The Walking Dead - Swear | Review
The Walking Dead - Swear S06E06 | Full spoilers ahead.
I read an article a few days ago stating that 17 million people tuned into The Walking Dead for the season seven premiere even though last weeks episode hit an all-time low of about 11 million viewers. I'm presuming these numbers are based on US audience numbers, but regardless it's still an interesting message that the casual Walking Dead fan base is sending to the network and it's writers room.
Unfortunately tonight's episode of The Walking Dead probably did nothing further to increase or improve viewer numbers, and I'd probably hazard a guess the numbers might drop even further.
The episode titled 'Swear' focused primarily on Tara and Heath, two characters that we haven't seen since episode 12 of season six, and dare I say it, two characters that no one has probably given much thought to either. Sure their story needed to be rounded out, but did they warrant a full 60 minute episode on their own? Probably not.
Thinking about the bigger picture of The Walking Dead, we have The Saviours who pretty much run the show and this has been made clear to us over and over again through the last several episodes. They have all the guns and the man power to keep all the immediate settlements under control. What Rick and Co don't have are; (A) the numbers, and (B) the guns. So this episode largely serves as a plot device for a crucial moment in the second half of this season or the next where Rick will rally his people and say "we need guns", the camera will flick to Tara's face, she'll be hesitant but eventually she'll give up her new 'ocean resort' friends in the name of the "greater good" - thus breaking her 'swear'. Mic dropped.
Of course to get those guns, she'll need to be the one to make contact with the Ocean Resort. And she'll probably have to use her new friend, let's call her Sasha Junior, to convince the Ocean Resort people they can overcome the Saviours if they work together. Dare I say it, has Tara just secured herself one more dedicated episode in the near future?
I'm being a little hard on Tara and it's not because I don't like her, I actually found her to be quite funny last night. It's just that I love the other main characters more and it's them that I'm waiting to see. A great example of this is Carol and Morgan. We've seen them once and I know CGI tigers must be expensive but isn't The Kingdom an important set piece? I don't want to end up not caring about The Kingdom as well...
So even though I found this episode a little unnecessary and frustrating that it focused on Tara and Heath for such a long period of time, it did do a couple of things well: (A) Sand Zombies! Those things are creepy and different and it's great to see the effects people having fun, and (B) Everyone in the story is now tied to The Saviours - for better or worse. At least we can all move forward together.
Next week on The Walking Dead
I don't think this was The Walking Dead's best work but I can imagine this story will pay dividends in the future. Unfortunately the fan base seems to be dwindling while we wait for larger story pay-offs.
They're doing a great job linking everything back to The Saviours - It really shows their power, strength and numbers.
Tara had a couple of great one-liners.
Those sand zombies were great!
- This episode had a real 'Fear the Walking Dead' vibe about it. Almost like scripts were mixed up. Just like the time Little House on the Prairie script was mixed up with The Walking Dead season two script - C\chaos.
- How many people actually remember who Heath is - and now he's missing in action...great. Who cares?
- I'm still genuinely concerned that The Walking Dead has too many communities at play. And as a viewer I have zero investment in any of them.
- Sure it was 'sad' that Tara didn't know about the death of her girlfriend or Glenn but both Tara and Denise (girlfriend) are so secondary to the whole story it was really hard to feel any sympathy for her.