We’ve never been to the beach on The Walking Dead. But this week, we meet two teens cleaning up walkers who’ve washed up on shore. And also, Tara, who’s alive, but unconscious. The younger girl wants to kill her anyway, but the older girl pulls her out of the water.
Then we flashback to Tara and Heath scavenging in their RV. They’re running out of gas and supplies. They’re looking for ammo and medicine. He’s traumatized by what happened at Negan’s satellite station. They killed a lot of people “for some milk and some corn.” Tara wants to keep looking. He wants to go back.
And another flashback. Tara and Heath find a blocked off bridge with a small campsite which turns out to be abandoned. Tara finds a heavy bag stuck into a mass of sand blocking the other end and pulls it, despite Heath’s protests. The sand wall falls, trapping them on the ground, unleashing a horde of sand covered walkers who crawl over to attack them immediately. Tara tries to fight them off but Heath takes off.
Aaaanddd flash forward. Tara’s in the feminist colony (AKA the Oceanside Cabin Motor Court, as we learn from a framed photo on the wall), handcuffed to a radiator. Natanya, the leader, Cathy, and Beatrice (the one she knocked cold with the shotgun butt). They offer to let her use the bathroom before questioning her. Tara asks to be unchained, but they decline. “We’re lucky this is a relatively clear area,” says Natayna. Tara lies about working on a fishing boat with a friend. “You must understand that we get nervous hen people just find their way into our home.”
Tara explains that she needs to get back to the bridge to get to her friend. “Normally we would have killed you already. We shoot strangers on sight.” They don’t want to let her go, because she knows too much about them. But because she spared Beatrice’s life, they’re not sure what to do with her. “Yeah, that’s a pickle alright,” Tara says.
Natanya tells her to rest while they attempt to figure out what to do with her. “Maybe one of us will have a brainstorm.”
That night, they bring Tara to dinner, where’s she formally introduced to Cyndie, the girl who saved her (and who’s also Natanya’s granddaughter). Tara thanks her for saving her life. “I don’t know if your grandmother totally approves, but…”
“The little girl?” Tara asks.
“Yeah. She hasn’t had to do it yet.” Cyndie says, re: killing humans.
“Have you?” Tara says.
Cyndie winces: “I’m a really good shot.”
They want Tara to stay. “You’re a skilled person, and a good fighter.” They offer to help find Heath, but Tara is confused. “I never thought I’d say this, but where are all the men?”
Natanya explains that they got into a conflict with another group and many of the Oceanside crew were killed. They know she was lying about working on a fishing boat. “Tara, a Larder is a room for storing meat.”
“Yeah, I was lying,” she admits. “I come from a community. We have walls. Houses. I have a girlfriend I want to get back to. And we’ve done things, just like you.” She tells them the story of the outpost and wants to join forces, but they don’t trust anyone, and don’t want to give away the location of their place. Finally, they agree to send Tara out with a guide to find her friend. Cyndie wants to go, but grandma doesn’t want her to go.
The next day, the women prepare to send Tara off. Rachel, the little girl, spits at Tara as she leaves town. Tara flips her the bird. They find a walker stuck in some trees. Tara offers to kill it, then takes off, certain that’s she’s about to be shot by Beatrice and Cathy. She fights Beatrice, who gets the drop on her and explains that the saviors are the ones who killed all their men, and how they can’t let Tara lead them back. Beatrice is about to kill Tara when Cyndie jumps out of nowhere and knocks Beatrice over.
“Some people are evil, Cyndie. I’ve seen it. That’s why I have to get back, now.”
“You have to swear,” Cyndie says.
“I swear,” Tara responds.
“I’ll take you to the bridge,” Cyndie says. “Try not to fall off this time.”
They make it to the bridge and Cyndie helps Tara get across by sniping walkers. When she gets to the other side, we flash back to the moment when she lost contact with Heath and see that he helped her get away while being surrounded by walkers. She thinks she sees him turned into a walker, but it’s actually a woman with similar cornrows. The RV is gone, but she turns around to see that the Beatrice and Catchy have taken Cyndie away. She sees Heath’s broken glasses and find a keycard with the letters “PPP” printed on it in marker.
Tara finds a place to camp out for the night, and finds that someone (probably Cyndie) has hidden a shell bracelet in her bag of supplies. She rolls back into Alexandria to find Eugene, who has tears in his eyes. Tara immediately knows that Denise is dead.
Rosita tells her that she doesn’t have to just sit there, that they can find guns and take revenge. “You don’t have any leads?”
Tara lies and keeps her promise to the Oceansiders not to tell. “I didn’t see anything like that out there.”
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