RECAP: ‘The Walking Dead’ – S03E05 – “Say The Word”

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.


  1. Carol isn’t dead. This may be a TV show that’s based on an indy comic, but it still comes form a comic: No body means no death.

    • This.

      I predict either Carol will come back fairly unhinged (moreso than usual) from being locked in the prison with the walkers, or she’ll come back a complete badass and a zombie killing machine. Perhaps she’ll even take over the role that Andrea was supposed to play, at least compared to her comic persona

    • Who was the dude(in the comic) that was locked with all the zombies and we thought he was dead, but then it turned out he killed them all with his hammer, and then after that he was Rick’s right hand man. I think they might try that story line out except with Carol. At least I hope they give that storyline to carol.

  2. Daryl’s poncho is pretty awesome.

  3. It was a full-on daycare Daryl and Maggie found, not just a house. They should make a few more trips for all the blankets and clothes and other things they’ll need. They’ll need a lot more fomula, too, that stuff doesn’t last.

    • yeah plus they had a SWEET TV/VCR combo, which you’d want for those long prison nights. heh

    • @flackbait, yes, they will need more formula, but it is a TV show, they will need more formula when it is convenient for the storyline. Otherwise, they are all stocked up, we even saw Maggie getting stocked up on diapers and such. That formula might last 3 or 4 days IRL, but those diapers wouldn’t last 6 hours. Just sayin…

    • Oh sure. My wife and I both saw the virtual treasure trove they found and were like, “They should have brought the car, they need all of that stuff.”

      It won’t bother me any more than Daryl’s never-ending arrow supply.

    • i for one would like to see this cosmic shower that everyone seems to use. It exists outside of space/time but no matter how much zombie goo gets splattered, everyone is remarkably clean later on. The only explanation….a Tardis!

    • Darryl has retrieved his arrows on more than one occasion. He doesn’t need to do it every time.

  4. a couple of takeaways. In the day care place…man did they ever build up to possibly the most messed up thing ever seen on TV….only to not show it. Zombie Pre-school!!!! haha

    This whole carol thing is strange. If she comes back as just a zombie or just hiding someplace i’ll kinda be disappointed. At this point i want her to have uncovered some sort of secret supply room or something…really justify why she’s disappeared.

    Loving the Governor’s reveal. I think they are doing a good job. That party scene in the beginning. That really reminded me of that one cover and plot point from waaaaaaay down the road in the comics in that other place.

    Also the Lori thing. So my wife had a theory that Carl never shot Lori (or just got the execution wrong) but now that other zombie guy basically ate her? It was kinda weird.

    • I though it was very clear that Carl shot her in the head, Rick found the bullet in that spot stuck in the ground. Then he sees a zombie that is super full and freshly fat, It was very clear that the zombie ate Lori.

  5. I wigged out when the phone rang. Did not see that coming this early.

  6. I thought Carol’s body was the one where they found the scarf at the end of the last episode. I assume she’s dead dead.

    The phone was terrific. I didn’t expect Rick to go nuts quite so early in the third season.

    I agree that Daryl’s poncho is fantastic.

  7. If Carol is dead, it was rather ignominious. It really did look like she escaped as T-Dogg held off those walkers. It seemed like they thought she was dead, but didn’t have a body. I hope she doesn’t become the Sophia of the 3rd season.

    If that sated zombie Rick went nuts on had eaten Laurie’s body, what did they bury in the yard?

    • Spoiler bumpage

      Spoiler bumpage

      Spoiler bumpage

      Spoiler bumpage

      I was thinking that a couple might be empty graves, but why dig a hole if you’re not going to put a body in it? Wouldn’t you save yourself the work and just put up a cross?

      So, was that T-Dog’s body they found last episode? I assume so. No sign of Carol beyond her scarf.

      I really, really thought Rick would encounter a zombie Lori, that maybe Carl hadn’t shot her after all. But I was totally not expecting the distended-belly zombie. That was worse than finding a body. Where were the bones? He couldn’t have eaten all of her! Thank God they didn’t show Rick gutting it and pulling out her hair and skin or something.

      I think it’s cool that they’re introduced the phone. It happened not long after Lori died in the book, so I think this was the perfect time.

      Man, our little band of zombie fighters has shrunk a lot…

    • The graves were definitely confusing. Black prisoner’s grave I get, but they didn’t find Carol yet and Rick has not come back from finding Lori’s uhh…remains. So why fill them back up? Busy work for the other prisoners?

  8. The whole Rick finding Lori only to find a zombie that ate her scene was a little confusing, at least to me. The whole time I was thinking that zombie was Lori but it couldn’t have been since its belly was still huge (also it looked nothing like her haha duh). Did Carl really shoot her? I had to wait until Talking Dead when they explained it.

    I’m guessing Michonne finds the prison in the next couple episodes and tells the group about Woodbury and that’s when the shit really goes down.

    Also that phone bit at the end was awesome.

    • I agree; it wasn’t clear at all that the zombie ate her.

    • how did they explain it on Talking Dead? I never watch those. I was equally confused.

    • It dawned on me that the zombie had eaten her, but it took a few seconds after Rick saw it. Which I thought was much more horrible than him finding her body OR finding her as a zombie. What do you bury?! And where were the bones? Did other zombies cart them off to gnaw on?

      Further, how does a zombie become “un-full” so that it can eat again? Wouldn’t they just eat til their abdomens burst open? They don’t digest what they eat, do they? Obviously the crawler from season one didn’t have a complete digestive tract but she was like the Energizer Bunny. Do they eventually just rot to the point they fall apart and “die”?

    • The director was on the show and said it was that zombie that dragged Lori off and basically ate her and that’s why its stomach was huge. He also mentioned the zombie had her hair and blood around it’s mouth but I didn’t really notice that myself.
      Also, the director had a life size (and freaking amazing looking) T-dog bust they used for the neck ripping out scene. I accidently fast forwarded through this section and thought it was the actual actor re-enacting the scene. crazy.

    • My buddy and I were extremely confused as to why Rick found this walker instead of Lori. We just chalked up the stabbing to Rick being in his dark place. It never even occurred to us that the walker had eaten Lori. Duh.

  9. My co-worker is convinced that Carol found Lori and stitched her up, now they’re both alive somewhere. This would pay-off Carol’s whole “learning how to c-section” plot line. “We still haven’t seen Lori’s body”

    I believe that since we haven’t seen Carol’s body, she’s clearly still alive. I hope Lori’s actually dead.

    • I read an post-airtime interview with Callies, and in it it’s pretty clear that her time on the show is over. Your friend’s theory would do nothing but cheapen the character’s death, and push the boundaries of believability beyond the point of no return. Short of some possible audio work in upcoming episodes, I’m 99% sure we’ve seen the last of Lori Grimes.

  10. Another solid episode. I expected to have a breather after the intense drama of last week’s ep, but the hits kept comin. I’m so happy they’re doing the Governor’s daughter angle, as well as the gladiator games.

    Between the confusion mentioned above, and my continual loathing of TV Andrea’s stupidity, there were plenty more cons present here than last week. But it’s still gripping TV. I really struggled with the first two seasons, but so far this season blows both of them out of the water. I’m really glad I stuck with it. This is much closer to the show I wanted to see after the excellent pilot.

  11. Not feeling the Governor yet. He’s too calm and sympathetic and very much watered down. Hopefully shit gets real soon with him.

  12. At the end of an earlier episode Carol was out practicing doing C-sections and she was being silently watched by someone in the woods.
    They never showed who was watching her but whoever it was grabbed/saved her when she ran out of the prison door after T-Dogg got killed. They found her scarf and assumed the body it was near was hers.

    Great episode. Wasn’t thrilled to see the phone but I can’t wait to see more of Michonne and Woodbury.

  13. Great episode!

    That last scene with Rick wasn’t confusing at all. He knew that Carl had to shoot his mother in the head, regardless of specifics of how exactly she died. First, he saw the knife that was used to cut open her belly. He found the bullet in the ground where her head would of been. All the blood on the floor showing a body being dragged a short distance. A stuffed zombie. Really stuffed too! (A thanksgiving warning to all!)

    And then the stabbing of the belly…

    He is not exactly over the line just yet.

    Seriously, can’t a man get his WIFE’S WEDDING RING back. I’m sure it wasn’t cheap. Give him that.

    Then the phone rings. Okay, he is over now.

    • Yeah, I was totally expecting him to reach into that belly and pull out the wedding ring.

    • It wasn’t really that clear. The guys outside had just dug graves and buried something that we presumed were the bodies of the people who died. It’s possible that Carl hadn’t done the deed properly, leaving Lori to turn and drag herself away, or that the bloody drag marks were from when someone had recovered her remains for burial.

  14. Wow, really surprised that people didn’t follow the Lori getting eaten part. They showed the bullet in the ground right where her head would be> We see all the blood and mess where Lori’s body was > They show a zombie, which was very clearly a male with short hair, Also the pants were obviously too small, and it was delirious because i was full, so it was easy to tell that the Zombie just ate Lori. IMO

  15. There was no blood or anything near the bullet, nor was there any remnant of Lori’s body as there was with T-Dog. I am supposed to believe that one zombie ate Lori, bones, hair, clothes and all…but two zombies left a mangled corpse of T-Dog? I originally thought that Carl didn’t kill her so we could have a scene where she is a zombie and Rick goes over the edge, but now I believe that Carol found Lori, still alive because Carl couldn’t do it…and has saved her life.

    Duh, duh, duhhh!!!