The TV Box: The Walking Dead, S3E15: This Sorrowful Life

Zombie Merle

The above picture is a spoiler unto itself… so my apologies… but chances are, if you are reading this, you already knew what you were in for.  Mea Culpa.

In honor of The Walking Dead’Cast‘s recent 100th episode, as well as the fact that I’m super-crazy busy at the moment, I’m going to forgo my usual recap of the episode, This Sorrowful Life, and give a quick Top 5.  Here goes…

#5:  Danai Gurira’s wonderfully understated performance.  As Merle’s captive and eventual pawn in The Governor’s sick torture game, she went along with everything she had to with a sense of grace and understanding that left me with a sinking sadness for what could have been her horrific fate.  To face doom with such poise was incredible.

#4:  Glenn’s proposal.  Actually… not so much the proposal itself, but the lovely exchange between Hershel and Glenn as the latter quietly asked for the former’s blessing.  Scott Wilson has such a lovely demeanor that I couldn’t help but be warmed by the apparently love he has for his future son-in-law, and the knowledge that even in this landscape of severed limbs and decapitated bodies, love can blossom and grow.

#3:  Rick’s speech.  Although it had the ring of LOST‘s “live together or die alone” speech, it was a much needed turning point from the failure of the Ricktatorship.  Obviously, things were not working in The Rick Reich… and it takes a big man to admit his failures, and that is what I saw… a man rising from his own ashes and asking for help.  Not an easy thing to do.

#2:  Merle’s redemption.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say Merle had a complete change of heart, but when her realized the futility of what he was about to do (taking Michonne to Phillip) and how that would change nothing, the racist redneck from hell did the right thing by freeing Michonne and setting up one of the better action sequences of the season.  There was something cathartic about watching Merle snipe so many of The Governor’s men while also allowing the zombies that he had lead to the meeting point wreck havoc.  A well thought out plan by a man no one considered to have much of a moral center, much less a brain.  Well done Merle.  Plus… Michael Rooker’s performance was spectacular.

The brother Dixon... one last time

#1:  Daryl confronting Zombie Merle.  I may not have wept at Merle’s death… but I may have become a bit misty eyed at Daryl’s reaction to seeing his undead brother and his breakdown after having to take him out.  Yet another remarkable performance by Norman Reedus in an episode littered with amazing performances.  Heartbreaking.

Sorry (or you’re welcome) for the truncated post this week… things have been a bit hectic here at Blahg Headquarters, so I appreciate your understanding.  Hopefully, after next week’s season finale I will give a much more detailed review of both the episode and the season as a whole.  In addition, next week will see the beginning of the third season of Game of Thrones.  If anyone is interested in me doing a weekly review of that as well… let me know.  I think it could be fun, and perhaps I will crib this format from Jason and Karen is it’s OK with them (I shan’t step on anyone creative toes).

While you are waiting for next week’s finale, watch AMC’s re-airing of the series from start to finish… it’s fun seeing just how far everything has come in just three short years.  Plus, keep your eyes peeled next week for my two of my three favorite zombies… all y’all know who I’m talking about.

Now, where is my meth,
Cornelius J. Blahg 

PS: Due to the title of this week’s episode, This Sorrowful Life, did anyone else expect to see a zombified Ira Glass show up?

14 thoughts

    1. Thanks Allie… I may very well do that. I may do it more like I did with this review, make it more of a bullet point review as opposed to a recap. As you know, with GoT, trying to lay out everything that is going on would be an endeavor worthy of another ASoIaF novel unto itself.

      Also, thanks for dealing with the registration process. This new format for the site got rid of my spam control, so I woke up this morning with a crazy amount of spam to have to deal with manually, which was no fun. I’m trying to see what I can do about that so that I don’t make it more difficult for people to comment… I love comments!

      What do you think of the new format? Because I don’t have the time (read lazy) to learn how to set up my own site, I’m beholden to templates on WordPress. I like this one… it doesn’t have pretty scenes of nature or cups of coffee, and I’m able to customize it more than I was before (added a Twitter and Facebook button, able to add the little browser tab icon, and I’m working on a transparent version of my logo, but it only works well on a computer, not on a phone). I’d love of feedback on the layout. I can’t return to the old format, WordPress ditched it completely, which was a shock after 2 1/2 years of the same thing…

      Thanks again for reading 🙂

      1. Ugh, sorry to hear about the spam, and overall I do like the new format, it looks pretty slick! Signing up wasn’t difficult, but it is a bit more of a hassle to comment, it would be great if I could hit “comment” on a post, then log-in, and have it bring me right back to the post I’m trying to comment on. Instead of having it bring me to a profile page, then I have to come back to this site and search for the right post again. Not a huge deal, and it certainly won’t keep me from commenting – but if you make any inroads on your search for a simplified process, they’d be much appreciated.

        1. Thanks Allie… sorry it’s become a hassle… the complete opposite of what I was hoping for. I’m looking for another way with this new system, but it seems rather limited in it’s options. I’m still getting a ton of spam to wade through, but at least it isn’t showing up on the blog itself. According to much of the spam, I have many messages from Lena Dunham… at least it’s making me laugh a bit.

  1. I would totally read any GoT reviews that you write. Personally, I like when it’s mainly just your thoughts on the episode – I don’t need a recap. 🙂

  2. Also, it might be fun to read a focus on a character piece or two for GoT. Your thoughts on Theon up to the point in the series, with a little book/show comparison. Something like that might allow you to go more in depth, without it being a totally overwhelming task.

  3. Hi there. This is Martin from the UK, the one who enjoyed ‘Juan of the Dead’!

    Yes, comments on ‘Game of Thrones’ would be great. I’ve read the earlier novels 2/3 times and am up to date with the most recent; though that doesn’t really matter with season 3 of the TV series I suppose. Anyway, I’m a big fan of ‘GOT’ and few of my friends are interested so my lack of opportunity to talk about it to others who appreciate it gets very frustrating at times.

    I’m not really sure who my ‘favourite’ character is; that can be an emotional rollercoaster given the casualty rate in the novels.

    Finally (almost!), and changing the subject, my ideal ending for the Governor in ‘TWD’ would be for him to come across Carl in the depths of the prison and totally underestimate him (fatally) as ‘just a child’. So, we have the Governor, driven by vengeance for the loss of his daughter, dispatched by the son of his most dangerous enemy. There’s something very ‘Ancient Greek Drama’ about that scenario.

    Finally (definitely); as opposed to ‘TWD’ catchphrase being ‘don’t get bit’ maybe for ‘GOT’ it could be ‘Don’t choose sides!’.

    Keep being interesting!

    M

    1. Hi Martin…

      Thanks to all the demand, I’ve decided I will definitely be doing a Game of Thrones weekly review. Sorry I had to edit a couple of line from your post… but that was super spoilery for those who haven’t read the books. Hope you don’t mind. The biggest problem with this series is being careful not to spoil… even saying a character exists in book 4 or 5 is a spoiler.

      I like the idea of Carl taking out the Gov… but I’m hoping Andrea will get (another) chance. Looks like she may have earned the right.

      My favorite six word review of A Song of Ice and Fire… “Bad things happen and everyone dies”

      Thanks again for reading… hope you like the new layout of the site.

      Cheers!

  4. Hi

    No problem with being edited; the last thing I want to do is spoil anything for anybody. I’ll remember that you are talking about the TV series and not the books and keep that in mind when making any comments.

    M

    1. Thanks Martin… I appreciate your understanding with regards to spoilers. Because most people are show watchers, we book lovers always have to bite our tongues… especially when it comes to events coming up in season 3.

      That said… you’ve given me an idea. Maybe I could create a special section called “The Spoiler Zone” where we could discuss ASoIaF spoilers as well as TWD comic spoilers. It would be fun to have a place where we wouldn’t have to worry about ruining the experience for others. What do you think?

      And so you know… I hated having to edit your comment. I don’t even edit my own posts… my process boils down to write, publish, regret. Sometimes I’ll notice something later on, or on occasion have a typo or error pointed out to me, then I will go back and correct it. I recently wrote something about “not having a vaginal”… that needed correction, and I appreciate that someone pointed it out to me.

      CJB

  5. Yes, a section for people who have read the books and can freely discuss the TV version without having to avoid mentioning future events sounds good. GOT is different from TWD as it sticks pretty faithfully to the books so it’s easy to accidentally spoil something.

    On the other hand TWD TV version is almost like a ‘parallel world’ version of the comic where some things happen in both worlds in an identical fashion, and other events happen but to different people or to the same people at different times and so on; plus the TV show would be much the poorer for the absence of the Dixon brothers. So you can sometimes talk about what happened in the future of the comic without spoiling anything. An example would be saying that Lori died when the Governor attacked the prison. She’s already dead so it doesn’t matter. We can’t do this with GOT.

    1. For a while I was doing a Comic vs. Show section for TWD, but lately the story line has been so divergent I really didn’t have much to compare beyond random elements and a particular “feel”… which is not easy to write something coherent about.

      You are 100% correct about GoT, so faithful it becomes too easy to spoil. I’ve heard rumors… or rather, since you are in the UK… rumours that they are going to be introducing elements from A Feast for Crows into this season since some of the events of that book happen concurrently… and they’ve already sped up the Jaime & Brienne arc in season two. I’m fairly certain where they will end this season… the title of episode 9 is a dead give away… but where will other arcs be in terms of the novels vs. the show.

      Ok… I’m just getting too excited now! Can’t wait for tonight. Going to try to write up my TWD review tonight so I can spend tomorrow and/or the next day on my GoT review.

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