Wow, you guys!! I was SO ready to come here this morning and write the most ragetastic ragecap that ever raged, but then? THEN, the last five minutes of the episode happened, and the sun came out, and birds started singing in 6-part harmony, and unicorns pranced through fields of gold and Puff the Magic Dragon frolicked in the autumn leaves in a land called Honnalee! The people rejoiced, there was happy-dancing in the streets…
Oh, whoops. Did I type that out loud?
Okay, you know how last week’s episode had a lot of action, and zombies, and they didn’t clutter up the screen with a bunch of superfluous characters? Well, this week wasn’t like that. ALL of the fucking annoying and superfluous people crawled out of the woodwork this week.
We open on The Man beating the shit out of Randall in an effort to elicit information about the gang he was running with. According to Randall, who may or may not be telling the truth, there are about 30 in the group, including men, women and children. He says they have heavy artillery, and that they travel around scavenging. He goes on to say that some guys found a campsite with a father and two teenage daughters, and that the other two guys raped the girls, but offers by way of a character reference his non-participation in the gang rape that he clearly at least watched. Nice.
The episode is basically then one hour-long debate amongst the characters about Randall’s fate, after Rick gathers them in the morning and says they’ll make a final decision at sundown. Cue Dale crawling right the hell up everyone’s goddamn g-string ALL FUCKING DAY about how Randall is just a kid and they need to be civilized and moral and do the right thing and I cannot remember when I have wanted to reach right through my TV and kick someone in the gonads as much as I wanted to kick Dale.
He makes the rounds to each character in turn, eliciting responses that range from “Don’t be stupid, he’s a risk and we need to kill him,” to “Meh, whatever, I really don’t give a shit.” No one is all “rah-rah Dale, let’s keep this
man-boy obvious threat to security around to kill us in our beds!”
NLR basically agrees that the kid is a threat and needs to be eliminated. Dale asks her to guard Randall so Shane won’t go into the barn and kill him before sunset, then tries to slut-shame her by insinuating that she basically only agrees he should die because she had Shane’s peen in her and she wants to be like him. He reminds her that she was a civil rights lawyer. NLR: ”Who says we’re civilized anymore?” Two episodes in a row where I don’t hate NLR. Definitely a record. NLR does not agree with Dale that they should spare Randall, but does agree to guard him until the group decides.
Shane of course trips right away to why NLR is guarding the barn. He thinks the group is going to “pussy out” and argues that they maybe need a change in leadership. NLR doesn’t exactly look 100% on board with Shane’s talk of sedition.
Dale tracks down The Man, who notes “Why I come up here is to get away from you people.” I feel you, dude. I feel you. The Man, whom I’m thiiiiiiiiiiis close to renaming “Honey Badger,” does not give a single fuck about whether Randall lives or dies. Dale says if he truly doesn’t care one way or the other, then why not side with him and argue to keep the kid alive? Oh Dale, you wily debater, you. (Not.) The Man: ”Didn’t peg you for a desperate sum-bitch.” Also, The Man already intuited that Shane killed Otis; he figures it’s so obvious that if anyone hasn’t figured it out, it’s because they don’t want to. He tells Dale the group is broken.
Then Dale tries to get Hershel on his side, thinking he’s being all manipulative by reminding Hershel that it’s his home so he should be the one to say what happens. Hershel is Over It, and says that’s up to Rick. He wants Randall away from his girls, and he really doesn’t give a shit how that happens.
Dale even goes to talk to Shane directly, saying he wants a chance to change Shane’s mind. Shane, pretty much over this ass at this point, tells Dale point-blank that he’s wrong, but says that if the group does decide to spare Randall, he won’t say anything, because when keeping him alive inevitably leads to bloodshed, it will be on Dale’s head. Somehow, I don’t think that was exactly the response Dale was looking for.
While this is going on, Lori: 1. Tells Rick that she will support his decision “if you think it’s best,” (how very Tammy fucking Wynette of her); 2. Nags him to ask Hershel if they can move into the house since the weather is getting cold; and 3. Fails to monitor the whereabouts of her son — who is prone to trying to get his ass killed — at all, at any time during the entire fucking day. GOD, this bitch!
Also while this is going on, Carl: 1. Sneaks into the hayloft, where he gazes down at Randall like a full-on fucking creeper before Shane catches his ass and hauls him out of there; 2. Goes off on Carol when she says Sofia is in a better place, telling her that heaven is just another lie and it’s stupid to believe otherwise, earning him a lecture from Rick about “Don’t talk, just think”; and 3. Steals a gun from the saddlebag of The Man’s motorcycle, sneaks off into the woods, and finds a zombie stuck in the mud. He throws some rocks at it like a good little sociopath who tears the legs off of insects, then takes the gun out and approaches it, only to have it lunge and clear one leg from the mud, grabbing Carl’s feet and making him drop the pistol. He manages to get away and runs back to farm, where he does not call attention to his behavior by, oh I don’t know, warning people that there’s a half-unstuck zombie at the creek.
ALSO-also while this is going on: Glenn and Hershel have a nice little bonding moment, during which Hershel gives Glenn the pocket-watch that was handed down from his grandfather. Awwwww. Even Hershel can’t resist the adorableness of Glenn.
As planned, the group comes back together in the house at sunset, including Hershel, Patricia and Maggie. Dale presumes that only he and Glenn are on Team Randall, until Glenn says he’s actually not so much a member of Team Randall as a member of Team Get-Rid-of-Randall. They all express variations of “What other solution is there?” and point out the impracticalities of keeping him a prisoner, with the exception of T-Dog, who does not say anything because the production is apparently staying under budget now by not paying Irone Singleton to say any lines at all. Seriously, Show; making the one black dude you have an actual token? Not cool, guys. You need to knock that shit off.
Carol tries to abdicate any responsibility in this decision whatsoever, which Dale calls her out on by saying that if she doesn’t vote to keep Randall alive it’s like she’s killing him herself, which, way to be a manipulative douchecanoe, Dale. Apparently suffering from some flashback to her civil rights lawyering days, NLR finally decides to vote for Team Keep Randall Prisoner.
The vote obviously goes against Team Randall, for we find him being led blindfolded into… another barn? I guess? He is pushed to his knees, begging and pleading, while Rick, Shane and The Man each take their places around him, guns drawn. Rick is mentally preparing himself to do the deed when he sees Carl standing in the doorway. Jesus, people. Fucking Lori!! What the hell is she going to do when she has TWO kids to keep track of, when she can’t watch just one for five fucking minutes? I hate her SO HARD, you guys!
Shane goes to haul Carl back to his stupid, negligent mother, but having seen his son there about to watch this execution, Rick decides he can’t do it and tells The Man to take him away. He then tells the group that he has switched to Team Keep Randall Prisoner. NLR says she’ll go tell Dale.
Dale, as you might expect, is snitting around out in the field so he doesn’t have to witness this horrible atrocity take place or whatever. He comes across a cow that has been horribly gutted, but before he can do much more than look, he turns as a zombie — the one that Carl was fucking with at the creek earlier — pounces on him.
I’m not even gonna lie, folks. I was cheering that zombie on SO. FUCKING. HARD!! I mean, like, edge of my seat, hands clasped, kicking my feet, and shouting at him to just eat him already. My dogs, husband, cat, housemate, and neighbors three blocks away all thought I was having a ‘sode. Dale shouts, and NLR hollers for the gang as she runs toward where Dale is, but before anyone can get there, my favorite zombie in the history of ever JUST FUCKING GUTS DALE TOO, JUST LIKE THE COW!!!!
You guys, I didn’t cheer this hard even when the Patriots won the Superbowl. You know, back when they used to do shit like that, instead of just putzing around the field and losing it to the fucking New York Giants and the fucking zombie-like Eli Fucking Manning all the damn time. #Bitter
The Man dispatches the zombie (aw, sorry dude. I love you!), but it’s too late for Dale. Hershel, arriving on the scene, says he’ll never make it back to the house and considers doing surgery right there in the field, but it’s very obvious that Dale is not going to make it. In the end, The Man pulls his gun out and, telling Dale, “Sorry, brother,” puts him out of
my his misery.
And that was that! Two more episodes left in the season. Are you glad that we won’t have to listen to Dale’s self-righteous, sanctimonious ass during them, or were you sorry to see him go? Is there anyone at all left on your “Do Not Eat” list at this point? Give me some comment love and tell me what you thought.