Review – “The Walking Dead: Judge, Jury, Executioner”

Now that AMC’s Walking Dead is down to the last three episodes, the Comic Vault does not want to spoil your experience. This is your warning that after the photo below the recap of the episode and review will begin and it may contain spoilers that will make you very unhappy if you read this before you watch the show.

In the episode of “Walking Dead: Judge, Jury, Executioner” the group is deciding the fate of Randall. You may remember that Randal was the gentleman who was impaled by a fence two weeks ago. Rick tried to drop Randall off 18 miles away in the previous episode but when Randall admitted knowing about the farm, Rick and Shane knew they couldn’t let him go.

After Daryl tortures Randall, he confesses that his group raped two young girls and made the father watch. When Rick finds out this information he decides that the best thing to do is to execute Randall. Dale the moral compass of the group is outraged and goes on a mission to convince the other members of the group that this is a horrible decision and that they would be just as bad as the other group if they went through with this. Rick gives Glenn till sunset to convince the others.

Meanwhile, Carl takes a gun from Daryl’s motorcycle and heads into the woods. He finds a walker stuck in the mud and Carl studies the walker and gets closer and closer. Carl pulls out the gun and it looks as if he will shoot the walker when the walker frees itself from the mud and attacks Carl. Carl manages to wiggle free from the walker and runs home leaving the walker and the gun.

At sunset the group reconvenes but Dale has only managed to convince Andrea that this wrong and they need more time to make a decision. When Dale has exhausted the argument and cannot convince anyone else to his side he says, “This group is broken,” and walks off to not be part of the execution.

Rick, Shane and Daryl drag Randall to the barn to shoot him. They blindfold him, kneel him down and ask him if he has any final words. Rick has the gun pointed at Randall’s head and is about to shoot him when Carl comes in and tell his dad to, “Do it! Shoot em!” Rick then can’t shoot Randall after Carl comes in. They lock Randall back up and Andrea looks for Dale to tell him the good news.

Dale, walking in the fields hears groaning, but it’s not a zombie groan so he goes to investigate. Dale discovers a cow that has been attacked and the cow’s guts are all over the place. In proper horror film fashion Dale turns around and a walker attacks him. This is the same walker that Carl set free in the mud earlier. Dale gets knocked down and struggles with the walker. The group hears Dale’s screams and rushes to his aid. Before the group gets to Dale the walker rips his gut open. Daryl kills the walker but Hershel examines Dale and determines there is nothing he can do. Dale is screaming in agony and Andrea begs for someone to do something. Rick pulls out his gun and points it at Dale. Rick can’t pull the trigger and Daryl takes the gun from his hand and points it at Dale again. Dale lifts his head towards the gun, Daryl says goodbye and the screen goes black and you hear a gun shot.

One side note, while the group discovers Dale, Carl goes over to the walker and recognizes it from earlier. He then runs to his mother’s arms and cries.

This episode was crazy!

Like most of the series it was slow-paced. As the viewer I was almost to the point where I thought it was a filler episode but then the ending happened and this episode, good or bad became a game changer. Dale was the moral compass of the group and now that it gone. Who will step in and take that role? (Rick, Hershel, Andrea, Glenn?)

I feel that with the death of Dale it puts the writers in a corner and could hurt Rick’s character development. Rick was in the middle of the spectrum of Shane and Dale (good vs. evil). Now the spectrum just got a lot smaller. I also believe that the viewers do not want to see Rick as the moral compass of the group. They would like to see Rick be a badass and kill walkers and people from Philadelphia. The moral compass character is sometimes preachy and annoying. I would not like to see Rick turn into this character. What makes Rick a great character is he is figuring out the rules along the way. He brings the assets of being a sheriff and family man to the table to face the new world in front of him.

Okay, AMC’s Walking Dead there is a fork in the road with two episodes left. Which way are you going to turn?

-Matt Sardo

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Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.