The Walking Dead Review “Say the Word” S3E5

The Walking Dead episode “Say the Word” starts off in direct opposition to what “Killer Within” left us with.  Woodbury is bright, sunny and the grass is unusually green.  Kids are running around and people are laughing.  Milton gets Andrea a cold drink and she is very thankful.  Milton says that he does not want the generators used for ice, but Andrea is very happy.  Again, how dumb is she?  She then asks what is to happen that night and Milton tells her that there aren’t words to describe it.  Andrea not once questions the use of the generators if not for ice.  She never thinks that maybe, just maybe, this is all too good to be true.  But then her foil, Michonne, is seen looking on in disgust.  She then bumps into Evil Glenn…. foreshadowing…?  The next scene is another of those, “Oh my, God!  Did they just show that on TV?” moments.  The Governor is brushing a little girls hair.  For those who have read the comics or novels, we know that Penny isn’t about to be alive, but for those who don’t know, I bet it was a shocker.  So he brushes the tiny little fiends head and a chunk of her undead scalp comes right off.  Yuck!  She then has a zombie freak out and he does something quite questionable to his loving daughter; he puts a hood over her head, and as he is doing this tells her, “Daddy still loves you.”  This is hard to watch because it borders on child abuse and the things abusers say as they are committing the abuse.  But this is a little different.. Why?  Because she’s a freaking walker, that’s why!  He looks out the window to see Michonne staring at him.  She is getting more suspicious and therefore, more dangerous to the precious Woodbury.  It is only a matter of time before she is either ousted or killed.

Next, we see a crying newborn being held by Maggie.  The sound is muffled and Rick looks ill.  Maggie hands it to Carl.  The group discusses feeding the baby.  Just like I said last time, how selfish was Lori?  Did she want everyone dead?  Last season she talked about the baby having a short and cruel life.  Starvation is pretty short and cruel!  Daryl then steps up as savior of children, again i.e.: Sophia, and decides he is going to get food.  Glenn and Maggie want to go, too.  Rick then picks up an axe and runs back into the prison.  Maggie and Daryl end up going alone because it will be faster. Glenn and Maggie share a tender moment proving yet again that love can still exist at the end of the world.  Crazy Rick goes through the prison hacking away at walkers.  The camera is right in his face as he grunts and sweats like a maniac.  Brilliant.

The Governor makes a speech on a porch to a crowd of Woodburians (?).  He talks about about the beginnings of the town and how they started in an apartment.  He makes a big show of being a diplomat, a likable person who saved them all.  He really is like a politician: calm and put together on the outside, but lying and conniving all the while.  Meanwhile, Michonne goes to his personal apartment to take a peeksy at what he might be hiding… including her beloved sword, which she steals back.  She sees the picture of his family and then she finds his notebook.  At first normal, but then with a list of names, the last one being Penny, underlined.  And after that pages upon pages of hatch marks   What do they mean?  We aren’t really sure, but it isn’t the sign up anyone who has all his screws, well, screwed.  She tries breaking into a locked door, but The Governor, Milton and Merle come in.  She quickly hides and hears them discussing the party that night.  Milton talks about the use of the generators for the party over powering his experiment.  At this point he doesn’t say what it is.  He asks to postpone the party by 10 days to which The Governor flatly refuses.  He tells Milton to start the experiment over in the morning to which he reluctantly agrees to.  Milton maybe a little more normal, but what ever his experiments and tea are are just as off-putting as everything The Governor is hiding.  Michonne then walks around Woodbury more. She is in an area not many people frequent and finds cages.  She hears the familiar growling of walkers inside the cages.  She unlocks them and in one of the best moments of this season, Michonne takes them all on with her sword.  She is gritty and gruesome.  This is her element.  It is all very well choreographed to make it look like she is a moving comic book character.  It instantly makes us want to know what she was before all this.  She was born for the apocalypse.  In the comics, we are told, but it does make me wonder how much of her past the television series will delve into.  She is then caught by someone coming to feed the walkers a bucket of bloody body parts (say that five times fast!).

Michonne is then in an interrogation room with Merle in the background.  The Governor enters and asks if she “gets off” on poking around other peoples things.  He tells her he has nothing to hide.  Michonne is a woman of few words, but her next line is proof positive why.  She says a lot with just a little.  She tells him, “People with nothing to hide don’t usually find the need to say so.”  Michonne mentions Penny when The Governor talks about secrets.  He tells Michonne he loved Penny, to which she responds, “I bet you say that about all the girls.”  Clearly she means something other than what he means, but really, everyone is thinking it.  And if you have read the comics, you know she isn’t too far from the truth.   He tells her that she was just about to get the sword back and that she fits in.  Clearly this is not the case.  He knows she’s been poking around the whole time.  He then tells her that she must follow rules, or else anarchy will ensue.  He then uses her zombie kill-a-thon to his “advantage” and tries to blackmail her into joining the research team.  To which in the middle of his speech, she turns quickly, grabs her sword and puts the tip of it to his neck.  The look of fear in his face is priceless.  She backs away and and leaves the room.  When Merle asks how it went, The Governor comically says, “She’s all personality, that one.”  The only thing The Governor has said that I have approved of.  He directs Merle to get Andrea to him and the Merle should take the research team out.

Back at the prison, Glenn digs graves for the presumed three who are dead.  Axel and Oscar have spread out the walkers and offer their help to Glenn.  They offer their condolences for the losses.  Glenn tells Hershel that he wishes they had killed the prisoners.  This is unlike the Glenn we have known.  If Glenn would have been part of killing the prisoners, his character would have changed.  He is not a heartless man, but with this comment, we can start to see that Glenn isn’t a weak guy.  Then Glenn talks about T-Dog after the beginning of the outbreak.  T-Dog used to drive around his church van to pick up survivors.  This is very a la the most awkward dinner in season 2 when we all learned of Otis’ musical gift.  Way to make us miss someone we didn’t really know until it was too late.  Glenn then says that he knows it’s wrong but he would kill others for their group any day.  Again, Glenn is not weak.  We will see this later.

The Governor tells Andrea that Michonne has become a problem because she stole her sword.  Andrea tells him that she can’t steal something that is actually hers.  This is one of the last points Andrea earns with me.  He tells her that Michonne killed captive zombies.  Note: The Governor calls them biters.    I still find this linguistically fascinating.  He sees them as harmful, yet he would not be the “great” man he is not without them.  Anyway, Andrea questions why he has captives and he poo-poos that moving on, and skipping a great deal, to Michonne’s sword at his neck.  Andrea stands up for Michonne.  Suddenly he says that people in the town want her gone.  This is very different to him saying Michonne fits in.  He tells Andrea that what works on the outside is not what works in Woodbury.  Andrea confronts Michonne, who is packing her bags.  Michonne points out that no one leaves, at least not willingly.  They will always make you stay; nothing is free will.

Glenn goes after Rick in the prison and finds the trail of walkers Rick has left behind.  Rick is bloody and delusional.  Glenn tries to convince Rick to come outside and gets thrown against the wall by him.  Rick then staggers away after attacking Glenn.  Rick was always someone who would kill for his group, just like Glenn.  Clearly, Rick is spiraling if he is willing to throw Glenn against a wall.

Merle takes a truck of men to a solar machine outside of Woodbury.  Inside a hole in the ground are two zombies.  The truck grabs a net and pulls them out.  Milton tells Merle not to kill them.  He sees something in one of their eyes.  Milton is dumb.  The thing he sees in it is hunger for flesh.  Duh.  Merle and the others taunt the female and then he kills her with his knife arm.  The other walker is also taunted.  They hold him down while Merle takes pliers to its teeth.  The research team is using the same tactics Michonne used on her pets.  But I’m guessing a little bit more brutal of a way.

Daryl and Maggie arrive at a preschool.  They break in and all the toys and cribs make the apocalypse seem all too real.  There are cut outs of hand prints on the wall and Daryl finds one that says Sofie.  Again, we see that Daryl has a soft spot for children.  It is odd the daycare hasn’t been totally wiped out of supplies.  But, it is clear it has been looted.  The suspense of the darkness and the music is kept alive throughout the scene.  They hear a banging and after quickly opening a door, find a possum.  At least I’m pretty sure it was a possum.  What can I say?  I’m more of a pop culture addict than an outdoorsy gal.  Daryl proudly exclaims “Dinner!”  after shooting it.  Maggie tells him she is not carrying it in her bag.  Even though she’s the farmer’s daughter, she isn’t much for the dead animals.  I like it.

At Woodbury, Andrea and Michonne are packed up to leave.  Merle calls after them.  He tells them they need an escort because it’s almost curfew.  Michonne tells Andrea there is always a reason they can’t leave.  After Merle opens the gates, Michonne and Andrea get into another fight and Andrea tells Merle to close the gate.  Andrea tells her that she can’t live for another 8 months the way they did.  Obviously.  She is incredibly weak and needs someone to look after her.  She clearly feels that The Governor can do a better job than Michonne now.  Michonne leaves and Andrea is locked in Woodbury.

The Governor consoles Andrea.  He offers her a drink and company.  He really likes to woo her with alcohol.  She accepts and they walk off into Woodbury arm in arm.

Daryl and Maggie return to the prison after dark and Oscar and Axel let them back in.  Inside the block, the baby cries and Daryl takes her from Carl to feed her.  And then it happened.  You know the meme when every woman in America looked at Daryl holding that baby and orgasmed.

Yup.. that’s the meme.

Carl and Daryl discuss her name.  Carl suggests Sophia, Andrea, Amy, Jacqui, Patricia or Lori.  It makes Carl likeable.  He is nostalgic already at his young age.  Daryl then calls her “Little Ass-Kicker.”  And now I know what I will name my first daughter… 🙂

Rick enters the room where Lori had the baby.  He sees bits of skin and blood and the knife that cut her open.  But where are her bones?  There aren’t any bones!  He finds the bullet Carl shot her with.  Again, I’d like to point out that he found the bullet itself, not the shell.  If she is dead, and I mean dead dead, the bullet would either A) Still be in her or B) in a walker’s belly but it would NOT be Ricks hands.  And thus I believe Lori is still alive, even if it means in the undead sense of the word.  I cannot believe the writers would make a mistake as big as this.  I don’t want to believe it.  Rick walks further into the room and finds a bloated walker dripping blood from the mouth.  Rick puts a gun in it’s mouth and shoots it.  Then he takes his knife and repeatedly stabs it in the stomach.  It is eery and gross.  He yells while he does it.  Symbolically he is killing Lori all over again, but he is killing the zombie her.  But still it can’t be Lori in his stomach.  It just can’t.

The people of Woodbury enter an arena.  The Governor takes Andrea by the hand to the best seats in the house.  There is music and everyone is cheering.  Lights go up and there are walkers chained to different blocks.  Merle, Martinez and Evil Glenn enter.  Evil Glenn is the ref who extends the chains of the zombies to get closer as Merle and Martinez fight.  They are all overly macho and wrestle each other.  They punch and kick and push the other closer to the walkers.  Andrea looks on in horror as every one cheers.  She tells The Governor that it’s barbaric, exactly what The Governor tells Michonne they aren’t earlier in the episode.  He tells Andrea that it is all staged and the walker’s teeth are pulled out.  She tells him that it is telling all the people that walkers aren’t dangerous.  Merle and Martinez keep fighting and Merle stands on Martinez’ chest as Andrea looks like she may vomit.  And this is Andrea’s last sane moment.

Back at the prison, Daryl places a Cherokee Rose on Carol’s presumed grave truly making him one of the top 3 characters in this series. Rick sits against a wall in the prison hearing the deafening cries of the baby.  It is suddenly cut by the loud ringing of a telephone in the room Lori died in.  He picks the phone up and as the episode ends, fans of the comics know that Rick has officially lost it.  Rick is not the stable leader anymore.  Which is perfect.  Maybe not for Rick, but no one could endure what Rick has gone through without losing it.  He must have a break in his psyche in order to cope with the death of his wife.

Written by Adrian Puryear

Published by

Adrian Puryear

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon, and Breaking Bad are the best things to ever happen to me. I'm only a Three on MeowMeowBeenz. I really want to be a Four.

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