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About Last Night: The Walking Dead “Suicide King”

Posted on February 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm by Stephen Janes

Warning: there are spoilers riddled in this article

After the emotional mid-season finale of The Walking Dead a few months ago, the timing of the hiatus disappointed many fans just as the show was beginning to reach an all-time high. With its inevitable return to television, we pick up at the very same moment we left off in an episode that started red hot, then cooled down and ended bat-crap crazy. Let’s take a look at The Walking Dead, “Suicide King.”

Daryl and MerleThe last time we caught a glimpse of our favorite band of survivors, an attempted rescue went awry as fan favorite Daryl Dixon was taken into custody by The Governor and put in a ‘Circle of Death’ fight with his brother, Merle. Woodbury rallies behind their devious leader as an inevitable face-off between them and Rick’s group approaches in the balance.

The Governor aims to prove Merle’s loyalty by pitting him and his brother in a fight to the death, where the winner is able to escape with his life. Merle in his traditional jerk-wad fashion begins throwing punches almost immediately, until he tells Daryl to, “follow my lead, we’re getting out of this.” The two begin fist-fighting walkers until Rick and the group intrudes with gunfire and smoke grenades to help the brothers escape. As the group gets out, a tear in the wall opens the opportunity for walkers to enter the once peaceful Woodbury.

With Merle re-entering the group, he immediately causes tension as Maggie, Glenn and Michonne disagree with the decision. Everybody has their reasons against Merle, including Daryl in a few instances. When Daryl realizes that Rick is unwilling to allow Merle into the survivor group, he decides that it’s his time to leave. Immediately afterwards, Rick informs Michonne that she will be on her own once she has been patched up and healed.

Back at the prison, Herschel and Tyreese begin to get more accommodated with each other. Herschel reaffirms to Tyreese that, although they are not The Governorprisoners, they are not officially welcomed into the group either. Tyreese’s group is given a moment outside to properly bury their friend who died in the last episode months ago. Tyreese even prevents an inner-dispute with his group, which shows remnants of Rick back in the first season where the attitude was, “Save what we can, help all that need it.”

When Rick and the rescue team return to the prison, he breaks the news to Carol that Daryl is gone. As expected, she isn’t exactly too thrilled by the news. It’s a bit of an emotional moment; just before this Carl reveals that all he can think of is how miserably he treated his own mother prior to her death, which breaks his own hard-edged attitude that he’s adopted this season.

Back in Woodbury, mass hysteria has broken out. Residents don’t believe that the city is a safe place anymore, a fact that is not aided by the same Woodbury soldiers threatening everybody who attempts to leave. The Governor completely breaks his own character by mercy killing a man in the middle of the street with everybody watching. Andrea gets the entire city back on track and rally’s them together…for what I’m not sure, but at least they’re all on the same page.

The emotional damage that Glenn and Maggie endured at the hand(s) of Merle and The Governor has left them at odds, it seems. Neither is really willing to talk about what happened to each other or anybody else.  Glenn is visibly more frustrated than we’ve ever seen him, especially when he curb-stomps a zombie beyond recognition.

TyreeseAt the end of the episode, Tyreese and Rick finally come face-to-face and share survival stories. Tyreese offers to help the group if they are to join, but Rick is negligent and refuses almost instantly. Rick then loses his mind as he starts yelling and pointing his gun at what appears to be Lori standing on the catwalk in a white dress. I can only guess it’s her wedding dress, but then again it might not really be her in some weird ghost-form.

So what do we take from all of this; the group has essentially lost two of the more interesting characters on the show, not to mention the two most efficient defenders. With Daryl looking at less screen time as the season goes on, I know a lot of fans will be massively disappointed. We see a huge shift not only in power, but also in emotional standing with Rick and The Governor. Rick is well beyond losing his mind as he has straight-up LOST his mind, while The Governor went from happy leader to pissed off leader with limited control. This shift makes the survival group more vulnerable against an impending Woodbury attack, especially since Tyreese and his group has been sent out of the prison.

This episode was a very good return for The Walking Dead, I thought. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this episode went high to low to what? My biggest fear is that, with so many episodes between now and the season finale, the Woodbury versus Survivors part two battle will drag on longer than the fans want, but there should be enough conflict between characters to keep one enticed. Also, I imagine the Dixon brothers simply kicking-ass and taking names against walkers everywhere they go now that they are reunited, which would be pretty cool.

What did you Geeks think? A fitting return for The Walking Dead? Is Rick too far gone at this point? Are the Dixon’s better off alone? Sound off below!

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    • DarthShiva

      While I enjoyed the new episode immensely, I am very disappointed if we will be seeing significantly less Daryl. His character went through such an interesting arc overall that to throw it away for one moment of loyalty to his brother would be unfortunate. Also, didn't Rick already go bat shit crazy right before we got to this point? Since it was very clear that he was starting to waver before he went insane and started talking to "Lori", I think Herschel should have realized it was more than a refusal and kept Tyrese and his small band in the locked room while he talked to Rick, but who knows, maybe that's still coming. Anyways, woohoo for Walking Dead being back!

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