Tell It to the Frogs
|"Tell It to the Frogs"|
|The Walking Dead episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Gwyneth Horder-Payton|
|Teleplay by||Charles H. Eglee
|Story by||Charles H. Eglee
|Original air date||November 14, 2010|
"Tell It To The Frogs" is the third episode of the post-apocalyptic horror television series, The Walking Dead. It originally aired on AMC in the United States on November 14, 2010. The episode was written by Charles H. Eglee, Jack LoGiudice, and Frank Darabont, the creator of the series. It was directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton.
In the episode, officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finally reunites with his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), son Carl (Chandler Riggs) and best friend Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), although this reunion is short lived when he decides to return to Atlanta to rescue Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) along with Daryl (Norman Reedus), T-Dog (IronE Singleton), Glenn, and Morales. After realizing that her husband is alive after all, Lori ends her tumultuous affair with Shane. That is when Shane takes out his frustration on the cruel and abusive Ed Peletier (Adam Minarovich).
The prologue of the episode shows Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), still trapped on the roof of a department store, where he was handcuffed to a pipe by Sheriff's Deputy Rick Grimes after attacking another member of their scavenging team. Alone on the roof with no food or water, Merle talks to himself and occasionally struggles impotently against his bonds, begging for God's forgiveness. A group of walkers reaches the door to the roof and tries to push through but are blocked by a heavily padlocked chain. With the walkers trying to squeeze through the door, Merle frantically tries to reach some tools lying nearby, screaming that he will never beg to God again.
The episode begins with Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) arriving at the survivors' camp in his Dodge Challenger, with the alarm still blaring. Shortly thereafter, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the group from Atlanta arrive in the box truck in which they escaped the city. Rick is shocked to find his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) among the survivors, as well as his former partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal). The survivors are alerted to the presence of a walker, which they find eating a deer near the camp. They surround and bludgeon the walker; the survivors are concerned because no other ones had yet made it to the remote area where the camp is situated. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Merle's equally volatile yet more reasonable younger brother, arrives in camp from a hunting trip and is enraged to hear that his brother was abandoned.
Rick has an inner struggle with the fact that they left Merle on the roof alone. He resolves to return to rescue Merle and reclaim the bag of guns and ammunition that he dropped when he was knocked from his horse. He also wants to retrieve the walkie-talkie from the bag so he can warn Morgan Jones (Lennie James) and his son Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) not to go to Atlanta. Against the misgivings of his wife, Rick leaves with several other members of the group to return to Atlanta. Back at the camp, tensions are high among the survivors. Lori, believing that Shane (whom she had a romantic relationship with when she believed Rick to be dead) had manipulated her into thinking that Rick was dead to pursue an affair with her, orders him to leave her family alone now that her husband is back. Ed Peletier (Adam Minarovich) is sitting around, while the women of the group, including his wife Carol (Melissa McBride) wash clothes in a stream; when he hears them talking and laughing, he goes down to the stream to tell his wife to focus on her work. When one of the other women, Andrea (Laurie Holden), tells him off, Ed quickly becomes threatening and then strikes his wife. Shane, still frustrated at Lori's rejection, happens upon the scene as it happens and, furious, pulls Ed off the women, throws him to the ground and proceeds to brutally beat him to within an inch of his life, threatening to beat him to death if he ever lays a hand on his wife, daughter or anyone in the camp again. In Atlanta, the rescue group reaches the top of the department store and breaks through the chain with bolt cutters. They find that Merle is gone, and Daryl goes into a fit of rage, when they find the handcuffs still attached to the pipe and Merle's severed hand.
The title reference echoes Lori's angry statement to Shane, "You can tell that to the frogs", made when she is uninterested in what he has to say. Daryl feels the same way when Rick, T-Dog, and others explain why Daryl's brother, Merle, was left handcuffed on the roof of the Atlanta department store.
This episode marks the first appearance of several notable characters in the television series, and from the graphic novels. This includes the meek housewife, Carol Peletier and her daughter, Sophia who first appear in the 2003 "Days Gone Bye" volume. It also marks the appearance of a prominent character exclusive to the television series, Daryl Dixon, an expert huntsman and tracker who would become a long running character due to popularity.
Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club graded "Tell It to the Frogs" A- on a scale of F to A, calling it a "key episode in setting the tone for the first season". He praised the episode, saying it "did just about everything it needed to do. It deepened characters, strengthened relationships, laid out future conflicts, and gave its cast more to do. Best of all, it returned to the slower, more thoughtful pace of the pilot." Eric Goldman of IGN also gave it a highly positive review, rating the episode 8.5 out of 10. Goldman called the episode a "big rebound from the somewhat lackluster second installment, offering a much more intense and engaging story."
Upon its initial broadcast on November 14, 2010, "Tell It to the Frogs" was watched by 5.07 million viewers, slightly increasing in viewers from the previous episode.
- Pierce, Leonard (November 14, 2010). "Tell It To The Frogs". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- Goldman, Eric (November 14, 2010). "The Walking Dead: "Tell It to the Frogs" Review". IGN. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- Seidman, Robert (November 16, 2010). "Sunday Cable Ratings: The Walking Dead, Sarah Palin (again, still); Boardwalk Empire Drops; Real Housewives, Sonny With a Chance, Kendra & Much More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 16, 2010.