Welcome back to another edition of talking about The Walking Dead. I just saw the third episode, “Tell It to the Frogs.” If the first episode was about establishing Rick as a character and the second episode was about establishing the new world he’d have to inhabit and the choices he’d have to make, then the third episode is about establishing the characters that would be surrounding Rick. This episode is more character-driven, and, since they escaped to safety in the last episode, there’s less action. From the zombies, that is. The living, as usual, prove to be as dangerous as the dead.
The episode starts with Merle Dixon on the roof. He’s going cuckoo-bananas. I have to commend the makeup folks for remembering to give him a sunburn, he looks charred.
Glenn, Rick, and the gang return to the camp, sans Merle. Daryl, his brother, is going to be pissed. Rick is reunited with Carl and Lori. I’ll admit, as much as I dislike the character Lori, the actress playing her is really good.
Basically, we figure out what makes the characters of the camp tick. Dale, the older man who owns the RV, is like the caretaker. Shane has stepped up to a leadership postion. And the women are chaffing under the traditional jobs that they’re given. I’m really becoming fond of Andrea and Jacqui. They’re on the way to becoming pretty badass.
As for Lori’s affair with Shane, I was supremely squicked out when Rick returned and she was going to have sex with him and she said, “Don’t worry, he won’t wake up.” I really hope she wasn’t having sex with Shane while Carl was in the room. We also learn that Shane told Lori that Rick was dead. Muy escandolo.
Redemption is a major theme in this episode. Rick and T-Dog feel guilty about leaving Merle behind and create a plan to rescue him. Glenn is drafted in the plan and Daryl volunteers. Everyone else in the camp, especially Lori and Shane are against the rescue. But Rick is a man of principle. If they leave a man chained up on a roof in a way that you wouldn’t even leave an animal, then they become like the zombies. Even if the human in question is an utter waste like Marle Dixon.
Their plan goes well, which didn’t really surprise me. I mean, if the zombies were attracted to the building by the ruckus that Glenn and Rick made while trying to escape from the tank, then it makes sense that they’d wander off once the source of the ruckus was gone. What moderately suprised me was what they found on the roof.
Uhm, couldn’t the hacksaw go through the pipe? Or the cuffs? Choosing your hand seems pretty dramatic.
There weren’t a lot of zombies in this episode but the ones that were there were pretty threatening. The idea of being trapped on that roof, even if they couldn’t get through that chain and padlock, is pretty harrowing.
There’s also a zombie eating a deer, as per the rules established in episode one that zombies will eat animals. That was pretty gross.
I think that my favorite zombie moment is when Daryl shoots the zombie in the department store and says, “That’s one ugly skank.” Plus, he gets points for using a silent shooting weapon, a crossbow. Daryl delivers my other favorite line of the episode, “Take that stupid hat and go back to On Golden Pond.” Damn, this is getting close to a Buffy the Vampire Slayer level of sassiness.
I can see hardcore zombie fans that want nothing but action being disappointed by this quiet, character-driven episode, but I liked it. We have to know people to care about them and then it will hurt more when they’re taken away.