If you were tuned in to The Talking Dead Sunday, you know there were some hints dropped about the return of a certain hardcore racist by the name of Merle Dixon. I would love to see that happen. There are so many ways this could go.
Merle, like his younger brother Daryl, is not a character in the comics so it’s totally unknown territory for everyone, even those who think they know what would happen because they read the comics. We do know that more characters from the comics will be featured next season. Michonne was introduced in the season finale and David Morrisey has been cast as the governor, but the addition of Merle would give writer’s the opportunity to throw us some curveballs.
But the thing that I would really look forward to is the reunion of the Dixon brothers. Over the past season and a half, we have seen a lot of growing and yes,’ even mellowing in the character of Daryl.
He has made a place for himself in this group. Daryl is a trusted and important member of the ‘family’ now. And that initial idea of Daryl being a racist just doesn’t pan out. There’s too many actions he has taken from his first appearance that prove otherwise, I would call him politically incorrect to the point of being offensive at times but not racist.
How would he handle the return of his ‘blood’? Would he put on that racist front for Merle’s approval or stand by who he has become and be his own man? Will he stand between Merle and Rick. Will he continue to be loyal to the group who has accepted him or return to the family fold with the brother that helped abuse him over the years to ‘make a man’ out of him?
And then there’s the missing Merle. The last we saw of him was a severed hand and a blood trail. What has Merle gone through between then and now, and how has it changed him? Has Merle also mellowed? Or has Merle changed for the worse? Either way this has the possibility of being an epic reunion.
If Merle has mellowed and grasped the fact that everyone is in this together, he could be a serious hardcore addition to the group. And by mellowing I don’t mean he’s suddenly ready to join in singing a round of “We Shall Overcome.” His racist roots run very deep, I would still expect him to have problems with T-Dog, Glenn and possibly Michonne. I wouldn’t believe him coming back and suddenly embracing the people of color as a whole. He could however relate in some way to Michonne being that she is female and she is kick ass (something that Merle respects).
On the other hand Merle could very well be ‘bringing some vengeance’ to the group as Daryl would say. He would definitely see all those who left him behind (Rick, T-Dog, Glenn and Andrea) as targets for his ire.
There’s even the possibility that Daryl would face his wrath for not coming to get him. When Daryl is having his hallucination in the episode Chupacabra Merle does note that Daryl isn’t looking for him. Is this something that Merle was expecting from Daryl? That Daryl would come for him because he is family? If so then Merle might be more angry with Daryl than anyone else, Merle may have expected more from Daryl simply because he is family.
But then again there’s always the final possibility. Merle will come back hungry for human flesh, a la Sophia’s reappearance. However he returns, I’m hoping it does happen.