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The Walking Dead: Judge, Jury, Executioner (Episode 11)

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Rick’s compassion has gotten the group into another tricky situation.  Last week we saw an ill-fated attempt to abandon enemy-turned-tag-along Randall (Michael Zegen) on a remote schoolyard only to discover that he knew Maggie and the location of Hershel’s farm. This week we discover the gang that abandoned Randall are 30-strong, armed to the teeth and not inclined to play nice. Too much of a liability to set lose, not quite guilty enough to execute – the group must decide their prisoners fate, forcing each of them into becoming the judge, jury and executioner.

It’s no easy task and pretty soon it splits the group wide open, however it’s Dale that this quandary hits hardest. Much like the search for Sophia, Dale see’s this decision as a turning point in the mentality of their troupe. Sentence Randall to death and all is lost, they’ve become just as evil and devoid of hope as the world they now inhabit. Keep him alive and they’ll be forced to live out the rest of their days under the shadow of a potential ambush. As their leader, it’s once again up to Rick to make the deciding vote and while Dale sets off on a campaign trail to gather ‘Justice’ votes from the group what he finds instead is that this throng of survivors are truly lost.

However there’s much more at risk here than one man’s life. With all these heavy thoughts cascading around it’s easy to forget that Rick’s impressionable son Carl is growing up in these chaotic surroundings.  Preoccupied with their current dilemma, Rick and Lori struggle to keep their moody and inquisitive son under control. When he wanders off into the swampy outskirts of Hershel’s farm, Carl inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events that spells doom for one of our surviving few.

The events of this week’s episode will undoubtedly change everything. How long can Rick maintain control? How long can Hershel’s rural get-away remain secure? Perhaps this week’s blow will force the group into taking drastic action to secure their safety. Let’s not forget that at the climax of season one, the disillusioned Dr Jenner shared with Rick a hushed toned-secret before he blew his secure research complex sky high. Our fearless leader has yet to reveal the late Dr’s final words of wisdom, leading us to believe that maybe there’s logic in Rick’s decision making. Maybe, with this knowledge in mind, Rick truly is doing what’s best for everyone. Hopefully we’ll find out more in next week’s penultimate episode. The end is near…

Originally featured on OntheBox.com

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