THE WALKING DEAD “Tell It To The Frogs” Review

The Walking Dead (AMC) "Tell It To The Frogs"

THE WALKING DEAD “Tell It To The Frogs” Season 1 Episode 3 – Ain’t them menfolk just spectacular? Look at them, beating in that icky zombie’s head, going into the city, overlooking the safety and wellbeing of the camp, teaching lessons to bullying jackasses. They does be spectacular.

This week’s episode was more about character development than the previous two. Unfortunately there are no really interesting characters to develop. Shane is probably the most interesting: he clearly has the hots for Lori, and why he would lie to her about Rick’s demise is bewildering, not in the least because the first episode established the close friendship Rick and Shane had between them. That Shane would tell Lori Rick died just to convince Lori to take Carl and run seems plausible, but if there are other motives I’m quite curious to see what they are.

Andrew Lincoln played the reuniting scene very well, falling to his knees with his son in his arms. As he clutches his wife and son, you get the impression that, just to be cheesy, he’s got the whole world in his hands. However, I’m still not convinced or excited by the Rick Grimes character: he’s a character in every single Western and I would just like to see a little bit on unpredictability with him. I hated, and I mean hated, when Lori told Dixon’s brother that her husband, returned from the dead, was going back to Atlanta. Who in their right mind would bring that up? I would think she’d have done everything to prevent him returning, not remind him in front of the entire camp.

Of course he had to return to get the guns and reunite with the awesome father and son team from the first episode (the only characters I really care about and they had like, what, twenty minutes of screen time in the first episode?) So with Merle (Dixon’s slightly less racist, charmless brother-I mean really, if you’re going to have a despicable character, watch Prison Break‘s T-Bag to see how it’s done, or, come to think of it, Fox News- Glenn and T-Dog (I only realized after last week’s episode that the black guy was called T-Dog which means I cannot ever respect his character, anything his character does or anyone who likes his character because I’ll know he’s called T-Dog) head off to Atlanta, where Dixon has, unfortunately, not expired, but sawed off his hand and escaped. Yawn.

Oh, and the women. We have the female protagonist Lori telling Shane: “You can’t tell me what to do, you’ve lost that privilege.” My head exploded, so I had to pause the show to mop it off the ground, but afterwards I got to see a lovely bit of domestic abuse over laundry. It is totally plausible that the women would be relegated to the domestic duties in a situation like this, however, I would think that unless you’re camping with complete douches or unless the women are total pushovers, so would the men. To have Ed, a scumbag misogynist (we have racists and misogynists, so next episode look out for the guy who kicks puppies) ordering women about and punch his wife was completely extreme. I mean, domestic abuse is often private and far more complicated than was shown. It’s hidden, hush hush, not out in the open in front of a bunch of people. There is no reason for Carol and her daughter (apparently she has a daughter, shown for two seconds by the fireside) to stay with Ed, who could die and no one would miss him. Who wants to watch a character like that? Who wants to watch Dixon or Merle? They’re too simple and labelled: racists, misogynists, it’s all far to one-dimensional.

What if Shane was a racist? He’s the protector of the camp. He’s kind to Carl. He’s a likeable character. So making him a racist? That’s conflict. What if Ed was the most important person in the camp, the guy everyone depended on, but he beats his wife. What could you do with a non-expendable character like that? That’s conflict. And that is interesting.

Unfortunately, The Walking Dead, as well made as it is, lacks the emotional and moral conflict it thinks it is exploring and the character power to really affect. At least it still has gore. And at least, I suppose, it’s trying to be morally conflicted, which is admirable.

What did you think of this episode? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your points of view in the comment below!

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