There seems to be a running theme so far throughout The Walking Dead TV series. Do you risk your own skin for another human who may not deserve it? Fans of the show will more than likely be just as divided as the characters themselves.
Episode 3, “Tell It To The Frogs,” gives us a heaping helping of social and psychological thrills. Personally, I think of this episode as a lovely gift that many TV and movie viewers rarely receive and are allowed to enjoy. Darabont showed us that his AMC show is not just for horror fans, but that The Walking Dead can truly break the genre boundaries. Unfortunately, I’m convinced that there are more than a few fans of ‘pure gore’ that will be very disappointed that there were only a couple zombie kills here.
“Tell It To The Frogs” begins with the reunion of Rick and his family. In a particularly touching scene, they run to each other, embrace, and cry. It was hard not to get a little teary, considering all that these guys have been through. As predicted, no one volunteers to tell Rick what happened between Shane and Lori. A decision like that always leads to a much worse conclusion than just coming clean with it right at the beginning. Oh well, more drama for us later! Rick is back for less than a whole day, and he’s already talking about going back into the city. It doesn’t help that Merle Dixon’s brother, Daryl is pretty pissed his brother was cuffed and left behind. OK, I have to stop here for a moment and say…MOTHER F*CKING NORMAN REEDUS! This guy is so amazing in everything he does, that I absolutely can’t stand it. He needs to be in more starring roles – well, after his role in The Walking Dead is over, of course.
Anyway, Daryl is none too pleased that his brother was left on a root top, so to Lori’s outrage, Rick decides to go back out into the city and get him. Now, he has more than one good reason, considering they desperately need the guns he dropped, and Morgan and Duane are supposedly following Rick into Atlanta without any way of knowing what they will walk into. The real reason though, is that he feels bad about the way he treated Merle. Here it is again, this running theme of humanity vs. self preservation. There aren’t that many others around camp that think bringing Merle back is a good idea; he’s abrasive, racist, and only interested in his own well being. If the tables were turned, he’d leave Rick to die in a heartbeat. But here’s Rick, ready to go save him, after finding his wife and child only a few hours before hand. It makes you wonder, “What would I do?”
Just to throw this out there, I have to say we were slapped with some important information tonight. Turns out Shane has a heavy hand in Lori’s infidelity. I know there are plenty of Lori haters out there, and I’ll admit, she jumped into Shane’s sleeping bag a little quick. But considering he was a close friend to their family and a supposedly trustworthy defender of the public, can you really blame her all that much anymore? He shoulders a lot of the blame here, considering that little lie he told; but I digress…
This whole episode is strewn with emotional and social bombs that leave you staggering to catch your breath. Were there a couple of zombie kills and carnage? Sure. Is that the point of this show? Absolutely not. Does it make the show edgy and a nail-biting thriller? Hell yes. Here at the halfway point of The Walking Dead‘s first season, Darabont really shows us that he knows what he’s doing and where he’s going with the series. He’s not afraid to push psychological boundaries. One prime example is when Ed decides to punch his wife, Carol, and possibly go after the other “uppity” women of the camp. Your pure rage and appall makes you glad to see Shane come storming in and lay a beating on the guy – that is, until he takes it too far. You can tell he’s venting some steam about his freshly expired love life. Just when you think that you can’t stomach watching another punch hit home, he pulls himself together and leaves Ed alone. That’s not the end though; poor little Carol goes running to her man and apologizing to him, like this was all her fault to begin with! Come on! Also, what happened to Merle?? Did he climb down the building one handed, or did he get picked up by this mysterious helicopter??
Wow. All these fantastically written and well performed scenes highlight what a great production team AMC has put together to make TWD one of the best shows on television. The Walking Dead airs it’s fourth episode next Sunday at 10/9 central, “Vatos.”
I give “Tell It To The Frogs” 5 “Sawing through your limbs to survive” out of 5.