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]
STOP HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN EPISODE 5, SEASON 7 OF THE WALKING DEAD
At Hilltop, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) finds out that her pregnancy is in a delicate state, and she’s advised to rest up and not strain herself. Uh huh. Jesus (Tom Payne) rolls up all charming and comforts her and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) at the graves of Glenn and Abe.
Nervous about the Saviors coming for retribution, Hilltop’s head belly-crawler Gregory (Xander Berkeley) makes a great case for his own ass-whooping, getting Maggie’s name wrong again, whining that they don’t bury their dead, forgetting who Sasha is, insisting that the women leave Hilltop ASAP, calling Maggie’s pregnancy a “mistake,” and so on.
Later, smooching ensues. Also rollerskating. What are the chances you’re going to find two pairs of fits-just-right rollerskates in a suitcase by the side of the road during a zombie apocalypse? Nada! Zero! Zilch! The WTF meter just hit 11 ― on rollerskates. Embarrassing.
The Saviors startle the Hilltop gang a little midnight treat, rolling a compact car into the compound with classical music blaring, lighting fires, and leaving the gates wide open for an impromptu Walker-fest. Maggie and Sasha spring into action. Sasha fights off Walkers as she tries to break into the armored car. Maggie starts barking orders at Jesus and other dudes standing around, then backs up a monster tractor her own damn self and obliterates the car along with a half dozen Walkers.
Somewhere in there, Jesus happened. The episode unleashed a kung fu Jesus, which apparently was super satisfying for everyone involved.
He bragged about stealing Dwight’s (Austin Amelio) wife and kept breaking down Daryl (Norman Reedus). When he wasn’t doing the honors, Negan (the incomparable Jeffrey Dean Morgan) let his minion Dwight do the dirty work, dog-food sandwiches and all. But in the end, it’s pretty clear that all Dwight really wants is to be Daryl because Daryl is stronger and braver.
Dwight is so jealous of Daryl, it's actually kind of funny ?#TheWalkingDead
STOP HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN EPISODE 4, SEASON 7 OF THE WALKING DEAD
That’s why this week’s 90-minute episode, “Service,” is so critical. Fans had to see just how far Negan would go once he got to Alexandria, how far Rick (Andrew Lincoln) would let him go, and what Dwight was going to do to further try and destroy Daryl. Seriously, we understand that Dwight wanted Daryl’s hog (stalk much?!), but did he have to take Rosita’s hat and pour out her water? Such a fourth-grade-bully move.
I know they wanted us to sympathize with Dwight, but after that move I definitely need him to die ASAP #TWD#TheWalkingDead
Speaking of Daryl, that’s so messed up that Negan brought him along for the raid on Alexandria. Sigh. Did you hear that? That is the sound of our collective hearts breaking. Equally heartbreaking is Michonne (Danai Gurira) trying to maintain some semblance of dignity as she watches Rick crumble.
In the meantime, Michonne needs to spend more time at the firing range. That was just embarrassing. Instead of killing that walker, she accidentally killed an innocent deer in a very symbolic way. Some viewers chose to see the deer’s death differently.
Michonne is such a good shot, she hit the deer in the woods that she was aiming for even with that walker distracting her ? #TheWalkingDead
Thankfully, the moments of levity gave us the laughs we needed. For instance, just as Negan proceeded to embarrass Rick time and time again, he decided to double down and ask Rick about Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Apparently, Negan has a thing for widows. But before Rick could discuss Maggie’s whereabouts, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) crept up and said Maggie is dead.
“Ho-ly crap!” Negan exclaimed at Gabriel. “You are creepy as shit, sneaking up on me, wearing that collar with that creepy-ass smile.”
Gabriel’s entrance is so awesome on so many levels but mostly because it startled — and unsettled — Negan. Score one for the Alexandrians.
Then the gunshot came, Negan’s face shifted again, and he stopped smiling in the most menacing way. I know we’re supposed to hate Negan, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan is seriously delivering the performance of a lifetime.
Turns out Carl (Chandler Riggs) popped off a warning shot to threaten one of Negan’s men who took one too many bottles of Tums. Sigh. Come on, Carl. Now Alexandria is going to lose all of its much-needed guns. Making matters worse, once Negan and his gang checked Olivia’s (Ann Mahoney) inventory list, they realized a couple of guns were missing and said they’d kill Olivia if the guns didn’t magically appear.
See, that’s the thing about Negan: When Rick does what he says, Rick looks weak. But the minute Rick doesn’t play along, someone dies or comes very close to dying. Meanwhile, some viewers think Olivia needs to be more street smart.
Gabriel knew 2 fake Maggie's death or at least have a grave site ready, why didn't Olivia know to keep a fake log #DemDeadz#TheWalkingDead
Alexandria doesn’t have a ton of street-smart natives. Take Spencer (Austin Nichols). On one hand, he wisely hid guns, but on the other hand, he’s too quick to kneel and too quick to question Rick. He also nearly got Rosita killed in the wilderness full of Walkers by talking too loudly and he seems to think there is a way to actually reason with Negan. Sigh. He’ll probably die next.
Other twists and plot points of note include Rick giving Negan Michonne’s rifle, Negan taking Michonne’s dead deer, the fellatio reference Negan used to further emasculate Rick (bastard), the gross savior who taunted Enid (Katelyn Nacon), and Michonne saying she would try and follow Negan’s rules.
Those burned mattresses say otherwise. Michonne is coming for you, dude. And how crazy/amazing is it that Rick knows Judith isn’t his baby, but he’s still willing to die for her? This is why we love Rick.