THE WALKING DEAD Episode Recap: “Say the Word”

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It’s hard to follow up the perfection that was last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. With the kills, casualties, twists and turns of “Killer Within,” we expected a much more subdued, character-driven episode this week. That’s exactly what we got. I’ll save the spoilers for after the jump, but it’s safe to say that our survivors are busy dealing with the loss of some of their teammates and the addition of others. The contrast between Rick’s prison gang and the Governor’s quaint town of Woodbury is still present and strong, but the line is quickly blurring.

Starring Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs, IronE Singleton, Melissa McBride, Laurie Holden, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson and Emily Kinney, AMC’s The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9.  Hit the jump for my review of “Say the Word.”

walking-dead-season-3-michael-rooker[Spoiler Alert: All reviews and recaps come with a general spoiler warning from this point onward.]

First of all, my apologies for the late posting of this recap. Second, for those of you who are all caught up on the show to this point, you can find candid interviews from our recently departed show members here and here. Now, let’s do a quick summary of tonight’s episode. The folks over in Woodbury seem to have it made and are celebrating their success with a festival of sorts. Andrea is all caught up in the pomp and circumstance while Michonne is investigating the Governor’s house. What she finds gives her more reason to be suspicious, so she retrieves her katana, kills off some penned-up Walkers and gives Andrea one last chance. Andrea is sipping the Kool-Aid and Michonne leaves her behind. The veil is starting to lift on Woodbury as the Governor is seen brushing his daughter’s hair in the opener…a daughter who happens to be zombified! If that wasn’t bad enough, the gang has been rounding up Walkers so Merle and his buddy can participate in some sort of barbaric gladiatorial combat for the crowd’s amusement.

At the prison, Rick loses his shit. He goes on a murdering rampage of any zombies within axe range and does his best to channel both Jack Torrance and Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz. He even attacks Glenn when the poor kid tries to help him. Meanwhile, there’s a baby girl to take care of and three deaths to mourn. The first problem is solved by Daryl and Maggie taking a motorcycle ride for some formula, while Glenn, Axel and Oscar dig three graves (but the bodies are…elsewhere). After all this, Rick gets a phone call (?).

Let’s head back to Woodbury to see if we can figure out what the hell is going on. The Governor’s clearly not all there and his affection for his undead daughter is…sweet? But clearly misguided. I’m assuming this has something to do with Milton’s experiments, but the Governor flips a switch and seems more interested in holding the festivities than allowing Milton to finish his work. (Those poor scientists always get the short end of the zombified limb.) Michonne finally got out of Dodge (with her sword) and gave Andrea plenty of opportunities to come with her. Who got the better of that argument remains to be seen.

The Gov continues to put the moves on Andrea and explains away the brutality of the gladiator games, saying they’re rigged and provide entertainment for the crowd. Andrea’s argument that he’s teaching his people that the Walkers aren’t dangerous is met with the Governor’s answer that he’s showing them they don’t have to be afraid. Will this conflict of opinions continue throughout season three’s run? Or will Andrea go fully over to the Governor’s side like Merle seems to have done? That boy sure does love to fight!

walking-dead-season-3-andrew-lincolnNow, let’s take a visit back to the prison. After the loss of Lori, T-Dog and Carol, the gang is pretty roughed up, none moreso than Rick. He’s off the reservation in this episode, never saying a word until he answers the phone at the close. I expected his attack on Glenn, but I also expected him to snap out of it and make some sort of apology. Nope! He just went crazypants and tracked down Lori’s birthing/dying room. Apparently, the gang didn’t get to Lori’s body in time because some fat and happy zombie was slumped up against the wall with a Lori-eating grin on his undead face. Rick put an end to him pretty quickly as well. Then, haunted by the echoes of his newborn baby’s cries (a child he seems to want nothing to do with for the moment), the damned telephone rings…who the heck could it be?

The rest of the crew at the prison basically ran errands for this episode with not much else to do but find baby formula (Thank you Daryl and Hershel for addressing this question right off the bat!) and dig some graves. T-Dog is likely buried, may he rest (nice scene between Hershel and Glenn memorializing T-Dog, too!). Lori is apparently being digested in a Walker stomach. Carol…what do we think happened to Carol? Poor Daryl isn’t exactly lost without her, but he’s clearly missing her. And when will Woodbury and the prison folk collide?!

Rating: 7/10 – Light on action, which is fine after last week’s insanity. Some good character development here with a few surprise moments. A nice follow-up to “Killer Within.”

Musings:

  • Just because it’s the zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear your motorcycle helmet! Safety first, kids!
  • Gov, easy on the hair brushing, man! That “No More Tears” shampoo doesn’t help if you rip the hair out by the roots!
  • Thank God there’s still beer after the end of the world.
  • What is up with the Gov’s journal?
  • Milton finally gets an action figure and his comes with “Duct Tape Armor” accessory. Still not as good as the new “Daddy Daryl” figure, which the ladies love!
  • Nice of Daryl to leave a flower for Carol, but clearly Carol’s story isn’t over yet, especially given the quote in the preview for next week.

Zombie Kills:

I counted 17, but who knows how many Axe-Cop off’d when the camera was elsewhere.

Casualties:

None, unless you count Rick’s sanity. (I was on edge thinking Maggie was going to be off’d for a while…it was just a possum.)

Best Kill:

Would love to give this to Psycho Rick, but it has to go to Michonne’s katana kill work.

Best Zombie Effect:

I kinda dug the Gladiator zombies chained up in a wall of death like lions. Unique.

As always, feel free to voice your thoughts in the comments below!  Make sure to tune in again next week when we review and recap the next installment of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

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  • dogg

    Can anyone explain why they worry about getting even scratched by zombies, but are OK with being doused with their blood?

    • samurai

      if your scratched or bitten. the infection spreads quicker. blood on skin doesn’t matter. unless the blood is on an open wound.

    • Miles

      If you are scratched or bitten, you get a fever that eventually kills you. That’s all a bite or scratch does. It DOES NOT increase the zombie infection or any nonsense like that. It just kills you. ANYTIME someone dies (as long as their brain is intact), they will com back as a zombie.

      • samurai

        yes it does increase the zombie infection. the fever is part of the infection like every zombie movie in the history of zombie movies… because as they have explained numerous times. everyone in the walking dead is already infected

  • samurai

    if your scratched or bitten. the infection spreads quicker. blood on skin doesn\’t matter. unless the blood is on an open wound.

  • Steve

    Did anyone else notice Lori or someone that looks identical to her serving food/drinks at beginning of episode??! I thought it was a flashback for a minute

    • Jim

      Yes! I posted that on another site and was accused of being high. It was absolutely Sarah Wayne Callies. I froze the frame, and there is no doubt. Because it was the very first shot of the episode I thought that it was a flashback. I thought that maybe Rick and Lori knew Mitchell, and this was something that would come up later. Then Mitchell walked over to Andrea on the Woodbury street and I assumed that I was mistaken about seeing that particular actress because it was obviously not a flashback. I went back and froze the frame and found that I was not mistaken. It’s her. Why they chose to put her in the first scene after her character’s death is a mystery. I assume that they thought no one would notice, and if so they are mostly correct. Mostly.

      • Steve

        Yeah I paused the frame as well lol…I knew my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me!! The producers are stupid to even have her do that! Of all the people in Woodbury they couldn’t choose someone different? Weird

      • Bob

        no that was not her. It did look like her at first but when she raised her head up you could tell is was just another woman that kinda looked like her.

      • Danny

        Wow. No, it absolutely was not Sarah Wayne Callies. Lori died the previous episode, why on earth would they put her in the next episode in a complete different setting? That makes no sense. What makes sense is the extra handing out drinks looks very similar to Sarah and you’re just jumping to conclusions. Also, it’s Michonne, not “Mitchell.”

  • aaron

    “Thank God there’s still beer after the end of the world”

    And good beer, too. That Red Brick is fantastic. Nary a Bud Light to be found.

    “A Phone Call Only Rick Can Hear” would be a unique way to bring Lori’s ghost into the story without resorting to any ghost-like tropes.

  • Anonymous

    …”Light on action, which is fine after last week’s insanity. Some good character development here with a few surprise moments. A nice follow-up to “Killer Within.” = 7/10??????

  • chanandeler bong

    I dunno, the whole matter of Lori’s death seems a little mixed up. All was fine until they had to show the zombie who ‘ate ‘ her. Seriously? A full grown woman, one zombie, and no remains whatsoever? And its safe to assume that Carol isnt dead either, because, well, that would be plain pointless,… offing a character off-screen. This whole thing smells of some ridiculous plot device where maybe Lori made it, and Carl didnt actually shoot her. Hope to God that isnt so. It was a great twist, and they should let it be.

    • Anonymous

      ^this^ ive been thinking the exact same thing since the end of last weeks episode. It just seemed a little suspicious that lori was “supposedly” shot by carl (off screen) and that carol has somehow disappeared / died without reason. I suspected one of two things: that carl never actually shot lori and she ended up becoming a walker, or that somehow when carol fled she found lori’s body and is trying to revive her. I could be totally off but i do suspect a twist coming in the near future and i definitely believe carol is alive and well somewhere…. also did anyone else notice that the bullet rick picked up was on a dry spot on the ground, it just seems that if that was the bullet used to kill lori that it would have been surrounded by a pool of blood or at least had blood on it ??? Regardless this season has been fantastic so far

      • Walker Watcher

        I noticed the dry bullet too. I’m pretty sure that Lori is a walker now, somewhere in the prison. The gore on the floor and in the swollen walker is what’s left of whatever feasting that happened before Lori “woke up”. I doubt all of her is in the walker’s gut. She’ll show up eventually, and it’ll be a disturbing mess.
        Carol was never shown dying, and most likely is still somewhere in the prison, trapped and hiding.
        As for the phone, I think there’s a couple options – Rick is crazy and will “talk” to Lori. Or, Carol has found a phone where ever she is in the prison, and the closed lines still work.
        However, Carol might be a walker now, too. Whatever the case, there’s at least one main character who’s now walking around the prison, waiting for a good time to wander out and wreck a happy moment.
        The baby is going to add a good element of terror to the show. If they have to leave the prison and be on the road, the baby is going to be like an dinner bell.
        The town is a ticking bomb… I don’t know about other people, but to me, the happy shots of festivities and children running around with pets and balloons are extremely unnerving.

  • Leo

    Hey Collider your commenting system sucks Anal Dick, thankfully i copied what I typed last night. One last try…

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and this is the episode it could have finally really been answered, but why are there no baby Walkers (Crawlers). Sure they might be the perfect bite size snack, so in all likely hood they wouldn’t have any remains after an attack, but even so, if a mother died the baby wouldn’t be able to fend for itself and would eventually just die on its own, assuming no nearby walker heard its cries. But of all places we have seen so far in this show, the daycare in tonight’s episode was by far and away the place to have a Crawler. This show is clearly willing go dark, at this point I don’t think its off limits, but all we got was a damn possum.

    I understand from a technical standpoint for filming a TV show, it would be difficult to get child actors that could pull it off and all that, but in all zombie fiction you never really see a child zombie, except for Sophia and the little girl from the very first scene of the very first episode of the very first season (which by the way I don’t think is cannon, its just more of a mood setter, it doesn’t really fit into the timeline). There hasn’t really been many settings for children to just randomly be in this show, but not a single one in any of the herds, nor anywhere in Atlanta or the CDC. I guess children are good eating (by the way where do they draw the line between coming back as a Walker and just being remains? Was T-Dog’s head eaten? If not it should have been snapping at them.)

    Also how horrible must that be to have no remains of your mother or wife left to bury, and to just have to know that her corpse was completely devoured, for a moment there I thought that Rick was going to be cutting up that disturbingly satisfied Walker up to look for Lori’s Wedding Ring. What about the fact that Sarah Wayne Callies’ name is still in the opening credits scene. They have changed the credits already this season to reflect cast changes, although it is possible that they didn’t want to ruin the surprise for those who didn’t know about the return of the other Dixon brother (now he knows Kung-Fu?). With Lori, it does look like they are going the way of the comics that phone, because there is no real phone that could have been ringing in this world now.

    As far as little Kick-Ass is concerned, I’m kind of hoping that Maggie and Glenn become her parents, they make a cute couple and Uncle Daryl will never be far away.

    i’m sure they won’t do this, but I really hope that there isn’t a new multi-episode arc Search for Sophia 2: The Mother. End that in one episode with either outcome. I don’t know how much story Carol has left now, I don’t want to lose more characters, but her character has had her day for the most part, I don’t know where they would take her next and her death clearly affected Daryl, imagine him having to take out a Walking Carol (we never really get to see cast members as Walkers in full Walker make-up and just completely gone and blending in with the crowd). Does it seem uncharacteristic for none of the gang to keep looking for Carol, since when do they just assume one of their family is dead based on a dropped piece of clothing?

    This is about half of everything I have to say, but I’m not the officially reviewer for this site, so its more pathetic that I’m writing all this like my thoughts matter. I will say one thing I really like about this show is that it keeps me involved and I don’t stop thinking about it as soon as the episode ends. That’s a sign of a good show when a week is too long to wait for the next episode.

    The mid season break is going to suck because that is probably when the world’s collide shocker happens but its way to late to get into the whole other half of the show considering that I tried to end this comment last paragraph and here i am still blathering on. It’s not like it matters anyways, Collider’s website isn’t going to even show this comment or do whatever it is this site does to mess up the comments.

    Sorry for the long comment, hope I get some replies. My best wishes to the Veteran’s.

    One last try to post this Damn Comment, I spent way to much energy on it to just have Collider Fuck it up.

  • Walker Watcher

    I noticed the dry bullet too. I\’m pretty sure that Lori is a walker now, somewhere in the prison. The gore on the floor and in the swollen walker is what\’s left of whatever feasting that happened before Lori \"woke up\". I doubt all of her is in the walker\’s gut. She\’ll show up eventually, and it\’ll be a disturbing mess.
    Carol was never shown dying, and most likely is still somewhere in the prison, trapped and hiding.
    As for the phone, I think there\’s a couple options – Rick is crazy and will \"talk\" to Lori. Or, Carol has found a phone where ever she is in the prison, and the closed lines still work.
    However, Carol might be a walker now, too. Whatever the case, there\’s at least one main character who\’s now walking around the prison, waiting for a good time to wander out and wreck a happy moment.
    The baby is going to add a good element of terror to the show. If they have to leave the prison and be on the road, the baby is going to be like an dinner bell.
    The town is a ticking bomb… I don\’t know about other people, but to me, the happy shots of festivities and children running around with pets and balloons are extremely unnerving.

  • Anonymous

    This show lacks Umph! It’s like it was written by a 15 year old for a school project that he did overnight to get a passing grade!
    The scenes drag out and there is no thought in the conversations or actions of the characters at all. In real life situations, would people do this and say some of the things they do? I don’t think so!
    Last nights show was boring, especially after having that break. Even the zombies were slowing down and boring. The scene where Glen and Maggie are trying to push the truck the zombies are in the background slowly moving toward them (and I mean slow)and nobody is even noticing them coming.
    The scene in the jail of Rick hallucinating is terrible-
    As one poster said, are we going to have to watch Rick talk to thin air for half the show now! We finally get some new characters and Rick chases them out the door. That scene did not make any sense!
    This show has potential to be really amazing, but it is lacking

  • Anonymous

    I agree, the writers need to sit back and say, would this character say or do this? Does this make sense? Would someone in a real life zombie situation react this way or say this? I don’t see this series lasting and I do think with better writers, they could have a excellent show! At this point I am falling asleep!

  • Juicetom

    “A real life zombie situation”? Amazing. Seriously guys this isn’t a frigging documentary. I think the writing is excellent, and the character development equally so. Sometimes it gets a bit silly, but IT’S ABOUT ZOMBIES! The classic Romero Dead Trilogy has plenty of silly moments that make you laugh, but this then makes the horrible bits even more horrible. What are we going to complain about next? The fact that the characters in Game of Thrones don’t have realistic names?

  • Juicetom

    “A real life zombie situation”? Amazing. Seriously guys this isn’t a frigging documentary. I think the writing is excellent, and the character development equally so. Sometimes it gets a bit silly, but IT’S ABOUT ZOMBIES! The classic Romero Dead Trilogy has plenty of silly moments that make you laugh, but this then makes the horrible bits even more horrible. What are we going to complain about next? The fact that the characters in Game of Thrones don’t have realistic names?

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