|The Walking Dead character|
|First appearance||"Triggerfinger" (episode 2.09)|
|Last appearance||"Better Angels" (episode 2.12)|
|Portrayed by||Michael Zegen|
Randall Culver is a fictional character from the American television series The Walking Dead portrayed by Michael Zegen. He is an original character and has no comic counterpart. Randall appears in Season 2.
Fictional character biography
Randall Culver is a young member of Dave and Tony's group. In the episode "Triggerfinger", Randall's group gets into a shootout with Rick, Glenn, and Hershel. When the gunfire attracts a horde of walkers, his group flees, but Randall falls and impales his leg on a fence. Rick, Glenn, and Hershel rescue him, despite his having shot at them. They take him back to Hershel's farm blindfolded and operate to save his leg. In the episode "18 Miles Out", Rick and Shane take Randall to a secure building to leave him there, armed with a knife. Randall pleads for his life, revealing that he attended the same high school as Maggie and recently lost his mother. This leads Rick and Shane to suspect that he knows the location of the farm, so Shane attempts to kill Randall, but Rick stops him. As the two fight, Shane accidentally releases a large group of walkers trapped in a building, and the three of them flee back to the farm. In the episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner", Daryl beats and interrogates Randall, who reveals that his group has attacked innocent people before. Rick decides that Randall should be executed to protect the survivors at the farm. Dale argues passionately to spare Randall's life, but the rest of the group either supports Rick's decision or is indifferent. As Rick prepares to shoot Randall, Carl urges his father to do it, which horrifies Rick and causes him to stop. In the episode "Better Angels, Rick plans to release Randall, but Shane sneaks into the barn. Shane brings Randall out into the woods and snaps his neck, but tells the rest of the group that Randall attacked him and escaped. Glenn and Daryl later discover Randall as a walker, and Glenn impales him through the head with a machete. They examine the body and find no visible bite marks, causing them to become confused as to how Randall became a walker.
Development and reception
Zack Handlen writing for The A.V. Club in his review of "Triggerfinger", felt that the dilemma of needing to free Randall when his leg was stuck on the fence was "well-handled, as once again, Rick was willing to do what nobody else was", and that Randall's presence on the farm would help keep things interesting on the show. Robert Kirkman commented on how Rick and Shane would move forward when considering Randall's fate after "18 Miles Out": "That's something we're going to be dealing with in our very next episode back: just how much of a threat this guy is and what they're going to do with him. While he did drive the car, they saved him as much as he saved them, if not more so. I don't think he would have been able to make it out of there alive. Them putting him back in the trunk, they clearly don't trust the guy to drive back all the way with him. The guy's a prisoner now and they have to figure out what they're going to do with him." SFX journalist Ian Berriman wondered "Once Randall has cut himself free he stabs a female zombie in the head repeatedly, with a great deal of enthusiasm… is he really the harmless ordinary Joe he claims to be?" Nate Rawlings of Time declared that his top zombie "kill of the week" was tied between Randall repeatedly stabbing a female walker in the head "with the remarkably disgusting squishy sound over and over" and Rick shooting one zombie through the mouth to kill one behind it. Andrew Conrad of The Baltimore Sun called Randall's "zombie arm-break stomp" the second best "special move" after Shane's motorcycle slam against Rick. Cyriaque Lamar of io9 professed that in "Judge, Jury, Executioner", the writers should have written off Dale in a more respectable way; "That wasn't the way to off the show's most annoyingly sane character. Dale's redeeming quality was his ability to guilt everybody into paying lip service to rule of law; his weakness was his naïveté. Having an escaping Randall kill him would've offered some poetic symmetry."
- Handlen, Zack (February 19, 2012). "Triggerfinger". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Goldberg, Lesley (February 26, 2012). "'The Walking Dead' Dissection: Robert Kirkman Talks Confrontations and Growth". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- Berriman, Ian (March 3, 2012). "The Walking Dead "18 Miles Out" TV REVIEW". SFX. Future plc. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Rawlings, Nate (February 27, 2012). "The Walking Dead Watch: 18 Miles Out". Time. Time, Inc. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- Conrad, Andrew (February 26, 2012). "'The Walking Dead' recap, episode 210: '18 Miles Out'". The Baltimore Sun. Tribune Company. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- Lamar, Cyriaque (March 5, 2012). "On The Walking Dead, tragedy inadvertently makes for great comedy". io9. Retrieved March 10, 2012.