This week's episode spolights some other group members as the gang takes a vote on Randall's fate; and things end with shocker. Check out the rest of my thoughts below.
In shows with a big ensemble cast it's a common problem for certain characters to get the short shrift. With close to ten core group members and a variety of other characters The Walking Dead often has trouble giving some characters more than a few lines an episode (or in the case of T-Dog any). Much of the focus the past few weeks has been on Rick, Shane and Lori; with a few others thrown in occasionally. This week we got to see some of the rest of group speak out through Dale trying to rally support to stay the execution of Randall. This was a nice change and something I had been looking forward to for a while. I like that the show actually gave all the charatcers a decent amount of lines in which to say their piece (except of course T-Dog).
One of my favorites Daryl got to show off by employing some creative techniques to have a "chat" with Randall where he learns that Randall's group numbers close to 30 and are armed. This prompts Rick to declare that they should vote on whether or not to execute Randall, and in turn launches Dale's campaign to "talk some sense" into everyone.
Dale's humane view of maintaining the moral code of a pre-apocalpyse world is set against Carl trying to show off how tough he's becoming. I understood the idea behind this, but it only slightly worked for me. There were moments where the contrast was great, like Carl childishly playing with Daryl's motorcycle. But other times he felt like a nosy, insulting brat. In the end Carl fails to kill a walker and cowers with his mom in the wake of Dale's gruesome death; showing he's not quite the bad ass he thinks he is.
Rick's reluctance to execute Randall at the end was somewhat frustrating, only because it's clear that A.) it only acts as a stall tactic so they can drag it into the next episode and B.) Rick had the full support of the group, so there's really no conceivable reason for him not to do it, even when Carl walks in on him. Like the characters the show has to commit to a point of view, and its pretty clear Rick's waffling grates on the viewers as much as it sometimes does his fellow group members. Dale's death was a suitably gory and shocking way to end things in an episode focused on that characters campaign for humanity. It was also a true tribute to the shows awesome special effects and makeup folks (yay fake intestines!).
If I had to rate this one it would be a 95 out of 100
I enjoyed hearing everyone's point of view, but the fact that Dale's argument wasn't compelling only made Rick's lack of action at the end even more ridiculous.
A few notables and quotables:
- The camera work with Randall talking to Andrea through the slats in the barn was a nice cinematic touch and I really liked it.
-The scene with Hershel and Glenn was oddly moving, if a bit out of place, and was less sappy than I expected.
-In an episode focused on the death of the old rules of law the group bans everyone under 18 from voting. Sorry kids- age of consent still applies even in a world without rules.
-Shane: "Let me ask you something; every time we have a problem around here, who you thinks behind it?"
Andrea: "Some might say you"
- Daryl: "Ah man, I don't need my head shrunk. This group's broken."
- Dale: "If we do this we are saying there's no hope; rule of law is dead; there is no civilization!"
-FYI for Chuck fans- next week Zach will be on the Talking Dead after show, hosted by Chris Hardwick (Nerdist), along with Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene, Vivian Volkoff).