In tonight's episode, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has chosen to follow Shane's (Jon Bernthal) advice and kill Randall before his friends come looking for him, but Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) has a different opinion. Meanwhile, Carl (Chandler Riggs) wanders down a dark path that leads to death for someone in the group.
Execution by Vote
Rick's group is now holding Randall-the-stranger prisoner and Daryl (Norman Reedus) is interrogating the man. Randall tells Daryl that his former group had about 30 people and they are heavily armed. Randall claims he hardly knew the men he was with and he has no loyalty to them. When Daryl informs the others of Randall's information, Rick decides they have to kill Randall because the kid is a threat.
Dale then argues with Rick and convinces him to let the rest of the group think things through. Rick agrees to wait until sunset to make a choice about Randall, and Dale asks Andrea (Laurie Holden) to stand guard so no one can do anything to Randall until the group makes a choice.
The Wisdom of Children
Carl is curious about their prisoner and decides to look in on him. Randall-the-stranger tries to convince Carl to set him free, but Shane interrupts them. Shane tells Carl to stay away from Randall because Randall is dangerous. Later, Carl mouths off to Carol (Melissa McBride) and Rick has a chat with him. Rick tells his son that Carol is grieving and she needs to believe that her daughter is in a better place, even if it is not true.
Carl then goes off on his own and finds a gun. He also finds a Walker, trapped in the woods. Carl, in the infinite wisdom of a child, decides to taunt the Walker by throwing rocks at him. But that game must get boring because Carl soon decides he is going to use his new gun to shoot the Walker, only the Walker gets loose! Carl manages to get away, but he loses his new gun in the escape. Carl then fails to tell anyone about his encounter.
"Civilized" Societies No Longer Exist
When it comes time to make a decision about whether or not to kill Randall-the-stranger, Dale argues against it, as predicted. Dale says they cannot condemn a man for something he might do and that if they do this, they will lose their humanity. Dale thought Glenn (Steven Yeun) would be on his side, but Glenn thinks the risk is too great and he agrees that Randall should be killed. Surprisingly, Andrea winds up siding with Dale but since no one else comes down on their side, the decision is made to kill Randall.
However, when it comes time to do the deed, Carl walks in on Rick as he is about to shoot Randall and urges his father to pull the trigger. Knowing that something is not right if his young son wants to see an execution, Rick changes his mind and decides they should keep Randall alive for the time-being.
The Group Loses Another Member
Dale, not knowing that Rick has chosen not to go through with the murder, walks off by himself and gets attacked by the very same Walker Carl ran into in the woods. The Walker rips into Dale in an attempt to get to those tasty human guts, but Daryl manages to kill the Walker before he can make Dale his next meal.
Unfortunately, Dale has been too damaged by the stomach-ripping shenanigans and Hershel says there is nothing they can do for him. Andrea is devastated, especially when she sees how Dale is suffering and she asks someone to put him out of his misery. Rick attempts to do the job but hesitates, so Daryl steps up and kills Dale to end his pain.
With Dale gone, will the group decide to go back to their original plan and kill Randall or will they choose to honor Dale's memory by keeping the kid alive?
Megan ColeContributing Writer(Image courtesy of AMC)