Written by: Angela Kang
Say the Word opens with the introduction of The Governor’s daughter Penny. He has thoughtfully removed her teeth and fingernails and to keep her at bay while he fatherly brushes her hair (out of her head) he has a supply of fleshy meat in a bowl by his side. This is also one of the first glimpses into the true dark side of Philip Blake.
Meanwhile Michonne has just about had it with Woodbury and seeks out her sword when she discovers The Governor’s diary. Filled with pages and pages of slash marks very reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining. “All work and no play makes Philip ….” “We are not barbarians.” The Governor tells Andrea placing a wedge between her alliance with Michonne. Viewers also see in this episode how fragile The Governor’s confidence is on convincing those around him that he is a sane leader to be trusted. I may have noted this in other Cross Sections but it seems the more The Governor layers luxury in Woodbury like solar panels, block parties, ice cubes, the more layers are added to the paper mask he wears and displays to everyone around him.
And while one main character makes every effort to hide his insanity, Rick is openly lost all senses with the loss of Lori. Rick wanders the cell blocks of the prison lost. And in many ways a prisoner of himself. Rick finds the area where Lori had been and the Walker that may have eaten her, its belly plump and full – of someone. Rick takes the Walker out. As he sits afterward a telephone rings. And rings. Rick answers … the episode ends. While Rick’s descent into insanity actually takes place post fall of the prison in the comics it seems to fit in well here during season 03. And we see yet another Cherokee rose. Someday I’d like to talk to Robert Kirkman about these in his world of Walking Dead.
Another aspect to this episode in particular is how the Walkers are no longer feared much. The Governor collects them and stages pro wrestling events to “blow off steam”. Rick walks right up to them during his wandering in the prison and takes them out one by one. Milton does experiments on them and Michonne uses them as a shield when walking around infested areas. There is a certain respect within fear. And this could be a reflection of real life society. We do not fear anything anymore. We take selfies while getting stitched up at the hospital. We go to events that mimic the ZA to test our own survival skills. People take extreme measures for leisure and pay little attention to the surroundings and of what’s around them. We are living and working with reckless abandon, to show fate there is nothing left to fear. But could that way of thinking actually detract from the ability to live and survive? Think about the important role fear plays in setting boundaries in our lives and actually help us live or live better. What is a society without fear?