This Sorrowful Life - Recap

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The episode begins and the Governor's deadline is upon them, so Rick and Hershel have decided to hand over Michonne to him. They break the news to Darryl, and he is shocked. He says it’s not like them to do such a thing, and Hershel agrees, but Rick points out that this would avoid a lot of bloodshed. Rick goes inside to find Merle and tell him about their plan. He tells Merle they need to quietly kidnap Michonne and give her to the Governor, so they can prevent the looming battle ahead. Merle taunts him, saying he is suddenly being inducted into the inner circle now that it's time for Rick to get his hands dirty. Merle says the Governor won’t kill Michonne, but will instead do nasty things to her.

Rick looks uncomfortable at the thought, but follows Merle's directions anyway on how to ambush Michonne. Merle suggests finding a wire, which she won’t be able to chew through, and also separating her from the others. Outside, Michonne is helping Glenn set up traps around the perimeter. Rick watches her decapitate a few walkers with her sword and looks troubled. Carol asks Merle if he is ready to stand with them and protect them. Merle says he is here only for his brother. Carol tells him that he should man up and pick a side, the way his brother has. He says he is impressed that Carol has changed since she last saw him, in the Atlanta camp.

In another part of the cell block, Darryl is also trying to convince Glenn that there's more to his brother than the violent, bigoted front that he puts on, and that he will make it right with Glenn. He tells Darryl he can’t forgive Merle for handing over Maggie to the Governor. Darryl is left speechless, on hearing this, and runs and finds his brother. Merle tells Darryl that what they are planning to do with Michonne is as bad as what he did with Maggie. Darryl looks at him and pleads that he just wants his brother back, but Merle grabs a wire and goes off to get Michonne. Glenn walks into Hershel's cell to find him praying with his daughters, Beth and Maggie. Rick sees another vision of Lori, and he announces that won't sell out Michonne.

Merle leads Michonne toward the breach in the prison wall, knocks her out from behind, and ties her up. Next, he and Michonne are shown walking down the road. He explains to her that he knew Rick would never go through with betraying her, so he had to take matters in his own hands. On the way, he stops to take out a couple of walkers with Michonne's sword. At the prison, Rick tells Darryl he's worried, because he can't find Merle or Michonne. They both realize what Merle has done, and Darryl takes off to track them. Merle and Michonne have a heart-to-heart as they are walking.

She tries appealing to the good in him, saying what he is planning to do will weigh down on his conscience forever. Merle counters by confessing he's killed 16 people, since the apocalypse, so he isn’t a nice guy. In the cell block, Glenn asks Hershel for Maggie's hand in marriage. Hershel smiles, and gives Glenn his blessing. On the road, Merle ties Michonne to a post while he works at hot-wiring a car. He accidentally sets off the car alarm, which draws a bunch of walkers out of the woods. Michonne, tied and seemingly helpless, starts screaming at Merle, but he can't hear her over the alarm.

She manages to kick one walker away from her and kills another using the wire her hands are tied with. Merle eventually sees the walkers, and fends off a couple of them that attack him in the car. He manages to get Michonne into the car, and they drive to the place where the Governor will be waiting. In the car, Michonne tells Merle that it's not too late for them to turn around and go back. She says Darryl has made a real place for himself in the group, and he can do the same. Merle doesn’t react to anything that she says, and just keeps driving. Michonne keeps at it, blaming the Governor for making him a killing machine.

She tells him they can both go back, but he slams the brakes and yells that he can’t. He suddenly cuts Michonne's hands free and tells her to get out. He says to go back and help the others. He hands her back her sword, and tells her that he's got something he's going to do on his own. Darryl is tracking the two of them, by following the decapitated zombie heads, and he finds Michonne. He runs in pursuit of his brother, when he finds out that Merle has ventured out to meet the Governor on his own. Merle is sitting and drinking in his car, while a dozen zombies surround the vehicle and claw on the glass.

He starts the car and drives a few feet away from the zombies before stopping, so that they can catch up. He does this, leading the pack of walkers with him to the meeting place, before he tucks and rolls out of the car. It pulls up to the Governor's men, who are waiting around the shack and the walkers suddenly start attacking the men. A shoot-out ensues and Merle ducks into the storage room and watches the battle from the shadows, occasionally shooting some of the fighters himself. He sees the Governor and briefly has a clear shot, which he's about to take, when a walker attacks him. Soon after, he's overrun by a handful of the Governor's men.

Phillip himself storms into the room and demands that Merle be handed over to him. The two begin fighting each other and have their hands on each other's throats, when the Governor actually bites off two of Merle's fingers and shoots him. At the prison, Glenn proposes to Maggie and she happily accepts. Rick confesses to everyone his plan to hand over Michonne to the Governor and says that he couldn't go through with it, but Merle has taken her to him anyway. He entrusts the group with deciding together whether they are going to stay and fight, or if they're going to go.

Outside, Rick sees Michonne returning to the prison unscathed and he smiles. Darryl approaches the meeting place and sees it’s overrun with walkers feeding on the Governor's dead henchmen. He shoots one and then he sees one that looks all-too familiar. The walker looks up at him and turns out its Merle. Darryl starts to cry and shoots his brother in the chest with an arrow as Merle comes towards him. He tackles his brother and begins stabbing him repeatedly in the head completely destroying it and falls onto the ground crying. The episode ends at this point.