9 Times ‘The Walking Dead’ Ripped Your Heart Out And Ate It
If you watched Sunday’s mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead,” you know that a beloved character met her end in the episode’s final scene — a moment which was shocking, but also not really surprising. Because ever since AMC’s zombie drama first dragged a horde of undead carcasses into our nation’s living rooms back in 2010, it has demonstrated a special and unique talent for ripping people’s hearts out.
, but also figuratively, as every season has brought with it at least one moment of emotional anguish from which its viewers can never recover. And while we all mourn the loss of dear, sweet Beth Greene, we’d also like to just point out all the various times that “The Walking Dead” has pulled exactly these sort of shenanigans before, because it is a terrible show that delights in your pain and torment.
1. When Morgan tried to (but couldn’t) shoot his wife
The first season of “The Walking Dead” centered on Rick’s search for his missing wife and son, but it also didn’t pull any punches when it came to the grim reality of what sometimes happens to wives and sons in a world full of walking corpses. Case in point: Morgan, who can’t bear the sight of his dead wife shambling around amongst the zombie horde, but who also can’t bring himself to put a bullet in his corpse bride’s head.
2. When Dale didn’t have the guts to stick around
In the first season, it was Dale who told us, “You don’t get to do that, to come into somebody’s life, make them care and just check out.” And then, as if to prove a point, Dale checked out at the hands of a hungry walker in Season 2 just when we’d started to really like him. Thanks a lot, Dale, for breaking our hearts.
If any of us were under the illusion that there were certain lines “The Walking Dead” wouldn’t cross, that illusion shattered right at the point when Sophia — the prolonged, hopeful search for whom had formed the entire emotional backbone of the season so far – turned out to be the smallest resident of the Greene Family Zombie Barn Commune.
After Merle’s secret stash of chlamydia drugs snatched him back from the jaws of death-by-blood-poisoning, we dared to believe that nothing could take our beloved T-Dog away from us. We were wrong. We were so, so wrong, and it was so, so unfair.
Confession: After two seasons’ worth of Lori-related drama, her death in childbirth did not, personally, hit me right in the feels. Rick’s reaction, though:
6. When Bandit, Truffle and Porkchop saved everyone else’s bacon
On a show that regularly depicts dead people dragging their own intestines down the street like party streamers, the bar for viscerally upsetting scenes is set pretty damn high. But the brutal fate of Rick Grimes’ three little pigs was both heartbreaking
deeply disturbing, so thanks for that, “The Walking Dead.”
We didn’t exactly mourn the death of Merle, who will always be remembered as a gross jerk despite his last-minute acts of bravery. But watching Daryl sob hysterically as he smashed his zombie brother’s head to a pulp? ALL OF THE EMOTIONS.
Although Karen and David really did have to die — not just because they were full of influenza germs, but because the show’s cast had gotten downright unwieldy after its infusion of Woodbury refugees — it didn’t have to be Tyreese who found them, especially not while holding the bouquet of get-well-soon wildflowers he’d just picked for his recently-incinerated girlfriend. (Not to mention the bonus soul-killing moment when poor, clueless Tyreese hugged guilty, guilty Carol on the road after the prison fell.)
9. When Daryl and Carol (and Rick and Judith, and Sasha and Tyreese) reunited
Amid all this death and despair, let’s not forget that “The Walking Dead” also occasionally rips out our hearts by making them swell to the point of bursting. Case in point: The moment earlier this season where Carol, having just blown up Terminus and saved the lives of her former companions, found them in the forest, got a world-class hug from Daryl Dixon, and brought two families back together.