5 Most Memorable Hallucination Sequences In 'The Walking Dead'
It was all in their head.
Warning: SPOILERS for The Walking Dead 10x14, 'Look At The Flowers'.
The Walking Dead has done a bit of digging into the psyches of it's characters in recent episodes. Episode 10x13, 'What We Become', features a sequence of a drugged Michonne hallucinating a horrifying 'What If?' scenario in which she never saved Andrea, while 10x14 shows a troubled Carol conversing with Alpha's ghost.
However, these are not the first occasions in which a character's hallucinations have played a part in the story. Here are a few of the best hallucination sequences on The Walking Dead.
1. Who's On The Phone? (3x06, 'Hounded')
Unable to cope with Lori's death in childbirth two episodes earlier, Rick Grimes attempts to work through his grief by spending days clearing out Walkers from the Prison, neglecting his son Carl and newborn baby daughter, Judith. However, Rick is soon distracted from his task by a strange telephone call. The callers, all strangely familiar voices, tell Rick that they are somewhere safe. Rick desperately tries to convince them to tell him where this safe space is.
Eventually, it becomes clear that Rick is imagining the phone call. The voices on the other end belong to nearly everyone who had died in the series up to that point. The reveal is both chilling and strangely touching, as Lori and the other ghostly voices convince Rick that it is not his time to join them. At this point, Rick returns to his fellow survivors, holding baby Judith for the first time.
2. Tyreese's Dying Moments (5x09, 'What Happened And What's Going On?)
A detour to new friend Noah's home town goes tragically wrong for the survivors when Tyreese is bitten. The group tries to save him by amputating his arm, but it is too late.
Tyreese spends most of the episode experiencing visions of other recently deceased characters (Beth, Bob, Lizzie, and Mika) as he slowly dies from blood loss. Unlike with Rick's otherworldly phone call, the implication here is that the dead characters are present to help Tyreese crossover. As an interesting Easter Egg, the voice that plays over the radio throughout Tyreese's death episode is Rick Grimes himself, Andrew Lincoln, speaking in his natural British accent.
3. Sasha's Sacrifice (7x16, 'The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life)
The final moments of Sasha, Tyreese's younger sister, also involve visions. As she travels to Alexandria, locked inside a coffin and slowly dying from an intentional drug overdose, Sasha experiences flashbacks to the final morning she spent with her lover, Abraham, who was murdered by Negan earlier in the season.
The flashbacks allow Sasha to die peacefully, knowing that her sacrifice (allowing herself to turn and almost kill Negan)was the right choice. While Sasha's plan does not unfold exactly as she had hoped, her sacrifice is the catalyst for her fellow survivors to begin officially mounting a resistance against Negan.
4. Rick's Last Stand (9x05)
In Rick Grimes's final episode of The Walking Dead, the character experiences multiple hallucinations as he suffers blood loss from impaling himself on a rebar at the end of the previous episode. As the weakened Rick searches for his 'family', he sees visions of dead friends (Shane, Hershel, and Sasha), each encouraging him to stay awake, urging him on on his quest. Eventually, Rick realises that Michonne and the other survivors with whom he has shared his journey have become his family. With that realisation, Rick seemingly sacrifices himself to blow up the partially completed bridge the group have been building throughout the season, keeping a horde of walkers from reaching the Hilltop colony.
While some fans would have preferred Rick to have a vision of Carl or Glenn, Producers gave specific reasons for the characters chosen. Hershel was a Father figure to Rick, while Sasha represented a sacrifice made for the good of all, foreshadowing Rick's own sacrifice at the episode's conclusion.
5. One Choice Changes Everything (9x13, 'What We Become')
A recent example, but sure to be remembered. When Virgil drugs Michonne, she hallucinates a horrifying alternate timeline showing her what would have happened had she not saved Andrea at the end of Season Two. In this reality, Michonne not only becomes a follower of Negan, but she is the one wielding Lucille in the spine-chilling but iconic line-up.
The sequence is extra frightening for how easily it could have become a reality. Michonne had been a step apart from the rest of the world when she encountered Andrea. A split-second decision to reconnect with her humanity changed the course of Michonne's life.
When used well, hallucinations can be an interesting peek into a character's psyche. More often than not, The Walking Dead succeeds in that goal.