1. Carl And Rick Reunited
Season 1, “Tell It To The Frogs”
This series defining moment isn’t just about Carl, but it’s such a pivotal moment in the series that it deserved to be number one. In the second episode of the series Rick has led Glenn and his new friends out of an overrun Atlanta. They take him back to their camp.
Against all odds he has managed to find Lori and Carl alive. When Rick arrives at the camp the other families surround the returning people joyously. Carl is crying a little, missing his dad, and Lori tries to comfort him. Then they see Rick. Carl runs to hug the father he thought was dead.
That moment when Rick, Lori and Carl were reunited set the entire story in motion. From that moment forward the series became Rick’s quest to keep Carl alive and help him figure out how to live in this alien world that they ended up in.
Rick wasn’t able to save Lori. But he still trudged forward, living for Carl and trying to make sure that Carl had some sort of moral framework with which to interpret the strange and dangerous world that he had to grow up in. Along the way Carl found a deep connection with Michonne and with the other survivors but Rick was always his center point and his point of reference for the world.
Before she died Lori told Carl “You’re the best thing I’ve ever done.” Carl was the best of both Lori and Rick. Carl was capable, steadfast, loyal, and survived against all odds in a brutal world.