Written By: Angela Kang
Directed By: Greg Nicotero
The Story: Following on from the harrowing events of last week, a grief-stricken Rick starts to go a bit peculiar, whilst back in Woodbury, Andrea and Michonne each make a terrifying discovery…
The Verdict: How do you follow what was easily one of the best episodes of THE WALKING DEAD ever? The correct answer would be to make another one, but obviously the producers decided otherwise.
That’s not to say that SAY THE WORD is awful. Hell, it’s actually pretty good. But sadly, it lacks in many areas and suffers as a result of having to follow last week’s killer instalment. It’s not a major gripe – after all, not every episode can be an FX heavy actioner with characters dying dramatically left, right, and centre.
The main issue here is that the majority of the episode is centred around the on-going Woodbury story arc, a plotline that, whilst interesting, isn’t the main narrative concern at the moment. Sure there are some revelations to be had, including the reveal of the zombie-fighting tournament, which is as ridiculous to watch as it is when merely read out loud, and there’s the great character moments for Michonne, Andrea, and the Governor, but after last week’s harrowing conclusion, what we really want is a focus on the aftermath of the prison tragedy. Which, aside from a brief exchange between Glenn and Herschel, and Rick’s grief-stricken Walker killing spree through the prison, is near enough absent here. The B-plot in which Daryl and Maggie set off in search of supplies for the baby is tedious, lacking in tension or threat, and only serving to drag the episode down massively. The opportunity to focus on Maggie’s grief for having essentially killed Lori last week is a massive omission. Hell, even Carl seems to have forgotten that only a few hours ago he killed his mother!!
After last week’s barnstorming episode, SAY THE WORD reeks of missed opportunity. It still delivers a great dramatic punch line (see below) and the Woodbury arc starts to kick into second gear at long last (even though the Prison storyline is already in sixth), but it feels a bit too calm and easy-going, considering the events of last week. Still, if we’ve learned anything this series, it’s that there’s always plenty of calm before the storm!
Best Bit: The final moments of the episode, as Rick utters his first (and only) line of the entire episode. The moment that phone starts ringing, fans of the Comic-Book will no doubt know instantly what’s really going on. Intriguing stuff!
Did You Clock It? Daryl leaves a Cherokee Rose on Carol’s empty grave, a sweet little nod to the season two episode entitled, ahem, CHEROKEE ROSE.
Great Gore: Plenty of gloriously gory Walker dispatches this week, especially from Michonne & Rick. But it’s the moment Michonne stamps down on a Walker’s skull that made us happily cringe in delight. Splat!!!
Join us here at THN next week for part six of our Walking Dead Blog!