After last weeks episode ended with one of the most heartbreaking moments in Walking Dead history, “Say the Word” started out with a surprisingly cheery opening scene. Happy children running around in the sunlight, their parents chatting over a cold drink, and Andrea sharing a rare smile with Milton. It was an effectively jarring difference from the despair we all felt at the end of the last episode, and I bet people marathoning through this show in the years to come will notice an even larger shift in the tone.
Most of the episode this week was dedicated to the Woodbury inhabitants, as we get confirmation that The Governor’s daughter is indeed a walker. (Should I keep calling him “The Governor” or switch to “Philip”?) It’s obvious that he’s still holding on to the idea that there’s still a semblance of humanity in the walkers, as that’s what he and Milton discussed with Michonne and Andrea back in “Walk with Me”. I’m not sure if this belief comes from a deep-seated denial of the death of his family, or if he’s just crazy. Either way, seeing his daughter’s hair come out while he’s brushing it gave me the shivers!
Back at the prison, Maggie and Daryl decide to leave to get food for the baby. We didn’t get many scenes at the prison, but the few we did get were pretty great. Glenn and Hershel’s scene was my favorite. They’ve had an interesting relationship, with sort of a Father-in-law/son-in-law dynamic going on, and I thought it was very sweet seeing Hershel put his hand on Glenn’s through the fence. We got a couple lines from Oscar and Axel as well, but we didn’t learn anything else about them that we didn’t already know.
As I said, most of the episode was dominated by the Woodbury crew, and most of those scenes were dominated by Michonne. Michonne was the one character from this season that I was most interested in seeing on the TV show, and I have to say she’s been largely disappointing to me so far. The biggest problem with introducing a character like her is to not make her feel too “Comic booky”, and that’s definitely the vibe I get. Her scene where she went crazy on a group of walkers with a samurai sword was really cool, but just felt completely out of place on a show that’s been so rooted in reality up to this point (Well, except for the whole “Zombie apocalypse” thing). It also doesn’t help that she’s been so grumpy and surly during her whole stay at Woodbury. When Andrea said she needs to give Woodbury a chance, and she says “I tried”, I literally laughed out loud. When did you try, Michonne? Granted, I realize that her suspicions of Woodbury “Not being what they say it is” will most likely turn out to be true, but we’ve seen no reason for her to be as mistrusting as she’s been.
I don’t really think my frustration is with Michonne as a character, or the actress playing her, but we also have no frame of reference with which to care about her. I especially don’t really care about her relationship with Andrea. Their big emotional goodbye was not very effective for me at all, because Andrea kept mentioning their eight months together. How they moved from place to place, and how much they went through, but we didn’t see any of that. All of the backstory that would have made me care about Michonne, and her relationship with Andrea, all happened off screen between seasons two and three! Stop bringing up character development that none of us will ever see!
We do see a little bit of what makes the Woodbury folks so difficult to trust, as we see their gladiator-esque wrestling match for the first time. It was good for Andrea to see a little kernel of what made Michonne so uneasy, and now she’s thinking that Michonne might not have been completely crazy after all.
While Michonne and the drama at Woodbury dominated most of the episode, I was especially interested in how Rick would react to Lori’s death. After he goes on a tear through the prison, looking for the body of his wife, Rick comes across the walker that ate her! Yikes. Andrew Lincoln may have only said one word this entire episode, but he really has been incredible in these last few installments. The Walking Dead hasn’t been nominated for any acting nominations at the Emmys yet, but I hope that will change when Lincoln gets a nod next year. Wouldn’t it be great if AMC gets lead actor noms for all three of their dramas? Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, Jon Hamm for Mad Men, and Andrew Lincoln for Walking Dead! Let’s make this happen!
Tune back in next week, folks, when we find out who in the world is calling Rick! See you all then!
- I was a huge fan of the sequence where Rick goes through the prison with the axe cutting down zombies, and the whole shot is centered on Rick’s face as he does it. There’s only so many ways you can kill a zombie before it starts to get boring, so seeing it from a whole new perspective was really cool.
- Did I miss something when Daryl was looking at that wall full of children’s names? Was seeing the name “Sofie” supposed to remind him of “Sophia”?
- I’m not sure why everybody is assuming Carol to be dead. They found her do-rag last episode next to T-Dog’s body, but wouldn’t they want to find her corpse first before they assume she’s dead and dig her a grave?