At the end of a tense Walking Dead in which viewers were led at every turn to believe that Rick was going to execute captive Randall, it turned out to be Dale who actually bit the dust – and in most gruesome fashion. Here’s how it all went down:
TRIGGER-UNHAPPY | Though Dale spent most of the episode campaigning for the gang to spare Randall, he was only able to win over… well, no one. At least not until the 11th hour, when Andrea had a change of heart. But, just as Rick was going to pull the trigger, Carl appeared and, rather than object, said, “Do it, Dad.” So naturally Rick didn’t – couldn’t – do it.
LIVE AND LET DIE | While all this was going on, Dale took off in protest and happened upon a walker who, quicker than he could say “Oh s***,” had ripped his stomach open. By the time help arrived, there was nothing to be done but tell the victim “Happy entrails to you!” (Also of note: Again, Rick couldn’t shoot, even to put Dale out of his misery. Daryl had to step up and silence the group’s voice of reason.)
FLIRTING WITH DISASTER | Earlier in the episode, Carl’s behavior continued to worsen. First, he told Carol she was stupid to believe in heaven, much less that they’d someday be reunited with Sophia there. Then, he pocketed Daryl’s gun and nearly got himself killed trying to shoot a walker that was stuck in a puddle of muck… the very same walker, he later realized with horror, that tore apart Dale.
CH-CH-CHANGES | Hershel gave Glenn his official okay to court Maggie – and a pocket watch of extreme sentimental value. Daryl kept right on decorating his offshoot camp in Texas Chainsaw Massacre style. And Shane suggested – hello, foreshadowing! – that they overthrow Rick, Hershel and anyone else who stands in their way, and take over.
So what did you think of the episode? Were you surprised that Dale was killed? That Randall lived? The eulogizing starts below.