“Tell it to the frogs.” It sounds silly, but Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) means it when she says it to Shane (Jon Bernthal). Why? Because she’s just been reunited with her husband, Rick (Andrew Lincoln).
Yes, only three episodes into Season One and The Walking Dead has already brought together our hero and his family. It might seem like Frank Darabont has blown his narrative load, resolving a major plot point so early, but impressively, The Walking Dead is just getting started.
Their happy reunion kicks a string of events into motion, starting with Rick’s friend, Shane. With the heroic husband and father back in the frame, Lori and Shane’s relationship looks like a huge mistake, but rather than set up a soap opera-style showdown between the main leads, The Walking Dead takes that frustration and unleashes it on another couple entirely.
Meanwhile, Rick and the other survivors. After returning from Atlanta in a van and sports car, Glenn, T-Dog and the duty-bound Deputy decide to return to the city to retrieve his walkie-talkie (so he can contact the pair from Episode 1) – and rescue Merle.
Ah, Merle, everyone’s favourite unsubtly racist white male. At the start of last week’s episode, it seemed like he was introduced to the show simply to provide an antagonist. What a difference an hour makes; using him to develop T-Dog’s character, Darabont spreads a quiet ripple of conflicts from Merle’s bald head, which is driven by Daryl Dixon, Merle’s crossbow-wielding brother.
Why did Merle get left behind? Is his brother racist too? The Walking Dead answers these questions – but builds up to a finale that asks a ton of its own. That’s what makes the series so special: not the large quantities of gore, the top-notch special effects or engaging cast, but its ability to surprise. Just when you think you’ve got all the zombie or survival genre traits locked down, The Walking Dead wriggles free from its handcuffs and genuinely shocks you with something unexpected. And if you don’t like it? Well, you can tell it to the frogs,
The Walking Dead is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription.
For other seasons, see Where can I watch The Walking Dead online?