Since 2010, The Walking Dead has built on its original comic book fan base and amassed millions of devoted followers worldwide. And it’s done so by creating and maintaining one of the most exciting fictional realities on television today. Sure, there have been some low points throughout the series’ six and a half seasons (so far). But the show has also been responsible for some of the most thrilling and thought-provoking moments on network TV. Here are 10 of the best The Walking Dead episodes so far — but there are major spoilers ahead, so be careful!
1. “Days Gone Bye” (Season 1, Episode 1)
It’s the episode that started it all. And to this day, “Days Gone Bye” remains one of the most gripping installments of The Walking Dead. The episode’s strengths lie in its ability to draw the viewer into the bleak and terrifying reality of the series’ zombie-infested universe. It does so through the eyes of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who wakes from a coma in a deserted hospital to find that the world has gone to hell.
His desperation to find his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) fuels a frantic search around the seemingly war-torn streets of Atlanta, where Rick encounters zombies and a tough-as-nails fellow survivor, Morgan Jones (Lennie James). From the character introductions to the emaciated, feral undead that stalk Rick until the episode’s final moments, “Days Gone Bye” lays the thematic groundwork for the whole series, and gives viewers more than one reason to stick around.