City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

‘The Walking Dead’ recap: ‘Say the Word,’ season 3, episode 5: Reach out and touch someone

Rick Grimes' mental state after Lori's death? Not so great. CREDIT: AMC

Rick Grimes' mental state after Lori's death? Not so great. CREDIT: AMC

SPOILER ALERT: No human casualties this week!

The creators wisely decided we needed a break after last week’s double dose of death.

Who do you think is on the other line?

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Instead, we have mourners at the prison and a big party over in Woodbury. But there’s lightness in Rick’s camp thanks to the baby getting fed and darkness over in Woodbury because of the Governor and his squirrelly ways.

And the end of the episode leaves us with a cliffhanger: who could be calling on an old rotary phone that gives Rick the only dialogue he’s had all hour.


Plus, one big question remains unanswered: where is Carol?

But let’s get back to the beginning of the hour:

Milton, the Governor’s science guy, questions the use of the generators to create ice for a party, but Andrea is all smitten about the town.

In the meantime, the Governor is running a brush through the hair of his daughter Penny, who is unfortunately a zombie. And when he rips some of her hair out, she gets perturbed. To calm her, he has to stick a white bag over her head. In other words, she’s not really the girl he remembers, but he says he still loves her all the same. So besides his private man cave with all the decapitated heads and killing all the military guys to get their weapons, he also harbors some strange hope that his daughter could be revived. Or he’s just keeping her around because he can’t let go. (See Hershel.)

Perhaps the Governor relates to the way Michonne kept those two walkers around so long as pets. He knows if he can convince her that he’s cool, she could be a good foot soldier for him. As for Andrea, he just has the hots for her.

Michonne breaks into the Governor’s home while he’s celebrating with the rest of the town. She grabs her sword. She also checks his diary, which includes a list of presumably dead folks, including his daughter Penny. There are slash marks for pages after that. Intriguing. Then Michonne hears Milton, Merle and the Governor coming back and hides.

The Governor and Milton bust Milton’s chops for being so concerned about how the party is sucking away resources he could be using for an unspecified experiment. The Governor tells him to start over later. No way he’s postponing the fun!

Surprisingly, the Governor is letting Michonne wander around unattended. She finds some zombies in a building, presumably being used for Milton’s experiments or… something else. She opens the gate and does a little slicing and dicing. She gets caught.

“You get off on that, poking around other people’s things?” the Governor says.

“We’ve got nothing to hide,” he adds, disingenuously.

“People who have nothing to hide feel no need to say so,” Michonne says.

“We all have our secrets,” he acknowledges.

“Like Penny?” she says accusingly.

“You know about Penny? Then you love know I loved her,” he says.

“Bet you say that about all the girls,” she sneers.

“You got the wrong idea about me. I’m just a guy who’s trying to do right by the people who I care about,” he explains. “You want to leave. Andrea wants to stay. You want me to kick you out!”

But he says she fits in. “We’ve enjoyed having you,” he says.

The Governor offers her a post on his team. She sticks a sword on his neck instead, backs off, then leaves.

Andrea talks to the Governor about Michonne’s behavior. Then she tries to talk “sense” into Michonne and convince her to stay. She believes they have a good thing in Woodbury. “This place is not what they say it is,” Michonne says, reading the Governor correctly.

With no more walkers (or biters, as the Woodbury folks call them) in the shed, the Governor’s crew goes pick up some more, trapping them like wild animals.

Later, Michonne and Andrea try to leave. Merle gives them some guff, then opens the gate. Andrea gets real with Michonne. She can’t scavenge around the way they did for eight months again. “I don’t know if I have another eight months in me like that,” she says.

Michonne decides to go it alone.

I doubt this is the last we’ll see of her.

Later that night, the party is in full swing with loud music and no concern about drawing more walkers. But this is no rock concert. It’s gladiator-type games with several zombies attached to chains. Three guys (including Merle) fight each other in mixed martial arts style with the zombies on the perimeter for show.

Andrea is appalled. Milton looks resigned. “This is a way to blow off steam,” the Governor tells Andrea.

“This is sick!” she says.

“Look around,” the Governor says. “Everyone’s having a great time.”

Then he tells her it’s like wrestling, choreographed for show. The “biters” have had their jaws removed so they can’t bite.

“People need entertainment,” he reasons.

Meanwhile, back at the prison, Rick is catatonic, then rage-filled, as he grabs an ax and starts slicing up the remaining zombies inside.

Daryl and Maggie go on a formula run, which isn’t so easy in the zombie apocalypse. Glenn starts digging graves. Axel and Oscar offer to help and express their sympathies. Glenn is resentful, tells Hershel he wishes they had just killed all the prisoners at the first chance, that the walkers could have just as easily gotten Maggie instead of T-Dog. And he gives T-Dog props for saving his life many times.

He looks for Rick, who has that “crazy dog” look in his eye after axing so many walkers. Glenn tries to talk him down. Instead, Rick physically grabs Glenn and shoves him away, wordless in his grief.

Maggie and Daryl, in their formula hunt, stop by a house to pick up formula and return unscathed. Daryl then feeds the baby, a most incongruous image. The baby has no name yet. Carl ticks off candidates: all the women who have died including Carol, who has yet to be found.

Rick finds the room where Lori died. He doesn’t find her at all. Instead, he finds a very full zombie who had consumed her. (Gosh, that zombie must have strong teeth!). He shoots the zombie, then for pure grossness, starts hacking at his stomach, where the remains of Lori lay.

Then the phone rings. Is this prison from “Shawshank Redemption”? Is that why the phone is rotary?

Here’s a clip of the show.

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44 comments Add your comment


November 11th, 2012
10:30 pm

This show is great! I can’t wait to see what happens next week.


November 11th, 2012
10:46 pm

I don’t think the walker that Rick killed was a random one who had just consumed Lori. I think it WAS Lori. And he stabbed the stomach where his dernaged mind assumed that the baby was. He blames the baby for Lori’s death. Obviously Carl wasn’t able to shoot Lori. In the closeup of the zombie, it looks like Sarah Callies.. watch it agin and I think you will see where I’m comig from..


November 11th, 2012
11:07 pm

The walker at the end couldn’t be Lori, Allison, because it was a man. I think Rick, being a cop and needing to see the proof his wife is really dead, intended to gut the walker and retrieve her remains.

Being a fan of the comics and the show, I suspect the phone call Rick gets at the end is a hallucination in his own broken mind. He hallucinates phone calls in the comic until he realizes they’re not real, which I’m sure will happen much quicker since he’s with the whole group in the show, versus just off with Carl like in the comics.

Donald Luna

November 11th, 2012
11:23 pm

Show is great. Best horror series yet.


November 11th, 2012
11:48 pm

Daryl places a white flower on one of the graves…maybe Carol’s ? since they had the white flower between them in rememberance of her dead daughter ?

Chucky chese

November 11th, 2012
11:51 pm

best show going now


November 12th, 2012
12:02 am

@Allison. WRONG!


November 12th, 2012
12:03 am

But I do think that it is Lori on the phone. Now whenever Rick is alone he’s going to subconsciously talk to Lori.


November 12th, 2012
12:58 am

Just saw Talking Dead. The remains of Lori was in the full zombie on the ground. She’s really gone. Long gone.


November 12th, 2012
1:27 am

I know this show has an extemely dark side, but I never could have imagined they would go so far as to have Lori completely consumed. Bones n all. Her death will just create a void that cannot be filled by anyone else.


November 12th, 2012
1:31 am

Your poll is flawed. The person on the phone is Lori.


November 12th, 2012
3:42 am

Since all communication is down I think it has to be a hallucination but what confuses me is that he hears the phone ringing before he even realizes there’s a phone in there. He had to actually search for the phone, I would imagine that with a true hallucination you would have to know the object is there first..right???


November 12th, 2012
4:55 am

Prior to the phone ringing, you hear the baby crying. When Rick goes to answer the phone, the crying stops. It’s obviously a hallucination. Consider the facts. There is no power, no communication, and no one knows Rick or anyone is in that room. Rick is hallucinating. The phone call will be Rick’s way to come to terms with Lori’s death. It will be his way of forgiving and being forgiven. It will be closure for Rick so he can move on.


November 12th, 2012
6:51 am

I don’t think Lori was in the walker. I think Carol is gone. They dug three graves. They filled three graves, because Daryl places a flower on top of Carol’s.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Calling It Like It Is

November 12th, 2012
8:04 am

Did you know there was a viewing party in Woodstock last night with one of the characters from there?

Rob Zombie

November 12th, 2012
8:38 am

Carol found Lori alive, drug her to safety, stitched her up….as Herschel had shown her to do, turned on the generator, and called the phone in the boiler room in the hope that someone would answer and she could tell them where to find her and Lori. Nine times out of ten, when a character dies, you see it happen in all it’s hideous glory. AMC doesn’t miss a chance to show the blood and gore. So, in my opinion, at least Carol is alive and presumed dead.

And what’s up with these zombies, anyway? If you’ve ever seen any zombie movie, you know they don’t eat dead flesh…..just flesh that they have killed. So, if Lori was dead, they shouldn’t have been eating her up. Just a tidbit to file away for future reference.


November 12th, 2012
8:48 am

Alicia: Hallucinations can be auditory. So, he could have not only imagined a phone ringing, but also imagined the phone itself. Either could have been hallucinated first.

Billy the Kud

November 12th, 2012
9:23 am

@Rob Zombie, I sure hope you’re right because would make for an interesting change from the comic.


November 12th, 2012
9:42 am

Rob Zombie, my hypothesis exactly!!


November 12th, 2012
9:46 am

Rodney, the zombies had their teeth removed, not their jaws. And there were only two men fighting in the circle, Merle and the other guy. Daryl and Maggie found the formula and pampers at a home daycare, which makes sense. Agree with you on the point that Laurie’s bones and all have been consumed. Zombies’ teeth aren’t sharp enough to eat all that bone. I loved this episode, but one thing stuck out in my mind. When the governor was behind Michonne asking her to join his research team, she actually looked scared before she grabbed the sword from him. Makes me wonder even more what her backstory is.


November 12th, 2012
9:56 am

The zombies in The Walking Dead do indeed eat dead flesh – they ate the deer that Andrew killed last week. Perhaps if it’s still fresh, they’re willing to eat it. And Lori is dead. The actress went through a ton on interviews last week where she said “I’m dead. I’m off the show.” Doubt she’d want to completely screw with the fans like that if it weren’t true.

Justin Engel

November 12th, 2012
10:05 am

We’re asking Walking Dead viewers to answer that mysterious phone call over at MLive’s WD Blog, while also offering a sneak peek at next week’s episode. Here’s the link:


November 12th, 2012
10:26 am

The phone call is from Donald Trump. He wants to see the baby’s Birth Certificate!


November 12th, 2012
10:36 am

LOL @ ChazInATL!!!

But Lori is dead guys. You should’ve noticed that Rick saw her pants and shoes still placed to the sided. If she was dragged to safety, why leave her clothes. Besides, the director of that episode conceded to the fact that the walker consumed Lori.


November 12th, 2012
10:54 am

I agree that the phone ringing is only happening in Rick’s head… but old POTS (old school phone) lines don’t need local power to ring or work… just sayin’… how interesting would it be if it wasn’t a hallucination

Walker Lover

November 12th, 2012
10:58 am

The phone call was a hallucination, it was Lori telling Rick they need to leave the prison. Got this from watching the scenes from next week.


November 12th, 2012
11:07 am

Greg Nicotero confirmed on the Talking Dead aftershow that the walker had consumed Lori. (He even mentioned the dark hair stuck in its mouth, which you can see if you watch it again)

If they’re following the comic storyline at all here, then we know who’s on the phone (hint: Hallucinatory Lori):

Walker Texas Ranger

November 12th, 2012
11:32 am

The call was from the RNC wanting votes for next election.

Walker Texas Ranger

November 12th, 2012
11:32 am

The call was from the RNC wanting votes for next election.


November 12th, 2012
11:37 am

Why do people who love the show (and have read the comic) delight in giving us the heads-up as to what is coming? I mean, it’s fun to guess, but if what these people are saying is true, I’d ask Rodney to block that type of information. Leave us guessing, people…

I thought it was Lori there as well – the zombie has no reason to have her(?) stomach stabbed like that by Rick unless it was her and that was his fury. Where did the bullet that Carl did fire off last week go? Did he just fire it aimlessly to make people think he “could” do it? How did a zombie get into that area where Lori was – there was a closed door the week before, right? So, it should have just been her in there…alone…dead…gross.

Three graves: One for Lori, one for T-Dog, and the other…? I think it “should” be Carol’s due to the flower he put on there, but we didn’t see her die; the recovered body or anything. All Glenn said was “we need two more.” Didn’t say for who so is it possible that the prisoners’ words to Glenn made him think that they should bury Lori, T-Dog and the other prisoner that the big guy shot (former friend) last week?

As for the phone, I hope he’s not hallucinating. I know prisons aren’t technological wonders, but the idea that it was a rotary dial phone instead of ANY phone from the past 30 years strikes me as odd. I was shouting GET UP AND GET THE PHONE! To call, someone would have had to know THAT number – not Carol or Glenn, as they didn’t know about it. Reminds me of season 1 when Glenn called Rick in the tank – “comfy in there?” :-) That was so awesome! Again, GET UP AND GET THE RADIO!

Is the Governor abusing young zombie girls or just trying to keep his daughter close?

Cannot wait for next week!

Mercedes S.

November 12th, 2012
12:32 pm

Im with Kat; please, Rodney, stop the comic book spoilers!

Rodney Ho

November 12th, 2012
12:39 pm

I don’t read the comic book. I’m sorry if folks are “spoiling” with comic book twists and turns. Honestly, the show is not following the comics all that closely so I wouldn’t necessarily worry about it.


November 12th, 2012
1:10 pm

Here is my concern, Rodney? The popular vote says that he is hallucinating. What about the electoral college though? This is still anyone’s game, people!


November 12th, 2012
1:12 pm

On “Talking Dead”, Director Greg Nicotero said Daryl placed the Cherokee Rose on Carol’s grave. Nicotero also said Rick picked up from the floor the bullet shot by Carl to kill Lori. He said that Andrew Lincoln (”Rick”) carries that bullet in his pocket everyday that he plays Rick Grimes. “Talking Dead” is a great show that gives a lot of info about the just-watched episode of TWD.

Rob Zombie

November 12th, 2012
1:51 pm

TWD Fan…..I know that the zombies eat dead flesh. What I was saying was that in everyzombie film I’ve ever seem……Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, etc…..they DON’T eat dead flesh. Only what they have killed. These WD zombies don’t mind slumming or having sloppy seconds, I guess.


November 12th, 2012
3:30 pm

I think carol found lori and she is still alive, long shot but who knows


November 13th, 2012
9:10 am

This week’s show got just too gory for me – spent a lot of time looking away. Wish they’d tone it down just a little bit. There’s a good reason “Halloween” is my favorite horror film, scary as hell but no gore to speak of. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with the show – I’m pretty sure Carol is still alive (hope so), but I don’t believe Lori is (hope not).

I can’t figure out, with all that walker blood dripping into these guys, especially Rick’s, eyes and mouth, why wouldn’t that affect them adversely – you’d think, just like AIDS, the blood would be contagious.


November 13th, 2012
9:33 am

Sam-A: Its a zombie apocolypse what else do you expect rainbows and ponies? The gore is what makes this “real”. If you dont like it then please stop watching no need to spoil it for anyone else.


November 13th, 2012
10:56 am

I like the comic book more also, and I agree that the graphic novel lovers shouldn’t spoil the fun for the tv viewers. For people who think the zombie in the room was Lori, get real. It had long hair hanging from its mouth obviously from Lori’s head. For Carol, Rodney already hinted why he was surprised to not see T-Dog and Lori during a much later episode, so we can use our context clues here. Per T-Dog, glad to see that AMC replaced his random standing around and one-sentence episodes with the new bald headed prisoner. I think he should be dubbed slim T-Dog. It is interesting to see the likeness of the comic to the show, but there are deplorable aspects of the governor from the comic that SHOULD NOT be in this show. Aside from that, it was a good show, and I look forward to seeing next week’s. Oh, one thing I will say is that I agree about why people aren’t getting infected when they have blood and gore go into their eyes. I know this isn’t 28 Days Later, but the infection is spread through bodily fluids – hence why a bite changes a person. Plus, any wager on how stinky Darryl is at this point? Him holding that baby was like ugh!


November 13th, 2012
1:56 pm

Did anyone notice that Michonne saw the Sheriff’s bag of guns and ammo in the Governors apartment that Rick had lost in Atlanta in season one? Also, was I the only person who thought a zombie toddler was in the closet? A great show!!!


November 14th, 2012
10:02 am

I saw the sheriff’s bag of ammo also, and it did throw me off. But thinking it through, Rick regained the bag from the thugs for the elderly. They had the bag throughout season two – remember Dale trying to hide the bag from Shane in the swamp? If my memory serves me right, Andrea had the bag with her when attacked at season two finale. Perhaps that was a bag that one of Michonne’s zombies was carrying so the governor took this bag as well. That last sentence is complete speculation. I didn’t see a toddler zombie in a closet though.


November 14th, 2012
1:56 pm

OK, Andrea had the ammo bag last so that’s why the Gov. has it now. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I was only hoping/anticipating a zombie toddler in the closet. Actually relieved it was just a possum.