The Walking Dead: Judge, Jury, Executioner Review -

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  • TV Series: The Walking Dead
  • Episode: Judge, Jury, Executioner
  • Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey DeMunn, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden
  • Written By: Angela Kang
  • Directed By: Gregory Nicotero
  • Network: AMC
  • Series:

The Walking Dead: Judge, Jury, Executioner Review

Goodbye Brother

By Joe Oesterle     March 05, 2012


Mark it. 9:40 PM, T-Dog makes his weekly appearance on The Walking Dead. He almost got out a full line of dialogue, but that was squelched in the commotion of whether to kill or not, but hey, the guy tried to speak. Personally I’m not sure if IroneE Singleton is the luckiest actor in the world or the most disrespected, but if I was collecting a sizable weekly paycheck from a TV show, and didn’t have to bother learning my line (singular) until 5 minutes before the camera rolled, I’d be cool with it. By the way, since I’m already on the subject, “IronE” is probably a lamer name than “T-Dog,” but that’s a debatable subject.
   So on with the rest of the episode. Yes, Darryl showed some bad-assery once again. His interrogation skills are formidable - though I suspect he enjoys this part-time job of his a bit much for my comfort. Randall wound up confessing to the heinous crimes members of his former group committed. These admissions may have been uttered to get Daryl to stop with the kicking and the punching, but it did nothing but make Darryl even kickier and punchier.
   Carol of course disapproved in her own way. Which means she gave him a look, and walked away. The more I think about Carol, and how she allowed her daughter, Sophia, to be abused by her husband (Sophia’s father) the more I’d like to throw Carol out there for zombie bait – which makes me question how Daryl hasn’t confronted her about her behavior already.
   Naturally Carol isn’t the only one in the group who won’t win any parental honors. Lori, who very recently went on a long jag about what everyone’s role is, and who is and isn’t pulling their weight, has once again not pulled her weight. How about keeping an eye on your child. You must have heard, Lori. There are fucking zombies out there.
   Meanwhile, Carl is bopping around this place like he has the deed to Hershel’s farm, day and night and Lori apparently is too busy darning the menfolk’s socks to notice if her son has been eaten by walkers or killed by the prisoner. First Carl shows up in the barn, and we’re meant to wonder if he plans on taking matters into his own hands and execute the captive in an effort to show he’s a man. Next he wanders into the woods, and spends an afternoon the way a ten-year-old boy would, given the circumstances – chucking rocks at immobilized, animated, flesh-eating corpses.
    By the time Carl pops Rick back into his pre-Walker way of looking at the world, I was looking for Carl in every scene. That scene in the barn with Rick, Shane and Daryl leading Randall to his death should have been much more powerful, but unfortunately I kept waiting for Cowboy Hat Carl to throw a damper on the assassination of a potentially innocent man.
   What I didn’t see, was the end of the road for Dale. I’m a reader of the graphic novels, and by now even those of you who don’t read them, know more than you probably want to. It’s no longer a spoiler alert for the show, though it is for the comic – so if you haven’t read, but plan on it, cover your eyes for this next sentence. Dale and Andrea hook up in the book. I know this creative team has taken license reinterpreting the comic book, and I’m not upset with their decisions. In many ways the book is better, but people have been complaining, “the book was better” since Hollywood has been filming already published works. That said, I have no problems with the way this story is unfolding on the small screen.
   This entire episode will be likely be remembered as the end of civilization in their world. Dale spent most of his final moments on screen, passionately pleading for someone to stand with him against the mob rule execution of Randall. As much as I sympathized with his stand, and as good an actor as Jeffrey DeMunn is, I am in Shane’s corner on this one. Winter’s coming, supplies are scarce, the guy did take a shot at members of your party, and how does keeping him alive do anything but weaken the group? Sounds callous, but live a few months with that kind of horrific paranoia hanging over you, and you’ll likely see Shane and most of the rest of the group are not wrong to believe it’s best for all to end this man’s life.
   The irony of it all is as Dale was doing his best to make people see the danger of abandoning the polite rules of pre-Walker civilization it was Carl, the formerly optimistic and innocent youth who has turned hard and emotionless who ultimately provides the means for Dale’s untimely death. Dale was an optimist, but there is no room for glass half-full types in a world where humans ultimately become monsters whether they are bitten by infected roaming cadavers, or simply have the bad luck to not be. 
   The only real tender moment in the entire episode was Hershel, in effect, giving his blessing to the union of Glen and Maggie. If my hunch is correct, and Randall’s ex-buddies get the desire to finally take ol’ Hershel’s place by force (and that’s a definite possibility since Randall has likely told that gang about the farm in as a way to ingratiate himself into their good graces) we probably won’t see too many more “welcome to the family, son” scenes. My hunch is things are gonna get real dark real fast for Rick and the gang. My still living in the non-Walker world self is sad to realize things are only going to get much rougher for the survivors. The detached voyeur in me can’t wait for the horror show.
 Follow Joe Oesterle’s book, “Weird Hollywood,” on Facebook. Daily, informative, interesting and humorous updates – like this one.


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krakken 3/5/2012 7:22:56 AM

 The death of Dale was pretty upsetting.  I think it was more of a allegorical statement that with his death, dies the civility of the group.

As for the whole comic book to show comparison, I've read the first 12 issues of the book and think the show is way better.  The book seems to be nothing but rushed acts in my opinion.  Especially the first few issues.  The show has a more dramatic and emotional resonnance. 

Wiseguy 3/5/2012 7:30:58 AM

I was getting a bit sick of Dale's personality and sticking his nose everywhere but I admit that my eyes watered a little bit during that last scene

I'm curious to see how Carl is going to handle the huge guilt trip coming his way

I have been on Shane's side all along for most of his decisions. If he was a better leader with better tact he'd have more than just one follower. Anyway the prisoner's words to Carl in the barn seem to indicate that Shane was in the right once again

And Joe I swear to God I was thinking the same thing last night about the guy that plays T-Dog. This guy is getting paid to stand around, hang around, free food and everything, doesn't even have to learn any lines. What could be better?

hanso 3/5/2012 7:35:09 AM

fuk this

hanso 3/5/2012 7:40:44 AM

 remember when dale bangs andrea or when he gets eaten by cannibals?  of course not, cause that aint going down no more.

jedibanner 3/5/2012 7:49:34 AM can we all agree???.....NOW????? can't deny it now.....FINALLY....

It's's there....printed on screen....why call this series TWD when your changing everything up to their behavious, their interactions and NOW even their deaths?

Yes it always is a part to change certain things when you go from books to tv/movie life but come on. To change and go so drascticly from killing a major character (in the comics, HE IS) and go about your day as if it's just a character but not as important as Shane or freaking T-dog who doesn't do squat????


I mean, where the hell is Robert Kirkman in all this for freak sake, can't he tell the suits to tone it down a bit with the changes?

Less and less this series is getting interesting and I guarantee you, after last night's episode, more and more fans of the book will leave the show.

Cause right now? It's official...who cares about the book...who cares what was established because AMC just gave a big FU to the fans.

JonnyRotten 3/5/2012 7:53:37 AM

Dale seemed to look happy at the end, almost relived.  Carl wandering around on his own, not sure if thats a good idea, this kids asking for it, I agree after everthing Lori's been through you would think that she would be keeping him close.

I think Carols next in line,

Can't wait for next week.


Wiseguy 3/5/2012 8:01:55 AM

Now the readers of the book are in unknown territory. They'll be back hate it or not because even if they don't love it they'll want and look for something to bitch about next week. And I say that with all due respect to the bitching which is justified IMO even thou I haven't read the books

monkeyfoot 3/5/2012 8:23:52 AM

Another shocker! Wow.

Jedibanner & Hanso, I can understand how upset you are. I've never read TWD but on something like Smallville I got upset for a while with the drastic changes that show made to the Superman mythos. Then I took it for the absurdist fun it turned into and didn't take it seriously. I just enjoyed it as Bizarro-land entertainment.

But TWD show and the comic take themselves very seriously and I can see a fan getting pissed. But I think Kirkman and the TV producers know this. I think they are doing this to throw a curve into what even the book fans will expect. They are treating it as an adaptation that is changing due to being in a different medium.Though you might be so pissed that you may not watch it, I imagine alot of readers wil still be glued to their seats because now they have no guarantees or assurance of what will happen, just like everyone else.

And even if trhe changes do burn the toast of most of the loyal fans and they stop watching, TWD the show has become a juggernaut that is mainly powered by a huge TV audience that probably never even knew it was a comic before. Like the show Lost, they are just watching it because it is a great drama about the human condition under shocking circumstances that is filled with chills and spills. I know thats why I watch it.

Bryzarro 3/5/2012 8:37:39 AM

 HAHA!!  I love it.  With this they finally broke free of the last shackles of the Comics.  I am sad Dale is gone but just thing of what this opens up story wise now.  This was a great episode but they should have had Carl kill Randall.  

I'm sorry I've been reading the comics from Day 1and I have no issues whatsoever with what is happening.  If they wanted to be predictable and re-hash the entire series vebatim on TV they I wouldn't really be watching every week.  I enjoy tuning in not knowing what is going to happen.  Keep the surprises rolling.  


violator14 3/5/2012 8:42:36 AM

I think they're probably saving T-Dog's lines for when Darryl's brother comes back to haunt them. Hell he's probably in that one dude's gang of 30. And when they have that war of Rick's gang vs. the gang of 30, it will attract every zombie in a 100 mile radius, and then they'll have to re-locate or something. I was hoping Dale would have become a zombie just to make it a lil more interesting, but oh well. Sucks for him either way.... stupid kid.....

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