After two weeks of Zombie Mayhem, we start to see what kind of monsters our heroes are becoming.

Title: “Judge, Jury, Executioner”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Gregory Nicotero
Written by Angela Kang

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh
Scott Wilson as Herschel Greene
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horvath
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Steven Yeun as Glenn
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Melissa Suzanne McBride as Carol Peletier
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
James Allen McCune as Jimmy
Jane McNeill as Patricia
Michael Zegen as Randall

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Darryl decides torture is an acceptable option as the group argues over how to handle Randall, with Dale perhaps the only one standing up for the most humane options. Meanwhile, Carl begins to display the kind of behavioral problems typical of kids who grow up in a zombie apocalypse, and the episode meanders to two concluding events—one entirely expected, the other, surprisingly shocking.

High Point

If I saw the (temporary) resolution to the debate over Randall’s fate coming as clearly as a crowd of slow-moving zombies, Dale’s death took me by surprise. If the plotting was somewhat plodding and strained, the central themes came across clearly. We’re observing the end of humanity; in battling monsters, our group have become monsters.

Low Points

I know kids grow up fast in the apocalypse, but it seems unbelievable Carl would be allowed to wander off property without a single adult realizing he has done so. Did the entire cast suddenly mistake the Greene homestead for Mayberry?

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 6/6

Story: 3/6 After two zombie-heavy episodes, the idea of a human story, with but one walker in sight, seems a good option. It needed to be more focused, however.

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6.
Overall: 4/6.

In total, “Judge, Jury, Executioner” receives 32/42

Lingering Questions

Did we hear a cow in its death-lows, or evidence that animals can become zombies? If the latter, why haven’t we encountered more of them?