God help us, yet another episode when nothing happens - not even hardly any zombies, which get less and less scary with every season and which have nearly been "reduced to an environmental hazard at this point." (A.V. Club)
A couple of girls walk up the beach, taking out whatever walkers they find washed up on the shore. They also find Tara (remember her? Last seen after Rick and the Alexandrians took out the Saviors' outpost, after which she and Heath headed out on a two-week scavenging mission. So it has ONLY been two weeks in the show's time. Bleh.)washed up on the shore. The younger one, Rachel, is about to kill her - kill all strangers as a matter of course - but the older one, Cindy, keeps her from it, saving her life. Cindy drags Tara above the high tide line. This is the current timeline.
Flashback: Tara and Heath are nearing the end of their two-week scavenger hunt. They argue a bit about the meaning of life these days - Tara's all, we belong with other people, in communities, together. Out on a bridge, they get attacked by a swarm of walkers and separated. Tara ends up getting knocked off the bridge and washed down river, which is how she ended up on the beach.
Now: Tara comes to after Cindy leaves her a spear, some water and a dried fish. When Cindy heads back to her settlement, Oceanside, Tara follows her and if Oceanside has any defenses, they aren't any good because Tara walks right in. She skulks around in the underbrush for a while, noticing that (a) there's only women in this encampment and (b) they have a substantial stockpile of guns and ammo. And then she gets noticed and captured.
I'm guessing that the writers are using Tara as a little bit of comic relief because her lies are appallingly bad when her captors interrogate her about where she's from. They aren't that rough on her, however, because she gets invited to dinner with the head of Oceanside and several others, including Cindy. They invite her to stay with them because they don't want her going off and telling anyone else about their community.
They used to be in another place but Negan and the Saviors attacked them, killing all the males over the age of ten. They ran and found this place, by the ocean with lots of food, and have been killing strangers ever since to protect themselves. Tara's all, but I have a girlfriend [Ed.: oops] and I have to go back. So they agree that one of them will go with her, ostensibly to check out Alexandria and see if it might be an ally.
In the morning, Tara, "Beatrice" and "Cathy" leave Oceanside, heading back to that bridge so Tara can maybe find Heath again. En route, however, Tara figures out that the other two have been told to kill her once they're far enough from the community. She makes a run for it and almost gets away before Beatrice catches her.
But Cindy has been tailing them and knocks Beatrice over the head, saving Tara's life again. They go back to the bridge and Cindy says she'll help pick off the milling walkers so Tara can get across. But first, she makes Tara swear (SWEAR) that she will keep Oceanside a secret. Tara swears and then battles her way across the bridge, Cindy shooting as many zombies as she can before Beatrice and Cathy show up to take her back to Oceanside.
Once across the bridge, Heath is nowhere to be found but their RV is gone, leaving only ruts in the mud behind. She shrugs hopefully and then starts walking back to Alexandria. When she gets there and Eugene opens the gate for her, she has a big grin on her face - but he is only sad because he's the one who ends up telling her about Denise (off-screen).
Later, Rosita finds Tara sitting sadly in the clinic, mourning her murdered girlfriend. Rosita's all, we have to fight back - all we need are lots of weapons and ammunition. For a moment, Tara is quiet and we are all meant to think that she's going to give Oceanside up. But she doesn't, honoring her promise to Cindy and instead telling Rosita that she didn't see anything like that out there.
I dunno. It was okay, I guess. It was nice to spend time with Tara, who we really hadn't gotten to know. But this episode advanced the plot not at all. Sigh.
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
4 hours ago