10 most underrated The Walking Dead episodes ever, ranked

T-Dog, Glenn, Rick, and Daryl standing together in a scene from the first season of The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead has had its share of ebbs and flows. When ranking the seasons of The Walking Dead, there’s no denying the collection took a dip in its seventh and eighth seasons, however managed to return to its unique glory in seasons 9 and 10. The Walking Dead ended with its eleventh season, which concluded in 2022, however the franchise lives on with quite a few spinoffs. These embrace Walking Dead: Dead City and Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, each of which have been renewed for second seasons, and the current 2024 Rick and Michonne-centric spinoff The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

When it involves the unique, nevertheless, whether or not it was a top-rated season or not, each season of The Walking Dead has underrated episodes. In many instances, these are episodes that weren’t as frantic in pacing, nor stuffed with ugly walkers and pivotal storylines. But they had been necessary for a wide range of causes, and these 10 rank among the many most underrated of all of them.

10. When the Dead Come Knocking (season 3, episode 7)

Glenn killing a walker with the leg of a chair while tied down in a scene from The Walking Dead.
Gene Page / AMC

Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Glenn (Steven Yuen) had solely simply begun their romance by this level. But the deep love he felt for her was on full show when the 2 had been kidnapped and tied up in separate rooms. When The Governor (David Morrissey) orders Maggie to take away her shirt and bra, it’s a turning level for the lady, displaying simply how sturdy and fierce she has develop into. It’s additionally a extra critical second for the present, depicting the character in a susceptible state that made viewers really feel uncomfortable at the opportunity of what may come. This led to one among Glenn’s most heroic early moments as effectively, as he sprung into motion to take down a walker whereas tied up, organising the character to be the fan favourite he finally turned.

This can be the episode the place Merle (Michael Rooker) pledges his allegiance to The Governor, assuring he is not going to aspect along with his brother. The second wrenches the hearts of viewers who consider at this level that Merle can’t be saved, although they yearn for his redemption.

9. Killer Within (season 3, episode 4)

Lori lying on the ground, Carl standing over her in a scene from The Walking Dead.

T-Dog (IronE Singleton) was one of the vital beloved unique characters on The Walking Dead, and his loss of life hit followers laborious, particularly since he sacrificed himself to avoid wasting Carol (Melissa McBride). She went on to develop into a fan favourite character herself, ensuring his selfless loss of life was not in useless.

Meanwhile, followers anticipated Andrea (Laurie Holden) to final on the collection given her function within the comics. But it’s the start of the top of followers rooting for her when she ingratiates herself to the Governor and decides to remain in Woodbury. Most notably, nevertheless, this can be a essential episode for Maggie, Carol, and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) as Lori (Sara Wayne Callies) realizes she is not going to survive childbirth and begs Maggie to chop her open and save Judith.

It’s a turning level for Carl (Chandler Riggs), too, as he makes the mature determination to shoot his lifeless mom earlier than she turns right into a zombie. Both Carl and Maggie are ceaselessly modified on this episode, and it units Rick on a somber path coping with the loss of life of his spouse and the start of a kid who has now develop into his.

8. Four Walls and a Roof (season 5, episode 3)

Gareth on his knees in a church, looking up in a scene from The Walking Dead.

Father Gabriel (Gabriel Stokes) had one of the vital compelling arcs on the collection, so rewatching the episode the place he admits his guilt for locking his parishioners out of the church whereas the world fell is a reminder of all the pieces for which he labored to atone. He was a shell of a person on the time he was found, but nonetheless maintained his religion. When he pleads with Maggie to not conduct heinous acts within the church, calling it the “Lord’s house,” she retorts that it’s “just four walls a roof,” a telling assertion from a former church-going farm lady. Worse, nevertheless, is how this episode reveals how Rick has develop into extra like Shane (Jon Bernthal), as he brutally murders Gareth (Andrew J. West) as he kneels on the altar of the church. Fans may discover eerie comparisons to the best way Gareth stares up at Rick for mercy whereas on his knees, the identical manner Rick did to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in a later season.

Bob’s (Lawrence Gillard Jr.) loss of life on this episode additionally marks an necessary change in Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) that’s compounded later when she additionally loses her brother, Tyreese (Chad Coleman). These moments arrange her rising closeness with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and her final determination to sacrifice herself for the group.

7. What Happened And What’s Going On (season 5, episode 9)

Tyreese holding his blood soaked hands out in front of him, looking distressed in a scene from The Walking Dead.

Aside from that includes the loss of life of fan favourite character Tyreese, this episode was a lot completely different from others, which is why it doesn’t get as a lot consideration. But the shift in tone and pacing pays off. The episode has coronary heart, is extremely emotional, and marks the return of a number of characters, albeit solely as visions.

While hallucinating from his walker chunk and preventing loss of life, Tyreese sees everybody from the Governor to Beth (Emily Kinney), Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), and Bob. They reassure him that he has fulfilled his goal and he can let go. It’s an existential episode that sheds gentle on the psychological means of going from human to undead. For a present that’s so closely about loss of life, this episode was a welcome departure that followers won’t have utterly appreciated till lengthy after.

6. Still (season 4, episode 12)

Daryl standing, looking menacing with Beth in the background in a scene from The Walking Dead.
Gene Page / AMC

Beth died prematurely, earlier than her story was in a position to absolutely be informed. But what followers beloved most about her was the deep connection she had with Daryl (Norman Reedus), which had huge brother, little sister vibes. She was 18 when she died, a lot youthful than Daryl, however there’s no denying the bond the 2 shared.

This episode was a part of a season that flipped forwards and backwards amongst completely different folks within the group every episode. While it was extra low-key than others, it explored a deeper, extra delicate aspect of Daryl and arrange his immense heartbreak over Beth’s demise. Daryl cares for Beth, tries to show her issues, and chastises her as if she was his teenage baby performing like a university frat lady. He additionally opens up emotionally for the primary time, admitting his guilt for Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) loss of life, and even breaking down crying due to it. It’s a softer aspect of Daryl followers had been ready so lengthy to see.

5. What We Become (season 10, episode 13)

Michonne wearing a head scarf, standing in the middle of the forest with a weapon in a scene from The Walking Dead.

Throughout the collection, followers at all times puzzled what path characters might need taken had they encountered and joined a special group. This Michonne-centric (Danai Gurira) episode addresses this by presenting an alternate model of the character by her personal hallucinations. If it appears like a departure from the standard The Walking Dead tone, it’s. But it was a welcome one.

Virgil (Kevin Carroll) is launched and he looks as if an excellent individual till he serves Michonne a hallucinogenic tea after which traps her in a cell. She begins to see alternate tales of how her life might need gone had she made completely different selections, together with letting Andrea die, becoming a member of Negan and the Saviors, and being killed by and killing Rick. It’s a harrowing episode for a lady who has been by a lot grief, but in addition affirmation that Michonne is healthier for the selections she made.

It additionally drove followers to think about how anybody in the primary group may have develop into a really completely different individual had they accomplished issues otherwise. What We Become encourages followers to consider “what ifs” and see the villainous teams in a special gentle and, conversely, to investigate Rick’s group and the issues they’ve accomplished extra critically.

4. The Storm (season 9, episode 16)

Negan carrying Judith over his shoulder in the middle of a snowstorm in a scene from The Walking Dead.

Some could name episodes like this one “filler,” however there’s one thing to be mentioned for the significance and worth of quieter, extra laid-back episodes that drive the plot ahead. The Storm comes on the heels of an enormous battle with Alpha that left Carol and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) grieving the loss of life of their son, Henry. It’s exactly the sense of calm followers wanted after such a surprising episode.

Negan will get his knight in shining armor second when he saves Judith (Cailey Fleming) and Dog in the midst of a blistering winter storm. If there have been holdouts suggesting Negan didn’t deserve redemption, that is the episode that lastly proved he was worthy. Daryl, in the meantime, additionally demonstrates extra depth of character when he pleads along with his group to have mercy on and settle for Lydia (Cassady McClincy Zhang), regardless of her familial connection. It’s a slow-paced episode that marks a wanted break for followers of the present, even when it meant ready one other week for extra edge-of-the-seat motion to occur.

3. JSS (season 6, episode 2)

Enid standing behind a tree in a scene from The Walking Dead.

This is the episode the place the Wolves assault the in any other case serene group of Alexandria, leaving the group to defend itself and leading to huge loss. But there are a couple of necessary classes and messages delivered on this episode. Morgan (Lennie James), contemporary off his coaching with Eastman (John Carroll Lynch), is now proficient in Aikido, however has additionally realized the mantra that there’s one other manner and it isn’t essential to kill. So, when Carol saves him from a Wolf by killing the person, it creates friction between the 2 former mates. Morgan says they don’t need to kill folks and Carol replies, “of course we do.”

Meanwhile, we’re additionally reminded of how far Carol has come when she delivers blunt recommendation to Sam about his abusive father, telling him to recover from it and “live with it or it eats you up.” At the guts of this episode is the which means behind Enid’s (Katelyn Nacon) mantra JSS, “Just Survive Somehow.” Its these phrases that acquired Enid by the lack of her mother and father and gave her power, and it’s a robust message in and of itself for anybody coping with any sort of trauma.

2. Thank You (season 6, episode 3)

Glenn pointing a gun in a dumpster with Nicholas behind him in a scene from The Walking Dead.

Thank You will get a number of consideration for its ending that annoyed viewers by teasing the loss of life of fan favourite character Glenn, solely to disclose within the subsequent episode that he was, in reality, alive and effectively because of a rubbish can. The episode acquired a number of flak for that shameless bait and swap. But in hindsight, Glenn’s standing was all anybody may discuss for a complete week, which meant the episode did its job. Because of that remaining scene, nevertheless, followers additionally overlook about all of the unimaginable moments within the episode.

First is the terrifying loss of life of Noah in a scene that’s absolutely engrained in followers’ heads. This contains seeing each Noah’s (Tyler James Williams) terror and Glenn’s anguish at not with the ability to do something about it. Then there’s Nicholas’ (Michael Traynor) psychological struggles because the character goes from loathed to misunderstood, troubled, and perhaps even deserving of sympathy. The episode forces followers to ask themselves, would they have the ability to deal with such a world or buckle underneath the stress and be judged?

1. Mercy (season 8, episode 1)

Rick leading his group towards battle, Morgan second in command in a scene from The Walking Dead.
Gene Page / AMC

Mercy has the unlucky actuality of coming on the worst time within the present’s run. Former followers had grown bored of the drawn-out conflict with Negan and protested the brutal loss of life scene of Glenn and Abraham (to not point out the infinite teasers main as much as these moments). Because of that, Mercy didn’t get the popularity it deserved. It kicked off one of the vital lackluster seasons of the collection’ complete run. But the episode itself was a long-awaited payoff, the fruits of all the pieces for which followers who caught with the present had been ready. Mercy might need had a greater reception had it been the finale of season 7.

Nonetheless, within the episode, the large battle between Rick and his many allies and Negan and The Saviors lastly takes place. There’s additionally a pivotal dialog between Rick and Carl about trusting others that lays the muse for Rick deciding to not kill Negan in the long run. It’s refined moments like this that make the episode simply as essential to the plot as the extraordinary motion, even when followers had been annoyed that the Negan arc didn’t get the satisfying finish that they had hoped for. In hindsight, given how the Negan character arc continues within the spinoff, it was an excellent determination that followers can look again on now and recognize.

Stream all 11 seasons of The Walking Dead on Netflix. 

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