My Top 5 Moments of The Walking Dead

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I thought I would share my top 5s over the course of the next few weeks. Choosing a top five of anything can be very subjective, Whatever five I pick, I’m leaving out ten more things that I really loved, not o mention that anyone reading this will have their own five moments that they think are the top.

This Sunday marks the AMC Marathon of Season 6 of The Walking Dead which leads us into the Season 7 Preview Show with Chris Hardwick and whoever else he has planned to tease us with information and non-information. I had already noticed that in the season 7 trailer, we don’t see hide nor hair or any characters that were in Negan’s lineup to meet Lucille.

There are so many more moments that I could have included, but these five popped into my head first. It was funny that three of the five were from season 5. I know many people felt hat season 5 was their best season so I guess I kind of feel that way, although each season has a special place in my heart.

And let’s be honest, I could probably write a Top 5 Moments for each character!

As they continue on with season 7 and beyond, we’ll see how they continue to fare.

[Note: Each moment is labeled with the Season. Episode #. Episode Title. There are spoilers included for other episodes and for all six seasons.
SPOILERS]

1. 1.3 Tell It To the Frogs
Rick’s reunion with his family

We in the audience know that Rick’s family are alive, but we have also seen them interacting with Shane as husband-figure, so we’re kind of confused. When Morales calls out to Helicopter Boy, Rick is fried. He’s seeing the family reunions happening around him, and the last thing he wants is to make anyone feel badly because his family is still missing. He comes to the group and can’t believe his eyes. The emotion is all over his face, and he’s speechless. When Carl bounds up into Rick’s arms and Rick nearly falls over from joy, I just about lose it no matter how many times I see it.

We know that things with Shane just got complicated, but we can also see how happy Shane is to see his best friend alive and reunited with his family.

It was one of the best moments, and it continues to be.

2. 2.8 Nebraska
Shane and Carol after the walkers in the barn

Sophia’s dead and everyone knows it. Carol has refused to go to her funeral, but she does head out to where Daryl had shown her the bunches of Cherokee Roses. She picks them and tears them to pieces and takes her grief out there in the wilderness.

When she wanders back to the farm, she seems disoriented and wobbly on her feet. She’s dirty and she has cuts on her hands.

Shane goes to meet her, and she tries to walk around him, but he takes her hands and gently walks her over to the water pump.

He speaks quietly to her, using a cloth to wipe the dirt from her hands, and to clean her cuts. He expresses his condolences for the loss of her daughter, and tells her gently that he had n o idea that Sophia was in the barn, suggesting that he might have done things differently.

This gives us a unique perspective on Shane. This is one of the moments that I draw on when my husband argues with me as to Shane’s “evil” nature. I’ve always had a soft spot for Shane, and I think that circumstances led him to where he was.

3. 5.8 Coda
Beth’s death

Total shocker for me. Losing Beth was losing the innocence of the whole group. I didn’t feel this way when Mika and Lizzie died and they were children. Beth was an optimist. She influenced many of the group, not the least of which was Daryl. There was no ulterior motive for her. She was just a sweet girl who grew stronger every day.

When they found Beth, I expected things to go their way. They had gone through so much and survived. Beth had gone through so much with Daryl after the prison fell and then at Grady Memorial that she deserved to be reunited with the group.

She was reunited with the group. And then she was dead.

The only death that comes as this much of a shocker was Noah’s. Did not see that one coming either.

4. 5.11 The Distance
Rick and Michonne

From the moment they met, Rick and Michonne have been slowly moving towards each other. I had no doubt that there would be a romantic level to their relationship and there were several moments along the way: the way they spoke to each other, how much they understood of the other, their mutual trust, the silence and the looks between them that spoke volumes.

This moment, however confirmed it for me.

When they arrive outside of Alexandria’s gates, Rick stops the car and he turns off the engine. His hands are still on the steering wheel and Michonne covers his hand with hers. He looks at her and Judith coos.

It was such a small, innocent, yet intimate moment that it felt as though they were already more than friends. It didn’t imply anything; it didn’t ask for anything; it just was.

5. 5.13 Forget
5.16 Conquer
Daryl and Aaron’s relationship

Daryl doesn’t know what to make of Aaron at first. Why is this guy helping us? Why is he following me into the woods? Rabbits? I don’t think so.

But in this episode there is the learning curve. Aaron expresses that they’re both outsiders without any kind of dig at Daryl’s redneck lifestyle or suggesting that he understands because maybe Daryl’s gay. Daryl’s still at a place in himself that regardless of anything else, he’s still trying to live up to his brother’s version of what a man is. He also feels that everyone looks down on him; that he’s lesser than they are.

They bond over nature and the horse. When they need to put the horse out of its misery, they don’t think, they just work together to do what needs to be done. They’re a good team.

Aaron encourages Daryl to go to the cocktail party even though he’s not going. He invites him to dinner and when Eric mentions going on runs, Daryl is wondering if he’s being used.

Aaron offers him the motorcycle to build and offers him a job as the other recruiter. Daryl accuses Aaron of not caring if Daryl gets hurt rather than Eric, and Aaron agrees. No lies, no sugarcoating. Daryl knows what he’s doing; he wouldn’t have to worry about him like he does with his boyfriend/partner.

When Daryl agrees to all of this, he says the most common rejoinder he has: I’ve got nothing better to do. There is so much tied up in that one sentence, so much subtext and meaning and Aaron understands the meaning: I’m here for you; I’m part of this group; you can count on me.

In Conquer, Daryl defers to Aaron’s suggestions. He doesn’t trust himself, mainly because he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to be the leader or smart enough to countermand Aaron’s “expertise.”

When they’re trapped in the car together, Daryl is going to draw them out to let Aaron escape. Aaron has moire to live for. No one will miss Daryl. He’s expendable. Aaron doesn’t let him sacrifice himself. He suggests they both go together and fight as best they can to get out of this trap. Aaron is putting an importance on Daryl’s life that he’s probably never experienced before.

These moments for me are all emotional and surprising and sad in their own ways. They showcase the characters in ways that they’re not readily shown to be. They give more dimension to these characters and reminds us that not everything is black and white. It is our shades of gray that make them who they are. And after these characters die, they are with us and their friends longer than their lives were.

What was one of your favorite moments in the first six seasons of The Walking Dead? What are you most looking forward to in season seven?

October 23rd is just around the corner.

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