It’s the final confrontation with Cal. Things go badly as Cal’s close presence brings Judges back under his hypnotic sway, but Fergee sacrifices himself to end the tyrant’s reign.
Ol’ Stoney Face
Dredd’s long battle with Cal comes to an end here – although at the final hurdle it’s Fergee who literally topples the mad Chief Judge.
There’s an interesting parallel here with Dredd’s actions in The Cursed Earth – choosing Spikes Rotten, helping Tweak. Dredd may not land the final blow against Cal, but his previous actions allow it to take place.
Unsurprisingly, the Judges turn to Dredd to lead them. Just as unsurprisingly, Dredd has no interest in being in charge and heads back to the streets where he can do the most good.
Friends of Dredd
Fergee gets his Big Hero Moment here, grabbing Cal and taking him (and a bunch of hypnotically-controlled Judges) over and out of the Statue of Judgement to the waiting pavement below. Easy the Ferg! (I have no idea what that means)
The Big Meg (and Beyond)
The crisis is over, but Mega-City One has a lot of rebuilding to do. We don’t get final numbers on citizen casualties, but we can assume it’s pretty bad.
Dredd orders memorials to Fergee to be constructed across the City.
The Alien Zoo
After Cal’s death the Judges have to track down and get rid of the Kleggs, including blasting their spaceship out of orbit.
The Judges are determined to defeat Cal, angry and guilty that they were able to be controlled. But once the Judges get close to Cal, his hypnotic control is reasserted, causing them to restrain Dredd and his pals as they attempt to to stop the tyrant. A number of them tumble out with Fergee and Cal – adding to what must be a pretty significant death count for the Judges over the last 20 progs.
After refusing the role of Chief Judge, Dredd recommends tutors Griffin and Pepper for the positions of Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge respectively.
It’s the end of Cal, and he goes out as insane as he came in, claiming that he can save them from their plummeting fate by his command alone. He can’t.
Too many to get into specifics, but we obviously see the demise of Cal and Fergee here. A number of Judges die with them, and presumably more die in confrontations with the Kleggs.
For this episode in particular, it works well as a finale. Fergee’s sacrifice is effective on the page, but he just never clicked as a character for me so it didn’t exactly leave me heartbroken.
But what I do like (as I mentioned in a previous post) is the cost that is clearly in evidence here. We always knew Dredd would triumph, but even that final victory comes at the cost of another bunch of Judges that were not in control of their actions. That’s really effective – and even though Dredd refusing to take up the offer of being Chief Judge is obvious, that still works as well.