Previously on The Walking Dead, “Go Getters”
The Walking Dead – S7E6 – “Swear” | Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sonequa Martin-Green, Norman Reedus, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton
This week we meet another community of survivors after Tara (Masterson) and Heath (Corey Hawkins) get separated while on their run. They’ve been out for two weeks, and don’t have much to show for it. After killing the Saviors at their outpost, Heath has a very different outlook on this z-poc life. When a small herd of walkers cause them to split up, it’s not certain if Heath’s new “every man for himself” attitude led him to leave Tara behind or if he’s dead.
The bulk of the episode follows Tara as she washes up on the shore of a new community, Oceanside. It’s filled with women and young girls who all have a “shoot first; ask questions never” policy. Thanks to the kindness of their leader’s granddaughter, Cyndie (Sydney Park), Tara is spared an immediate death, but is handcuffed and questioned.
When it appears that they’ve decided to trust her, they offer Tara the opportunity to stay with them. The other alternative would be death to ensure Tara can never lead people who mean them harm to their community. Tara opens up about where she’s from, their run-in with the Saviors, and suggests they can work together.
They accept and two members of Oceanside plan to accompany Tara to where she last saw Heath and then travel back to Alexandria to start building relations with them. At this point it felt like the show wasn’t doing what we all assumed they would: make Oceanside shady or evil. From the moment Tara arrived, we were waiting to find out Oceanside killed all of their men and ate them; and things were looking a bit too good to be true. And it was. We should have trusted that instinct. The women try to kill Tara in the woods, and it’s because Tara gave them a bit too much information.
They are well aware of the Saviors, having watched them execute every man and boy over 10 in their community. Instead of putting up with Negan’s extortion, they ran and hid. Alexandria’s attack on Negan’s outpost is not something they want to be associated with, and who can blame them?
Once again, Cyndie saves Tara, but makes her swear she won’t tell her people about Oceanside. Tara promises. After a false alarm where Tara happened to find another black walker with braids near where she last saw Heath, Tara finds his glasses near tire tracks and a card with PPP on it. She hopes it means he got away, and via flashback we see he had her back until the moment they were separated.
After Tara makes it home, she finds out about Denise, Glenn, and Abraham, yet still keeps her word to Cyndie. When Rosita asks if she found anything that might help them fight back, Tara says no. I suspect we’ll see this coastal community again, but later rather than sooner.
While “Swear” wasn’t the most exciting episode – it really only served to introduce this new community and explain Hawkins’ absence while he works on 24 – I did throughly enjoy it. Alana Masterson is a delight to watch. When the character was first introduced, I wouldn’t have believed she’d get an hour to herself. They went for it, and the parts that worked are in large part to her. Masterson portrays Tara as honest, funny, loyal, and capable. Hopefully, they’ll continue to give her more to do.
The Walking Dead S7E6 = 7.6/