The Walking Dead Episode 3.09 'The Suicide King' Review

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Posted by k4tzm4n (40201 posts) - - Show Bio


The Walking Dead shuffles back into our TVs after a short break and continues to make Season 3 fairly awesome -- or at least awesome compared to last season. Filled with an abundant amount of gore and some great character moments, 'The Suicide King' is an alright midseason premiere episode.

We pick up with Merle and Daryl trapped in Woodbury. The Governor has a simple solution to their problem -- if Merle wants to prove his loyalty, all he's gotta do is beat his brother to death in unarmed combat. Easy enough, yes? The fight between them wasn't exciting and felt poorly choreographed, but then Merle revealed he has no intention of killing his badass brother. The two go back-to-back a la X-Men Origins: Wolverine (sorry for reminding you of that movie) and attempt to hold off walkers on restraints. Rick and company come to save the day and in their escape Daryl manages to get his crossbow back (victory!). This scene is filled with zombies getting shot in the face, and who doesn't love seeing that?

Concurrently, The Governor walks like a Terminator instead of actually trying to stop them. Sure, it makes him feel formidable, but kind of useless at the same time. Meanwhile, Tyreese and friends are trying to convince Hershel why they'd be a good addition at the prison, but the two other dudes in his company seem dead set on ruining their honest chance of obtaining a safe haven.

Seeing Daryl snag a crossbow was a cheer-worthy moment, but for me, Glenn was the highlight of this episode. Rick surely takes the cake when it comes to a breakdown, but I love the passion Steven Yeun displayed in this episode (just take a moment to recall all he's been through in the past few episodes). And man, seeing him go all Isaac Clark on that zombie was epic.

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Hershel had some solid heart-to-heart moments here and you can't help but feel bad for Tyreese, but it Carol had some great character development with her shifting emotions. It's natural she'd be heart-broken over Daryl leaving (don't worry, I'll get to that), but seeing her remain strong and reflect on how much she's developed was great, too. This show has such a wide cast of characters now so it's nice to see everyone getting a decent amount of respect and focus.

Damn it, Daryl! After all he's been through, it's tough for me to imagine the decision could be made that swiftly and easily, but, the saying "family comes first" does exist for a reason. Despite Merle being complete garbage, he's still the only family he's got left and, as he pointed out, was the man that was always there for him before Rick's rooftop interference. Truthfully, I'm happy to see them go their own way. Seeing Merle troll them is something we're more than familiar with and would get old quickly. Because really, this version of Rick isn't going to stand for that kind of trash and it's great to see how much he's changed over the seasons. Rick won't stand for that jibber jabber -- he'll just knock you out.

While Glenn intrigued me the most in the episode, there's no denying Rick is the main crux. Andrew Lincoln has been doing a spectacular job with the role and it's great to see all of these ridiculous tragedies are piling up on him. I can't believe right as he was going to let the group stay, he suffers that freak out. It's understandable, but a small part of me thinks he'd try to walk away from the group instead of losing all credibility right in front of them. Plus, how does waiving a gun around help scare away ghost Lori? Rick, you so silly!

Did the people in Woodbury hurt your brain as well? Their responses are hilariously stupid and then they're so easily persuaded. Also, it's clear the show is making The Governor level up as a villain. "Hey everybody, I'm just gonna shoot this dude in the head. Kthxbye!" I can't understand why he refused to talk to his people, though. He's at war to protect his town (and get revenge, of course), but what's the point if it comes at the expense of his own home?

'The Suicide King' doesn't feel as grand or powerful as prior episodes, but it's still a solid entry and a pretty good way to kick-off the show's return. Viners, how do you feel about this episode?

Oh, and use your words, Michonne.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. Be sure to follow him on Twitter.

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#1 Posted by Nefilim927 (449 posts) - - Show Bio

In some ways I thought the Governor's reaction made sense. He's not used to being confronted like this and he is not a true leader. He happened upon this situation where he can rule these people out of fear against a mindless enemy. In other words he's like a big baby sulking in his room cause some bigger bully kicked glass in his eye.

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#2 Posted by Bestostero (5782 posts) - - Show Bio

Great episode, this show is fantastic

But Rick Rick Rick...

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#3 Posted by The Stegman (38516 posts) - - Show Bio

To me, the Governor's reaction was perfect. I mean before all of this happened, he was pretty much in charge, the people idolized him, never questioned him, he had complete control, but just like that he lost it all, he lost their trust, he lost his daughter, he lost his eye, Rick and Michonne dominated him in a way that has never happened to him before, so he just kinda...gave up, I think in future episodes the rage inside will boil over and he's definitely gonna want revenge on the Rick Click, but for now, I like how he's portrayed. Although Andrea is still as annoying as ever.  
On a side note, I was also shocked at how Andrea's little speech swayed some many of the townspeople so easily. 

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#4 Edited by haydenclaireheroes (11562 posts) - - Show Bio

Here are my thoughts on the episode:

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#5 Posted by BryanEllison (17 posts) - - Show Bio

This wasn't the big come back episode I was hoping for. In some ways it feels like we are going towards another drawn-out storyline.

Even though Lori's ghost was quite haunting, I'm really not a fan of this storyline. We get it, Rick's losing it. Who isn't losing it right now?
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#6 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29887 posts) - - Show Bio
seeing him go all Isaac Clark on that zombie was epic.

I used that exact expression.

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#7 Posted by entee (76 posts) - - Show Bio

I was ecstatic to have TWD back on air but this episode felt like such a filler. The most interesting parts happened in the beginning and then it kinda fell off from there. Here's to hoping for more dynamic plots for the rest of season 3!

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#8 Posted by blofeld666 (12 posts) - - Show Bio

I love how Lori came out in a white dress when we all know she wasn't a saint Other than that the episode was ok, not as exciting as the last one, but still very good Can't wait to see what happens next....

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#9 Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

That ending sequence with Lori as a ghost appearing to Rick was quite effective I thought but still, it kinda belabors that point that Rick's slowly falling into the loony bin. It was almost unnecessary and just the way it was portrayed made me break out into a shiver. Rest of the episode was truly awesome I say. Great to have it back now, and lets finish this season up with a bang!

Oh hey, while we are at it...was anyone else able to see the show in HD and conform something for me. Lori's "ghost" apparition. The face looked eerie and was so dark that I couldn't make out much due to the fact that I don't get AMC in HD, but, did she look zombified at all on her face? I thought her face looked necrotic from what I was able to see but I could be wrong.

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#10 Posted by turoksonofstone (14751 posts) - - Show Bio

@Bestostero said:

Great episode, this show is fantastic

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#11 Posted by SavageDragon (2257 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought this episode was just ok, and Im a big fan of the show. I think it dragged on with Glenn and Rick arguing in the woods, and I was hoping for more Herschel, Carol Tyrese interaction. Heres hoping that this second half of the season goes up hill from here.

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#12 Posted by UncleEmu (197 posts) - - Show Bio

I think what spurred Rick's craziness is when someone said his baby had Lori's eyes. It reminded him of Lori, which I guess made him loony again. And yeah, the townpeople's reactions were stupid. "We've been attacked, so we should just leave and fend for ourselves!"

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#13 Posted by Dud317 (319 posts) - - Show Bio

In reference to the scene where the townspeople want to leave, that group was really small. Maybe it wasn't the whole town, but it really dwarfed the numbers of Woodbury for me. Still unsure of the a governors actions this episode. @Nefilim927 mentioned his lack of leadership, moreover an impromptu right place right time, charm / intimidate people to listen to him; leading him to lick his wounds in a huddle of just one. I wonder if I would've felt better had I watched the previous episode just before and reflected more in context. Either way, I'm excite d to see the next 7 eps. In an unrelated topic, I felt the actor playing Carl looked a bit older. I wonder what the plan of attack is because he will grow faster than the comic. It could lead to a whole new incarnation of the character that were not familiar with. This could completely change a Carl / Neegan confrontation, should we get that far in the show.

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#14 Posted by Bushwhacker_ (597 posts) - - Show Bio

Good episode. Rick going crazy in front of everyone at the end of the episode was meh, tho.

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#15 Posted by Moby (86 posts) - - Show Bio

This episode was a blast it was very intense for most of the episode. I understand Rick going crazy but why did Daryl have to leave I would have tried to work out a compromise. I assumed that the woman that Rick was seeing was Lori but I'm not totally convinced.

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#16 Posted by TheJSquad34 (45 posts) - - Show Bio

I found the episode to be okay. There was nothing that really stood out. I think they are making Rick looney, just to form the committee of leaders instead of having Rick as the go to. I am expecting Daryl to save Carol in some dramatic fashion in a future episode.

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#17 Posted by Spideycap (328 posts) - - Show Bio

Damn this show is great.

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#18 Posted by DonFelipe (2331 posts) - - Show Bio

seeing him go all Isaac Clark on that zombie was epic.

This, and of course Tyreese asking the two morons if they plan to "smash the baby's head with a rock?!?" are the two most convincing scenes of this episode.
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#19 Posted by agonzo1 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@BryanEllison: Rick losing it was a big part in the comics. It's interesting in the show because of the timing. He loses it in the comics, but not at this point.

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#20 Posted by Mucklefluga (2653 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah the show is cool an all but look at the solicit for a future issue (next maybe?) The cover is a guy with a freakin Tiger as a pet!

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#21 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (45774 posts) - - Show Bio

the Darly/Merly fight was a pretty big let down and the massive Mary Sue that is Darly really needs to die soon also Andreas speech was cheesy as hell and kind of made me cringe but the rest of the show was pretty good.

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#22 Posted by Blizaga101 (1036 posts) - - Show Bio

for some reason i get a big carol from the comics vibe with beth. i prolly read the kiss on the cheek and her always holding judith too deeply but i almost feel like beth is trying to get closer to rick on a personal level. i dont know just weird speculation but it relates to a comic twist so id be happy to see it.

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#23 Posted by kuonphobos (5191 posts) - - Show Bio

The brother vs brother fight was extremely lame. First Merle starts beating on Daryl then he just stops and they go back to back? WHY? I mean the gig is up as soon as they go back to back so why bother beating on him at first? What did it achieve?

The tiny little gathering at the brother vs brother arena was very dissapointing. Like watching a history channel battle renactment where ten reenactors represent an army of tens of thousands. How many folks are in Woodbury? Twenty?

I. HATE. TV. ANDREA! Please make her die screaming eaten by cannibals. Send her to the Crossed universe!

I will be so happy when this powder puff alternate version of the Woodbury storyline is over. SO INCREDIBLY LAME!

I LOVE the comic! There is no threat of loosing me as a reader. But I am so close to giving up on this show! Right now it is Glen and Maggie who are keeping me around. Seriously this group really need Tyrese.

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#24 Posted by Super_SoldierXII (7539 posts) - - Show Bio

Series is starting to show its age with me now.

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#25 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (12487 posts) - - Show Bio

Great ep once again but Andrea and Michonne are unlikable compared to the comics -_-

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#26 Posted by BryanEllison (17 posts) - - Show Bio

I definitely understand that they're trying to implement Lori's death haunting Rick but I just don't think its translating well. Rick used the phone to talk to Lori as an escape and looking for guidance in the books, it wasn't Lori's ghost intervening in his life.

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#27 Posted by bob agent of agency x (231 posts) - - Show Bio

Damn, now this show has ghosts.

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#28 Posted by MSzekeresh (99 posts) - - Show Bio

While I do feel this episode was kind of a disappoint that is only because my standards have risen awfully high after such a run of great episodes. I think that the only reason the writers had Daryl leave is because he would have been the obvious choice for leader when Rick went crazy. By not having Daryl to round out the group they are going to be forced to rely on Tyrese and his group because they don't have a strong leader to say "no" and they will need them to replace the muscle that Daryl would have provided. I'm a little concerned for Daryl longterm because I feel that him and Michonne in a lot of ways could end up serving the same function with the group and therefore one of them is expendable.

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#29 Posted by lrtaylor02 (32 posts) - - Show Bio

@Blizaga101: Ew, Beth is 16.

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