The Walking Dead Episode 309: ‘The Suicide King’
Is there anyone not on board yet with this show?
I know people who hate this show and still watch every single week. I’m going to chalk that up to their obsession with my winning personality and the desire to be savvy about every single thing I write. Art is the paint and ribbon covered façade of my intense self-absorption.
We begin this week right where we left off with Merle and Daryl Dixon pitted against one another for the Governor’s amusement. There is something about the crowd here that bothers me. It was like they were too eager for blood. Maybe it’s the washed up actor in me that thought about how a crowd would really react. I would’ve gone with at least a moment’s hesitation before descending into bloodlust.
Then when Andrea steps in and attempts to reason with them, the people behind her immediately jump to her side but continue screaming the exact same way, just changing what they are yelling. What was that all about? But I am a picky asshole, so… Moving on –
Other than the goofy crowd, we got to see the slightly Thunderdome-esque scene we’ve been waiting to come from TWD, complete with lines like, “The people have spoken,” and “Brother against brother, winner goes free!”
The real magic to the opening isn’t in the first few moments, but happens right after Maggie and Rick show up to rescue Daryl.
Simple set pieces surrounded by perfectly placed smoke; you see the skill of the creative team behind this show. I imagine those few minutes of airtime were incredibly difficult to film, but the outcome is beautiful.
Quick little shout out to my fellow Norman Reedus groupies: if you pause your DVR in the middle of that commercial break you’ll catch a short from the actor on why he’s like Daryl. He says he’ll talk about ways he’s not like Daryl another time; I am going to go ahead and say that other time should be in my pants.
The moment we’ve all been dreading arrives, Merle and Daryl are reunited and Daryl has to go back to being a douche and leave the group. I really hated seeing the reemergence of that schism. Daryl leaving is an incredible loss. At the same time, how could they ever live with Merle? I still say the best solution would’ve been for Glenn to have shot Merle in the head the second he popped out of that convenience store. But then the last few episodes would’ve never happened, so my logic gets a little negated.
Tyreese and his sister Sasha, together with an unconvinced Allen and Ben, try to get into our group’s good graces. I don’t like Allen and Ben; I had to laugh when Allen suggests they could easily take down Carol and Carl. He has no idea what kind of scrappers they are.
While I never fault anybody the opportunity to go crazy kicking in a Walker head — we all need to take a moment and give Glenn a psychological hug. Because dude is having trouble. In addition to his budding badassery, he’s wrestling with a whole slew of emotions. He’s angry about what happened to him and even angrier that he wasn’t able to prevent anything from happening to Maggie. It’s a challenge to his capabilities as a provider and protector, something he has questioned in the past.
Andrea steps in as a calming force among the now chaotic people of Woodbury. With the Governor holing up in his office making preparations to transport everyone to Crazytown, it’s her job to keep the peace. Her hold on the townspeople becomes even more tenuous when Walkers start to slowly trickle in via the gate Merle left open when he and the others escaped.
They take out a couple of people before she can put them down. As she struggles with whether or not it’s apropos to shoot a now-infected resident in the head in front of the others, fans of Teen Wolf and The Following will enjoy a brief cameo by Melissa Ponzio as Karen – the only resident apparently allowed to directly address the stars.
Luckily before Andrea has to kill somebody in front of Scott’s mom, the Governor shows up to spray insanity on everybody and saunter off. She steps in for the town and tries to be the leader that he no longer seems interested in being, but I enjoyed seeing the face-crumple when she realizes the Gov’s been lying to her.
I hated seeing Carol take the news about Daryl. She’s grown on me. And I hate that Glenn doubts himself. I think he did the best he could back at Woodbury, and while she was definitely degraded, I’m thankful that Maggie wasn’t assaulted or violated. But in his mind he can’t handle that he failed, and it could eat at him and drive the couple apart.
Let’s ignore that Hershel, a vet with medical training, allows Michonne to remain asleep in the same scene he says she has a concussion and jump right into the Rick Flip-Out. What was that guys, was that Lori? Rick is still wrestling with feelings of guilt over their marriage and her death. Four of the main protagonists last night are struggling with their feelings of responsibility clashing with their desire for self-preservation. I’d ask who’s going to crack first, but Rick is certainly in the lead.
What did you guys think of last night’s Midseason Premiere of The Walking Dead, “The Suicide King”? Sound off in the comments below!
Photos courtesy of AMCtv.com, credit Gene Page and Tina Rowden © TWD Productions, LLC