Last night’s Walking Dead took our comic book-based expectations and literally ripped ’em apart in front our eyes. Sure, they’ve deviated before and yes they’d already killed a character who is still alive in the comics today, but this death will be a season defining shocker. I think even more so than that one death we’re all expecting and are fairly certain is happening by season’s end.
I watch The Walking Dead at a local movie theatre that holds free, weekly screenings (Because it’s a known fact human drama and zombies are more intense on the big screen.) and our theatre was silent after Dale died. Before hand there were gasps of shock and disgust as he was violently disemboweled but afterwards, silence. Shit, it was like leaving a funeral!
When I got home I was majorly bummed all evening and I think it has a lot to do with not being able to see TV-Dale become comic-Dale. And maybe that never would have happened but now it sure won’t! I’m cycling through the stages of grief even as I type this out.
Robert Kirkman, series creator, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about how Dale’s death even more so than Sophia’s is going to affect the group,
This is the time more than ever when they really need someone to stand there and say, ‘Hey, this is not the popular decision, but I’m still voicing this because it needs to be said.’ They don’t have that. Now, we don’t know how they’re going to deal with Randall, and we don’t know what they’re going to do as Rick and Shane continue to butt heads. They’ve lost a very important piece of their ensemble, and so they’re not going to be able to make the same decisions they would have made, and that’s really going to affect the group as a whole. They are kind of in a bad place, and we’re going to have to deal with that.
As was mentioned in our recap (Which you can read here.) this episode felt like a swan song for Dale, even if his death was truly unexpected. I loved him for his crusade to save Randall’s life and it was proven again how important that voice of reason is.
Dale has become the moral center of the group, and especially in this episode for him to be going around and saying, ‘Let’s retain our humanity,’ he’s the last guy that’s preaching that at this point, with Rick making the decisions he has been making of late. To lose this guy at this moment means so much for this group. It’s going to be such a monumental death that it’s going to affect things a great deal moving forward. It seemed like the right time and that to me, all the stories that are going to come out of this that people haven’t seen yet are worth losing the Dale/Andrea relationship.
I’ll admit I’m pretty peeved we won’t be seeing the Andrea/Dale relationship develop on television. I had a sneaky suspicion they would shy away from their unconventional May/December relationship, and at one point I feared they’d be trying to hook Andrea and Shane up, YUCK!, but it seems they’ve chosen a completely different route. I was glad to see she sided with Dale in the end and I hope they spend time showing how Dale’s death will affect Andrea specifically. What do you think comic fans, will she start wearing his signature fishing hat out of mourning as she does in the books? I’d like to hope she would, but I fear they just weren’t given the chance to become that close in the TV show.
I will say this though, as upset as I am Dale is gone I’m glad the television show can still shock the shit outta me. We were all so preoccupied by, “When will Shane effin’ die!?” we never saw this coming.
I have talked many times how much I like the difference between the comics and the show. There are going to be big plot lines that we may not necessarily get to, like the romance between Dale and Andrea. If you think you really want to read that storyline, that’s available in the comics, and I highly recommend you pick those up. The show is always going to be a different animal, and the decision to kill Dale off was a big one, and it wasn’t one that was made lightly.
I can’t recommend the comic book enough to anyone enjoying AMC‘s series. If you like the show at all I think you’ll love the comics.
But what did you think of “Judge, Jury, Executioner“? Were you glad to see Dale go or are you still in shock? What other big deviations from the comic do you think they have planned?