Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TV Review: "Judge Jury Executioner"

Carl Wusses Out

Having only seen this week's episode of "The Walking Dead" tonight, it's much too late for a simple recap, so I thought I'd review this game-changing episode, instead. Still, if you haven't seen it, SPOILERS LIE AHEAD!

"Judge Jury Executioner" was one of the most brutal episodes yet, starting with Daryl beating information out of Randall and ending with... well, I'll get there.  A mini-recap, first.

Rick, second-guessing himself (as usual) has sided with Shane in the decision to execute Randall. Dale, the group's Jiminy Cricket asks Rick to hold off until he's talked to everyone about this. An-almost defeated Hershel defers to Rick, more concerned with retrieving some escaped cattle. Meanwhile, Carl has confused bravery with bravado. He visits Randall, despite being told not to, and after stealing Daryl's gun, has a near-fatal encounter with a mud-stuck Walker. As sunset draws near, Dale keeps pleading for Randall's life, despite the fact that everyone else (except Andrea) appears to be in favor of execution. "I don't want to live in a world like this," Dale says. "I want no part of it." He storms off in to the growing darkness as Shane, Rick and Daryl escort Randall to the barn where they plan to kill him. Rick has his gun pointed to Randall's head when Carl appears. "Do it, Dad! Do it!" A horrified Rick relents (much to Shane's dismay) and Randall is returned to the shed. After Rick and Carl return to camp with the news that Randall is not going to die, Andrea sets out in search of Dale, to relay the good news. Dale, stomping angrily through the fields, comes across a dying cow that has obviously been ravaged by one of more Walkers. As Dale turns around, the Walker that Carl let live is upon him, tearing open his stomach before help can arrive. Carl can't look and Rick can't shoot, so it is up to Shane Daryl to do the right thing. 

Wow. Powerful stuff in this episode, with some powerful moments. Carol finally showed some spine and Daryl proved he hasn't completely abandoned the 'broken' group. Personally, I'm waiting for Lori or Carl to kick it, because I've really come to hate their characters. And I must admit that the scene in which Hershel gave his grandfather's watch to Glen got me little misty-eyed. Tense moments, poignant performances and some very smart writing made "Judge Jury Executioner" the season's best episode, yet. **** (Four Out FourStars).

I hope all the folks who nay-sayed the first half of this season are enjoying their humble pie. With less than a handful of episodes left (and the already-spoiled death of another major character yet to come), I am excited to see where television's 2nd best show is headed. Here's a look at next week's episode:

More, anon.

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