The first half of The Walking Dead gives us entirely different perspectives every episode. The tension building in each episode is progressing as we focus on the different communities that now must find a way to offer their services to the Saviors. This week, the episode focuses on Tara and the new group she finds. These new characters may be a remixed version of another community from the comics, but this episode will have viewers asking whether this new group is good or bad.
Trouble for Tara and Heath
We last saw Tara and Heath in the thirteenth episode of season 6, and in this episode, they give us a segment of the things the duo have been up to on their scavenging mission. However, the supposedly two week-mission was sort of extended because they got into trouble, where Heath got swarmed, and Tara falls off a bridge into a river.
We could all speculate that Heath possibly died, but based on how The Walking Dead works, we can’t really count him out yet. Later in the episode, Tara sees a walker with Heath’s hairstyle, and thinks it’s him, and fortunately, it wasn’t. When she came back to the spot where they parked their truck, it was also gone, but there was still no sign of Heath. At this point, we don’t know what happened to him yet because after he gets swarmed, there were no other signs of him in the episode.
While the show could have explored the relationship between Tara and Heath in this episode more, their scenes together were enough to serve the plot. We might not see Heath again, probably for the rest of the season, but I have a feeling that he would come back à la Morgan.
Girls are Taking Over
One of the things I noticed from this season of The Walking Dead is how they showcase powerful female characters. We had a little bit of Carol action in Episode 2; Rosita and Michonne takes the spotlight in Episode 4; and Maggie and Sasha kicked ass in Episode 5. In this episode, which focuses mainly on Tara, she stumbles upon an entirely new group as the Oceanside, which is an all-female group after all the men were killed by the Saviors for trying to fight back.
Those who are familiar with the source material will remember the Oceanside as another community of survivors based on the east coast, near the state of Virginia. In the TV series, they decided to remix this a little bit by having them involved with the Saviors immediately.
The three women who stood out among the Oceanside females were Natania, Cindie, and Rachel because they were the ones who mainly had an interaction with Tara.
Rachel, who is played by Mimi Kirkland, is a potential new fan favorite if they will explore her character and this community more. A fearless little girl who is expert at killing walkers? That’s lethal. When they found Tara on the beach, she immediately wanted to kill her.
Cindie, who is played by Sydney Park, probably has more compassion than the rest of the Oceanside group combined because she wanted to help Tara. If I have to analyze the future of her character, and if we’ll see the group once again, she’ll probably be the one to make a stand to fight with Alexandria when All Out War comes.
Natania, who is played by Deborah May, is the leader of the group. She is described as “a grandmother whose softer edges have been scraped away by the harshness of her experiences.” We see that in the episode as she makes a decision that we probably will not like for Tara.
For what seems to be a standalone episode, Tara managed to keep the spirit of The Walking Dead alive by providing audiences with thrill and suspense throughout “Swear.”
Her decisions in the episode proves how great her survival instincts are and how she could potentially be the underdog character the Saviors should watch out for.
When the Oceanside group didn’t take Tara with them to their base, Tara followed them. They hear her out, and they were thinking about taking her in, but when she tells them about Alexandria and their encounter with the Saviors, the Oceanside group made Tara believe that they will help her make it back to Alexandria to possibly merge the communities, but in reality, they were going to kill her to keep anybody’s scents off their group’s tracks.
Beatrice (Briana Venskus), and Kathy (Nicole Barre) led the way to the bridge, but Tara figured out their plan, and she escapes. Along the way, Cindie shows up and helps her get through the walker trap on the bridge, and from there, she makes it back to Alexandria by herself.
Back to Alexandria
It Is noteworthy that on her way back to Alexandria, Tara stopped by at a gift shop and finds a doctor bobble head that she plans to give to Denise. Of course, the audience knows what became of Denise last season, so there’s already a feeling of grief there.
When she made it to Alexandria, Eugene greets her at the gate, and Rosita catches her up on everything that happened. Tara finds out about the deaths of Denise, Abraham, and Rosita, and of course, she cries, and Rosita says she’s sorry, but they can make it right.
Rosita is obviously still angry about what happened and she is now also recruiting Tara on her revenge team. There is definitely something brewing there, and Rick doesn’t seem to be a part of it yet as he is still following Negan’s orders like a dog.
When given the opportunity to take the spotlight, Tara certainly knows how to shine. With an entire episode all to herself, Alanna Masterson gave us an outstanding performance and while this episode could have been cut a little shorter, she still managed to make it work: there was action, drama, and a little bit of comedy, and in a show like this, we always need a character like Tara to light up even the darkest moments.
Although it felt a little draggy like the previous ones, “Swear” is definitely a big improvement from the previous two episodes of the season. Because of that, I would give this episode an 8 out of 10.
WE ARE THE SAVIORS!
On the next episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, we will get “a deeper look at the Sanctuary and the world of the Saviors; members of Alexandria look for supplies.” Also, SPOILER ALERT! It looks like Negan will finally meet Judith in this episode.
You can watch the promo The Walking Dead season 7, episode 7, “Sing Me a Song” below:
What do you think about this week’s episode of The Walking Dead? Sound in the comments below!
Header Image: AMC