The Walking Dead: Judge, Jury, Executioner

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

"Heaven is just another lie. And if you believe it, you're an idiot."

Judge, Jury, Executioner, is a coming of age story focused on Carl, that takes place in the middle of what the group wants to do with Randall. Last episode, Rick and Shane had differences as to whether or not they should kill Randall. Rick won out, and after bringing Randall back to the farm, the group then had to deal with this problem. The only protester against the execution, was Dale, who feared that killing somebody that was not a walker would erode away at their humanity and civilization. As Dale was going around trying to talk the group out of killing Randall, Carl also did his share of walking around.

After the split in the first season, and Sophia's death, Carl was now the only child of the group. He saw himself getting talked down to, excluded from the big meeting of adults, and ended up feeling disrespected and constantly treated like a child. As everybody casted Carl aside to deal with the execution issue, Carl did the one thing that nobody else had done, and that was have a talk with Randall. In this conversation, Randall resorted to being underhanded and manipulative, but before it could get anywhere, Shane intervened by throwing Carl out of the barn. This scene was one of the few times this season, where Shane made complete sense, as he did not even have to ask Carl what happened, to know what Randall had said.

It is in interactions with adults such as this one, that pushed Carl into wanting to escape what he perceived as the excessive sheltering that he had to endure. The coming of age plot came when Carl stole a gun, to walk off on his own into the woods. When he came across a walker that was stuck in the mud, the man in him wanted to eliminate the walker, but the child in him acted out in fear. This incident hardened him even more, reminding him of how real the dangers of the world had become. This turned more evident, as Carl stepped into the barn as the execution was about to happen, to tell his father to pull the trigger on Randall.

Carl's inability to man-up, that is, confess to the walker breaking free of the mud, would find its way back by the end of the episode. That one walker that Carl failed to dispose of would come back to haunt him, by attacking Dale in the middle of the night. Seeing Dale lie there suffering on the ground, sent Carl back into the arms of his mother. All this happened, and nobody even knew what Carl had been through. If there is one thing that this one plot, and the entire series has to say, it is that the walkers are not the main problem. It is how the survivors handle themselves that brings the greatest hardships.

Tags: The Walking Dead, AMC, comics, Robert Kirkman, Judge, Jury, Executioner, 18 Miles Out, Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal , Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden

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