For a full recap of the episode, visit The Walking Dead Wiki here. This article is a review of the episode in which specific details and events are discussed. SPOILERS may occur, so read at your own risk.
If there was anything The Walking Dead needed to avoid at this point, it was introducing yet another batch of new characters. Guess what “Swear” does? Introduce yet another batch of new characters. In fact, this episode goes a step further and brings in a whole new community, Oceanside.
Granted, there are some interesting aspects to Oceanside such as it being a community primarily made of women. Though, instead of exploring that idea in a creative way and bringing some intricate social commentary to the table, it’s revealed that it’s because the Saviors killed every male over the age of ten. What a missed opportunity.
Otherwise, this episode feels like the show doing busywork. We needed to know where Tara and Heath have been, so we get to see that. It’s a fairly unexciting story involving them arguing selfishness vs. teamwork in the post-apocalypse. Teamwork wins. Huzzah. Tara also makes her way back to Alexandria with relatively no fuss only to discover that Denise has died. Considering that should be the big emotional moment of the episode, it’s brushed off by putting more importance on Oceanside.
If this season is supposed to be building up excitement for a confrontation with Negan and the Saviors, episodes like “Swear” aren’t achieving that. The Walking Dead needs to trim itself down. Streamlining the show and giving it a sharper focus is the only option this late in the game. If we get even more new characters next week, watching this series is going to start feeling like homework.
Best Moments of the Episode:
- The opening with Rachel stabbing the beached walker.
- The sand walkers. What a cool and unique trap that also gave us a slightly different visual take on the show’s zombies.
- Tara giving Rachel the finger.
- Zombie gore gag of the week: the sand walker whose bottom jaw is split in half when Tara stabs it from behind.