'The Walking Dead': Is Merle Dixon still alive?

michael-rooker-the-walking-dead-320.jpg "The Walking Dead" has us asking, "What would you do to survive?"

If you're Shane ( Jon Bernthal), it looks like he's very much about not sticking his neck out for others, and we can't really blame him for that.

Spoilers! Watch Episode 3, "Tell It to the Frogs," before reading more.

Lying about Rick's ( Andrew Lincoln) death though ... hmm. That doesn't seem altogether altruistic. Why does it seem like he's had a thing for Lori ( Sarah Wayne Callies) for a while?

What we really want to know, however, is what happened to Merle Dixon ( Michael Rooker),handcuffed up there on the roof? It would be easy to assume he's dead, that the geeks got to him and devoured all but his hand (but why leave the hand? Isn't it a delicacy like chicken feet at dim sum?). But somehow we doubt that.

Our initial reaction: Ouch. If Merle had a machete or axe nearby, that might have been a quick way to part with his hand, but a hacksaw? That's slow and excruciating. Frankly, we have to give him props for such a clean release. The tissue should definitely be more jagged, right? Apologies. This zombie stuff has turned us macabre.

We're not sure what's more frightening: A zombie or vengeful Merle. Add Daryl ( Norman Reedus) , and we wouldn't want to be T-Dog ( IronE Singleton) .

A few other highlights from the episode:

  • The look on Rick's face when he sees his family. Heartbreaking.
  • Glenn, about how everybody returning from Atlanta is fine: "Well, Merle not so much."
  • Fight! Fight! Fight! Daryl getting violent wasn't really surprising, but Shane whaling on Ed at the end there? Yikes.
  • We wonder if Shane and Lori's secret will get to Rick.
  • OMG we love Daryl. Best line: "take that stupid hat and go back to 'On Golden Pond.'"

Follow Zap2it and Zap2itHanh on Twitter and Zap2it on Facebook for the latest movies, TV and celeb news.

Photo credit: AMC