The Walking Dead: 211 “Judge, Jury, Executioner” Review
“Judge, Jury, Executioner” (Season 2 | Episode 11)
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
I’m sorry but sod Dale, what about that poor cow? He looked like a wounded Vietnamese soldier, with half his guts spilled out on the field – that’s who Daryl should be finishing off. If he did he could have ended the show by saying something cool like “Sorry Bro-vine” instead.
The trial of Randall dominated this moderate episode, with the majority of the group voting for the death penalty and only Dale pleading in the newcomer’s defense. I was surprised by Dale’s death at the end but looking back I should have really seen it coming. We’ve not seen too much from him since his clash with Shane in “Pretty Much Dead Already” and then suddenly we got a whole hour centered on him.
Dale was one of those characters that had to be part of the story in order to bring things into question, causing the rest of the group to think about their decisions. This is always useful to the story because it makes the plot more rounded, the only trouble is when you have a personality that upholds their morals in such a way that they tend to irritate, not just the other characters but, the audience too. This is what happened to Dale, he struggled against everyone and even though in many ways he was right, he did it in such a righteous way that it made his death more of a treat than a tragedy. That being said it was still a pretty awful death for the king of sun hats, rather than have a walker ravage his face off he had his guts ripped out. Ouch.
As for Randall, his story about a group of 30 survivors made me curious. Given that Daryl ‘had a little chat’ with him, what are the chances of Merle being part of their group? A group with lots of firepower and horrific views towards women – sounds like Merle would fit right in. Daryl should’ve worked at CTU before the zombie apocalypse, him and Jack Bauer would’ve made the perfect pair of interrogators.
Karl played with fire on more than one occasion in this episode. First, sneaking into the barn and then wondering off to find a walker stuck in the mud. This would’ve been the perfect place for Karl to start his zombie slaying tally but alas he couldn’t do it. You knew exactly what was going to happen here as the walker wriggled a foot loose and lunged for Karl, it was still a pretty tense moment despite the fact that there was never any doubt that Karl would escape. A big nod should go to the make-up department for this walker, as he looked amazing. Especially at the end when he tackled Dale, the close ups shots show every detail and, just like the zombie who attacked Lori through the windshield, this looked like a flesh hungry monster.
Besides the finale, the only other real defining moment of this episode came as the group discussed Randall’s fate. I did feel sorry for Dale in this moment, a lot of me just wanted to see some action and see Randall receive a bullet in the head but thinking realistically Dale had a good point when he spoke about the group abandoning the world that they had lived in. The reality is though that this is gone and this is a new world. Dale said he didn’t want to be a part of it and now unfortunately for him he’s not.
Glenn and Carol had a couple of nice moments in this episode, the scene where Hershel gives Glenn the pocket watch was quite significant, Hershel seems content with Maggie being his girlfriend and so he should, Glenn rocks. Carol’s argument with Lori was good, she’s gone from a suffering wife to a grieving mother in the first two seasons and now it seems we’ll see a Carol who is on the level and caring for herself.
All in all, despite Dale’s death this wasn’t the most exciting episode of the season, following on from last week’s “18 miles out” was always going to be tough and “Judge, Jury, Executioner” just about managed it.
Scene of the Episode | “Sorry Brother” – It’s ironic that the only person preventing Randall’s execution, found himself under the barrel of a gun. Dale was the last remaining voice of reason on the farm and now it seems that the last connection to the old world has died.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.