Time for the third installment of my reviews of each episode of The Walking Dead Season One. Thanks for coming back. I look forward to seeing your thoughts on my reviews. I know that everyone who is a fan of the show is really jonesing now for some more show, so hope that this helps until Season Five comes out in October.
Season One: Episode Three – Tell It to the Frogs
Crazy Merle. That is how this episode begins. We know Merle was left on the roof in the last episode because T-Dog accidentally dropped the key to the handcuffs and it fell down the drain. Merle wakes out of his reverie about his past short-lived military career to realize the his situation is pretty dire. He rants and rages against the handcuffs, pulling and twisting, but the only thing he manages to do is to attract the attention of a stairway full of walkers. Luckily, T-Dog had the sense to chain the door from the inside so the walkers would not make it out onto the roof. Merle finally sees his possible salvation in the form of a belt and a hacksaw that he may just be able to retrieve.
The rest of the survivors head back to camp and on the way Morales explains to Rick that most people will be happy that Merle is not coming back, except maybe Daryl, his brother. And back at the camp, Shane is trying to be a father-type figure to Carl, Rick’s son. He offers to take Carl frog hunting as a way to bestow some secrets on the boy.
Glenn makes it back first, car alarm squalling and echoing through the quarry. Shane and Jim immediately get under the hood and shut things down, but Dale still gives Glenn a stern talking to about being more careful. Many tearful reunions to be had in all of this, but the strangest one and the one that will probably cause the most strife, but also be the most touching, is the reunion of Rick with Lori and Carl, his wife and son.
Shane is of two minds in this whole thing. He is very happy to see his partner and friend still alive. Rick’s return means that the things that had been happening between Lori and Shane will have to be swept under the rug. Rick’s words, “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you, Shane”, are meant as a compliment, but stir some deep seated feelings of bitterness and envy in Shane’s heart.
Another family is introduced, Ed, Carol, and their daughter, Sophia. Shane has to talk to Ed about keeping his fire low, and you can see that there is a sense of resentment from Ed that he is being talked to like he is not lord of his own castle. Definitely some conflict to be resolved or at least capitalized on later.
This episode illustrates one of the key strengths of The Walking Dead. The relationships and struggles caused by those relationships, the people part of the world that is now so central to the survival of everyone, people who are already loaded with fear and anxiety, and now how they deal with each other is so important. Without that part of things, this would just be a hack and slash gore fest with no true appeal.
The morning brings its own problems. Mainly the introduction of Daryl Dixon. He had been out hunting and tracking only to have his deer eaten on by a walker. Shane and Rick take point in telling Daryl that his brother is still in Atlanta handcuffed on a roof. “Your brother does not work and play well with others.” Rick agrees to take Daryl back into town to see about finding Merle and, maybe, retrieving that bag of guns that Rick lost when he ended up in the tank in Episode One. Rick convinces Shane that this is the best idea because he can get that bag full of guns and ammo. He convinces Lori that he needs to go by telling her about Morgan and Duane and the promise he made to call them on the walkie-talkies, which are in the bag.
Shane and Carl take this opportunity to try to catch some frogs. Alongside the frog catching, the ladies are washing laundry. They are swapping stories about what they miss from the “old world” and laughing. Ed, Carol’s husband, a very controlling man, ambles over and has to exert his “manly imperative” on these ladies who don’t deserve to breathe the same air as him. Shane, having just been told off by Lori, takes his anger out on Ed after an altercation with the ladies that ended with him smacking his wife. Shane beats him and beats him and the whole time Carol is crying for him to stop and then falls on Ed telling him that she is sorry.
The final scene of this episode shows the team of Rick, Glenn, Daryl, and T-Dog, heading up the roof of the building where Merle was handcuffed. They have to cut the chain, a good sign, but the scene they find is not a happy one, as they see Merle’s hand and the bloody handcuff hanging. Daryl is crying “No!” and pacing. The rest of Merle is nowhere to be found, so he must have gotten away. I guess that is a tale for later.
Thanks for coming back and stay tuned for next installment of The Walking Dead on Comic Booked as I review Episode Four. If you missed other reviews, or would like to see our other Walking Dead articles, you can check them out here. Please leave your comments and thoughts about anything you want below. Thanks.