Monday, November 15, 2010

Review - The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 3 Tell It To The Frogs

Thus far, we've seen the characters on their own or with a few people, never in society or the attempt to have a controlled environment. It's been a constant struggle for survive, and we don't really get to see what the characters, primarily Rick, are made of. "Tell It To The Frogs" does a fantastic job fleshing out each characher, putting them in a setting where they interact with multiple people without an imminent zombie threat.

The camp serves as a microcosm of a society that manages to exist even if the most dire of circumstances. While the society which shaped everyone is gone, these people continue to live together and for certain people, the rules of the former society still apply. Rick remains principled until the end, unwilling to give up Merle or the Jones'. The problem is that most people don't see things as black and white. And when everyone's lives are at stake, it's hard to blame them. Shane is uninterested in Merle, only caring once more guns and ammunition is factored in. It's logical and reaps the greatest benefits, but not necessarily the moral thing to do.

Rick reuniting with his family runs the gamut of emotion. It's beautiful to see the family finding each other after thinking they'd both been lost, but on the other hand, Lori is tinged with guilt of what she did with Shane. Sarah Wayne Callies does a great job with eyes, showing the exact moment when everything hits. Later, we see Lori and Rick together and it's hard not to feel bad for Lori who seems to be dedicated to her husband.

Shane's lie certainly puts Lori in a much better light, but it's still unclear what Shane's motivations are/were. There are two possibilities. One, he could have lied in order to get into her pants; that would make him a terrible guy. Or two, he could have been trying to get Lori to move on and not be guilty; that would stay consistent with his behavior in "Frogs."

The episode is light on zombie action, which is a wise choice, given that Rick meets the rest of the characters. However, it also ends with an absolutely brutal scene. The group finds Merle still there--except he chopped his hand off with an axe. Wow...

I'm troubled by the one-dimensional characters who have little to no purpose. Last week, it was the racist. This week, it's the misogynistic wife-beater. Both are angry all the time, introduced randomly, and it's clear we're supposed to hate them. Could we at least have an unlikable character who's built up reasonably? This trend better end soon.

Because the ratings were incredibly high for AMC and high for cable in general (and, sadly, high compared to NBC), The Walking Dead was given a 13 episode second season. Good news for viewers!

Score: 8.8/10
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