AMC’s Walking Dead has recently clawed its way back onto our screens in all of its gruesome glory for its tenth season! With an interesting start to the season coupled with the looming threat of Alpha and her Whisperers, our favorite survivors look to have their work cut out from them; perhaps literally!
While the latest season of the show is going strong with no signs of letting up soon, The Walking Dead is both famous and infamous for its paramount storytelling. That being said, some episodes of The Walking Dead’s history are leagues ahead of the rest for various, rather shocking, reasons. Without further ado, here are a humble Walking Dead fan’s top 10 must watch walking dead episodes. Need I say spoilers?
Number 10: Coda
Starting off the list is an episode from Season Five of The Walking Dead. Coda is the episode where we say goodbye to Beth. Calling back to the earlier episode Daryl and Beth had together, we feel Daryl’s failure to protect her as our own when he stumbles out that hospital with her lifeless body in his arms. Character deaths always make for a must watch episode, no matter how tear jerking they may be.
Number 9: No Sanctuary
The Walking Dead has had a lot of holy crap moments but nothing compares to the show’s season five premiere. We start with our survivors soon to be chow for a malicious group of cannibals; until Carol steals the show. Saving the survivors single-handedly made Carol a force to be reckoned with. Pair that with her brutal execution of Mary and she is one lady we wouldn’t like to cross.
Number 8: This Sorrowful Life
I’m sorry, what episode? This Sorrowful Life is an episode from way back in season three of the show. We join our merry band of survivors in their struggle against The Governor (the first struggle, not the second). This episode has made it to the list for the sad farewell of Merle. While Merle is not a character one would mourn, his sudden change of heart and self-sacrifice makes him the perfect example of an anti-villain trope. I mean, who doesn’t like a last-minute redemption arc? Don’t even get me started on when Daryl finds his reanimated corpse; right in the feels.
Number 7: How It’s Gotta’ Be
Towards the middle of season 8, we get a hammer blow to the show’s cast and the characters; the death of Carl. This is something nobody saw coming, die-hard comic fans included. What makes his death so satisfying is how it course-corrected a bloodthirsty Rick and the show. Of course, we need to mention badass Carl fending off Negan’s assault as a one-man army, cool hat n’ all! The most interesting moment by far is Negan and Carl’s conversation for humanizing the show’s main villain in a very vulnerable way. Kudos.
Number 6: Chokepoint
Now we jump all the way to season nine. The Walking Dead has plenty of good episodes but before hitting the top five we need to talk about Chokepoint. Chokepoint pays off the one-on-one fight fans had been waiting for since the introduction of the behemoth that is Beta. This is, of course, the Daryl and Beta fight and what a fight it was! We knew Daryl wasn’t going to die but seeing him being thrown around like a ragdoll had me second-guessing.
Number 5: No Way Out
No Way Out is not only a cracker of an episode; it is also a turning point for the show. In this season six episode we see the Alexandrian survivors fend off an entire herd of zombies hand-to-hand. Let’s not forget Carl losing his eye too. If it wasn’t badass enough to see the herd getting leveled, we also see Rick lose his mind again which is always a must watch.
Number 4: The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be
Ah! The season seven walking dead premiere; also known as Negan’s introduction. Need I say more? Everyone was on edge that full time and the scriptwriters really liked to play around with us! Making us wait until almost half the episode is gone to find out who Negan pummels was bad enough, let alone he pummelled two people! We will miss you Glenn (oh, and you too Abraham).
Number 3: Too Far Gone
Here we have the top three. Kicking it off is Too Far Gone aka The Governor fight (the second one this time). Something about a tank, Hershel losing a fight with a Katana and Rick in yet another hand-to-hand fight makes a good episode. My only real criticism of the action-packed episode being Rick getting one too few blows in on our one-eyed neighborhood psycho. However, the demise The Governor came full circle from Hershel losing out to a Katana with The Governor taking it through the chest. You go Michonne!
Number 2: Better Angels
Number two and one were a struggle. Both of them came so close to becoming my number one for this list of top 10 must watch walking dead episodes. However, both include our main man Rick Grimes (obviously). This is the only entry from Season Two for this list and by far one of the best episodes the show has produced. The tragic end for Shane and the turning point in Rick’s character make for one heavy episode, and we haven’t even talked about the beautifully crafted shots and fully fleshed out story arcs that were paid off this episode. Only for it to finish with our first real glimpse of a walker horde!
Number 1: What Comes After
Finally my number one spot and by far the best episode the show has produced. An absolute must watch for TWD fans is Season Nine’s What Comes After. In this episode, we say goodbye to Rick Grimes as a TV show regular. Where he goes and who he becomes are still a mystery to this day but saying goodbye always hurts, especially to the one and only Officer Friendly.
So that was my top ten must watch walking dead episodes! What are you waiting for? Check out the podcast episodes and get re-watching. They aren’t going to watch themselves!