The Walking Dead - Episode 3: "Tell it to the Frogs" TV Episode Review
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Written by Frank Darabont, Charles H. Eglee and Jack LoGiudice
2010, 45 minutes, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on November 14th, 2010
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Jon Bernthal as Shane
Sarah Wayne Collins as Lori Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale
Steven Yeun as Glenn
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
We’re now halfway through the first season of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The ratings are up and the show is chugging along at full speed. This episode saw the emotional reunion of Rick with his wife and son and a rescue mission to save Merle Dixon who was left on the roof of a building in Atlanta. Meanwhile, we got a deeper look into the workings of the camp of refugees that have set up shop outside the city and it seems that they’re not a happy family.
Spez: I am so glad that they didn’t stretch out the meeting of Rick and the camp into a later episode. You know they could have waited and packed that in towards the end of the season as he wandered around wondering whether his family was alive or dead. They got it in there and now they’re building the tension in the camp. First off, I’m man enough to admit that the scene where Carl runs up to his dad was incredibly touching. What made the scene even better was the stone cold look on Shane’s face. You know that he’s Rick’s friend and partner but there was a part of him deep down that wished he was dead.
Alien Redrum: You seriously need to get out of my head. It’s starting to get creepy. That scene was a favorite of mine in this episode,“Tell it to the Frogs”, too. Not just for the reasons you mention, but also the look on Lori’s face. She was torn between incredible happiness and holy-shit-I’m-a-tramp guilt. She desperately wanted to go up to him, but she it’s as if she felt too bad to do so. Perhaps she didn’t believe he was there, or maybe even thought he could read her whore mind.
Spez: It looks like Shane has a dictator-like rule over the camp. He’s set rules and he insists that everyone follow them. Throughout this episode we saw some dissension among the ranks though. The women aren’t happy that they’re the ones that are always stuck doing laundry. The redneck, Ed wants to build a fire to keep warm despite the fact that it might attract walkers. This isn’t even getting into the split between Shane and Lori.
AR: Okay, I’ve been complaining since the first episode that Shane had not been growing on me. After Sunday’s episode, I can officially say he is. I don’t know how, yet, but I’m learning to appreciate the character. I really liked the synergy Rick and Shane have. A perfect example is when Daryl wants to throw down with Rick, and immediately Shane is there backing him up, and the two just manhandle the hillbilly trash. It was seamless the way the two former police officers worked together, and it adds credibility that these guys were partners and best friends.
Spez: I can’t remember if this was the case in the book or not, but I let out an audible gasp when Lori said that Shane told her Rick was dead. That changed everything. You could almost forgive Shane for shacking up with Lori if they both thought he was gone, but Lori was working with information that Shane gave her and either didn’t have the whole truth or just assumed Rick was dead and took advantage of the situation.
AR: That part was a pisser. I was really starting to like Shane up to that point. I was happy I was feeling more than ‘meh’ about his character. I was feeling his pain that the woman he loves is unobtainable once again. I understood what he was going through and was hoping things would work out for him. Then, BAM!, Lori throws that little tidbit on the table, something that Shane doesn’t bother denying. The impression I had instantly crumbled, and if it wasn’t for his destruction of Ed, the wife beater, I would really hate Shane. His butt-whupping of trash redeems him some, though, even if he was only displacing his anger.
Spez: The leader in Rick, that we saw a glimpse of in the last episode, came out a bit more this time. He took responsibility for what happened to Merle and he led a charge returning to the city to retrieve the captured redneck. Plus, I think we’re going to see him take over the camp soon because the survivors are growing tired of Shane. I know the women will be leading that coup because of Shane’s outburst at Ed and how he beat the crap out of him.
AR: The whole returning-for-Merle part bothered me. I understand they want to show what a super duper good guy Rick is, but it doesn’t seem realistic. Let’s face it, Merle is trash. Everyone in camp hates him (except his brother, of course). I can almost understand why T-Dog would go back, because of guilt, but Rick doesn’t even know the guy. And to use Morgan from the first episode as an excuse to save garbage is a bit of a stretch. However, as much as I hate it, it’s also needed for the strife it’s going to cause the already strained relationship with his wife. This triangle with Rick, Lori and Shane has to come to a head eventually, and Lori will no doubt use this as a reason why it’s Rick’s fault. And who could blame her. Dude gets back to his family after months away, then immediately leave to save some dirt that no one cares about, because of some inner demons. That’s pretty damn selfish.
Spez: I think that gets into the problems that Rick was talking about in the first episode. They were having marital problems and Rick is the kind of guy that sees a right and wrong and he always does what’s right even if that means risking his life and spending time away from his family. Look back to the premiere again. He was the first officer on the scene for the getaway driver and he was the first one to run up to the car to make sure the criminals were dead. Yes, Merle is a piece of crap but he’s Rick’s piece of crap and it’s his responsibility to clean it up and make it right. Rick has a bit of a messiah complex in that regard.
Did you notice that there were maybe five zombies in this entire episode by the way? We had the few clawing at Merle on the rooftop, the one in the woods and the one in the department store. That was it and yet this episode was filled with excitement and emotion.
AR: This is what’s so great about the show. As awesome as the zombies are (and they really are), there’s so much going on with the characters, the zombies take a second seat. At the same time, just when you get caught up in the characters’ stories, here comes the mastery of Greg Nicotero to remind you that, yes, you are watching a monster movie too. I also love some of the subtlety of the script regarding the zombies. When the guys took care of the flesh-eater that had stumbled into camp, they did not use their guns, even though they were handy. It’s obvious the reason they didn’t shoot is because the noise would potentially attract more geeks, but it was nice that none of the characters mentioned that for the viewers' sake. It’s great that sometimes filmmakers don’t think we, the audience, are idiots and need to be spoon-fed everything that’s going on.
Spez: But how brutal was it when they took out that zombie in the woods? There was a group of men beating it to death with shovels and sticks while the women cringed in the background.
That closing shot of the handcuff was beautiful too. I think it also sets up Merle as a possible villain down the line because you know that he’s not going to forget what Rick did to him. Also, for fans of the comic, this could be a bit of foreshadowing for events that come down the line.
AR: For some reason I did not expect the handcuff to show up like it did. I was expecting the obvious, but instead got the nice bonus that ended up on screen. It didn’t surprise me, all things considered, but it was a joy to see that route taken.
Spez: At this point the show is a boiling pot of water and the pressure is just starting to lift the lid. Over the next couple episodes as we march towards the confrontation between Rick and Shane, that lid is going to fly right off. Darabont has managed to capture the raw drama that fuels Kirkman’s story.
AR: Indeed. With only three episodes left in this season, shit is going to happen and it’s going to happen soon. The only thing I’m not looking forward to in this season is the end.
Video, Audio and Special features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a TV episode.
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