In the penultimate episode of last year’s The Walking Dead season, we saw the biggest fatality of the whole run, when poor Shane realised too late that picking a fight with the lead character is a stupid idea.
So, in this second-to-last effort, will we get a similar epic move? Or is it more set-up for that inevitable finale slapfight? I’m about to tell you, so look away if you fear the spoiler.
Merle Dixon Has A Complex Relationship With Dick-Waving
Ever since Merle Dixon, growling redneck stereotype and very tall man, joined the prison gang, he hasn’t done much except antagonise people and divide brother Daryl’s loyalties. But this week, after concluding that Rick and company don’t have the stomach to do what’s “necessary” to end the prison/Governor dick-wave, he takes it upon himself to kill them all.
It doesn’t go overly well. As in, he’s dead, having achieved nothing besides killing off a couple of barely-familiar henchmen. Still, this episode does a decent job of giving Merle an epiphany and conclusion, even if it’s one that wasn’t really set up in past episodes.
And yes, that final scene with Daryl and the lumbering corpse of his brother was affecting. So it had its moments, this one.
Maggie, Glenn and Rick – Too Nice To Live?
Oh, and Rick finally realises his path of shouting at his friends, killing every stranger and sending the occasional group member to die isn’t great, lest he turn into the Gov himself. So at least that’s a coherent journey for our hero this year.
Meanwhile, Maggie and Glenn are engaged, which does nothing to reduce my conviction that one or both of them will die next week. I predicted Merle’s death in my last review, so my record on these things is good.
This wasn’t a perfect episode, thanks to some plot-convenient stupidity – Why did the gang need Merle to hand Michonne over? Why are they trusting the Governor enough to consider it at all? – but much like other weeks, at least it told a story in its setting and carried some weight. Moving into next week’s finale, we have some momentum at last. Please don’t blow it now, guys.