One of the big events of the third season of "The Walking Dead" was the return of Merle. Access Hollywood spoke to actor Michael Rooker on March 16 about playing the character heading into "The Walking Dead" finale and the fan response to his return to the show.
Merle and his brother Daryl are characters who never appeared in the comic books, so their fate played into the show as a mystery to both newcomers and comic fans. Merle only appeared for a short time in season one and then only in a vision in season two. That made his return in season three a nice surprise, although Rooker said that the audience still sensed Merle in a subliminal way.
Another interesting aspect of season three is Merle's heroic acts, especially when he picked up arms with Rick and his brother to fight out of Woodbury and escape the Governor. However, Rooker said that Merle is not becoming a good guy, because he is a survivor. He said not to look at Merle as a villain, but more as someone who does what he can to protect himself and his brother heading into "The Walking Dead" finale.
"This is not regular society anymore. Society no longer exists," Rooker said. "This is self-preservation. This is plain and simple survival of the fittest and if, in fact, you go around saving everybody or try to save everybody every time… you risk your own life."
Rooker said that Merle knows how bad The Governor is and knows what he needs to do to protect himself and his brother. Rooker also said heading into "The Walking Dead" finale that, with Merle, expect the unexpected.
"The Walking Dead" airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.
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