The Walking Dead season 11

(Photo by AMC)

Every Episode of The Walking Dead Ranked by Tomatometer

Updated 10/11/21.

The Walking Dead fans have hung with AMC’s zombie series for over 10 seasons now — 161 episodes — and helped the show break several ratings records, including the most-watched cable episode in history when its season 5 premiere aired.

Apparently, the saga of Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Morgan (Lennie James), and the rest of the gang has legs — and feet and arms and decapitated heads — to spare.

We looked at how each of its episodes so far have fared on the Tomatometer and found the most Rotten episodes occurred in season 6, with five of the 16 episodes in that season being deemed Rotten by a consensus of critics (although the season fared well overall — it is Certified Fresh at 76%).

The fifth season is the Freshest of the bunch, with eight TWD seasons overall Certified Fresh, and with the highest overall score at 90%.

Seasons 5 and 3 scored the most episodes in the top 10, claiming four slots each standing at 100%. Season 7’s premiere, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” had the most reviews of any individual episode with 54 — unsurprising, given that it was the episode in which viewers found out which characters Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) had brained.

Where did “For Blood,” episode 8 of season 11 land? Read on to find out!

What was your favorite episode of The Walking Dead? Tell us in the comments.

Critics Consensus: "Start to Finish" fails to live up to The Walking Dead's potential with a midseason finale that is both dull and frustrating.
Synopsis: After a few moments of peace, trouble finds its way to Alexandria again with a threat that may be too... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Diverged" focuses on fan-favorites Carol and Daryl, but this wheel-spinning installment adds very few fresh layers to these already well-established characters.
Synopsis: At the lowest point in their friendship, Daryl and Carol come to a fork in the road and head their... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The King, The Widow, and Rick" spreads itself between too many storylines, and thereby doesn't accomplish much in the process.
Synopsis: With things looking up for Rick and the group, an argument breaks out at the Hilltop; the consequences of the... [More]

Critics Consensus: Despite Jeffrey Dean Morgan's deliciously evil turn as Negan, the meandering "Last Day on Earth" -- and its manipulative cliffhanger ending -- make for a disappointing season finale.
Synopsis: To save one of their own, Rick's group must venture outside the walls; their experience changes their lives forever.... [More]

Critics Consensus:
Synopsis: As the Governor's impending attack looms, Rick and the others consider whether the prison is worth defending; Andrea struggles to... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Now" provides deeper portrayals of some of the Alexandria crew -- but at the expense of furthering the stories of the Walking Dead characters we actually care about.
Synopsis: The sheltered citizens inside the walls of Alexandria must face a grim reality that might be too much for them... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Cherokee Rose" is an episode that seems as stuck as the characters in the story, but has a few touching moments.
Synopsis: Shane makes a deadly sacrifice that inspires unusual behavior and self-distancing; the rest of the group struggles to find the... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Dead Weight" continues season four's midseason narrative drift, idling through a subplot that will leave some fans eager to move on to the next chapter.
Synopsis: At the camp outside the prison, the addition of new members threatens the peace; something new unfolds as the Governor... [More]

Critics Consensus: With "Heads Up," The Walking Dead offers the resolution to a major cliffhanger, but with frustrating results.
Synopsis: Alexandria is finally able to begin pulling itself back together; peace is embraced between the two groups.... [More]

Critics Consensus: While the simmering grudge between Maggie and Negan continues to provide tension, "Hunted" finds the The Walking Dead stumbling with choppy pacing and cheap storytelling shortcuts.
Synopsis: Maggie's mission team gets separated and hunted by the Reapers; Carol, Rosita, Magna and Kelly attempt to catch horses for... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Damned" stumbles after the season opener, with the unexpected return of a forgotten character, and a whole lot of action -- but not a whole lot of thrills.
Synopsis: The plan involving Alexandrians, Kingdommers and Hilltoppers unfolds; as Rick continues to fight, he encounters a familiar face.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Though a necessary breather from the prior episode's climactic tragedy, "Them" is a slower-than-expected demonstration of unsubtle verbosity.
Synopsis: The group feels beaten after living life on the road, but must continue to trudge along in spite of the... [More]

Critics Consensus: Despite featuring significant deaths and action sequences, "Monsters" struggles to make meaningful progress in the season's overall story.
Synopsis: Conflict with the Saviors leads to unintended consequences for the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria; morality proves tricky in wartime.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Twice as Far" has a few powerful moments, but overall lacks enough focus or depth to make up for jumbled storylines, a pointless death, and a frustrating finish.
Synopsis: Two separate groups leave Alexandria for supplies, and while both worry over the future of the community, they will face... [More]

Critics Consensus: Focusing on different characters and presenting a new walker threat, "Dead Or Alive Or" is an entertaining episode -- though one that struggles to build suspense.
Synopsis: Daryl finds himself in bad company as his group heads to the Hilltop; Maggie makes difficult decisions at the Hilltop;... [More]

Critics Consensus: An okay capper to a strong half-season, "Coda" alternates between electrifying tension and a meandering plot.
Synopsis: New enemies disregard rules and morals; although Rick wants to find a peaceful agreement, the enemies seem to prefer a... [More]

Critics Consensus:
Synopsis: Rick and the Governor convene for a tense negotiation of a peace treaty between their respective groups, hoping to prevent... [More]

Critics Consensus: Although its focus on a secondary character often leaves "Swear" feeling like a diversion, the discovery - and impending danger - of a new community is a refreshing development.
Synopsis: Someone stumbles upon a brand new society unlike anything seen before.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Though the pace is slower than desired, "Service" systematically sets a foundation for a frightening future while furthering the story of life under Negan's rule.
Synopsis: The remaining members of the group try to keep it together in Alexandria; they receive a sobering visit.... [More]

Critics Consensus: The promise of bigger moments to come helps to liven up the deliberate pace of "Judge, Jury, Executioner," while strong work from the cast elevates its talky script.
Synopsis: Rick sides with Shane causing Dale to worry that the group is losing its humanity; Carl's actions have unintended consequences.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "East" meanders quite a bit, but it also makes room for some thrills and leaves viewers with a huge cliffhanger leading into the season finale.
Synopsis: When someone goes missing in Alexandria, the community goes on alert, and search parties venture out.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Splinter" doesn't move this season's story forward in any meaningful way, but Paola Lázaro's performance and some hallucinatory flourishes keep this character-focused installment from being wholly redundant.
Synopsis: Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Princess are captured and separated by the mysterious troopers that surrounded them at the rail yard;... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Find Me" feels like a meandering look back when it should be forging ahead, but Norman Reedus' stoic appeal and striking cinematography keep this installment compelling.
Synopsis: Daryl and Carol find an old cabin that takes Daryl back to his years away from the group after Rick... [More]

Critics Consensus: Few surprises and far too many dumb decisions -- is this really "How It's Gotta Be?"
Synopsis: Every story and battle from the first half of the season comes crashing together in this action-packed, emotional mid-season finale.... [More]

Critics Consensus: While a Beth-centric episode feels unnecessary, "Slabtown" is an example of how the occasional departure from the main story can have its own tension and sense of place.
Synopsis: Another group of survivors is introduced, and although things appear safe and nice, there is a bit of a dark... [More]

Critics Consensus:
Synopsis: The Governor chases a fleeing dissenter; while the Governor is gone, a traitor tries to sabotage his plans.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Daryl is an involving tour guide through The Walking Dead's final batch of antagonists, although "Rendition" won't convince the skeptics that The Reapers are much different than the murderous militias who have plagued the series before.
Synopsis: Daryl and Dog get captured by the Reapers; they are taken to the Meridian and reconnect with a familiar figure... [More]

Critics Consensus: Though it relies on familiar themes, "Nebraska" successfully addresses the fallout of the previous episode and forges ahead slowly but confidently.
Synopsis: Rick and the others try to restore order after a terrible discovery; Hershel takes up an old habit and disappears.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Bloodletting" introduces several new characters that fans of the comic books will happily recognize, but doesn't feature much of the gore that the title would indicate.
Synopsis: Rick discovers a possible safe haven; Shane must go on a dangerous mission to get needed medical supplies.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Like much of season four, "Live Bait" favors character development over action, although its deliberate pace may test the patience of some viewers.
Synopsis: Following his defeat at Woodbury, the Governor wanders aimlessly until he encounters a family in need.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Something They Need" overcomes an uneven arc with humor, an upbeat pace, and a classic Walking Dead cliffhanger.
Synopsis: A group of Alexandrians embarks on a journey; one member of the group must make a heartbreaking decision.... [More]

Critics Consensus: The flashback-laden "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" is slow to deliver the payoff from last season's finale -- but ultimately delivers with sadistic acts of gut-wrenching violence that will push Walking Dead fans to their limit.
Synopsis: As the members of the group remain helpless, Negan takes action that will forever haunt those who survive.... [More]

Critics Consensus: With "Inmates," The Walking Dead continues to jump between separate bands of survivors, maintaining solid tension in the process.
Synopsis: Beth remains hopeful, and she and Daryl search for other survivors of the Governor's attack; the now-divided group faces obstacles... [More]

Critics Consensus: Though some character motivations remain boggling, a dangerous morality shift between hero and villain -- along with a gratifyingly gruesome death -- make "Still Gotta Mean Something" an enthralling lead-up to the final two episodes of this The Walking Dead season.
Synopsis: A Heaps prisoner makes a discovery; Carol searches for someone in the nearby forest; Rick and Morgan find themselves in... [More]

Critics Consensus: By focusing on Daryl Dixon, "Chupacabra" takes a step forward in the story, but still feels like it's the set-up for something larger.
Synopsis: Rick and the other survivors continue searching for Sophia; Hershel disagrees with the group's plan and tells them they are... [More]

Critics Consensus: Talking is not The Walking Dead's strong suit, and "Home" has a lot of it, but the episode is redeemed by an action-packed ending.
Synopsis: The group debates the next step; Rick searches for a lost friend; Daryl and Merle question their choices; the Governor... [More]

Critics Consensus: A serviceable-but-lackluster return from hiatus, "The Suicide King" leaves the zombie-starved viewer wanting more.
Synopsis: Rick tries to save one of his group; Woodbury is in disarray; new guests at the prison raise concerns.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Alone" is a bit weaker than the last couple installments, but it maintains a balance between character development and suspense.
Synopsis: Daryl and Beth find shelter while another group has a realization about their own protection; Sasha, Bob and Maggie clash... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Other Side" delves into the sorrowful aftermath of losing key characters with a slow-building narrative that gathers speed -- and gains power -- along the way.
Synopsis: The Saviors visit the Hilltop unexpectedly, surprising everyone, with plans of taking more than supplies.... [More]

Critics Consensus: The Walking Dead delivers another character-driven episode in "The Cell," which successfully delves deeper into the world of Negan and his cronies, even if its attempts to humanize a villain achieve somewhat mixed results.
Synopsis: A new group of survivors seem to have it all in their impressive community; however, there is a price.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Time for After" improves on TWD's previous episode by focusing on Eugene's emotional struggle.
Synopsis: Negan has to enlist the help of his lieutenants in solving a huge issue facing the Sanctuary; Rick and the... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Do Not Send Us Astray" focuses on a fan favorite and features some exciting battle action -- although with a bit of a mid-episode lull.
Synopsis: Trouble arises when unexpected visitors arrive at the Hilltop and the community is thrust into action; heartbreaking discoveries are made.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Though lacking significant plot progression, "Go Getters" presents a satisfying female perspective, strong character choices, and a rare glimmer of hope.
Synopsis: Saddled with grief and surrounded by enemies, members of the group try to find safety at the Hilltop before it's... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Guts" finds The Walking Dead settling into a gory groove and delivering thrilling action, even when some of its character development feels cliched.
Synopsis: Rick unknowingly causes a group of survivors to be trapped by walkers; Rick must confront an enemy more dangerous than... [More]

Critics Consensus: The Commonwealth gets explored and proves too good to be true while "Out of the Ashes" is a believably fine table-setting installment, befitting a season that has been more solid than gutsy so far.
Synopsis: Aaron, Carol, Lydia, and Jerry go to the Hilltop ruins for blacksmith tools and nearby game; Eugene's group goes through... [More]

Critics Consensus:
Synopsis: Glenn knows too much for his comfort level; Daryl finds a sign of life and tries to make it back... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Triggerfinger" picks up its pace considerably, offering new adversaries, moral quandaries, and gruesome thrills, even if it doesn't finish as strong as it begins.
Synopsis: Enemies trap Rick, Hershel and Glenn, who fight to survive; when everyone realizes she is missing, Shane goes after Lori... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Wrath" begins predictably and ends twistedly as it tidily closes out the "all-out-war" arc that's been creeping throughout TWD season 8, presenting a cliffhanger that goes against the grain of several lead characters and the series itself.
Synopsis: The communities join forces in the last stand against the Saviors as all-out war unfolds.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Big Scary U" slows down the action to spend some quality time with -- and thereby humanize -- two of its much-maligned cast members.
Synopsis: A close look at Negan and the lives of the Saviors during the conflict through a familiar set of eyes.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "What Comes After" serves as an emotionally raw and rousing farewell to series lead Andrew Lincoln, though some viewers may find Rick Grimes' ambiguous departure more of a cop out than a relief.
Synopsis: Rick is forced to face the past as he struggles to maintain the safety of the communities and protect the... [More]
Directed By: Greg Nicotero

Critics Consensus: "Hearts Still Beating" corrects course after a frustrating first half to The Walking Dead's seventh season, using an improved pace and some welcome narrative jolts to set up a hopeful, rousing conclusion.
Synopsis: Negan's unwelcome visit to Alexandria continues as other members scavenge for supplies; things quickly spin out of control.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Say Yes" features an enjoyable side trip with Rick and Michonne, as well as surprises, a few laughs, and some good zombie action.
Synopsis: The group scavenges for supplies; back in Alexandria, someone must make a morally challenging decision.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Something of a filler episode for The Walking Dead, "Always Accountable" comes to life in its final moments with an exciting cliffhanger.
Synopsis: Daryl, Abraham and Sasha encounter many obstacles and a new threat while trying to return to Alexandria.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Lost and the Plunderers" takes a segmented approach to focus on individual characters -- albeit with mixed results.
Synopsis: Groups unite their forces and converge on the Hilltop; Aaron and Enid search for allies; Simon takes matters into his... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Sing Me a Song" propels TWD forward by returning to multiple storylines and revealing substantial layers of Negan's character and influence.
Synopsis: A deeper look at the Sanctuary and the world of the Saviors; members of Alexandria look for supplies.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Save the Last One" provides a welcome return to serious scares and also manages to find some humor among the horror.
Synopsis: The group awaits Shane's return; Shane finds himself trapped in a school; Daryl and Andrea search for someone in the... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Stradivarius" efficiently sets the board for promising developments and provides a welcome spotlight for Daryl Dixon, but some viewers may feel The Walking Dead is sacrificing organic narrative development and stalling for time with contrivances.
Synopsis: Carol seeks out an old friend living alone in a wilderness teeming with walkers; survivors make the perilous trek to... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Bounty" rekindles The Walking Dead's knack for a lighthearted shaggy dog story and hair-raising horror set-piece, but some viewers may come away dissatisfied with the installment's teasing of a clash that never materializes.
Synopsis: The savage group led by Alpha confronts the Hilltop in a harrowing attempt to retrieve her daughter; a supply run... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Omega" utilizes an unreliable narrator to flesh out the zombie skin-clad fanatic Alpha and succeeds at making her all the more unnerving, but some viewers may find the episode's flashback structure and side plots to be more laborious than revelatory.
Synopsis: A new arrival at the Hilltop opens up about the leader of a group of mask-wearing savages; a search party... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Grove" starts slow but finishes strong, concluding with one of the most affecting moments in The Walking Dead's twisted history.
Synopsis: After finding and establishing a new shelter, members of the group consider things returning to how they were before; Carol... [More]

Critics Consensus:
Synopsis: Realizing they're running out of supplies, the group must make a choice when security is threatened; Andrea goes to the... [More]

Critics Consensus: Focusing on the farewell of one of the series' original characters, "Honor" delivers an emotional mid-season premiere.
Synopsis: Rick faces new difficulties after a battle; the fight continues in other communities as core members face hard decisions.... [More]

Critics Consensus: The introduction of new characters and a face-off (or eye-off) between The Governor and Michonne make "Made to Suffer" a gripping episode as season three enters its mid-season break.
Synopsis: Andrea steps up when the people of Woodbury are thrown into uncharted territory; a new threat arises at the prison.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Distance" is an improvement over the previous episode with an exciting new direction, even if the plot itself is somewhat confusing.
Synopsis: After withstanding a spectacular storm, Rick and the others meet what appears to be a friendly person, but find themselves... [More]

Critics Consensus: "TS-19" closes out The Walking Dead's debut season by offering the answers to key questions while advancing the show's overall arc.
Synopsis: Rick and the group are allowed into the CDC by a strange doctor; all is not what it seems in... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Guardians" presents dual stories of tested leadership with thematic resonance and provides the malevolent Alpha a plump opportunity to demonstrate her villainy -- although The Walking Dead is still withholding crucial context from viewers longing to understand the motivations of their heroes.
Synopsis: While one community struggles to ease tensions that threaten to divide from within, the true nature of another group comes... [More]

Critics Consensus: The Walking Dead delivers an unnerving midseason cliffhanger -- and a new and terrifying threat -- although some viewers may feel that the ghoulish Whisperers are a retread of the same old antagonists with a new, rotting face.
Synopsis: A small rescue mission braves a dangerous herd in their hunt for a missing comrade, only to discover a surprising... [More]

Critics Consensus: Though its myriad of lingering questions will no doubt frustrate fans, the introduction of the outrageously entertaining Princess breathes new life into TWD as "The Tower" finds the series switching gears to great effect.
Synopsis: The communities prepare for the final battle of the Whisperer War; meanwhile, Eugene's group encounters Princess.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Who Are You Now?" swiftly establishes a new world order in The Walking Dead without Rick Grimes, effectively conveying the progression of the survivors, but some viewers may feel adrift in what feels like the umpteenth re-set for the series.
Synopsis: The survivors encounter unfamiliar faces outside the safety of their community's walls and must decide whether or not this new... [More]
Directed By: Larry Teng

Critics Consensus:
Synopsis: The group learns that a truce with the Governor must come with a huge sacrifice on their part; Rick decides... [More]

Critics Consensus: Michonne is given an admirable, mostly successful departure from The Walking Dead as "What We Become" delivers a series of fascinatingly trippy "What If" scenarios from her past.
Synopsis: Michonne takes Virgil back to his mysterious island to reunite with his family; in exchange, Virgil promises weapons that could... [More]

Critics Consensus: "After" finds The Walking Dead in a more contemplative mode, and provides a fascinating glimpse into Michonne's backstory.
Synopsis: Rick and Carl look for shelter while Rick deals with old wounds; those left at the prison consider whether survival... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Conquer" addresses some unresolved issues with suspense and, as a good finale should, paves the way for season six, even if it leaves a few threads untied.
Synopsis: Daryl finds trouble while on a run; Rick and the group feel like outsiders in Alexandria, where trouble approaches the... [More]

Critics Consensus: "New Best Friends" balances absurdity and dramatic tension as it introduces a bizarrely entertaining new community, even if some moments feel forced and contrived.
Synopsis: While searching for a missing Alexandrian, Rick and his group encounter a mysterious collective, its inhabitants unlike any they have... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" overcomes sporadic doldrums with an action-packed battle sequence, satisfying and innovative storytelling, and impressively imaginative use of a tiger.
Synopsis: The stakes continue to grow higher as paths cross; the group enacts an intricate plan.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Continuing the slow burn of The Walking Dead's fifth season, "Crossed" highlights the whole cast in preparation for what should be a humdinger of a mid-season finale.
Synopsis: The group is spread thin with some members holding down the church and the others on a rescue mission.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Opening with some of TWD's most unsettling imagery to date, "Ghosts" ratchets up the tension with a heady, psychologically-driven story.
Synopsis: The threat of the Whisperers return leads to paranoia sweeping over Alexandria; in the meantime, Carol battles with the need... [More]

Critics Consensus: Thanks to a more focused narrative and effectively scripted character work, "18 Miles Out" is one of the strongest episodes of the season.
Synopsis: Rick and Shane are in conflict over the fate of an outsider; Andrea helps Hershel's daughter face a crucial decision.... [More]

Critics Consensus: An emotionally lacerating installment of The Walking Dead provides crucial backstory for the series' new status quo with a flashback structure that culminates in a shocking set-piece that will leave even the most hard-bitten fans shaken.
Synopsis: An outsider's arrival forces Alexandria to rehash devastating old wounds; eye-opening secrets from the past are revealed.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Rick's meltdown in "Try" creates a compelling setup for season five's finale, even if comes off a bit extreme.
Synopsis: When life within the walls begins to mimic life outside, the group realizes that sheltered life may not be possible.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Key" injects interesting new characters and action into TWD season 8's ongoing arc of betrayal, though the series sorely needs to break some predictable patterns.
Synopsis: Hilltop's leadership faces a difficult dilemma after the arrival of unexpected visitors; Rick comes face to face with an adversary.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Moving performances by Lennie James and Melissa McBride as their characters get their mojo back move the season's arc forward in "Bury Me Here," though the pacing is slow and their journeys seem relatively implausible.
Synopsis: Things do not go as planned when a group of Kingdommers delivers goods to the Saviors during a routine supply... [More]

Critics Consensus: In the Robert Kirkman-penned "Isolation," the prison survivors start to pick up the pieces while Tyreese and Carol are pushed in interesting directions.
Synopsis: A group leaves the prison to search for supplies; the remaining members of the group deal with recent losses.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Jeffrey Dean Morgan's chemistry with real-life partner Hilarie Burton adds a bittersweet authenticity to "Here's Negan," a strong season finale that brings shades of humanity to one of The Walking Dead's most irredeemable characters.
Synopsis: With Maggie back at Alexandria, Carol takes Negan on a journey to minimize the increasing tension; here, Negan reflects on... [More]

Critics Consensus: Slow-burning and suspenseful, "Claimed" also further develops the deepening friendship between Michonne and Carl.
Synopsis: Rick faces a number of threats while Carl and Michonne look for supplies; Glenn and Tara meet strangers on an... [More]

Critics Consensus: While it may slow the season's pace, "Hostiles and Calamities" takes a tense look inside previously unexplored Savior lives, advancing one character's logical and much-needed moral transformation.
Synopsis: An Alexandrian discovers they must navigate the mysterious, confusing and terrifying world within the Saviors' compound.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Four Walls and a Roof" maintains the brisk pace and suspenseful tone that the The Walking Dead has established in its fifth season.
Synopsis: Rick and the others find themselves pitted against a nasty group but may have a plan to gain the upper... [More]

Critics Consensus: With the shocking loss of two main characters, "Killer Within" doesn't hold back on delivering finale-level action.
Synopsis: The group becomes severed, putting lives in jeopardy; in Woodbury, Merle approaches the Governor to make a request.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Spend" dismantles any false sense of security obtained by its characters by reveling in blood splatter with a fatal, jolting disruption of the status quo.
Synopsis: While trying to secure a new home, Rick and his group face challenges, and question the utopia they find themselves... [More]

Critics Consensus: It remains murky whether these bonus installments will have a life of their own, but "Home Sweet Home" gracefully returns Lauren Cohan into the fold.
Synopsis: Maggie returns, to the dismay of Negan; the trials she endured since leaving have made her harder in order for... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Look at the Flowers" dives back into the conflict between the Hilltop crew and the Whisperers with a richly introspective episode that explores the far-reaching impact of Alpha's demise.
Synopsis: Heroes and villains reckon with the aftermath of the Hilltop fire; Eugene takes a group on a journey to meet... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Too Far Gone" delivers an epic mid-season finale, offering a forceful charge of pace that adds new emotional undertones to the characters' journey.
Synopsis: Things finally begin to calm at the prison until Rick and the group face imminent danger when the Governor arrives... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Indifference" takes it to the street as survivors search for supplies, in an episode successfully driven by human drama and culminating in a high-stakes choice between Rick and Carol.
Synopsis: Daryl and a small group set out on foot in search of medicine, but their mission faces obstacles; Rick and... [More]

Critics Consensus: Incorporating a growing sense of optimism into the bleakness of its continuing arc, "Rock in the Road" is an energized and amusing setup for a climactic, imminent war.
Synopsis: Rick and the others are led to a new community, where they meet the residents and their ruler; a familiar... [More]

Critics Consensus: The Whisperers are finally shushed for good in "A Certain Doom," a tidy climax that efficiently dispenses with old enemies while teeing up a fresh crop of antagonists.
Synopsis: Beta engages the final battle of the Whisperer War.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Tense, atmospheric, and slow-burning, "Consumed" occasionally overdoses on flashbacks but manages to convey psychological depth while making the most of its urban setting.
Synopsis: Stakes are high when members of the group must go on a heroic rescue mission in a previously known location.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Although mainly another hour of moving pieces into place, "Hounded" sees the prison and Woodbury plotines converge, setting up an exciting collision course for the mid-season break.
Synopsis: Andrea and the Governor grow closer while Michonne makes a decision about Woodbury; Glenn and Maggie go on a run;... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Internment" is highlighted by a great twist ending and Scott Wilson's performance as Hershel, who experiences a powerful emotional arc.
Synopsis: Assorted enemies pressure Rick and the group; the survivors and the prison may reach a breaking point.... [More]

Critics Consensus: While packed with several gripping plot threads, a rewarding showcase of Negan is what truly makes "What It Always Is" a stand out episode of the season.
Synopsis: Supplies go missing from Hilltop; Negan is idolized by an Alexandrian; Ezekiel holds a secret.... [More]

Critics Consensus: While heavy on flashbacks, "We Are the End of the World" unveils a dark, thoughtfully constructed exploration of the Whisperer's origins.
Synopsis: A flashback reveals the origins of Alpha and Beta; Alpha attempts to toughen up Lydia as they prepare to walk... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Still" focuses entirely on Daryl and Beth, and the result is one of the most intimate and character-driven installments in the series' run.
Synopsis: In the woods after fleeing the prison, Beth makes a request that sends her and Daryl on an enlightening mission.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Worth" briskly cleans house to varying degrees of satisfaction, setting the stage for what could be one of the series' most explosive finales -- assuming the show finally follows through on its promise of All Out War.
Synopsis: With the threat of the Saviors still looming, Aaron continues searching for allies; Daryl and Rosita take action and confront... [More]

Critics Consensus: An early climax for The Walking Dead's final season, "For Blood" stages a rousing confrontation against the Reaper threat - with a couple of gruesome surprises thrown into the mix.
Synopsis: The Reapers defend Meridian from an incoming herd; Pope suspects Maggie is behind the attack, while Daryl treads carefully; Alexandrians... [More]

Critics Consensus: A somewhat anticlimatic and uneven effort, "The World Before" still manages to leave the door open for a engaging slate of plot threads in the second half of TWD's 10th season.
Synopsis: A fight causes tensions in Oceanside while the Alexandrians set out on a high-stakes mission.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Us" has labored moments but proves a necessary episode overall, with newly introduced characters woven into advancing storylines.
Synopsis: Daryl struggles to fit in with his new group while Glenn finds Maggie's messages and races to catch up to... [More]

Critics Consensus: Hell freezes over in a wintry The Walking Dead finale that takes full advantage of "The Storm" with some chilly scares and a meditative, mournful tone -- although this elegiac installment arguably would have best worked as a preamble instead of a denouement.
Synopsis: In the aftermath of an overwhelming loss, the communities must brave a ferocious blizzard; as one group deals with an... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Chokepoint" brings a welcome dose of crunchy action to The Walking Dead, spotlighting Norman Reedus' physicality while introducing an intriguing new gang of rogues into the mix.
Synopsis: Daryl's daring rescue mission forces Alpha to unleash a group of her own to retrieve what belongs to her, even... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Obliged" continues the season's streak of excellent episodes, bolstered by a bittersweet performance from Andrew Lincoln.
Synopsis: Rick's vision of a civilized future is threatened by a sudden reckoning with past sins that remain unavenged and unforgiven.... [More]

Critics Consensus: A finale that feels like a fresh start, "A" raises the narrative stakes without taking itself too seriously - and brings the season to a tense, fast-paced conclusion.
Synopsis: Many paths collide on each group's travels; Rick remembers the past and faces sheer brutality; the group struggles to survive.... [More]

Critics Consensus: A big ending on "What Lies Ahead" gets the second season of The Walking Dead off to a strong start.
Synopsis: Rick leads the group out of Atlanta; the group is stopped by a threat unlike anything anyone has seen before;... [More]

Critics Consensus: By keeping its focus on a fan favorite, "Some Guy" delivers a compelling -- though ultimately heartbreaking -- episode.
Synopsis: A new weapon in the Savior arsenal proves to be a giant hurdle as fighting continues between Rick's forces and... [More]

Critics Consensus: Maggie veers into the dark side in a tense episode that features a show-stopping set piece on a train and intriguing shades of moral gray.
Synopsis: Maggie's mission takes the team through a subway tunnel, challenged by lurking walkers and a recalcitrant Negan; with Eugene's group,... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Vatos" establishes an early Walking Dead benchmark, with plenty of action, rising character arcs, and a final scene that packs a wallop.
Synopsis: Another group of survivors threatens Rick, Daryl, T-Dog and Glenn, sending Rick's mission to Atlanta awry; Jim becomes unhinged back... [More]

Critics Consensus: With "Wildfire," The Walking Dead continues to prove it isn't your average horror story, with a focus on three-dimensional characters in a well-rounded drama.
Synopsis: Rick leads the group to the CDC hoping to cure an infected Jim, who must make a terrible life-and-death decision.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Calm Before" exemplifies everything that The Walking Dead does best - bittersweetly affirming the bonds of a makeshift community and finding glimmers humanity in a nihilistic landscape before dropping a horrifying twist that will leave viewers reeling long after.
Synopsis: The fair at the Kingdom is underway, with all four communities coming together in celebration for the first time in... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Mercy" mixes mysterious time-hopping sequences with explosive action to create a more hopeful premiere than previous seasons of The Walking Dead.
Synopsis: Rick and his group, along with the Kingdom and Hilltop, have banded together to bring the fight to Negan and... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Here's Not Here" is a stand-out installment of The Walking Dead, using Morgan's backstory as a powerful reminder of what it means to be human.
Synopsis: Morgan recalls his travels from King County to Alexandria, where he encountered a solo survivor who taught him a new... [More]

Critics Consensus: This installment of The Walking Dead doesn't contain a whole lot of chomp, but it effectively entwines disparate plot threads in a way that promises a big payoff soon enough.
Synopsis: Maggie and Elijah learn a new survival tactic from Negan; Eugene's group clears walkers to pay their fines; Yumiko interviews... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Tell it to the Frogs" restores the show's focus on character-driven drama, getting a groundbreaking season of unique horror storytelling back on track.
Synopsis: Rick goes back to Atlanta to save a man's life; Lori and Shane deal with the surprise return of someone... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Beside the Dying Fire" is a suspense-filled finale that balances narrative twists and zombie action while rounding out one arc and setting up another.
Synopsis: Rick and Carl find the farm in jeopardy; the group is split up in the chaos; Rick's leadership is questioned.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Maggie and Negan's longstanding feud takes center stage in "Acheron: Part One," a solid premiere that kickstarts The Walking Dead's final season with some bite.
Synopsis: Daryl leads a mission team to scavenge the military base he discovered; Maggie tells her story, prompting a new mission... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Adaptation" creepily fleshes out the Whisperers beyond their rotting camouflage to chilling effect and teases that redemption for the irredeemable Negan may be possible -- adding up to a solid and satisfying return for The Walking Dead.
Synopsis: The communities thought they could build a better future separately, but the recent loss of one of their own drives... [More]

Critics Consensus: A knockout opener to The Walking Dead's sixth season, "First Time Again" has everything one would hope for - including intense plot development, entertaining character interplay, and more zombies than ever before.
Synopsis: Rick and the others have a difficult time assimilating into Alexandria; a new threat arises that could bring the group... [More]

Critics Consensus: "30 Days Without an Accident" uses its deliberate pace to dramatically build tension while advancing character psychology.
Synopsis: The group lives a more peaceful life at the prison and strives to hold onto humanity; problems arise when Rick... [More]

Critics Consensus:
Synopsis: Secrets are told and revealed; Hershel refuses to acknowledge the world's new reality; Andrea comes out of her shell; everything... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Lines We Cross" sets the stage for TWD's 10th season with a fierce momentum that delivers equally on satisfying character moments and tense plotting.
Synopsis: The group in Oceanside continues to train in case the Whisperers return; tensions are high as the heroes struggle to... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Sick" lives up to its title and effectively sets the expectation that this Walking Dead season will be its most harrowing yet.
Synopsis: A medical emergency proves traumatic and leaves a life hanging in the balance; Rick and the group discover a potential... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Silence The Whisperers" offers a meditative focus on the developments of some lesser characters, all while continuing this season's compelling narrative thrust.
Synopsis: Still-paranoid Alexandrians get riled up over the Whisperers and take their fear out on Negan; at Hilltop, the group deals... [More]

Critics Consensus: Before ending with a spectacular cliff-hanger, "Morning Star" pits the Hilltop crew against the Whisperers in a skillfully staged battle that promises a bloody end to this season.
Synopsis: The Whisperers are coming for Hilltop; after Daryl and Lydia's encounter with Alpha, the communities must decide whether to run... [More]

Critics Consensus: Following a swift and violent conclusion to last week's harrowing battle, "Walk With Us" delivers a restless aftermath marked by stunning characters deaths and unanticipated twists.
Synopsis: With Negan's help, Alpha and the Whisperers attack Hilltop.... [More]

Critics Consensus: Vintage-style action and the spark of a hot new romance make "The Next World" a gratifying successor to the shocking mid-season premiere.
Synopsis: A simple scavenging run proves to be more tricky, when the survivors are not the only ones after a goldmine... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Thank You" is an example of what The Walking Dead does best, combining gripping action with troubling existential questions in a heart-wrenching plot twist.
Synopsis: A small group, including Rick, runs into hurdles while trying to return to Alexandria, and some may not make it... [More]

Critics Consensus: Though it ultimately sets up more than it pays off, "Bonds" introduces a contentious dynamic between Negan and Alpha that offers some of this season's more memorable character moments.
Synopsis: Carol and Daryl go on a mission together while Siddiq struggles to solve a mystery.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Squeeze" returns viewers to the 10th season of TWD with a heart-stoppingly claustrophobic story that finds time to enrich the strong dynamic between Carol and Daryl.
Synopsis: The group must figure out how to get out of a precarious situation.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Open Your Eyes" fulfills the potential of the foundations laid earlier in this season with a surprising character death and some ingenious twists.
Synopsis: Carol pushes boundaries that make Daryl uncomfortable; Alpha and Beta have reservations about someone.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Well" brings a welcome reprieve from the brutality of the season premiere, introducing a colorful new character and focusing on two of The Walking Dead's most fascinating regulars.
Synopsis: For a number of familiar faces, a new, well-established community seems too good to be true.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Knots Untie" is an excellent, albeit unevenly scripted, foundation for the dangerous and degenerative societal clash it foreshadows.
Synopsis: After realizing that Alexandria may not be as safe as he originally thought, Rick must make decisions about where to... [More]

Critics Consensus: An informational, narrative episode, "Forget" focuses on character relations while an ominous threat looms outside the confines of the core group.
Synopsis: As Rick and the others continue to acclimate to their new surroundings, they consider a return to normalcy.... [More]

Critics Consensus: By returning to its roots, "A New Beginning" pumps fresh blood into TWD and inspires hope for a brighter future.
Synopsis: Rick and his group make a risky run into Washington, D.C. to search for artifacts they will need to build... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Not Tomorrow Yet" tests viewers' patience with slow-building tension -- and delivers with a powerful, action-packed ending.
Synopsis: Rick and the others determine that the only way to keep peace in Alexandria, is to wage a war with... [More]

Critics Consensus: "The Same Boat" takes a strong female focus by continuing Carol's arc while deepening viewer anticipation for Negan's ominous arrival.
Synopsis: After a minor success, two members of the group are taken hostage; Carol struggles morally with the lengths she has... [More]

Critics Consensus: Loaded with thrilling action, "JSS" is a terrific example of The Walking Dead making the most of its varied characters.
Synopsis: When it appears that things are starting to normalize in the settlement, a new problem arises for the Alexandrians.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "No Way Out" is a brutally entertaining rebound from a lackluster first half of the season, re-energized with arresting, jaw-dropping developments.
Synopsis: Now that walkers have shown up inside the gates of Alexandria, Rick and the other survivors are scared and outnumbered.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Say the Word" takes a step back from the action of the last episode, while driving home major plot points for the season going forward.
Synopsis: Rick struggles after another loss; Michonne grows more suspicious of the Governor, who throws a party for the people of... [More]

Critics Consensus: Seth Gilliam and Ross Marquand shine in a self-contained adventure that lulls viewers with some refreshing male bonding before turning the tables with a shocking twist.
Synopsis: With Maggie's map, Gabriel and Aaron search for food and supplies to bring back to Alexandria; checking out one more... [More]

Critics Consensus: The Walking Dead's debut delivers intense horror set apart by its focus on tragedy and the human condition -- not to mention awesome zombie kills.
Synopsis: Rick searches for his family after emerging from a coma; Morgan and Duane help teach Rick the new rules for... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

Critics Consensus: Supported by outstanding performances, "Better Angels" delivers a superb payoff to one of the show's central conflicts and foreshadows a chilling season finale.
Synopsis: When the group learns that someone dangerous may be loose near the farm, Rick, Shane, Daryl and Glenn try to... [More]

Critics Consensus: While the Reapers have yet to coalesce into a memorable threat, "On the Inside" enthralls with a horror house set piece that will terrify even the most hardened Walking Dead fans.
Synopsis: Escaping from walkers, Connie and Virgil hide in a house occupied by mysterious creatures; Pope tests Daryl's loyalty to the... [More]

Critics Consensus: In The Walking Dead's season five premiere, "No Sanctuary" delivered an action-packed resolution to last season's cliffhanger while deepening our understanding of Rick and Carol.
Synopsis: The true motives of the Terminans come to light when Rick and the others end up in a vulnerable situation.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Infected" kicks the rejuvenated show into overdrive, skillfully contrasting big horror-action set pieces with intimate character development.
Synopsis: Facing a new enemy, Rick abandons his quiet lifestyle so that he and the others can fight to protect their... [More]

Critics Consensus: Season three of The Walking Dead responds to its audience's call to action with "Seed," an action-packed premiere.
Synopsis: As the world grows more dangerous and Lori's pregnancy advances, Rick locates a potentially safe haven.... [More]

Critics Consensus: After an explosive premiere, The Walking Dead's "Strangers" settles into a groove with a more deliberate, dialogue-heavy episode.
Synopsis: Rick leads a risky mission for a possible small reward when the supplies run low and the group's mistrust of... [More]

Critics Consensus: With excellent acting and compelling dialogue, "Self Help" is a rewarding adaptation of the comic book as well as an expertly crafted hour of television.
Synopsis: The group must contend with a new set of issues while out on a mission, and must push through to... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Walk With Me" takes a welcome break from Rick and the prison to introduce season three's highly anticipated new villain, The Governor.
Synopsis: Andrea and Michonne witness an accident that leads them to a new group of survivors, but when tensions arise with... [More]

Critics Consensus: A change of scenery and a stronger sense of story make "Clear" one of seasonthree's best episodes so far.
Synopsis: Realizing they are outgunned, Rick leads an expedition to get more weapons and fortify their group against the Governor and... [More]

Critics Consensus: Fueled by a thrillingly brutal confrontation between Daryl and Alpha, "Stalker" showcases a nerve-wracking flashpoint that brings the tensions of the incoming Whisperer War to a simmering boil.
Synopsis: The group must defend Alexandria from a threatening outside force.... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Warning Signs" balances skillfully built suspense with rare moments of respite to create one of the best installments of The Walking Dead in years.
Synopsis: Rick's vision for the future is threatened by a mysterious disappearance that divides the work camp where the communities are... [More]

Critics Consensus: A slower burn than the premiere, "The Bridge" is a compelling character study that lays necessary foundations for future installments.
Synopsis: The communities join forces to restore a bridge that will facilitate communication and trade; someone is gravely injured at the... [More]

Critics Consensus: "Remember" adds extra elements of excitement and surprise to the season with new characters, new developments, and a surplus of thrilling change.
Synopsis: The group has a difficult time molding to a new lifestyle, forcing them to consider whether they can be the... [More]

Critics Consensus: The anticipation is palpable as "When the Dead Come Knocking" effectively brings Team Prison and Team Woodbury together for a mid-season showdown.
Synopsis: A new guest at the prison forces Rick's hand; members of the group go on a mission to rescue Glenn... [More]

Critics Consensus: A visually impressive episode of The Walking Dead, "What Happened and What's Going On" artfully portrays the psychology of the characters, rather than focusing on its shocking moments.
Synopsis: After facing all of the recent trials, a slight detour may offer the solution that the group has been seeking.... [More]

The Flash, "Duet"; Fear the Walking Dead, "What's Your Story"; Scandal, "SCANDAL - "Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself"(Jack Rowand/The CW; AMC; ABC/Mitch Haaseth)

Post-apocalyptic worlds collided Sunday night when Lennie James’ character Morgan Jones left the world of The Walking Dead to enter the story of its sister series, Fear the Walking Dead, giving viewers of AMC’s zombie series the fan-satisfying crossover-episode experience.

So far, critics seem to approve: Fear the Walking Dead’s season 4 premiere, “What’s Your Story,” has a Tomatometer score of 100% on 12 reviews.

It’s hard to say how the concept of interweaving stories or characters from one project to another originated. The Paley Center for Media curator David Bushman argues that literature has used the trope for centuries, noting Mark Twain’s decision to make Tom Sawyer appear in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. More recently, Film Twitter lost its collective mind in March over the assertion that Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War may be the most ambitious crossover event in history and cited numerous other examples that are no doubt better because Film Twitter said so.


Marvel's The Defenders (Sarah Shatz/Netflix)

Whatever the origin, crossover plot tactics are extremely lucrative for the entertainment industry. So much so, in fact, that titles like Netflix’s Marvel superhero series — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist — used character crossovers as primary plot tactics to remind us that they operate in a larger story together even before The Defenders (pictured above) officially united them.

“Crossovers are a pain in the a–. Everybody hates doing them,” uber producer Dick Wolf told journalists at the winter 2017 Television Critics Association press tour, referring to the scheduling headaches that ensued to facilitate overlapping stories on his Law & Order and Chicago franchises. He added, however, that they’re “like ratings crack, and it’s a bad addiction because you don’t want to overuse it.”

That said, TV crossovers are unlikely to be going away any time soon. Paley Center’s Bushman says the consolidation of media companies that allows a larger studio to gobble up smaller ones and their media libraries makes it easier for events like Supernatural’s recent Scooby Doo episode on The CW. They’re also expected occurrences on the many series that fit into the CW’s CW’s Arrowverse programming and are signals to loyal fans of one ratings juggernaut that a new series in that orbit may be worth watching (see ABC’s introduction of Station 19 via Grey’s Anatomy).

But just because crossovers get good ratings doesn’t mean they get positive reviews. We consider some of the more noteworthy events in recent crossover history.


1. Supernatural–Scooby Doo


Supernatural Season 13, Episode 16: Scoobynatural

Zoinks! Supernatural brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) entered the world of Scooby Doo in this much-hyped animated episode in the long-running show’s 13th season. Titled “Scoobynatural,” the episode also starred Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci, Frank Welker, and Grey Griffin as the voices of the Scooby Gang (Lillard featured in the Scooby Doo movies). It was a ratings win and pretty much every critic ate it up like a crime-solving Great Dane at snack time.


2. The Simpsons–24


The Simpsons, Season 18, Episode 21: 24 Minutes

In a feat of Fox synergy, the cast of 24 leant their voices to a Simpsons parody of their high-stakes world when the pressure’s on to stop a stink bomb from igniting at Springfield Elementary. It’s one of many, many crossover stunts the long-running animated show has pulled and is often listed as a favorite when critics consider the show’s knack for both parody and casting guest talent. It also won that year’s Annie Award for best writing in an animated television production.


3. The X-Files–COPS


The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 12: X-COPS

As weird as a crossover of the sci-fi The X-Files and crime-focused reality series COPS sounds, keep in mind that both versions are all about finding the truth that’s out there. Shot in real time and recorded on videotape, writer Vince Gilligan and director Michael Watkins’ homage to the popular police series follows Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), as they investigate a mysterious incident in Los Angeles with the hopes that a live TV crew might garner them more public support for their research into the paranormal. The episode is almost always on critics’ lists of best X-Files episodes ever.


4. Supergirl–The Flash musical crossover


Supergirl Season 2, Episode 16: “Star-Crossed”
The Flash Season 3, Episode 17: “Duet”

Two TV tropes for the price of one: These two episodes of the fan-favorite series Supergirl and The Flash didn’t just have overlapping story lines, there were also song-and-dance numbers (a respected feat given that both Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin, who play the eponymous superheroes in question – as well as many others on their shows – are triple threats). The duo’s fellow Glee alum, Darren Criss, also guest stars as the Music Meister, a sort of Pied Piper-like villain who manipulates others through song. Empire magazine’s review gave it (almost) equal marks to another beloved musical episode, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Once More with Feeling.”


5. CSI universe 3-way crossover


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 9, Episode 5: “Leave Out All the Rest”
CSI: Miami Season 8, Episode 7: “Bone Voyage”
CSI: NY Season 6, Episode 7: “Hammer Down”

This crossover synergy from 2009 marked the first time in the franchise’s history that the trio of shows came together for one overarching story. Billed as “Three Cities, Three CSI Teams, One Big Mystery,” the events took place during a week of November sweeps. It followed Laurence Fishburne’s Raymond Langston as his hunt for a missing girl allows him to uncover a black market human trafficking operation. The Entertainment Weekly review argued that the final episode – which happened to be set at CSI numero uno – was probably the best, but that Fishburne himself was not necessarily that much fun to watch.


6. The Vampire Diaries–The Originals


The Vampire Diaries, Season 7, Episode 14: Moonlight on the Bayou
The Originals, Season 3, Episode 14: A Streetcar Named Desire

When you’re immortal, you’ve got plenty of time to travel – particularly when you’re hiding out from a vampire hunter, as The Vampire Diaries’ Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) did in this crossover episode with The Originals. While it wasn’t uncommon for characters on these shows to swap places – despite what its name suggests, The Originals was a spin-off of TVD – but fans liked that one of the Salvatore brothers made the trip to the Big Easy. Reviewers also liked that the story lines intersected in a natural way that didn’t feel like an obvious promotional ploy.


7. Scandal–How to Get Away With Murder


Scandal Season 7, Episode 12: Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

It was about time Scandal’s Olivia Pope and How to Get Away with Murder’s Annalise Keating got to share some screen time. During Scandal’s final season, actors Kerry Washington and Viola Davis appeared in the same episode for a one night Shondaland extravaganza. Audiences paid attention via a noticeable ratings boost and critics mostly embraced the stunt. The A.V. Club called it “fanbait,” but a “well-crafted” one.


8. The Flash–Supergirl–Legends of Tomorrow–Arrow 4-way crossover


The Flash, Season 3, Episode 8: Invasion!
Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 8: Medusa
Arrow, Season 5, Episode 8: Invasion!
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 7: Invasion!

This ambitious four-way crossover event has the heroes of the Arrowverse banding together to stop an alien invasion, marking the first time characters from all four of that world’s live-action shows would join forces at the same time. The spectacle, for which all shows but Supergirl were coyly titled “Invasion!,” was such a commercial and critical success that they repeated their efforts the following season.


9. Law & Order crossovers


Law & Order, Season 10, Episode 14: Fools for Love
Law & Order: SVU, Season 1, Episode 15: Entitled

While Richard Belzer’s John Munch has popped up in several series (even in Arrested Development!), the Law & Order franchise has long made use of crossover episodes with intersecting story lines over various shows. The first time it happened with Law & Order: SVU was in 2000, which was that show’s freshman season. The gamble that audiences would double-down on gritty crime dramas paid off, with The Washington Post saying the stunt packed “twice the punch.”


10. Chicago crossovers

Chicago P.D., Season 4, Episode 16: Emotional Proximity (NBC)

Chicago Fire, Season 5, Episode 15: Deathtrap
Chicago P.D. Season 4, Episode 16: Emotional Proximity
Chicago Justice, Season 1, Episode 1: Fake

Another Dick Wolf franchise, the Chicago series shares Law & Order’s penchant for showy crossover episodes. There have been two instances of crossovers involving just Chicago shows, the most recent one happening in 2017 when the franchise welcomed Chicago Justice to the family (and was thus the reason why Wolf was grumbling earlier). Not only did the stories cross over among the Chicago Justice, Fire, and P.D. series, but some of the Chicago Med characters also came along for the ride.


11. Station 19 premiere–Grey’s Anatomy crossover


Station 19 season 1, episode 1: Stuck
Grey’s Anatomy Season 14, Episode 13: You Really Got a Hold on Me

This episode, which set up the story for Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19, reminded audiences that they now had the option to watch hot firefighters learn how to save a life. It also welcomed actress Jaina Lee Ortiz’s Andy Herrera into the family of powerhouse Shondaland women. According to an interview with creator Stacy McKee, there are still chances for more crossovers to come.


12. Parenthood–About a Boy

About a Boy episode "About a Poker Night" (NBC)

About a Boy, Season 1, Episode 7: About a Poker Night
Parenthood, Season 5, Episode 13: Jump Ball

Of course Parenthood’s Crosby (Dax Shepard) and About a Boy’s Will (David Walton) are poker buddies. Not only did they both have man-child tendencies and live in the same city, but they’re also fictional characters on two shows developed by Jason Katims. Crosby was a natural fit to introduce Will to Parenthood’s Kleenex-clutching audience. (Incidentally, this is not the only time Katims has made his series’ worlds intersect. Some cast members from Friday Night Lights also appeared in a Parenthood web series).


13. Brooklyn Nine-Nine–New Girl


New Girl Season 6, Episode 4: Homecoming
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 4, Episode 4: The Night Shift

Zooey Deschanel’s Los Angeles lady, Jess Day, got more than she bargained for on her New York vacation when Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) needed her help with a case. This attempt at comedy synergy, however, was not as open-shut. Slate ran a lengthy take-down on what was described as a “missed opportunities” for both shows and IndieWire called it an “ill-fated pairing.”


14. Bones–Sleepy Hollow


Bones Season 11, Episode 5: The Resurrection of the Remains
Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Bones’ Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) help Sleepy Hollow’s Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) solve a case of historical significance in this Halloween-themed crossover. It drew decent ratings, but critics were mixed. TV Line argued that, for a scenario involving particularly eccentric circumstances and people, the event was “just not that weird.”


15. The Simpsons–Family Guy


Family Guy, Season 13, Episode 1: The Simpsons Guy
Family Guy, Season 13, Episode 2: The Simpsons Guy (Episode 2)

Fox animated series The Simpsons and Family Guy each have strong fan bases — so devoted are they that they sometimes turn on each other to argue similarities in the shows’ premises or episodes. So it seemed appropriate that the two would join forces for a two-part episode of the latter to prove that everything is derivative — with a special surprise guest making the final ruling. Vulture called it an “anti-classic” while The Telegraph argued that it suffered from too much forced humor.

Did you watch The Walking Dead–Fear the Walking Dead crossover? What did you think? Tell us in the comments.

Cooper Andrews as Jerry, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The season 8 finale of The Walking Dead put Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) on a collision course as The Hilltop and Saviors finally went to war. Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) death may have paved the way for some epic action-packed episodes this season, but his wish for peace and prosperity fueled both men as they went to battle. When the dust settled, Morgan’s (Lennie James) time with Rick, Carol (Melissa McBride), and the rest of The Hilltop had ended, leading him on a new path: a trip to the equally dismal world of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. While it seems a new world is on the horizon for The Walking Dead crew, the battle between mercy and wrath is only just beginning for the stick-wielding hero.


SPOILER ALERT: THIS ARTICLE REVEALS DETAILS OF EPISODE 16 OF SEASON 8 OF THE WALKING DEAD.


Lennie James as Morgan Jones - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

As with any war, the one on display in “Wrath” featured a lot of moving parts. In the end, though, most lingering loose ends were tied up rather nicely: Daryl (Norman Reedus) gave Dwight (Austin Amelio) closure and freedom, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) tapped into a surprising semblance of bravery and attempted a futile escape from Negan and Eugene (Josh McDermitt), and Aaron (Ross Marquand) finally came through with the fiery assistance of The Oceanside crew. And since it’s The Walking Dead, Sunday’s episode once again showed just how quickly an audience’s perspective of a character can shift. Seriously, Eugene, you had us all fooled!

Fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the biggest moments from Sunday’s big finale episode.


1. EUGENE’S SURPRISE DOUBLE CROSS


Eugene proved himself to be quite the loathsome traitor. And yet, Sunday’s episode revealed he had a plan of his own. Either he was working long con at The Sanctuary this entire time, or his run-in with Rosita (Christian Serratos) sparked a change of heart in the man. Whatever the case, Negan’s bullet-maker did the unexpected by making each and every bullet in the Saviors’ artillery backfire. It was a glorious move straight out of the Wile E. Coyote playbook. As the man explained to Rosita after it all went down, “I created a modicum of phooey for a full kablooey.” It’s good to have you back, ya weirdo.


2. RICK AND NEGAN FACE OFF

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Tom Payne as Paul 'Jesus' Rovia, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Since season 6, The Walking Dead has been steadily building to this moment. Rick and Negan, both wounded and battle worn, were finally fighting it out. If Negan’s death match with Simon (Steven Ogg) was any hint, this scene was sure to be as visceral as it was cathartic — for Rick, Maggie (Lauren Cohan), The Hilltop, and fans everywhere. Using Carl’s memory as a tool to take Negan off-guard, Rick swooped in for the kill and slashed the man’s throat. As harsh as it was, it was a move pulled straight out of Robert Kirkman’s comics.


3. RICK SHOWS NEGAN MERCY

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Negan has been the best and worst thing to happen to The Walking Dead. The hype behind the big bad not only drowned the series in expectations, but the scenery-chewing villain overshadowed every character. That said, it looks like the leather-clad baddie will be hanging around a while. Viewers may not have been pleased with this choice, but Rick’s move to pick mercy over wrath was something straight out of the comics, as well. And while it’s hard not to wonder just how he knew such a throat injury wouldn’t be life threatening, keeping Negan alive will surely inspire the conflict the gang will face when The Walking Dead returns next season.


4. MAGGIE TURNS HEEL


Fans everywhere cringed and screamed at Rick’s decision to spare Negan’s life. But no one was as furious about the whole fiasco than Maggie. This whole time, it looked like she and Rick were on the same path: to kill Negan at any cost. But as Rick found redemption, with Carl’s letter bringing back a welcome sense of clarity, Maggie’s vision had only been further clouded with rage. The memory of Glenn (Steve Yeun) may live on with her unborn baby, but that’s not enough. With Daryl and Jesus (Tom Payne) on her side, it looks like a civil war is brewing. Are Rick and Michonne about to meet their match?


5. MORGAN MAKES HIS EXIT


Morgan is the spirit animal The Walking Dead deserves. His PTSD ultimately informs who he is: a man who loses himself when he loses those he loves. The Walking Dead — and Fear the Walking Dead for that matter — exist in a world steeped in loss and grief, with reminders of everyone’s mortality around every corner. As much as Rick touted a “New World” to the united community at the end of the episode, it seems that a fix isn’t within reach for Morgan. At least, not yet. He has demons he needs to deal with — and he’ll deal with them on Fear the Walking Dead.

Did you watch the crossover? What did you think? Will you watch Fear the Walking Dead to find out how Morgan’s story unfolds from here? Tell us in the comments.


The Walking Dead returns for season 9 later this year; Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 10/9C on AMC.