Episode Title: Swear
Original Airdate: 11-27-16
Time to catch up with Tara and Heath. After Rick & Co. thought they took out all the Saviors at the satellite compound, the dynamic duo set out on a two-week scavenging mission, so they know nothing of the tragedies we’ve witnessed over the last nine episodes. In this episode we find them at the end of their tour with very little to show for it. Tara convinces Heath to push a little further out than planned, but they come to a blocked bridge covered in sand. And of course the sand pile is full of Walkers. The two are not prepared for the fight and become separated when Tara goes over the bridge into the water below.
Tara washes up on the shore a bit away and is discovered by Cyndie. Unfortunately Cyndie’s heavily armed group (Oceanside) isn’t warm to newcomers since the Saviors killed all the boys and men over the age 10 at their old settlement. After a bit of a standoff, they decide not to kill Tara, and invite her to join them because she’s a fighter. She declines, but tells them of Alexandria and that she could take them back with her, believing they defeated the Saviors before she left. Tara sets out with two escorts to head back to the bridge to find Heath, but they try to kill her so she won’t be able to tell anyone of their location, fearing Negan will come after them once again. Cyndie comes to her rescue, but makes Tara swear she will not tell anyone about Oceanside, which she does. After escaping, she finds Heath left in the RV without her. Happy that her friend is still alive (as well as herself), she sets off for Alexandria. But upon her return, she’s greeted by a crying Eugene. Later while mourning her friends and girlfriend, Tara is confronted by Rosita, demanding to know if she found any guns on the road that would help them defeat Negan. Despite her loss and sorrow, Tara lies and said she found nothing, keeping her promise to Cyndie.
I know I’ve been curious about Tara and Heath’s whereabouts, but I’m not sure they warranted an entire episode. I really like Tara; I find her development over the past three years very intriguing and how redemption is possible for anyone. She’s lost almost as much as Maggie, but gets shunted to the backburner quite a bit. So I have no issues with her getting this much attention in one episode. However the introduction of another group is questionable.
On the one hand, I liked how the survivors of Oceanside brought more to the Saviors’ evil behavior. They are particularly admirable in saying “Screw this! We out!” and moving camp to stay hidden. I have to wonder why Alexandria doesn’t do the same. They’re not like Hilltop; they don’t have crops and livestock. It just seems like the logical thing to do. However, on the other hand, I didn’t care for spending an episode on a new group we will probably never see again (except maybe Cyndie).
So as much as I like Tara (don’t know Heath too well just yet) and am happy she finally got some more screen time, I feel like this was more of a filler episode. It wasn’t bad or boring, but it’s not going to leave a lasting impression either.