Credit: Scott Garfield/AMC

We have just one episode left in season 5 of The Walking Dead, and what a season it has been—filled with some of the most action-packed and emotionally resonant installments the series has ever staged. But what are the best episodes ever? I asked the cast (including one person who would not make it through the season alive) to share their picks for their favorite episode ever. See what each selected as their personal numero uno and why below. (NOTE: Season 5 had not begun airing yet when this poll was conducted, so those episodes were exempt.)


“Days Gone Bye” (Pilot episode: season 1)

“The first. It’s always the first, because it’s just extraordinary. Only because I was finding my way, it was Frank [Darabont], and just the scares. I loved it. It was really exciting, and terrifying, and just euphoria. And I think that was just kind of connecting. I will always harken back to riding a horse into downtown Atlanta, being chased by 500 zombies. That doesn’t happen that often in one’s career.”


“The Grove” (season 4)

“It would have to be ‘The Grove,’ because, oh, several reasons. It was written by Scott Gimple, who has written a couple other of my favorite episodes. It was a huge turning point for my character. It was awesome as an actress to play the depths from which he wrote her. It was just an all-around great shooting experience, and also it was special because Mike Satrazemis—who was one of our camera guys, and then became our director of his photography—this was his first episode to direct. So that was just a special experience to share, to be the first with him. Yeah, that was cool. He was very excited, too. Lots of good memories with that episode. But yeah, it’s hard to choose, and I have so many favorite scenes from different episodes.”



“Clear” (season 3)

“After” (season 4)

“I think within the context of season 3, ‘Clear’ was really special for me because Michonne has always been this chick who’s actively trying to not get to know people even though her heart wanted to—she just had too many wounds, too many layers, too much masking. There’s something so wonderful about ‘Clear’ for me because it really was her trying to get past that and it felt so great as an actor to try to connect with people rather than be cold as ice to them. It really was, to me, that episode with Michonne saying to Rick and Carl, I choose you. That was a really enjoyable experience, to choose people rather than be cold as ice to them. Then again, of course, “After” was huge because I got to show so many components of her from her path of choose life not death, that journey of finally metabolizing her wounds, and once again choosing Rick and Carl. I just love that moment when they find each other. It’s a great ending. She needed that.”


“Made to Suffer” (season 3)

“One of my favorite episodes to shoot was definitely when Maggie and Glenn break out of Woodbury, and he’s so badass and he smashes a chair and he guts the walker, and then we break out and we kill a bunch of people and we get out of Woodbury. Probably that one, because that just felt like the essence of the show to me. Like, somehow our gang found us, and we all broke out and nothing can keep us down. And that to me is the essence of our band.”


“The Grove” (season 4)

“It would definitely be ‘The Grove.’ We pushed the envelope, and [showrunner] Scott Gimple did an amazing job on that script. And [director Mike Satrazemis] did an incredible job of directing. And the cast. It was a risky proposition, yet we delivered something that the audience worldwide has really embraced. And that was a real risky episode. But we pulled it off. Not to be selfish, but I just thought it was one of the most painstaking yet beautiful episodes. And it was a great experience for me as well. And Melissa McBride? My goodness! You know?”


“Still” (season 4)

“I gotta the say the one with Beth, ‘Still.’ I gotta say that one. Emily and I, we bonded so much on that episode and I had never really worked one-on-one with Emily before. I’d worked with everybody but Emily pretty much. Doing that…It was those two characters learning about each other as those two actors learned about each other all on the spot. It was really interesting and I loved watching her get that opportunity to just explode like that.”


“Guts” (season 1)

“Episode 2 of the whole series—that one stayed with me for good. That was awesome. To have the first meeting between Glenn and Rick. To being covered in guts, running down the street, being chased by walkers, jumping over the fence. Doing all that action stuff and really getting to know Glenn as a character and really kind of bringing Rick and the rest of the group together. That was a blast. That’s definitely one of my favorite episodes.”

Watch the cast spill secrets about each other below. And for more ‘Walking Dead’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Episode Recaps

The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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