'The Walking Dead' recap, episode 305: 'Say the Word'

Don't brush so hard, daddy, it hurts!

  • Daryl (Norman Reedus) has a sick stoner poncho, bro.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) has a sick stoner poncho, bro. (Gene Page/AMC )
November 11, 2012|By Andrew Conrad, aconrad@tribune.com

The most disturbing occurrence of this week's episode of The Walking Dead had to be when Rick — still grieving the death of his estranged wife, Lori — finds the room of the prison where she recently gave birth to their baby via fatal C-section, crawls around on the floor running his hands through what appears to be the afterbirth and finds the zombie that presumably gorged on her corpse sitting against the wall with its belly bloated from the grisly feast, like it had just gorged on five Taco Bell Big Box Meals. Rick shoves his revolver into its mouth (it appears to have some of her hair still stuck to its face) and pulls the trigger, and then repeatedly stabs its swollen breadbasket containing her remains with his KA-BAR.

Yes, this is actually a show on television. Can you imagine going back in time and finding some family watching Leave it to Beaver or Little House on the Prairie and being like, "Excuse me folks, I'd like for you to check out this show real quick."

At first they'd be like, "Wow, it's in full color!" and then their faces would go slack and turn white, and the little son would be like "Daddy, why did the man stab the rotten man so many times?"

This was the first episode of the season directed by Greg Nicotero, who's in charge of all the ghastly make-up and special effects on the show, so you knew it was going to be a festival of carnage.

There were actually only 13 zombie kills this episode, a low number by this season's standards, but there were some pretty good ones: Rick's aforementioned cathartic assault, a few head splitters and the time when Michonne chopped one's entire torso in half (see best zombie kill below).

In terms of plot development, this episode was not terribly eventful, but it would have been foolish to try to match the bombs dropped in last week's episode anyway, so I'm OK with that.

Michonne did finally blow the popsicle stand called Woodbury (sorry I think I've called it Woodberry a few times), which is good because that storyline and all her brooding was starting to drag a little bit, sort of like the infamously slow search for Sophia last season.

This episode did feature a bit of a wild goose chase when Daryl and Maggie went off to find baby formula. I mean, I don't know the first thing about parenting, obviously, but can't they just feed the baby canned green beans and Wonder bread? Then when it gets a little older they can move on to Kid Cuisine meals.

The only purpose that mission seemed to serve was to kill some time, and to make Glenn look bad as Daryl drove off with his babe. Maggie's whole explanation for insisting on going was that she had to do it "for Lori." And Glenn's just like "Oh, OK." Wait, what?

We also got to learn a little bit more about the Governor and Woodbury in this episode. We now know that he keeps his zombified daughter, Penny, around so that he can brush her pretty, pretty hair oh so lovingly, even if a piece of her decomposing scalp does fall off every once in awhile. The Governor needs to let it go. Maybe he should just try to find a Cinco Boy instead.

Later on, we see that Woodbury stages comical gladiator battles to entertain the populace, using detoothed zombies as a ring. It's like a WWF lumberjack match, except instead of Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the British Bulldog serving as the lumberjacks, it's some zombies. Merle is more of a bar room brawler, while Ronnie employs a hybrid capoeira fighting style like Eddy Gordo from Tekken 3.

I also noticed that this episode went out of its way to draw a comparison between Michonne and Rick. Both of them seem to only be happy when they're slaughtering shuffling bags of bones and both of them push away anyone who tries to get close to them. I don't know the significance of all this, but I wouldn't be surprised if Rick and Michonne cross paths sometime in the next few episodes, that's all I'm saying. And maybe they'll kiss.

I know that the cliffhanger ending, when Rick answers the ringing phone, seems kind of intriguing, but if you've read the books, you have an idea of who's on the other end of the line.

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