The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 5 – ‘Say the Word’ Review and Analysis

It has been a few days since “Say the Word” premiered on Sunday, so the episode has been well-discussed and analyzed at this point. The many theories presented about certain aspects of the episode provide looks into future episodes and also how elements from the comics will be included in the show.

The prior episode to “Say the Word” was so emotionally powerful that it would be tough to follow. Sunday’s show began with The Governor combing the hair of a young girl. Something seems wrong about the whole situation, and that belief is confirmed when he takes a chunk out of the girl’s head. It is revealed that she is a walker and is presumably his daughter. (Readers of the comic know this character as Penny, who is in fact his daughter).


This shows how twisted The Governor truly is, even when he is able to hide it from the citizens of Woodbury. He clearly has issues, and only Michonne is able to realize this. She is seen staring at him through the window in the room where he was combing Penny’s hair. She is the only one wise enough to realize that Woodbury is a dangerous place to be, but Andrea and the other citizens are just happy to live in a “safe” place.

We then get a view of the main group back at the prison at the exact point where last episode left off. The baby is crying and in need of formula, which is a task undertaken by Daryl and Maggie. At the same time, Rick is essentially in a state of shell shock. He is in the process of losing it when he gets up and grabs an axe. He heads straight into the prison and begins killing every walker in sight.

Rick is at the same breaking point that Shane was at last season, but he is still being relied upon to be a leader. Shane lost his mind when he killed Randall and made it look like an attack by rubbing his head on a tree, but the group already had their suspicions about him. Rick must turn things around to help the group, but it is fair to give him some time to himself to let out his anger.

Back in Woodbury, the town is preparing for a celebration that is remaining a secret. Michonne sneaks into The Governor’s house at this time, and retrieves her sword. She also looks through his journal that appears to have normal information at first, such as how the town is functioning. This quickly changes when she finds a list of names that ends with the name “Penny.” After Penny’s name, there are simply pages of scribbled lines.

These lines are open for interpretation, but they could mean that The Governor did not care who died once Penny was gone, which could also signal the turn to his gruesome ways of leadership.

Michonne is able to escape when The Governor returns to his room, and she comes upon a cage filled with walkers. She opens it up and kills them all and is found by a member of the community. She is questioned by The Governor, who has her sword. She easily takes it back from him and has it up against his neck for a moment. She leaves the room and wants to leave Woodbury immediately, but Andrea wants to stay.

This further shows how Michonne is capable as an independent and only really took on Andrea because she just happened to cross her path. Michonne has the suspicion that The Governor has killed all the women in his book, which may or may not be true for all. It is likely that they were ones he lost, and some could have been family members. This fits Penny, who was his daughter.

At the prison Glenn is digging graves to bury the bodies of those who were lost. He takes a break and goes to search for Rick inside the prison. When he finds Rick, he comes across countless walker bodies that have been completely destroyed. Rick is holding his axe, covered in blood, and seemingly incoherent. Without speaking, Rick throws Glenn up against the wall before letting him go. Rick was on the verge of doing something terrible, but quickly regained his wits for a split second and realized that it was just Glenn.

Daryl and Maggie are out at this time and do happen to find some baby formula, along with other useful supplies. This will help keep the baby alive, which is the universal symbol of hope for the entire group.

They get back to the prison at night and give the baby the formula. Carl tries to brainstorm a name for the child and thinks of the names of the women that were lost since the epidemic began. He lists off names such as Lori, Sophie, and even Andrea, who everyone thinks is dead.

This scene is one that is very peaceful and one that brings joy to the group, but they do not realize that Rick is still in the prison on his rampage. He comes across a trail of blood that leads to a walker with a swollen stomach. It may have seemed like a pregnant walker, but the similarities to Lori were illogical as she delivered her child.

It was clarified on The Talking Dead that this walker had in fact eaten Lori’s remains. Rick goes on to kill the walker, and then repeatedly stab its stomach. He then finds a bullet at the base of the walker’s body, which is the one that Carl had shot to prevent Lori from becoming a walker.

This is nearing the end of Rick’s rampage, as he may have been searching for the walker that got to Lori. He knew that the baby had made it, but he may have had a thought that a walker was the reason for Lori’s death.

In Woodbury, it is time for the great celebration. Andrea is there with The Governor, as Michonne had left the town earlier in the day. She walked out the gate, but it was shown that she will not be out of the show for too long. Andrea could not bring herself to leave, so she had to watch Michonne walk away.

The celebration turns out to be a fight between Merle and Martinez, who engage while surrounded by walkers. It is revealed that the walkers had their teeth removed, but the concept is still twisted. Andrea is the only one who seems to have the sense of mind to see how sick it is, but The Governor makes her stay and watch.

The episode ends with a cliffhanger like no other. Rick is sitting down in the prison, basically hallucinating. He is hearing the cries of a baby when his thoughts are suddenly broken by the sound of a ringing phone. He sees a phone on a hook and proceeds to answer it. After he says “hello,” the screen cuts to black and the episode ends.

Next week will surely provide an answer of who is on the other side of the phone, along with many other open meanings from this episode.

About Steve Kubitza

Being a native of the Cleveland, Steve Kubitza has endured many years of sports torture. He is a die-hard fan of his hometown teams, and also is a fan of professional sports in general. His articles will cover many different stories regarding the latest news, along with his opinions, in the world of sports. He also gets into the world of professional wrestling, offering his views on the current landscape of the WWE. Follow him on Twitter (@KubitzaMSF) to hear his opinions on everything from Cleveland sports to the WWE.


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