During a man’s life there could be 2 or 3 major things he wish he could revert or be forgiven for. 2 or 3 things that they try to protect their closest friend or family member from going through. To be redeemed and accepted as if the mistakes were never made.
From the first time we met Merle Dixon on the rooftop in Atlanta GA, we knew he was going to be the one we will love to hate the most. Whether it was calling T-Dog the ‘N’ word or Andrea ‘sugar tarts’ Merle in a way was his own worst enemy. And he knew it, deep down he knew he made so many mistakes that he would never be redeemed. But he could make things better for his kid brother Daryl. This season the Dixon brother’s reunited amongst suspicion and weak loyalties to either Woodbury or the Prison. This week there were 4 key elements to the story. 2 centering on Merle.
1: Rick decides not to sell out Michonne, and steps down from the groups leader. Promising not to become another “Governor”.
2: Despite kidnapping Michonne (did you see that Merle took the “talk to the ghost” phone?) Merle ultimately realized that sometimes you can’t go back. Sometimes you make things so wrong, that in order for them to be right again you need to let everything cave in, on you alone. Yes he let Michonne go in an odd moment of humanity and epiphany.
3: Michonne returns to prison even though she found out she was going to be a bargaining chip for peace. During the episode, Daryl tells Merle that you cant do anything alone anymore. Michonne seems to also agree to this. She is part of the Prison family.
4: Daryl is left to once again do something that no one else in the group should or could do. I swear I think the angel wings on the back of his jacket get darker in color with each season. Not since the passing of Dale has there been a feeling of getting kicked in the gut or the heavy silence. Merle, Merle, Merle. He knew he was never going to make it, but did all he could to make sure his brother would be ok.
Even tonight’s The Talking Dead was heavy even though Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon) and David Morrissey (Governor) appeared on the show. Also on the Talking Dead, it was mentioned that Merle was redeemed by his actions at the end of the episode. But was he really? By who? Daryl no doubt will feel abandoned, the group will not know that Merle led Walkers to Woodbury to thin out their numbers. Is it possible to redeem yourself? Was Merle’s soul cleansed in the end? What would you have done? What do you think?