First and foremost, I must say this: DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. You WILL hate yourself if I am the one to ruin it for you. This episode began with a huge debate over whether Randall (Captain Leg Wound) would live or die. The argument is that Randall could possibly lead the group of 30+ strangers to Hershel’s farm if he is let go. If they kill him that threat is potentially squashed, Dale is arguing however, that if they execute a fellow human being for a crime he hasn’t even attempted to commit, they lose their humanity.
Throughout the episode, Dale attempts to convince everyone in the group to find another way to deal with Randall, one by one we see how these people have changed since the Zombie threat has arrived. All the while, Carl is becoming more and more desensitized because of the world around him. He is beginning to act out. He yelled at Carol (who cares?), but he also taunted a walker in the woods after stealing (and losing) Daryl’s gun!Eventually, as the group decided Randall was to be executed by Rick, via a bullet to the brain, Andrea surprisingly agreed with Dale that they needed to find another way. Majority rules, though, and Rick, Shane and Daryl went into the barn to kill the stranger. At the last possible second before Rick puled the trigger, Carl showed up at the door. He said “Do it
Doug Dad!”, and Rick knew that Carl wanting to see a murder meant he couldn’t go through with it. Rick decided to hold Randall captive until they figured out what to do with him.
Things really got awesome though when Andrea went to tell Dale that the group was sparing Randall’s life. Dale had begun walking away from the farm, and came across a cow that had been mutilated but was still alive. It was grotesque, so Dale was staring at the poor thing.
At that moment, the walker whom Carl had been taunting earlier in the episode found Dale. He knocked him to the ground, and as the group neared the scene, the walker ripped open Dale’s fricking torso! Carl saw that this was his fault (that little bastard) and cried. Nothing to teach a kid a lesson like the good gutting of a loved one.
Daryl killed the walker and Hershel explained that Dale wouldn’t even make it as far as the barn – there was no saving him. Rick was going to put Dale out of his misery, but was obviously struggling, so Daryl took on the burden. This was a surprisingly touching scene as Dale’s death is symbolic of Humanity’s struggle. Civility is gone now. It’s also important in that it has further cemented Daryl’s role, he’s the one who does the dirty work for Rick, allowing our chivalrous leader to stay ‘clean’.
I cannot believe that Dale is dead! At first I thought that this would mean there is no hope for a future with any kind of humanity. Then again, in the preview for next week’s episode, you see that the group is now set to prove Dale wrong in his declaration that the group was “broken”. The way that Dale died was so disgusting and so wrong… it was disturbing. In all honesty, I was getting bored with the first 40 minutes of this episode. The last 20 minutes saved it for me. Bravo!
I give this episode a 4/5 based solely on the last 20 minutes.