TV Review: The Walking Dead 2.11, 'Judge, Jury, Executioner'

Rick and the survivors were getting life lessons all over the place this week as they were faced with deciding what to do with their captive Randall.

rating: 3.5

Rick and the survivors were getting life lessons all over the place this week as they were faced with deciding what to do with their captive Randall. Elsewhere Carl grows more distant from his childhood, and Dale has something to get off his chest in an emotional climax of €˜Judge, Jury, Executioner€™. Randall has gone back to being a human punching bag at the start of this weeks episode as Daryl kicks the crap out of him to get information about the group of survivors he came from. The only thing keeping Randall alive is Rick, and Rick€™s doubts over whether he can truly trust Randall. So Rick decides to let the group come to an agreement of what must be done. There€™s always the chance Randall will lead his survivors to the farm. This wouldn€™t be an issue if Shane were the leader. We see a glimpse of Randall€™s true nature as he feebly tries to persuade Carl to let him go, believing him to be easily manipulated. Little does he know how far gone Carl is. Rick and Shane do their best to keep Carl away from Randall, despite Carl being a strong advocate for his execution. Carl€™s rebellious side gets out as he snaps at Carol whilst visiting Sophia€™s grave, and shows signs of his budding atheism. This leads to Carl stealing a gun and wandering off to find a walker bogged down by the riverside. Seeing Carl eventually gives the walker the motivation to free itself, Carl makes a narrow escape and returns to the farmhouse without letting anyone know, a decision he comes to regret. At the farmhouse Rick has gathered everyone to get the consensus from the group of what should be done with Randall. It seems unanimous, Randall is ultimately a threat and must be executed. Dale is the only person willing to give him a chance to prove himself because he still wants to believe that humanity and civilization can exist in a world like this, because otherwise what€™s the point in living? Dale wins over Andrea, but it isn€™t enough, and he declares that the group is broken. T-Dog also gets a line in this scene. That Dale interrupts. I wonder what his line will be next week. Rick, Shane and Daryl take Randall to the barn to shoot him in the head but Rick decides to keep him alive after Carl wanders in and encourages his dad to pull the trigger. Rick€™s decision to keep Randall alive was because he€™s not just a leader, but also a father, and he has to set this example for Carl. This is all quickly forgotten as the episode reached an unexpected twist. Dale spots a cow moaning on its side in the field. Upon investigation, we see the cow had been torn open and my hopes for a zombie cow were quickly deflated as the walker Carl had failed to kill earlier attacks Dale and rips his chest open. The group reach him in time to kill the walker but it€™s too late to save Dale, and after an awkward minute of Dale suffering and Andrea crying, Daryl steps up to put him out of his misery when Rick can€™t. A sad and graphic end. At least Shane didn€™t pull the trigger, talk about kicking someone while they€™re down. €˜The world we know is gone. But keeping our humanity, that€™s a choice.€™ This line from Dale, who€™s always been the shows most ethical and moral character, best sums up why he was such an integral part of the group and will be missed. It€™s fitting that his last episode in the show should see him strongly campaigning to keep Randall alive. Fans of the comics will no doubt be shocked/angry at Dale€™s early demise. I certainly was, but that comes with the territory of reading the comics, you can kid yourself into thinking that certain characters are safe, but the reality is that no one is. Well except Rick. Kudos to the writers, they continue to subvert everyone€™s expectations of where the show will go, and this episode in particular tied together wonderfully at the end. The zombie effects were as always stunning, and no wonder, special effects guru Greg Nicotero acted as director for this episode too! For an episode that lacked in zombie attacks and mutilations, they really brought the drama this week. RIP Dale. It should€™ve been T-Dog.
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