The Walking Dead: “Judge, Jury, Executioner”

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?

3 replies on “The Walking Dead: “Judge, Jury, Executioner””

  1. J_W_W says:

    Regarding the cow. I think it was just dying. I think they’ve already established that animals do not become zombies.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      The graphic novel certainly precludes animal zombies, and you’re likely right about the show. Still, it would be an interesting (if expensive) element. I think the only film I’ve seen with animals being affected by the zombie plague was Return of the Living Dead, and they were played for laughs.

  2. rickyjames says:

    Again with the weird fractured plot setups, altho getting better. LAST week Randall miraculously heals well enough to be taken 18 miles out apparently the day after his capture, yet only when he lets the cat out of the bag that he knows Maggie does anybody think to question him THIS week about his crew. By poking a knife at his non-infected, non-swollen small stitch wound where a fencepost got ripped out of both sides of his leg thru the muscle. Sigh. Anyway.

    Kids these days. They find a zombie and just throw rocks and play squinty eye pretend bang with the pistol and look where it gets them when they don’t put their big boy pants on and pull the trigger. Carl has learned his lesson – the one he heard from Shane, not observed from Rick, in the just-who-is-my-dad department – and he’s gonna apply it next week, wait and see.

    I just wonder who’s going to get to wear the symbolic Hat Of Righteousness when Carl has to give it up. Or who gets to wear the Early Bird Special, as Maggie called it. Lots of symbolism embodied in the headgear, seems like. We’re down to the Police vs. the Yankees…

    The zombie again was great on all fronts – makeup for extended closeups, acting, utilization and out-of-left fielded-ness. And once again hero stupidity plays a key role in giving the zombies their pound of flesh. You’d think somebody would know about the safety of camp and keeping a lookout.

    Daryl is awesome. It is very interesting to see how he and Shane are on different paths despite their similarities. Shane is immoral, Daryl is amoral. The difference is that Daryl would never have lied about Otis – just stated the facts about how it went down and gone on to make some arrows for the next round.

    “Sorry, brother”. That’s right up there with “I hear Nebraska’s nice”.

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