The Walking Dead Season Two, Episode 11: Judge, Jury, Executioner

This episodes opens with Darryl beating Randall.  He wants information on how many are in Randall’s group.  Darryl uses his knife on his leg and Randall admits that they have weapons.  He says that the people took him in and he thought that he would have a better chance with him.  Randall then goes on to tell him a story about the men in his group coming across a father and his two daughters and raping them – could this have been Tyrese?  At any rate, Randall tries to assure Darryl that he didn’t have anything to do with that and that he is not like that. The very fact that Randall told Darryl this story, tells us that Darryl is not the brightest light bulb in any package.

Darryl comes out saying that Randall has a gang, and then tells them that the men will all be dead and that the women will wish they were dead.  Lori asks what they are going to do, and Rick says that they have to eliminate the threat.  Dale follows Rick and he can’t just decide for himself to take someone’s life.  Dale says that there’s got to be a process and that he is just a kid.  Dale asks for more time to talk this out, but Rick says that they need to be safe. In desperation, Dale tells him to think about Carl and the message that he sending him – to shoot first and ask questions later. Invoking Carl was absolutely the smartest move on Dale’s part. 

In the camper, Dale asks Andrea to guard Randall and protect him.  He is worried that Shane will find out, and he believes that killing the boy was Shane’s idea.  Dale reminds Andrea that she used to be a civil rights lawyer, and that she used to fight with words for what was right.  “The world we know is gone, but keeping our humanity – that’s a choice,” Dale says. Andrea agrees to watch the Randall but not because she thinks he’s right. I am so glad that Dale brought up what Andrea used to do, because it gave a different side to the whiny self important brat that she has become.  I don’t remember any mention of what Andrea used to do in the past but I am sure that in the comics it is Michonne who is the former lawyer.  She hasn’t even made an appearance and already things are being stripped from her character.

In the barn Randall is asking for water, and when he sees Andrea through the hole, he asks if they are going to kill him.  Looking out he sees Shane and Carl talking.  Shane tells Carl that this is grown up stuff, and he needs to let them handle it.  When Shane who will be dead soon, sees Andrea at the barn, he asks if Dale put her on death watch and if she is going to stop him.  He is upset that Randall is still there and Shane feels that they are going “pussy out.” Okay we need pause for a moment, because of the sexist language in that statement.  So far, The Walking Dead has had terrible female characters and some pretty misogynistic scenes, and so while this line is coming from Shane the would be rapist who should be dead, in the larger concept of the show, it stands as just one more example of the devaluing of women, because he clearly means this term pejoratively.  Shane asks Andrea who she  thinks is behind all of the problems that they have had and Andrea answers that some would say him.  Shane of course feels that the problem, “is the guys that make up the rules” and that they need to change the fact that Rick is the leader of the group.  Andrea believes that things would get out of hand with a change of  leadership.  Shane however counters by saying that he wants to know what it would be like to not have to sleep with one eye open.

Carl is up in the rafters looking at Randall.  He tries sweet talking Carl and tells him that he is lucky that he still has his family.  Randall says that Rick was going to let him go, until Shane started fighting with him.  He promises Carl that if he helps, that he will take him back to his camp, and take good care of him.  Shane bursts into the barn and sends Carl out of the barn.  Shane tells Carl not to go near Randall again, and Carl says that he can handle himself.  Shane says that Randall was trying to make him feel sorry for him and that “if you let your guard down around here people die”.  Carl’s only real concern is that Shane is going to tell his parents. 

Dale goes to talk to Darryl, and he tells him that he is better off fending for himself.  Dale asked him why he doesn’t stand with him to defend Randall.  Darryl responds that his opinion means nothing to the group and Shane and Rick run things.  Dale tires again and says that he sees Darryl cares about what happens to the group, and that he is a decent man.  Darryl says Rick didn’t figure out what happened to Otis because he didn’t want to while it was obvious to him. 

Lori and Rick start talking about the weather getting cold, and Lori asks if the best way to do this is to hang him. Rick says he knows how she feels about the death penalty, but Lori says she supports the decision if he thinks its best. In a matter like this, would it have been that bad to have Lori disagree with Rick.  It would have been the first time that a disagreement between Rick and Lori made sense, since all she seems to do is snipe at him over nonsense. Why is it that now that it is a matter of great import, she is happy to be the little woman who stands behind her man?  This is yet another example of how narrowly The Walking Dead has drawn its female characters.  Instead of offering an opinion, Lori wants to find out if her manipulation of Rick worked and if he dealt with Shane. Rick doesn’t give her any details and simply says that Shane won’t be a problem for them anymore.

At Sophia’s grave, Carol tells Carl that they will Sophia again someday.  Carl is angry and responds that  heaven is just another lie, and that if she believes in it, that he is an idiot before he runs off.  Carrol is incensed and storms up to Lori and Rick and tells them they need to get control of Carl.  She says that everyone thinks she lost her mind, but that she lost her daughter. It was nice to see Carol show some real emotion because she has always been meek but I don’t know that this was the time to show it.  How is it she can speak up when it comes to Carl – a person who is not threat to her, but stand silent as Darryl waves his finger in her face, and tries to physically intimidate her (episode nine)? 

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