34. The Redemption of Merle
Episode 315 “This Sorrowful Life”
Original Airdate: 3/24/2013
Submitted By: Sonya Iryna
Merle went through quite a transformation throughout season 3. When he and Daryl were finally reunited Merle grudgingly went to the prison after Daryl decided to go back to the group. He didn’t endear himself to anyone there.
When The Governor offered to leave the prison in peace if they turned over Michonne Merle knew that Rick and the others wouldn’t really be able to go through with it. So he did it himself. He kidnapped Michonne and started to take her to The Governor.
But along the way, after talking to Michonne, he had a change of heart. And he did possibly the only selfless thing he ever did in his life. He left Michonne to head back to the prison alone and he went on a suicide mission to try and take out The Governor.
He knew that he wasn’t going to survive that mission. He never intended to survive it. But he saw that Daryl had really become a part of the group. People depended on him and looked up to him. He saw that Daryl really didn’t need him.
And he knew that he would never be accepted into the group. Too much time had passed and he’d done too many terrible things, like kidnapping and torturing Glenn and Maggie. Faced with the choice of staying with the group and never fitting in or sacrificing himself to give Daryl and the others a chance he decided to sacrifice himself.
It was a wonderful redemption for a flawed character. His death gave him the redemption that he never would have been able to achieve in life and gave Daryl the painful closure he needed to continue evolving.