Heath (Corey Hawkins) and Tara (Alana Masterson) finally make an appearance in Swear. They left for a supply run after the Alexandrians wiped out the Saviors at the satellite complex. This means they have no idea of Negan's wrath; the deaths of Glenn, Abraham, and drumroll please, Denise, Tara's girlfriend that got an arrow through the eye. Alana Masterson was pregnant, so the writers conveniently sidelined her character.

Swear opens with a young girl, Rachel, and her teenage sister, Cindie (Sydney Park) on a beach. Rachel spears a walker, then walks towards another body lying on the sand. It's an unconscious Tara. Rachel says they must kill her, even though she is alive. These are the rules. Cindie prevents it.

We flashback to Heath and Tara in the RV, they have been on the road for two weeks. They haven't found any supplies. Heath laments their murdering of the Saviors. Tara remarks they had to do it. Heath says they didn't have to do anything. But the world has changed, you have to protect yourself at all costs, even if it means killing innocent people.

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On the beach, Cindie brings the still passed out Tara food and water. She places the supplies by her head then leaves. Tara springs to life. She was faking it. She drinks the water and gags at the dried fish left behind. She follows Cindie through the woods to a new settlement; populated only by women and girls. They have food, clothes, and weapons. Tara is spotted. She runs away under a barrage of gunfire. She knocks out a woman, Beatrice, and takes her gun; but is soon held at gunpoint by the young Rachel. Cindie jumps in front to protect her. Tara swears that she is cool.

We flashback again to Heath and Tara. They arrive at a bridge that has been barricaded. They jump the bridge and proceed cautiously. Tara comes upon a pile of sand obstructing the road. She pulls on the sand, only to have it collapse on her. A mountain of walkers comes pouring out of the pile. As she struggles, Keith runs away.

Tara is chained to a pipe. The group's leader, Natanya (Deborah May), says the shoot all strangers on sight. However, Tara let Beatrice live. The women take her to Natanya's house for dinner. Natanya asks her how she found them. Tara lies, says she and her friend have been scavenging for years. That she used to work on a fishing boat. Natanya calls it a larder, Tara agrees. She introduces her to her granddaughter, Cindie, the girl that saved her. Cindy admits to Tara that she has killed strangers. That she is a good shot.

Tara asks why there are no men in the settlement. Natanya says they were killed by another group. The women escaped and found the beach settlement. To protect themselves, they kill every stranger. Natanya also knows that Tara is lying; a larder is not a boat. Tara tells them about Alexandria. She also admits to killing Saviors to survive. She says they cannot hide forever. They can work with Alexandria.

Natanya agrees that maybe it's worth investigating. Two women, Beatrice and Kathy, will follow Tara to the bridge to find her friend. Then they will go with her to Alexandria. Cindie pleads to come, but is forbidden. They are leaving the settlement when Rachel spits at Tara. She gives her the finger as they walk into the woods.

They come upon a walker. Tara says she will kill it. As she goes to the walker, Kathy and Beatrice open fire on her. It was just a lure to get her out of the camp to kill her. Tara runs for her life. She falls down a hill, then jumps Beatrice. They fight, but Beatrice pulls her gun. Beatrice tells Tara that the Saviors killed every man. The women escaped before they could become slaves. She says the satellite Saviors were just an outpost. There are hundreds of them. Alexandria is as good as dead.

Beatrice is about to kill Tara when Cindy saves her. She knocks out Beatrice and they both escape into the woods. Cindy gives her a spear and pack of supplies. She will accompany her to the bridge. But Tara must swear never to reveal their location to anyone. Tara agrees.

As they arrive at the bridge, we see what happened to Heath. He did not run away. When Tara was overcome, he came back and shot the walkers holding her down. She fell over the edge into the water. The last thing she saw was the walkers surrounding Heath. Tara runs across as Cindie shoots. Cindie runs out of ammo, but it is enough for Tara to get clear. On the other side, Tara finds Heath's glasses, sped out tire tracks, and a card that says "PPP". Heath has seemingly escaped.

Tara looks back to see Kathy and Beatrice taking Cindy away. We then get a montage of Tara travelling. She finds sunglasses at a curio shop. On the wall in Alexandria, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is stunned to see Tara walking toward him. She greets him with laughter, he breaks down in tears. Swear ends with Tara on the floor of Denise's clinic. Rosita has filled her in on the terrible details. Rosita says they have nothing. Was there anything out there that could help them? Tara lies and swears she saw nothing.

The Tara centered episode was a good diversion from the Savior carnage. The beach settlement, as well as what happened to Heath, will probably factor into the eventual war against Negan. It made total sense for Tara to not reveal anything. She learned what wiping out the Savior settlement led to. Heath's words in the beginning about choice did ring true. I just hope Heath gets equal time and is not marginalized as The Walking Dead season progresses on AMC.

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Julian Roman