Coming from the last week’s “18 Miles Out”, this week’s episode certainly had some big shoes to fill. And while it wasn’t a total failure, what was here did somewhat struggle to hold its own. Perhaps the biggest culprit was the writing itself. Jeff DeMunn tried hard, but his character Dale’s holier-than-thou attitude slowed the episode down. The pacing itself wasn’t really an issue, but the lack of either some conviction or citation of a real, honest reason to spare Randall was sorely lacking. Maybe if Dale had been there in town with Rick, Hershel and Glenn, he would change his tune, considering Randall had been firing at them from the rooftop. That’s a pretty good reason not to turn down the execution. Dale just kind of shuffled along pleading with everyone to show some compassion to Randall. Meanwhile, Randall (who could be bluffing during the interrogation) fesses up to witnessing what amounts to a gang rape committed by his group. Could he be conveniently leaving himself out in the role of perpetrator and downgrading his participation to that of horrified observer? I think most people would utter any lie they thought might stave off their own execution. Hmmm.
Carl, this week has his own preteen blues, going down the Rebellious Adolescent Checklist of Behavior like a kid who’s skimmed any introductory psychology text. First he back talks Carol, then gets rebuked by Shane for getting too close to Randall; on top of this he decides to steal one of Daryl’s guns and go play Rambo in the woods alone. While there he encounters a zombie and has his own personal Private Ryan moment, in which his own inaction leads to the death of one of their own, in this case Dale. It’s this kind of writing, which is both obvious and instantly evoked the Upham character from Ryan, which leaves little to hide the connection. I understood the parallels of civility and death that Dale was raving about, but the dialogue just needed a bit more polish before going in front of the cameras. With some tightening, Dale’s departure could have exhibited a more deserved poignance. Instead we’re left with what sounded like a second draft.
How did Dale not hear the zombie shuffling about behind him? Oh yeah, because it seemed to have materialized out of nowhere.
Why didn’t the zombie continue eating the cow’s innards after leaving it to die in the grass? The pilot episode demonstrated their fondness for horse guts.
Why did Daryl wait so long to put Dale out of his misery? His intestines were only spilling out of torso. I’m sure it couldn’t have hurt too much.
Final Grade: C+
TRR TV Revue by Jacob Aquino