Frogs Got Ears; They Can Listen
Rick returns with the group of survivors to their camp, finally reuniting with his wife Lori, his son Carl, and his best friend Shane. However, the reunion does not last long when Rick decides to return to Atlanta to rescue Merle Dixon.
This episode begins by showing Merle still trapped on the roof of the department store, frantically trying to reach some tools left behind by T-Dog as “walkers” try to push through the padlocked roof access door.
Arriving at the camp, Rick is shocked and amazed to find Lori and Carl alive and well. Shane is equally surprised to see Rick, walking and talking, as the reunited family embraces. This is when the dynamics of the group begin to forever change.
And this episode introduces another fan-favorite, Daryl Dixon, the brother of Merle.
He is none too happy to learn that his brother was abandoned in Atlanta. And Rick himself is struggling with the fact that they left Merle on the roof alone.
Rick decides to return to rescue Merle and to retrieve the bag of ammunition and guns that he lost when he was overwhelmed by the zombies. Against Lori’s protests, Rick leaves with several other survivors of the group to return to Atlanta, including Daryl, T-Dog, and Glenn.
At the camp, Lori demands that Shane leaves her family alone now that Rick is back, ending their romantic entanglement with some choice words. Subsequently, Shane beats another survivor Ed within an inch of his life. Ed had become threatening after telling his wife to focus on her work washing clothes in a stream with the other “women-folk.”
But Shane reveals his volatile temper and his aggressive behavior that becomes more and more of an issue as the season and the series continues.
Shane has his best friend back, but he has also lost his lover. He is heading toward a dark place inside himself.
Meanwhile, Rick and the others reach the roof of the department store, breaking through the chain with bolt cutters. Finding Merle is gone, Daryl goes into a fit of rage when all that can be found of his brother is his severed hand.
Rick is no longer the lone gunman. He is a part of a group now, and considering his relationship with Shane, the self-appointed leader thus far, Rick will play a larger part within the group of survivors.
Not only is he becoming a leader in the group, but he is once again a husband and a father.
There’s no turning back, everything is about to become even harder for Rick. He’s got power, responsibilities, and he has his own issues that he will begin to face soon enough.
The Walking Dead truly is a television show (and originally a comic book series) about the people, the survivors of a world overrun by reanimated corpses. It’s about surviving day to day, and what can survive of the society they once lived in.