Walking Dead flashback: Swear, or Tara’s little side quest

Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler and Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler and Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

In the season 7 episode of The Walking Dead titled “Swear,” Tara stumbles upon another group called “Oceanside,” led by a militant yet motherly woman named Natania. In addition to introducing a new group, the episode allows Alanna Masterson to showcase her acting skills and is a decent Tara-centric story. Oh, and it also doesn’t hurt that “Swear” has a few moments where Tara clashes with walkers, which hasn’t been much of a force in season 7. During her escape, we are also reminded of the importance of the gang finding supplies (such as a cache of guns).

Granted, Tara’s story isn’t expanded on that much in this episode, but it’s also true we didn’t always get many stories from other significant characters. For example, Herschel’s main thing was being a gun-toting farmer with sage advice and being a member of Rick’s trusted advisors. It’s also a bit refreshing to see Oceanside as a “sisterhood” rather than another Brotherhood sort of group. Of course, even though they sought to live without problems with walkers, their group was far from unharmed by The Saviors, who had killed all of their men (further establishing that Negan is definitely evil, in ways we didn’t quite see in previous episodes).

The Walking Dead and a secret to keep

One of the big moments here is that Tara promises not to reveal any details about Oceanside. It’s an impromptu deal that may help Tara escape momentarily but doesn’t really provide much actual long-term security for anyone. For example, let’s say someone from Alexandria wanders alone to Oceanside’s camp, gets integrated, and admits to knowing Tara. Would that necessarily mean she betrayed her promise, or might it just be someone getting tortured into confessing they merely know someone?

That guilt-by-association theme isn’t entirely new to The Walking Dead, either. Recall that Rick’s crew treated Randall like a villain despite his main crime simply being associated with another hostile group. They went so far as to consider executing and torturing Randall, ostensibly to extract information, but no doubt also to inflict some cruelty and feel the power. In a way, Rick and crew were not acting 100% different from any other band of thugs out there trying to assert dominance through some torture sessions or other cruel deeds (sort of a Shane thing at first, but it quickly became a Rick thing, too).

Related Story. Who was Randall in The Walking Dead?. light

What this suggests about Tara’s story

Recall that before she was on Rick’s side, Tara originally had been in the Governor’s group, suggesting she is perhaps easily duped and willing to ally with anyone who seems to provide security. This episode also reminds us that Tara is prepared to lie strategically when push comes to shove. It’s not like Tara lies eagerly, as she is basically honest, but she lies to protect her life and the lives of her group.Thesee details are understandable and almost are not just about her personality but the circumstances she must deal with.

Basically, Tara is another character who gets tossed around from situation to situation, quite frequently being compelled to shift around her morals depending on circumstances. In fact, when she is trapped with Heath on the bridge in “Swear,” she falls off that bridge, seemingly literally washing ashore at Oceanside to deal with even more circumstances that are barely in her control. Granted, no characters on “The Walking Dead” are ever written as being in complete control, but some of them are less assertive than other. In contrast, otherss are constantly getting mad and pretty much attacking everyone in their way. That’s not Tara, but she can fight if she has to.

The Walking Dead – Final thoughts on Swear

This is not a popular episode of the series. In fact, Forbes called it a “slog.” Nevertheless, if you spend a bit of time analyzing the episode’s themes, it can seem a little more focused than a quick glance, a knee-jerk reaction might suggest. That being said, it’s okay to say some episodes are better or worse than others. Being a fan doesn’t always mean you love literally every aspect of a show, but that you might stick around even if some episodes lack the pizzazz of others.

Next. What happened to The Walking Dead movies starring Rick Grimes?. dark

What are your thoughts on this Walking Dead episode? Let us know in the comments!