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

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Choices in Life
claudio_carvalho26 March 2013
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.

"This Sorrowful Life" is one of the best episodes of this Third Season about choices in life and centered on Merle, with characters making choices along the show. Rick decides to double-cross Michonne; Daryl and Herschel accepts the decision of their leader without any argument; Merle makes his choice regarding Michonne. This rude and brutal character has a surprising redemption affected by simple words that probably made him think that he could have another chance in his miserable life after "a whole lot of maybes". Michonne surprisingly reaches the heart of his forgotten feelings with her calm conversation. Daryl's reaction in the end of the episode is heartbreaking and Rick is getting more and more deceptive with his disappointing decisions. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "This Sorrowful Life"

Note: On 13 April 2016, I saw this show again.
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A powerful episode
Moviecruiser24 March 2013
This week was an episode that totally caught me off guard. It was a Merle episode. A character none of us fully understood. The episode is full of surprises and many twists that will have you at the edge of your seat.

We are given the perspective of Merle and the show succeeds in having our sympathy. Merle becomes a character that we will remember.

The great thing about this show is the ability to make any character, a great one. This episode shows us that he still had some good in him. The reason why Daryl always sympathized his brother is because he knew how he really was, and we are shown that side as well.

A powerful episode that makes you realize that all along we had misjudged a fallen character.

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The Last Stand Of The Dixon Brothers
LetsPlayCat25 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
If you enjoy my written review, please check my video review on YouTube at "LetsPlayCatGaming"

Heartbreak and despair flooded Facebook and Twitter on the evening of March 24th, 2013 as "The Walking Dead" dominated social media becoming the number one hashtagged trend in the entire world. Promising to be an emotional episode in its title, "This Sorrowful Life" and with an array of potential spoiler pictures making their way around the Internet, throughout the week, the world was prepared for tears. Still, nothing could prepare anyone for what was about to come. Arguably one of the greatest episodes this season, "This Sorrowful Life", while the penultimate episode of season 3 for the viewers, in many ways, it was a climactic finale and a closing chapter in the life of one of the show's most loved characters, Daryl Dixon.

Michael Rooker's flawless portrayal of Merle Dixon was given the spotlight this week as the wild card was determined to go out swinging, bionic knife stump and all, or "Little Merle" as Rooker himself has dubbed it. For weeks, it has been rumoured that a main character would be killed off, but who could have seen Merle, one of the shows most popular characters, going out the way he did. "This Sorrowful Life" paid homage to season 1 in a number of ways. The second homage to season 1 however is the main one. When Daryl and Rick go back to the roof to find Merle gone and his bloody hand left as walker bait, Daryl utters the words, "Nobody can kill Merle, but Merle". It is this throwback that echoes so beautifully and so brutally in "This Sorrowful Life".

Merle Dixon's declaration that Rick doesn't have it in him to get the job done is also a throwback to season 2 where Shane states that Rick isn't cut out for the post-apocalyptic world. Rick, who was on the verge of going back on his plan to hand Michone over top The Governor in exchange for his people to be left alone, had his plans foiled by the unpredictable Merle who decided to take matters into his own hand, and Little Merle.

Taking Michone away from the prison would force Rick into telling his plans to the rest of the survivors at the prison. This happened. Merle, who went on to let Michone go so that she could return to the survivors at the prison, appeared to know all of this would happen. He also stated that he knew Rick would back down, and that the governor had every intention of killing everyone at the prison, regardless of whether Michone was handed over or not. Merle, who stated that since "the world went to hell", he had killed 16 men, all of which had been since he joined the governor in Woodbury, displayed for the first time in the series, a deep sense of guilt that laid upon his conscience, even elements of regret. However, most of all, Merle showcased a love for his brother.

While everyone else at the prison saw Merle as "A devil", Daryl obviously knew that deep down, Merle was a good guy, even if his brother doesn't play well with others. Merle's intentions were clear. To take out as many of the governor's men as possible, and the governor himself, before any attack can put his brother in harm's way. The way Merle went about launching an attack on the governor was masterfully thought out, incredibly directed and the pay off, when viewed on screen, will undeniably prove to go down as some of the show's most memorable moments yet. Blasting Motorhead and drinking whiskey and even going as far as to simulate a walker drinking much to his own amusement, Merle methodically lured a huge group of Walkers to the meeting place where Rick was told to hand Michonne over which inevitably caused a panic.

However, it was then that from the darkness emerged a biter, and it was this biter that alerted The governor's henchman to Merle's whereabouts. As Martinez got a few kicks in, the governor took over and demanded that they leave Merle to him. The governor's dirty tactics became too much for Merle. Having his fingers brutally bitten off, Merle uttered his last words, "I Ain't begging you".

Then came a final chapter in the life of Daryl Dixon. After Michonne told Daryl that Merle was still alive, Daryl tracked him to the location of his demise. From afar, he saw Merle, bent over the body of Ben, feasting on his flesh. Merle Dixon as Daryl knew and loved him was no more. As Merle slowly lifted his head revealing his walker-fied state, Daryl wept, as did the entire walking dead fan base. After finally being reunited with his brother after all this time, and after trying so hard to get Merle to fit in and just when it looked like everything was going to be okay, the world for Daryl Dixon once again had gone to hell and for the first time ever, we saw true emotion in Daryl's eyes, tears for his big brother.

Daryl, inconsolable and confused, simply did not know what to do. In killing his big brother, Daryl had closed the last remaining door to the past, to the world that once was but is no more, and he had opened a door to the future. For three seasons, Merle has been the subject of Daryl's mind. Finding his brother and then protecting his brother. Now, with Merle gone, exactly what will Daryl's purpose be?

Overall, The Walking Dead season 3 episode 15, "This Sorrowful Life", was undeniably one of the very best of the season yet. The penultimate episode of the season and a climactic finale for The Dixon Brothers, the episode was filled with throwbacks, conclusions and a sign of things to come.

Wayne LetsPlayCatGaming on YouTube
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"This Sorrowful Life" Best Episode!!
noduh9631 August 2013
As a fan of the TV show, this is, in my opinion, the best episode of the series so far. It had the right amount of action and drama mixed in to make one heck of an episode. Merle is the focus. His true character comes out and you start to understand him a little more. Everything he does, is for Daryl, and this episode clearly showed how much he loves Daryl. After watching the first half of the season, I was fascinated, but then the second half kind of fell short. It seemed like the writers weren't giving the second half their all. But they certainly did with this one. I hope they make more like "This Sorrowful Life." Looking forward to Season 4!!
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A brilliant penultimate episode
keegan-liam25 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This week The Walking Dead took the focus to Merle Dixon, the volatile, unpredictable and violent brother of fan favorite of Daryl Dixon. The episode opens with Rick discussing with Hershel and Daryl discussing handing over Michonne to The Governor in exchange for peace. Rick tells Merle of the plan, which eventually leads to Merle taking matters into his own hands and bringing Michonne to The Governor himself.

Before I get to Merle I'd like to comment on the events at the Prison. This was a very strong episode for Rick. We seem him faced with the moral dilemma of handing over Michonne to The Governor, knowing full well that she will be brutally tortured. Rick decides he can't go through with it. We also see him begin to close the chapter on Lori, having what is most likely his final vision of her. In the end, in a very emotionally powerful speech, Rick surrenders his total control over the group, telling them it is their choice if they stay to fight The Governor or run (I guess this means an end to the so called "Ricktatorship") We also saw Glenn propose to Maggie in another very emotional scene. It was genuinely touching to see them persevere through such hardship.

But now to Merle, who was the focus of the episode. Merle takes matters into his own hands and decides to bring Michonne to The Governor himself. In his conversations with both Daryl and Michonne in the episode we see that Merle doesn't want to be the evil guy. This all leads up to his final decision to let Michonne go, while he goes off on his own to confront The Governor. Merle manages to kill 8 of The Governor's men, including the unbelievably annoying Ben, before being forced into a fight with The Governor himself. In a particularly brutal fight, The Governor gains the upper hand and kills Merle. We then see Daryl find Merle as a walker and kill him, with great emotion.

Emotion wise this episode was very powerful. Seeing Daryl find his brother like the way he did was very sad. Merle went out like a hero, in an attempt to redeem himself in the eyes of his brother, making his death even more sad.

Michael Rooker proved in this episode how brilliant of an actor he is once again. In the scenes he had with Michonne and Daryl, Rooker brilliantly conveyed Merle's desire to redeem himself. Norman Reedus also delivered an incredible performance, brilliantly portraying the emotional devastation finding Merle had on Daryl. Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey and Steven Yeun also delivered great performances in this episode. It has been enjoyable to watch Yeun get more and more impressive as the series goes on.

On a side note kudos to the writers for continuing to figure out brilliant things to do with the walkers. Merle's plan to use the walkers to cover his attack was absolutely genius. Michonne also had some impressive kills of walkers while tied up.

This Sorrowful Life served as an emotionally powerful and action packed penultimate episode for a an absolutely brilliant season of The Walking Dead. 9.7 out of 10
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'Michonne is the only one who saw his good side'
maarten_wieringa726 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was so happy when he returned this season: Mister Merle Dixon. The capricious brother of Daryl. He always had a dark side,but somewhere in him there was a good guy. A guy who stands up for his brother, a guy who will give his life for the team. We saw that in this episode. In the beginning Merle looked like the old Merle, the obstinate guy as we know him.But when he and Michonne were sitting in the car, we saw a side of him that we never knew. The good one. Merle let her go and was gonna do it alone. Michonne is the only person who can say to Daryl: your brother did something right. I saw his good side.

May he rest in peace. One of my favorite characters of the show is gone. I'm gonna miss that men.

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Excellent Episode!
g-bodyl6 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is the fifteenth episode of the third season of the Walking Dead and it's clear that as we get near the end, crazy things are going to happen. I like this episode for a number of reasons, but I really like how this episode centers on Merle as he reflects on the things he have done. The ending is really sad, but you can't say Merle had it coming from the day we met him. At least he went out in a glorious way.

In this episode, "This Sorrowful Life," Rick decides to hand over Michonne to the Governor to keep the peace, despite Hershel's protests. When Merle learns of this plan, he takes Michonne himself because he doesn't think Rick has the guts to do it (which he doesn't). While on the road, he has a reflection with Michonne which causes him to do some heroic action. Meanwhile back at the prison, Rick decides it's not right to be a dictator, thus making his group a democracy from here on out.

Overall, this is an excellent episode thanks to the actions of Merle and I never knew this episode would get so emotional, especially with Daryl's reaction in the end. But we know that all hell is about to break loose. So the question is when? I rate this episode 9/10.
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Life of sorrow
TheLittleSongbird9 August 2018
Had heard nothing but great things about 'The Walking Dead' from friends and IMDb reviewers. It took a while to get round to watching, both from being busy and also not being sure whether it would be my cup of tea. Finally getting round to it a few years ago and slowly working my way through it, having had a very long to watch and review list, 'The Walking Dead' turned out to be very much my cup of tea and as good as the hype made it out to be, have found it extremely addictive.

Actually really liked Season 2, where the weakest episode ("Cherokee Rose") was very good still, but do share others' feelings about many episodes being on the talky side and moments of slowness. The previous Season 3 episodes to me were very good to brilliant, of which this episode "This Sorrowful Life" is one of the best. And a strong reminder of how Seasons 1-5 of 'The Walking Dead' to me were absolutely brilliant and seeing the show in its full glory days (Season 6 was uneven, Season 7 was a huge disappointment and am still debating whether to watch Season 8). It is as emotional, complex and as tense as one would expect , at the same time it has adrenaline and guts.

It still shocks me at how an intelligent, well-made (so much so that it is easy to mistake it for a film) show about zombies could be made when so many films have tried and failed abysmally to do so.

"This Sorrowful Life" may be more focused on the character development and interaction, though the action is hardly neglected. The good news is that this aspect is done exceptionally, the character interaction makes for some brilliant scenes that are suspenseful and emotional.

Like all the episodes of the show, "This Sorrowful Life" is incredibly well made in the production values, with gritty and audacious production design, photography of almost cinematic quality, effects that look good, have soul and are not overused or abused and pretty frightening make-up. The music is haunting and affecting, having presence but never being too intrusive.

The writing generally is intelligent and thought-provoking, with lots of tension and emotional resonance and still shows signs of character complexity and multiple layer storytelling. The climactic parts are thrilling and terrifying as well as uncompromising.

Appreciated the ever strong and still progressing story and character building. Michonne gets more interesting every time and the episode is a masterclass of character development when it comes to Merle. The human drama is balanced well with the more action-heavy scenes. Also that the pace is never dull or rushed, deliberate but tight. There is a lot of tension and the ending is memorably heart-breaking.

Everything is tautly paced without rushing through the more important parts and emotionally complex. The world building is stunningly immersive and effective. Direction is smart and atmospheric while the show throughout has been strongly acted. Michael Rooker especially is outstanding in this episode.

Overall, have no qualms with one of the season's best episodes. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Disappointed in the season, but this was a solid episode
bmdecker9325 March 2013
As a whole, there has just been too much "lets find ways to kill more zombie's" moments. Obviously, this approach appeals to the masses but unfortunately it doesn't make for good television.

Nonetheless, I found 'This Sorrowful Life' to be particularly good. Merle's return and subsequent story arc was handled nicely by the writers and Michael Rooker. Norman Reedus has done a wonderful job all year long as well.

Now let's hope they end the season on a high note (for better or worse). While I am an avid comic book reader, I haven't read the comics so I'm excited to see how the season ends (and moves forward).

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A Powerful Episode
slightlymad225 November 2014
The latest episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead" is the last episode before season three's finale.

Plot In A Paragraph: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) struggles while trying to decide Michonne's (Danai Gurira) fate and her position in the group. Characters are dealing with their own moralities. Merle (Michael Rooker) decides to take matters in to his own hands.

This episode stars really slowly as Rick struggled with his conscience. There was some great interplay between Merle and Michonne in his episode and Merle fshows a softer side. The end had loads of action, a great battle and the loss of an interesting and intriguing character, which resulted in heartbreak for one of our heroes.

Based on previous episodes, it is almost impossible to predict which characters will be killed in the season 3 finale.

I think season 3 has been slightly better than 2, but it is still suffering some serious pacing issues.
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The last scene is one of the saddest scenes.
silvermistvio4 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is the best episode of the season 3 because Merle finally done a good thing in his life. Too bad that he failed. It'd be better if he succeeded.

Before this episode, Merle is nothing. I don't really care whatever happens to him. But in this episode, I do. Merle is kind of different. He could do everything for his brother. He can be a bad guy for his brother. That's what touched me and changed my view of him. Sadly, he didn't end up very good.

I can't believe that Rick wanted to hand over Mich to that bad Governor guy. I was angry at Rick when he decided. But I was relieved again after seeing Rick decided to change his mind. That indeed was a very quick decision but it was the best one.

I like Glenn decided to propose Maggie. I really do. But when I saw Glenn cut off the walker's finger to get her engagement ring, it was so disgusting. He should have gone to Jewellery store and get a brand new ring for her best girlfriend, not to get a ring from the zombie. Eww!

All in all, this episode can be said that it's saddest episode of the season 3. Merle turned into zombie and Daryl had to kill his own brother with his hands. That's very bad. I don't like Merle, but in this episode, I liked a little because Merle went to face Governor guy. For that, I became to like Merle. Seeing him changed into like that, it broke my heart and I became to hate that governor guy more and more. I want to see how he will end. As usual, the walking dead TV series is really keeping me to continue to watch. I'm so exciting to see what will happen in the next episodes.
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Merle's late redemption
tbmforclasstsar25 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
THE-WALKING-DEAD It's really hard to start discussing an episode that is parts solid and awful. "This Sorrowful Life" had its highs, its very low lows, and plenty of "ugh" moments that make it hard for me to say whether I'd ever be willing to watch this episode ever again. I suppose that is the way almost every episode in the second half of season three has been, but this is probably the best example, as the highs hit almost redeemed the episode…but not quite.

"This Sorrowful Life" is basically Merle's episode. His big goodbye. So, you can look at it two ways: you hated Merle all along and you were yelling "Good Riddance!" as Darryl kabobed his brothers head or you were starting to like Merle and felt like there was a redemption to be had, which we sort of see in this episode. I believe this factor will impact how you feel about this episode.

If you felt the former (that Merle had to die (raise your hand if you are humming The Dixie Chicks song 'Goodbye Earl' right now)) than this episode was probably one of the worst ones of the season for you. As Merle ties up Michonne, walks her to a motel, almost kills her by setting off a car alarm, and drives her toward Woodbury, you are probably thinking that Merle is an absolutely awful character and no matter what he does, he won't make up for what he did. So when he releases Michonne and tries to take out The Governor, you most likely felt little emotion when Darryl cries after having to ice his hillbilly brother turned walker.

But if you are in the latter category (Atta boy Merle! Way to redeem yourself!) you probably thought the end of this episode was very emotional and that Merle went out in a courageous and bold fashion; trying to save his little brother who had a new family that wouldn't accept the one armed hick. Merle may not think deeply about his decisions when you give him a quick look, but deep down he knows what he is doing and does it in the most Merle way possible.

Personally, I am a little split. While I was tired of Merle walking around like a badass that didn't get along with anyone, he did try to redeem himself in the end and tried to save his baby brother. You have to respect any dude that goes out in a blaze of glory, bullets and fists flying, all to protect his family and kill a man that betrayed him. But in the end, I didn't feel the full impact of the moment. Merle's demise felt a bit rushed and the change towards redemption felt all too sudden.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: custodianfilmcritic.com/the-walking-dead-3-15-this-sorrowful-life/
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nmartini-048327 November 2018
This life is sorrowful at this point and there's no going back.
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