'The Walking Dead' goes to Oceanside: How much is too much?

Posted November 28, 2016

On The Walking Dead, Rachel and Cyndie, from the nearby Oceanside community, find a washed up character from Season Six. Yes, this episode dragged a bit, and yes, the show is already a bit over-bloated when it comes to characters and stories, but maybe this slow build to the inevitable war with The Saviors will be worth it.

With plot stuff out of the way, let's talk about my biggest pet peeve about The Walking Dead, which flared up in a huge way this episode, which is how repetitive it is in terms of dialogue and characterization.

When the ladies there realize Cindy came back with a shadow, they quickly make it known that Tara is not welcome. Needless to say, there are a few positives to be found in this episode, but they're tough to find. As of the episode, it was learned by viewers that Maggie and her baby are doing just fine.

Image via AMC
Image via AMC

Speculations are rife that "someone" in the synopsis is being referred to Tara, who is set to make her return on the show.

As Tara runs across, she sees a black walker with braids just like Heath's, but she is relieved to see that it is not him.

We finally catch up to Heath and Tara as they near the end of their supply run. There was plenty of room for Tara, Heath or Cindy to move around or evade the walkers on the bridge, atop the fact that they were, you know, on a bridge. While the editorial 'of melty announced that the mid-season finale of saisoon 7 of The Walking Dead would be longer, back on the main lines of "Swear".

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At dinner, they offer Tara a chance to live with them, since they can tell that she's a skilled fighter. The show went from a narrow view of the zombie apocalypse from the perspective of Rick's group, to a slew of communities with their own distinct autocracies. And when Tara struts back to Alexandria wearing a pair of goofy pink sunglasses and a grin-only to learn, via the grief-stricken Eugene, that Denise has been murdered by the Saviors-she suddenly has a very serious choice to make. Linear storytelling here would have been for the best. It all feels so lifeless and boring with seemingly no interesting facets of their camp given time to be examined.

The least we can say is that the two friends did not find much to bring to the camp and that Tara may well come across a group that may be new enemies to Alexandria. Naturally, the ladies weren't in any rush to continue working for Negan after suffering through that kind of macho posturing, and managed to escape to a seaside camp where they've lived in a state of constant paranoia ever since - killing any stranger who discovers them.

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Luckily for Tara, she doesn't get offed and instead gets some intel out of the gals at Oceanside Cabin Motor Court. It's, again, the strongest moment of the night in a disgusting episode that stalls at almost every opportunity.

As it turns out, this group knows Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his cronies all too well. Both characters come from different backgrounds as Heath is originally from the Alexandria safe zone and Tara came in with Rick Grimes and the gang. There had been fans who proclaimed to quit on the show in earlier seasons and usually they don't mean it, but it does not look like it this time as what Entertainment Weekly reported. It has enough interesting characters, along with a riveting setting, to really create some great stories along the way.

After some time, the leader of the group and two other women interrogate her in an effort to decide what to do with her. But just the timing of it and having my daughter, I had to miss the finale. "What was the question?" Tara swears and Cyndie gives Tara a backpack with water and food.

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