‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3 Comic-to-TV Comparison: “Say the Word”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 shambles out its fifth entry with Sunday’s episode “Say the Word,” but how does it hold up to the comic book continuity? Just when the dust seems to have settled, Rick goes on a rampage through the prison looking for his wife, while over in Woodbury a harmless celebration quickly turns dark as a more barbaric side of the town is exposed. So, what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the new season goes on?
As AMC's incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we've compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comic as well as AMC's ‘The Walking Dead’ to enjoy! Check it all the comparisons we found, and let us know your thoughts on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode “Say the Word" in the comments below!
AMC: While the citizens of Woodbury (and even Andrea) engage in some spirited festivity, Michonne observes the scene from an icy distance, and rudely brushes by several partygoers on her way out.
THE COMICS: While the comic Michonne has shown a bit more warmth than we’ve observed AMC’s version to have, the book survivors too found it difficult to ever “switch off” and enjoy something as simple as a party. In particular, long after the prison fell Michonne grew very uncomfortable during an Alexandria dinner party, as its citizens seemed to have petty concerns compared to the apocalypse outside.
AMC: While the party continues outdoors, we see the Governor tenderly brushing a young girl’s hair, until a chunk of it comes out with the brush! The girl is revealed to be the Governor’s zombified daughter Penny, previously seen in photograph, whom he keeps in captivity and attempts to pacify.
THE COMICS: Much as in AMC’s version, the Governor indeed kept the undead Penny in his apartment on a chain, feeding her scraps from dead strangers. Fans of the comic and book “Rise of the Governor” will note that the Governor had a somewhat more “intimate” relationship with the girl, who was later revealed not to have been his daughter at all.
AMC: Devastated by the loss of Lori, Rick grabs an axe and bounds through the prison, destroying every walker in his path. Glenn later finds him still inside in a daze, and feral enough to violently shrug off any attempt to help.
THE COMICS: The situation in which Rick lost Lori in the books bears little resemblance to AMC’s version, but comic Rick didn’t have time to go on such a violent rampage. While his grieving took other forms, it should be noted that Tyreese underwent a similar eruption, recklessly throwing himself into a horde of walkers to vent the anger from his daughter Julie’s death. Miraculously, he was later found to be alive and waiting patiently amidst the corpses.
AMC: With Lori’s baby born, the group realizes they have no formula with which to feed the infant, and Daryl and Maggie volunteer to make a run for much-needed supplies. Maggie in particular notes that Lori had asked her to keep an eye out for needed baby measures during their travels.
THE COMICS: Similarly unprepared for raising a child in a prison, Maggie retrieved a crib from a local Wal-Mart during a supply run. Given that comic Lori survived her delivery, no baby formula would be required with such urgency.
AMC: While retrieving her sword from the Governor’s apartment, Michonne hears mysterious sounds, and flips through the man’s personal notebook to find that organized thoughts quickly become obsessive, disturbing scrawls following the name “Penny,” presumably on a casualty list.
THE COMICS: Given how much we’ve written about the comic Governor being much more “fully formed” than his AMC counterpart, the paper character’s madness had much less subtlety.
AMC: Finding the hidden cage full of walkers for the night’s “Biter Fight,” Michonne gleefully releases the ghouls and cuts them all down in succession, before being caught by a guard on his way to feed them. The question is…what (or who) was he serving them?
THE COMICS: Michonne’s cathartic slaughter bears strong similarity to an incident from the comic books, wherein the Governor put the beaten captive to use as an opponent in the “Biter Fights.” Rather than participate she simply decapitated her living opponent, before doling out the same treatment to the surrounding walkers and getting tackled by the guard. And while it isn’t explicitly stated in AMC’s version, the comics made clear that the Woodbury soldiers fed the captive zombies with the remains of dead strangers.
AMC: Despite being captured for her “outburst,” Michonne makes clear that she doesn’t intend to stay a hostage, snatching her sword from the Governor’s hands, and pressing the tip against his throat. She ultimately relents, walking out without a word.
THE COMICS: Far more had already transpired between Michonne and the Governor in the comics, including multiple rapes and beatings. Suffice to say, when the comic Michonne got an opportunity to take her sword to the Governor’s flesh, there wasn’t much in the way of mercy. You’ll see. Oh, you’ll see.
AMC: Following Michonne’s slaughter of the captive walkers, Merle, Milton and several other Woodbury soldiers pay a visit to one of the nearby traps, and hoist out a number of replacements. Milton eyes a few in the interest of his experiments, but Merle picks the most ravenous for the evening’s fight, and carefully removes their teeth to make them less of a threat.
THE COMICS: It isn’t made explicitly clear how the Woodbury soldiers manage to capture the walkers, but they certainly allowed them to keep their teeth for an added element of danger in the fights. Not only that, but the teeth were necessary to consume the remains of strangers, which supposedly made them more docile come fight-time.
AMC: Though Michonne insists something seems off about the situation, Merle and the others allow her to exit the front gates of Woodbury un-escorted, and apparently make her way back out into the world, sans her longtime companion Andrea. We have to wonder though, will it really be that easy?
THE COMICS: Having been captive from the start, Michonne was eventually liberated by Rick, Glenn, and several other defecting Woodbury citizens. On their way out of the town however, Michonne broke away to pay the Governor a personal visit, meeting up with the group outside once her “work” was finished. You’ll see.
AMC: In an image sure to make ovaries flutter around the world, Daryl feeds the infant girl while cradling her in his arms, as he asks aloud if anyone has come up with a name. Carl runs through the list of fallen female friends and family for potential ideas, while Daryl jokingly resorts to calling her “Li’l Ass-Kicker.” Personally, we hope it sticks.
THE COMICS: Granted Lori was still around long enough to at least name her baby, we still have no idea where she pulled the name “Judith” from.
AMC: After fighting his way through the prison, Rick finds the utility room in which his wife Lori died, only to find a spattering of blood where the body should be resting. Rick follows the blood trail to an obviously-full, and lethargic walker, before violently ending the creature and gutting its abdomen. What, did it eat the bones too?
THE COMICS: Given that Lori’s comic demise occurred while fleeing the prison, Rick had no hope of ever recovering his wife’s body, lest he be cut down by Woodbury fire as well. Instead, he saw only as Lori’s fall crushed baby Judith, and he was forced to continue retreating with Carl.
AMC: The entertainment for the night is revealed, as the Governor leads Andrea to a crowded assembly of townspeople watching as Merle and Martinez do friendly battle within a ring surrounded by captive biters. Andrea finds the display barbaric, though the Governor points out that the lack of teeth puts the fighters in less danger, while entertaining the people and teaching them not to fear the undead.
THE COMICS: Almost immediately after first arriving in Woodbury, Rick, Michonne and Glenn were treated to a similarly staged Biter Fight, though the event quickly took a turn when the Governor blithely revealed they were to be killed and fed to the creatures. The governor similarly explained the barbaric fights as entertainment for a town with low morale, though even they would later object to Michonne’s more violent display in the arena
Also worth noting is that AMC’s Milton worried about how the inaugural biter fight might drain the town’s limited power supply, where in the books Biter Fights were seen to be a regular occurrence. They were primarily held in daylight, though the town’s love of dirt track racing meant that they kept a generator handy.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the comics really, we just kind of find Daryl laying a Cherokee Rose at Carol’s grave to be the most adorable thing this side of zombie Sophia. Of course, we still haven’t seen Carol’s body, and since the survivors obviously couldn’t have retrieved Lori’s body before setting up the graves, it’s likely they haven’t found Carol yet either.
AMC: As Rick reclines in his exhaustion, the pieces of his wife still oozing out of a dead walker nearby, Rick’s hallucination of his baby’s cries are broken by a nearby ringing phone. Astonished, Rick picks up the phone, though the episode cuts to black before we learn who’s on the other end.
THE COMICS: Sometime after the fall of the prison, Rick and Carl took shelter in a nearby home, where Rick similarly found himself astonished to hear a ringing phone. The voice at the other end of the line indicated that another group of survivors wished to vet him and Carl to join them, though shortly thereafter we learned that the voice was actually in Rick’s mind! We won’t tell you exactly who was on the other line, but Rick would keep the phone in the rest of his travels as a comfort.