For the last six weeks we have watched not only two very beloved characters meet their end in an extremely brutal fashion, but Daryl has been psychologically abused and fed dog food, and we’ve seen the beginnings of a new no-nonsense leader in Maggie, while Rick’s group of survivors deals with the aftermath of meeting Negan. Each bottle episode shows the internal conflicts that each character is battling.
In the latest episode, we focus on Tara and Heath and we see what happens when they go out on their two-week scavenger hunt. The way this episode is laid out for us is a little redundant. We begin with two girls, whom we have never seen before, killing walkers that have wash up on the beach. They come to Tara (Heath is nowhere to be seen) who is laying there. We aren’t sure if she is alive or dead and the young girl, Rachel, lifts the spear to stab when she is stopped by the other girl, Cindy. Rachel protests and says that, “we’re supposed to.” This sends up some red flags as for a second we wonder if this is the end for Tara. Cindy is able to talk Rachel down from killing her and asks if she’s a snitch. Cindy pulls Tara out of the water into some shade that is some what protected from walkers that might happen to wander by.
We then make a time jump and we come to the point in time when their journey began (before the group met Negan). Tara and Heath have no idea what has happened and so they continue on their way. However, Heath begins to feel very unsure about why they are out there at all. “Eight rusty cans and a bottle of Aspirin,” is all they found. It’s easy to see how someone can feel so defeated in a situation like this.
They eventually make it to a bridge that is blocked by what appears to be overturned dump trucks with loads of sand in between. Obvious questions arise as we try to determine if it was left intentionally or not. Much to Heath’s dismay, Tara begins yanking on something within the sand pile. As the camera shot pans downward, a couple of things strike attention. First of all, down in the sand we see a large pile of what looks like spent bullet casings. Secondly, we know it’s coming and sure enough, not just one walker, but as the sand falls like a waterfall, dozens of walkers come after her. A fight for survival ensues and we see Heath’s face. He doesn’t have much hope for the situation.
Because the episode is filmed out of sequence, we skip back and forth through Tara’s experience. When she regains consciousness, she follows Cindy to a community and very quickly she realizes it is a mistake. She spies an armory with a lot of guns stored, but before she can do anything, they immediately begin shooting at her. She runs into one of the girls, knocks her down and doesn’t kill her. That is to her advantage because they in turn spare her life as well. They question her, and tell her that they shoot strangers on sight. They explain that all of their men were killed by the Saviors and only by keeping their community secret are they truly safe. They pretend to send a scout with her to check out Alexandria to see if it is somewhere they could live. However, she realizes at the last minute that they are going to shoot her. Tara makes it away only with the assistance of Cindy who helps her escape only when she swears that she will not tell anyone about their community. Tara tries extremely hard to get around swearing. I get the feeling she doesn’t want to break that swear. In the end, however, she swears to it.
She looks for Heath, but cannot find him or the RV. She does, however, pick up an id tag with PPP on it and sees some tire tracks. Hopefully Heath made it out; however when Tara makes it back to Alexandria, Heath is not there. She is greeted by Eugene who has such a look of despair in his eyes. As she tries to digest the information, Rosita pushes hard to tell her if there is anything out there that could help them destroy the Saviors. She doesn’t tell them about the community of Oceanside, but she never swore not to tell about the bridge. Also, could the spent casings be an indication that Eugene will be able to use them to make their own ammunition? We shall see.