THE WALKING DEAD 3×15 Spoiler Review: ‘THIS SORROWFUL LIFE’

Just before we get this review rollin’, I have one thing to say: wow. The penultimate episode of Season 3 of The Walking Dead went out with a bang, delivering a fitting conclusion to an arc that’s been building since the show began and setting up the epic season finale nicely. Just as last week was about Woodbury and the Governor and featured very little Rick and co, this time around it was the opposite of before.

Two episodes ago, the Governor offered Rick a choice: hand over Michonne and Woodbury will stand down, or keep her and face a brutal attack from the Governor. Fortunately Rick was smart enough to know either way the bastard was going to blow them all sky high, and that nearly happened if it wasn’t for the black sheep of the group rising up into a heroic role…

Merle! This week our favourite racist redneck finally realises the choice Daryl is faced with, whether to choose the family he’s come in to or the family he already had. Since he knows Rick won’t have the guts to hand Michonne over to Woodbury himself, he sucks it up and goes on a one-man mission to earn his respect in the Prison group and finally become a part of the team.

The highlight of the episode acting-wise is undoubtedly the brilliant Michael Rooker as Merle; he injects some much-needed personality and likability into the person you’d least want to be stuck with in the zombie apocalypse, and knowing that it really makes you feel bad for him. Especially with the tear-jerker of an ending, which I’ll come back to later on…

The scenes between Merle and Michonne are good; instead of portraying her as whining and vicious towards him for knocking her out and kidnapping her, Danai Guirra gives off an ‘I’ve accepted my fate’ feel from the silent badass we met at the end of the last season. Despite being a pretty shit character in the first half of the season, recently she’s grown into a part of the Prison group and actually gets lines now. She doesn’t need to fight and struggle to escape from her fate. She knows what it is, and she accepts it.

Norman Reedus is stellar yet again as Daryl, Merle’s brother. And if you haven’t seen the episode yet I highly advise getting the hell away from your computer now before you come across a major spoiler…

Merle dies at the hands of the Governor. His last actions are that of a hero, killing a considerable amount of the Governor’s main hitmen and nearly killing the man himself. Plus… Daryl cries. Just try and process that for a second. His brutal killing of a walker Merle was a fitting end to the long standing sibling relationship between these two polar opposite brothers, but with Merle dying more of a good man than initially thought by most.

But the episode wasn’t all misery – one of the happiest moments of the comics happens this episode, even if it was kinda forgettable (so much I nearly forgot to mention it here) and crappy. Glenn proposes to Maggie! Despite all kinds of shit hitting the fan in next week’s finale, I’d love it if the end to an epic season was Glenn and Maggie tying the knot in the Prison cafeteria. Just like in the comics.

Overall, this was definitely one of the better episodes of the season, and It’s a Sorrowful Life was also written by Scott Gimple (the same as the best episode of the show ever, Clear) who’s the new showrunner starting in Season 4. I give it a rating of…

What did you think of the episode? Tune in this time next week forĀ our review of Welcome to the Tombs (and yes there will definitely be one… Unlike last week) and keep on watching this space for all the latest news on The Walking Dead and for the start of Season 4 this October. Share your thoughts below!

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I have been reborn amidst salt and smoke to lead UTF against the darkness. I'm also an amateur writer and filmmaker as well as having played the 16th Doctor and invented penicillin. Also, deceased.