Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walking Dead Review: "Judge, Jury, Executioner"


Someone is going through their terrible twos.

Tonight's episode started off with Daryl being a complete badass, and poor Randall on the receiving end of his knife. I've liked Daryl for most of the show, and I think that this episode proves that he is especially well suited to life in this new world.

You ever peeled a scab off?

The majority of this episode focused on Dale though, and that was this week's greatest downfall. I feel like the writers have been purposefully making us hate Dale for this entire season, and when
 he gets eviscerated, I found myself relieved rather than upset. I feel like in most dramas, they make you sympathize with the main character they're about to kill, at least in their final moments. I've been sick of Dale for a long time. And now that I bring that up, I think it's also a good time to say that I finally agree with everyone else. They have drawn out far too many plot points this season. Between the search for Sophia, and now the whole Randall situation, I'm beginning to feel that the writers want this show to last longer than it probably needs to.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of character development, but the whole situation with Dale has been excacerbated to the point where I honestly sometimes feel like I'm watching a show on ABC Family.

This episode dragged on, and there was very little that actually happened. This is made more disappointing by the fact that the showrunners stated prior to last weeks fantastic episode "18 Miles Out" that the end of the season would be action packed and pure storyline. I honestly felt like they were trying to make us all hate Dale so that they could kill him off. Like I said though, this actually lessened the drama that might have existed had this event occured during the first season when Dale was still a likeable guy.

Carl was the other main plot point, and I understand what they're tryin to do with his character. He is the kid growing up in the post apocalyptic world, so he represents the new world that is emerging from the ashes of the old, and it makes sense that there will be detrimental side effects to all of this. I don't think that should serve as an excuse to radically change Carl's character though over the course of a few short episodes. The way he was acting in this episode seemed completely contradictory to the way he has acted for most of the show. I really like Carl, but felt like he desrved a good pop in the mouth tonight. That scene with Carole? Am I crazy or did that seem really uncharacteristic of him.

Then there was the main drama witih Carl and his interactions with the Swamp Walker. The way Carl threw rocks at him, and gawked at him like some sort of a caged animal shows obvious early signs of Carl becoming a sociopath. I do know that they are trying to show the way Carl is changing as he becomes exposed to more and more crazy situations, but they're trying to do it too fast, and unnaturally. There should be more of a progression here. I feel like Carl was one of the most optimistic characters on the show, but now he is proclaiming his lack of belief in heaven to the woman who recently lost her daughter. I just don't see where this fundamental change would have happened.

I'm pretty disappointed with this episode overall, but maybe my bar was set a little too high by the quotes given by the showrunners that I referred to above. There are only two episodes left though, so they better do a pretty fantastic job with them and make it up to their dedicated fans. With my limited knowledge of where the show is headed into the next season, I have to imagine things are going to get pretty crazy during these last few episodes. I think there is definitely room to improve on the way the end of season one was handled, so I'm definitely looking forward to what I hope will be the two best episodes of the Walking Dead yet.


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