Saturday 17 November 2012

Walking Dead Debrief 3x05 "Say the Word"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.


Click "READ MORE" below to read this week's episode debrief...

* The Governor's undead daughter - the inhuman gurgling sound was a bit of a giveaway a few seconds too soon, but one of the weirdest revelations about his warped private life from the comics made its way to the screen. Creepy - very creepy - and testament to Morrissey's ability to juggle the multiple faces of The Governor.

* The glimpse inside The Governor's notebook was an interesting insight. Crime in Woodbury is apparently up 20%, the price of food is up 40% (but with hopes they can decrease it 20% over the next year), and there are plans for proper sanitation, policing, and bringing the community together with town hall meetings. Then the list of names - seemingly a list of those they have lost, with that of "Penny" standing out right at the bottom of that list ... at this point everything gets a bit All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy - was this the stick that broke the camel's back? It seems so.

* The chance to mourn - in the now fast-moving world of The Walking Dead, I think it's important that, particularly when it's someone the group cares about, that we get a chance to see our gang taking the time to mourn them. Glenn telling Hershel how T-Dog gave rides to the rescue shelters to all the elderly folks in his community in the very first days of the outbreak was a nice touch in this regard. Gone but not forgotten.

* Driving the wedge between Andrea and Michonne - this had to happen, and it was good to see that Michonne finally opened up her gob a bit more and Andrea demanded more information as to why Woodbury is such a bad place in the eyes of the katana-wielding one. Michonne makes herself appear to be a conspiracy nut, a paranoid sort who refuses to play well with others. This pushes Andrea away from her, and closer to the folks of Woodbury. It's a severance that doesn't come easily, but Andrea has been hypnotised by the possibilities on offer here. We viewers may know (some of) the dark side of Woodbury, but Andrea hasn't specifically seen or experienced anything to really make her feel properly uneasy.

* Good to see Rick's darkest side coming out. It's strange to look back at that Deputy Sheriff chatting with his best friend Shane in that police car in the very first episode - how far he has come. This will be fascinating to see how it plays out.

* Rounding up walkers - a rather nifty trap. A machine generates noise to draw the walkers into various pits, in which are cargo nets. Milton's biter-proof sleeves are a nifty invention too - someone should tell the prison dwellers about that, I've never felt so uneasy around so many bared arms and shoulders before!

* Daryl's at his best when he's got a mission to dive into. Finding baby supplies in a nursery proved to be a tense sequence, but it was also filled with sorrowful echoes of a world now long gone. It's not just adults suffering from the apocalypse, but millions of children will have also perished. It's a dark thought indeed.

* Daryl's tender side - we've seen hints of it before, but it was great to really see it unveiled more fully here. Feeding "l'il asskicker", and then placing a Cherokee Rose upon Carol's empty grave (her body hasn't been found, but they're all assuming she's dead - I don't think it's that clear-cut however), showed us the sweet and gooey centre underneath the harsh exterior of everyone's favourite redneck. Another tug of the heart strings came when Carl listed off possible names for his new little sister - all of the names of every single female member of their group that they've lost along the way. That roll call really packs a punch.

* Plot holes - this episode had plenty of them, which was quite unusual. There were apparently several deleted scenes from this episode due to time constraints, but from what we've heard from Nicotero as to what those scenes were, they perhaps don't even explain numerous gaps in logic in this episode.

1) They have T-Dog's remains - so that requires a grave to be dug - and Lori's dead, so that's another, but Carol is missing-presumed-dead (why is nobody wondering where her body is?), so at the very least Glenn is getting Axel and Oscar to dig one-too-many graves.

2) Lori's body - it wouldn't make sense to have Sarah Wayne Callies come in for a day to just lie dead on a floor all hacked open and shot in the head, nor would that be a good thing to see on-screen (it'd be too much for the wider audience, and frankly, isn't necessary to see), however - where is her body? Nicotero had to explain in The Talking Dead that her body was dragged away - but why would a walker bother to do that? They'd just consume the body where it laid. Also, the scene seems to suggest that this one bloated walker has eaten an entire body - surely that's not only physically impossible in terms of volume, but what about all the bones?!

3) This circles back to the graves issue - if there is no body for Lori, why are Axel and Oscar digging either of the two graves they've been asked to dig (when there are no remains to speak of for Lori and Carol) - but if there were remains and they were buried, how come nobody noticed the walker that was sat there incapable of moving? This would lead you to believe that Lori was consumed (bones?!) and that her grave is empty (why dig one?!)

This was the main source of confusion for viewers and indeed it took some discussion and theorising over on Homepage of the Dead for us to decipher what might have happened, but even still, some clear plot holes stubbornly remain. Hopefully this is just a blip as the previous four episodes were much tighter in their logic.

Greg Nicotero did an interview with Daily Dead in which they discuss some of these issues - apparently the rest of Lori's body is around a corner out-of-view, so it seems to be more of a problem with the coverage that we didn't really notice the blood trail continuing beyond the bloated walker and around the corner. So that would seem to be the final word - she was mostly consumed, but her remnants (included the bones) are around the corner (but still, why would a zombie drag the body away?), but still - why dig a grave for Lori when you don't have any remains to bury?

* Let the games begin - good to see the sick form of entertainment witnessed in the comics. Like all the best towns on American television, there's a dark heart hidden behind the facade. Their version of bare knuckle boxing, with the added danger of walkers (with their teeth removed), gives Merle the chance to be the top man. This reversion to a form of gladiatorial combat gives us a taste of a Mad Max-like post apocalypse. Fun fact - the zombie with the brown trousers and white shirt is a reference to George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead.


There were plenty of decapitations and split heads on offer, but a little dose of zombie dentistry proved to be a memorable moment from the folks at KNB. Plus, Michonne getting reacquainted with her katana was a bit of fun.


Not a lot in this respect in this particular episode, but judging by the preview for the next episode, might we be seeing Andrea seduced by the darker side of Woodbury? The gladiatorial side of things was immediately offensive to our group in the comics, but are we going to see a strange flirtation with horrible things here?


Having said nothing for the entire episode in a confused and angry state, Rick hears the ringing of a telephone. "Hello?" - fans of the comic will recognise this plot thread, which came at perhaps Rick's lowest ever point. It'll be interesting to see how they handle this in the show.

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