Looks like those new characters may be around for a while, eh? We're three episodes in, and just as in the comics, it looks like the main focus here is going to be the people and how they interact with a zombie outbreak, with the actual zombies themselves being in the background. In my opinion, exactly the way it needs to be for this to succeed as a television show.
Episode 3: Tell it to the Frogs
I'm not entirely sure my attempt to read the comics along with the show is going to be worth the effort, aside of course from my enjoying the series again from the beginning. With these new characters, I'm thinking the show might become more and more it's own monster, primarily just using characters and a few situations from the source material. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a little disappointing, especially knowing and loving the book the way I do. It's understandable that the show needs to be able to stand on its own, and is catering to an entire new audience, but this show exists because of comic nerds like me, and I want to see what I've read when I turn on the tv. But I promise not to bitch about this for the entire season.
Episode three began with Rick, Glenn, and the rest of the crew returning to base camp from Atlanta. Rick is the last one out of the truck, and we get what is easily one of the best scenes so far when he's reunited with his wife and son. I thought it was really well done. Amy's reaction to her sister Andrea returning was a bit much I thought, she acted like Andrea had been missing and thought dead longer than Rick had, but maybe that's just me. Perhaps her relationship with her sister is just different than my relationship with my own brother, as I'd imagine a "sup" would likely suffice for the both of us in a similar circumstance.
The first zombie scene this episode with the deer I liked, this also happens in the book. Different situation, as in the comic it's only Shane and Rick that run up on the zombie chomping away on Bambi while they're out hunting. Of course in the show, the entire group show up and take turns beating the hell out of the zombie before Dale finally removes it's head with an ax. At this point in the comic, Shane and Rick are already butting heads over how the group should be lead, and what the next move should be, Rick wants to pack up and move further away from the city, and Shane wants to stay put and wait for the military to drive by and rescue them. The hunting trip is where their differences begin to turn from discussion to full blown argument, and the show hasn't touched on this at all yet. This leads me to believe that the first season will be ending about where I think it might be, with Rick and Shane's feud coming to a head.
We also get another new character introduced, Daryl, played by Norman Reedus of Boondock Saints fame. Daryl is Merl's brother, Merl you might remember was handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of the department store and left behind by Rick and company when they escaped Atlanta. Daryl is none too happy to hear the news about his brother, and after some arguing and a fight, he, Rick, T-Dog, and Glenn set out to rescue him and retrieve the guns Rick lost when he was swarmed while riding the horse into town. All this is pretty much tv only stuff, except for one thing when they get to the roof and find Merl gone. Apparently he managed to reach a hacksaw, and sawed his hand off to escape the cuffs. Comic readers should be familiar with a one-handed character, but it's not Merl, and it didn't happen this way, so I'm interested in seeing how this little twist plays out. Why Merl decided to saw through his own wrist instead of the chain on the cuffs, or the pipe he was cuffed to, we may never know. My guess? He's stupid.
One last thing I wanted to mention, the Shane and Lori relationship. It may have been going on a little longer in the show than in the book, but it looks like it's just as over as soon as Rick comes back. So tv Lori is in agreement with comic book Lori in her assessment that her and Shane was a huge mistake. Lori drops a little bit of a bomb at the end here, when she says that Shane is the one who told her Rick was dead. Wonder if he truly thought that, or if he already had feelings for Lori in the past. The show also gives us a little glimpse of psycho Shane, when he beats the living shit out of Ed, who wins the award for biggest douchebag in the show so far after he slaps his wife, Carol, for laughing while washing clothes with Andrea, Amy, and Jacqui at the quarry.
And that's what I thought about episode 3. It's still too early to tell, but The Walking Dead has some definite potential to dethrone Sons of Anarchy as my current favorite show on television. Next week's episode is entitled "Vatos", an interesting title, can't wait to see what Frank throws at us next.