Merle Dixon was a great character on The Walking Dead. Actor Michael Rooker played the troubled brother of Daryl Dixon and served as both villain and protagonist during the run of the AMC show.
During Season 1, Merle and T-Dog (Robert Singleton) get into a fight on the roof of a department store in Atlanta. They have come to the store as a larger group while trying to find supplies.
Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) ends up handcuffing Merle to a pipe in order to put an end to the fighting, ranting, and declarations of being the leader that Merle keeps speaking about.
When the group finds a way out, the plan is to bring Merle along, but T-Dog accidentally drops the handcuff key down a pipe. The group is forced to flee without Merle, and even though T-Dog tries to secure the roof, the expectation was that walkers killed him.
In a later episode, viewers get to see that Merle has used a dull saw to cut his own hand off in an attempt to escape the roof. When the survivors come back to try to get Merle, they find that he isn’t there. That’s the last the group or viewers see of Merle until Season 3 of the show.
Merle works for the Governor on The Walking Dead
During Season 3, it is discovered that Merle is now working for the Governor (David Morrissey) in Woodbury. Merle has become conflicted at this point. In separate scenes, he allows Michonne (Danai Gurira) to escape and also tortures Glenn (Steven Yeun). It seems a lot of his efforts are to rejoin his brother.
The Governor ends up capturing Daryl and sets up a fight where Merle and Daryl have to fight to the death. They are rescued by Rick and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and end up heading off as a duo to the woods.
Daryl eventually wants to rejoin his friends at the prison and Merle reluctantly agrees, with the brothers arriving just in time to save Rick’s life.
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Merle, who has been troubled through every episode he has appeared in, works toward redemption near the end of Season 3. The Governor will resist overthrowing the prison if the survivors deliver Michonne.
Rick concocts a plan, but Merle heads to kill the Governor himself. He sets up a situation where he can kill the main antagonist (at the time of the show), but after taking out a lot of Governor supporters and fighting one-on-one with the Governor himself, Merle is shot and killed.
Daryl comes along later, trying to find his brother. He finds him, but Merle is reanimated as a walker. Daryl is forced to put his brother down, bringing an end to Merle’s time on The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.