The Walking Dead – Monday Decap Episode 3: Tell It to the Frogs
The Jist: Having successfully rescued the other survivors from becoming Zombie lunch at the mall, Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes is welcomed into their camp. He doesn’t know his wife and son are there. He’s happy to see them. His son is happy to see him. So is his wife. Sort of. It’s complicated. Oh, and Dixon is still on the roof, the guns are still on the street. They have to go back.
Picking up where we last left off, Rick Grimes’ plan has saved the day and the survivors are on their way back to camp. Anyone who was wondering where the heck ShortRound was going as he sped out of the city in his newly acquired Charger will be pleased to find out that he got back to camp just fine – and by just fine I mean in his stolen car. The one with the alarm. The very, very loud alarm. Hey, remember how in the last episode the idea that “sound attracts hordes of Zombies” was really hammered home? The campers were none too pleased. Grimes and the other survivors pull into camp shortly afterwards, everyone is happy to see their family members and fellow survivors. Of course Grimes brings up the rear and we get a priceless look of shock on Shane’s face – the “Oh crap I thought you were dead and have totally been sleeping with your wife, I bet that comes back to bite me in the ass” look – before Rick’s overjoyed son jumps into his father’s arms and Lori rushes to her husband’s side, throwing a look
at Shane that was closer to dirty than apologetic or even worried, but more on that later. We also get a shot of Dixon on the roof, screaming to Jesus and no one in particular (again, about that noise thing…) Fortunately T-Dog, played by IronE Singleton (The Blind Side), padlocked the door after he dropped the key to the cuffs, barring any Zombies from getting to the roof…though not for lack of trying. A seriously crazed Dixon finally realizes the hacksaw is within reach!
After the initial relief of seeing their loved ones again, the survivors realize that the scavenging party is a man short. No one’s especially upset that Dixon didn’t come back; however, there’s some worry about the reaction his brother Daryl, played by Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints), is going to have when he returns from his hunt, which is in dramatic fashion as Grimes’ son can be heard screaming from the forest. A Zombie is feasting on a deer recently taken down by arrows. He’s dealt with by the campers, but finished off with a crossbow to his decapitated head by Daryl. Dismayed at the prospect of not having deer to eat, he at least has the dozen squirrels he caught while stalking the deer. The campers tell him of his brother’s fate. Naturally, he’s upset.
After a romantic reunion with his wife (right beside their sleeping son! I know times are bleak but man, really?!) Grimes states that he’s got to go back for Dixon, much to his wife and son’s displeasure, mostly because he’s heroic like that but also because he’s got to warn Jones & Son (from episode 1) that Atlanta’s not safe. Oh, and the guns he dropped are still there, and everyone knows a Zombie story needs the extra ammo.
As Grimes, T-Dog, ShortRound and Daryl head for Atlanta, we’re left in camp, and get some insight to a couple of newly introduced campers – wife beater Ed, played by Adam Minarovich (Wise Guys v. Zombies) and his beaten wife Carol, played by Melissa McBride (The Mist). The women are washing clothes and talking about the things they miss (washing machines, coffee makers, vibrators – the usual things one misses when living the Zompocolypse) when Ed walks over feeling like they’re not doing their work. Meanwhile Shane is teaching Grimes’ son Carl, played by Chandler Riggs (Get Low), how to catch frogs. Lori takes exception to this and tells Shane never to talk to or look at her son or her family again. Shane tries to reason with her. She informs him he’s lost the privilege to do so before informing the viewers that Shane told her Rick was dead. The look on Shane’s face – “yeah…i’m kind of a dick…” As she storms off Ed hits his wife. Shane, already angry beats Ed within an inch of his life. Shane’s having a rough day.
Maybe my favourite shot of the series, back in Atlanta the rescuers get to the roof, the door still padlocked, to find the handcuffs exactly where they left them. However Dixon is not. The episode ends with the shot of a severed hand on the ground.
This ending raises a heckuva lot of questions. Well, three. Where did Dixon go? Remember the door was still locked and it looked like the only way out was the stairs or the twenty story dive. If he’s alive, how did he get off the roof? And most glaringly for me, where’s the blood? I mean the guy cut off his own hand! Shouldn’t there be blood? A lot of blood? Also, as he’s no longer on the roof, a trail of blood indicating exactly where he went?
Although still a good episode, this one was a little more focused on character building than action. The Zombie kill count was only two – so I expect some serious head exploding in the next episode. (also for those keeping score we’ve had bullets to the head, shovels to the head, bats and a crossbow – ONE decapitation!)
In limited screen time I love Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon. Those few minutes of rambling, incoherent screaming as the Undead attempt to push through the door were brilliant and played exactly as someone who’s chained to a post and about to be eaten alive would react. Score another one for The Walking Dead’s sense of realism in an unrealistic *fingers crossed* world.