It may be the Zombie Apocalypse, the survivors may slowly becoming worse than the undead, there's death and despair everywhere... but yes, The Walking Dead absolutely has the power to melt your heart.
Tell it to the Frogs
- Rick reuniting with his family.
- The Mexican 'gangsters' turning a retirement home into a fortress to protect the patients.
- Moresoever, the reveal that leader of the Vatos and his seemingly brutal right-hand Felipe were the only two caretakers whom stayed behind to take care of the patients when the rest of the original staff had left, adds a whole new depth perception to the two, showing that the Vatos are no different from Rick's group.
- A small one, but Guillermo openly showing the loyalty he has to his men, particularly when he's upset at hearing that Daryl planned on cutting off the feet of one of his youngest members.
- When Rick is asked by Daryl whether he thinks it's worth rescuing Glenn from the Vatos "gang", Rick tells him that when he needed help the most in the tank, Glenn saved his life. "What life I have I owe to him (Glenn)."
- Rick decides to give the Vatos half the guns and ammo that he, Daryl, Glenn, and T-Dog had risked their lives to recover earlier.
- Dale consoling Andrea over her sister's death by telling his story of how he lost his wife to cancer, and how it left him angry and lost.
- Shane doing Rick one last favor after he thinks his friend has died, by blocking his hospital room's door with a gurney so that walkers can't devour his body. Before this Shane tried to find a way to move Rick out of an overrun hospital. This act of decency when Shane was in danger from walkers and ruthless soldiers allowed the whole series' plot.
- Rick and Shane's friendship in general before the affair with Lori unbalanced Shane. Watching the first episode, it's clear that things would have been very different if Rick had woken up before that went too far.
- Jenner and Jacqui's final moments right before the explosion. Jacqui takes Jenner's hand, and Jenner looks somewhat comforted at not having to die alone.
- Daryl gives Carol a flower of the same name as the episode. He tells her a story of what the flower means, surprisingly sweet coming from a guy like him.Daryl: "I'm not fool enough to believe that there are any flowers blooming for my brother, but I believe that this one bloomed for your little girl."
- Maggie and Glenn's hooking up feels so genuine that it quickly became the most popular Official Couple of the entire series, only rivaled by Rick and Michonne in Season 6. As IGN's Eric Goldman put it:Goldman: And hey, good for Glenn! He's a nice guy, she seems like a cool gal, and it felt genuine when she noted she felt plenty lonely too and ready for some companionship (of the sex-having kind).
- A mixture of heartwarming and tearjerker, but Shane and Rick's conversation in the woods about their high school love lives can count. It's one of the few scenes where the two of them act like real friends, and can make you see how the two of them used to be before everything went to hell. Then you see how it ends between the two of them...
- Daryl's absolute determination to find Sophia, even after he nearly dies in the search.
- Carol telling Daryl he's a valuable member of the team and a good man, after Daryl had been hallucinating his brother telling him no one appreciated him."Today, you did more for my little girl than her own daddy ever did for her in her whole life."
- Maggie angrily tells Glenn that she's lost so many of the most important people in her life, and that she can't take him becoming "one of them" (a walker), not wanting to lose him, either. She also tells him that he's smart, brave, and a leader - and that he just doesn't see it yet, and that the group takes advantage of him.
Pretty Much Dead Already
- Maggie confronts Glenn over telling his group about the barn, but Glenn says: "I'd rather have you pissed off at me and alive than liking me and dead." Glenn walks away a distance, and Maggie stops him, and comes to him to give him a Big Damn Kiss.
- When Glenn returns to the farm, he goes to Maggie and confesses that he froze up during the earlier battle, and says it was because he started thinking about her. Though it's Subverted a moment later when Glenn tries to distance himself from her, Maggie is just beaming and nearly on the verge of tears, and outright grabs his face to try to pull him in for some smooching.
- When Daryl tries to push Carol away after discovering Sophia is dead, yelling how Sophia isn't his problem, and outright blaming Carol for her getting lost in the first place, she quickly understands it's his way of coping with the grief, and then basically tells him to go right ahead and vent at her if he needs to. But she refuses to let him pry himself from the group out of any guilt that he has.
- Especially since Daryl's violent rant had to bring back some uncomfortable flashbacks for Carol of Ed in one of his "moods."
18 Miles Out
- Rick seems to abandon Shane to certain death after they have a brutal fight. Then it turns out he was just going to get a car to save him, and tells Shane that whatever has happened between them, they need to work together now.
Judge, Jury, Executioner
- Dale trying to convince Daryl to vote to save Randall, telling him that he's a respected member of the group and a good man.
- With Dale arguing as the sole voice for saving not just their prisoner's life, but their own humanity, he is able to win over Andrea, who to this point had seemed the most solidly in Shane's camp, and the person Dale cared about most in the group. And later, when Rick is unable to carry out the execution, she looks elated at being able to give Dale the news. Unfortunately, by that point it was too late.
- AMC was holding a live vote as to what to do with Randall, and over the course of the episode Dale actually won a lot of real life viewers over.
- Hershel giving Glenn his watch, which has been passed down from father to father in his generation, after reassuring him that he's a good enough man for his daughter. Especially heartwarming given that Hershel was VERY uncomfortable with Glenn's relationship with Maggie at first. He even remarks that "immigrants built this country" when Glenn says his family is from Korea, having had it implied earlier that Glenn's race was an issue.
- Rick asking Daryl why he shot Dale: so that Rick wouldn't have to."Ain't no reason you should have to do all the heavy lifting."
- Lori apologizing to Shane for the pain she's caused him, and thanking him for helping her and Carl in the early days. Of course this backfired, but it's the thought that counts.
- Andrea and Glenn's moment in Dale's RV, with Andrea tossing the keys to Glenn and consoling Glenn as he thinks he let Dale down.
- Rick giving Carl back the gun he stole, telling him that he trusts him and showing that he wants to help make him a man.
Beside the Dying Fire
- Carol is able to get Lori to finally retreat when the farm is being overrun, showing a lot of strength for someone regarded as a broken woman. She demands Lori retreat because she's confident Carl is alive and makes her realize Carl will still need his mother.
- Everyone reuniting at the highway after the farm is overrun.
- Daryl insisting that that they look for Andrea. He doesn't give up on anyone.
- Glenn and Maggie are fleeing into the countryside, and Maggie is driving but panicking from their ordeal with the herd. Glenn eventually gets her to pull over, and they switch seats so she can rest a little. Finally, Glenn tells Maggie he loves her. He says he should've told her a long time ago because it's been true for a long time. Maggie finally snaps out of her Heroic BSoD and slowly, sweetly beams at him through her tears. Awkward but sweet.
- In the midst of the rest of the group openly doubting Rick's leadership, Daryl's quiet "Rick's done right by me". Doubles back into tearjerker territory when you realize that based on what we know of Daryl's backstory, Rick is probably just about the only person who ever has.
- In the same discussion, while Carol doubting Rick does not qualify, her saying that she wants "a man of honor" in charge while looking at Daryl certainly does.
- Hershel shows nothing but faith in Rick the entire episode, demanding everyone calm down and listen to him. Even after the group becomes disgusted with him, Hershel still tries to shut down his own daughter and others who voice their disapproval.
- Michonne refusing to abandon the very ill Andrea.
- Although it doubles as a massive Tear Jerker, Lori telling Carl how much she loves him, how proud she is, and imparting some final advice before she dies in childbirth.Lori: You're gonna be fine. You are gonna beat this world. I know you will. You are smart, and you are strong, and you are so brave, and I love you. You gotta do what's right, baby. You promise me, you'll always do what's right. It's so easy to do the wrong thing in this world. So, if it feels wrong, don't do it, all right? If it feels easy, don't do it. Don't let the world spoil you. You're so good. You're my sweet boy. The best thing I ever did.
Say the Word
- Daryl and "Little Asskicker".
- More specifically: Daryl is the first to wonder how they're going to feed the new baby. He immediately heads out on a baby formula scavenging mission with Maggie. While scavenging baby supplies from a daycare, he grabs a stuffed toy for the baby. Finally, when they get back, Daryl promptly scoops up the baby to be the one to feed it. The baby's big brother, the group's "doctor," Maggie, and Beth are all standing there, but Daryl doesn't seem to have a shadow of a doubt that he is the best guy for this job. Awwwww.
- Also, when he picks up the hungry baby, she starts crying more quietly. Bless.
- And that smile◊ when she does quiet down. After all he's been through and all the abuse he took growing up, it's sweet how kids affect him.
- Glenn telling Hershel that T-Dog went around in his car looking for elderly people who needed help when the outbreak started, and how he was a good guy who saved his life on several occasions and how he's gonna miss him. Hershel thanks T-Dog for closing the gate (which is when he was bitten).
- Hershel offering to stay with Rick when he clearly thinks correctly that Rick is imagining the phone calls he's been getting.
- Daryl telling Carl about his mothers death in an attempt to connect with Carl about Lori's death. It doesn't entirely work but it's still a look at the hard man's soft side.
- Rick starts coming out of his Heroic BSoD following Lori's death, and holds his newborn daughter for the first time. You start to see a bit of the old Rick coming out when he smiles down at her.
- Daryl discovers the noise he's assumed to be a trapped walker is actually Carol, still very much alive. No words are needed as he gently picks her up and takes her to safety.
- In the final scene of the episode, Michonne finally arrives at the prison, carrying the baby formula that Glenn and Maggie had found before being kidnapped by Merle.
When the Dead Come Knocking
- Carol's reunion with Rick.
Made to Suffer
- The little things that Glenn does for Maggie, such as giving her his shirt to cover up with and handing her a bone from a walker first to use as a weapon, before getting one for himself. Conversely, before that there's the fact that neither of them are willing to crack, no matter what horrors they're threatened with, but each time the Governor threatens one of them in front of the other, they start cooperating.
- In a bizarrely heartwarming way, the scene where Michonne kills Penny, the Governor's walker daughter. While the relationship he has with her is rather creepy, it's one of the very few humanizing moments we have of the Governor, begging Michonne to kill him instead of hurting her. It's one of the few glimpses we get of the family man he once was, and shows how much the last year has broken him, and turned him into the monster he is. But with all the buildup of how important he views himself and how much he sees himself like a god, he cares about his daughter so much that he's willing to sacrifice everything for the closest thing he still has to his family.
- Daryl saying goodbye to Rick, telling him to look after Lil' Asskicker and Carl, saying the latter's a good kid.
- Hershel comforting Glenn and Maggie, telling Glenn thank you for looking after Maggie, and that he considers him like a son.
- Hershel telling Rick to reconsider his choice to send away Tyreese, that although the group has obediently followed his orders and is grateful, that he is wrong on this one. And Rick actually seems to change his mind. Then however Lori appears...
- Daryl has come a long way, as shown by a nice call-back in "Home" to Season 1.Merle: I damn near killed that Chinese kid.Daryl: He's Korean.
- Hershel hobbles all the way through the prison field to ask Rick what's going on. He then patiently tries to help Rick through his mental episode.
- Andrea and Carol hugging at their reunion at the prison, as Carol thanks Andrea for saving her life in the Season 2 finale.
- The episode is full of these with Michonne.
- Firstly she acts very protective of Carl, repeatedly stopping from getting into danger.
- Carl and Michonne risk their lives in order to get Judith the last photo in existence of her mother.
- Then Michonne tops that by picking up a rainbow-coloured stuffed animal, and she shares a goofy smile with Carl.
- At the start of the episode Carl and Rick talk about how Michonne is only a very temporary ally of the group. At the end, Carl tells Rick to let Michonne into the group, surprising him. Michonne then admits that to Rick that she sees and talks to her ex-boyfriend, sympathizing with his situation with Lori.
Arrow on the Doorpost
- There's something oddly pleasant about watching the members of both the prison and Woodbury crews bonding with each other while Rick and the Governor attempt to reach a truce. Hershel and Milton's conversation was both kind and amusing (thanks to Milton's awkwardness, mostly), and seeing Daryl and Martinez kill zombies together was one of the most badass instances of male bonding ever put on film, which is cemented when they share cigarettes found on a dead zombie. All in all, both sides act very human.
Daryl: That sucks.Martinez: Thanks.
- Martinez revealing that he enjoys killing walkers so much because that they killed his wife and kids, and Daryl being honestly sympathetic.
- Glenn and Maggie making up after he admits that he hasn't been caring enough to her. Passionate make-up sex ensues.
- Andrea trying to convince Milton to flee to the prison with her, then kissing him on the cheek and wishing him luck when she leaves.
This Sorrowful Life
- Glenn asks Hershel for his permission to marry Maggie, now knowing the importance of the pocket watch he was given and what it means to really love and care for Maggie. Hershel, who'd in the past regarded him as "the Asian boy" with disdain, has no hesitation when he happily gives Glenn his blessing.
- Glenn going through the trouble of getting Maggie an engagement ring to propose to her with, and then quietly proposing to Maggie later, and her accepting.
- Rick admitting that he's been wrong to leave the rest of the group in the dark about important decisions, and declaring the end of the Ricktatorship.
- Rick picks up wire to bind Michonne's hands with when he hands her over to the Governor for torture and death, when he hallucinates Lori watching him. Disgusted with what he's planning to do, he throws it away, calls off the plan and does the above meeting with the group.
- Merle's Heel Realization prompting him to release Michonne, and causing him to become a Death Seeker.
- Later after his Heroic Sacrifice, Carol comforts Daryl and said Merle has done good thing by preventing another prison attack. Also, Carl mentions his death to be partly as Rick's fault, because Rick didn't kill The Governor, who killed Merle, when they first met.
- Not just this, but throughout the whole season, Merle's determination to find and reunite with his brother. It has been established that Merle is more than a little of a Big Brother Bully, but it proves that he has quite a bit of Big Brother Instinct as well.
Welcome to the Tombs
- A bitten Andrea's final moments. Her calm acceptance of her fate and what she must do, a call-back to one of her lines in Season 1, Michonne breaking down into tears and offering to stay with Andrea until the end.
- Rick's crew allows the remaining Woodbury survivors (who are mostly elderly and children) into the prison, showing that his problem was with the Governor, and not them. This act of goodness helps set Rick on the path to redemption for his callous actions sin the season, and as proof, his vision of Lori, who had previously appeared when he was doing something questionable, finally disappears for good, letting Rick move on from the loss of his wife for good.
- It appears as though the Governor is turning over a new leaf. He opens up to a little girl named Meghan who doesn't speak much due to her father abandoning her family and is able to get her smiling when he tells her he's a pirate and also shares how he lost his eye for which she comforts him. He starts teaching her how to play chess and she labels an eye patch on the king piece.
- After becoming distant because Meghan became upset witnessing the Governor kill her zombified grandfather, he earns her trust once again running into his arms to carry her away from danger. Then brutally kills three walkers to protect her and promises to never let anything happen to her.
- "Cross my heart."
Too Far Gone
- Maggie is spending a moment with her recovering husband, who notes that their anniversary is coming up. It's a sweet moment before everything goes to hell.
- Hershel smiling with pride at Rick's impassioned speech on how they and the Governor's group can live in peace. Even if the speech fails and Hershel dies.
- In the end, Rick and Carl make up after their arguments, and Michonne almost bursts into tears after finding them after the prison attack.
- The revelation that Judith is alive thanks to Tyreese saving her.
- Tyreese, Lizzie, and Mika reuniting with Carol.
- Carl reassures Michonne that her son Andre and Judith, who he still believes to be dead, are in a better place together. This is especially important when you remember his reaction to Carol trying to tell him the same thing about Sophia in Season 2.
- Beth and Daryl have a heart-to-heart, with the former telling the latter that what he was shouldn't reflect who is now, and that he's a good man. They burn down a redneck shack together and flip its burning frame off as a way to symbolize him shedding his past.
- Bob reveals why he's had the dissonant smile plastered over his face since the mid-season finale. Before whenever one of his groups fell apart, he was the last person left alive. Now he's no longer alone, as he's got Sasha and Maggie.
- Sasha and Maggie hugging Bob when they find him at the end of the episode is one of the most heartwarming parts of the season.
- Beth serenading Daryl on a funeral home piano while he dozes in a coffin.
- Later, Beth asks Daryl what changed his mind about there being good people left after the apocalypse. He just stares right at her face until she realizes.
- Mika refusing to kill and saying that she feels sorry for those people that were trying to kill them at the prison because they probably weren't like that before.
- Tyreese telling Carol that he forgives her when she tearfully admits to killing Karen and David. Particularly noteworthy as Karen's death has haunted him for several episodes up until that point, including his particularly violent anger towards whoever was responsible.
- Glenn and Maggie's reunion. He later sighs and softly tells her she's beautiful, causing her to grin and blush.
- Before that, the sheer joy and relief on Glenn's face when he finds one of Maggie's notes. Leave it to The Walking Dead to make a message scrawled in blood on the wall into something happy and heartwarming.
- Rick calls Daryl his brother. Knowing where they started off when they first met, this makes it especially heartwarming.
- Michonne holding Carl close and stroking his hair while he sleeps in her lap. This scene really shows how far she's come since arriving at the prison, effectively stepping into the role of surrogate mother to Carl and Judith.
- The massive reunion at the end of the episode: Daryl and Rick with Carol, Tyreese with Sasha, and Rick and Carl with Judith.
- When Rick suggests to go back to massacre the residents of Terminus, Glenn tells him not to, affirming his belief in doing the right thing.
- In a similar vein, Glenn convincing Rick to free the other victims trapped in the boxcars. Not that it does anyone much good.
- Rick asking Carol to rejoin them, telling her he owes her everything.
- Rick accepting Tara as one of his own with a smile, acknowledging she didn't want to be at the prison battle. They share a fist bump, with a genuine smile from Rick.
- Carl ignoring his dad and immediately going to help Father Gabriel, a man he's never even met, and even offering him food.
- Rick and Tyreese playing with Judith, especially when Rick lets Judith feed him.
Four Walls and a Roof
- Abraham's message to Rick on the map to Washington: "Sorry I was an asshole. Come to Washington. The new world's gonna need Rick Grimes."
- Before this, Bob saying goodbye to everyone, maintaining hope and optimism throughout.
- Beth smiling, and being genuinely happy that Noah was able to get away when they tried to escape the hospital, even though she was captured and he had to leave her behind.
- Before that, Noah putting a sucker in the shirt he laid out for Beth. It was the first bit of kindness she was shown since she'd woken up.
- Noah offering to stay at Grady with Dawn, and Rick and Beth refusing to allow that to happen. Beth is close to Noah, but Rick shows a remarkable amount of protectiveness for a man he's known for only a couple of days.
What Happened and What's Going On
- Michonne's expression when Rick says they should go to Washington was a truly heart-warming moment. The way her eyes glimmer with hope is just amazing.
- The dying Tyreese hallucinates Lizzie and Mika appearing to him to help shepherd him to the afterlife. Their presence along with Beth and Bob implies that Tyreese never held any ill will towards Lizzie even after what she did and the fact that she poised a serious threat to his own life.
- Though it's tragically in vain, Rick, Michonne, Glenn, and Noah fight tooth and nail to rescue the dying Tyreese. They're clearly getting more and more panicked and frustrated trying to haul the wardrobe-sized Tyreese to safety as the universe itself seems to not want him to survive, but they do not give up.
- Rick radios Carol, who has been left in charge of the group to alert her of Tyreese's situation. It's nice that Rick was considerate enough that his own second-in-command, Daryl, is in no shape to lead the group while he's away; Rick also asks Carol to keep Sasha and Carl away from the sight of Tyreese once they get back.
- Tyreese's last scene in the car, as his deceased friends all ask if he's ready to join them, and they smile at him to reassure him.
- Gabriel respectfully presides over Tyreese's funeral. We also see Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita taking part in the funeral, which is sweet since they likely never got to know him that well.
- Everything to do with the music box - that Carl would think of Maggie and bring it back for her, and that Daryl would fix it so that it would play again. They have a moment where they comment on Tyreese's death, noting he was tough. Daryl affirms, "so was she. She didn't know it, but she was." And there's nothing but the warmest, most wry smile we've ever had from Daryl Dixon.
- Maggie takes Sasha outside to watch the sunrise and assures her that they'll make it, after believing they wouldn't at the beginning of the episode.
- When Rule of Symbolism kicks in and it plays at the end of the episode for Maggie and Sasha, representing hope returning.
- Carol's speech to Daryl about his needing to let himself feel something after Beth's death and constantly offering to go to the woods with him so that he doesn't slip back into his loner habits.
- Plus her Anywhere but Their Lips kiss on his forehead.
- Doubles as a Tearjerker, but Carol giving Beth's knife to Daryl. The fact that she gave it to Daryl, not to Maggie, signifies that Carol and the group know how precious Beth was to him.
- Glenn being the best darn husband he can be and getting Maggie to open up about Beth and Hershel. Maggie smiles and finally takes a drink of water. A quiet, but sweet moment between the two lovers.
- Eugene stepping up to test the possibly poisoned water on the road, followed by Abraham slapping the bottle out of his hand, is equal parts Tear Jerker and heartwarming. Eugene feels such guilt for lying that he'd risk his life to be helpful in any way. Abraham, despite taking Eugene's lies the hardest, still won't let him risk it.
- The climax of the episode where the entire group stands together against the barn doors to keep out a horde of walkers. If that doesn't spell out True Companions...
- After a frosty few episodes, Rosita saves Abraham from a walker and he asks her, almost fearfully, if she thought he was going to hurt her back in Self-Help, and she very confidently says no. It's a far cry from Abraham's own wife, who abandoned him out of fear.
- The reunion of the two mysterious newcomers, Aaron and Eric, who it turns out are in a relationship.
- Michonne's constant attempts to be the optimistic voice in the group, showing truly how far she's come since season 3.
- Rosita pointing out to Abraham that they finally reached their goal of DC. Abraham smiles, despite the RV being down to half a tank or so, and warmly declares that they'll make it in time.
- Glenn restarting the group's new RV when its battery dies. When Abraham asks him how he knew how to do it, Glenn just gives a small nostalgic smile.
- Rick's eyes finally relaxing, him smiling and then Michonne holding his hand when they hear children playing inside Alexandra. Unlike Woodbury or Terminus, this is clearly a wholesome place.
- Deanna remarking with delight on the group all staying together in the same house, noting how Rick called them family earlier.Deanna: Absolutely amazing to me how people with completely different backgrounds and nothing in common can become that.
- In a strange sort of way, Daryl's violent reaction to Aiden trying to hit Glenn is one. The episode's focus on the group as a family really shines through in that moment. It takes all of Rick's strength to restrain Daryl from annihilating Aiden for attacking Glenn.
- Deanna doesn't believe her son's story, knowing he can be a real asshole and needs to get some decency beat into him. She thanks Glenn for hitting her son. Deanna certainly gets points for proving she does not engage in favoritism.
- When Noah goes to leave the party, Glenn and Maggie stop him and tell him they're all in this together, and that he's "here with family".
- Aaron convincing Daryl that he can fit in in Alexandria, and then inviting him over for spaghetti dinner when Daryl clearly doesn't feel comfortable going to the party. Aaron later gifts Daryl with a new bike and a job as a recruiter so that he can still be on his own while still being a part of the town. Daryl is genuinely touched and thanks Aaron for understanding him.
- It's also heartwarming to see Daryl become good friends with Aaron and Eric, a gay couple, considering how racist and undoubtedly homophobic he was at the start of the series.
- The episode is peppered with these. Sometimes between members of Rick's group, sometimes between members of the group and members of Alexandria. And it's all slightly subverted by the fact that Rick, Daryl, and Carol are busy plotting a take-over of the quiet little suburb.
- Even the takeover plot, while having obvious Oh, Crap! overtones, is done less because Rick's group want to hurt the Alexandrians, and more because they want everyone in the town to be safe. Themselves included, of course. A far cry from, say, the people who hit Terminus and turned it into cannibal-town.
- Rick proves he has fully moved on from the death of Lori to be interested in a relationship with Jessie.
- Confirming that Morgan has overcome losing his wife and son and becoming a Zen Survivor keen on preserving human life.
- Eugene has been by Tara's side pretty much 24/7 while waiting for her to recover.
- Eugene and Abraham apologising to each other, with Eugene sincerely calling his friend a hero. Rosita also helps provide the final push to get the two men to reconcile.
- Maggie and Glenn have a moment before they part ways in the episode, where Maggie asks her husband if something is wrong, and Glenn only replies by telling her he loves her.
- Despite Deanna being on the verge of exiling Rick, Reg is more than willing to hear Maggie out and help her.
- Morgan turns down a spot in Alexandria as he wants to find Rick. Luckily he gets the best of both worlds.
- Michonne telling Rick that even if they can't find a way to stay in Alexandria, she's still with him no matter what. She also makes it clear that she punched Rick for his own good, not out of any loyalty to Deanna or the other Alexandrians.
- Rick admits that the reason he didn't tell Michonne about Carol and him taking guns from the armory is because he knew she'd try to talk him out of it, and that he'd listen to her.
- Carl sitting at home with Judith, quietly watching the ballerina music box that he'd earlier given to a grieving Maggie and Sasha in "Them". It's a very peaceful moment between brother and sister, and all the more significant since they're the last sibling-pair left in the group at this point.
- Maggie, Sasha, and Father Gabriel praying together at the end of the episodes, conquering the inner demons that have been plaguing them.
- Instead of going to the meeting about Rick, Rosita chooses to stay and watch over Tara, who wakes up and smiles at her while Rosita happily smiles back.
- Maggie and Tara spend a scene absolutely gushing over what a good man Glenn is, having forgiven Nicholas for trying to kill him and actually getting Noah killed. They reflect on how he tries to bring out the good in everyone and how it encourages them to do the same.
- In the same scene, Maggie telling Tara that she is one of the most important people in her life.
- Eugene and Tara's reunion after Tara wakes up.
- Rick offering Morgan a place in the house he's sharing with Michonne, to which Morgan is so touched that he assures Rick he is still the same good man who he met at King County, the man who tells those utterly lost that it isn't over yet and Rick allows him to hold Judith.
- David writes a goodbye note to his wife despite the fact that she never gets it.
- When Daryl realizes the people in Alexandria are in trouble, he actually abandons his role in the mission to return. Then, when he realizes that he can't abandon Sasha and Abraham, he goes back, despite clearly wanting to to help back at home. Both instincts qualify as heartwarming.
- There's also the fact that what made Daryl stop on the way back to Alexandria was hearing the gunfire over the walkie talkie from Rick's end. He was worried about his brother.
- Glenn's message to Rick over the walkie talkie. Rick is unable to respond due to an encounter with a few walkers and all Glenn does is update him on the situation his group is in, but he ends the message with "Good luck, dumbass". It's a derogatory term, but the heartwarming comes in when you remember that this is the same thing he called Rick back in Season 1 when they first met (over a walkie-talkie) and Rick had accidentally screwed up the supply run of the team Glenn was leading at the time.
- In his final moments, Nicholas sincerely thanks Glenn for giving him a second chance.
Here's Not Here
- The scene in which Eastman and Morgan peacefully train together.
- Hell, the whole damn episode. Eastman went out of his way to save Morgan's life. Not just by not killing him, but by healing him.
- It’s a minor note, but Daryl’s concern for Sasha and Abraham in particular, who he hasn’t ever had much interaction with.
- When Daryl realizes he also accidentally stole Tina’s insulin, he doubles back with little hesitation.
- Abraham walking out in his dress blue uniform, clearly feeling like a soldier who does more than kill again, and then him staring into the clear rearview mirror on the ride home, leaving his past behind him.
- The writers attempting to save Nicholas from the scrappy heap by showing that his suicide actually saved Glenn's life by accident. The episode shows that Glenn doesn't bear a grudge against him for his mistake either.
- When Morgan finds Denise, she has written a big "cheat sheet" on a chalkboard with dozens of problems and their symptoms. When Morgan is asking her about the Wolf's injury, she is trying not to look at her sheet to remember the signs of infection. As she hesitates at the end, Morgan covers the last symptom, encourages her, and she gets it right without looking.
- Rick saving Spencer from walkers after he attempted a stupid, poorly thought out plan to save Alexandria. Deanna points out that Rick could've left her son for dead in order to attempt a smarter plan with his death as a distraction, but he didn't. It's a clear sign that his humanity is shining through him again.
- Also on Spencer's part, despite his efforts, his attempt to save Alexandria shows that he really does care about the town's safety. This was after the fact that he Took a Level in Jerkass, too.
- When Rick continues to refer to the Alexandrians as outsiders, Michonne gently scolds him and says that all of them are a family now and they need to work together in order to survive. After ignoring everyone else's suggestions so far, Rick barely hesitates in accepting Michonne's advice and promises to include the Alexandrians in his decision-making from now on. This shows that despite how ruthless Rick has become in recent episodes, he still values and implicitly trusts Michonne to keep him from becoming a He Who Fights Monsters dictator like The Governor, something that has been an intense fear of his since Season 4.
- When Rick starts fortifying Alexandria's walls to make up for his mistakes, the first person to forgive him and help him rebuild is Tobin. Tobin reveals that he initially feared Rick when he first arrived in town, but admits that he trusts him now, knowing that behind Rick's hardass demeanor lies a good man. Rick finally accepts that the people of Alexandria are a part of his family now and begins his new connection to them by forming a friendship with Tobin.
- Rick may be furious at Tara for the wrong reason, but it's touching to see him so angry at Tara for risking her life. You'd think she was his own daughter.
- Maggie seeing the green balloons, knowing they were sent from Glenn. The whole town sees it, and they seem to take it as a form of hope... and then the church tower falls and crushes one of Alexandria's walls.
No Way Out
- The team work that went into saving Alexandria from the walkers.
- Seeing one group of scared Alexandrians after another mustering the nerve to come outside and fight the herd, inspired by Rick's example. Many of them have only been seen in the background of group shots, and have no names or histories, yet they still get their moment of glory, finding the courage to stand and fight for their town.
- Rick's final speech to Carl, in which he tells his son that he finally realized what their group and the Alexandrians are capable of if they work together towards a goal. It showed that even after so much pain and heartache, there's still hope for the future. Also counts as a Tear Jerker.
- Becomes heartwarming at the end, when Carl's fingers close around Rick's hand like he agrees with Rick's hopes for a better world, showing that he is alive from his coma after losing his eye, which even provides the page image.
- Michonne kissing Carl's forehead before going outside to help Rick.
- Maggie finally gets to see Glenn alive again. Despite her horror as Glenn is being surrounded by the herd, you can definitely hear the desperate elation and joy in Maggie's voice when she screams Glenn's name for the first time. There's also Glenn taking on the herd by himself to give Maggie a window to escape.
- Shortly after, Glenn is saved by Abraham and Sasha gunning down the walkers surrounding him. Abraham just calls for Glenn to open the gate for them with a smile and calling him "pal". A small moment that also counts as a funny moment, but its nice to see the friendship between Glenn and Abraham is still strong, despite the struggles they had with each other in the previous two seasons.
- Father Gabriel offering to keep Judith safe and Rick actually trusting him to do so. Specially when you remember how coldly Rick refused his offer to help them in the season premiere.
- In a weird way, the Alpha Wolf saving Denise.
- Especially as he saves her twice. The second time, he is shot by Carol, and a group of walkers close in oh him and Denise. Instead of trying to run away, he holds them off and tells her to run, essentially sacrificing himself so she can escape. It's also heartwarming to see Denise vowing to save him after he's bitten.
The Next World
- The opening, with the picture of Carl and Judith, to Michonne walking out in a bathrobe and casually bantering with Rick. This entire episode really cemented them as a family. Carl rocking Judith at the end was adorable, as was Michonne and Rick watching her on the monitor.
- After getting a good talking to for sneaking out of the house, Carl tells Michonne that she's become his second mother and that he loves her, to the point where he'd never allow her to remain or reanimate as a walker. It stops her dead in her tracks and they embrace tearfully.
- Also, listen closely when Michonne comes to talk to Carl. It sounds like baby Judith is trying to say "Michonne". Apparently Carl isn't the only one who see's her as family.
- Carl refuses to leave a walker in the woods because he knows that Michonne is out there, too. And then, after realizing that the walker is actually an undead Deanna, he leads the walker back to Spencer so he can finally Mercy Kill his mother.
- Rick and Daryl's friendship was nice to see, especially after them being apart the entire first half of the season. Little things, like them sharing a soda or Daryl handing Rick half a candy bar, just show that these two are family as well.
- Rick and Michonne unwinding at the end of the day. They playfully banter about their long day, and Rick gives her the mints she'd been asking for. They hold hands. They look into each other's eyes. Then they kiss. And kiss more, and start giggling as they begin making out and eventually have sex. Richonne is canon!
- It's even more heartwarming when you look back and notice all the Ship Tease since at least Season 4 if not 3. When Abe and Deanna asked Michonne what she wanted, she refused to answer. Now it's clear what, or rather, who, she wanted.
- Denise makes Daryl some sort of cake creation for the trip. At first he refuses to take it but she continues to insist, saying that it's better than roadkill. When he asks if this is because he tried to get her pop, she says it is, but there's more to it. (And Daryl takes the cake.)Denise: You remind me of someone I used to know.
- Who we later find out is her brother.
- Carl being completely onboard with Rick and Michonne's new relationship.
- Michonne and Rick holding hands in the RV on the way to the Hilltop Colony.
- Abraham opening up to both Glenn and Daryl; with Abe asking Glenn about conceiving a child, and asking Daryl if he’s ever considered settling down. This is the episode where Abraham really decides he wants a happy future away from fighting.
- The quiet moment on the way back to Alexandria from the Hilltop with the core group passing around the picture from Maggie's ultrasound.
The Same Boat
- The way Daryl immediately comforts Carol after she escapes the Saviors. She's traumatized and he sees that and when she honestly and vulnerably tells him she's not good, he just holds her.
- Glenn also does the same, as Maggie tearfully tells him she can’t do this anymore (and she’s no doubt terrified at having nearly lost their baby several times).
- Carol and Maggie look out for each other all through their captivity. When they're finally reunited, they don't hesitate to hug and make sure their friend hasn't been hurt by the Saviors. And more than anything, Carol goes into full Mama Bear mode to protect Maggie and her unborn child, killing every single one of the Saviors after they fall for her Obfuscating Stupidity act.
Twice as Far
- Abe praises Eugene for his plan to manufacture bullets, calling it good "thinking outside [his] cabeza."
- The things that Denise says to Daryl and Rosita just before she is killed are very sweet. She tells Daryl that she wanted him to come with her because he makes her feel safe, and that's he's brave and good. She tells Rosita that she wanted her to come because Denise didn't want Rosita to be alone right now, but also to show Rosita that she was strong enough not to need someone else.
- At the end of the episode, Abraham apologizes to Sasha for feeling Entitled to Have You towards her and assures her that it's her choice. But he makes it clear that he’s not too worried about their constant state of danger; they could have three days or thirty years together, and it still wouldn't be enough for him. Sasha is so moved that she asks him to come inside.
- Glenn and Maggie enjoy a shower together, and are giggling and playing with each other the entire time. Maggie personally washes Glenn's hair and Glenn slowly embraces her when he notices several bruises on her back. It's a very tender, steamy and happy moment showing just how in love these two soon-to-be parents are.
- Tobin may not have been the man fans shipped with Carol, but she does look genuinely happy with him.
- We get a scene of Rick and Michonne in bed sharing an apple, thankful that the Hilltop came through for them. When Michonne tries to leave to get the day started, Rick tries to get her to stay with a flurry of kisses that causes her to giggle.
- Abraham notices Rick waiting at the gate for Michonne to return and the two bond over the fact that they're a bit afraid to let someone in close again. For two men who were butting heads when they met, it's heartwarming to see how much Abraham loves and respects Rick and vice versa these days. They may not have a bromance on the level of Rick and Daryl's, but they've got a great one nonetheless (especially given we haven't seen them interact too much as of late). Abe then assures Rick that Michonne will be back soon.Abraham: Any second now.
Last Day On Earth
- Rick leaves Gabriel in charge of Alexandria while he's away.
- Morgan refuses to let Carol die, no matter how much she begs him to leave her alone.
- Abraham, Sasha, Aaron, and Eugene vow to join the mission to Hilltop to help Maggie even when they're needed to help defend Alexandria from the coming battle. Aaron declares he owes her, Abe and Sasha offer their muscle, and Eugene declares he wants to contribute.
- The sheer dedication the group has to defending Maggie has them driving through every single neck of the woods to try to get past the Saviors' blockade. During this, Rick frequently goes to Maggie to comfort her, stroking her hair and assuring her they'll make it to Hilltop. He treats her like she's his own daughter, showing one of the warmest sides of him in quite a while.
- When the group is finally cornered and forced to their knees, and forced to get Maggie down from the stretcher, Rick, Abraham, and Aaron help her out as gently as possible. When Simon demands they get on their knees, while Rick, Sasha, and Carl hesitate, Abraham never got up off the ground and is still supporting the ailing Maggie. Later, when Glenn is beaten into submission by Dwight for leaving the lineup, Abraham immediately grabs Maggie to support her.
- Eugene prepares to sacrifice himself for the group by driving the RV while the rest of them carry Maggie to Hilltop on foot, and everyone says goodbye and thanks him, but none of it is more heartwarming than his goodbye with Abraham, which ends with Abraham acknowledging that Eugene is strong and the two embracing like brothers. Michael Cudlitz and Josh McDermitt would affirm at Comic-Con that after years of fans asking what their favorite moment to film was, this was it.
- During the quest to Hilltop, Abe remarks once again about Maggie having a child, and more or less says to Sasha that she's the woman he'd want to start a family with someday, if ever she's ready and willing. The big guy's come a long way from the one-track hothead he was when we met him.
- Simon, Negan's Dragon, shows a shred of decency when he calls off the Saviors and allows the gang to get the ailing Maggie down from the stretcher themselves.
- Abraham nobly stands up to Negan and silently demands that he be the one who is killed to spare the others. Even Negan looks pretty impressed at Big Red's bravery. For most of his tenure on the show, Abe's demonstrated his willingness to die just to get an adrenaline rush, but here, he's putting himself out there specifically to save the others from this horrible fate.
- Though it's also a massive tearjerker, the moment it looks like Negan is considering killing Maggie, Glenn rushes forward and desperately sobs for her to be spared. It takes Dwight pointing Daryl's crossbow at his forehead and quite a bit of effort to put him back down.
- In a fucked up way, Negan gushing over his bat, Lucille. And though he has killed several people and walkers with her, when he shows her to the others, she's clean of any trace of blood and looks almost brand new. This implies that Negan takes good care of her.
- In another fucked up way, Negan seems genuinely unhappy that Rick's group have been killing members of the Saviors. Say what you will about Negan, he is 100 different flavors of shit, but he does seem to actually care about his followers.
- One that was pointed out by Steven Yeun's wife: even when he's dying, in his final moments, Glenn still thinks about others and doesn't even worry about himself.
- Same applies to Abraham, who immediately offered himself up as a Heroic Sacrifice to protect the group. He even tried to egg on Negan so he'd bypass the others, literally taking his death "like a champ" and remaining a dedicated soldier and protector to the very end.
- Before getting beaten to death, Abe quietly gave Sasha the two-fingered salute they'd shared in earlier episodes. And then in typical Abe one-liner fashion, he told Negan to "suck [his] nuts".
- Daryl getting up and clocking Negan after he starts to almost literally rub Abe's blood in Rosita's face. Too bad it gets Glenn killed. The sheer despair and horror on his face as he watches Glenn die for his actions is also sweet in a heartbreaking way, as he's come so far from the guy who would make racist jokes about the kid to now being as devastated by his death as he was about Hershel and maybe even Beth.
- After his actions got Glenn killed, one could forgive Maggie for feeling any number of negative feelings towards Daryl. But when the Saviors haul him away and throw him in the back of their van, who does the camera cut to? Maggie. And she's somehow even more distressed that she already is at the sight. Sure, he made a mistake and it cost her her husband, but Daryl is her friend nonetheless, and his capture and confinement hurt.
- At the end of the episode, Maggie finally breaks down, and accepts a hug from Carl and the aid of the others.
- After his mother's death back in Season 3, Maggie was the first person to comfort and hug Carl. This time, after her husband's murder, it's Carl who comforts and hugs Maggie.
- Morgan continues to go way out of his way to help care for the healing Carol, whether it's pushing her around in a wheelchair or just providing support.
- Ezekiel's loving relationship with his pet tiger Shiva is sweet, as he's clearly a devoted pet owner. Their backstory is sweet too, as back in the day, Ezekiel saved her life when she fell into a moat around her enclosure at a zoo. When the undead began to rise, Ezekiel went and rescued her from the overrun zoo and Shiva has been loyal to him ever since.
- The montage of the peaceful life the Kingdom leads, especially the scene depicting the choir being directed by a heavily pregnant woman. The choir's performance is absolutely beautiful as well.
- Ezekiel asks Morgan to teach aikido to Benjamin, as he's not good with a knife or a gun. Morgan eventually agrees, and Ezekiel remarks that Eastman would be proud of him today.
- Ezekiel sees through Carol's usual charade, and opens up to her about how he found Shiva and created his king persona in order to give his people something to admire and believe in. He ultimately convinces Carol to live on the fringes of his territory.
- In another dark episode, there's a shred of humanity and light in the form of Sherry, who remembers Daryl from their encounter last season, is obviously concerned to see him in the Sanctuary (and in the condition he is in), tries to warn him from running away to spare him any more pain, and talks to him while he's locked in his cell. Daryl himself, though unwilling to heed her advice, clearly softens, grateful for her kindness.
- When Rick is frantically searching for the missing guns, Gabriel tells him that he has faith in him and that everything is going to be okay. Gabriel offers evidence in the form of the fact that they were once far from friends. Rick is moved, and thanks Gabriel for his part in faking Maggie's death, and gives him a warm pat on the shoulder.
- Rick opens up to Michonne about Shane and Lori, and the questionable circumstances of Judith's conception. He concludes by saying that he knows that she is Shane's daughter, not his, but he loves her anyway and wants to stay alive so he can raise her and teach her to survive.
- Additionally, the way Rick talks about Shane shows that even after all that's happened, Rick still remembers Shane, as his friend.
- Maggie declares herself Maggie Rhee, taking Glenn's surname for the first time in the series.
- The fact that hers and Glenn's baby survived, meaning that she has Someone to Remember Him By.
- Before leaving to go on a run with Aaron, Rick leans in to give Michonne a kiss in the cheek, she stops him, however, to give him a real goodbye kiss in the lips. It's specially heartwarming considering the tension between them in the previous episode.
- Cyndie trying her absolute hardest to save Tara's life throughout the episode even though she'd just met her. And at the end of the episode Tara proves her swear to her by not revealing the community.
- Tara grabbing a doctor bobblehead for Denise, sadly not knowing that her girlfriend is dead.
Sing Me a Song
- Father Gabriel, despite Rick's constant bullying during Season 6A, fully supports Rick and says he inspired him to be a better man and tells Spencer off for being a "tremendous shit."
- Despite all outward appearances of being broken, Daryl snaps back to himself when he sees Carl with Negan, and even goes so far as to initiate a threat to Negan should Carl be harmed that lands him back in solitary.
- Despite being the most dangerous Big Bad of the series to this point and his dictator-like tendencies, Negan really does show sympathy to Carl and apologizes sincerely to him when he starts crying over Negan making him take off his bandages and saying how gross and cool his missing eye looks. Negan realizes he went too far and it's easy to forget Carl is still just a kid and apologizes to him.
- And while still most definitely a threatening and unwanted presence, the moment he meets baby Judith is quite adorable, all things considered. There is that moment where both Carl and the audience tense up at Negan's discovery because he is a very unpredictable individual. But what does he do? He calls her an "angel" and spends the afternoon letting her nap on his chest while he's hanging out with Carl on the front porch of the Grimes' house. It is a very brief pair of scenes tacked onto the very end of the episode, yet Jeffrey Dean Morgan's older, papa-like appearance and his acting give off the impression that if the world wasn't shit and Negan wasn't as Negan-y as he was, he possesses that paternal bone that marks him out for an attentive father figure, or at least a supportive uncle.
Heart Still Beating
- Maggie's appetite is really gaining steam, and she's seen eating for the majority of her screentime in the episode. Thankfully, Hilltop seems to have rather plentiful food, especially fruits and veggies, so Maggie will be able to gain the proper amount of weight during her pregnancy and not suffer from malnutrition as Lori did, which undoubtedly played a part in what happened to her.
- Gabriel's talk with Rosita, urging her not to commit suicide by going off to kill Negan on her own, telling her that she is not expendable while stating with confidence that the time will come when they will fight the Saviors, and that they will win together.
- The speech Michonne gave Rick about the importance of fighting and fighting together.Michonne: I wanted to go with you and Aaron, but I couldn't. I had to go my way, but when I found it, I realized that I didn’t want it to be my way. I wanted it to be ours. Me and you. We’re still here, the two of us, we’re still standing.
- Followed by him agreeing to fight and passionately kissing her.
- The group's reunion at Hilltop was full of these. Highlights include:
- Daryl and Rick's big damn hug.
- Followed by Daryl hugging Tara and getting a kiss on the cheek from Michonne.
- Maggie's joy at seeing the group approaching Hilltop, and her hug with Rick, plus his affirmation that she was right in the premiere and they should — and will — fight.
- Enid and Carl's stolen glance.
- Sasha and Rosita, two women mourning the same man, acknowledging the other with a simple nod.
- Daryl and Rick's big damn hug.
Rock in the Road
- The Hilltop residents being rallied by Enid, and declaring they wish to train to fight after Gregory insisted they're just farmers.
- The group reunites with Morgan, and the members who were previously not seen to be that close to him like Tara and Sasha are still overjoyed to see him again.
- Ezekiel tucking Benjamin's younger brother into bed, while reciting "I have a dream" by Martin Luther King Jr..
- Benjamin nearly convinced Ezekiel to join the rebellion, and Ezekiel hugging him and telling him that his father would be proud - and that he is proud.
- Despite being unwilling to join the rebellion, Ezekiel allows Daryl to live in the Kingdom for as long as needed, since he's a fugitive and Saviors never enter the Kingdom grounds.
- Rick and Michonne holding each other, and Michonne reassuring Rick that they're alive and he can smile after they escaped the herd.
- Eric telling Aaron that he doesn't want Aaron to be hurt or killed after he was beaten by the Saviors. Aaron asks Eric if he wants to just run away together, with a genuine smile on his face that says that if it really came down to it, he would do so. But Aaron shows how much he has stepped up, and goes to join the mission to rescue Gabriel.
- When the group questions if Gabriel has betrayed them and ran away, Rosita and Michonne begin to get angry, but Rick refuses to believe it, saying that this isn't what Gabriel would do. It goes to show how far he and Gabriel have come in their friendship since the beginning.
New Best Friends
- Carol and Daryl's reunion. Carol has been turning everyone away from her house, but when she sees Daryl on her porch, she breaks down and hugs him.
- After seeing her so emotionally compromised, Daryl chooses not to tell Carol about the deaths of Glenn and Abraham, after previously indicating that he would.
- Gabriel telling the scavengers what Rick is capable of doing. It's sweet seeing how much he's changed from that cowardly priest, to someone who believes in Rick wholeheartedly.
- Rick giving Michonne a cat statue to replace the one she lost in Season 4 during the prison attack.
- Daryl spends a moment watching Shiva in her cage. While he's talking with Morgan later, Shiva brushes against Daryl's fingers through her cage. Clearly Shiva can tell who her friends are.
- Throughout the entire episode, it becomes incredibly clear how much Rick and Michonne love each other. Considering how many dark things have happened to them, it's refreshing to see them smiling and laughing together in bliss.
- It's also heartwarming to see how much their relationship has grown. They started off as enemies with a common interest, and became two people who'd do anything for one another.
Bury Me Here
- At the end of the episode, Carol arrives at Kingdom to tell Ezekiel that she is finally ready to fight. He understands, but tells her it's not the time to start avenging those killed by the Saviors today, because they have the late Benjamin's little brother Henry —an orphaned boy — to think about. The episode ends on Carol and Ezekiel tending the garden with Henry.
The Other Side
- Daryl is still upset over Glenn's death and finally apologizes to Maggie for what happened. Maggie tells him it wasn't his fault and that Daryl is one of the few good things left in the world, and she knows that Glenn would think the same thing.
- Sasha and Rosita are able to put their differences aside and have a civil conversation with each other and talk about how they cared about Abraham.
- Rosita says that despite how Abraham cruelly dumped her for Sasha, she forgave him for it and is upset she never got a chance to tell him she was happy for him before his death.
- Sasha also says that Abraham would have wanted to die fighting, not like how Negan crushed his head, and says he was taken before his time. Later when they break into The Sanctuary, Sasha locks out Rosita and tells her to go, saying it isn't her time yet either.
Something They Need
- In a rare moment of peace, Natania expresses pride at the large fish Rachel was able to catch on her own. Rachel swears, and Natania gently chides her for it like any loving grandmother would.
- The Oceansiders agree to help fight the Saviors when presented with a large, capable group who are leading the fight. Cyndie comes to Tara's defense, knowing that this is the way out.
- It's also a Tearjerker, but Eugene gives Sasha the cyanide pills he made, agreeing with Sasha's declaration that Negan will use her to hurt their friends and wanting to give her a quick, painless death.
The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life
- Sasha tells Eugene that he's better than this, and won't give up on him even if he already has. They're also her last words to him or any member of the group.
- Flashbacks reveal that while the relationship was brief, Abraham and Sasha really did mean the world to each other. Abraham shows his gentler side as he comforts Sasha, who is afraid of losing him after a nightmare about him drowning. The flashbacks also reveal why she's so dedicated to protecting Maggie in Season 7 - it's to make up for a selfish comment she made about Maggie needing to worry about herself that Abraham even chided her for. She spent the rest of her life making up for what she said, even though Abe knows she didn't mean it.
- Sasha dies a rather peaceful, comfortable death listening to a rare treat in the form of an MP3 player from Eugene. She spends her last moments remembering her brief time with Abraham and her moment watching the sunrise with Maggie back in Season 5's "Them".
- Jesus is happy that Maggie has become the leader of Hilltop.
- Enid takes Judith, who's been left at Hilltop in preparation for the coming battle, and plays with her a little. Listening to Judith's babble makes it clear she's getting close to her first words.
- Ezekiel finds the lone Morgan, and talks him through his current issues, and convinces him to rejoin his group and accompany them to Alexandria to join the rebellion.
- Eugene is able to convince Negan to give him a chance to talk Alexandria into surrendering. It doesn't work, but it shows Eugene likely will never show Alexandria any malice despite having joined the Saviors.
- Negan has a Pet the Dog moment with Sasha as he's genuinely sincere and gentle as he thanks her for cooperating with him and his mission, and even tries to ask her not to be transported in the coffin.
- The culmination of the season - after so long of humiliation, submission, torture, and death, the heroes of the various communities finally take a stand and rise up against Negan. They come together in one great push to defend each other, Ezekiel even roaring that he will not let Alexandria fall today.
- During the battle, Morgan covers Rick by killing a Savior with his staff, and earns a grateful nod from his old friend who he's so often come into conflict with over the years.
- Rick finding Michonne barely conscious but alive, after believing she fell from a railing during a struggle with a Scavenger. Michonne tries to recite her Survival Mantra to Rick ("We're the ones who live"), but cannot due to her beat-up state. Rick's response?"I know. I know. We are. We will."
- After the battle ends, the various warriors are seen recuperating and planning their next move. We get little moments like Aaron giving Jerry some fruit to eat, Morgan and Carol sharing a moment of peace, and Rick and Maggie expressing gratitude for Sasha's sacrifice.
- One of the last scenes has Ezekiel, Rick, and Maggie addressing their assembled constituents - the rebellion has officially been formed at last.
- Maggie's speech that ends the episode, season, and pays tribute to our beloved Glenn, proves why he was so important to the group, and why he will always be important to the group for as long as they live. The season ends on a shot of the iconic pocket watch, now a symbol of all the good in our heroes forevermore. In a way, it shows that even after his death Glenn is still helping his friends, and he's still saving Rick the dumbass.Maggie: The decision [for Maggie to lead Hilltop to aid Rick] was made a long time ago. Before any of us knew each other. When we were all strangers who would just pass each other on the street before the world ended. And now we mean everything to each other. You were in trouble, you were trapped. Glenn didn't know you, but he helped you. He put himself in danger for you. And that started it all. From Atlanta, to my daddy's farm, to the prison, to here, to this moment now. Not as strangers, as family. Because Glenn chose to be there for you that day a long time ago - that was the decision that changed everything. It started with both of you and it just grew, all of us. To sacrifice for each other, to suffer, to stand, to grieve, to give, to love, to live, to fight for each other. Glenn made the decision, Rick. I was just following his lead.
- The big three give a Rousing Speech to their followers. Particularly noteworthy is when Ezekiel quotes Shakespeare - “he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, she today my sister”, as he puts his hands on both Rick and Maggie’s shoulders.
- It's heartwarming that Aaron fought like hell to protect Eric during the standoff with the Saviors and even though Eric gets shot in the abdomen, Aaron drops everything and drags Eric away from the fight to get help.
- Rick trying to reason with Morales while he's holding him at gunpoint. Unfortunately Daryl wasted no time in killing him.
- Rick cries out "No!" when Daryl kills him showing that he still cared about Morales all along.
- Eric encouraging Aaron to go back and fight the Saviors after getting shot in the abdomen.
- Scott comforting Aaron after he finds out that Eric died.
- Rick bringing out the baby Gracie from the other episode showed that he didn't forget about her.
- Aaron volunteers to escort her back to Hilltop and as he's cradling Gracie he gently says her name.
- The second the Saviors' heavy machine-guns open up, three or four members of The Kingdom hurl themselves on top of Ezekiel. They are that dedicated to him, he is that beloved by his people, that they give their lives gladly in an instant to keep him safe.
- Alvaro and later Jerry and Carol helping a wounded Ezekiel escape to safety. Jerry, Carol and Ezekiel make it but sadly Alvaro doesn't.Ezekiel: Just leave me!Carol: No. You don't get to do that.
- Despite Ezekiel demanding that Jerry stop calling him His Majesty, Jerry refuses, and says that no matter what, Ezekiel will always be his hero.
- Shiva sacrificing herself to walkers to save Ezekiel, Carol and Jerry. She tracked her master down from who knows where, and gave her life trying to fight them off to save him. Sure, real tigers do not form emotional bonds with their owners like dogs, but who really gives a shit with this show of bravery and love between a pet and her owner?
- Carl helping out Siddiq in the woods. He later decides to bring him to Alexandria. We later learn that in the end, this is what got Carl killed, as he was bitten by a walker during a confrontation trying to get Siddiq back home.
- Michonne saying goodbye to Judith before she leaves; a sweet moment between mother and daughter.
- Eugene helping Gabriel and Dr. Carson escape from the Sanctuary. It's the first sign that perhaps he's not completely beyond redemption as he claims.
- Carl steps up as the leader of Alexandria when it comes under attack. Not only is he able to completely evacuate all of his people, he's shown respect and obedience by people generations older than him, like Tobin (who is likely almost old enough to be his grandfather) and his own mother Michonne. Carl has come so far from the little kid who was sheltered by his mother and forced to do homework with crayons in the apocalypse. He has followed in his father's footsteps, and as we learn at the end, is doing this all while dying of a walker bite, which he got going against Rick's orders and helping Siddiq. The act that got him killed is ultimately the act that his mother asked him to do when she was dying: doing the right thing, even if it's difficult.
- Ezekiel returns from his funk when his people come under attack, and is able to cause a distraction to get them all to safety. At the last moment, he asks Carol to save them as she saved him.
- Daryl and Tara forgiving Dwight enough to bring him back to Alexandria after he's outed as a spy by Laura. Furthermore, when Rick later returns to Alexandria and sees Dwight among the refugees, he doesn't argue why he's there.
- Rick and Michonne's entire conversation to a dying Carl.
- Siddiq deciding to carry on Carl's legacy after Carl saved his life meaning that he'll fight and help Carl's family and friends. The fact that Rick and Michonne don't bother to question or attack him throughout the episode makes this even better.
- Daryl volunteers to make sure Judith is safe as they flee to Hilltop and supports Rick as best he can. In his last goodbye to Carl, he praised him for singlehandedly saving everyone in Alexandria.
- The various flashfowards throughout the episode (revealed to be from a dying Carl) show Jerry happily greeting Judith with Siddiq working nearby, Eugene giving her an apple with Rick thanking him, and perhaps the most surprising one, Judith greeting a reformed Negan who is tending to crops and happily greets her.
- This also proves that Carl genuinely wants to make amends with Eugene and Negan someday.
- Negan putting the war aside for a moment and sincerely telling Rick that he's sorry for the loss of his son. Negan might be an asshole and he and Rick might despise each other, but at that moment, he saw Rick as a grieving father who just lost his only son.
- Gabriel and Dr. Carson getting along with each other while on their journey to Hilltop. Sadly, it doesn't last.
- Maggie comforting Enid after she learns of Carl's death.
- Siddiq sincerely thanking Maggie for her hospitality after he and Alexandrians arrive at Hilltop.
- Michonne referring to Siddiq as a friend when talking to Enid.
- Georgie, despite her ambiguous alliance, telling Maggie that she believes in her before giving her plans to create a much better colony.
- Alden and a few other Saviors deciding to help defend Hilltop after the rest of the Saviors (and Gregory) escape the Savior pen.
- Alden also saves Siddiq's life while he was killing walkers on his way to said Savior pen and offers Alden no ill will.
- Dianne and a random Hilltop denizen both praise Maggie and thank her for being a good, selfless leader.
- The Saviors bar Jared agree to join the group, largely so they can get their wounded to safety. They watch Rick and Morgan’s back during the ensuing fight with the herd. And it all goes to hell when Rick and Morgan almost gleefully slaughter them anyway.
- Carol finally manages to find Henry and after a tearful hug brings him back to Hilltop where he greets Ezekiel and eventually Morgan.
- There is a greater significance in that moment. Henry is hiding behind tree roots in a creek, which was the same place where Rick left Sophia in when the two were pursued by walkers, unfortunately leading her to become bitten and zombifiednote . Seeing Carol take down the walkers surrounding Henry's hiding place makes one realize that Carol stopped history from repeating itself, and was able to prevent the same thing from happening to him.
- Even better, the actor who plays Henry happens to be the younger brother of the actress who played Sophia, further solidifying the similarities.
- Jerry, Kal and the other Hilltop guards' reactions when seeing Carol bringing back Henry.
- Rick and Michonne saying “I love you” for the first time- showing that even though they’re both in pain, they still have each other.
- Carol opening up to Ezekiel about losing Sophia and letting him comfort her by holding her hand.
- Rick watching Michonne playing with Judith while reading Carl's letter. She later looks up at him with a smile that he half returns.
- Jerry holding baby Gracie.
- Alden refusing to leave Tara behind to fend off the Saviors by herself.
- Rick ultimately deciding to honor Carl's dying wish by letting Negan live.
- Also, Rick's letter to Carl at the end of the episode.Dear Carl.
I forgot who I was. You made me remember. I remember that feeling, walking with you that day. Like I finally knew who I was for the first time in my life.
Thing is, we were walking side by side, but you were bringing me somewhere. Bringing me here. Bringing all of us to the new world, Carl. You showed me the new world. You made it real. I see it. I remember.
- Also, Rick's letter to Carl at the end of the episode.
- Rick and Michonne holding hands while marching to battle.
- Rick putting a blanket over baby Gracie.
- Rosita forgiving Eugene for betraying the group.
- Tara and Rosita going to the Sanctuary to help rebuild it.
- Henry asking Carol if she's going back to the Kingdom once war is over and promising not to run again. Carol answers with a maybe and a smile on her face.
- By the end of the episode we see her, Jerry, Ezekiel and Henry arriving at the gates of the Kingdom and Carol smiles again.
- Jerry and Ezekiel's fist bump before leaving to the final battle.
- It’s not perfect, but the five communities have indeed been living together in peace since the end of the war. Some have found love like Jerry and Nabila, some are now friends with their former enemies, and everybody reveres Rick like a folk hero.
- Maggie has had Hershel, named after his late grandfather. Upon visiting Hilltop, Rick gets a moment to hold and play with Hershel, and softly gushes that he’s perfect. Maggie agrees and jokes that she’ll keep him.
- Jadis drawing Gabriel's choir teacher, which leads to them bonding over having similar close friends before the Zombie Apocalypse and their religious faiths.
- During the scenes at Maggie's home, a Freeze-Frame Bonus implies that Jadis also drew the pictures for Beth, Glenn, Hershel, and several of Maggie's other family members.
- Rick talking to several of his dead friends. Each of them encouraging him to move forward and that what happened to them wasn't his fault.
- Rick is even civil with Shane, despite what they went through. Shane expresses pride that Rick hardened up and basically put his mentality to much greater effect, and praises him for killing Joe and Gareth in particular (which makes Shane a posthumous Papa Wolf since Gareth was threatening to eat Judith).
- Rick's conversation with Hershel is especially touching given how close they were. Rick quickly goes in to hug Hershel and sob like a child, and outright says he misses him. Considering all the horrors Rick has gone through, including losing his own child, it's safe to say he has desperately needed this sort of fatherly comfort for years. Rick sincerely apologizes to Hershel for failing to save Beth and Glenn, but Hershel shows nothing but pride for the man he came to see as his son and protector of his family. Hershel thanks Rick for helping make Maggie so much stronger - and declares that his grandson, who he never lived to see, also helped make her stronger too.
- On a meta level, this was also the last scene Scott Wilson ever shot for the series and one of his last appearances as an actor, as he died in October 2018. His last scene is fittingly in heaven, which takes the form of the farm his character loved so much.
- Before Rick fires at dynamite to blow up a bridge and prevent a walker herd from approaching, he whispers three heart-melting words, "I found them". That's right, this man, who started his journey into the zombie apocalypse looking for his wife and son, only to eventually lose them, has realized (In what may be the last minutes of his life) that in this search, he found a new sense of family in the form of his group of survivors. From Atlanta to the group of communities started by Alexandria, that single line brought everything full circle for Rick Grimes.
- It is shown that Rick survived the explosion at the bridge, and Anne gets whoever is in the helicopter to help him, saying he is her friend.
- It's shown that Rick managed to sneak one past the goalpost: it turns out that Michonne became pregnant before his disappearance, and she named their son Rick Jr.
- After the fall of the Sanctuary, its' populace are shown to have been accepted into to the other communities. Laura and DJ, two former Saviors who previously had Undying Loyalty to Negan, are shown to have become trusted members of Alexandria. Laura isn't too surprising since she previously had shown traits of being a Punch-Clock Villain, but DJ is a pleasant surprise since previously his only trait had been his Undying Loyalty to Negan.
- Aaron gets some heartwarming moments: when they found Judith whom they thought to be separated from them, the first thing he did is kneeling down on her level to see if she's okay. When they return to Alexandria, a little girl cheerfully greets and calls him "Daddy!"note When Michonne demanded to know why they bring a group of strangers to Alexandria, he attempted to cover for Judith and take the blame. During the council meeting, he's the most ready to accept Magna's group, even after he learned that Magna was a convict.
- Carol and Ezekiel got married during the Time Skip, and Henry refers to both of them as his mom and dad. Both Jerry and Ezekiel call her "my queen".
- Judith's kindness towards Magna's group. Even the steely Magna nearly cracks a smile when Judith personally walks her into Alexandria.
- Magna shows her softer side when Yumiko rests her head in her lap, and warmly smiles down at her girlfriend.
- Daryl is shown to have found a canine companion, Dog.
- Henry observes that Daryl is Carol's best friend, and someone she still cares about deeply.
- At Hilltop, Daryl warmly reunites with Jesus and Aaron, even giving the latter a good hug.
- If you're a young doctor or attending medical school, the way Luke affectionaly calls Siddiq "doc" is pretty sweet, considering they've only just met.
- Jerry excitedly announces that he and Nabila are expecting a child in the flashback. A few year later in the present time, we see the two with three young children.
- Carol and Kelly seeing Henry and Connie arrive at the gates, respectively. Both are extremely relieved after having been worried for their safety, and Lydia watches Henry embracing Ezekiel and Carol with longing in her eyes, since her mother never really showed her that kind of affection and her father died when the outbreak began.
- Carol seeing Judith for the first time since the timeskip. She's amazed at how much she's grown and asks Judith if she remembers her. Judith tells her that she's drawn pictures of her and calls her Queen Carol and Ezekiel "the King".
- Judith at the fair. We see Eugene in a dunk tank taunting her until she hits a bulls-eye and drops him into the water. We see her playing in the grass with Jerry and his children and she's roaring and pretending to be a lion. When the movie is about to start, she claps her hands together in excitement with a big smile on her face. After seeing her be a Little Miss Badass, it's easy to forget that at the end of the day she's just a young child.
- Carol and Ezekiel see Henry and Lydia together and both seem genuinely happy that the two of them obviously like each other.
- The movie at the fair. Everyone in the audience is delighted and even Lydia eventually starts to smile. It's been more than 6 years since the apocalypse began, but seeing an audience of people laughing and having a good time is probably the most normal thing that's happened since the show began. It leads into a Mood Whiplash when Alpha reveals herself to Lydia, however, but at least the audience seems to be unaware and continues having a good time.
- While it leads to a HUGE tearjerker, watching a horrified Michonne, Daryl, Carol and Yumiko free a tied up and injured Siddiq is nice to see.
- When eulogizing the fallen characters at the fair, Siddiq tells everyone that none of them died without a fight, and that they all protected each other: Addy and Frankie work together to take down a Whisperer, Tammy Rose grabs a shovel and protects Rodney, Tara and Enid jump into the fray, and Ozzy, D.J., and Alek all try to fight to protect Siddiq before any of this happens. It even looks like Henry was going to fight Alpha, had he not been outnumbered and forced to stand down.
- Negan, the same psychotic Jerkass who brutally murdered Abraham and Glenn, goes through a terrible blizzard to look for Judith after she ran off to find Daryl's dog. When he does find her, he carries her on his shoulders to a shack, asks her if she's okay, and takes off his coat and places it on her like a blanket so that she can get warm.
- Goes to show that despite all the terrible things Negan has done, he does have a soft spot for Judith.
- Daryl having become protective of Lydia and telling Alden to lay off her when he speaks to her aggressively.
- The Snowball fight scene, just seeing Daryl and Lydia having fun and playing with the kids with smiles and laughs on their faces is enough to give you comfort, especially Lydia after spending a whole episode being broken and suicidal.
- The communities all came together to help train the Oceansiders, easily the smallest of the communities, and build up their army.
- Gabriel, Siddiq, and Eugene all put their differences aside to help Rosita raise baby Coco. Three men all in love with the same woman talked it out and are now a sort of four-person family.
- Kelly is distressed about her declining hearing, but Connie reassured her it’s okay and that her other enhanced senses are her superpower. When Daryl approaches, Connie smiles and waves... and Kelly gives a sly, mischievous look at how happy Connie is to see Daryl.
- Jules starts putting the moves on Luke, who is very happy that a strong, kind, beautiful woman has taken an interest in him. Just more proof that love is alive and well even in a world threatened by the living dead.
- Judith, RJ, and Jerry and Nabila’s children playing in the sand and shells together (at least until they find the Whisperer mask).
- Aaron apologizing to Michonne for his bullheadedness on the bridge, and Michonne forgiving him and understanding.
- Judith tells young RJ the story of “the brave man” who led the walkers onto the bridge and sacrificed himself to save everyone else from them. Michonne, crying, assures her children that such an act of sacrifice is exactly what they do for each other.
- Earl hasn’t let his age slow him down, as he is on the front lines helping put out the fire on Whisperer territory saying they don’t have a choice.
- Daryl and Carol eating lunch together and joking, laughing, and fantasizing about running away to somewhere peaceful together.
- The friendship bracelet
We Are the End of the World
- It’s small, but Beta calmly allowing a woman and her child take shelter in his dwelling for the night and helping them find food and water. Shows that despite being a disturbed, murderous behemoth, he still has some shreds of humanity left.
- Alpha actually being a decent parent and fighting tooth and nail to save Lydia, clean her up, and find food for her. Every other moment, she’s strongly implying she’ll kill her for the trouble she causes her, so take what you can get.
- In the present, Alpha makes like she’s going to kill Frances for losing focus, but ultimately she simply comforts her, sympathizing with her for the loss of her child. Keep in mind Alpha basically ordered the child’s execution, but the loss of Lydia no doubt affected her more than she’ll admit.
- In an example as twisted and vile as you can get on the show, Beta is crying that he can’t leave his friend in the asylum who Alpha just killed. Alpha gently assures him he won’t have to, and scalps him, giving his mask to Beta to wear to keep his friend with him at all times.
- Dante gently comforting Siddiq by relating to him over their PTSD.
- Rosita and Eugene fighting walkers together, even if ultimately they boil over into an argument about their relationship (or lack thereof). It also shows that despite being exasperated at Eugene’s feelings for her, Rosita still considers him one of her best friends as she outright asks if their friendship means nothing to him.
- Even if he had an ulterior motive in his hopeless desire for a relationship with Rosita, it's clear Eugene genuinely loves Rosita and Coco as his own and wants them safe.
- Carol's dream about a normal, happy life with Daryl and a still-living Henry.
Silence the Whisperers
- Michonne comforting a nearly suicidal Ezekiel, and the two of them relating over everything they’ve lost. And even though they both confess they’re not romantically interested in each other, they didn’t exactly have a bad kiss, which is something neither of them have had for a while.
- Negan saving Lydia from Gage and the Highwaymen, even if it makes his situation a thousand times worse.
- Daryl sadly apologizing to Lydia for the beating and comforting her. He later vouches for Negan, believing that he genuinely tried to help Lydia after hearing it from her. Michonne also indirectly votes in favor of Negan after hearing what happened.
What It Always Is
- Negan saving a mother and her child out of pure altruism and planning to help them find safety at Hilltop.
- Siddiq all but agrees that Ezekiel is going to die of his cancer, but refuses to say so, and instead comforts him, and they bond over their shared trauma. “What are we here for if not each other?”
- Daryl playfully interacting with Connie, getting really touchy as he tells her a story about Merle. We see him light up like he almost never has before in his life and acts like a total dork trying to get his point across. Connie for her part gets it just fine and laughs and enjoys the story as much as Daryl’s playfulness.
- Daryl telling a story about Merle on its own is heartwarming since it’s clear that as much pain as he gave him, he still loves and misses him all the same... and found his antics pretty funny sometimes.
- Daryl agrees to cover for Magna and Kelly mostly out of loyalty to Connie, who is deeply grateful to him for it. She then follows up by referring to the two of them as "family".
- It’s also an awesome moment to see such a powerful monster be cowed by a woman half his size, but Beta kneeling before Alpha when she offers him the chance to challenge her for leadership. He vehemently refuses and re-pledges loyalty to her.
- After Beta says Negan hasn’t earned the right to eat, a random Whisperer feels bad and gives Negan some of their food anyway.
- Carol advising Daryl to pursue a relationship with Connie. While Daryl is evasive on the subject, Carol responds by telling him he shouldn't have to be alone after everything they've been through. Despite her happy marriage to Ezekiel falling apart, it's clear Carol still valued the good times they did have, and wants that same happiness for her best friend despite her poor mental state.
- After reeling from his final rejection from Rosita, Eugene makes contact with a woman over the radio and actually hits it off with her. Even before then, he was able to talk to Rosita over the phone and they gently made amends after their spat.
Open Your Eyes
- After Siddiq nearly commits suicide in the pond, Rosita rescues him and talks him through it, insisting he is not alone.
The World Before
- Dante admits that he genuinely grew to like Siddiq and regrets having to kill him to try to maintain his cover. Now that his cover is blown anyway, it's not hard to imagine he wishes he hadn't at all now.
- When Rosita goes outside Alexandria to kill walkers to blow off steam, she freezes up at the last one, and is saved by Eugene. Despite their bitter argument a few episodes ago, Eugene still cares deeply for her and would never abandon her.
- After Siddiq's funeral, Ezekiel has his first real conversation with Carol all season, and maybe even since their divorce. They comfort each other over the loss of their friend, and despite Ezekiel's sadness thinking he's terminally ill and refusing to tell Carol what's going on, all he can do is whisper to her to be safe, still very much in love with her.
- Daryl thanks Connie for joining the search party. Connie responds with, “anything for us”, earning her an appreciative pat from Daryl.
- Daryl continues to be a supportive influence to Carol.
- Daryl telling Carol he so badly wants to be there for her, and that they’re going to fight for their future.
- Before that, when Daryl tells the group that Carol is claustrophobic, and Carol points out later that she had never told him that. He just knows her well enough to know.
- Carol begins suffering a panic attack on the group’s way out of the cave. Connie comforts her by signing “YOU ARE OK”.
- The camaraderie between everybody at Hilltop even as the Whisperers close in. They know they’ll probably lose Hilltop as a home at best, but everyone still tries to comfort each other and brace for the worst as war approaches.
- Daryl and Ezekiel’s conversation. Ezekiel admits that he’s suffering from cancer, but Daryl still insists that people are grateful to have a presence like him around. Ezekiel tells him it means a lot, especially since the poor guy has regarded Daryl with some resentment as he’s been implied to have been jealous of his closeness to Carol. The two men promise each other that if Hilltop falls, one of them will see to the children’s safety.
- Daryl then talks to Judith, who admits to being scared for her little brother’s sake. Daryl tells her there’s no shame in being afraid and that it means she knows what she’s fighting for, simultaneously not talking her out of fighting since he knows it’s likely inevitable. Judith then presents him with his trademark jacket, one of the wings she’s painted blue. Daryl lights up and says he loves it.
- Rosita talks to Eugene as they prepare his electric trap, and consoles him when he starts beating himself up for his poor self image given his failed romantic prospects. She doesn’t hold any resentment towards him for his feelings for her, and instead assures him that Stephanie must like him if they’ve spent this much time talking on end for days. She then offers him a chance to kiss her, and it’s strongly implied she would’ve been fine even if he did go for it... but he admits he is more interested in Stephanie, officially moving past his feelings for Rosita. Eugene instead gives Rosita a friendly kiss on the cheek to affirm their friendship, and goes to try to reconnect with Stephanie.
- Eugene sings “When the Wild Wind Blows” in a last ditch effort to reach Stephanie, and it works, and she sings back to him. She ultimately agrees to meet him in a week’s time, excited to meet him. Eugene tells Rosita “I have a date”.
- During their conversation, Stephanie hesitantly asks about Rosita, sounding disappointed that Eugene sounds fond of her. Eugene tells her that Rosita is his best friend, simultaneously affirming their friendship again and giving him confidence in himself since he recognizes that this is a key sign that Stephanie really is interested in him.
- Alden tells Mary that Earl has become a father figure to him and that he’s a better father than his real father was.
- The armed forces amassing outside the walls, ready to fight together until the bitter end using anything and everything they can. Whereas the Whisperers rely on sheer numbers, the survivors use their own skills, tactics, training, and special tricks they came up with.
Walk With Us
- Yumiko and Magna finally reconcile and agree their relationship needs to come to an end, but on good terms.
- Earl does a fine job keeping the kids safe, giving them water and assuring them they'll be okay. Considering he's an elderly man suffering from fatigue and a walker bite that is slowly killing him, it's lovely that his last actions before his suicide were to try to keep the next generation safe.
- Daryl comforting Judith after realizing she put down Earl, crossed with Tearjerker.
What We Become
- After a season of absence in real time, and six years in universe, Michonne finally learns Rick survived the bridge and heads off to find him. While it's unknown if either of them will ever return to the show, it does at least hint that we might get to see the two reunite someday.
Look at the Flowers
- Eugene shows he is indeed a survivor who has earned the trust and respect of the communities when he is able to bring everybody at the refugee camp in the cottage together and tell them about his contact with Stephanie. Even when they begin questioning, they are quickly convinced to hear him out by Ezekiel.
- Recognizing he may not return from his journey to West Virginia, Ezekiel bids goodbye to Jerry, and orders him to take charge of the Kingdom veterans. Knowing that nobody else embodies all that is good about the Kingdom better than Jerry, he passes the torch to him, and Jerry actually stops referring to him as his boss, and addresses him by his first name. It shows Jerry has accepted Ezekiel as a friend and not just the hero he has worshipped.
- Magna and Rosita both give Yumiko and Eugene, respectively, their blessings to go to West Virginia. Rosita in particular is a Shipper on Deck for Eugene and Stephanie, happy her best friend has found someone.
- Beta, while listening to his album and watching a herd of walkers congregate around his bar, begins crying tears of joy, remembering the good old days. Despite how damaged and monstrous he has become, it's the first time we see him as a happy human being.
- After Negan helps Daryl kill the Whisperers accosting them, Daryl finally recognizes that Negan is on his side now. He will likely never see Negan as anything more than a tentative ally, but he is able to turn his back to him and have a calm, civil conversation with him. Remember that Daryl has always been cited as the best judge of character among the survivors - if he's willing to do this with Negan, it's a huge deal.
- Negan being allowed free run of the Tower in itself is heartwarming since the other survivors have clearly accepted him - or at least, have accepted that he is no longer their active enemy.
- Jules reunites with Luke and warmly puts a hand on him, assuring him he will figure out the sound system.
- Alden and Aaron are shown using ASL during their spying on Beta. It goes to show the communities are learning it to accommodate their friends Connie and Kelly.
- Daryl comforts Judith in the woods, assuring her he will never leave her at a time when she's grieving how her mother left, even if it was for a good reason.
- Princess's joy when Eugene, Yumiko, and Ezekiel agree to let her join their group. Eugene also comforts her, knowing what it's like to lie just to keep friends.
A Certain Doom
- Maggie finally heeded Carol's call and returned in time to save Alden, Aaron, and Gabriel from the Whisperers, with the help of Elijah. Gabriel's warm hug with Maggie is nothing short of heart-melting.
- Towards the end of the episode, she reunites with Judith, who is overjoyed to see her aunt Maggie again. Season 9 related how she loved her dearly, and was usually unable to see her often due to Maggie being unwilling to go to Alexandria with Negan still there - and she hasn’t stopped loving her aunt since. It’s especially heartwarming since Maggie was the one who delivered Judith into the world.
- At long last, the Whisperers are defeated, with Beta and his minions dead and the horde destroyed. The pike victims have been avenged, and the communities have survived the greatest threat to civilization to date.
- To accompany this, Lydia, after she and Carol save each other from a suicide mission, hug as Lydia throws her mother's mask off the cliff, symbolizing the end of the Whisperers.
- Luke and Jules more or less become an item during the episode, holding hands as they go together into the horde and playfully flirting even as they're clearly afraid of what they're about to go through. At the end of the episode, they're sitting together still holding hands.
- Connie is revealed to be alive towards the end of the episode.
- During the final clash with Beta, Negan specifically goes into battle to save Lydia from him. When he quickly is knocked down, Daryl goes to save him by mortally wounding Beta. The two men then leave together as comrades in arms.
Home Sweet Home
- Maggie and Judith walking together, with the former assuring the latter she’s just like her mother. She’s referring to Michonne, and it’s doubly sweet since Maggie left without saying goodbye to Michonne, but she still respects and loves her nonetheless.
- Kelly comforting Elijah during the mission when he becomes stressed.
- Maggie relates to Kelly over her missing sister, all too aware of what it's like.
- Maggie and Daryl finding Hershel in a tree. He greets his mother with a friendly "Hey, mom", smiling down at her despite the danger they've been in. Maggie beams to see her son, and Daryl's expression also softens, clearly happy to see the son of his dear friend he's been grieving for so many years.
- It turns out that Daryl of all people was able to find love during Season 9's six-year Time Skip, and it's clear that he and Leah were happy together for the brief time they were together.
- Seeing a much younger Dog gets Daryl, who is still grieving Rick's then-recent apparent death, to warm up to him.
- Daryl calls Rick his brother when discussing him with Leah. Even though Rick isn't believed to be alive and Daryl has no reason to not explain he wasn't really his brother, he still refers to him as such, moved by how much Leah loved her slain adopted family.
- Gabriel and Aaron get to have a peaceful night in, enjoying a good dinner of roasted boar meat and whiskey, playing poker, and sharing stories about their lives before the fall. For all these men have been through, it's nice to see them unwind like normal people.
- Yumiko, despite being wounded, does her best to listen to Princess and comfort her.
- Princess's reunion with Ezekiel, even if it turns out to be a hallucination, shows how much she has latched onto the group.
- Jerry recognizing Carol isn't okay and giving her a much-needed bear hug.
- Franklin and Laura give Negan a hot meal, medicine, and a weapon out of pure altruism, no strings attached, even though he tried to rob them out of desperation.
- Lucille completely forgives Negan for his infidelity with her friend Janine after he devotes himself completely to his wife's survival well into the apocalypse. She assures him that she stuck with him because she saw the good in him from the start.
- Negan returning to save Franklin and Laura from the Vipers, making amends for selling them out.
- Negan finally comes to terms with his wife's death and apologizes to her for everything, and hopes she has found someone else to love in the afterlife.
- Hershel's reunion with the huge, intimidating Warden Duncan, who is delighted to see the boy and is very affectionate with him.
Acheron, Part II
- Roy admits he deserves to die for abandoning the group and stealing their weapons with Gage, and gives Daryl a weapon and asks him to leave him behind. He also asks Daryl to tell his family he didn't die like a coward. Even still, Daryl refuses and helps him along afterwards.
- Alden still being willing to save Gage, all too aware of how valuable another chance is.
- Eugene is ecstatic when he finds out his friends, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Princess are fine, and gives big hugs to all three of them. It's clear from his relief the poor guy had to begun to assume the worst.
- Alden assuring Maggie he still has faith in her despite leaving Gage to die, and asking her to go on without him.
- Dog is happy to be reunited with Leah... even though it screws Daryl over in the process.
- Leah finally admits to Daryl she still loves him years later, and begins trying to get Pope to accept him as a Reaper.
Out of the Ashes
- Rosita comforting Judith after she starts crying over the bullies damaging her board with Carl. She assures Judith that Carl and Rick were preparing her for the hard times she'd have to face without them, and that she will never forget them despite her fears she will do so. She then agrees to help repair it, proving once and for all why the Grimes children refer to her as Tia Rosita.
- Even before this, Gracie, Hershel, and RJ immediately agree to help Judith rebuild the board.
- Gabriel and Elijah reuniting with Maggie, proving she was right to wait despite Negan's pragmatic, not entirely wrong suggestion they move on.
- Keith’s Whisperers, despite some initial hostility, ultimately do not act as true enemies to the group. Keith’s claim that not all the Whisperers were monsters like Alpha and Beta appears to be legit, and who knows, maybe they’ll come around in the future.
- Keith claims he snuck food to Lydia during the cold winters the Whisperers endured when Alpha wasn’t looking. Lydia can’t quite confirm it, but there’s enough hesitation that we are not led to believe he’s lying.
On the Inside
- Virgil has turned over a new leaf and has become a dependable, loyal survivor and friend to Connie. He has tried his best to pick up ASL in their short time together to bridge the language gap between them, shows great concern for her well-being, and is devoted to helping her reunite with the communities even if it costs him his life. He even confirms he is not wasting the second chance Michonne gave him, wishing to do right by her by helping Connie get home.
- When Virgil realizes it’s Connie behind the wall, he gasps in relief and grabs her from from the hole, hugging her in the process.
- Daryl is able to provide whatever information he can on the Reapers to the hiding Maggie, simultaneously trying to smooth things over with Leah to convince him he’s on her side. Even then, it’s not unreasonable to think he does still care for Leah, and is also providing Maggie information that there is at least one Reaper he doesn’t want to see die.
- Connie and Kelly’s reunion, after many weeks In-Universe and over a year and a half out-of-universe (thanks to the pandemic causing delays in the show’s broadcast). On a meta example, this was the first time Lauren Ridloff and Angel Theory had seen each other in person since the former had left the show for other commitments and then the pandemic. Ridloff successfully convinced Greg Nicotero to keep the two actresses apart until they filmed their reunion, meaning that first time they see each other is the first time the two actresses had seen each other in a long time.
- Though it’s marred by the brutal torture, Daryl and Frost play the same game of trying to keep the Reapers from finding Maggie’s group. Frost is able to warn Daryl that he will be shot if he doesn’t go through with torturing, and Daryl successfully leads Frost to give a dummy location to buy Maggie time to escape.
- Eugene gets to share a moment with “Stephanie”, which is a nice breather between their community service.
- Princess shows great concern for Ezekiel’s condition, and he stubbornly refuses to let her face the clearing by herself.
- Lance is later more than willing to have Ezekiel provided with medical treatment. Ezekiel is in far brighter spirits when he returns from treatment, and even presents his friends with lollipops.
- When Pope is angrily screaming at the Reapers for not finding Maggie’s group, Leah has enough and steps in, insisting he direct his rage at her instead. And when he does, she barely flinches, unwilling to allow him to abuse her comrades.
- Daryl picks at Leah for information on the Reapers, and despite being disappointed that she is seemingly onboard with the Reapers’ merciless, petty ways, he insists that she doesn’t need Pope to confirm she’s strong.
- Negan shows that he was a great teacher before the apocalypse began when he trains Maggie and Elijah to be Whisperers. He sincerely compliments Maggie for doing a good job even after she stumbles and nearly gets bitten.
- Leah is unable to go through with Pope’s order to kill the family they discovered, and instructs the father and son to flee and never return. The mother thanks her, grateful since she knew her family would never leave her despite the danger of her impending death. Daryl then helps Leah by putting down the mother to spare her the pain of having to do it, knowing Leah is probably thinking of her lost son. And to thank him, Leah says she will tell Pope that Daryl killed them to score him brownie points.
- When Elijah sees that his sister is one of the horde they’ve amassed, Maggie silently takes his hand briefly to comfort him, knowing they must keep moving.
- Maggie and Negan work together seamlessly, finally putting their differences aside for the time being, even if it’s temporary.
- Connie asks to go with Carol outside the house, in an effort to show Carol she doesn’t blame her for what has happened to her.
No Other Way
- Maggie silently thanks Negan for saving her from Carver, and it’s clear Negan understands how hard it is for her and appreciates it.
- Leah once again shows she does care for the other Reapers as if they were her own family. She cries upon finding Austin's corpse and later promises a wounded Carver that they will see each other again.
- Negan’s relieved grin when Gabriel turns the tables on the Reapers. You can just see how proud he is of his old comrade.
- Maggie actually stops and asks Negan his opinion on what they should do now that they have the upper hand.
- The reunion of the surviving members of the Meridian expedition with the Alexandrians at the end of the episode.
- Daryl is greeted by his surrogate niece and nephew. He also hugs Carol and Lydia.
- Gabriel reunites with Rosita and Coco.
- Elijah is embraced by two of his friends and can now sleep a little easier knowing the man who killed his sister is dead.
- Finally, Daryl sees Connie for the first time since her presumed death in Season 10. He's so excited he drops the bucket of apples he was holding and runs into her arms, giving her a big hug.
- Meanwhile, Dog munches on a fallen apple on the ground.
- Rosita is seen smiling proudly when Eugene introduces the town to Lance and the Commonwealth, happy that her friend has been able to deliver on his promise.
- Carol continues to pick up on Daryl's interest in Connie, even playfully suggesting he ask her to dance.
- Daryl and Rosita's friendship is very evident throughout this episode. In general, it's clear that while they might not be as close with each other as they are with Carol and Eugene, they've developed a strong bond and can depend on each other in any situation, combat or otherwise.
- Daryl asks Mercer if he can be paired up with Rosita for the training exercise, saying they make a good team.
- After Daryl fails, Rosita catches up with him and Mercer to help carry equipment they're using to train Sebastian.
- Rosita playfully teases Daryl about Sebastian's hatred of him. Despite fuming at Sebastian only moments before, Daryl smiles.
- Carol sneaks around to find Ezekiel’s file, but is caught by Tomi. You’d expect her to bullshit her way out (or at worst, threaten him like she’s previously done when caught), but she awkwardly comes clean, since Tomi is somebody she trusts and cares about. It’s nice that even though she’s not close to Yumiko, she still even accepts her biological family as her own as well.
- Carol spends the whole episode concerned for Ezekiel's well-being, and tries to strike a deal with Lance to have his surgery moved up to an earlier date that could potentially save Ezekiel's life.
- Judith and RJ are seen living with Daryl, despite his (initially) poor housing accommodations. It's obvious they're happy spending time with Uncle Daryl regardless of their living situation. For his part, it's implied that while Daryl isn't exactly comfortable at the Commonwealth, he'll tough it out if it means the kids are enjoying themselves away from the misery of the outside world. Rick and Michonne would be proud!
- Mercer asks Princess to join him as his date to the masquerade ball, which she happily accepts.
- When Princess enters the ball, Yumiko calls her over to join her at her table. This is a far cry from the Yumiko who spent an entire episode weary at Princess for stringing them along and threatening to shoot her in the head with an arrow.
- Mercer is shown to be a folk hero among the people at the Commonwealth. A girl even dresses up as him for Halloween, and when he arrives at the masquerade ball, the crowd begins chanting his name.
- For some time, Eugene got to enjoy what he thought was an actual relationship with someone who wanted to be with him. It goes horribly wrong, but at least he got some happiness for a while. And Shira at least genuinely liked his novel.
- Princess, for as quirky and colorful as she is, acts as the voice of reason to Eugene, assuring him to not worry since “Stephanie” told him she loves him too. She later makes sure to check on him, knowing how bad off he is in the wake of “Stephanie’s” disappearance. And while it’s brutal, she is willing to frankly tell him that she must have dumped him, knowing he needs to hear what to her is the inevitable.
- Rosita also personally leads the wellness check at “Stephanie’s” apartment, and gives Eugene a sad, reassuring pat on the shoulder, knowing how much this relationship has meant to him.
- For whatever reason Lance had Shira pose as “Stephanie” for so long, he was willing to let her drop the act the moment Eugene made it clear he was trying to get serious with her and was going too far for her comfort, and he helped cover her tracks.
The Lucky Ones
- We get to see Max and Eugene’s conversations about “everything and nothing” from her perspective, and it’s made abundantly clear she really is into Eugene without even having met him. She has a shot where she’s lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling while remaining on the radio with him, looking every bit like a school girl talking to their crush. It’s sweet that their seemingly endless hours of conversations meant just as much to her as they did to him, and that Rosita was right all along about her liking him.
- Aaron and Daryl have nothing but praise for the late Deanna and Reg Monroe. Pamela seems to be a bit dismissive of her and the way she died, but Daryl, who had been pacing around in the exact room he’s with Pamela in due to not trusting Alexandria, does nothing but show gratitude for the woman who let his family in and gave them a home.
- Mercer is touched to hear that not only was Daryl one of the leaders of Alexandria, but that whatever he did before the fall, it didn’t matter to the town, and neither did what anybody else did. Mercer is clearly impressed that Alexandria never had a caste system like the Commonwealth where there are haves and have nots.
- Mercer gives Hershel his helmet and playful pats his shoulder, evidently having a thing for young kids who think he’s cool. This doesn’t go unnoticed by Daryl, the boy’s quasi-uncle, who then lets his guard down around his commanding officer and has a moment with him.
- Rosita and Eugene have a heart to heart at a pond, in which the former says despite her reservations about becoming a cop, she is happy to be good at her job, and actually feels hopeful for the future. And when Eugene tells her that “Stephanie” broke up with him, she lets him hug it out and assures him that he’ll find his person.
- By the end of the episode, Eugene returns to Max with ice cream, and their feelings quickly rekindle as they come to terms with all that’s happened between them and Shira. Max is jealous that Eugene showed Shira his novel, and Eugene somberly admits that he was so desperate to find something real with her, that he let someone trick him. Once again, Max ends up acting like a lovesick schoolgirl, laughing at Eugene’s jokes.
- Elijah is shown to have developed a crush on Lydia, and is encouraged to try by Marco. For all of Elijah and Lydia’s trauma at such young ages, it’s nice to see love still being able to bloom.
- Elijah being close friends with Marco is also nice, seeing one of the Coalition’s newest members has easily integrated with the community and made friends, especially after so many of his perished in the Reaper conflict.
- Gabriel has finally returned to preaching, and is shown to be really, really good at it. He’s taken all his lessons he’s learned in the apocalypse and adapted them for his sermon, preaching about how people shouldn’t be nervous around strangers in the church when so many of them found family with complete strangers outside the Commonwealth. Gabriel has come full circle, and it’s beautiful to hear.
- Maggie tells a story of how her father Hershel fought tooth and nail to get his family farm through a severe drought, resisting a corporate buyout. Hershel may be long gone, and Scott Wilson sadly with him, but years later he still inspires his daughter and lives on in her strength and that of his grandson.
- Before he agrees to Lance’s hit job, Carlson openly admits Aaron is the best recruiter he has due to being that good at connecting with people.
The Rotten Core
- Of all people, Negan has been shown to have not only found a new group of people who have accepted him as their own, but has even found a new wife who is expecting a child. It’s a huge, whopping deal for someone who was so broken by the loss of his wife that he went as bad as he did, to now have a second chance at a family and taking it. Especially since he always wanted a child but couldn’t have any with Lucille.
- Negan immediately goes to Hershel’s aid, and when Maggie hears that her son is in his custody, she begins threatening what will happen to him if something happens to her son. Negan gently cuts her off, assuring her that it would have to go through him first.
- Mercer tells Princess he likes hearing her talk. For someone who was once told she was hard to love, it probably means the world to Princess to hear it, and it's very clear how happy she is to have found a new relationship after spending over a year alone with no one to talk to.
- Eugene and Max share their first kiss at the end of the episode, and it comes after Eugene makes a vow of You Are Not Alone. Where Eugene comes from outside the Commonwealth, all they did was swear loyalty and friendship to each other since that was all they had. Max has been able to live in the safety, but still cold and trickle-down society of the Commonwealth where their society never had to endure such trials. Eugene’s vow of devotion comes so naturally to him, but probably means the absolute world to someone like Max.
Acts of God
- Eugene and Max are shown to have had their first night together. Max was already up reading a book, and when Eugene wakes up she comes back to bed, with nothing but a dreamy smile the whole time as they both agree they enjoyed their night together. Eugene takes the time to lovingly stroke her hair and face, saying she’s the most incredible person he’s ever met, and is beautiful in every way. Max can only weakly tell him to not get carried away, not so subtly enjoying it from the man she’s in love with.
- Negan and Annie’s group hid in a Whisperer bunker that Lydia located for them. In doing so, Lydia is defying her mother’s wishes for nothing but death and destruction to come from the Whisperers, and using Whisperer tactics and hideouts for good.
- Maggie is shown to get along fine with Annie despite the latter defending her husband's actions only a few episodes ago. Hershel is also shown to trust Annie, as she is seen holding him to comfort him like he’s her own. Whatever Negan is to Maggie and Hershel, they clearly can tell Annie is a good person they can trust 100%.
- Speaking of trust, the Wham Line of the episode is that Maggie admits to Negan that she’s starting to trust him. It’s a combination of Annie - who as mentioned, immediately stood out to Maggie as someone she can trust - being his devoted wife, but also a testament to Negan’s character he has shown lately, both with the Reapers and when he saved Hershel and how he vowed to protect him with his life. Even before this, Negan says he has no problem watching Hershel for Maggie. When Maggie does say what she says, Negan is subdued, but pleasantly surprised nonetheless. And you can tell it means a lot to Annie as well.
- Aaron has faith in their allies at the Commonwealth being able to look after their children.
- Maggie gives her condolences to Daryl after he killed his ex-lover Leah, knowing she surely still meant something to him. Daryl refutes her, insisting that Glenn would've wanted him to look after her and that she never has to apologize to him. After all these years, Daryl surely still blames himself for Glenn's death, but has come to terms with it and is still trying to move forward.
- Judith refers to Aaron as “Uncle Aaron”, confirming he’s yet another member of the extended Grimes family.
- Carol taking care of Judith, RJ, and Gracie like they're her own, and Jerry later doing the same.
- Jerry has a rather casual reaction to Negan. He's a bit wary, but it's a world of difference from how the group reacted when Negan returned at the end of "Here's Negan".
- Negan tells Carol of his marriage and child on the way, and Carol is taken aback until she understands he's looking for some sort of comfort due to now being afraid for someone besides himself. Carol eventually tells him it will be alright, and it means a lot to Negan.
- Maggie takes a moment to check on Annie and offers to take a break if the strain of running from the Commonwealth is becoming too much for her.
A New Deal
- Lydia actually apologizes to Carol due to feeling guilty about finding love with Elijah after the death of Henry. Carol refutes her, insisting that she is more than welcome to take happiness when she can get it and doesn't resent her for moving on.
- Another example of how solid a guy Ezekiel is: despite knowing the dark truths of the Commonwealth and how they tried to kill his friends, he's still willing to stick it out because helping the people there makes him feel good and he's grateful for the second chance at life Carol gave him.
- Eugene doesn't really think Max's plan is a great idea, but keeps his promise from a few episodes ago as he promises to stay with her.
- Mercer refutes Pamela's insistence that he protect her, declaring he protects the Commonwealth as a whole and not just her.
- While he is obstructing the group from Pamela's tyranny, Mercer is only doing it because Pamela threatened Max's life. He is outright begging her to sign off on the waiver that will get her off the hook even though it's humiliating and inaccurate, deeming her life more important.
- The fact that Pamela was willing to give Max a waiver at all to get her off the hook is a decent move, even if the alternative is death.
- Aaron confirms that he and Eric weren't just boyfriends; they were married, or at least as official as they could make it. Given the apocalypse took place in the universe's 2010, before gay marriage was legalized in real life, it's nothing but sweet that even though the world fell apart, Aaron and Eric were finally able to seal the knot with the absence of outdated laws. Even though it's sad to hear Aaron missing Eric, it's still sweet to hear him remember him with such fondness and advising Lydia to enjoy every moment she has with someone she loves.
- When Eugene challenges Daryl to a fight if it means getting to go to Max’s rescue, Daryl is… amused. The old Daryl from past seasons would’ve probably knocked Eugene on his ass, but this Older and Wiser Daryl knows what Eugene is going through and doesn’t fly off the handle at him. All he does is lightly smirk, impressed by Eugene’s loyalty to his girlfriend. And when Eugene ruminates that he still thinks he’s something of a coward and hopeless, Daryl reassures him that’s definitely not the case.
- Eugene surrenders to the troopers and claims that he was responsible for the tape that exposed Sebastian, and Mercer is clearly impressed at his gall. But then Eugene declares that he worked alone, and Mercer is subtly satisfied, since this will clear his sister's name and keep her out of harm's way. This is likely the moment when Mercer, after intimidating and humiliating him during his screening, finally recognized and accepted Eugene as a man worthy to be his sister's lover.
- Everything regarding Daryl and Connie:
Daryl: I thought I'd never see you again.Connie: I'm not going anywhere.
- Daryl goes from calm to willing to risk it all when he sees that Connie has been captured by the Commonwealth. Carol recognizes this and reminds Daryl not to be reckless and wait until the time is right to break her out, clearly having learned her lesson after the cave incident and even using Kelly's words after said incident to emphasize this.
- After Connie is slapped in the face by a trooper who took her hostage, Daryl doesn't even go after the guy right away. He takes a moment to make sure Connie is OK and gently cradles her face.
- Just before Daryl gives chase to the trooper who escaped, he looks back to check on Connie. Carol puts an arm around Connie and holds her close, as if to assure Daryl, "Don't worry, I got her, now go get him." Not only is it a great moment of teamwork between the unstoppable duo that is Daryl and Carol, it's likely Carol's way of making amends for almost getting Connie killed the previous season.
- When Daryl catches the escaping trooper, he doesn't even bother to interrogate him even though the man could probably give them viable information about where their friends are. He simply looms over the guy and buries a knife in his skull bristling with silent anger, threatening Connie's life clearly an unforgiveable sin in Daryl's eyes.
- When Daryl returns, Connie is there waiting for him. They exchange a warm greeting and a chuckle. Lauren Cohan even mentioned on Talking Dead how she, Melissa McBride, Christian Serratos, and executive producer Denise Huth watched the footage of Daryl and Connie's reunion on the monitor and couldn't help but fangirl over how adorable it was.
- The fact that Daryl is now fully fluent in ASL and acts as Connie's translator in the absence of Kelly. They've come a long way from their first mission, in which they had to exchange messages via Connie's notepad.
- Ezekiel knows how distressed Kelly is without her sister and is completely comforting throughout. He even lets Kelly rest her head on his shoulder on the bus ride to Alexandria.
- Mercer brings Eugene to Yumiko and Max safe and sound. Max is left a sobbing, elated mess, having no doubt been forced to assume the man she loves was already dead.
- While also a moment of pure adrenaline and retribution, the way the group, after taking in that Judith has been shot by Pamela, violently turns most of their attention and firepower on Pamela. Particularly Negan, Carol, Maggie, Ezekiel, and Gabriel. They don't start howling in rage like Pamela does. They simply turn their weapons towards the corrupt governor and unload everything they've got at her with calm but enraged expressions on their faces.
- Team Family working together to clear a path for Daryl to get Judith to the hospital. Hundreds of walkers coming at them from both sides, and all they care about is getting the group's youngest member the immediate medical attention she needs, their own lives be damned. It's especially heartwarming when you recall that Judith has made some sort of impact on most of the people present, or at least formed a friendship with them.
- Daryl is her Honorary Uncle and has stepped up as her Parental Substitute in Rick and Michonne's absence.
- Carol is Judith's aunt and protected her after the fall of the prison.
- Gabriel carried Judith through the Alexandria walker herd to his church, an act that finally convinced everyone he was no longer a coward.
- Rosita is another aunt of Judith's, and consoled her after bullies damaged one of the few shrines she had left of her older brother Carl.
- Judith was the one who truly started Negan on the path to his Heel–Face Turn, a change of heart that has blessed him with a new wife and baby on the way.
- Judith saved Magna, Connie, Kelly, Yumiko, and Luke from walkers and fought for them to be brought to Alexandria at a time when the community wasn't taking in strangers.
- Princess befriended Judith during her time working at the Commonwealth kiosk.
- Eugene is a former member of Rick's group who helped get Judith to Alexandria. His reaction to seeing her for the first time in "No Sanctuary" foreshadowed his survivor's guilt at all the people who died on Abraham's mission to Washington, and no doubt played a big part in Eugene coming clean so that his friends wouldn't get themselves killed.
- Max hasn’t interacted with Judith before, but damned if she isn’t going to stick by her boyfriend and his family’s side, especially to save one of their children.
- Ezekiel was something of an honorary uncle to her through his marriage to Carol, and she looked up to him and even consoled him over the loss of the Kingdom.
Rest in Peace
- While it’s a massive tearjerker, Magna, Kelly, Yumiko, and Connie telling Luke they love him so much and that they will honor his love of music after he’s gone.
- Princess and Max freeing Mercer from prison, starting with the former calling him “baby” and warning him to take cover. Princess even lets Max reunite with her brother first, but when it’s her turn, she hops into his arms and is so small compared to him that he effortlessly holds her up to him.
- The Coalition refusing to allow Mercer to confront Pamela alone, with everyone present agreeing to stand together with him. Ezekiel sincerely tells him to “lead the way, brother.”
- Rosita finally finding her daughter and saving her and the other baby from the Walkers in their room, throwing the crib caging them aside and hugging her daughter tightly after. Eugene and Gabriel show up afterwards, with Eugene comforting the other baby and Gabriel happily reuniting with Coco.
- Daryl seems to finally put together what he’d been struggling with during the final fight with the Reapers as well as most of the series. He refuses to allow Pamela to draw lines between people, stating their only true enemy is the dead. And he remembers Rick’s speech back in Season 5, and manages to improve on it. Whereas Rick was assuring them that they would do what they had to do in order to survive another day, finally, the group has a chance to do more than living as Abraham once said. And Daryl is taking that opportunity now, refusing to leave anyone behind and once again saying “we ain’t the walking dead.” And this is what finally convinces Vickers and the remaining troopers to turn on Pamela and save the citizens.
- Gabriel is the one who goes to open the gates and save the townspeople, refusing to stand by as innocent people beg for sanctuary as he did at the start of the Fall. He literally only stops when he has a gun at his head.
- Magna and Yumiko getting back together. Yumiko goes over to Magna and can seemingly barely contain herself looking at her ex-girlfriend after all that has happened, and Magna shuts her up with a kiss.
- Negan tries to go solo and assassinate Pamela alone, despite knowing Maggie would love to do it, because he once again is trying to sacrifice himself for what he thinks is the greater good. He would rather Maggie continue on as a leader of the Coalition than get a target on her back for killing Pamela, he’s grown to respect Maggie that much and knows how important she is to her friends and family.
- Negan finally apologizes to Maggie for Glenn's death, and Maggie at least somewhat absolves him, even if she can never forgive him. She assures him that she now knows he’s genuinely trying and that she wants to try too, and that he and Annie are welcome to stay.
- Daryl gives Negan a small nod of approval as he leaves, letting him know he appreciates everything he's done to help his family.
- During the mission to destroy the horde, Ezekiel, Jerry, and Dianne, the last surviving members of the Kingdom militia, work together one last time.
- Rosita's death, while also a massive Tearjerker is also beautifully done.
Rosita: I'm glad it was you in the end.
- When Rosita reveals her bite to Eugene, he tells her that he loves her so much, and Rosita sweetly replies that she loves him too. After all the drama over his old feelings for her, the pair say "I love you" so effortlessly it's powerful.
- Rosita is also just soaking in every single moment with Coco, knowing she's going to be leaving her. And at the family dinner, Rosita just watches, happy and content that they've finally found peace.
- When Rosita's time comes, Carol and Maggie help her to her deathbed while Daryl watches, tears in his eyes and smiling sadly the whole time. Both Carol and Maggie, who were never the closest to her, are still crying and give her affectionate kisses and hugs goodbye.
- Gabriel, Rosita's ex-lover and soon-to-be sole parent of her daughter, says a prayer for her, and gives her a few last moments with Coco before taking her away for the baby's safety. Gabriel gently tells Rosita "we'll see you again someday" before leaving. As her baby girl is taken from her, Rosita enjoys every last moment with her, and weakly raises a hand towards her as Gabriel takes her.
- Ultimately, Eugene is the one who spends Rosita's last moments with her, and graciously thanks him for her influence that reformed him into the brave, heroic man he is today. And Rosita is happy as she dies.
- The Distant Finale showing how, a year after the final showdown with Pamela and the walker horde, everyone is doing great — Eugene and Max have a newborn daughter named after Rosita, Ezekiel and Mercer are running the Commonwealth together, and Alexandria and Hilltop have been rebuilt and are flourishing.
- Max is also wearing a similar dress to her comic counterpart and what Shira first wore as “Stephanie”. Only this time, she’s the real deal for Eugene and his happy wife and new mother to their daughter. Max agreeing to name her daughter after Eugene's deceased best friend is also sweet given they both hoped she would meet and befriend her, back when Eugene had to clarify that Rosita was not someone he wanted in a romantic sense.
- Ezekiel appointing Mercer as his Lieutenant Governor is a long way from where they first began, with Ezekiel calling Mercer a "power-tripping cop" and Mercer returning the sentiment by calling him an asshole.
- It's nice seeing Princess and Lydia, two victims of abuse who found it exceptionally hard to trust other people, in happy, stable relationships with partners who adore them and will always treat them with respect.
- Daryl goes off on his own to search for Rick and Michonne, like Judith once feared he would. But this time, the Coalition is completely at peace and now bolstered by the reformed Commonwealth, meaning that Daryl can leave with the peace of mind that his loved ones are safe and have a good chance at fending off any threat. And this time, Judith is more accepting of a parent leaving, knowing Daryl would never abandon her.