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Forums » Other TV Shows » The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 6: Swear

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  • Fluids
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    The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 6: Swear Link to this post

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    Thoughts with summary mixed together:

    The oath from a long awaited Tara that she 'Swore' is meh...I gave this one a 45 using Robin's scale of rating. Heath and Tara are out scavenging and find an encampment on a bridge. They uncover walkers in some sand inside some dump trucks. The sand walker herd engulfs and separates both of them. Tara throws herself over a bridge and Heath manages to escape in the other direction. Tara is carried down a river that opens up to a coastal area called Oceanside where she is found by two women. Once she's lucid she makes her way to their camp and is captured. The women shoot all strangers and there are no men. They give Tara the choice of staying or they are going to kill her. Before she escapes Tara learns that Negan and the Saviors killed all their men. One of the ladies who finds her initially helps her escape. She finds Heath's glasses and a security card that says ppp or ddd (flipped upside down). Tara makes her way back to Alexandria. Rosalita asked her about guns and she keeps her oath and says nothing about Oceanside. Heath's whereabouts are unknown. The story line is mixed up in the editing process in order to take a very basic story line and make it a little more interesting by setting up reveals, however since the characters aren't interesting; nor the dialog and the plot line this does very little to aid the episode. In essence IMO this is half baked.

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    The Good:

    * It is good to know there are other encampments nearby; struggling to survive that were affected by the Saviors.
    * It is only a matter of time before the Saviors find them again and inflict damage to them.
    * How the men's fate was released was actually the best part of the episode for me; tragic and sad.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bad:

    * Another bottle episode that didn't accomplish much but does some world building. Again I find myself chiming why can't they build characters; have good character interactions; and world build? These characters have been quickly sketched out with few details. We at least know Tara is safe. We have to assume Heath is okay because otherwise why drag out his unknown whereabouts?
    * There's not much development on these new characters and the dialog is so sparse and has no flavor and they had plenty of time to give that to us since the focus was on Tara and their location most of the time. We know they eat a lot of fish and use 6 bells and a horn to keep the walkers away. (Won't that also attract humans though? That was a bit of a plot hole for me.)
    * There doesn't seem to be a lot of emotional loss for all the men of the group. You would think after losing their men and male children they would be at least embittered. These people are cold and emotionless. Perhaps they are supposed to be tough battle tested and resourceful, which they are, however I need more sides to the ladies of Oceanside to feel more for them. Wouldn't they also rationalize sparing any men they come upon to keep humanity going? That way they could also add men to build up their strength as well?
    * The Oath that Tara swore is bound to go out the window when it really hits home when she finally meets Negan; whose group killed her girlfriend, Glenn and Abraham.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Unknowns:

    * Is Heath still alive? Where is he? He looks like he was abducted.
    * What will happen to Carl when Negan finds him in the truck or Carl gets caught with Jesus at Negan's compound?
    * What does 'ppp' (or flip it upside 'ddd') mean on the security card? Is this a different group? My hope for years has been for a group of nerds to still be alive that have processor power at their finger tips. Perhaps this is who took Heath? More likely Negan eh??
    * What is going to happen when Negan finds out Maggie is still alive?
    * Who is watching Judith? Rick is out on a supply run. Michonne is trying to figure things out and Carl is on a Truck bound for Negan's outpost.
    * Will Oceanside ever help Alexandria in a war against the Saviors?

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    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/173
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  • Aaronic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 6: Swear Link to this post

    I give this episode a 48. The story was fine but the execution was awful.

    First and foremost, most of my complaints here are the same as the last five episodes so I'll sum them up quickly in point form:

    -No story progression at all, just a bunch of world building
    -Focussing on just one group of characters takes away from the experience
    -Story could have been summed up in half the time, but the episode instead drags for way too long
    -Content is so slow paced that the episode gets boring
    -Poor dialogue

    All of these factors are at their worst in this episode which is horrible. Who actually thought that a full episode With just Tara and Heath was a good idea? I like Tara but this story felt like a B-plot in an episode, not an entire episode. Also the content should have been seen much sooner. This episode is still focussed on the aftermath of Not Tomorrow Yet, which at this point was 10 episodes ago. It's awkward to finally show this story now instead of as a B-plot in an episode like The Same Boat which could have benefitted with a B-plot like this. I feel that parts of this episode combined with parts of The Same Boat shown last season would have made for a much more compelling episode.

    One thing I really didn't like was Tara's change by the end of the episode. She decides against wiping out another community because... reasons? It's not clearly expressed why she would choose to let Oceanside survive rather than help her own people. I feel like this is only an issue because Oceanside wasn't fleshed out well enough though.

    I did like the thematic focus on surviving alone vs surviving with others. The Walking Dead rarely touches on themes like these in recent seasons so I will take what I can.

    The Oceanside settlement was really bland and the characters weren't anywhere near interesting to me. Most of the time spent at Oceanside felt like a total waste. I agree with all of your points regarding Oceanside Fluids.

    This episode's big success though was the ending, which is why it has a score close to a 50. The final 5 minutes were excellent (barring Tara's decision to not reveal Oceanside's guns). I was pleased that we didn't see Tara getting told that Denise died since it's a rare example of The Walking Dead using the principle of show not tell. The decision to have her mourn silently instead of openly crying was excellent as well. I wish this story was part of the last season since so much time has passed since Denise's death that I hardly cared. I was also very happy to see Rosita's character continue to develop as she tries to get information out of Tara.

    Other notes:

    -I really hated Rachel. She was a right prick and it was satisfying to see Tara flip her off.

    -Beatrice taking so long to shoot Tara and talking was a really stupid moment. If you are going to kill her, then kill her already!

    -Heath came off really well in this episode. He's had few appearances but he seemed very likeable in all of his appearances. Hopefully he isn't gone for good.

    -The Heath walker tease wasn't only The Walking Dead's usual manipulation, but it was also nonsensical. All the other walkers were covered in dust and the one that isn't just happens to have the same hair and shirt as Heath? That was downright stupid.

    -I really enjoy seeing post apocalyptic buildings, so I liked Tara going into the gift shop. I would prefer more short scenes like that opposed to five minute scenes of Negan just talking.

    -Six episodes in and the plot has hardly moved since the premiere. The Walking Dead really needs to pick up the pace.

    -The Saviours were stupidly inconsistent. It makes no sense for them to kill all of the males since Negan clearly just wants to work with other groups, not murder them all. Also why didn't the Saviours take all of the guns like they did with Alexandria? The Saviours continue to function only in ways the plot demands them to.

    Overall this episode was just plain awful for the most part. Some small things pleased me, but I really feel that this story would have been better off as a B-plot of another episode.

  • Fluids
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 6: Swear Link to this post

    Great points Aaronic.

    Especially about the Saviors. Shooting all the men is inconsistent with what Negan would do. He usually kills one to instill fear in all the others so they can go do his bidding asap. All their actions did in this case was eliminate a workforce and harden up all the women to the point of unemotional mistrust. We can't use Tara to get more details about them (out of them) because of their mistrust of people. The only way can learn more is to see more scenes with just the Oceanside women opening up amongst themselves and the dialog we got during those moments wasn't interesting or told us very little about how they felt about their situation so to your point they have little meaning to me. I would have loved to know if they trusted men. Have they had a man there since they escaped in their group? What happened to him or them? Those stories are way more interesting then knowing they catch Perch.

    I believe they were captured by Negan and the Saviors and then the Men were shot and then the women escaped (somehow with firearms or they must have acquired them somehow after they escaped.) It's also a little hard to believe that so many people (with children) could get away and hide their existence.

    I am also in full agreement about the timing of this episode and length. This definitely should have been cut down and interspersed within the second or third episode of the season. There's not enough here for an episode and this one clocks in at an hour and 10 minutes. It's interesting you brought up 'Same Boat'. That was also a bottle episode. At least with that episode we learned more about Carol's mental state. We learned nothing really new about Tara nor did she really grow as a character; just that for now she can keep a secret and we already knew she could because she kept her past alignment with the Governor quiet for most of Season 4 from Rick and company. The only purpose it appears here is to give Alexandria a source of guns for a future war against the Saviors. Why else waste our time here?

    The story line is being way too diluted and I think in nearly one and half seasons we have not moved far in terms of life in Alexandria. I believe it's only been at the most a few months (since Rick and company arrived there.)

  • Aaronic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 6: Swear Link to this post

    Thanks for your input Fluids.

    I really agree with all of your points as well. Oceanside should have been explored more and Tara definitely could have used more character development. By reading your points, I realized another huge gripe that has effected my enjoyment of this season and that is the lack of exploring all of these settlements in detail. The Kingdom, the Sanctuary and now Oceanside all get very rough and vague explanations. I enjoyed seeing the Kingdom and the Sanctuary but there just wasn't enough explanation to really care about the places. Oceanside suffers from the same problem, but it's even worse since I really didn't even get interested in Oceanside.

    Fluids, you provided lots of question about Oceanside that I didn't even think of because I didn't care enough about Oceanside to spend my time thinking about it. To me that's pretty terrible television. The more I think about it, the worse this episode gets for me sadly.

    My revised score of this episode would have to be a 41. I think I gave the episode some pity points before because I saw potential in the story they were trying to tell. I see now that absolutely none of that potential was explored at all, so why should I give pity to an episode that didn't even try to be more than it was.

    Edit: I want to add one more point that I have forgotten to add since the very first episode this season: walker attack scenes. Walker attack scenes have lost all of their tension which is not what I want to see in a show called The Walking Dead. Every walker attack this season has been devoid of all tension.

    In this episode Heath and Tara's encounter was the most intense so far this season. But it was ruined by the fact that we know that Tara will survive the attack and that Heath is too minor of a character to care about. All other attacks in other episodes didn't even have any tension and were just stupid. Dwight under the overpass and Enid against the single zombie are prime examples of horrible walker scenes.

    The fact that I forgot to write about this for 6 straight episodes goes to show how little the walker scenes have impacted this season. If walkers are going to be used, they need to be used right.

  • Ben
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 6: Swear Link to this post

    Been following along with your posts, and it really seems like business as usual for The Walking Dead this season.

    I'm glad I'm not watching because I'm really not interested in seeing all these other camps, particularly since I don't think there is enough time to fit all the characters in before their introduction.

    Last season I was interested in seeing Hilltop, Alexandria, and the Saviors develop a dynamic (the one episode to feature Hilltop introduced the possibility), and yet by introducing more and more, everything I assume gets diluted and less compelling.

    We've seen the prison vs. Woodbury, I assume Alexandria vs the Saviors really isnt all that different.

  • Fluids
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 6: Swear Link to this post

    Hey Ben,

    Great to hear from you. Great points about communities. I think they have the potential moving forward to do more with the Saviors then they did with the folks at Woodbury, however it's already turning into quick sketches that don't really help out with fleshing out characterization and story dynamics as much as they could if the effort was put in.

    Negan is definitely a more complete villain then the Governor with more subtlety and layers and they are involving other characters and using interactions to tune in his personae (they should do more.)

    As an example, if you look at my review for Episode 7, I talk about a sub plot which we are given very little information about a henchman that gets scarred with an iron.

    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/369

    We understand that it's being done to lay down Negan's laws and have the Saviors be obedient, however what the real underlying reason why Negan is doing this isn't really explained. We know it's to instill fear (in everyone; including Carl) and to manipulate a female character he wants to control but we don't get her side of the story nor does it appear to matter to the writers. The loss to us (and the show) is the real cause of the consequences and the impact it has on the female character and Negan and the dynamics between them.

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