A Little Introduction
In what may be one of the most shocking and equally most frustrating episodes of the series, the survivors deal with a tough decision. Should Randall be kept alive, or does a death sentence solve all of their collective problems?
The main focus of this episode is of course, Randall. His current standing in the group is shaky at best, and there’s no clear choice as to what should be done about him.
It’s hard to blame Rick and the rest of the group when it comes to their hesitation about the outsider. He ran with a dangerous group, shot at Rick and Glenn and has an air of mystery and danger about him. When Daryl is torturing him, this uneasy feeling rears its ugly head.
Randall doesn’t seem very believable when divulging his groups’ dirty little secrets. Though he claims to be innocent, there’s a vibe he gives that says otherwise, and Daryl sees right through it.
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things
Carl takes a much more central role in this episode, causing a lot of trouble (and bloodshed) for the group. It’s easy to be frustrated with his actions, but remember; he’s the only child left in this group. Try being a precocious eight-year-old without any real outlet. It cannot be easy.
If anyone is to blame for Carl’s constant wandering into danger, it’s his parents, plain and simple. Sure, they obviously have other things on their minds (like whether to kill a boy in cold blood), but where in the hell is Lori when he’s interrupting Randall’s execution. I just find it hard to swallow.
Carl is also displaying a quite troubling sadistic side. Throwing rock s at the zombie and almost toying with it, as well as the creepy stare he gave Randall point to his young mind going places it probably shouldn’t. Rick looks completely shocked when his son eggs him on to kill Randall.
With Carl finding out he’s partially responsible for Dale’s demise, this kid will need some serious therapy.
The Moral Compass
Poor sweet Dale, we knew ye’ all too little. His death was a huge blow to both this group and the show in general. Dale was the one person unwilling to let the world change his ways. He stood his ground until the bitter end and died with dignity.
His attempts to convince the group of his ideas were a nice way for Dale to get a scene with every character before his departure, but they ultimately felt redundant once the group met to discuss the situation and take a vote.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how the group survives without their moral compass. Sure, Dale could get preachy at times, but the man made some very valid points. Only time will tell if they can repair their “broken” group and make Dale proud.
As a fan of the comic, it’s shocking to see such an important character get killed off so soon, especially given the important events he participates in later. Most fans know that Dale was written off due to behind the scenes drama, but I can’t help but feel cheated out of a great performance and a great character.
Judge, Jury, Executioner
This is hands down my least favorite episode of the show. Unfortunately, unlike the previous two episodes, Judge, Jury, Executioner highlights the major problems the show has been facing this season.
Many fans have complained about the show for being too much “soap opera” and not enough action. If there’s any real reason for this negativity, it’s that our characters simply haven’t been developed enough. We barely know any of Hershel’s group, and every time T-Dog is on screen, he’s seen as a joke.
Another major problem is that the characters that are being developed are borderline unbearable. Characters like Andrea and Lori, while likable in the books, have become absolutely hated by the audience. You can’t visit a Walking Dead message board without spotting this hatred.
I hate to use this review as a rant, but these are genuine concerns we should all have. If the characters we followed were interesting or likeable, the drama they face day to day would be all the more compelling, hopefully shutting up the naysayers.
Though I enjoy the show, I have to say that this has been a major disappointment, both as a fan of the books (yes, I realize the two are different) and of the show.
Will Gibbs is a Michigan native and journalism student at Oakland University. He is a long time Walking Dead fan and self proclaimed "zombie survival expert." When he's not writing, Will enjoys watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books.