WARNING! MASSIVE SPOILER ahead!!!
Go away if you ain't seen the episode yet! No fooling!
• I knew there was no way Rick would turn Michonne over to the Governor, but I didn't think he'd come that close to actually doing so. Merle was right, Rick has grown cold. Good thing for Michonne that Jedi Ghost Lori appeared to Rick ("Use the Force, Rick") and stared at him until he felt guilty and changed his mind.
Surely Rick didn't really believe the Governor was telling the truth and would honor the agreement, did he? I know Merle doesn't believe the Gov's lies; so why didn't he mention this to Rick?
• Pointless Trivia Time: "This Sorrowful Life" is the title of one of The Walking Dead collected graphic novels. Specifically it's the one in which Comic Book Michonne does some really bad things to the Comic Book Governor.
• What the hell's up with Daryl's hair? Not a fan of his new emo look.
• I was honestly surprised to see Herschel and the remnants of his family reading scripture for comfort. Are they really able to draw strength from the word of a god who'd allow a world like theirs to come to pass? I suppose they're clinging to whatever slim hope they can.
There were a couple of seconds in which Hershcel looked like his heart wasn't in it-- I kind of expected him to stop reading and say nuts to this.
All I know is that if the zombie apocalypse ever happened for real I'd use every bible I could find for kindling.
• By the way, Emily Kinney, the actress who plays Herschel's teen daughter Beth Greene, is really 27 years old! I know it's a time-honored tradition in Hollywood for thirty-somethings to play teens, but I honestly thought she was about 16. She certainly acts like a teen on the show. I guess she's just that good an actress.
• Merle tells his brother that the prison group views him as the devil for turning Glenn and Maggie over to the Governor, even though Rick is planning to do the exact same thing with Michonne. He's got a point there, one that hits close to home.
• I couldn't figure out what Merle was doing when he packed that telephone. I thought maybe he'd gone cuckoo like Rick and was going to use it to talk to everyone he'd killed.
• The distance between the prison and Woodbury seems to fluctuate as the script demands. Sometimes they seem like they must be a mile or two apart, other times much, much farther. In this episode Merle and Michonne walked and then drove for several hours and still didn't reach the feed store, which I assume is probably halfway between the two locations.
• Gotta love Michonne's improvisational skills-- she managed to kill two walkers while tied to a post!
• "If you cut the finger off a walker and take its wedding ring to give to your finance, you might be living in a zombie-infested post apocalyptic world."
I wonder what Maggie thought when Glenn gave her the ring? She had to have a pretty good idea that it didn't come from Jared.
• Glenn and Maggie's pending nuptials fill me with dread. As we've seen over and over on this show, happy = death. I've been avoiding spoilers all season, but I have a bad feeling that at least one of them is gonna get killed.
• Wow, Merle spent several hours on the road with Michonne and didn't make even one racist comment. Our little boy is growing up.
• Kicking Michonne out of the car was probably the nicest thing Merle's ever done in his life, but... could he maybe have let her out a little closer to the prison?
• When I first saw Merle sitting in the car surrounded by walkers I thought it was part of some booze-fueled suicide plan, but it was actually quite a brilliant strategy to lure the walkers to the feed store and pick off the Governor and his men in all the confusion.
• It didn't register with me until I read an online plot summary later-- when Merle has the Governor in his sights, he fires but kills someone in front of him instead. That someone was Ben, the son of Allen from Tyreese's group. I have to admit I didn't recognize him and didn't even know he had a name.
• In the words of Florida Evans: Damn, Damn, DAMN!
Dammit, Merle's gone! I really liked his character and HATE losing him. Well, OK, I didn't actually like him, but I liked the level of craziness and unpredictability he brought to the show. I was hoping he'd stick around for at least another season, but it wasn't to be.
As much as I might not like it, I do understand why his character had to be eliminated. He couldn't go back to Woodbury and he really had no place at the prison either. Merle's not the kind that takes orders or plays nice with others. I know people like that-- well, OK, so I don't know any knife-handed meth-head psychopaths like Merle, but I've known people who just can't seem to stay out of trouble and live a normal life.
I'll miss Merle though. Michael Rooker's a really good actor, and other than the Governor the show has no more villains. He'll be a tough act to follow.
• Maybe it's just as well Merle died after all. He'd have had a tough time going through life with just two fingers left. And damn, the Governor must have some strong teeth to be able to bite off human fingers!
• Merle's death featured a cool little bookend scene-- waaaay back in Season 1 when Merle was handcuffed to the roof, a group of walkers was only minutes away from bursting through a door and chowing down on him. Merle then roared defiantly to the heavens, "
• That was supposedly Ben's body that Merle was dining on.
It's been a long time since we've seen any zombies actually eating anyone. Usually they're all decapitated before they get the chance.
• Poor Daryl! He finally reconnects with his brother only to have to kill him a few weeks later. Norman Reedus did a great job here as Daryl. He went from shock and despair, unable to do more than push Zombie Merle away, to releasing his pent up anger and emotions toward him as he stabbed him in the head several hundred times.
• Rick decides to dissolve the "Ricktatorship" that he decreed at the end of last season, and lets the group vote on whether to stay and defend the prison or bolt. If I had to guess I'd say they'll try and defend it for a while but will be forced to retreat (and we'll get a new location for Season 4).
• Next week: the season finale. I honestly dread watching it because I have a feeling there's gonna be a lot of vacancies in the cast.