“The Walking Dead” is the “don’t say "zombies’” series that is adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. As with any show, some episodes are worlds better than others (I’m talking to you, first half of season two), so with no further adieu, here are five of our favorite episodes to have aired thus far of “The Walking Dead”.
5. Clear (Season 3, Episode 12)
Many fans of “The Walking Dead” agree that “Clear” is the best episode of the series. Here, we see the more humanistic side of Michonne who, after she protects Carl (who wants to retrieve a photo of his family from a local bar that has been run down by walkers), is officially accepted into Rick's group. We also finally see Morgan again, the man who saved Rick's life in the first episode. Except now, Morgan is armed to the teeth and is a few beers short of a six-pack. You would be too, if you saw your wife trying to make a meal out of your son, who then turns into a walker himself. Perhaps most heartbreaking is that Morgan never heard any of Rick’s updates over his walkie, leading him to think Rick forgot about him or worse, which was the exact opposite of what Rick was trying to do.
4. Pretty Much Dead Already (Season 2, Episode 7)
Just when you thought the second season was doomed to suck, out of Hershel’s barn-o’-Walkers steps Sophia, Carole’s long-missing daughter, who is now a walker. Rick reestablishes his leadership by putting her out of her misery, and Shane further establishes how much of a savage he is becoming by opening the barn in the first place and going all open season on the walkers living inside. Plus, we see how shaken up Daryl has become after searching endlessly for Sophia, only to find out that she has been dead all along. This episode got us back to (or introduced us to) the true nature of several of our main characters.
3. The Killer Within
No one could have suspected that the “Killer Within” would be Lori’s baby. (Though, who among us didn’t think it would have been kind of awesome if Lori's fear came true and the baby was a walker inside of her?) Let’s face it – Lori was a terrible mother and perhaps the sole instigator of the bad blood that existed between Rick and Shane. Though, watching her say her goodbyes to Carl was more heart-breaking than we expected. When it finally came time for Lori to get hers, in the end, we actually felt pretty bad about it.
T-Dog was, sadly, another casualty of this episode. In the writers giving him the lines “I'm the one black guy. You realize how precarious that makes my situation?”, they gave us hope that the stereotype might be defied and that T-Dog would continue on. Sadly, that was not to be, though at least he died saving Carol, so that's something, right?
2. Better Angels (Season 2, Episode 12)
The Rick/Shane “will they/won’t they” dance finally came to a head in this episode. We weren’t quite sure what we were hoping they would or wouldn't do (Make up? Kill each other? Feed Lori to a zombie and make the other watch?), but there was finally a resolution, and it came with some damn good acting. It also ended with a “what the eff?” cliffhanger – why did Randall, and then Shane, turn into Walkers? They hadn’t even been bitten! This scene, complete with Carl’s inevitable killing of “Shane, the Walker” was a mirroring of a similar scene in the graphic novel.
1. This Sorrowful Life (Season 3, Episode 15)
The Governor bit Merle’s fingers off! On his remaining good hand! There would be no way he could fend off the zombies now, even if the Governor hadn’t shot him point blank. Merle was a goner the second the Governor’s mouth touched his hand.
This episode was an emotional rollercoaster from the beginning. Merle, who we kind of hated all along for being a racist douchebag, redeems himself at the last minute when he decides to essentially sacrifice himself to the Governor. Merle’s motivation the whole time has always been Daryl, and he was willing to turn Michonne over, knowing full well she would be tortured, in an effort to save his brother.
Except, when push came to shove, he couldn’t do it. What comes next is a satisfying assault on the Governor’s forces, followed by a quick but intense fight between Merle and the Governor, which doesn’t end well for Merle. And, as if having your fingers bitten off and being shot wasn’t enough, the Governor deliberately neglects to shoot Merle in the head, effectively making him a walker, a walker that Daryl, his own brother, has to kill in order to save his own life. The feels, so many feels.