I find it hard not to like Merle.
I don't know if anyone has addressed this, but it seems to me Rick has pretty much disqualified himself from leadership this entire season. Achilles may have sulked in his tent, but this guy is basically awol indulging his fantasies when his team needs him most, and then he goes and has a rolling-on-the-floor meltdown in front of everyone (after his son had to do the real dirty work). Command 101: don't let your troops perceive you as compromised. This guy has been nothing but. He should learn a lesson from his son and man up.