Best Zombie Episode

Christina Perez
• Saturday, 07 November, 2020
• 8 min read

The success of AMC’s The Walking Dead made sure of that by beating the odds and making a formerly one-note monster last seven seasons and a spinoff. For mindless shells, zombies are one of the most versatile creatures the horror genre has for bringing our existential fears to life.

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Things go sideways as zombies overrun the town and the Simpsons family has to fight their way back to the library to find the reverse spell. Be warned: If you read books, you might accidentally raise the dead, but if you watch too much television, you’ll end up acting like a zombie.

The production values are cheap and its story pace is slow, but that all adds to the Masterpiece Theater -meets-B-movie horror experience. The aliens (Zoe Thorne) who’ve been possessing corpses are creepy as they beg for their lives with increased menace, and it’s oddly chilling to see a zombie attack where the humans don’t have real weapons.

Stein (Victor Garber) and Ray (Brandon South) get themselves cornered on a spaceship with a combined Mick (Dominic Purcell). Tax (Franz Dram eh) and Maya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) have to go undercover as slaves on a plantation to steal secrets for the Union army.

Comparing the fictional nightmare of being trapped with a zombie to the harsh reality of life as a black person in America is really on-the-nose commentary, but that’s Legends of Tomorrow for you. They even burn down the plantation for good measure, in case anyone missed that zombies and slave owners deserve equal treatment.

Sure, this episode could have leaned in harder on being a full 40 minutes of Dave Chappelle’s Time Haters sketch, but I don’t even see any other shows trying to compete. Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) is given the power to raise the dead to bring back his friend Seth’s girlfriend, Shannon (Charlene McKenna).

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These two plots play off of each other incredibly well, balancing a gory zombie adventure full of demonic cats and undead cheerleaders with the quieter dread of a clearly dead relationship that came back wrong. Rudy (Joseph Gil gun) pulls the literal short straw to kill her and has to explain to her that they’re “really not bad kids,” even as he swings the bat.

In his desperate attempt to gain outside, and specifically male, social approval, Xander ends up as the car guy to a gang of rabble-rousing zombies. In an episode about social status, zombies are portrayed as the ultimate posers: These are guys whose lives literally ended in high school.

The episode opens on Finn (Jeremy Shade) helping Princess Bubblegum (Handed Watch) use science to raise the dead. When the resurrection experiment results in candy-craving zombies, Princess Bubblegum summons the whole Candy Kingdom into the castle to hide until she finds a cure.

Finn’s biggest challenge isn’t a horde of zombies, it’s keeping them a secret from his best bro, Jake the Dog (John DiMaggio). The punishment for breaking a Royal Promise is trial by fire, but since Finn is a friend he gets off easy by solving a simple math problem.

Mitchell (Aidan Turner) and Annie (Lenora Crichton) accidentally created zombies when they opened the door to the afterlife, because no one who died in that time could leave their body. Sasha (Alexandra Roach), a zombie, escaped this horror and just wants to live her life (by drinking, dancing, and flirting).

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Though Moral Oral is a relatively grounded show, claymation aside, it’s fitting that the pilot goes straight for the ultimate defiance of God, reversing death itself. After hearing a sermon on the Lord’s greatest gift being life, the naive Oral (Carolyn Lawrence) gets it into his head that all corpses are sinning by being dead.

He steals a book on necromancy from the library to help the corpses in the cemetery embrace God’s gift of life by bringing them back as zombies. Of course, Dipper ends up proving Stan’s point by reading a spell at random and raising hordes of the undead.

It says a lot about Mabel Pine’s unwavering love and optimism that she’s not going to let a zombie attack ruin a good karaoke party. A common theme in zombie episodes is the way a near apocalyptic event causes characters to take stock of their priorities, but in this case it’s Wendy’s duty as a superhero she has to learn to put first.

All in all, the scariest part of the episode is Pip’s (Drew Tyler Bell) performance art monologue, “Hey, Mr. ZIM (Richard Steven Horowitz) has to return a DVD rental to the video store before morning or else fear the wrath of the FBI.

This episode follows Mulder (David Duchy) and Sculls (Gillian Anderson) chasing a fanatic who is trying to bring about the end of days by raising the dead. Watched in 2017, the use of coffin cell phones is oddly charming, the slow pace is nerve-wracking, and the fact that they didn’t do a technology-based Y2K plot is still a huge relief 17 years later.

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“Epidemiology” has everything: Halloween costumes, George Take, an ABBA soundtrack, zombies and a strong message about friendship. The episode’s best scene is when Troy (Donald Glover), Abed (Danny Audi), and Jeff (Joel Male) are in the basement to escape the zombies and get sidetracked by a cat jumping in front of them with surprising speed.

But while The Walking Dead is winning the supernatural war on TV (and rightly so), it's not the first time the undead have shuffled onto our screens. From cannibalistic comic relief to electrified, underwear-soiling evisceration, here's our pick of the greatest zombie episodes to hit the small screen.

When madman Hugo Strange unleashes a plague on Gotham, the city's people are turned into what Batman can only describe as 'zombies'. The hollow-eyed, gray skinned, groaning monstrosities attack with a mob mentality, and we finally get to see Batman lay the smackdown on the Boy Wonder and Batgirl (that they're combined doesn't lessen the nerds).

So it was no surprise to see Sunnyvale besieged by a dumber breed of reanimated corpse in its third year, as Buffy's irksomely oblivious mum brings a voodooism Nigerian mask into the family home. The mask duly summons all manner of zombie to gatecrash a 'Welcome Home' hootenanny, which at least gets the party started (and simultaneously manages to off one of the series' most punchable characters, Joyce's BFF Pat).

Inevitably, Mulder must team up with Frank Black to bring down the army of undead via some strategically placed headshots as Sculls tries to escape their beta advances by waffling on about how illogical the whole thing is. Bart's attempts to resurrect family pet 'Snowball I' mistakenly brings the cemetery's entire population back to life, who proceed to chow down on Flanders, Principal Skinner, Rusty et al.

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If you're a Z Nation fan then you'll definitely want to add Black Summer to your list as they're based within the same universe. Daybreak is a fun post-apocalyptic zombie series that follows a group of teenage survivors as they try and make it out alive while being swarmed by hordes.

Sadly, Netflix opted not to renew the show for a second season but that doesn't mean it isn't worth watching. It has a lot of dark humor and snappy dialogue that should make for a breezy and entertaining watch.

The show follows 13-year-old Jack Sullivan and his friends as they try to survive and fight off zombies and monsters that invade their town. It is a horror series that involves a gory, wild mixture of zombies and steampunk goodness.

The CW's zombie (loosely adapted from a comic book series) is a creative blend of comedy, romance, crime, and horror. The show is based around the life of an Olivia “Liv” Moore, a medical resident turned zombie who binge-eats brains in the morgue to prevent herself from killing innocent people.

Liz finds herself absorbing the personalities and memories of those she eats and decides to use this ability to help solve crimes. The comedy-horror series Santa Clarita Diet proves that you can add humor into the whole “walking dead” thing.

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On the surface, the storyline sounds completely unremarkable, but it's the character development that really brings all the viewers to the yard. Rick Grimes is a former sheriff and the de facto leader of a small group of survivors, but it's the inexplicably sexy redneck, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reeds), who steals the show from the very beginning.

Although Murphy mutates into some kind of zombie hybrid, his blood contains antibodies that are humanity's last hope for survival. A small group of survivors takes it upon themselves to attempt to get him across the country to the last functioning Centers for Disease Control.

After the release of Train to Susan, how can there be any doubt that South Korea has mastered the zombie genre? Kingdom is a South Korean historical horror and the newest original zombie series to hit Netflix (and it's amazing).

Set in Korea’s Medieval Jose on period, this big-budget thriller is an adaptation of the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods. Given that almost all zombie films are set in a post-apocalyptic world, it's rare to find one so steeped in culture and history, which is why Kingdom is a must-see for viewers everywhere.

What would happen if a zombie outbreak occurred on the set of the reality TV show, Big Brother? After a zombie outbreak happens during filming, all the cast mates and production staff are forced to seek safety inside the Big Brother house.

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Troy and Abed become detectives, Shirley is their boss, Jeff and Annie pose as prosecuting attorneys, while Pierce is an informant and Britt a lab tech.” Community quickly learned to lean into “gimmick” episodes which could have been lame, but almost always ended up working like this Law and Order parody.

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10: Nuclear (Hands Up)
1 genius.com - https://genius.com/Zomboy-nuclear-hands-up-lyrics
2 www.last.fm - https://www.last.fm/music/Zomboy/_/Nuclear+(Hands+Up)
3 www.shazam.com - https://www.shazam.com/track/66899728/nuclear-hands-up
4 www.amazon.com - https://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Hands-Up/dp/B00DJW8HFG
5 www.metrolyrics.com - https://www.metrolyrics.com/nuclear-hands-up-lyrics-zomboy.html
6 www.medicalnewstoday.com - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248735
7 www.ronverzuh.ca - https://www.ronverzuh.ca/2018/01/27/hands-up-if-you-think-you-can-win-a-nuclear-war-a-book-review/