The Walking Dead: "Say the Word" (Season 3, Episode 5)


So Rick’s pretty much lost it, the Governor has even more secrets, and this show reaches a new level of grossness. If that’s actually possible. Oh, and Michonne is finally given a chance to strut her stuff. She’s a bad ass, in case you didn’t know.

We open with the governor brushing a girl’s hair. When a piece of her scalp comes off, she snarls and just like that we meet his dead daughter, Penny. So the Governor, who up to now has been a more successful version of Rick, becomes an echo of Hershel as well in trying to salvage walkers.

So what do you need with a newborn baby and no mother? Diapers, you say? Lots and lots of diapers. That goes without saying, but if you want to keep the foundling alive for more than a day or two, you need formula. So Darryl and Maggie head off in search of some. Opening the gate and distracting walkers for them are Axel and Oscar, so it’s safe to say the two surviving convicts are now part of our very unmerry band.

But even among the unmerry, someone has to be the Grinch. This episode that would be Rick, He’s going on a walker killing spree inside the cell blocks. And unlike too much of Season Two’s emoting, his lack of emoting seems real. One can really only take so much of this walker crap before you snap.

Back at Woodbury, Michonne sneaks into the Governor’s place and gets her sword. But right before she would have discovered Penny, the Governor comes in to grab some more bottled drinks for a festival/garden party going on in the town. Afterwards, wandering around in the deserted back alleys of Woodbury, she finds some caged walkers. She lets them out and dispatches them with ruthless efficiency. As I noted, she’s good with that sword. Real good. It’s a shame we’re not getting to know her any better, though. I suppose that will come with time.

Governor lectures Michonne. Michonne glowers and rips her sword from his hand before threatening him with the pointy end. Rick kills some more walkers. The Governor tries to play Andrea off Michonne. Rick kills some more walkers. Andrea and Michonne argue. Rick… Well, you get the idea.

Eventually, Darryl and Maggie come through with the formula, and Darryl does the first feeding. He seems to be becoming more of a leadership figure these days. We’ll see if that’s necessary if Rick doesn’t pull through. And quite frankly, he’s looking like Colonel Kurtz the next time we see him. For good reason, too. He’s reached the utility closet where Lori’s body was left. The bodies no longer there, but one seriously bloated walker is and I’m not even going to make that connection for you. Like I said, a new level of gross. Suffice to say, this does not improve Rick’s outlook on things. He proceeds to dispatch the walker in question. Repeatedly.

Back at Woodbury, Michonne chooses to leave this creepily pleasant place. Andrea stays. That night, she’s treated to some kind of weird wrestling match before a cheering crowd. Chained walkers bereft of their biting capability form the ring while Merle and some other guy fight. It’s supposed to demonstrate the inevitable barbarism seeping into this world, but it’s vaguely ridiculous.

Back at the prison, there are three freshly dug graves. Darryl puts a Cherokee Rose flower on Carol’s, but I’m still not buying it. I think she’s alive somewhere.

Rick’s still looking like a mile of bad road. Or maybe a hard core Romney man last Tuesday night. A phone rings in the utility room. He looks totally freaked out and then answers it. Something tells me it’s not Karl Rove demanding to know why the walkers have called Georgia for the Governor. It’s probably not even Obama explaining how a jobs program gone bad caused the zombie holocaust.

Is it a real call? Is it Rick descending totally into madness? And will something really gross happen next week?

Maybe, maybe, and absolutely.

Will Conservatives Like These Episodes?

Depends on how much they like The Heart of Darkness, I suppose. This season is very dark, but the writing is also effective. The parallels between the Governor and Rick are interesting and seem to be multiplying as well. Now if we could just get a little better insight into Michonne.