Sundays 10:00 PM on AMC
The-walking-dead

The Walking Dead Review: Who Didn't Survive?

by at . Comments

I'm rather surprised at how one-sided the debate about killing or saving Randall turned out to be.

Sure, I understand the potential dangers associated with this particular newcomer and the threat his group of thirty something could end up inflicting on our cast of survivors. The extremely dark and disturbing story of Randall's "friends" raping those girls, making the family watch, and then just leaving them, was enough to make me think about what a world without rules does to someone. How crooked it can turn them.

And in effect, that's really what this episode tried to bring to light and show that even with our select group of characters, they are just as susceptible to those dangers. Trying to maintain that humanity when all feels lost and survival seems to be the focus isn't as easy as a task as one might think. 

Dale Pic

But I still can't believe that only Dale, the resident voice of wisdom and reason, was trying to convince everyone to not execute Randall. It was sad, really, watching Dale desperately try to sound out his argument to ultimately no avail. He spoke a lot of truth about the matter, in that Randall may not be that bad guy that they think he is and simply a person who doesn't deserve to die through a five-minute conversation.

Randall has done a very good job of toeing the line on where his morals stand (I like his addition to the show, whether he's good or bad,) but it's hard to watch anyone blindfolded and have a gun pointed at them when we really haven't seen him do anything bad to other people. I'm even amazed that Rick didn't put himself in Randall's shoes. All of the whimpering, crying, and pleading weren't enough to shake Rick from his mission.

The characters really seem to be taking a darker path and the preparation for execution in the barn really enhanced that. To be honest, the characters almost felt unrecognizable. Really? They were going to kill him in cold blood? They felt more like bad guys then so called heroes.

Carl was finally able to knock some sense into Rick, who has become so blinded by saving everyone and making it all okay, that he completely ignored the repercussions and examples made for his son. I don't think Rick could fathom that his kid not only condoned the death, didn't fear it, but wanted to watch.

It was a good realization for Rick, but I wonder what direction the show would have taken if they did end up killing their prisoner.

Although Rick should truly have understood that he needs to be a better parent to his kid. Lori take note. I mean, no one seemed to notice that he was missing? In a world filled with death around every corner, they just let him traipse around like nothing is wrong? How many times does Carl have to get into trouble before someone starts watching him?

I recognize that he's curious and seeing this new found world from his eyes is wildly different from the likes of any adult. From wanting to get real close to Randall to even stupidly getting within arms length of the trapped zombie, Carl puts himself in danger, but he doesn't see it that way. And while it's hard to refrain from yelling at the TV for a character not to do something idiotic like get yourself caught or killed when it could easily be avoided, I am easier in forgiving Carl because he's a kid. Yes, he should have far better sense, but really, where are his parents?

And in a way, Carl had the most impact for "Judge, Jury, Executioner" by inadvertently saving Randall's life and yes, getting Dale killed.

For many fans of the graphic novel, Dale survives a lot longer than he does on this show and I think it's safe to say that it proves that really any character's number can be up. In a way, I half expected it but kept thinking that at the last minute he would be saved. Nope, he literally had his guts ripped open.

And while I think many people might have a problem with The Walking Dead's departure from its graphic novel counterpart, I don't mind. I see them as two separate entities and instead enjoy when references are made to the material source like bringing in Hershel's farm or establishing the Glenn and Maggie relationship. It keeps things fresh for the show without making a verbatim copy of itself.

Yet - while I was truly shocked that A) this wasn't the season finale and the show killed a character and B) they killed Dale for crying out loud! - I'm more disappointed that we didn't get to experience more from Dale than constantly trying to convince everyone about something. I felt like his time came too soon and while his death has more of an impact than Sophia's (sorry, Sophia), there was so much that we had yet to learn about the man with his silly hat and Hawaiian shirt. In a way, he felt more like an outsider trying to prove his way in to the inner circle, but no one really paid too much attention to him other than the fact that he was the old guy with some smarts.

At least when it came down to it, Dale held true to his convictions. He never swayed, he spoke out even when it wasn't the most popular opinion, and he tried to hold onto that sense of humanity for both himself and everyone. He may have died a gruesome death and I'm glad that Daryl was able to put him out of his misery, but he never lost hope. I just wonder with him gone, how that will change the power balance. And what will that mean for Randall?

The second half of season two has done a far better job at moving the show forward and providing an interesting pacing that brings back the tension. This episode was certainly on the right path in continuing to snowball all of the most recent events towards something bigger. I don't think there is going to be a lot of time to mourn Dale's death because I fear for the group that the worst will be yet to come.

Are you surprised that Dale was killed? Should they have killed Randall? Are you enjoying the second half of the season? What's next for Rick and company? Sound off with your thoughts, questions, and comments below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (138 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook

Want more The Walking Dead?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

More From TV Fanatic

Julia-takes-the-lead

Under the Dome Review: What's 1821?

Power struggles ensue all around Chester's Mill on Under the Dome. Lives will be put on the line.
Facing-off-against-kate

Teen Wolf Review: No One Else Dies

Scott decides to get tough on Teen Wolf after rescuing his Beta by declaring he won't sit back and watch more deaths. Find out what else went down in the review!
Tamra-and-vicki

The Real Housewives of Orange County Review: Pity Party, Table For One

Heather and Tamra consider making peace with Shannon on The Real Housewives of Orange County. See what went down in our TV Fanatic review!
Winding-down

Murder in the First Review: And the Verdict Is...

On Murder in the First, the trial of Erich Blunt reaches its conclusion. But what is the verdict? Find out when you read the review.

Avatar

well my appinuene carl is a nice guy but dale shouldnt of died carl is twelve but acting a bit like his shoe size my favrouite charecter is :Andrea becaus shes tough for a lady and shes defently gonna survive! and all of the survivors now s acting like the zombies are a toy GET IN A CAMPERVAN ,GET LOADS OF FUEL AND LIVE IN IT BUT LOCK THE DOORS ! i play lots o zombie games myself and it is quite hard but you got boundries you havent!

Avatar

I have been faithfully watching this story ever since it started and I am very upset that they chose Dale to die in the second half. Dale was totally the conscience of the whole group and he really didn't need to die. Shane is totally being the bad guy of the group and he is doing everything possible to break up Rick and Laurie. Laurie is a total ***** and she doesn't even know who the real father of the baby is (so she says), and I still believe that Shane is the real father. Carl is a total pain in the bum and he needs a good paddling for the things that he is doing. Rick and Laurie really need to both sit down with him and get to the bottom of things. I have always loved Hershel because he isn't afraid of standing up for his rights. This show is totally tops!!!

Avatar

I REALLY HATE LAURIE, SHE IS PLAYING RICK AGAINST HER EX-LOVER, AND SHE SHOULD BE SHOT. I HOPE SHE RUNS OFF WITH SHANE ALONG WITH CARL, BUT RICK WOULD PURSUE HIS SON. I AM AFRAID THAT SHANE IS GOING TO KILL RICK. RICK NEEDS A GOOD NEW WOMAN, MAYBE A WOMAN THAT HE RESCUES FROM THE OTHER GROUP, AS HE HAS NO CHEMISTRY WITH HIS WIFE. I PREDICT THAT SOMEONE WILL BE IMMUNE TO THE VIRUS AFTER SOMEONE IS BITTEN, AFTER ALL NO VIRUS KILLS 100 PERCENT OF PEOPLE, THEIR ARE ALWAYS SOME SURVIVORS TO ANY PLAUGE, AND I HOPE IT IS RICK AND THEY ALL HAVE TO PROTECT HIM AT ALL COST VIRGIL WILL DISCOVER THIS FIRST, AND AFTER RICK OR WHOEVER IS BITTEN THE GROUP WILL TRY TO KILL HIM BEFORE THEY DISCOVER HIS/HER IMMUNITY. THE QUESTION IS WHO WILL PROTECT THIS PERSON? HOPEFULLY THE GOVERNMENT SURVIVORS WILL GET WORD OF THIS AND SEND A HELICOPTER TO RESCUE THE IMMUNE PERSON, HOPEFULLY IT'S RICK. THE GROUP SHOULD FIND A MISSILE SILO, WHERE THE GOVERNMENT PEOPLE ARE.

Avatar

I'm glad he is dead, i did not like his character in the novel and I did not like it in the serie. He is always complaining and pointing fingers. I like the second season and also the idea of moving away from the novels is great. I really liked them but if they make a copy I don't have to watch the show

Avatar

Alex Roggio
March 5th, 2012 6:43 PM
________________________________________________________________________ go back a step mate, truth is carols dead husband (the wifebeater) and murrell (the racist) were part of the group when shane was leader and exited before rick became leader of the group... also randall didnt say 2 guys were rapists he said the men of the group did it... if you paid attention more you would see that despite the one-sidedness to killing randall (which i think is right and will be proven right) that rick is doing his damn best to keep the group alive and keep the role of leader which he never asked for! he is a great character and its not his fault that half the group (including his son) are complete ass hats that rely on him and blame him for failures... i think the guy deserves a round of applause not slagging off

Avatar

I cried almost half of the episode I cried with Dale because everyone in that group is just so terribly STUPID, awful and inhumane... I can't even think how I hate them for considering to kill Randall, survivors should be lucky they have each other not kill each other and I cried for hours FOR Dale.. he was the best T____T stupid gang can be eaten by zombies now!

Avatar

That little brat was already spoiling the programme before all this. It would be so much better if he gets killed by a zombie. What I want to know is why have they not started to barricade the farm with fences, barbed wire and strings with cans. They saw how many walkers were around and I feel they take it for granted and it seems to have taken the fear away from the zombies. Yet they still camp outside. If they always have somebody on look-out why did they not see the lone walker and why was no-one watching Carl? I think Dale's death will hopefully bring it all back into view, as the series has been a little inconsistent and has shown a different side to Rick.

Avatar

I just saw a tribute to Dale and Andrea on YouTube...background music"Because of You" I HATED it!!!I really liked Dale...such a caring, reasonable, moral man! I could never decide for sure exactly what his feelings for Andrea were. He LOVED her, but was it a romantic love or a fatherly love? She became a royal B**** towards him as time went on; she made him sad and hurt him so many times! He KNEW what happened between her and Shane after their walker killing spree! It's been said you don't know what you got 'til it's gone. I hope Andrea really misses Dale!!! She should feel terrible about the way she treated him! I think the group will leave the farm shortly. And I have an awful feeling that Herschel and most of his people are going to die! I hope Maggie survives to be with Glen. What a sweet couple!

Avatar

Stupid kid man I really liked Dale because he wasnt blind. Know who is gonna be the voice of reason?
I wanna see how they go about with the winter thats gonna make everyone go crazy if they all live in that house!

Avatar

Carl is seriously starting to piss me off. For starters TAKE OFF THAT STUPID HAT you look like the Lone Ranger's sidekick. Apart from that he just can't seem to stay the hell out of trouble. He disrespects every adult he comes across and seems acts like he's planning to take over the group. He better be dang sorry in the next episode or the zombies can have him for all I care. As for Lori what the hell was that BS she threw at Andrea? Let the men protect us, we've got clothes to wash? I ain't no feminist but are you freakin KIDDING? Sure Lori, if a zombie comes through the window you go hide in the washing machine.