Ten years ago today, The Walking Dead episode “The Suicide King” aired for the first time on AMC. This was the mid-season premiere of season three, written by Evan T. Reilly and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter. The episode gets its name from the suicide mission Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) go on to save Daryl (Norman Reedus) at Woodbury.
The episode picks up with the Dixon brothers (Reedus and Michael Rooker) pitted against one another in the Governor’s (David Morrissey) arena. To Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) pleas for him to stop the fight, the Governor states that it is out of his hands and up to the crowd, who, of course, wants to see a fight.
As Merle starts attacking Daryl, he gets the crowd going and then tells Daryl to follow his lead and that he will get them out of this. Maggie and Rick fire into the crowd enabling the brothers to escape.
It is important to remember this episode comes on the heels of Maggie and Glenn (Steven Yeun) and their narrow escape from Merle’s torture and Michonne and the Governor’s fight, where he lost his eye to her katana.
The Walking Dead The Suicide King
After their escape, Rick, Maggie, Daryl, and Merle approach Glenn and Michonne (Danai Gurira), waiting at the vehicle. Both of them are ready to strike at Merle, who laughs and informs Michonne that her friend Andrea is sleeping with the Governor. This is the first time the group learns that Andrea survived the fire at Hershel’s farm.
The group, understandably, refuses to let Merle come to the prison with them, but this puts Daryl in a spot as he feels he can’t leave his brother again. He feels he must go with his brother, which will see them lose a valuable fighter if the Governor decides to retaliate.
It is also interesting to see Rick’s treatment of Michone in this episode, knowing what’s to come in the future season of the series.
This episode features Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) trying to persuade the prison survivors to allow them to stay. And we see Rick have another episode where he sees a vision of Lori and starts to freak out, yelling, “I can’t help you! Get out!”
Back at Woodbury, things are falling apart as the Governor decides to stop being the leader of his people and tells Andrea her friends did this to the community.
It is interesting to watch Rick and the Governor come undone in this episode, as we all know what comes next.