‘The Walking Dead’ Review: “Say the Word”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 brings to life its fifth episode of the season, as Rick reels from last week's shocking death and goes off the rails, while Daryl and Maggie undertake an important mission, and the residents of Woodbury throw a party with a disturbing twist.
Last week’s ‘The Walking Dead’ episode “Killer Within” saw Rick and the other survivors becoming divided when an unseen presence releases numerous walkers in to the prison, while Merle presented the Governor with a request and Andrea began having doubts about leaving Woodbury, so what will the latest episode bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 5, “Say the Word!”
At an idyllic party scene in Woodbury, Milton brings Andrea a drink noting that however festive the party may be it wastes precious power, The scientist also teases the evening’s planned festivity, as Michonne watches from a distance. Meanwhile in his apartment, the Governor brushes a young girl’s hair, until we see her to be the zombified corpse of the man’s own daughter, Penny! When the undead girl gets riled up, the Governor places a bag over her head and calms her down, as he sees that Michonne is watching him from the street outside.
Back at the prison, Daryl volunteers to go on a run for baby formula, while Rick seems entirely lost after the revelation of Lori’s death. While Daryl and Maggie plot the run to retrieve baby items, Rick grabs an axe and wordlessly bounds into the prison, smashing walkers left and right.
Back at the Woodbury party, the Governor delivers a speech to the people while Michonne sneaks into his apartment and retrieves her sword. Whilst there, she also finds the Governor’s personal notebook, which dovetails into pages and pages of obsessive line-drawing after the word “Penny.” Michonne hides as the Governor, Milton and Merle retrieve more libations, debating the use of the town’s power, and Michonne slips out the window. Exploring further, she finds a courtyard with a cage of captive walkers, which she happily unleashes, and cuts down before being discovered.
Shortly after, the Governor sits Michonne down and insists he has nothing to hide, that Michonne would prefer he kick the women out of the town even if Andrea wishes to stay. He tries further to assuage her by offering a spot on the research team to fit in better, when she snatches back the sword from his hands, and holds it to his throat. Michonne spares his life and leaves in a huff, though the Governor insists to Merle the matter is under control.
Back at the prison, Oscar and Axel offer their condolences to Glenn as he digs graves, while Hershel appears in the distance. Leaving the prisoners to the burial, Glenn expresses to Hershel how he almost wished they’d killed all the prisoners to prevent such losses, noting how T-Dog was a better man than they.
The Governor explains the situation with Michonne to Andrea, even if the woman questions the need for captive walkers. Andrea takes the Governor’s concerns back to Michonne, who urgently packs and insists the both of them need to leave, Woodbury not being what they claim it to be. Back at the prison, Glenn finds a dazed, and blood-spattered Rick inside the prison corridors, who physically threatens him and skulks off once more.
Elsewhere, Merle, Milton and the other men retrieve more walkers from a captive pit, Milton noting ones that might be of interest to study, while Merle pins down, and plucks the teeth out of others. Meanwhile, Daryl and Maggie happen upon an abandoned pre-school, and investigate to find needed baby supplies, while Daryl bags himself a possum. Yum.
Having convinced her companion, Michonne and Andrea prepare to depart the Woodbury walls, until Merle stops them. Michonne fancies herself vindicated that they’re not allowed to leave, when Merle ultimately relents and opens the doors. Michonne continues questioning their motives, causing Andrea to put her foot down and reject her friend’s paranoia. Andrea elects to stay rather than spend life out on the road again, and Michonne bitterly leaves the settlement without her. A short time later, the Governor consoles Andrea on the loss of her friend, and invites her for a drink and a special event.
Back at the prison, Daryl and Maggie return to the gates and rush to deliver the baby its formula, who seems instantly pacified in Daryl’s arms. Unsure of what to name his baby sister, Carl goes through the list of fallen female friends, as Daryl jokingly crowns her “Li’l Ass-Kicker.” Elsewhere in the facility, Rick finds the room where Lori died, only to find a bloody mess on the floor where her corpse would be. Spying an obviously full walker lying nearby, Rick kills the lethargic creature and begins to cut into its insides.
The Governor leads Andrea to a raucous gathering, where the evening’s entertainment is revealed: biter fights! With the crowd cheering on either side, Merle and Martinez enter a ring surrounded by chained walkers on all sides, and spar for the crowd’s amusement. Andrea denounces the event as barbaric, though the Governor insists it helps the people blow off steam, and teaches them not to necessarily fear the biters.
The next morning at the prison, Daryl lays a Cherokee Rose on Carol’s grave, while inside Rick sits in a daze. Hearing imaginary baby cries, the daze is broken by the sound of a nearby ringing phone, which Rick answers and puts to his ear, before the episode cuts to black. Who could it be?
We're surprised to see that the goings-on at both Woodbury and the prison have yet to intersect after five episodes, but given all the fallout of last week's deaths, we understand the need to focus on Rick's emotional state. Certainly the Woodbury onion continues to unravel, as yet more elements from the comics are introduced, but the you-know-what has yet to really hit the fan. But for as solid and entertaining as we found "Say the Word" to be, we still have one question: why have we not seen Carol's body?
Did you get your fill of thrilling zombie killing? What did you think about the episode? Check out all our other ‘Walking Dead’ season 3 coverage, and join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 6 “Hounded” on AMC!