"The Walking Dead" This Sorrowful Life (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • While Rick decides the fate of Michonne, Merle takes matters into his own hand.

  • Rick's resolve weakens and he decides to let the Governor have Michonne in exchange for peace. He tells Daryl, Merle and Herschel about what he's decided. Merle doubts that Rick has the gumption to go through with it - he's right as Rick changes his mind again - and so kidnaps Michonne to take her to the Governor and see if he can make things right. On their trip there, she has a few choice words for him that cause him to reflect on what he is doing. At the prison, Rick decides on a different approach to leading the group.

  • Rick discloses to Herschel and Daryl that the Governor proposed a peace treaty provided Rick delivers Michonne to him. Rick decides to betray Michonne and asks Merle to do the dirty work, but he regrets. However Merle has already abducted Michonne and heads with her to Woodbury. Along their journey, Michonne questions his attitude and tells to Merle that never is too late to be back on track. Merle is surprisingly affected by Michonne's words and takes an unexpected decision.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Rick and Hershel secretly share with Daryl news of the Governor's deal: give up Michonne and there will be peace. "It just ain't us, man," Daryl says. Still, Rick wants to avoid mass bloodshed. He then approaches Merle and asks for help. Merle explains that the Governor won't kill Michonne, but will torture her. Rick appears unmoved. "You're cold as ice, Officer Friendly," Merle says.

    Michonne and her blade, meanwhile, are helping the group rid the prison yard of walkers. She also has somw good ideas about setting some traps for the Governor's forces. "We don't have to win," she says. "We just have to make them getting at us more trouble than it's worth." Inside, Carol asks Merle point blank whether he is one of the group. "It's time to pick a damn side," she says.

    Outside, Daryl assures Glenn that Merle is sorry for what he did. "He tied me to a chair, beat me, and threw a walker in the room," Glenn says. "He took Maggie to a man who terrorized her, humiliated her." In short, even if Merle were to apologize, Glenn likely wouldn't be too receptive. Daryl then pays a visit to Merle, who makes fun of his little brother for answering blindly to Rick -- even when it comes to sacrificing Michonne. "Your people look at me like I'm a devil," Merle notes. "Now you want to do the same damn thing I did."

    Later, Rick is seeing Lori again... though she's no longer dressed in white... despite repeating over and over to himself that his dead wife really isn't there. Real or not, the vision is judgmental -- and Rick decides that he can't and won't sacrifice Michonne. Unfortunately, Merle has figured that Rick would fold when the moment of truth arrived -- and decides to take matters into his own hand. Alone with Michonne fending off walkers, he whacks her on the head, knocking her unconscious, and then ties her up.

    A few hours later, Merle leads the bound Michonne away from the prison and into a nearby town. Back at the prison, Rick and Daryl discover that Merle and Michonne are missing. Daryl volunteers to track down his brother -- alone. Glenn, in the meantime, goes to Hershel and asks to marry Maggie. "You have my blessing," says the old man with a smile. Merle and Michonne come to a motel, where Merle successfully hot-wires a car. Unfortunately, he sets off the car alarm, too, bringing walkers from all sides. Michonne kicks one over and stomps out its brains and uses her restraints to decapitate another, before Merle grabs his gun and starts shooting. The two then jump into the car and speed away from the shuffling walker horde.

    Glenn walks outside the prison and, through the fence, removes a finger from a walker's hand and relieves it of its ring. As Michonne and Merle drive, she points out that he is ruining his best chance to start over. She also points out that the Governor turned Merle into a mass murderer. Why would he kill yet another person for that psychopath? "We can just go back," Michonne says. Merle slams on the breaks and cuts Michonne free. She has gotten to him. Merle then gives Michonne her sword and tells her to go back to the prison and get ready. "I've got something I've got to do alone," he says before driving away.

    Michonne meets Daryl on her way back. She explains that Merle let her go. Worried, Daryl keeps moving forward. Merle, meanwhile, is sitting in his car in the parking lot of a liquor store, taking slugs from a bottle of whisky and blasting rock n' roll. That attracts walkers, and Merle slowly drives forward, leading them to the meeting point where the Governor, Martinez (Jose Pablo Cantillo), Allen () and crew are waiting. Merle jumps out of the moving car and hides unnoticed in a barn. The Governor's group opens fire on the walkers. Merle, meanwhile, has taken up a hidden position and starts picking off the Woodbury van guard. Just as he takes a shot at the Governor, an unfortunate Woodbury citizen, Ben (Tyler Chase), walks into his line of fire and falls as the Governor realizes there's a new threat.

    Merle is then attacked by a walker -- and the distraction is enough to allow the Governor's men to storm his position. The Governor himself steps in, grappling with Merle. In the fight, the Governor bites off two fingers on Merle's remaining hand. "I'm not going to beg!" Merle shouts. Growls the Governor: "No." The Governor then takes aim and fires, presumably ending Merle's existence.

    Glenn approaches Maggie and places the ring in her hand. "Yes," she says. They embrace. Later, Rick tells the entire group about the proposed Michonne deal -- and how Merle might've messed it all up. He then tells the survivors that he was wrong not tell them earlier -- that he isn't their Governor. "We choose to go, or we choose to stay," Rick finishes. "We stick together." Rick then spots Michonne approaching the prison. He is relieved. She is safe.

    Daryl, still tracking his brother, approaches the barn and finds dozens of mutilated walkers. He also finds Merle feasting on a corpse. His brother is a walker now. Crying and screaming in anguish, Daryl stabs his brother in the brain over and over and over and over.

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