The latest episode of The Walking Dead upped the ante considerably considering there's just one episode to go until the (probably traumatic) season finale.
Titled 'The Other Side,' it focused largely on the assembled folk at the Hilltop Colony as well as tracked Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Rosita's (Christian Serratos) mission to avenge the death of Abraham by assassinating The Saviours' leader, Negan.
Below are the episode's five major talking points.
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
1/10 Sophie's a walker (season 2, episode 7)
Much of season two's opening half is spent looking for Sophia, the missing daughter of Carol (Melissa McBride). Turns out she was locked up in Hershel's barn as a zombie all along.
2/10 Shane reanimates without being bitten (season 2, episode 12)
When Carl (Chandler Riggs) guns down a deranged Shane (Jon Bernthal) to protect his father, the shock arrives when he manifests into a walker despite not being bitten; turns out everyone's infected with the virus and will turn whichever way they die.
3/10 Axel's bullet to the eye (season 3, episode 10)
A character introduced in the show's prison arc, Axel is a reformed prisoner who strikes up a friendship with Carol - until he's gunned down mid-sentence.
4/10 Carl kills Lori after she gives birth (season 3, episode 4)
Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) goes into labour at the very moment a zombie siege breaks out at the prison. Unfortunately, she doesn't make it through the procedure with her son Carl being the one to put a bullet to her head.
5/10 The Governor slays Hershel (season 4, episode 8)
The Governor makes his dramatic return for a showdown at the prison after he captures Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Hershel (Scott Wilson). Rick reaches out, attempting to reason with him - but The Governor starts a war when he proceeds to decapitate poor old Hershel instead.
6/10 "Look at the flowers" (season 4, episode 14)
In a standout episode from the show's fourth season, Carol is forced to take drastic measures when young teenager Lizzie murders her sister Mika in the belief that she'll live on as a zombie. Realising Lizzie's depraved mind would endanger those around her, Carol puts a gun to the young girl's head and, telling her to "look at the flowers," pulls the trigger, fighting back the tears.
7/10 Carl's bullet to the eye (season 6, episode 9)
Season six returned from its mid-season break in typically dramatic fashion when an iconic moment from the graphic novels came to life: Carl takes a bullet to the eye.
8/10 Beth is killed (season 5, episode 8)
Upon being kidnapped, Beth (Emily Kinney) is taken to Grady Memorial Hospital managed by Atlanta Law Enforcement. Forced to reside there against her will, the group - including Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) - eventually find her - only for her to be accidentally shot in the head by her captor. The worst thing? Her sister Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had just arrived outside.
9/10 Negan kills Abraham
Season seven opened in brutal form as we discovered it was Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) at the opposite end of Negan's baseball bat. "Suck my nuts," the soldier growls as the Saviours' leader brings Lucille raining down on his head until nothing remains but a pulpy mess.
10/10 Negan kills Glenn
Negan decides to punish the group once more after getting clocked round the face by Daryl. Without expectation, he thwacks Lucille round the head of poor Glenn. With his eyeball popping out of his head, he manages: "I'll find you, Maggie before Negan proceeds to finish the job ending the former pizza delivery boy's life.
1 - Jesus' sexuality
For some time now, Jesus actor Tom Payne has been saying in interviews that his character's sexuality isn't a big deal despite it being a well-known aspect of his character in Robert Kirkman's graphic novel source material. This may be true and yet it remains a nice touch to see it referenced in the series during a touchingly understated exchange between him and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). This confirmation makes Jesus the sixth LGBT character on the series following Tara, Alisha, Aaron, Eric and Denise.
2 - Daryl comes to terms with his guilt
This week's instalment sees the return of Maggie after minimal screentime this season so far. We soon learn that she's being avoided by Daryl (Norman Reedus) who is still plagued with guilt over the death of her husband, Glenn (Steven Yeun). However, when The Saviours pay a surprise visit to the Hilltop, the pair are thrust together while hiding and eventually, Daryl is forced to come to terms. In one of the season's most emotionally charged scenes, a stoic Maggie tells Daryl it's not his fault that Glenn died and begs him to help her take down the only man she believes to be responsible - Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
3 - Doctor Carson
The reason for The Saviours' unannounced drop in? They need a new doctor following the fiery end for poor Emmett a few weeks back. It turns out he was the brother of the Hilltop's very own medic, Harlan, who is taken away by Simon (Steven Ogg) as The Saviours' latest prisoner sparking something of a concern for spineless Gregory (Xander Berkeley).
4 - Eugene doesn't want to be rescued
Sasha and Rosita put their avenging plans into action by heading to the Sanctuary to take out Negan. Watching from afar, they see Eugene (Josh McDermitt) pulling rank with The Saviours, convinced he's playing ball to make it out alive. That night, however, things turn south when they reach the compound to rescue Eugene - he refuses to leave with them. “I didn't ask you to come so go,” he snaps at them, his confident swagger segueing into sheer terror as he runs back towards his new master - the very man they've arrived to kill.
5 - Sasha infiltrates the Sanctuary
Before heading off on their mission, Sasha and Rosita made it very clear that their attempt to end Negan's life would most likely be a “one-way ticket” for them both. Not on Sasha' watch; as Rosita prepares to raid the Sanctuary, she locks her out. “It's not your time - they need you,” the warrior tells Rosita before running fully armed into the heart of The Saviours' compound, prepared ot die to complete her mission. All Rosita can do is stare in disbelief as she hears gunfire ring out from inside - that is until she sees a crossbow-wielding figure standing in the shadows who many will assume to be Daryl, but we believe to be somebody else entirely...
The Walking Dead airs in the UK tonight (20 March) at 9pm on FOX. You can read our review of last week's episode here.Reuse content