Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ episode 3.5, ‘Say the Word’

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Credits: AMCTV.com

Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ episode 3.5, ‘Say the Word’

Tonight’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” entitled “Say the Word,” ran the gamut from the creeptastic to the heartbreaking. In the aftermath of last week’s loss and trauma, the group in the prison has to pick up the pieces and cope. Meanwhile in Woodbury, Andrea and Michonne face the truth of the Governor’s regime.

Intrigued? Then it’s time for the run down of tonight’s “The Walking Dead.”

OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING

So Rick’s lost it. He is officially drowning his grief in walker blood and slaughtering everything in sight. The rest of the group, on the other hand, immediately launches into practical survival mode. The baby needs formula, graves need to be dug, Carl needs to be comforted, and things need to go back to normal before they all lose their minds.

What is nice about this arc is that each character who is lost gets to be mourned immediately by the survivors. Glenn recounts stories of how brave and self-sacrificing T-Dog was by evacuating senior citizens at the beginning of this outbreak (characterization that would have been really nice to have while he was, y’know, still alive). Daryl leaves a Cherokee rose on Carol’s grave, a touching homage to her daughter and the bond they formed through hardship. And Rick attempts to slice his wife’s flesh out of the distended belly of a walker after going on a murderous rampage. We all grieve in different ways.

But speaking of Carol, does anyone actually believe she’s dead? As we learned with Merle, no one on “The Walking Dead” is dead until we actually see their mangled carcass before us. No, something tells us Carol will turn up sooner or later.

The prison storyline is altogether touching because it shows how close the group has become over the past ten months of end-of-the-world shenanigans. Glenn says as much when he tells Oscar and Axel that the ones who died weren’t simply good friends. They were family.

In Woodbury, trouble in paradise reigns as Andrea has decided to stay and Michonne desperately wants to go. Andrea is eating up the relative safety and comfort of the Governor’s safe haven, and is eager to become a part of the community, eating real food and sleeping on a bed every night. And who can blame her? She’s exhausted and scared. Why would anyone want to go back outside the walls of Woodbury?

Well, for a couple of reasons, as Michonne finds out. First of all, Soylent Green is people. Or in other words, something is rotten in the state of Woodbury. What we’re trying to say is: Woodbury is not what it seems, and Michonne is going to find out exactly why.

This is why Michonne, taciturn and surly as she is, has become a fan favorite so far. She spends her time side-eyeing everyone and refusing to place her trust in easy safety. She is absolutely fearless with her katana, and she will not be intimidated into playing along, no matter what.

The interrogation scene between Michonne and the Governor was the brilliant, stand-out performance of the episode. Anyone who has read the comic book knows that a lot of history builds up between these two, and seeing them clash was deliciously exciting.

But the seedy underbelly of Woodbury has reared its ugly head in the form of the Governor brushing his undead daughter’s hair (seriously creepy) and in the arena games featuring walkers as just another form of entertainment (seriously messed up). Michonne saw the writing on the wall and left, even though it meant breaking her bond with Andrea. Now Andrea will come to realize her friend was absolutely right to go.

Not as action-packed or as emotional as previous episodes, “Say the Word” was still a solid episode of “The Walking Dead.” It was chock full of new information, new subplots, and new developments. So now what?

Will Carol turn up alive? Will Andrea leave Woodbury to join Michonne? Will Lori’s baby survive on the scavenged formula? Will Oscar and Axel become full-fledged members of the group? And who the hell is calling Rick on the telephone?

Read More by Jess d’Arbonne

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