Walking Dead 305 — Say the Word
It’s Walking Dead time, where the humans are crazier than the undead. I’m talking specifically about Daryl’s poncho, but there may be other examples.
The Woodbury storyline got pushed and prodded pretty thoroughly this week. We see that there’s some kind of Founders’ Day celebration going on – the Gov has even insisted the generators run to power the freezers so everyone can have cold drinks. Milton the egghead makes the mysterious “festivities” planned for that night seem very ominous when he tells Andrea it’s “like nothing you could imagine.”
Meanwhile, ol’ Gov is in his study brushing the hair of his undead young daughter. I say that very matter-of-factly because, as much as they probably were looking for a, “OMG WTF!” reaction, I’m feeling a bit jaded about the whole thing. Maybe it’s because that is essentially the same thing Hershel did back at the farm, although the hair brushing (and he seriously didn’t think accidental scalping was going to be a problem?) takes it a few steps farther along.
Is it me, or is everyone on Walking Dead really inured to the smell of rotting humans? Have they really gotten that used to it that, say, a prison full of corpses is no big deal as long as they shut the doors on the walking ones? Or that they can brush a zombie’s hair without puking constantly? Maybe zombies don’t smell quite as bad as full corpses – there was that weird slow metabolism thing Milton was talking about a few weeks ago.
Michonne continues to grump around, sneaking into the Governor’s abode, stealing her katana back, and looking at this notebook. A list of names! I guess I was supposed to attach some significance to the list, but it went over my head, along with the later conversation between Big G and Michonne about Penny. I know my job here is to enlighten, but this was one of a few things in this episode that left me clueless.
The other thing in that notebook was page after page of densely written hash marks. I definitely know that extreme repetitious behavior like that is TV writer shorthand for, “This guy’s crazy.” So now we know that the Governor is deeply unhinged beneath his practiced façade of southern charm.
The whole Governor storyline has me really off-balance. He’s obviously up to no good, based on the National Guard incident. At the same time, Michonne’s suspicions seem overblown, and Merle eventually opens the gate so she and Andrea can leave. Michonne and Andrea have the big, “I want to leave, but you want to stay!” conversation, and I was really sure it was going to end with a tender goodbye kiss. Still feeling very shippy about those two. Yet Michonne left alone, coldly telling Andrea, “You’d just slow me down anyway.”
Then we get to the evening’s “festivities” and it’s…zombie fight club? Merle bare knuckle boxes some dude in a ring of chained walkers to the accompaniment of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Kind of a cool concept, and the Gov reveals to Andrea that it’s a fix – the walkers are detoothed. It still seems kind of barbaric and gross to Andrea, but the Governor’s explanation – that it robs the zombies of their mystique and makes people feel safer – rings true.
Back at the prison, Rick goes completely off the reservation, charging in to the prison to slaughter zombies with an axe. He even attacks Glen when he comes to the rescue, and carries on with his blood-soaked vision quest.
Daryl and his glorious poncho head out to find baby stuff with Maggie in a rather daringly shredded black off-the-shoulder shirt. Luckily, Daryl’s magic motorcycle makes deafening sound but doesn’t attract zombies. I’m already bored with “take care of the baby” plot devices. It’s such a lazy way to raise the stakes. “Stick a baby in there, everyone loves those.”
You’ve got to love Glen and Hershel eulogizing T-Dog. “He was such a great guy. Helped senior citizens. Saved my life. He was like family to me. I wish I’d ever said more than five words to the guy while he was alive.” Glen is ornery and makes Axel and Oscar dig more graves. I was confused at first by the three graves. Lori, T-Dog and…Hershel’s leg? Oh, they think Carol’s dead. Right.
Daryl shoots a possum and says, “Hello dinner.”
Maggie replies, “I’m not puttin’ that in my bag.”
Later, Daryl feeds the baby. Carl suggests all the names of every female dead person he knows. I could make some big philosophical point here about what that means for Carl’s mindset growing up in this world, where every word is a eulogy and death is everywhere. But, really, just…you’re creepy Carl.
Then Daryl tries to name the baby “Li’l Ass-Kicker.”
Finally, there’s this weird scene where Rick finds the spot where Lori died/baby was birthed. He spots a lazy zombie just relaxing in a hall and shoots it in the mouth crazy-guy style. Then he stabs the ever-loving crap out of its paunchy stomach. Was that supposed to indicate some kind of latent anger toward the baby that caused Lori to die, because the portly zombie reminded Rick of a pregnant woman? That’s somehow simultaneously incredibly ham-fisted and yet weirdly obtuse. Please note, Lori’s corpse was nowhere to be found.
A phone rings.
And Rick answers it.
dun Dun DUN!