AMC’s zombie drama series The Walking Dead has been around for a long time now. It will complete ten years in October this year, and this is no mean feat. The series, based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, tells the story of a world ravaged by an apocalypse due to the spread of a virus that turns people into undead who feast on the living.
The series has been so loved despite overstaying its welcome. While the show has zombies and special effects, it paints humans as the real villains, instead of the ‘walkers’. Andrew Lincoln, who has now exited the series, played the role of the primary protagonist Rick Grimes, a former sheriff, who led a band of hardened survivors across the length and breadth of the United States. The characters faced disparate bad guys in their journey even as the zombies continued to be a source of death.
Here are the best episodes of The Walking Dead:
“Days Gone Bye” (season 1, episode 1)
The pilot episode of the series is still my favourite. It was not particularly action-heavy. Rick Grimes woke up in a hospital from a coma in a world overrun by zombies. He is shocked and slowly reality dawns on him. Initially terrified, he gains his confidence. When he spots a legless zombie, trying to crawl towards him, he has only compassion for the undead. “I am sorry this happened to you,” he says before killing it. Talk about humanising a zombie. There were other moments of humanity, as well, like Morgan refusing to kill his undead wife, which brought many to tears. This was when Frank Darabont was in charge of the series, and there was a clear direction as to where the show was going.
A still from “Days Gone Bye”. (Photo: AMC)
“Infected” (season 4, episode 2)
In this episode, while the survivors are trying to, well, survive in the fenced prison, a traitor among them is making life difficult, nay, impossible for them.
“No Sanctuary” (season 5, episode 1)
Of course, The Terminus looked dubious from the start (there are no Good Samaritans in the world of The Walking Dead), but we knew the reality from this particular episode, and it was horrifying.
“Better Angels” (season 2, episode 12)
We knew it was coming, and it did. Finally, Shane and Rick had a face-off. Not only it was the end of Shane, we also knew that everybody was infected. If a perfectly fit looking person died, they would rise as a walker as well. A still from “Better Angels”. (Photo: AMC)
“The Grove” (season 4, episode 14)
One of the most shocking episodes of the show, The Grove had Lizzie, one among the two sisters, the other being Mika, going insane and killing Mika and trying to kill Judith too. The Walking Dead has been cynical in tone, but this was too much for many.
“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” (season 7 episode 1)
The episode that established Negan as the new Big Bad. Negan cornered Rick and friends, and proceeded to beat Abraham and Glenn to death with his beloved ‘Lucille’.
“Pretty Much Dead Already” (season 2, episode 7)
The Walking Dead is one of the most depressing dramas on TV. In this episode, the person for whom the group has been searching for long, was found. It was Sophia, Carol’s daughter, and she was a walker. The group was engulfed with despair and grief. When the Governor stormed the prison. (Photo: AMC)
“Too Far Gone” (season 4, episode 8)
When the Governor storms the prison, where the survivors are staying, with a freaking tank and then proceeds to decapitate Hershel using Michonne’s katana.
“No Way Out” (season 6, episode 9)
A thrilling, action-filled episode, the highlight here for me was Daryl Dixon taking out a group of Saviors with an RPG.
“Evolution” (season 9, episode 8)
The reveal of the Whisperers, the new antagonists in the world of the Walking Dead. The people who have devolved into little more than animals. They have an alpha amidst them as the leader of the pack, and they wear skins of walkers and can easily hide among the undead.