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Recap / The Walking Dead S 03 E 09 The Suicide King

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Season 3, episode 09

The Suicide King

Woodbury is in chaos as Rick's group flees with the now exiled Merle.

The episode begins with The Governor, having branded Merle a traitor and captured Daryl in the previous episode, asking the crowd how they should punish the two men. Andrea is horrified to hear the crowd chanting for them to fight, and when she begs The Governor to reconsider, he tells her it's the crowd's decision now. Outside the prison, Rick and Maggie send Glenn and Michonne back to the escape vehicles, and check their stock of ammunition and smoke grenades.


Merle begins beating Daryl as The Governor's men bring in chained walkers. When Daryl is down on the ground asking him what he's doing, Merle tells him to follow his lead, and they both get up and begin fighting off the walkers. Suddenly, shots ring out, and Maggie fires at the walkers while Rick tosses smoke grenades into the crowd. In the ensuing confusion, Haley, the Woodbury sentry, is killed by Maggie. Daryl grabs his crossbow back from Shumpert while he and Merle meet back up with Rick. Although Rick is adamant that Merle can't come with them, the latter tells him that they don't have time to argue and opens a fence for the group to escape.

The next morning, Rick, Maggie, Daryl and Merle rendezvous with Glenn and Michonne. The latter pair are incensed at the sight of Merle and try to kill him while Rick talks them down. During their conversation, Merle reveals to the group that Andrea is alive and sleeping with The Governor in Woodbury. The group objects to bringing Merle with them, but Daryl stresses that he's not going to lose his brother again. Realizing he can't change Daryl's mind, Rick leaves him and Merle to go their separate ways. Rick then tells Michonne that he wants her gone from the prison as soon as possible.


At the prison, Hershel and Carl talk with Tyreese's group about their situation. They allow them to bury Donna outside, but caution that Rick and the others might not accept them. Tyreese, Sasha, Allen and Ben bring Donna's body outside. Allen suggests ambushing the leftover prison members and taking it over for themselves, but Tyreese says that they are good people and that it's a foolish plan. Elsewhere, the rescue group stops to push a vehicle out of the road on their way back to the prison. Glenn kills a nearby walker during this and rails at Rick for not killing The Governor when he had the chance. After an argument between the two, Maggie tells them they can sort it out back at the prison.

In Woodbury. Andrea speaks with Milton about the attack that happened the night before. Milton tells her that The Governor won't come out of his apartment. Nearby, one of The Governor's men, Martinez, and a group of soldiers are threatening residents trying to leave the town. As they argue, a walker who had breached the fence Merle left open the night before attacks and kills one of the residents before The Governor emerges. He shoots both the walker and the infected civilian, then walks back into his apartment.


Carl and Carol meet the returning group outside the prison and are happy to see them, yet also disheartened at Oscar's death and Daryl deciding to leave with Merle.

Back in Woodbury, Andrea goes to The Governor's apartment and tells him he has to calm the residents. The Governor indicates that it's war, before explaining that he had captured Glenn and Maggie. When Andrea asks why he never told her about it, he tells her she's just a visitor in Woodbury. Andrea heads out with Milton to try and pacify the panicked residents, and she ends up giving an impromptu speech praising the community's resolve while The Governor looks on from above.

At the prison, Rick doesn't acknowledge Tyreese's group as he walks to the cell block. Hershel also patches up Glenn and sees that he and Maggie are not speaking, but urges them both to resolve. Later, Hershel talks to Rick about Michonne's injuries, and that they'll need all the help they can get if The Governor strikes back against them.

Rick meets with Tyreese's group, who offers to help with whatever needs to be done. Rick is unsure about taking responsibility for them, then has a hallucination of Lori standing on the catwalk above them, wearing a white dress. Rick screams at the hallucination, causing Tyreese's group to look on in doubt. Glenn tells them to go out, and everyone else watches as Rick walks around the room frantically...


  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Daryl and Merle during the fight in the arena.
  • Better the Devil You Know: The group has a brief discussion about whether they should really keep Merle around. The result: they vote him out, leading to Daryl following him off.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: For the very first time in the series, the audience sees Glenn snap.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rick and Maggie saving Daryl and Merle from the Woodbury arena.
  • The Dragon: Martinez, who takes over Merle's role as The Governor's right-hand man.
  • Freak Out!: Rick when he sees the hallucination of Lori.
  • Kill the Cutie: Haley, who is shot during Rick's rescue.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: The Governor forces Daryl and Merle to do this, although it doesn't last long before Rick and Maggie rescue them.
  • Rescue Arc: After three episodes involving this, Rick and company can finally go home after rescuing Daryl and Merle.
  • Rousing Speech: Andrea is forced to come up with one. Wasn't she a lawyer before?
  • Sanity Slippage: Rick has another hallucination, this time of Lori, and is becoming slowly unhinged.
  • Talk to the Fist: Rick shuts up Merle, who is goading the group into attacking him, by suddenly knocking him out with a single punch.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: A villainous example. The Governor refuses to come out of his apartment after the Woodbury attack, leaving Andrea and Martinez to calm the frightened residents.
  • Thicker Than Water: Daryl refuses to leave Merle behind because they're brothers, and ultimate refuses to go back with Rick and the others when they can't find a compromise.
  • This Means War!: The Governor indicates this to Andrea when she visits his apartment.
  • Woman in White: Rick hallucinates Lori, who is dressed in a white dress, standing above him.


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