you know. He’s just going to… do things to her. Take out one of her eyes… both of them, most likely. You’d let that happen… for a shot? You’re cold as ice, Officer Friendly.”
-Merle, to Rick
As if this [redacted]* was not racist enough, Rick decides to bring two more white men in to talk about handing over Michonne to The Governor. Daryl rightly is aghast at this, saying, “This is not us,” but, in true lemming form, is ready to go along with it, anyway. Rick talks to Merle-Merle! Of all people, he acts as the voice of reason. When this happens, you know you have made some poor life choices, Rick. Poor. Life. Choices.
In the next scene we see Michonne killing zombies like she is clearing brush. This is a nod from the writers (thank you, writers) to show that she is a necessary asset and not a chip to be traded for freedom. There’s also the little thing about her being a human being, for god’s sake. In my opinion, once you give away someone in your own group, no one else in your group will trust you. Even considering would make me distrust him.
“Do you even know why you do the things that you do? The choices you make?”
–Rick, to Merle
[Editor's note: Glass houses, Rick.]
I do appreciate that the writers have at least evolved from showing all women as laundry washers and shrill people with bad ideas. The scene where Carol shows off her badassery by asking which side Merle is on while loading guns for the upcoming battle is a definite sign of this. All they need to do is have Michonne talk a little more–and make Andrea less insufferable–then they can concentrate on the racial issues! Good work guys, maybe this show won’t be so biased by Season 6. Season 7 at the latest.
The Dixon brothers discuss Rick. Merle concludes that Rick will buckle. Merle also waxes poetic about how the group is so horrified at what he did to Maggie and Glenn, but they’re planning on doing essentially the same thing with Michonne. Ooo, burn.
Herschel puts his reverend-like beard to work while reading scripture with his daughters. Is it Sunday? Are they really doing this on a Sunday? It must be a holy day, at least, because look who’s back! Lori graces us with her presence yet again. The fact it took him his ghost wife to realize that he was wrong about this whole Michonne thing is something I don’t accept as “Virtuous Everyman Rick and His Life Choices.” The sheer idea of handing over someone who is your ally (to a likely death) is different than killing someone who is a direct threat to you, like that prisoner who got an axe to the head.
Showing us that the audience can only like Merle in 10-minute increments, he kidnaps Michonne. Thinking Rick isn’t going to “man up” and deliver Michonne to The Governor, he decides to do it himself. They walk and talk about good and evil.
A convenient romantic interlude…and, excuse me while I sob silently to myself over here. Glenn asks for Maggie’s hand in marriage. And Herschel gives his blessing–heteronormative, I know, but I mean, a little chivalry in this situation is nice, isn’t it? Maybe I’m too angry with Rick to see anything else. I did like the way Glenn shopped for the ring. Is the way that zombie reacted proof that maybe she knew that he was essentially stealing her property? Or was it because he broke off her finger? Discuss.
Merle and Michonne find a motel, where he ties her to a post before he hotwires a car. Proving he really doesn’t think before he acts, the alarm that goes off calls every zombie in the area to eat some delicious human. Michonne kills zombies in a very frightening and badass way with her foot, and then a wire before Merle gets the hint and cuts her from the pole. As they drive, she asks about why Merle decides to say on the outside. He lets Michonne go. In the next few scenes we see why Merle did this. He was on a suicide mission. He gets a car drinks some tasty whiskey (want) and plays music really loudly–which makes no sense to me until he drives to the meeting place, at noon, and smartly offers a zombie/music diversion while he kills a lot of The Governor’s men, including that kid with asthma. Sadly, he didn’t kill The Governor; in fact, they tussle, and Merle loses two fingers, before he loses his life. And then Daryl finds him in the saddest way possible, as Zombie Merle is eating someone. Sadness is weeping uncontrollably while smashing your brother’s face in so he doesn’t eat you. That. is sadness. Related: Merle sure turned grey pretty quick. Why does that happen?
At the end of the episode, Rick speechifies to the group…again. I guess this is supposed to make him seem like The Leader again, but…I’m over him. How does everyone else feel?
*I redacted myself. So what? Who cares?