This week's episode of The Walking Dead gave viewers a glimpse into another new community in the show's universe. However, this group (made up of entirely women) has a troubling backstory which could be the future of Alexandria, if they're not careful.
The episode revolves around Tara's journey on her own. While Heath is here as well, "Swear" delves into a new community in the world, with an extremely troublesome past. Throughout the episode, we learn a lot about this unnamed community, which we've decided to call Beachfront. Here's what we learned.
Warning: Spoilers for the November 27 episode of The Walking Dead below.
Heath and Tara have been away from Alexandria for a couple weeks. During a skirmish with some walkers on a bridge, Tara becomes separated and wakes up on the beach. She's discovered by Cyndie and Rachael. Tara, who is unconcious, is given some food. Eventually, Tara follows Rachael and finds the Beachfront community, which is hidden in the forest, a bit inland from the water.
The Community is Shoot on Site
Tara quickly learns the first rule of Beachfront: They kill everyone they see. While the reason why isn't revealed until later in the episode, this group of women is terrifying. They fire first and ask questions later. Tara learns that long ago, the group went to war with another. After that, they decided not to trust anyone, which isn't the best plan. Tara explains that when you start seeing everyone as an enemy, you'll never make any allies. She also tells them that it's a bit hard to survive as a community, longterm, when it's made up of women, since they can't reproduce.
They Eventually Welcome Tara Into the Fold
Tara sits down to dinner with Rachael and the leader of Beachfront, and tells her that at one time, a group named The Saviors threatened their way of life. In turn, they went to their headquarters (the satelite relay station) and killed them all. At this point, we all remember that Tara missed everything that happened in the season premiere. The Beachfront leader tries to convince her to stay and live there. Tara would rather have Heath by her side, so Tara heads out with a couple members of the community to look for him the next day.
The Reason There Are Only Women in the Community
Things get a little hectic during the trip to the bridge. Tara thinks the two members of Beachfront accompanying her are going to check out Alexandria with her, along with trying to find Heath. However, she quickly learns they're going to kill her, to keep their community safe and secret. One of the members of Beachfront tells Tara that a while back their group fought The Saviors and lost badly. The Saviors lined up all the males over the age of 10 and shot them all in the head. The surviving women snuck out of their town and made a new, secretive community. They wanted to be away from Negan and his men. That's also the reason they kill everyone they see. It could be one of Negan's men.
While Tara eventually escapes the members of Beachfront, after promising to Cyndie that she'll never speak about the community's existence, we're treated to one of the weirdest moments of the season, which borders on pure absurdity. Tara gets back to the bridge, kills some walkers, and is trying to find Heath. What she sees is a walker, with her back to her, with Heath's haircut. There is a long beat, before the walker turns around, revealing it's a woman. In a sea of walkers covered in sand, there is this lonely walker, not coated in sand, who happens to have the same haircut as her friend? That's just silly.
What's important about this episode is that it adds another community to the list of potential allies in the war against Negan and The Saviors. Aside from Beachfront, we have Alexandia, Hilltop, and The Kingdom. This season, more than any other, has thrown so much at the wall in such a short amount of time, all while making it feel like the show moves as slow as the infected undead. Yes, this episode dragged a bit, and yes, the show is already a bit over-bloated when it comes to characters and stories, but maybe this slow build to the inevitable war with The Saviors will be worth it.
What we should all pay attention to when it comes to "Swear" is that Beachfront is what happens when you take on The Saviors and lose. Alexandria could end up like this if they take on The Saviors unprepared. This community's existence is a warning, more than anything else.
"Swear" does a lot at building future potential while developing Tara a bit more. She feels a whole lot less like a background character now. However, it really feels like this episode could have been slimmed down some to give the episode more "umph." It was an ok episode building towards expanding the world when "All Out War" eventually happens.