This week's The Walking Dead recap is all about daughters - dead ones, living ones, living-dead ones [SPOILERS]

After last week's tragedy parade, "Say the Word" takes some time to show us the survivors dealing with the aftermath as well as catch up to the weirdness taking place in Woodbury. Up until now, aside from the, uh, heads in jars, the Governor has seemed fairly mild-mannered, especially compared to his counterpart in the comics. But Walking Dead audience, we are in luck -- this week, we finally got a nice taste of why Andrea should really listen to Michonne and get the heck out of this joint.

As always, plot spoilers are included after the jump.

This episode drew a lot from the Woodbury material from the comics, and while I agree with Chris Hardwick, who mentioned on The Talking Dead that the community still seemed a lot less "savage" than the comics, at least we're finally seeing why Michonne refuses to make herself at home.

Like Penny, for example. The Governor's zombie daughter, whom he's keeping in his home like she just has a more chronic, disgusting strain of chicken pox. Daddy is brushing her hair, some of which comes off with a chunk of her scalp. Then he throws a bag over her head and kisses it, saying he loves her. That, my friends, is about as unconditional as love can get.

Meanwhile, another father, Rick, is passing out cigars upon the birth of his newborn daughter. I'm sorry, not cigars. Axes to the head. Rick is running through the tombs of the prison, splitting zombies in the head with an ax. My mistake. But yes -- Rick is dealing with the death of Lori as much as he can right now, except that he has an ax and a firearm and a zombie apocalypse. He could really use a hug. But life goes on, and makeshift midwife Maggie and Daryl (and his poncho) go on a run for baby supplies.

Michonne has spent her entire time in Woodbury being suspicious and uncomfortable, so she takes it upon herself to get her katana back from the Governor's office so she can split. While she's there, she tries to find evidence that she's not just being paranoid and finds it in the Gov's diary. While it looks like this guy legitimately tried to create a safe community for his own band of survivors, he eventually just dissolves into a crazed bunch of lines. That's... not normal. Michonne is almost caught when the Gov, Dr. Stevens, and Merle come into the office, talking about some experiment and the night's planned "festivities," but she goes stealth until they leave.

She sneaks out of the office, finds a pen of captive walkers, kills all of them, smiles for the first time in, perhaps, a year, and then is brought directly back to the Gov's office when she's caught. While the Gov tries to reason with her, she re-swipes her katana, holds it to his throat, and leaves. Andrea, who cannot believe Michonne doesn't want to hang out and drink iced tea with the nice people, tries to convince her that Woodbury is where it's at! But Michonne has seen the Gov's diary, and it does not say, "Dear Diary: I have such a crush on Michonne. She's soooooo cool, I hope she likes me back!"

We get even more evidence that Michonne is on the mark when we see Merle, Dr. Stevens, and other Woodburians at a nearby zombie trap, where they purposefully catch and contain zombies so they can do things with them. Getting closer...

At the prison, the survivors are still dealing with their grief. While searching for supplies in an abandoned daycare center, Daryl sees a child's cut-out hand with the name "Sofie" on it, which immediately makes him think about Carol. It had seemed like Carol was lost along with Lori and T-Dogg, though we never saw her get attacked, nor did we see her body. And let's remember, Andrew was seemingly left for dead too, only to return to be shot by his fellow prisoner, Oscar. (The previews for next week also mention finding Carol's knife.) But Daryl believes that she's gone, and places a Cherokee rose on a grave meant for her. Before that, we also see Daryl feeding Lori's baby, so such displays probably made a million pairs of ovaries explode.

Back in Woodbury, Michonne has peaced out and Andrea arrives at the night's "festivities" arm-in-arm with the Governor. And then she discovers that the lovely community that's been making her iced tea has been watching the menfolk fight each other while surrounded by tethered zombies. The Gov defends it as entertainment and a way to teach everyone to not fear the zombies (and exploit them instead!). Andrea thinks this is pretty fucked up, but judging by the scene shown on The Talking Dead which has her making out with the Governor, she gets over this pretty quickly.

Rick eventually finds where Lori died, including the bullet that Carl put in her head -- but no Lori. Just her guts. A tired, bloated zombie nearby indicates that he's eaten her (plus the familiar brown hair in his teeth). Great. He couldn't even prevent his dead wife from being eaten by a zombie. Rick shoots the zombie, stabs it, and if he could have set him on fire and poured acid on him, he would have. And then -- the phone rings. Cut to black.

The Walking Dead is having a great season. Once the survivors got to the prison, the show kicked into seriously high gear with a lot of sick zombie-killing action, sad deaths for established characters, and new hope (or fears) in new characters... That prison turned The Walking Dead into a glass case of emotion. And "Say the Word" didn't disappoint.

Photo credit: AMC

Previously: This week's The Walking Dead recap reminds us all that this "isn't kid stuff" [SPOILERS]


      1. Nah dawg, I got spoiled just flipping through my RSS feed, and the Gov’s daughter is a pretty pivotal plot point in the comics. I had been wondering about whether it’d be included in the TV show, and this bummed me out significantly. 

        1. Sorry to hear you get significantly bummed out so easily. Perhaps BB is part of the conspiracy to force people to watch live TV, what with them doing such life-destroyingly terrible things.

  1. Yes…my man Rick is going through a tough time; what he really needs now is some understanding and time alone to reflect.  

    And commit savage acts as his mind cracks. *ringring* “Ahoy-hoy!  Who iiiis iiiit?” 

    As a regular reader of the graphic novels I am pleased with the deviations from canon in these latest episodes: the loss of Lori was harsh.  Very harsh.  And T…he really was the best.  But the changes are keeping me on my toes.

    Liking the Governor as a more palatable, discreet nut-bag…the comic version was so obviously a Bad Dude from the get go…but I predict more cracks in the facade right quick.

    Michonne has the right idea: GTFO.  Andrea may come to regret her poor judgement of character…

  2. Those hash marks in the Governor’s diary followed Penny’s name. I though that the Governor was tallying the number of days she had been kept alive, if you will, in zombie form.

    1. I thought at first maybe it was deaths.  The diary started keeping track of the names of loved ones who died, sort of a “we will never forget”, and then after Penny died, everyone else was just numbers on a tally. 

      But then the pages went WAAAAY too long for that (unless he started counting zombies killed too).

  3. Lori will not be missed.

    T-dog on the other hand.  WHY!??!   That guy was denied much deserved screen time and then they just kill him off as he saves everyone else.  The future is running out of good guys.

  4. Pretty sure that Carol’s alive, but with the person who let the walkers into the Prison… who was NOT Andrew.  Remember, before Andrew got out, somebody spied on Carol performing her experimental C-Section.  Presumably this guy found and recruited Andrew in a “take back the prison” plan, and to start the alarms in the generator room.  

      1. Because at the time it happened, Andrew was with the other convicts and Rick.  Edit: Actually just checked, and turned out I was wrong, theoretically it COULD be possible… but it looked like she was being watched from some distance outside the gates.

        Also, for somebody who’s JUST learned about the details of the zombie apocalypse (because he was locked in the cafeteria for the year), to the point that they had to be taught things like ‘go for the head’ and ‘a bite or a scratch turns you into one of them’, Andrew would have had to get up to speed REALLY fast with respect to how to lure a whole bunch of Walkers into the prison while avoiding them chomping on him.

        So, still my guess.

          1. I’m sorry, I’m not following you, particularly with the Merle reference.  Merle never knew where Daryl was (else he would have found him!), so I don’t know there was a moment that ‘showed’ that, and I can’t search for it to try and figure out how that relates to who was spying on Carol.  I mean, it’s clear Andrew was involved in the attack, but I still don’t think he was alone or the mastermind, nor the one who spied on Carol, at least as far as any of the evidence I remember seeing. 

            The “break the gates and use a live animal to lure walkers in, then activate the sirens” was a well considered plan to potentially take out a large number of enemies.  To follow that up with “and wait in the room where the sirens are turned off, with just an axe, to be one man against a probably much larger group who will almost certainly head there” was… not.  Seems like two different thinking styles at work, the latter being Andrew’s (impulsive and not very bright), the former slower and methodical (whoever was, I think, spying on Carol from afar). 

            Maybe I’m wrong, but without this assumption, you’re left to wonder “Why hasn’t Carol shown up in some way?”  If she’s just dead, it would be easy enough to show it and confirm.  If she’s not, she probably should have found her way back to the group relatively easily.  To me, what makes most sense is, she’s being held prisoner by another living person.  The one spying on her earlier, who probably set the whole Walker-Prison-Ambush in motion, with Andrew’s help. 

  5. So, so, so glad that the phone started to ring. That is one of the weird-and-creepies from the comics which I was afraid hadn’t made the TV cut.

  6. I hate being reminded by how STUPID these people are.   They wait until AFTER Lori’s baby is born to stock up on baby supplies?  They never ran across an abandoned drugstore during the months they spent searching for a safe place?

    1. Well, you know how it is with babies on television.  The previous, say, six months don’t warn anyone it’s coming.

    2. Yeah, Maggie kind of ‘explains’ that when they are leaving going to look for supplies, but its kind of silly that she didn’t find anything in all those months when they find quite a bit in the first place they seem to look after the baby is born!

    3. But had Lori lived they would not have needed formula!  It’s funny though, it reminded me of LOST when (SPOILER) newborn baby Aaron was abandoned by his mom and the show skipped ever explaining how he was kept alive by a bunch of dudes.

    4.  Yes, the writers for this show are some of the stupidest people who ever put pen to paper.  I’m sure the farce of Hershel loosing his leg has already been covered in prior posts, but that is incredibly stupid and sloppy writing.  There are lots of niggling little errors that just detract from the show.  And yes, not getting formula at all, especially with the cargo capacity of the most fuel efficient Suburban in a post-apocalyptic society were gasoline will not be made again.  These are stupid writers creating stupid plot points for stupid attempts at drama and suspense.

    5.  Maybe they were just counting on breast milk. Still it shows them being short sighted. You can’t analyze the show too much or it all just falls apart.

  7. One big thing:  No one dies on this show without you seeing it.  So the zombie ate all of Lori?  Head-to-toe?  Clothes and all?

  8. Okay, let me say that first off, I am digging this season (far more than the first). Now the parts that I seem to disagree with everyone on.

    I know (from reading posts like these on the Internet, not from first-hand knowledge) that the Governor is supposed to be this season’s Big Bad, but I’m just not feeling it at all. I don’t know if it’s casting, writing, directing, or what, but he just seems like a wimpy boy to me. Demented but not oozing danger. Yeah, sure, if he’s in charge of the settlement, and has soldiers who will do any dirty deed he commands them to do, then he could be serious trouble. I just don’t care one way or the other about him.

    And after a star-making entrance, Michonne (sp?) isn’t really turning out to be all that interesting, either. If she did more than just scowl at everyone, it might help, but there’s really not much of a character there. Rather one-note so far. Hoping that changes, though.

    Now here’s my big whammy — brace yourselves — while the character of T-Dog seemed like a super nice guy, gallant fella, and good fighter, I sort of shrugged when he was offed. What have they shown us of him to get the audience to root for him, let alone get to know him at all? Not much. A few bones here and there, but the only person more expendable than T-Dog would have been that young blonde girl who Carl is sweet on.

    At least with Lori, there was a lot of history there, and whether or not she’s been a superbitch from time to time, there’s no denying that was a kickass death scene. And hell, if there are more episodes like the last several, I might even start not wanting Carl to die.

    Bottom line is, I don’t know the comics, and I really don’t even care about them. I only know what I see on the show, and that’s what’s led me to my (no doubt unpopular) opinions. YMMV.

    1. I think the problem is just how expendable T-dog was. Three seasons, and we never learned anything about him (Until he is dead, and we find out awesome things like ‘helping the elderly out of town’). And then, less than 10 minutes after the replacement surly black man arrives, CHOMP. 

      It lacked any emotional impact other than eye-rolling at the waste of three seasons of a quite talented actor. Likewise with Michonne, they seem to feel that hostile black people who don’t talk much are the way to go, and it’s both insensitive and pretty darned silly. 

      Lori’s death had impact because, love her or hate her, we knew a lot about her, and were to some degree invested in her (Don’t get me started on how she was doomed to die the moment she considered the A word! Not to mention *gasp* having sex!) while T-dog was the literal personification of a token black character, who even went out heroically saving a white woman. His death, even exactly as was, would have been entirely different if he hadn’t been walking around with ‘Expendable’ written on his forehead. They might as well have given him a red shirt. :P

      I also feel like the only person on the planet who’d only ever seen Michonne’s name in type, and defaults to a K sound for CH. It took me a bit to work out who ‘Mishon’ was, I was expecting Mikon. So what do I know? ;)

  9. Four questions (no wait, 3…)

    A) Stop whining about “spoilers” and grow up. 

    2. Did the Zombie eat her clothes?

    — Don’t phones need electricity (event if they are made of bakelite)?

    1.  Phones provide their own voltage, which is why they work in blackouts.  But that assumes that the phone company still has power.

  10. Um, could you please warn before mentioning FUTURE spoilers – like Andrea kissing the Governor? Really wish I’d been able to find that piece of information out as I actually watched the episode.

    1.  Same here. I get the Spoiler warning for the recapped episode, but future references deserve its own disclaimer. There are people who skip the sneak peeks & The Talking Dead for a reason.

  11. So, on the Twitters, I heard this theory… that Carol found Lori and she sewed her up. As silly a s this is, we know Carol knows how to perform a Cesarean because she practiced on a zombie. And we haven’t found Lori’s body. It would also explain why this is all happening 4 or 5 episodes into a new season.

    I gotta say, if they do something like that, I’m done with it. Although it be fun to watch a show go from “anyone can die” cutting edge to jumping the shark in 3 episodes.

    1. It’s unlikely that Carol simply sewed Lori up.  The most probable reason the c-section was necessary the first time, and deadly the second time is because the placenta separated from Lori’s uterus.  Without immediate surgery and blood transfusions, it astronomically unlikely Lori could be saved.  A more likely scenario is that Carl just couldn’t quite man-up enough to shoot his mom in the head (Rick found the bullet), so she’s now a zomie that was partially eaten before she turned.

      1. That’s a better storyline and would help drive Rick a little farther over the edge… but never bet against television talking the easy way out.

  12. The diary or journal that slowly degenerates into scribbles or dark doodles is the paper & pen version of Mark F’s “crazy wall” cliche, a la Beautiful Mind. We’re supposed to see a few pages of hashmarks and think ZOMG no one sane writes that! They should have thought of something more damning.

  13. Last season was much better than this, every episode felt like it lasted for 10 minutes, absolutely non-stop, and ended with a starling discovery that would blow me away! 

    This season’s all about running around dark passages in the jail and the fa la la of (what you know is not a) Happy Town. Too many zombies being bludgeoned and seeing the body pieces separating out via cgi. 

    Then there’s the tiresome Rick ignoring Lori all season long – boring – until she’s in trouble?! Please, not even a yelling match?  Not that I liked her character much, but she always had to back down and he always won their arguments. These characters need to deal with how to channel their emotions in this new zombie world. Other than pure anger and rage.  Daryl’s character has got it right, nuanced.  Trying not to love Carol, but not giving up on Sophia until the barn scene.  Being slightly distant, but showing, through token gestures like the rose, how he holds out for something better than what is.

    So I wonder, is Rick’s time as leader done? Is the kinder, gentler Daryl the leader the dwindling group needs?

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