y’all are still out there giving Frodo a hard time for trusting Gollum
Frodo and Sam are in a bind. They are hopelessly lost. They do not know this area of Middle-earth at all. If they hadn’t encountered Gollum, most likely they would have wandered aimlessly until they died or were taken captive. So they desperately need a guide.
Nobody knows this place better than Gollum. He knows that there is more than one way to get to Mordor. He knows of paths that the Enemy doesn’t use. He knows the dangers of each area and how to avoid them.
No, he cannot be fully trusted, but Frodo knows that. He doesn’t want Gollum to swear on the Ring due to its treacherous nature, and for quite a while he keeps a wary distance from Gollum; he won’t even let Gollum touch him. Frodo isn’t naive.
The films offer multiple explanations for Frodo’s rationale. Most of it boils down to “We cannot do this without a guide, and Gollum is our only chance.” Yes, there is more to it than that – I could write an essay on the “because I have to believe he can come back” line – but he does not act solely from intuition and emotion. There is a very practical reason for following Gollum, and the films acknowledge that.
And the decision to pity Gollum (as Bilbo did) and trust him ultimately leads to Middle-earth’s salvation, so…