‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: “Swear”
Melissa Moore ’20 / Emertainment Monthly TV Staff Writer
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for Season 7 Episode 6 of The Walking Dead.
After several weeks following the aftermath of the season premiere and the impact of Savior control on the community, viewers stepped back to catch up with Heath (Corey Hawkins) and Tara (Alanna Masterson), who had been scavenging for the past few weeks.
The episode begins along a beach, where a girl, accompanied by a young woman, is killing walkers, when they come across an unconscious Tara. The girl says they must kill her and that she wants to do it, and is about to, when the woman tells her not to and to not tell anyone.
In a flashback, Tara and Heath are in the RV, discussing their unsuccessful scavenging. They have been on the road for two weeks and Heath just wants to go back. He knows people are counting on them, but says he does not care anymore, and that ever since the satellite station, he’s recognized that nobody is “in it together” but that it’s every man for himself.
Meanwhile, in the present, the woman who saved Tara is in a room, looking at a map. She goes back to the beach, where she has hidden Tara, and leaves her some water, a dried fish, and a spear. Tara follows her, going into the jungle to find a very hidden community. There are buildings, and it seems civilized, but there are no men to be seen.
All of a sudden, a bell rings, and all of the inhabitants arm up – audiences are shown a seriously loaded armory. Tara has been spotted and she almost gets away when she runs into a woman. Tara is able to wrestle the woman’s gun away and points it at her, but knocks her out with the butt instead of killing her. Eventually, however, she is surrounded. Among the women who surround her are the young woman, named Cindy (Sydney Park), and the girl, Rachel (Mimi Kirkland), from the start of the episode. Because Tara did not immediately kill the woman she knocked out, Beatrice, the leader of the women, Natania (Deborah May), who is Cindy’s grandmother, decides to wait and discuss things, rather than immediately killing her.
In another flashback, Heath and Tara have come across a stock-piled bridge, where they are attacked by walkers. It appears that Heath leaves Tara when she comes under attack, but it is unclear.
It is evening in the new campsite, and the women explain why they shoot strangers on sight. The last time they interacted with another group, all of their men were killed. They cannot let people leave the group in the fear that they will tell someone, so they try to convince Tara to stay. Tara, however, talks about coming from a real community and wanting to get back to her girlfriend – viewers will remember that Tara had left before Denise (Merritt Wever) was shot and has yet to find out about her death. She tries to convince them that good groups need to come together, and tells them about the satellite station, trying to explain to them that her community understands when action needs to be taken, no matter how dark. Natania agrees to send Tara back with someone from their group, to scope out the situation and see if their joining up may be worth considering.
The next day, Tara leaves with Beatrice and another woman, Kathy, but runs off when she gets the chance. Beatrice catches her, however, and tells her that her people are surely dead. They know about the Saviors – it was them who killed lined up every man and boy over 10 in the group and shot them, and they refuse to let Tara lead them back to them.
Cindy, however, helps Tara gets away. When the coast is clear, she tries to tell Tara that “nobody is evil,” which is comical to this reviewer, and sadly false to Tara. After making Tara swear that she won’t return or tell anyone about their community, the two then part paths and Cindy helps Tara get across the bridge to where she last saw Heath.
Viewers then see how the two were split up in the first place: Heath was surrounded by walkers and Tara, while trying to get to him, was pushed off the bridge. Before she fell however, Heath said, “I know,” when Tara reassured him that they are, “in this together.”
Tara worries that Heath is dead, but we do not see him as a walker, and the RV is gone, with broken glasses, tire tracks, and a room key card with ‘PPP’ written on it left behind. Tara seems hopeful that it is Heath, but as of now, the significance of PPP remains a mystery.
Tara walks all the way back to Alexandria, where Eugene (Josh McDermitt) lets her in with a tearful expression. The scene then cuts to Tara sitting on the floor, presumably just having been told about Denise, Glenn (Steven Yeun), and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz). Rosita (Christian Serratos) is with her. Rosita says she’s sorry and Tara says she is too. Viewers may remember the controversy that erupted with the killing-off of Denise, as one in a line of many killed-off lesbian characters. This moment of Tara’s grief would have been a good opportunity to show equal worth and weight with the deaths of these characters, but unfortunately, that is not shown, as this scene is short and Tara’s reaction is not nearly the same level as Maggie’s (Lauren Cohen) or Sasha’s (Sonequa Martin).
The scene then continues with Rosita begging Tara to have found ammo or people that could help them against the Saviors, but Tara says she did not see anything like that.
Overall, this episode was slightly improved from the last few in terms of arc, and it introduced us to a new group, who will likely prove to be very significant as the season progresses. That said, viewers may also be irritated at the introduction of yet another group, as we have seen so many throughout the seasons. Tara is also a more light-hearted character than the vast majority of the others, and got the chance to prove her ability to carry an entire episode with “Swear” this week. This episode also reminded audiences that trust and hope can still prove to be driving and impactful forces.
Overall Episode Grade: B