Every Episode of The Walking Dead Ranked by Tomatometer
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.
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: 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: "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: 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: 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: 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: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: 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: "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: "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]
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: "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 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: "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]
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: "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: "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: "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: 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: "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: "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: 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: "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: 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: 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 Walking Dead clearly doesn’t need “Mercy” when it comes to critical reaction to its 100th episode. The premiere of the AMC zombie series’ eighth season now stands at 89% on the Tomatometer with 19 reviews in (we’ll update this figure as more reviews are added).
Spoiler Alert: This article reveals details of episode 1 of season 8 of The Walking Dead.
“Scott Gimple and company have heard fans’ complaints… and are bringing things back to basics. Rick’s a badass again; the action is moving quickly; and the latest episode even featured a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments of humor.” – Laura Bradley, Vanity Fair
“In a bold narrative gambit that feels refreshing after the hints of creative exhaustion in Season 7, this hour hopscotches across time and, possibly, in and out of reality.” – Charles Bramesco, New York Times
“It delivered on spectacle, if not on logic. And it was fun.” – Luke Holland, Guardian
“Unlike last season, we don’t have to wonder when the war with Negan will finally come. It’s here, and at least that much brings us hope as we head into the uncertain future.” – Nick Romano, Entertainment Weekly
“‘Mercy’ is nowhere near the best episode The Walking Dead has ever aired, but it’s an effective season premiere that manages to add some energy into the aging series and at least partially hits the reset button. – Kelly Lawler, USA Today
At the season level (81% Tomatometer score on 11 reviews), critics are impressed and hopeful:
“Rick, and his band of survivors… aren’t passive victims anymore; they’re active and fighting back. It’s the way longtime fans are used to seeing them, and it feels good.” – Eric Deggans, NPR
“This new season of The Walking Dead should be more fun to watch almost by default.” – David Sims, The Atlantic
With some dissent, of course:
“The urge to expand the story beyond the constant flight from mindless flesh-munchers is understandable. But much of the dread, as well as emotional urgency, has gone out of the show in the process.” – Mike Hale, New York Times
“The action is so fragmented, it often feels like — to paraphrase Shakespeare — there’s a lot of sound and fury going on, and it doesn’t signify much.” – Kristi Turnquist, Oregonian
“Suddenly, The Walking Dead seems as if it’s outlived its moment, as if it got stuck somewhere in 2015 and left us all to sail on by, waving.” – Todd VanDerWerff, Vox
Fans mostly agreed, noting the episode’s homage to the series’ first season.
They saved their harshest vitriol, however, for Gregory (Xander Berkeley), who not only showed up as a traitor to the rebellion, but bailed on Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) who had stopped to save him after the rebels released the Walker horde. The padre was then left to face the zombies and, worse, Negan.
The Rotten Tomatoes staff had its own screening of the premiere to weigh the pros and cons over Slack — but the exercise turned into something of a free-for-all.
Zoey Moore: where does one get licorice in the apocalypse ?
Ryan Fish: Idk who’s less inspiring — Rick or Ezekiel
Ryan Fish: Or Maggie
Debbie Day: Con: Rick said, “We end them.”
Zoey Moore: OLD RIIIIIICK
pro: time jump
Kerr Lordygan: FLASH FORWARD
Ryan Fujitani: What the hell was that?
Debbie Day: Pro: theme song is still awesome
Kerr Lordygan: song makes it seem like more dramatic stuff is happening than really is
Ryan Fujitani: Remember when that song would give you goosebumps? Me neither.
Actually, that’s not fair. It is a pretty good one.
Ryan Fujitani: Negan should have made Rick cut Carl’s hair, instead of his arm, last season.
That hat has made it further than most cast members
Kerr Lordygan: that shot should’ev killed Carl last season. boo
how does rick find the materials to wax his chest so often?
Ryan Fujitani: Who are these ninjas?
Debbie Day: Violent Lennie is unsettling. Don’t know if that is a pro or con
Zoey Moore: I’m not trying to be rude, but where the f— is Michonne?
Ryan Fujitani: I think I would prefer a series of just Daryl, Carol, and Morgan running around doing Seal Team 6 stuff.
Oh, and Michonne.
Zoey Moore: Carol is USELESS
Ryan Fish: Who needs Michonne when you’ve got Father Gabriel
Kerr Lordygan: Carol’ll get her groove back, just u wait!
Ryan Fish: JUDITH
All your faves are here, Z
Zoey Moore: I looked down for one minute. We need to rewind
Zoey Moore: STAB HIM IN THE HEAD, RICK
Ryan Fujitani: Won’t that dude just become a zombie now, too?
Seems counterproductive to leave them like that.
Zoey Moore: We need Zombie population control
Debbie Day: And won’t it be suspicious that they’re all turned to zombies together?
Ryan Fujitani: Jesus is the poor man’s jared leto
Ryan Fish: So true
Zoey Moore: Maggie’s got your Arse, the future.
Ryan Fish: Rick says he’s following Maggie? I knew she was the best leader
Ryan Fujitani: I might be alone in this, but I never really bought Maggie’s rise to leadership.
Zoey Moore: I WANT TO FAST FORWARD THROUGH ALL THE TALKING. If it’s not Rick and Michonne telling each other how in love they are, what even is the point
Debbie Day: showrunner warned at NYCC that lots of exposition in 1st ep of season = the talky dead.
Ryan Fish: OMG TARA IS STILL ALIVE ARE YOU JOKING
Ryan Fish: …is that her name?
Zoey Moore: Tara is the tiffany trump of the zombie apocalypse
Ryan Fish: I can’t believe she’s made it through all the way from the Governor days
Ryan Fujitani: Ditto that.
Kerr Lordygan: those girls are so interchangeable
Ryan Fujitani: Tara does not belong with these three.
All she’s good for is eating red vines
Kerr Lordygan: where are the monosyllabic women’s gang? We need more of them
oh great a 30 minute negan monologue
Ryan Fish: I agree, I want those ladies back. That’s the best part of Tara’s storyline. /The only thing that’s actually happened to her
Ryan Fish: Is this a Flash Forward or a fantasy?
Why does Rick imagine himself as Gandalf
Zoey Moore: denny ducket, who hurt you?!
RICK, WHAT IS THIS HAIR CUT
Ryan Fujitani: He looks like a poorly designed C-list GI Joe
Debbie Day: Terrible hair!! Con con con!
Ryan Fish: The first time I saw Negan I got chills. Then he did the same thing 100 more times
Zoey Moore: Kill Gregory and none of this speech matters
Kerr Lordygan: go hooome noooww
Zoey Moore: it’s that easy
Kerr Lordygan: is this now written by the This is Us writers?
Zoey Moore: Maggie.
Ryan Fujitani: Oh we got a bunch of badasses here
Ryan Fish: Ok Maggie might be the coolest character left
Debbie Day: Jesus, Jesus!
Zoey Moore: Take that back
Ryan Fujitani: It would be the best if that was really the death scene for Gregory.
just getting pushed down the steps.
Ryan Fujitani: Dude on the right needs to take a piss.
Debbie Day: Wants to take a timeout
Dude on the right is left shark…but on the right
Zoey Moore: I’M SO MAD
Ryan Fish: This is such a weird way to shoot a scene
Ryan Fujitani: It’s about damn time.
They’re shooting at nothing.
They’re wasting ammo on windows.
Zoey Moore: #CarolIsOverParty am i right, guys?
Debbie Day: Carol is my fave.
Ryan Fish: I kind of wish “If Daryl Dies We Riot” never happened, it made his character weaker. I’m never worried for him.
Unpopular opinion but I’m saying fingers crossed he dies this season — that would be ballsy
Zoey Moore: Ryan Fish, wow rude
Ryan Fujitani: What happened to those junkyard people?
Zoey Moore: Gabriel is still alive
Ryan Fujitani: I thought they were on Negan’s side
Zoey Moore: The bangs
Where did they go
Debbie Day: Scavengers disappeared into a trash pile
Ryan Fujitani: I’m still unclear what all these explosions are meant to accomplish
Zoey Moore: negan’s hurt and i feel okay about it
Ryan Fujitani: Machine gun preacher in the house
Zoey Moore: GOODBye, gabriel
Ryan Fish: I hope Daryl sacrifices himself to kill Negan this season
OMG both these characters can die rn and I’d be so happy
Gabriel sux. Gregory sux.
Debbie Day: Gregory leaves padre. Wonder where he’s going to go
Ryan Fujitani: I didn’t quite catch it.. Does anyone know what’s going on right now?
Kerr Lordygan: no
Debbie Day: Nope!
Kerr Lordygan: negan was way better on Good Wife
Debbie Day: What we need right now is an Old Man Rick flash-forward
Ryan Fujitani: The amount of unnecessary gunfire on this show is appalling.
Find a dumpster to hide under, Gabe!
Zoey Moore: I HOPE YOU GOT YOUR SHITTIN’ PANTS ON
Ryan Fujitani: I can’t believe they doubled down on the shittin pants line
No, wait, TRIPLED DOWN
Ryan Fish: I think they think “shittin pants” is a lot more badass sounding than it is
Ryan Fujitani: That is no doubt the case.
Kerr Lordygan: who wrote this shittin pants ep?
Ryan Fish: Last time I wore my shittin pants I got kicked out of the bar I was in
Zoey Moore: hope you got your shittin’ pants on because…you-youre about to shit…your pants?
Ryan Fujitani: every pair of pants is a pair of shittin pants, really
Kerr Lordygan: not really, Ryan
remember Naked Gun 2.5? Poopypants? That’s been my nickname ever since. I think Leslie Nielsen zombie is about to appear
Debbie Day: Cue bad hair
Ryan Fish: Are they going to draw this “is it a flash forward” thing out the whole season?
Zoey Moore: Everyone but Michonne has aged. DOES THAT MEAN SHE DIES? YOU GUYS???
Ryan Fish: This isn’t Lost Kerr Lordygan: the extras look ridonk. sitting around waiting for catering to arrive… with assault rifles in their hands
Ryan Fish: Now that I think about it this show actually IS kind of like Lost
Kerr Lordygan: oh. it’s over?
Ryan Fish: So the best part of that episode was that it was dedicated to George Romero
Zoey Moore: I LOVE THIS SHOW and I HATED this episode
Ryan Fish: I stopped watching this show last season and I’m glad I did
Kerr Lordygan: This Is Us meets The Simpsons
What did you think? Tell us in the comments!The Walking Deadairs Sundays at 9/8C on AMC.
(Photo by AMC)
Spoiler alert: This article contains details about season 7 of The Walking Dead. Turn back now if you’re not caught up.
Most everyone can agree that season 7 of The Walking Dead was a major downer with all the horrible things Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) did to Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and the rest of the Alexandrians, and our favorite characters scattered and disconnected. Thankfully, the season finale set the story on a new path, with Rick and his allies (including Hilltop and the Kingdom) finally declaring war on the Saviors.
Season 8 promises to be the most action-packed of them all.
As Tom Payne, who plays the stalwart Jesus, recently gushed to Rotten Tomatoes, “The first four episodes — which we were told before we started shooting, but we couldn’t believe it — have even more action than the ones before. It just gets bigger and bigger.”
We are totally on board and ready to go, but we still have some big questions on what’s going to happen.
1. HAS EUGENE TRULY GONE OVER TO THE DARK SIDE?
(Photo by AMC)
It wasn’t all that surprising when Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) switched sides in season 7 after being captured by Negan. He does have an enormous yellow streak running down his spine, and he’s going to do what he can to survive. We don’t particularly like him for that, but there it is. Still, we’ve seen a less selfish side to Eugene every now and then, like when he gave Sasha the poison so she could off herself and escape Negan’s clutches. The fact she did it in such a spectacular way – coming out of a coffin as a zombie to attack Negan and some Saviors – was just icing on the cake.
Eugene could be in a bit of trouble, however. Negan will most likely figure out Eugene went behind his back to give Sasha her way out, so it could turn ugly for our mullet-headed friend. Eugene could be forced to realize Rick and the gang are (and always have been) a much better option, but he’s going to have to do something remarkably admirable and redemptive if he wants to rebuild those burned bridges with Rick — who might not necessarily be in a forgiving mood.
2. WHAT’S GREGORY UP TO?
(Photo by AMC)
You just know weasel Gregory (Xander Berkeley) is going to turn up in season 8. Last season, he left the Hilltop under the cover of night to go on a “long journey” with his loyal assistant Kal. It became very clear many of the Hilltoppers no longer trusted him because, well, he’s inept and everyone basically loves Maggie now for saving them from a severe walker attack. Boy, oh boy, did Gregory want to kill Maggie when they were out in the field, but a zombie scared him senseless and he needed her to save him.
According to the comics, Gregory is the one who tipped off Negan to the imminent attack from the Alexandrians. In the comics, as Rick and his allies attack the Sanctuary, Gregory shows up and offers a deal to those Hilltoppers not willing to fight: that they can walk away with him. It goes down differently in the show, but Gregory could definitely have had a hand in ruining the element of surprise. At this point, the former Hilltop leader is on the outs and desperate — which only makes him even more dangerous.
3. WHAT ARE JADIS AND HER SCAVENGERS GOING TO DO NEXT?
When Rick found Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and the Scavengers last season, he was excited to be able to recruit another group to join in the fight against Negan. Although there was something definitely off about this weird chick with severe bangs and clipped speech, it seemed like she was on board in helping — so long as the Scavengers got what they wanted in return. Alas, she was not to be trusted and made a surprising switch in alliances to Negan, who offered a better deal, just when Rick needed her the most.
But now that Jadis sees that Rick has a larger army to fight Negan — and could possibly win the war — will she flip flop again?
Rick probably won’t bargain with her again after she turned against him, so Jadis and company are skating on thin ice.
4. IS DWIGHT REALLY A TURNCOAT SPY?
For much of season 7, it seemed like Dwight (Austin Amelio) was waffling between being a complete company man (i.e., torturing Daryl) to questioning Negan’s authority, particularly when it came to his wife, Sherry, and his cover-up of her escape from Negan. Then Dwight defected to Alexandria, saying he wanted to help them destroy Negan. Daryl didn’t trust him, but Rick decided to.
When it all came to head in the finale, it looked like Dwight might still be on Negan’s side, fighting the Alexandrians along with the Sanctuary folks and betraying Rick by not telling him about Negan’s deal with Jadis. That was not the case, however. Dwight left a hidden message in Alexandria, which Daryl found, that said, “Didn’t know,” meaning he had no idea about the Jadis/Negan pact.
5. WILL OCEANSIDE WISE UP AND JOIN THE FIGHT?
Those women of Oceanside need to get their heads out of the sand. Last season, when Rick arrived to take their guns and ammo (on Tara’s suggestion), leader Natania knew she couldn’t really stop him — but by god, she wasn’t going to get involved in the conflict. While it’s understandable that she doesn’t want to rock the boat and lose more members after suffering the devastating deaths of all the men in their coastal community, the women can’t keep living in fear.
In season 8, we suspect Oceanside denizens Cyndie and Beatrice will convince Natania of this fact. They have to join the fight in order to at least try to be free of oppression — and let’s hope they come in at just the right moment to take a stand.
6. IS PREGNANT MAGGIE GOING TO FINALLY START SHOWING?
It’s a fairly minor point, sure, but every time we see the Maggie running around, putting herself in harm’s way, we can’t stop thinking about her pregnancy. She almost miscarried once before, and we sure don’t want that to happen again now that she’s maybe found some peace at Hilltop.
Alas, a little baby bump might not make an appearance any time soon considering the timeline of the story really isn’t all that long. Even though season 7 seemed interminable to us, the events that transpired — from the time Negan smashed Glenn’s head in to the war beginning — really only took a couple of weeks. Still, season 8 could could flash forward to a more pregnant Maggie and that would be satisfying. We really can’t wait for that baby to be born.
7. WHAT’S WITH OLD MAN RICK?
Speaking of flashing forward, everyone can’t stop talking about the extended sneak peek of season 8, which premiered at San Diego Comic-Con a few months ago. The trailer ended with an image of an older, gray-bearded Rick, lying in bed with a cane nearby. WTF? Perhaps it’s hinting to what happens in the comics when it jumps to two years after the war with Negan. Or maybe not.
At least it seems like Rick survives the war — unless it’s all a dream sequence as Rick lays dying on the ground or something.
8. WHO’S GOING TO DIE IN THIS “ALL OUT WAR”?
This naturally brings us to our last question: Who are we going to have to say goodbye to in season 8? Because the show frequently strays from the storylines set in the comics, you can’t necessarily go by what happens on the page.
“No one is safe, more so in this season than any other season, I think,” Payne told Rotten Tomatoes. “I’ve always said that’s one of the show’s greatest strengths. There shouldn’t be any golden geese, and it can be anyone at any time. Might be me, might be someone who has been there for years. It’s no fun if everyone is invincible.”
Our guess? Jesus will probably be one who kicks it.
What do you think? What’s the biggest season 8 question that you want answered? Tell us in the comments!
The 100th episode of The Walking Dead is upon us. Before the season 8 premiere, find out where Rick, Negan, Daryl, Maggie, Michonne, and more left off last season with Rotten Tomatoes’ handy refresher course.
Have thoughts on what’s to come in season 8? Tell us in the comments.
Comic book creator and series executive producer Robert Kirkman dropped the biggest news during the show’s public panel: a crossover episode expected next year between TWD and its Fear the Walking Dead spin-off.
“There are two Walking Dead shows. I’m not going to name them, but there are two. There is one character that is going to go from one show that I will not name and appear in the other show, which I will not name,” Kirkman told the NYCC crowd. “This is a huge event in the world of The Walking Dead.”
We caught up with cast and crew in the press room to round up nine other must-know takeaways about the new season.
1. The 100th episode will be especially satisfying for longtime fans of the franchise.
If you’re a keen viewer of the entire The Walking Dead series, then you know full well how some scenes and specific shots sear themselves into your memory. Director Greg Nicotero said that this 100th episode is a televisual hour made just for you.
“The first episode has a lot of really interesting nods to previous seasons. If you watch it and you know the show pretty well, you will see things that are direct callbacks to previous episodes, even as much as me shooting, shot for shot, a sequence that was in an earlier episode,” Nicotero said. “We went into it really, No. 1, wanting to give the fans something exciting. People who have been with us since day one can react to the show and feel like they’ve been rewarded by staying with us for a hundred episodes. The new fans, and the new people that are going to watch the show, will get a completely cinematic experience with a tremendous amount of amazing stuff going on. I think we covered it pretty well.”
He did admit, though, that there will be a lot of exposition in this first episode of season 8: “We’re sort of setting the stage for our war.”
2. Those same fans will be surprised by the characters’ evolution.
Just as with the direct callbacks to previous seasons and episodes, Lennie James, who plays Morgan in the series, says that season 8 will play especially well to longtime fans because they know where these characters — who have gone through years and years of pain and growth — originally came from.
“I don’t think that any of the characters set out thinking they’re going to be the ones that survive. I think one of the brilliant things about the characterizations in The Walking Dead and one of the brilliant things for us, as actors, is that people have evolved,” he said. “Now that we’re at the 100th episode, if you go back to the first season and look at who those characters were in the beginning, you would not have picked out Carol, for example, as being the one who is most likely to survive, the one that Morgan describes as our greatest warrior. You wouldn’t have picked her out to be that at the beginning, but that’s what she’s become.”
3. The motto for season 8 could be: “Bigger is better.”
Norman Reedus and his character Daryl have seen everything the The Walking Dead world has to offer, so believe him when he said that season 8 is going to be huge.
“It’s very ambitious. It’s great writing and great acting,” he said. “Every single episode this season is full-on. It’s 100 miles an hour. All the things that you like, this whole seasons packed them all.”
He admitted, however, that that all can get pretty exhausting.
“And everyone’s bruised,” added executive producer Gale Ann Hurd.
That’s all in part thanks to the technical side of things, headed by Nicotero.
“We really tried to change up the style. We wanted it to be fresh,” Nicotero said. “We had a lot of zoom lenses this year. And there’s not a tremendous number of crane shots. We wanted static, beautiful frames…. We’ve been going for really evocative frames. It adds a lot more coverage; it adds a lot more camera set-ups.”
His goal was to make any given frame worthy of a hanging on the wall. But that means that this season’s episodes were “the hardest…that we’ve ever shot.” And that goes for the storytelling, too.
“This season, [we’ve] been completing a lot of characters’ story lines in one or two episodes instead of letting them play out over the entire season,” he said. “It’s a very different way that we tell stories. Our production design team, visual effects — we’re constantly aware of what we’ve done in the past, and we’re always trying to top ourselves, which is very hard to do. The actors bring it and we have an obligation to continue to up the game for the show because it’s been eight years and we want people to not feel that the show is suffering from any fatigue.”
4. Rick is “stronger than ever before.”
Last season served as a major disappointment for many Rick-loving TWD-heads — and with good reason! No one likes to see their fearless leader become a pacifist for the Saviors. Luckily, Lincoln revealed that Rick is done playing Mr. Nice Guy, and season 8 sees him revitalized and ready to take on Negan.
“A new character took over as lead of the show [last season], pretty much,” Lincoln said. “[But] you’ve got to go somewhere to get somewhere. I think that they needed to break me down in order to come back stronger than ever before. I certainly feel like where we left last season is an indication of absolutely where we’ll go this season. This is the payoff for last season. The thing I love about doing the job — it’s eight years, it’s a hundred episodes — is that they keep pushing and pulling and nursing this man in new and fresh and unimaginable ways. I think [the writers] just enjoy watching me cry.”
Cry, sure, but he’s also willing to die for what he knows is right.
“He’s a man that is willing to die. He’s free,” Lincoln added. “He’s basically, for all intents and purposes, willing to put everything on the line. But I’ll never bow before [Negan] again. It’s basically a polar-opposite Rick that begins this season, and I’m so happy to be playing that man and not the last season’s Rick.”
5. Rick’s arc this season made Lincoln nervous in ways he hadn’t experienced before.
(Photo by Gene Page/AMC)
Lincoln praised the series and its writers for creating roles for actors that are like “gold.”
“You get to flex your muscles, you get to not just talk about a procedural drama. You get to deal with big issues of life and death. You get to do exercise, you get to work out as an actor and in a crazy, crazy place,” he said. “The beautiful thing is this season, more than any other, I’ve been really nervous about certain scenes. To be nervous going to work, after eight years, is testament to the writers’ room.”
6. Rick is a man of his word and intends to follow Maggie.
When asked if Rick will be reluctant to give up his position as leader, Lincoln said that “he’s getting tired; he’s been through a lot.”
“He’s not a politician — he’s a general. He’s a sheriff’s deputy, that’s where he comes from; that’s his DNA. That’s probably one of his strengths as a leader, is he listens to people. He takes counsel. He usually ignores it, but he does listen to people. Sometimes that’s why they’ve got through some of the difficult situations they’ve been through.”
When it comes down to it, though, Maggie may prove to be the better leader, politically speaking.
“Maggie is different. [She is] a future political leader, somebody that could run things. She’s industrious, she’s loyal, she’s respected on principal,” he said.
Rick, on the other hand, doesn’t desire power so much as he desires peace.
“He wants peace, he wants the future — because he had a taste of it, and then this goddamned Negan guy showed up,” Lincoln said.
7. Enid may become a new fan-favorite.
Season 8 marks actress Katelyn Nacon’s first outing as a series regular. While members of the press expressed an interest in learning more about her background — Nacon, for one, said that’s a great idea — the main arc for her this season will be about her growth from a teenager to a grown woman.
“When we first saw her, she was kind of like this angsty teenager, kind of closed off, had walls up around her. But now, we’re seeing her become a stronger warrior,” Nacon said. “She’s fighting, she’s trying to implement herself into the community. I’d like, that one day we will learn more about her past, because there’s a lot that we don’t know, there’s a lot that I still don’t really know.”
8. Carol has revenge on her mind going into season 8.
After a full season 7 of Carol (Melissa McBride) struggling with various moral conflicts, she’s now ready for the war Negan brought to her doorstep.
“We’ll see her fight, but she has to. It doesn’t mean she wants to,” McBride told reporters.
Teasing whether or not Carol and Negan will ever share the screen, Morgan quipped: “You could come and make cookies over here anytime.”
9. Kirkman is done with zombies after The Walking Dead.
Kirkman and his Skybound Entertainment recently signed on the dotted line with Amazon Studios for a lofty Prime Video production deal. While it marks his departure from AMC, he told the press room that it also marks his departure from the world of the undead.
“I’ve done plenty with zombies,” he said. “That deal doesn’t preclude me from continuing to work on Walking Dead and Fear of the Walking Dead, as well. I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve had my fill, because I’m very much looking forward to Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead continuing for at least 30 or 40 seasons each.”