Review: The Walking Dead - "The Suicide King"

By: Heather Seebach

Warning: The following contains spoilers! 

After a mid-season hiatus, The Walking Dead is finally back on AMC with "The Suicide King", a relatively underwhelming return episode. It should come as a surprise to no one that Rick & co. arrive to save Daryl from the Governor and his bloodthirsty Woodbury mob. All of this would have been so much more interesting had the previews months ago not shown the smoke grenades and Daryl still alive. I did love the Gov casually blowing that zombie away, and the way Daryl snatched his crossbow back Indiana Jones-style.

So conflict naturally arises when the gang brings Merle back with them. Michonne and Glenn want blood, but Rick needs Daryl to stay. Consequently, Daryl chooses his brother and they run off together. Cue fangirls crying everywhere. But why couldn't they just lock Merle up, like they had Michonne, Axel, Tyreese, and all the other strangers. They live in a freaking prison, after all! Meh. And fuck Daryl for leaving his friends behind, brother or no brother.

The Merle drama did result in one of the show's greatest zombie kills yet - this epic head stomp c/o of Glenn:

From the gorehounds like me: bless you KNB for making that and bless you AMC for showing it. 

Meanwhile, in Woodbury, the residents want out but are being held against their will, and the Governor refuses to speak to them. So Andrea steps up and calms the masses. The question continues to be begged - why is she still there?! She keeps saying it's not safe outside those walls, but she can obviously handle a weapon and it's beyond clear that something is rotten as hell in Woodbury so get the fuck out of there you dumbass! Ugh. I want the Governor to hurry up and chop her hand off, slice her face up, or something to wake the idiot up. 

Back at the prison, Michonne continues to be withholding and unhelpful, Glenn remains butthurt over Merle, and the new arrivals to the prison want to be let out of their cage. Interestingly enough, the younger fella is named Ben (just like the psychopath 4-year old twin in the comics), which I assumed was weird coincidence until I realized his parents are named Allen and Donna, just like the twins'. I cannot see how the characters are connected, unless this dude suddenly decides to slice-up Beth ala the comics' prison killer. More likely, it's just a vague reference to the source material. But I am intrigued....

Allen, Donna, Ben, and Billy
 So when Rick finally meets Tyreese (eeee!), he promptly refuses to be responsible for them, and then flies into a crazy breakdown at the ghostly sight of Lori. Since we cannot see her face, I initially assumed they didn't bother flying Sarah Wayne Callies to Atlanta for that small role, but it actually is her! So that was a creative choice to black out her face, which is SO CREEPY. Loved that! And guess what? When you lighten the photo, it's still fucking scary! She's zombified!

And here I thought Rick was just about over his madness, after the phone calls and the vision of Shane. I also thought he was beyond his disconnect with Judith once he held her, but clearly not. His scenes with her this episode were so awkward and even creepy.  

Fun Facts: 

- Among the list of the Woodbury dead was "Heisenberg", which was no doubt a reference to AMC's Breaking Bad. This is not the first time such an easter egg has appeared - a bag of Heisenberg's famous blue meth showed up "Bloodletting" (season 2, episode 2)

- Pittsburgh Steelers fans will be pleased to know that former wide receiver Hines Ward made a cameo as a walker:

- This is a really lame piece of trivia, but the title of this episode keeps making me think of the 1997 film Suicide Kings, which starred Norman Reedus' partner-in-Boondock-Saints-crime, Sean Patrick Flanery.

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