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Although its focus on a secondary character often leaves "Swear" feeling like a diversion, the discovery - and impending danger - of a new community is a refreshing development.
"Swear" is one of those Walking Dead episodes where characters debate philosophy, which has not always lent itself to compelling viewing. But it works out pretty well here.
The introduction of an all-female village is logical and welcome at this point, and having Tara enter as an invading presence from the male world who happens to be a gay woman is a deft move.
"Swear" was fun -- a self-contained romp that took care to tie up most of its loose ends.
"Swear" feels like an unlikely success in such an otherwise-unfocused season.
If The Walking Dead wants me to feel like Eugene has done something wrong here, or has somehow betrayed the group in some way, it's failed.
While "Swear" is far from being a bad episode of "The Walking Dead," it should feel like a bigger deal than it actually is.
The Walking Dead had its strongest episode of the season tonight, which is especially remarkable considering that it starred Tara, a character who hasn't really contributed anything of value since she was first introduced in season 4.
Swear is stronger in concept than execution. It has some smart ideas, good new characters... and does some fine world-building. Unfortunately, it also drags painfully and is lumbered with one of the show's most infuriating characters as its lead.
For the most part, "Swear" winds up feeling like an episode The Walking Dead could have done without. It's completely unessential. And that's a shame because there is something unique in a character like Tara that's worth exploring
Full marks for pulling off Tara's triumph-turns-to-tragedy return to Alexandria using no dialogue, just the look on her face as she learns what's been going on while she's been away.
While Oceanside is not the community I found much joy in, it built on some ideas that this season has set up, based on the threat of Negan and the saviors.
As much as showrunner Scott Gimple likes to meander, it's clear these spotlighted communities are a part of a potential network that could lead to the rebuilding of society.