The Boob Tube Review: The Walking Dead Tries Out the Penultimate Episode Death by Alex Snider

Well that was really unexpected. I had an inkling that Merl wouldn't make it to season 4 but I didn't ever expect to be sad to see him go. Until this episode Merl remained the one-dimensional cartoon redneck, racist villain; his knife-hand had more nuance than his personality.

But then came this week's episode and all of a sudden Merl was playing mind games and showing a deeper understanding of human nature. He was screwing with Rick and plotting ways to gain the love of the community. His imminent death became all that much more imminent with the sudden interest in adding dimension to his cardboard character. He got to chat with Carol (who's becoming a sort of harbinger of death given how often characters die shortly after meaningful conversations with her) and share some love with Daryl and redeemed himself (a little) by letting Michonne go. By the time the Governor shot him, I didn't want him to die. I only wish that he'd been this week's Merl from the beginning. I'll really miss Michael Rooker and the prison group is really going to miss his mad knot-tying skills.

Chekhov's Carol

Other thoughts:

Totally devastating to see Merl actually act like a zombie and Daryl's reaction was totally heartbreaking. Rough stuff.

Disappointed with Glenn's proposal. Wasn't expecting a flash mob or anything but just pressing a ring into Maggie's palm? That's amateur hour. Did he waste his big proclamation of love on Hershel? Which also bummed me out big time. Why does this show insist on upholding every last patriarchal tradition? I thought it was really sweet that Glenn wants to marry her but asking for permission from her father just left a sour taste in my mouth.

Something borrowed?

Finally realized that Michael Rooker was in Cliffhanger. And I watched Cliffhanger like a month ago. And apparently my friends all commented on it at the time. I also just found out that Sisqo was in Dru Hill not Cypress Hill like I thought for fifteen years. Many apologies, Cypress Hill.

There's only one road in Georgia

Another week, another White dude summit on the Black woman's fate. Why doesn't Glenn get to be a part of the decision making? Why don't any of the women? Why was that ever even on the table? 

Calling to order this meeting of White Knights. Wait, did nobody invite Merl?
Michonne is outrageously beautiful:


So glad that Rick changed his mind about Michonne, as my roommate said it would be really hard to ever sympathize or care about him again. It still bothers me that he even entertained handing her over to be tortured especially since Merl almost did it anyway. Couldn't Merl have just overheard Rick talking about it and then decided to take matters into his own hand? Having two characters have changes of heart on the same issue because humanity is a bit lazy.

Shit, the Governor bit off Merl's fingers. That guy is a maniac. He needs a cat and moustache to twirl.


And the greatest scene in TWD history:


Previous The Walking Dead recap: 'The Walking Dead': The Problem with Secrecy

Alex Snider loves a penultimate episode death. Her website is What Fresh Hell is This and her Twitter handle is @what_freshhell.


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