Season 3 Episode 9 “The Suicide King”
In a deck of cards, the king of hearts is known as The Suicide King because the traditional image is one of the king with his throat slit appearing to have done it himself. I’ve been trying to decide between Rick and The Governor which one fits that imagery more. There’s a case to be made for both which I will go into a little bit. Besides that though this was also a pretty dramatic episode for all the characters.
Merle and Daryl are pitted against each other in a fight to death by The Governor. Instead though, Merle and Daryl stick together and try to fight their way out. No big surprise here. They are family. Blood. Nothing comes between that. Proven again later in the episode when Rick, Glenn, Maggie and Daryl try to decide if Merle can come back
with them to the prison. Glenn and Maggie are a hard no, Rick doesn’t like it either. Daryl again chooses to leave the people he’s come so far with for his brother. They take off into the woods alone. In typical Daryl fashion, his exit from the group is not messy or fussy. He just kinda walks off with no real goodbye. Even when asked what they should tell his beloved Carol, he just says, “she’ll understand”.
Glenn and Maggie are having a tough recovery from their kidnapping. Glenn is angry and Maggie is shutting Glenn out emotionally. This relationship has its unfair share of bumps in the road. Again we are left wondering if they will come out of it together. I tend to believe that you’re supposed to be able to rely on your partner when you’ve been through something traumatic. Instead we watch them pull away and that’s hard for us romantic types.
Hershel is busy taking care of everyone and everything. He’s continuously trying to either tend to someone’s wounds or talk sense into them. Being the wise old man is a hard job. It’s a sweet moment when he tells Glenn he cares about him like he was his own son. Glenn may be not doing so well with Maggie, but at least dad is willing to have his back. And Hershel also protects Michonne who I think he can tell is someone that should be with them. He tells Rick that it’s going to be a few days when what Rick wants is for her to be gone. Hershel says she most likely has a concussion, but come on Hershel, we can see through that. He wants Michonne to stay and if he stalls Rick might come around.
So now we’re left with our dueling Suicide Kings. The Governor has lost all control over Woodbury. The people want to leave but the guards won’t let them. The Governor is absent for all this while Andrea tries to keep everyone from killing each other. Then after walkers get in and bite a man, he comes out of hiding just long enough to put the man down and goes back in. Andrea tries to convince he needs to lead but he is not having it. He admits to not caring what happens to Woodbury anymore, wants it all to go to hell. He’s mentally abandoned his community he was so proud of and spiraling downward quickly. I think the only thing that stops it from a complete end is when he watches Andrea bring the people together. It gives him enough hope or inspiration to get his wheels turning again.
Rick on the other hand seems to be getting much worse. After the rescue didn’t go smoothly and losing Daryl, he returns to the prison upset (to say the least). When he holds his crying baby, he seems to go into a psychotic state. The crying is echoing in his head and he looks concerned. He should be concerned after having a hallucination in Woodbury when he sees one of the guards as Shane. And we are all a little concerned with his next hallucination. As he talks to Tyrese’s group to come to a decision on them staying or not, he sees Lori’s silhouette in the upstairs balcony in a white dress. Rick starts talking to himself, yelling, telling people to leave. The rest of the group is so scared by his outburst that they shoo Tyrese’s group out the door, and I’m sure they didn’t mind either. Rick is beyond doing okay at this point. He had an opportunity to take in 4 healthy people who were willing to even go so far as to take on their fight with Woodbury with them and he scares them away. The rest of his group can’t feel very safe with Rick now openly talking to himself. They were kind when Lori died and let him do his thing but it seems to be a problem that’s not getting better.
So I dunno who is more the Suicide King, Rick or The Governor. Both have delved into alternate realities. Both have acted against the best interests of their groups. Both are struggling to keep their people alive. And they’ve both lost their Dixon!!! I give up….you decide.
Best of the Episode
Rick’s mental breakdown. Rick’s lost it before. He’s cried. He’s yelled. He’s slaughtered walkers for days. But now we have full-blown hallucinations WITH talking to them. Literally everyone has no idea what is happening to him. No one can scare a room full of people like Rick (for now).