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The Walking Dead Review: Episode 3.5 "Say the Word"

November 11, 2012  |  10:58pm
<i>The Walking Dead</i> Review: Episode 3.5 "Say the Word"

The Walking Dead is a lot of things: horror, thriller, drama, gorefest. But it’s also an education on how to survive the eventual zombie apocalypse. What we learned tonight: The constant threat of the zombie horde is going to mess with your mind.

There’s all kinds of crazy going on in the show right now. The Governor (who, we’ve already seen, keeps aquariums full of zombie heads) is brushing the hair of his daughter in the opening scene—his undead daughter. The smooth-talking psychopathic murderer has built an oasis in zombieland, but he’s eight kinds of crazy and currently as frightening as anything on the show.

Also, the always-steady Sheriff Rick has gone all Colonel Kurtz after losing his wife to an emergency C-section. He didn’t even stop to look at his newborn baby before going on a walker-killing spree in the prison that ends gorily with the engorged zombie who ate Lori’s remains. Poor Glenn, who’s been through a lot this last year, has never seen what was in Rick’s eyes in that dark prison hall, bloody axe in hand.

Then there’s Merle, who like his boss, might be missing the empathy gene. Merle was a little nuts even before people started turning into mindless killing machines. I guess that just makes him a good candidate for Woodbury’s zombie gladiator ring. The juxtaposition of friendly suburban block party and the fans later cheering in the crowd (including the dad with his young son on his shoulders) was plenty creepy too.

Michonne, who does most of her talking with her katana, seems downright sane in comparison. She’s at least an astute judge of character who doesn’t trust The Governor and decides to go out on her own. The Governor lets her leave, but that’s not to say she’s truly free to go.

Tucked in amongst all the craziness is a new character—the brand new baby girl Daryl lovingly names “ass-kicker,” at least until Daddy comes back from The Massacre at Cell Block D. Daryl and Maggie go find baby formula at a daycare that thankfully wasn’t crawling with undead infants (just a possum, ma’am).

It was another in a string of intense, bizarre episodes this season that seem more intent on freaking out the audience that making them jump off the couch. The unanswered questions keep coming. This time it’s “Who was on that phone?”

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