NOTE: Let’s be mindful of all the new viewers participating in this conversation and try not to spoil plot points taking place deep into the run of the comic series. Mild speculation is fine and encouraged, as well as talking about things that have happened in the comic up until the point they are at in the show, but don’t get too explicit with regard to future surprises. They will be deleted. Thanks!
“Say The Word”
“We Finally Learn Everyone’s Name!”
We open in the idyllic town of Woodbury and it’s party time! Kids play with dogs, hot food and cold beverages are handed out, and a general sense of menace and foreboding lingers under everything. Andrea has bought into the community hook, line, and sinker but Michonne is having none of it. Meanwhile, since it’s party time, The Governor is combing his daughter’s hair to get her ready for the festivities but because she’s a zombie she tries to bite him, so it’s back to the bag on the head for her!
Despite the cries of his newborn daughter, Rick has basically gone catatonic. Hershel informs the more functional members of the group that the new baby needs formula or she’s not going to make it. Daryl isn’t going to let that happen so he is going out to find her some with the help of Maggie and Glenn. Also, we find out that Hershel’s daughter’s name is Beth when Daryl puts her in charge of watching over Rick and Carl. Before she can do anything Rick grabs an axe and runs into the prison. Because this is what passes for normal behavior in this new world, no one bats an eye and everyone goes about their business. Daryl, Glenn, and Maggie decide on a shopping center to investigate for formula but the road is too full of debris to drive a car so Daryl is going to have to take Maggie on his bike. Glenn is left behind.
In the prison, Rick is a man possessed… with an axe. He cuts through the corridors, literally, chopping down every zombie he sees.
At Woodbury, it’s speech time! The Governor celebrates the town and what they’ve built and how far they’ve come! Michonne takes the opportunity to break into The Governor’s house and steal back her sword. Along with the sword she finds a book that has a list of names that ends in “Penny” and then pages and pages of crazy squiggles, the kind that an unhinged mind would produce. Before Michonne can be properly horrified she hears noises and hides just as The Governor, his right hand man Milton, and Merle enter. Milton tries to convince The Governor that the party is using up too many of the town’s resources, especially with what is going on tonight. What is going on tonight? WHAT IS GOING ON TONIGHT?
Michonne escapes out the back of the building and finds a holding pen full of zombies next to what looks like a bloody arena. Because she’s angry and a little crazy she unlocks the pen and let’s the zombies out so she can let off a little steam by making quick work of them with her sword. This does not go over well with the mystery person who walks in on the aftermath of her exercise.
Now in The Governor’s custody, Michonne almost gets him to snap by mentioning that she knows about Penny but he holds in his anger and his folky charm returns. He tells Michonne that he’s not going to kick her out of town, no matter how much she wants to go (what he really means is he’s not going to let her leave), but that now she’s definitely not going to get her sword back. The Governor begins to tell her that since she’s so handy with a weapon that she’ll probably be useful on “The Research Team” when Michonne shows him just how handy she is by deploying a nifty move to take the sword from him and press the blade against his throat. After a bit of mutual staring down, she leaves the room, sword in hand. Merle enters to ask if everything is okay and The Governor tells him that he has everything under control and that Merle should send for Andrea, and then take The Research Team out to get more “grist for the mill.”
Back at the prison, Glenn busies himself with grave digging. The two convicts come over for some light chit chat and we eventually learn that their names are Axel and Oscar, which is helpful.
Andrea shows up for her meeting with The Governor and he starts to try to turn her against Michonne. He rats her out about the breaking and entering, the sword stealing, the zombie killing, and the sword to the throating. Andrea is so desperate for safety and approval that she confronts Michonne about her behavior around town. Michonne wants to leave right now. She points out that everything is a little creepy and that no one is allowed to leave. Andrea is weary.
Glenn find Rick inside the prison with a really bloody axe and, literally, a pile of zombie bodies. Glenn tries to get Rick to stop the wholesale zombie slaughter and come with him back outside, but Rick throws him up against a wall and stalks off down the corridor.
Milton, Merle, and The Research Team arrive and some sort of crazy zombie trap that involves rotating cylinders, solar panels, and a giant hole in the ground that hides a net that catches zombies. They inspect that catch and decide that a few of the zombies will do but one is too small so Merle dispatches her with a blade ot the head. Another zombie is held down while Merle engages in frontier dentistry and extracts a tooth.
In their search for baby formula, Daryl and Maggie come upon a house. They investigate and start filling their bags with whatever supplies they find as well as the carcass of a newly killed possum. Daryl is excited for dinner! Oh yeah, and they found formula!
Michonne and Andrea head towards the gate to leave town but they’re intercepted by Merle. First he tells them they can’t leave but then after quietly conferring with one of his compatriots, Merle opens the gate and tells Andrea and Michonne that they are free to leave. Staring in the face the prospect of returning to life outside the gates and among the zombies, Andrea freaks out and tries desperately to convince Michonne to stay in Woodbury. But it doesn’t work and Michonne walk through the gates all alone, leaving Andrea behind with in Woodbury, watching helplessly as Merle closes the gate.
The Governor finds Andrea sitting alone on a park bench and attempts to console her by offering a drink and some company. Andrea obliges and they walk off together arm-in-arm.
It’s past nightfall now and Daryl and Maggie return to the prison after their supply run. Daryl goes into Mr. Mom mode and takes care of feeding and rocking the baby. He asks Carl if he’s picked out a name for his sister and Carl runs down a list of all the female characters that have died or gone missing and it’s surprisingly sad which is heightened by how blase Carl is about it all. Daryl suggest naming the baby Li’l Asskicker.
Rick finds the basement area where Lori gave birth. He finds the bullet that Carl fired. He just doesn’t find Lori’s body. What he does find is another zombie with a distended belly that Rick shoots in the mouth and then, after it slumps to the ground, Rick hacks away at its stomach with a knife. Rick has gone ‘round the bend.
It’s nighttime in Woodbury and that means that it’s time for whatever was ominously hinted at earlier in the episode. The people have gathered in the arena area that Michonne discovered earlier. It’s a festive atmosphere with lots of boisterous anticipation of the kind you’d find in a baseball stadium before a playoff game. The Governor and Andrea enter and take seats on the bleachers in the back row center and then suddenly it’s showtime! The spotlights come on and illuminate six zombies chained to heavy blocks in a circle. Merle and two other men enter to delirious cheers from the crowd. After some posturing Merle and one of the other men begin to fight within the zombie circle. Andrea is suitably horrified by the enter thing.
The sun rises on the prison and Daryl goes to visit Carol’s new grave site. He leaves her a Cherokee rose.
Rick is still sitting in the basement next to the body of the zombie that he hacked up. He’s covered in a lot of blood from his axe wielding rampage through the prison because hacking up dozens of bodies is bloody business. Rick sits and hears the loud wailing of a baby. But suddenly the loud ringing of a telephone echoes through the room. Rick is startled out of his catatonic state and stumbles around to find the source of the noise. He finds the telephone and picks up the receiver.
I continue to love the way that the the truth about The Governor and Woodbury is being slowly revealed week-to-week. If you haven’t read the book then it’s got to be a fantastically compelling peeling back of the story onion. So I guess Carol is dead? That was somewhat ambiguous last week but I guess she would have shown up by now. That’s too bad if she is; especially for Daryl. Right now season three of The Walking Dead is firing on all cylinders and is shaping up to be the best season so far.