Walking Dead Recap Season 3, Episode 5, “Say the Word”: Has Rick Gone Crazy? What’s With The Governor’s Zombie Daughter Penny?
SPOILERS AHEAD! Stop reading if you don’t want details on The Walking Dead episode that aired on November 11.
The first rule of Zombie Fight Club: You do talk about Zombie Fight Club. After you talk about who was on the phone. And that big-bellied walker Rick (Andrew Lincoln) killed. And Michonne (Danai Gurira) breaking up with Andrea (Laurie Holden). And the arrival of Penny. It’s a strange club.
Rick finds Dead Lori on The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 5, "Say the Word" — apparently inside the bloated tummy of a walker. Did the walker eat Lori? Or was that walker meant to signify Lori herself? (According to the episode director, the walker was not Lori; he ate Lori. What a pig!) Since Rick went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs after Lori’s death on Episode 4, there’s a good chance he hallucinated some stuff in that prison room — including whoever called him on the phone. (Or maybe it’s Shane, calling from the beyond, ready to file a paternity suit.) Rick isn’t doing well, but his daughter, Little Ass-Kicker, appears to be strong and hungry. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) should be declared her official godfather. She could do worse.
Meanwhile, over in Woodbury, Andrea (Laurie Holden) is flirting dangerously close with becoming the new Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) — as in, The Woman Who Infuriates The Audience. Why they need to have one at all times is a mystery, especially since Andrea grew into such an impressive, open-minded, sympathetic character last season. She acted like it was crazy for Michonne (Danai Gurira) to be wary of Woodbury. She chose comfort over friendship, letting Michonne leave alone. Then she saw the WTF Walker WWE show. Think she regrets her choice now?
PARTY TIME IN WOODBURY It’s hard to believe Woodbury and the prison are part of the same world at the same time. But when they have cold drinks … it’s kind of understandable why Andrea would want to stay. Even with everything else going on, and The Governor (David Morrissey) being so sketchy. Michonne is right to be wary, but why so surly, even to the regular citizens in town?
DADDY LOVES PENNY Listen, Gov, no girl likes it when you pull her hair when brushing. Be gentle. He has to cover Penny’s head with a bag when she freaks out, but it somehow calms her down. “Daddy still loves you,” he says. Aww. So does it help to calm walkers/biters if they are fed regularly? She seems pretty tame, other than when you mess with her hair. (Who is Penny? Here's more about her.)
WHAT ABOUT THE BABY? Back at the prison, Hershel said the baby — she! — is healthy but needs formula. Daryl says they’re not losing anyone else. He immediately volunteers to go for a supply run. Go Daryl for taking charge! Maggie and Glenn agree to go too, but there’s only room for two on Daryl’s hog and Maggie gets to ride with mofo Dixon. Lucky girl.
RICKTATOR ON A RAMPAGE Through that whole supply run plan, Rick is in a total haze. When the group turns their backs on him for a minute, he grabs an ax and runs off. Not a practical move right now, Dad. Your daughter needs you. He takes that ax and chops up every walker in sight inside the prison. Shane would be proud.
MICHONNE FREES THE WALKER SLAVES … THEN SLICES THEM UP Woodbury is still celebrating not being as effed up as the prison. The Governor tells his group: “The first time we gathered there was nine of us holed up in an apartment with Spam and Saltine crackers.” Hmm. Who are the original nine? Will we see the origin story? While The Gov and town celebrate, Michonne goes into the Gov’s office and gets her katana back. Now she’s powered up. She sees Gov’s family photos and looks through his journal, which includes a list of names, ending with Penny. Michonne leaves as Milton, Merle and The Gov arrive and have a chat. Milton wants to postpone whatever is happening that night. He’s working on an experiment and he’s having trouble coming up with enough power for it. So his experiment gets postponed instead. Michonne finds a group of walkers all locked up. So she frees them. Then kills them. Oh, The Powers That Be are not going to approve...
PAPA IS NOT PLEASED The Governor wonders if Michonne got off on that kill fest. We all have our secrets, Gov says. “Like Penny?” Michonne counters. He loved Penny. “Bet you say that about all the girls.” She’s got him wrong, he says. He thinks she wants him to kick her out; since Andrea wants to stay and she wants to leave. He’s acting like the sadist principal of some military high school. If he doesn’t do anything about her breaking the rules, he invites anarchy. He wants her to join “the research team.” On that note, she gets the better of him and puts her sword to his chin. If she doesn’t go through with it, that could just make things worse for her in the long run. Don’t threaten if you’re not going to follow through. You just make an enemy want revenge. “She’s all personality, that one,” Gov tells Merle. If only. All she does is frown. But at least she gets a few actual sentences out this time.
THE PRISON GUYS STILL WANT TO BE PART OF THE TEAM These two sad ex prisoners, Axel and Oscar, are still ingratiating themselves with the prison group. By now haven’t they proved themselves? They still get treated like rookies. If only they could just wander over to Woodbury, they’d probably enjoy the cold drinks. Instead, they sympathize with Glenn, who is digging a grave. Glenn has them dig two more. Lori, T-Dog … and the assumption of Carol? Do you think she’s really dead? Glenn tells us T-Dog saved his ass “a thousand times.” “He wasn’t just a good guy, he was the best.” So why did they kill him off? The bastards. It could’ve been Maggie, Glenn knows. He’d trade any number of other people for one of theirs, he said. Part of him wishes they had killed all the prison guys at first sight. It's like everyone is slowly catching up with everything Shane believed.
GOVERNOR SWEET TALKS ANDREA Governor rats out Michonne to Andrea. It’s like the principal calling in a naughty student’s mom. He doesn’t share why he had captive biters. Why would Andrea sympathize with him? He plays the victim with her. He doesn’t want to send Michonne out, but she’s making him. “We’re not barbarians.” Ha. Andrea tells Michonne it’s safe there. Michonne says they show you the good side, but you can’t leave unless they make you. Andrea thinks they have a good thing there. She wants to give the place a chance. Why is Andrea taking The Gov’s side instead of her friend’s? “This place is not what they say it is,” Michonne says.
RICK IS BLOODY MESSED UP Poor Glenn. He tries to help talk Rick off his psychological ledge, but just gets pushed against a wall. Tsk tsk. After all Glenn has done for you. Save it for Merle and The Governor.
BITER HUNTING Apparently there’s a big walker trap out in the middle of nowhere. Merle, Milton and some other guys go out and see that they’ve caught a couple of biters. Milton has a jacket that protects from walker bites. Merle really seems to enjoy his work, which involves … taking out their teeth?
DARYL AND MAGGIE RAID A SCHOOL Daryl’s blanket is pretty great, right? They break into a school and grab supplies. Is there anything creepier than an empty school? Other than maybe a school that isn’t quite as empty as it seems? In the closet is hiding … a possum! “Hello, dinner.” Poor little guy.
ANDREA AND MICHONNE ARE DUNZO They approach the gates to leave, together, but Merle says it’s almost curfew. He’ll have to arrange an escort. He makes them wait there. Andrea approaches and tells them The Gov said they could leave whenever they like. “Sweetheart,” Merle says. “Nothing personal, but you’re going to have to step back.” Ugh. Merle. Michonne says, “See, there’s always a reason why we can’t leave yet.” Yes, that’s a good example. But then they open the door. They knew we were coming, Michonne says. It was all for show. Andrea wants them to close the door. She begged The Gov to let Michonne stay. She’s tired of wandering around. She doesn’t have another eight months in her. She thought they always talked about a refuge like this. It was the idea that kept them going. She doesn’t see what Michonne sees. They are breaking up over Michonne’s ultimatum. Where did the love go? “You’d just slow me down anyway,” Michonne says. No! Andrea, don’t let your friend go out there alone. She saved your life when the others abandoned you back at the farm. Andrea was abandoned, she knows how it feels. Don’t do it to someone else.
THE GOVERNOR SWEET TALKS ANDREA AGAIN Takes her out for a drink. She goes with him, arm in arm. Andrea, don’t make us hate you when we want to love you.
DARYL IS CUTE WITH LITTLE ASS-KICKER Aww. Daryl feeds the baby her formula. Carl wants to name the baby Sophia or Carol. Or Andrea. Amy. Jackie. Patricia. All the dead girls. Lori. Eek. Daryl calls her Little Ass-Kicker. Much better name. Call her A.K.
RICK FINDS EATEN LORI? Rick needs a shower. Calgon, take him away! He finds a bullet on the floor and a blood smear. This is the room where Lori was killed. So … is that meant to signify that Lori wasn’t quite dead and she moved herself over to a new spot? Or did that disgusting zombie eat the Lori that Carl shot? Rick puts a bullet in a zombie’s brain, then stabs the bloated belly. Nasty!
WALKER/HUMAN FIGHT CLUB OK, so everyone in Woodbury is as insane as post-Dead-Lori Rick. They gather around and watch Merle and another human fight as walkers surround them, just out of reach. Great fun for the kids, apparently. Andrea, are you sure you want to stay? She says it’s sick. The Gov forces her to stay. He says it’s staged. They pull out the biters teeth. It’s for show. That’s their reason for keeping walkers around? “It’s fun,” Gov says, and it makes the citizens feel better about the whole thing. They’re teaching them not to be afraid. Andrea thinks they’re teaching people that biters aren’t dangerous. They’re teaching them to be desensitized to barbaric gladiator cruelty. Gross. Never trust a group of people shouting “Merle!”
DARYL HEARTS CAROL He puts a Cherokee Rose on her grave. Or what we’re supposed to assume is her grave, even though she may not be dead.
SOMEBODY GET THE PHONE It’s ringing in the cell with Rick and the undead bloated walker. “Hello?” Since he's already crazy, he should add something like, "Rick's pizza, pickup or delivery?" Too cheesy?
What are your thoughts on this episode? What is your take on what happened with Rick and that walker? And who is on the phone? Here are some ideas on that...