Words: Jake Tobin
'The Walking Dead' Episode 3: 'Tell It To The Frogs'
SYNOPSIS: "Rick makes a decision to go back to Atlanta to retrieve the bag of guns and save a man’s life. Lori and Shane must deal with the surprising return of someone they thought was dead." (fxuk.com)
For me, 'Tell It To The Frogs' marks the point when 'The Walking Dead' confirms itself as a television series, rather than just a long zombie movie. If this were just a movie everything would have been tied up by now and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) being reunited with his family would be the final scene, instead he has left the camp again by the end of the episode and returned to the city. We have a number of loose ends that don’t look likely to be tied up for, oh, say another three episodes, with some possibly left after that (just a hunch).
Rick’s time back at camp is short mostly because of two of the narrative threads are still untied, that of Morgan (Lennie James) and Duane Jones (Adrian Kali Turner) heading to Atlanta and the racist on the roof. As I suggested in the last episode the tool bag was used by Merle (Michael Rooker) to get himself out of the situation, so now we have a one armed racist somewhere in Atlanta..... Unlike 'Guts', this weeks’ episode did try to humanise Merle to some extent, but I think we can definitely say that the stress of the situation has got to him.
Most of other supporting players were deepened in characterisation in this episode, bringing to light some of the many tensions of the camp, the issue of gender roles in this post-apocalyptic society and how some members are still thinking in terms of their smaller groups within the community, should they have to move.
'Tell It To The Frogs' was an improvement on 'Guts', with better storytelling and the reveal at the end left me desperate for more. I’m hoping that this episode helps the season find its feet, even though I don’t expect it to return to the heights of the pilot. I look forward to rest of the series keeping to this quality, and 'Guts' just being a "Difficult Second Episode".
New episodes air Fridays at 10pm on FX in the UK and are repeated throughout the week. Viewers elsewhere should go here to find out where they can watch the series.