We’re already halfway through the season, how did that happen? There was plenty to love about last night’s newest episode of The Walking Dead: tearful reunions, emotional fights, and a pretty cool cliffhanger. It did taper off on the gruesome gore of the previous episode, “Guts”, but we still got a zombie munching on a poor, innocent deer.
This episode opens with the creep Merle Dixon seemingly incoherent, still locked up on that rooftop in Atlanta. I loved this, his racist and ignorant character we saw before was completely vanished. Left over, after who knows how long sitting on the roof, was Merle mumbling inaudibly, then continuing to hold a conversation with himself, and proceeding to pray to God when, terrifyingly, the zombies start pounding on the rooftop door. It was a great episode opener, and a quietly brilliant way to show that, despite being a disgusting human being, Merle may have redeeming qualities yet.
Rick and his fellow Atlanta escapees have made it back to camp, where we finally get the emotional reunion with Lori and Carl. Lori and Shane’s relationship gets a little more fleshed out in this episode. I love Lori, especially having recently read the fourth book of the comic series, but I can see where people were coming from in saying her character isn’t exactly likable because she’s sleeping with her husband’s best friend (despite her thinking he was dead). But here we learn that Shane was the one that told Lori Rick was dead, and we kinda all slowly but silently shift to team Lori. She was manipulated in a very fragile state, during the apocalypse, so she gets a little slack now.
On the new character front, we got a couple of some new comic book faces to see, but one that looked wholly different from her black and white ink counterpart – Carol. In comic she’s short haired (I always pictured blonde) and looked to be thirty something. Here she’s what seems to be mid-to-late forties and has not a single strand of hair on her head. We don’t get much from her (despite an amusing tidbit where she states that she misses her vibrator, also, after Andrea makes the statement as the girls wash clothes in a rock quarry) but her soft and sensitive personality does seem to generally match comic book Carol. Her douchebag of a husband is new here, though, and he gets a nice beating from Shane (whom Lori just ordered to stay away from Carl).
Second new major character not from the comics is also a rude and generally unlikeable guy? Hmm… I’m seeing a trend.
But after Merle’s brother Daryl (played by Norman Reedus) hears of his sibling’s current situation, and with Rick in tow (with a plan to get those guns he lost in the streets), they set out back for Atlanta. Daryl’s personality is definitely tamer than his brother’s, so I breathed a big sigh of relief on that front. And he seems to be of actual importance in the camp, hunting with a pretty wicked bow-and-arrow.
Despite Rick’s practical reason to get guns in Atlanta, he also reveals he wants to set a warning for the father and son he met in the pilot episode, because he believes they may be coming into the city soon. Risking his life on three fronts – to save a guy’s life most at the camp agreed isn’t worth saving, getting guns to protect his family, and warn another family away from danger – shows how Rick is beginning to feel he has responsibility for these people. Carl even states he’s not worried about his dad anymore, “He’s come back once, he’ll do it again” he tells Lori the night Rick leaves for Atlanta again. Rick may be becoming the hero of the group, their leader, but it’s that exact same title that can get him killed the fastest.
“Tell It To The Frogs” was probably the best episode yet for the series. What it lacked in gore (besides deer entrails) it made up for in spades with giving us close ups to Lori and Shane’s fling (speaking of, Jon Bernthal is doing great as Shane. I should hate him, and I do to an extent, but he’s still generally a good guy) and a look at life in the survivors’ camp. And particularly with making me rethink one of my least favorite characters (especially with that ending), I’m as anxious as ever to see what next week has to bring us.
What did you guys think about last night’s episode?