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The Walking Dead 211 "Judge, Jury, Executioner"

Judge, Jury, Executioner...Dale won't be approve of this.
He's got bigger problems.

Season 2, Episode 11: "Judge, Jury, Executioner"

Original Air Date—4 March 2012

Written By:
Angela Kang
Directed By:
Greg Nicotero

"Rick sides with Shane on an important decision, causing Dale to worry that the group is losing its humanity. Carl's actions have unintended consequences on the group."

We open with the always awesome Daryl Dixon "interrogating" the hostage. Randall spills a story about his "group", thirty men, who came across a father and his teenage girls, implying brutal rape. He also lets out they are heavily armed. Daryl understands that if Randall ever brought his group back the threat is very real. The group has to make a choice on whether or not they will execute their hostage, Randall. Most of the group is stoically OK with the move, but Dale appeals to their civility and pleads with Rick to have time to talk to everyone individually before the deed. "The world we knew is gone," Dale argues, "but keeping our humanity? That's a choice."

Meanwhile we get a creepy Carl, who is featured throughout the episode more prominently, wearing his dad's Sheriff's hat. He first insults Carol at Sophia's grave telling her heaven is just a lie and if she believes it she's "an idiot". Then he picks a gun from Daryl's motorcycle pouch and wanders off into the woods were he stumble upon a Walker, stuck in the muddy river bank. He tries to practice shooting the zombie, but it gets loose, scaring him, and Carl drops the gun as he runs off.
I thought they were setting up Carl to shoot Randall and shock everyone, but we will later see this is a little misdirection.

Throughout the episode Dale is doing his moral roll call, talking to the members of the group one on one, pleading humanity, civility, etc. There is one final group meeting in the house before the deed where the group discusses options and details, and Dale calls everyone out with the "if we do this, we're no better than them" and "don't lose your humanity" take on it.

"If we do this the rule of law is dead, there is no civilization," Dale argues. "It's survival of the fittest. And that's a world I don't want to live in," Dale somewhat correctly and yet prophetically speaks.

The shame about Dale this season is that he was so one-dimensional, stuck on the judgmental "voice of reason" vibe, and not in a good way. His character in season 1 was much more charismatic, while still wise, but they ruined him this season just like they did with Glen. His one-on-one appeals to people's goodness and civility were annoying rather than the levelheaded wiseman poet feel we used to get from him. When he paraphrases a Faulkner parable about a father giving his son a watch ("the mausoleum of all hope and desire.") around the campfire in "Vatos" (S.1.04) we witnessed the charm and eloquence of the character. Let's remember that guy. That charm was gone this season.

Rick, Shane and Daryl march Randall into the barn for his execution. As the put him on his knees, and Rick standing before him, holding his Colt python asks him if he has any last words, Carl stumbles in on the scene.

"Do it, Dad! Do it!" he says in a creepily enthusiastic tone. Shocked, Rick lowers his revolver and tells Daryl to take Randall away

Rick comes back to the camp and explains what happens to Lori and the others. Andrea says "I'm going to find Dale."

We cut to Dale patrolling the outskirts of the camp under a full moon, when moans lead him to a mauled cow in the field. As he quickly turns we see a familiar sight, the Walker who Carl found earlier stuck by the river (and told no one about). The Zed quickly overtakes the old man. His screams from the field rally everyone from camp to run to his side. Daryl gets there first and dispatches the walker with a swift knife jab to the head. Everyone else rushes to find Dale struggling in pain, his torso ripped apart. Herschel informs them there is nothing they can do as everyone sobs.

Carl recognizes the walker and sobs in his mothers arms. "He's suffering. Do something," cries Andrea. Rick looks to put the old man out of his agony but can't do it.

Daryl takes the gun from Rick and crouches over Dale. "Sorry brother," fade to black (gunshot heard).

R.I.P. Dale. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn describes his character, Dale:

2.5 Zs" - Zombtac.com


Here is a detailed synopsis from AMC's website


- So Carl's allowed to roam for long periods of time day and night unsupervised in the Zombie Apocalypse? Lori: add worst mother of the year to your annoying features.

- And speaking of Carl, her sure seems to take after his mother. That kid is loudmouthed, breaks the rules, and even creepy and perhaps on his way down the serial killer developmental road.

- T-Dogg. You know T-Dogg? The black dude. Apparently the writers don't, since he had one freakin' spoken line this episode, and that was interupted by Dale!


Shane (to Carl)- "Quit tryin' to get yourself killed,"

Dale- "It's survival of the fittest. And that's a world I don't want to live in," (regarding what the world would be to them if they went ahead with executing Randall)

Daryl - "Sorry brother," fade to black (gunshot heard).



Andrea was a civil rights attorney in her pre-apocalypse life.

Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples' physical integrity and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical or mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity; and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement.

Political rights include natural justice (procedural fairness) in law, such as the rights of the accused, including the right to a fair trial; due process; the right to seek redress or a legal remedy; and rights of participation in civil society and politics such as freedom of association, the right to assemble, the right to petition, the right of self-defense, and the right to vote.


Rick contemplated using a noose in the farmhouse for Randall's execution.

The last public hanging in the United States took place on August 14, 1936, in Owensboro, Kentucky. Rainey Bethea was executed for the rape and murder of 70-year-old Lischa Edwards. The execution was presided over by the first female sheriff in Kentucky, Florence Thompson.

Only the states of Washington and New Hampshire presently retain hanging as an option, with execution by hanging occuring in Washington into the 1990s. In New Hampshire, if it is found to be "impractical" to carry out the execution by lethal injection, then the condemned will be hanged, and in Washington the condemned still has an outright choice between hanging and lethal injection.


Dale's internal organs were approximated by chicken breasts with fake blood pumping in a scene that was shot as an "insert" on an 8'x8' soundstage. Jeffrey DeMunn/Dale's last episode was filmed in October of last year (2011).

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