Pivotal Episodes of The Walking Dead, Part: Season Six & Seven
This is the last entry of my series on the most pivotal episodes of The Walking Dead. Well, at least until a few more seasons have passed!
13. Season Six, Episode 6: Always Accountable
Written by Heather Bellson
And so Daryl first hears about ‘kneeling’, and that these people ‘own you for a roof over your head and three square’, but he doesn’t know who they are…
Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham get run off the road (by people we later discover are the Saviours) on the way back from Operation Quarry, and Daryl first meets Dwight—and so the horrors begin. Before Dwight and Sherry do the dirty on him, Daryl asks him the three questions, and Dwight’s answer to the third is that if he did kill a human being, there would be no going back—how true this is later proved to be!
Left without weapon or vehicle (Sherry: ‘We’re sorry’ Daryl: ‘You’re gonna be’), Daryl finds the fuel truck that later saves Alexandria from the Walker invasion. Meanwhile, back in his and Sacha’s temporary hidey-hole, Abraham finds the RPG that saves the three of them from their first Saviours run-in. Oh yeah, and he makes a move on Sasha….
14. Season Six, Episode 12: Not Tomorrow Yet
Written by Seth Hoffman
This episode brings about a huge turning point for Rick and the group: it’s the first time they go into attack and kill without being threatened first. ‘We have to come for them before they come for us’, says Rick, just as he did in S6:1, ‘First Time Again’—but this time he’s talking about the living, not the dead. It’s surprising to see that everyone, aside from Morgan, is in favour—such a change from just a few weeks back, when the original Alexandrians were still living in cloud cuckoo land.
At the Saviours’ outpost, even Father Gabriel kills ~ and the horror of this attack is illustrated by Heath and Glenn’s revulsion about what they must do. And Glenn sees some polaroids….
Big relationship changes in this episode, too ~ Tara says goodbye to Denise but doesn’t know it’s for the last time. Abraham leaves Rosita heartbroken, to start his relationship with Sasha, and Carol gets together with Tobin. Speaking of Carol, in this episode we begin to see the change in her that leads to her taking herself away from everyone. She’s buzzing around handing out cookies, but then Rick tells her ‘we’re going to have to fight’, and she plummets. Later, she counts up how many people she has killed (18). Meanwhile, Morgan is constructing a cell, that will, later, hold Dwight….
15. Season Seven, Episode 1: The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be
Written by Scott M Gimple
Possibly the most pivotal and game-changing of all seven seasons, this shocking first episode sees Negan beat Glenn and Abraham to death, and the broken Rick turns from a fighter into a man so desperate that he cries and begs the man who is trying to make him cut off Carl’s arm. But Rick’s terrified acquiescence is not shared by all ~ Glenn’s brutal death turns Maggie into the strong leader she is to become. The death of Abraham makes Rosita come out mean and fighting, while Sasha becomes more philosophical; maybe this was what set her on the path of being ready to die, at the end of the season, and join not only Abraham but former love Bob and brother Tyreese.
Huge changes for Daryl, too—taken by Negan, he moves like a caged animal in the back of the truck, and the events of the night send him spiraling into a private hell, as he blames himself for Glenn’s death.
This episode splits the group, as some relationships become shaky and new alliances are made. The good people of Alexandria do not realize that, when the RV returns from the hellish night in the woods, they will be living in a different place.
16. Season Seven, Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating
Written by Matthew Negrete and Channing Powell
In which horrific events turn the mood of the group from hopelessness back to fighting positive. Spencer’s bid for power leads to his own death and that of poor Olivia, to Rosita taking the shot that results in Eugene finding a new role as one of Negan’s right-hand men, and Rick, at last, agreeing with Michonne that they can and must fight. His whole demeanor and facial expression is back to the Rick we know and love, in the marvelous end scene when Alexandria reunites with Hilltop.
This episode also sees Daryl break out of the Sanctuary, care of Sherry, which will lead, in turn, to Dwight’s about-face—and Rick and Aaron find the supplies on the boat that brings about the meeting with Jadis and the junkyard gang. Meanwhile, back at the Hilltop, Maggie is fast ousting Gregory from his position of leadership without even trying….
18. Season Seven, Episode 16: Bury Me Here
Written by Scott M Gimple
Watching 7B again, I expected to find the last one the most pivotal, but I realised after I’d seen them all that Bury Me Here is not only one of the best ever episodes, but it’s such an important one for the development of the characters and the plot, because it brings Morgan and Carol back and ready to defeat Negan, and shows Ezekiel that it’s time, too, which leads to the Battle of Alexandria being won.
After Richard has goaded Jared Saviour into causing Benjamin’s death, all of Morgan’s old demons flood back—it’s his turning point; perhaps all life isn’t so precious, after all. When he tells Carol about what’s really happened back at Alexandria, she awakens from her period of solitude; it’s as though they’d both retreated into idealistic worlds of their own invention, and now they’ve woken up.
The last two scenes of the episode are so symbolic: Carol finds Ezekiel and Benjamin’s young brother in the burnt out garden, re-planting new growth in the ashes of the old, while Morgan sits on the step, sharpening his aikido stick into a weapon of war….
A BIG thank you to Terry Tyler for this ongoing series! Be sure to follow her on Twitter and let us know what are some of the episodes YOU think are the most important in the world of The Walking Dead!