Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
The Walking Dead three-part webisode, “The Oath”, premiered this week to promote the television show’s October 13th premiere. As with the other webisodes, Greg Nicotero headed the project as director, executive producer, and concept writer.
A swarm of DKs (originating from the word decay) overrun Karina (Ashley Bell) and Paul’s (Wyatt Russell) camp; they are the only two to make it out alive. To stay strong they remind themselves of their oath, “When one lives, all live.” The pair is incredibly lucky when they find a Hyundai Tucson in perfect condition (It’s not hard to guess who is sponsoring the show) along with a map of nearby medical centers. They head towards a hospital, since Paul was gravely injured the previous night. When they are cornered inside the hospital, a doctor named Gale saves them.
Gale’s expert opinion is that Paul will soon die and turn, so she carts him off. Rather than putting him out of his misery, she throws him into the cafeteria, which is overrun by DKs. Now that she is alone, Karina doesn’t think that life is worth living, so Gale offers her a dose of a lethal injection. By the time that Paul struggles free, but he is only there to see Karina take her last breaths. Gale argues that she didn’t killed Karina, because it is what Karina had wanted–she just gave her the means to kill herself.
Paul can’t stand to be alone in the DK-infested world, so he plucks out Karina’s teeth, throws her in a straight jacket, and takes her along with him. If one lives, they all live, after all. Paul is planning to keep her with him as a pet, similar to the way Michonne did. Gale’s fate is not shown, so the viewers are left to decide whether or not Paul kills her for her actions.
Before he leaves the hospital, Paul spray paints “DON’T OPEN DEAD INSIDE” on the cafeteria doors. These are the infamous words that Rick sees when he wakes up from his coma in the pilot episode of the television series. This is a great taste of the backstory of the hospital. However, it begs the question: why didn’t Gale find Rick in her exploration of the hospital?
There are a couple of key cinematic shots that stand out in The Oath. As Karina looks over the destroyed hospital, an incredibly drawn-out, zoomed out shot gives the impression that the hospital corridor is endless and in complete shambles. As Gale wheels Paul’s stretcher into the walker-infested room, the “Cafeteria” sign is very prominent, giving the viewers a little hint as to what is to become of Paul and what is inside.
Greg Nicotero does not pull any punches with The Oath. The webisodes clearly match the dark tone that The Walking Dead fans have become accustomed to, and do so quickly. In less than thirty minutes, the story covers the darkest human aspects of the zombie apocalypse–rape, murder, and suicide.
Watch the webisodes below: