The Walking Dead

Cheers to The Walking Dead for a pulling off a jaw-dropping twist of fate.

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SPOILER ALERT: STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE!

The title of this week's gut-wrenchingly great episode, "Judge, Jury and Executioner," leads you to believe it's referring to the impending demise of Randall (Michael Zegen), the straggler from a group of 30 survivors deemed hostile by the gang on Hershel Greene's farm. (The gifted Zegen is racking up an impressive roster of appearances on quality cable dramas — he played Denis Leary's paralyzed-firefighter nephew on Rescue Me and also currently recurs as a young Bugsy Siegel on Boardwalk Empire.)

But after an agonizing ethical debate — and the disturbing bloodthirstiness of his young son, Carl (Chandler Riggs) — Rick (Andrew Lincoln) decided to spare Randall's life. Then came the real shocker: Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn), the voice of reason who'd urged his comrades not to execute their prisoner, got eviscerated by a walker and was mercy-killed by Daryl (Norman Reedus). Without Dale's humane influence, will the brutal Shane (Jon Bernthal) now become the group's amoral conscience? If so, the show's title could take on a new meaning of its own — referring not to the zombies, but to the survivors.

What do you think of last night's Walking Dead?

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