"Tell It to the Frogs" is the third episode of the first season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the third episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 14, 2010. It was written by Frank Darabont, Charles H. Eglee & Jack LoGiudice and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton.

Plot

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.

Synopsis

In the roof of the department store, a handcuffed and delirious Merle Dixon sits alone, talking to himself about a violent incident from his past. Suddenly, he snaps back to reality and begins panicking as some walkers start to clamour at the padlocked stairwell door. Merle becomes hysterical, desperately trying to break free. He prays to God for forgiveness and then spots a hacksaw from the overturned tool box and his resolve suddenly strengthens. He shouts at God, "I ain't never begged you! I ain't gonna start beggin' you now!" Taking off his belt, he repeatedly tosses the buckle end to try to reel in the hacksaw, lying just out of reach.

On the road, Rick is driving to the camp, while Morales advises him not to dwell on Merle's abandonment, claiming that nobody will miss him, excpet for his brother, Daryl. Rick listens in silence.

In the camp, Lori gives Carl a haircut while Shane promises him that they will catch frogs at the quarry, so they can eat their legs. Lori expresses her disgust at the thought, while Shane tells her she'll be begging for more once she tastes them, then smiles while telling Carl, "We'll be heroes, son. Shane and Carl, spoken of in song and legend." Their moment is interrupted by the approach of Glenn's Challenger alarm blaring. Amy rushes to Glenn and demands to know if her sister, Andrea, is okay. Dale tells Glenn to turn off the car alarm before walkers hear, but Glenn responds smilingly, "I don't know how!". Jim disconnects the alarm while Amy continues to ask questions about Andrea. Glenn tells her everyone's okay, except for Merle. Shane chastises him for drawing attention to their location.

The cube van arrives. Morales tells an exhausted and apprehensive Rick to come meet everybody. Andrea and Amy tearfully reunite, as do Morales and his wife, son and daughter. Lori and Carl briefly watch the happy reunions before Carl becomes emotional and Lori leads him away. Shane watches them, sympathising. He then asks Glenn how they made it out of the city. Glenn says a new guy helped them while Morales add he's a police officer. Rick emerges from the van and recognizes is Shane. The two trade stunned glances as Carl tearfully lifts his head and Lori's eyes follow. He spots Rick and runs into his open arms. Lori stares at Rick, but she tearfully embraces her husband and son. Shane and the rest of the group watch on, dumbfounded. Lori looks up at Shane, who attempts to smile away his obvious pain. Lori cries into Rick's shoulder while Rick turns to smile at Shane, who does manage an honest smile in return.

In the night, around a campfire, Rick describes the disorientation he felt waking up alone in the hospital. Lori explains she was told Rick would be brought over to Atlanta, but it never happened. "Mom said you died," Carl comments. "She had every reason to believe that," Rick replies. He then expresses immense gratitude to Shane for saving and taking care of his family. Lori exchanges an awkward glance with Shane.

Nearby, Ed Peletier stokes his family's fire with a fresh log. Shane intervenes, instructing Ed to take the log out so they can't be seen from a distance. Ed tells him to mind his own business, but concedes under Shane's forceful command and instructs at his meek wife Carol to pull the log from the fire. Ed then glares as Shane bids Carol and their daughter Sophia good evening.

Back in the group's fire, Dale asks what they should tell Daryl about his brother. Andrea reasons that Merle was out of control, but Dale reasons that they can't tell that to Daryl. Rick volunteers to deliver the news, as does T-Dog, still filled with guilt for dropping the key. He tells the group that he stopped to chain the stairwell door before he ran for the van. "Dixon's alive, and he's still up there. That's on us," T-Dog says.

In their tent, Rick says goodnight to Carl, who tells him he loves him. Rick then takes Lori's hand as he crawls into bed with her. He tells her he knew she and Carl were alive because their photo albums were gone when he returned to their house. Lori smiles and pulls one open. "I told you so," says Rick, and Lori jokingly accuses him of getting cocky as he grabs for the family photo in his jacket pocket. They reflect on their past mistakes and are grateful for the second chance that they have been given. "Not many people get that," Rick says. Lori returns Rick's wedding ring, which had been removed when he was in the hospital, and the two discretely have sex. Outside, Shane, keeping watch on top of the RV, stares with melancholy at Rick and Lori's tent as a thunderstorm builds in the night sky.

The next morning, Rick wakes to find a fresh pair of clothes laid out for him inside the tent. He gets up and gets dressed. Outside, he finds Carol ironing his freshly laundered uniform, though she laments how much harder it is without her old Maytag. Rick thanks her for her kindness. Nearby, Glenn mourns as Morales, Dale, and Jim strip the Challenger down for parts, taking gas for the camp's generators. "Maybe we'll get to steal another one someday," Rick says to comfort him, patting him on the back.

Rick then sees his wife hanging laundry with Andrea and Amy. She asks if he slept okay and grins, saying she didn't want to wake him, before she catches a look in his eye. "God, what?" she asks, and he admits he keeps thinking about leaving Merle behind. Shane arrives back at camp with more water, and Rick tells Lori he plans to return to Atlanta. Lori is shocked, but their discussion is interrupted by screams. Carl, Sophia, and Jacqui, who had been out walking, run in to camp deeply shaken. Sophia calls out for her mother and the men grab various weapons from the campsite.

Rick, Shane, Jim, Morales, and Glenn run past them to a clearing where a walker is devouring a deer with crossbow bolts sticking out of it. Amy and Andrea follow. The five men beat on the walker until Dale arrives and decapitates it. "This is the first one we've had up here. They never come this far up the mountain," he remarks. "They're running out of food in the city, that's what," Jim offers.

The group hears the bushes rustling and Shane raises his gun protectively. Daryl Dixon emerges from the woods carrying a crossbow and hauling over a dozen dead squirrels. He's upset that the walker ate the deer he'd been tracking for miles, and the food has been wasted. He cusses out the walker, kicking at its corpse, while Dale tries to tell him he's not solving anything by lashing out. The walker's decapitated head starts grinding it's teeth, growling. Amy and Andrea take off back to the campsite, disgusted. Daryl fires his crossbow in to its skull. "Come on people, what the hell? It's gotta be the brain. Don't y'all know nothin'?" he rebukes, before heading into camp looking for Merle.

Shane follows, telling Daryl that Merle didn't make it back. Rick chimes in, confessing he left Merle handcuffed to the roof as the group surrounds them. He introduces himself to Daryl, who doesn't want to hear it. Enraged, Daryl throws the dead squirrels at Rick who ducks as Shane throws Daryl backwards. T-Dog sees Daryl pull a knife and warns Rick and Shane, joining the scuffle. Rick is able to disarm Daryl, and Shane locks him in a sleeper hold. "Choke holdin's illegal!" Daryl argues breathlessly. Rick tells Daryl he wants to have a calm discussion about Merle. "Your brother does not work and play well with others," Rick tells him, which Daryl seems to understand already. T-Dog cuts in, explaining that he accidentally dropped the key in a drain. He adds that he chained the door to the roof shut so the undead couldn't get to him. "Just tell me where he is, so I can go get him," Daryl orders. Lori cuts in from the door of the RV, "He'll show you." Staring her husband down, she challenges him, "Isn't that right?" Rick nods. "I'm going back," he pledges.

Later, Rick prepares to leave with Daryl. Shane questions his decision to risk his life for a douchebag like Merle. "We left him like an animal caught in a trap. That's no way for anything to die, let alone a human being," Rick responds back, saying he can't let someone suffer like that. Lori wonders if his big plan is him and Daryl alone in Atlanta. Rick admits he wants Glenn to come along because of his experience getting in and out of the city. T-Dog decides to tag along. Shane argues with Rick that they need everybody to protect the camp in case more walkers show up. However, Rick contends they need more guns, which he'd be able to retrieve from the bag he dropped outside the tank. Shane softens, knowing the value of more guns, but Lori still isn't convinced and continues to plead with Rick not to risk his life for a man like Merle. Rick explains to her that he also needs to collect his walkie-talkie from the bag so he can warn Morgan Jones away from the city. He claims he owes them his life. Shane also recognizes that the walkie-talkie would be better than their CB. Lori gives up arguing, and Carl tells Rick he's okay with his reasons for going back to Atlanta.

Rick and T-Dog cut a deal with Dale for a set of bolt-cutters to cut the chains on the door. Dale agrees in exchange of one of the guns Rick intends to collect, while Jim wants to be able to strip the cube van for parts that they can use for the old RV when they get back. Shane then gives Rick the last of his bullets for his revolver. Rick loads his gun in the passenger seat while Daryl drives out of camp and the group watches as they exit the campsite. In their tent, Lori frets about Rick. "I'm not worried," Carl assures her, taking his mother's hand. "Think about it, Mom. Everything that's happened to him so far; nothing's killed him yet."

In Atlanta, the group parks beside a railroad line. Daryl threatens T-Dog if Merle's not okay, but T-Dog insists that the undead can't get through the chains on the door. As they travel on foot below a highway overpass, Glenn decides the group should go for Merle first, because going for the guns would mean doubling back.

Back at camp, Lori looks for Carl. Dale tells her he should be down at the quarry catching frogs. In the quarry, Shane and Carl try to catch frogs with a bucket and net. Shane falls in the water trying to drive them to Carl and instead they splash each other playing.

Nearby, Andrea, Amy, Carol and Jacqui do laundry and discuss the division of labor. The discussion turns to talk of the modern luxuries they miss, like Carol's washing machine, Jacqui's coffee maker, and Amy's cell phone. "I miss my vibrator," Andrea admits. "Me too," Carol whispers. The women break in to laughter. Ed looms over them, smoking a cigarette. Andrea scoffs, "Problem, Ed?" He shakes his head and tells his wife to focus on her work. Carol continues to rub the clothes against the washboard.

Lori arrives at the quarry, ordering Carl to return to camp. After he leaves, Shane tells her not to take it out on him, and Lori warns him to stay away from her family. "I think we should talk," Shane says, but Lori snaps, "You can tell that to the frogs." Shane asks Lori if she thinks he's not happy about Rick's return. "Why would you be? You're the one that told me that he died." Lori responds, sotrming off.

Meanwhile, Ed continues to loom over the women doing laundry. Andrea finally confronts him. "Don't think I won't knock you on your ass," Ed warns her, demanding that Carol come with him. Carol tearfully attempts to calm him while the others try to intervene. Ed slaps Carol across the face.

Shane, still fuming from his confrontation moments ago with Lori, sees Ed slap Carol. He then proceeds to grab Ed and throw him to the ground and punch him continuously until his whole face is bloody. "You put your hands on your wife, your little girl, or anybody else in this camp one more time, I will not stop next time. I'll beat you to death, Ed," Shane warns. He kicks Ed in the side before storming away while the women look on, stunned.

In Atlanta, Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and T-Dog return to the department store. Daryl kills a walker in the store with his crossbow. They cut through the chain on the stairwell with the bolt-cutters and emerge onto the roof. On the ground, the hacksaw sits beside a severed hand with boodied handcuffs hang from the pipe above. Daryl screams as the others look on helplessly.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

Deaths

  • 1 deer
  • Several squirrels

Trivia

  • First appearance of Daryl Dixon.
  • First appearance of Carol Peletier.
  • First appearance of Ed Peletier.
  • First appearance of Sophia Peletier.
  • First appearance of Miranda Morales.
  • First appearance of Eliza Morales.
  • First appearance of Louis Morales.
  • This is the only episode of the series in which the entire Atlanta group appears.
  • Bellwood Quarry is the location of the lake that Shane and Carl caught frogs on and where the women did their laundry. [1]
  • The title of the episode, "Tell It to the Frogs", refers to a metaphor for words going unheard or unaccepted, which recurs throughout the episode:
    • Merle talking to a possible hallucination on the roof.
    • Ed telling Shane to mind his own business over the log on the fire.
    • Rick trying to explain to Shane and Lori why he needs to go back to Atlanta.
    • T-Dog explaining to Daryl why he has to go back to Atlanta.
    • Lori and Shane fighting about the return of Rick.
    • The women arguing with Ed because they get fed up with his behavior.
  • According to the commentary track of the next episode, halfway through this episode, Dale's hat changes color from blue to white, because Robert Kirkman stole the blue one.
  • The shirt that Carl is wearing when he and Lori are reunited with Rick is the same one he wore in the comic version of the scene.
  • The walker that is eating the deer Daryl was tracking was portrayed by Gregory Nicotero.
  • One of the vehicles at the survivor's camp is a van from the Holy Cross Lutheran Chruch, which exists in real life in Athens, Georgia.

Comic Parallels

  • Rick reuniting with his family and Shane at the Atlanta Camp is adapted from Issue 2 and Issue 3.
  • Rick spending time with Lori while a jelaous Shane watches them is adapted from Issue 3.
  • Dale chopping a walker head off with an axe is adapted from Issue 3.
  • Lori telling Shane that what happened between them was a mistake is adapted from Issue 4.

Goofs/Errors

  • In the scene where Shane gives Rick four rounds, Rick says "thank you" but his lips do not move.
  • When Rick reunites with his family, just as they embrace, the camera pans to a shot with the Challenger. To the very left of the Challenger, a crew member is clearly seen.

References

  1. thread: "Following the completion of mining, the Bellwood Quarry was acquired by the City of Atlanta for a mixed-use recreational/park facility and water reservoir."
Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof" • "Slabtown" • "Self Help" • "Consumed" • "Crossed" • "Coda" • "What Happened and What's Going On" • "Them" • "The Distance" • "Remember" • "Forget" • "Spend" • "Try" • "Conquer"
Season 6 "First Time Again" • "JSS" • "Thank You" • "Here's Not Here" • "Now" • "Always Accountable" • "Heads Up" • "Start to Finish" • "No Way Out" • "The Next World" • "Knots Untie" • "Not Tomorrow Yet" • "The Same Boat" • "Twice as Far" • "East" • "Last Day on Earth"
Season 7 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" • "The Well" • "The Cell" • "Service" • "Go Getters" • "Swear" • "Sing Me a Song" • "Hearts Still Beating" • "Rock in the Road" • "New Best Friends" • "Hostiles and Calamities" • "Say Yes" • "Bury Me Here" • "The Other Side" • "Something They Need" • "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"
Season 8 "Mercy" • "The Damned" • "Monsters" • "Some Guy" • "The Big Scary U" • "The King, the Widow, and Rick" • "Time for After" • "How It's Gotta Be" • "Honor" • "The Lost and the Plunderers" • "Dead or Alive Or" • "The Key" • "Do Not Send Us Astray" • "Still Gotta Mean Something" • "Worth" • "Wrath"
Season 9 "A New Beginning" • "The Bridge" • "Warning Signs" • "The Obliged" • "What Comes After" • "Who Are You Now?" • "Stradivarius" • "Evolution" • "Adaptation" • "Omega" • "Bounty" • "Guardians" • "Chokepoint" • "Scars" • "The Calm Before" • "The Storm"
Season 10 "Lines We Cross" • "We Are the End of the World" • "Ghosts" • "Silence the Whisperers" • "What It Always Is" • "Bonds" • "Open Your Eyes" • "The World Before"
Season 11 TBA
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