Episode three of The Walking Dead premiered last night, and I was cautiously optimistic that it would be an improvement over the second episode, which had been pretty disappointing.
“Tell It To The Frogs” wasn’t really worse, at least. And the moment when Rick sees his wife and son was really sweet.
But it had some of the same problems, naturally, as the previous episode: Particularly dealing with resident racist Merle Dixon, whom they left on the roof of the highrise in Atlanta, with the door chained against the zombies. The other issue is the melodrama around Rick’s wife Lori, and her now-on-ice love affair with his best friend Shane. It’s not clear to me how long it’s been since Lori and Carl left home and joined the other survivors, but I don’t see anything unseemly about her being with Shane — at least not under these circumstances.
Merle escapes the roof, of course, and leaves only his sawed-off hand behind for Rick and the others to find when they return to rescue him. We’ll see him again, probably at the end of the season where he will return to make trouble in a cliffhanger.
In trying to pinpoint my disappointment with the series, I think it’s related to the fact that I just finished Max Brooks’ World War Z and have started The Zombie Survival Guide. What I liked about Z is that it couples vignettes of human drama with clearly defined zombie mythology, and it looks at the larger world outside of the U.S. (which, as I mentioned in my first post, is something I hope this show does, but I’m beginning to doubt it will. And to be fair, I do recognize that these people are theoretically working with a limited amount of information, and they probably don’t know what’s happening one state over, much less in China. So maybe I’m just being impatient.).
Anyway, I don’t think the foolishness going on in the camp is compelling enough to meet the show’s need for human drama, especially because, aside from Rick and Glenn, none of the characters are all that interesting. Yet.