THE WALKING DEAD Episode Recap: “The Suicide King”

by     Posted 1 year, 65 days ago

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AMC’s The Walking Dead came back fighting tonight with an opening that pit brother against brother in a gladiatorial battle of the Dixons.  It looks like fans finally got an answer to the question of what would happen when Merle and Daryl were reunited and it was anything but what I expected.  Things are starting to unravel in Woodbury as well as back at the prison, but it wasn’t all dreary: tonight’s episode even featured a quick undead cameo from former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward!

Starring Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Laurie Holden, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson, Dallas Roberts, Emily Kinney, Chad Coleman and Lew Temple, AMC’s The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9.  Hit the jump for my review of “The Suicide King.”

walking-dead-season-3-michael-rooker[Spoiler Alert: All reviews and recaps come with a general spoiler warning from this point onward.]

After months of speculating what would happen when Daryl finally met up with Merle again, we finally got to see the two Dixons throw down…and it was fairly anticlimactic.  With two fan favorites like these, you knew the showrunners wouldn’t kill one of them off, but even the fight itself was rather half-hearted and rushed.  Oh well.  At least we got to hear the Dixon brothers bicker and were treated to a few masterful one-liners by Merle.  You knew there was no way that Rick was going to welcome that lunatic back into the fold, but in an odd and unexpected bit of a plot twist, Daryl left Rick’s group (and Carol) in order to go off with Merle on their own.  Maybe we’ll even get to see a Dixon boys spin-off, “To Live and Die a Dixon.”

Meanwhile, after Rick’s assault on Woodbury left the townsfolk rattled, the defenses less secure and the Governor shaken, Andrea was the only one left standing to keep a hold on the tenuous peace.  A few of Woodbury’s sheep were cut down in the line of fire during the rescue of Daryl and Merle (including one zombified Hines Ward), while more were attacked by Biters who managed to sneak their way into town.  While the Gov wasn’t too helpful at calming his flock, he was certainly quick to put a bullet in random Walkers or suffering townsfolk alike.  He’s starting to go even further off the rails and I don’t know how much longer Andrea will be able to hold things together.

walking-dead-season-3-andrew-lincolnThe strangest bit of tonight’s episode happened back at the prison in a parallel story of a leader starting to lose his grip on his sanity.  While Rick and the others were making their way back to the prison, Hershel tended to Tyreese’s group of newcomers.  All is not well within this foursome as two of the members began plotting a coup against the reserve team holding down the fort.  (I almost wanted the guy with the big mouth to try to pull one over on Carl just to see how poorly that would have turned out for him.)  Luckily, Tyreese and his #2 stepped in to smooth things over before they got out of hand.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well when it came to Rick deciding whether or not the newcomers would be allowed to stay.  Even though the group needs help defending against the impending retaliation by the Governor and his forces, Rick denied them sanctuary in his prison…oh and then Lori showed up as a zombified ghost creature! (At least, I think she was zombified; I couldn’t quite tell.)

Rick absolutely loses his mind upon seeing Lori.  I thought he’d do the typical “see her but don’t let anyone else know he sees her” shtick but, nope!  He had a bit of a crazy spell earlier in the episode where he was holding Lil’ Ass-Kicker and started to go all The Shining on us.  It’s obvious that Rick needs a rest, but with the Gov bearing down on the prison, I doubt that’s going to happen any time soon.

A pretty solid episode with the expected gore factor and some twists and turns.  I bumped it up a notch because of Rick’s freakout at the end of the episode, which promises to complicate things further down the road.

Rating: 8/10

hines-ward-the-walking-deadMusings & Quotes:

  • “Brother against brother; winner goes free. Fight to the death!” – The Governor
  • “A little help would be nice!” – Merle
  • I loved Glenn and Michonne’s reaction to Merle’s appearing with the group, and of course, Merle’s one-liners.
  • “Man, you people have been through the mill.” – Tyreese
  • “It’s only gettin’ worse out there.  Dead everywhere, makin’ the livin’ less like the livin’.” – Tyreese
  • “I must be the first brother in history to break into prison.” – Tyreese
  • It was nice to get a little backstory on the newcomers.
  • “Take care of yourself, take care of Lil’ Ass-Kicker and Carl.  He’s one tough kid.” – Daryl
  • I love the random walkers just chilling/ambling in the background.
  • “You’re just a visitor here, just passin’ through.” – The Gov to Andrea
  • Was it just me, or did The Gov list “Heisenberg” among their casualties?!
  • “Sounds like we have a new problem on our hands.” – Hershel
  • “She has Lori’s eyes, maybe.” – Beth to Rick
  • Need a bassinet? Got a spare mailbox bin? Problem solved!
  • “You’re like my own son, Glenn.” – Hershel
  • “You’re wrong on this.  You’ve got to start giving people a chance.” – Hershel to Rick

Zombie Kills: 15

Human/Enemy Deaths: 3

Casualties: Daryl…sort of.

Best Kill: Glenn’s zombie stomp.

Best Zombie Effect: Has to go to Hines Ward’s cameo.

Check back with us next week when we review the next episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Home.”

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  • Matt

    More like a 5/10 to me…uneventful episode…spread too thin…too much unnecessary dialogue…bad one-liners…just a very boring episode to be your mid season premier….I have a feeling this season was not meant to be broken in two for this long of a period…this episode just didn’t make sense to open with…

    • 2 Dimensional Mr Kippling

      if you say so…..anyway, moving on

    • Anonymous

      Agreed!!!!

    • Darlene

      I agree with you Matt. I was disappointed :(

    • theoz

      Why did it not make sense to open with? It was just a on going story that got stopped and picked up where they left off. I wish there was no break at all. But where did you want them to pick it up?

      Some of you need to take your stick out of your asses. Its a good show. I am sure sitting in your Mom’s basement all day. Does give you some time to nit-pick on all the details.

      • Great white hype

        Using the sitting in your mom’s basement cliche. How original. Maybe you should write for the show. A persons opinion of this episode differed from your own so let’s insult them. You sure you don’t live in your moms basement?

    • Wi

      I’m with you Matt, season 3 is quickly destroying this series for me, there is so kuch shoehorning, filler and ‘lost’ tactics (i.e making characters be incredibly stupid for the sake of starting unneccessary conflict *cough FILLER*) (fyi lost was a terrible terrible series)

      I mean wtf was with the ending of this episode? I thought this show was meant to be about a realistic take on a zombie apocolypse but now there are frikkin ghosts? That was just flatout dumb, the idiotic writers obviously wanted Rick to deny the group sanctuary even though it makes NO sense for him not to say yes, so they just pulled some retarded ghost sh*t?

      Season 3 has destroyed this series.

      • Radiationman

        It is realistic. As of right now they haven’t indicated that anyone else can see Lori…he’s loosing his mind. He’s fighting to keep the friends he has, which results (unfortunately) in the distrust of any other person or group they may come across. The show hasn’t gone off the deep end yet, but I will agree if they don’t start cleaning house, it may just end up that way.

        For all who say season 3 is ruining the show, consider how difficult this job is…not only do they have to keep the current characters fresh and entertaining, but they have to plan the future, which means bringing in new characters before ending old ones. Then, you have to keep up with the story lines, no matter how separated the group becomes….so now you have 3 or 4 groups to monitor, with dozens of people…all I can say is that you can’t please everyone.

        While we’re at it, most people who follow this series are bandwagon fans who knew absolutely nothing about it before, and still have no concept of what a true zombie appocalypse would be like…has anyone even considered what 1 percent survival means? 70 million people…and secondly, let’s not pretend that at least half of those 70 million would be in the US…access to weapons is survival…if anything, the series doesn’t have enough survivors.

  • LEM

    The most surprising thing was that Michael Rookers’ name now appears in the opening credits so I think he’ll be sticking around longer than some would think.

    • k

      Rooker has been in the opening credits since the “Walk with Me” episode (#3) this season.

      • LEM

        Really? I usually don’t watch live so I guess I fast forwarded past it.

  • Marlboroliteman

    Andrea’s speech and the way the towns people one by one nodded their heads in approval was was wince inducing, the way Rick lost it in the end in front of everyone was kinda weak and didn’t make sense, the Daryl and Merle story line felt rushed and was poorly written (why would Merle act like such an asshole to Rick and co. if he needed to go back with them?) Why couldn’t they just take Merle to the prison, lock him in a cell and discuss their options, he was already rendered unconscious? The Walking Dead has always been hit or miss, this episode was a big disappointment.

    • LEM

      Merle is an asshole and these are the people who chained him to a rooftop. He didn’t need to go back with them he just needed a way out of Woodbury. They don’t want Merle there because he’s dangerous and manipulative whether you lock him up or not. I think the Rick meltdown wasn’t that well done but I really can’t say how someone should react to seeing their dead wife. I don’t think they’re really portraying his descent into madness that well but it’s a very hard thing to write and make come across on screen without seeming goofy. AMC should stop releasing so many clips from the show before they air because they gave away almost the entire episode before it aired and the previews have given away even more from episodes to come.

    • Danny

      I agree with Andrea’s speech but Rick losing it made complete sense. Don’t you remember how he was talking with his dead wife on the phone? Or when he saw Shane in the shootout in Woodbury? You also have to remember it’s been DAYS since his wife just died. It didn’t come out of nowhere. Merle is and will always be an asshole. Merle didn’t want or need to go back to the prison. He knows the Gov is going to seek revenge and he’d rather stay away from the prison, Merle said it himself. At least make sure you understand a show/movie BEFORE calling it disappointing.

      • Uh, no.

        This is the fifth episode since Lori died. (And it’s been 98 days in the real world since Lori died.) Beth told Tyrese’s group that the baby is a week old. I’m sorry that the writers can’t pace a show better than five freaking hour long episodes representing 7-8 days.
        In the comic Rick talks on the phone to Lori for waaaaaay too long. Then he stops. Then he starts doing it again. The fact that the show did a two or three and done seemed enough of a nod to the comic. Now Rick is seeing his dead wife. Reediculous!
        Also, pretending like Marlborliteman doesn’t “understand” the show because you disagree with him is as dumb as that goofus up-page who used a Mom’s Basement insult.

  • daveyboy

    Okay, is anyone else really really starting to hate Andrea? Every time I think she couldn’t be any dumber she is. She was one of the best characters in the book but in the show she is just a weak easily manipulated naive woman.

    • theoz

      I think she will be the one to kill the Governor.

      • k

        Let’s hope it’s via a mutual suicide pact…..:)

  • theoz

    What I want to know is when are they going to fix the hole in the wall?

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