THE WALKING DEAD Episode Recap: “Say the Word”

     November 12, 2012

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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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