Another week of separate story arcs, this episode takes us to a new location altogether: Oceanside. It’s not the most intriguing plot ever created for television, but the unknown will keep you interested. I rather thought that this episode’s beginning felt more like they’d borrowed writers from Fear The Walking Dead. It starts out with two girls on a beach. They’re obviously from another encampment, and they find another girl washed up on the beach. The older one doesn’t want the younger one to kill the girl.
Tara and Heath aren’t having any luck with scavenging, and discuss the events at the satellite station, and the morality of it. Heath is struggling with the two versions of the world: the one he thought he was living in before Rick’s group came along, and the one he now realizes he’s living in. All he wants to do at this point is go home, since they’ve already gone further than they should have, and they have nothing to show for it.
Back at the new camp, the girl we come to learn is Cindy goes back to the beach and takes some water to the girl they found on the beach, who turns out to be Tara. Cindy leaves a spear and a fish wrapped in cloth beside her as well. Soon after, Tara awakens and drinks some of the water, then follows the girl back to her camp. This camp is nothing but women and children who soon begin arming themselves. Next thing she knows, she’s being fired upon and chased, but these are people who give Storm Troopers a run for their money in the missed-shots department. She tries to escape but gets surrounded. Cindy stops Rachel and the others from killing Tara.
We finally find out how Tara ended up on the beach to begin with: she and Heath found a bridge that has been blocked up on both sides. Having a look around, they find tents, as if someone had been camped out there. At one end of the bridge are dump trucks that have unloaded sand. They inadvertently stir up buried walkers, Tara covers Heath’s escape but can’t get away herself.
The women of the encampment take Tara into one of the buildings and begin questioning her. Tara doesn’t tell the full truth about where she’s from, but does tell them she was knocked off the bridge and was caught up in the current. By the end, Tara’s still not sure if they’re going to kill her or let her go.
That night, Tara is taken to another building in the camp, where she finds dinner being laid out on the table. They ask Tara to consider staying, rather than going home, and offer to help her find Heath, too. It’s then that she finds out that the people of the camp had a run-in with another group. After that, they left and found the new camp, vowing to kill anyone without question. Tara comes clean about lying, and proceeds to tell them about Alexandria and the fight with the Saviors. Natanya, the camp leader, says that they could send a guide with her, find her friend, and then on to Alexandria just to see what things are like.
Tara leaves with two of Natanya’s people, and not far into the woods, they find a walker trapped in some brush. Tara, knife in hand, heads over to kill it, and her escorts use that moment to turn on her. She takes off through the woods and falls down a short hill where she can take cover until they pass by. She sneaks up behind one and the two tussle around. The other woman aims her gun at Tara, and again, Tara tries to talk her way out of the situation. The woman tells her that the Saviors can’t be stopped, and that its already too late for Alexandria. Tara realizes then that the Saviors are the ones who killed the men and boys of the camp. Cindy comes at the last moment and saves Tara. The two meet up a short distance away, but Tara isn’t afraid of her. Cindy swears Tara to secrecy about the camp, then escorts her to the bridge to find Heath.
The bridge is still overrun by walkers, and Cindy helps by taking shots at walkers near Tara. All of the walkers are dusty except for one, wearing clothes and having a hairstyle like Heath. But once the walker turns around, it’s revealed to be a woman. The two escorts come along and return Cindy back to camp, while Tara makes her way to Alexandria. She finds tire tracks in the dirt that make her think Heath escaped.
Upon her return, she’s happy and smiling… until the gates open and she’s greeted by a bawling Eugene. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon for her to figure out what’s happened. Later, Tara and Rosita talk, with Rosita asking about guns or ammunition, and Tara lies, saying she didn’t see anything.
Overall, I wasn’t a big fan of this episode, but the potential to draw another group into the impending fight against the Saviors is interesting. These are women who don’t care; they’ll kill anyone and everyone if it means their own safety. How to go about getting them to cooperate with Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom is another story entirely.
The electronic key Tara finds has me confused. I’m sure it has some kind of significance, but despite all my scouring of the Internet, the best I can come up with is conjecture and theory-crafting, as the showrunners are revealing nothing. I suppose I’ll just have to spend my time hoping Heath returns, alive, rather than searching for answers that may not exist.