‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: ‘Judge, Jury, Executioner’ [SPOILER ALERT]

Rick vs. Shane
The Ultimate Showdown In Last Week's Episode
In this week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Deadthe fighting was nonexistent and the plot meandered along. But the ending was worth the wait because, spoiler alert, a dude’s freaking guts were ripped right out of his stomach. It was a bad day in zombie land.

In terms of zombie kills, there were hardly any. Daryl is found to be torturing the new prisoner Randall for information and one couldn’t help but sing, “Judas! Jud-a-s!”. The writers even went so far as to include his manly black motorcycle later on. Lady Gaga would be proud.

Randall spills the beans on his gang of fiends. There are 30 of them, they have an intimidating amount of ammo and they have no qualms with raping innocent women. But Randall is a good guy, trust him! Daryl comes from a pretty shady background himself, but from what we can gather of his interactions with Carol and his dedication to little Sophia prior to her death, he is very protective. His torture, lonely man title was reminiscent of Sayid from ABC’s LOST. Actually, many aspects of this show are starting to seem very Lost-esque. Daryl mentions to Dale that he has known all along about Shane’s dirty little secret and the fact that Rick won’t accept it means that the group is broken. 

Andrea confirms to the audience that the crew is in fact, out of ammo. Dale is running around like a mad man trying to convince people that they should not kill Randall. His only ally is Andrea, but at this point she has a major thing for Shane and she is enjoying her newly claimed badassery so she is all for shooting the guy. We then learn that Andrea was a civil rights lawyer. Uh, thanks for adding that into the plot for this episode alone writers. We’re not buying it. 

The frustrating thing about television programs is that they have a hard time staying consistent. When it’s something epic and audiences are extremely loyal, the writers need to be more diligent in keeping things steady. Carol is a perplexing character. Another spoiler, she kills herself in the graphic novel. If the writers are going to follow through with this, they aren’t showing it very well. Carol was surprisingly upbeat about Sophia’s disappearance as has been mentioned before. And now that Sophia is dead, she is moseying around camp arguing with Carl about heaven. They’ve tried to connect her with Daryl, but thus far it’s been underwhelming.

Speaking of suicide, Beth is still laying in bed and Hershel is back to cattle herding. Dale is desperately trying to prevent Randall’s death and the show is doing a good job of letting us know why we should like him this episode. Dale is the moral backbone of the group, but he has been somewhat useless this season. Other than try to creepily control Andrea and fix a radiator in the motor home, the man is plain annoying. But you have to really hand it to Jeffrey DeMunn this episode for his heart wrenching performance as Randall’s only defense lawyer. 

He reminded so many of us why we watch this show outside of the pure adrenaline we get from zombies, guts, and gore. The only reason an apocalypse like this is fascinating to us is because we have to analyze what it would truly be like to live through one. What kind of people would we turn into? Who would we become? Could we keep our integrity or better yet, our humanity in the face of absolute fear? Rick Grimes is the everyman and he is always weighing the options. Where other people react instinctively in this cast of characters, he is like us, conscientious of every decision being made. 

Carl gets into trouble by pissing off Carol, teasing a walker stuck in the mud, stealing a handgun from Daryl and ultimately causing Dale’s demise. But he served as catalyst for Rick’s conscious. Nothing will guilt you into doing the right thing like the innocence of a child. Although Carl will feel terrible about not shooting the walker in the mud, it isn’t his fault that Dale wins the award for most bitchen zombie death to date. Carl is being influenced by both Shane and Rick. His inability to kill the zombie speaks of Rick and his yearning to watch Randall die speaks of Shane. 

Rick decides not to execute Randall because Carl busts into the barn with blood thirsty eyes. But this wasn’t a surprise. The surprise was that no one told Dale that they made the right decision as he was suffering and passing away slowly from his attack. This might make things harder for Shane because Andrea is going to change her tune now that Dale is gone. It’s hard to say how things will evolve, but hopefully next episode will include more guts and less contemplation.