Another Walking Dead Character Has Gone Missing

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't watched The Walking Dead's "Swear."

the walking dead tara

The Walking Dead's creative team has given each of the episodes in Season 7's front half a very specific story arc and set of characters to follow. For "Swear," the drama finally caught back up with Tara and Heath, who have been absent from the zombie drama since the twelfth episode of Season 6. As you might have predicted, the duo didn't exactly stumble upon a resource-spouting utopia while out on their extended (and largely ineffective) supply run, but Tara did find a brand new location and a batch of intriguing new characters. And Heath did...disappear.

"Swear" was basically Tara's episode from start to finish, which was fine, since it was kind of necessary for a woman to be the one to take on the Oceanside story, considering all of the men there had been murdered by Negan's Saviors. In any case, Heath came in via flashbacks to a dangerous situation involving a bunch of walkers rising up from the depths of a big pile of sand that had been poured down on them as a deterrent. It was a pretty great effect to see all the sand falling from their nasty, dehydrated bodies, too, but let's get back to Heath.

Those sand zombies were way more hardcore than they'd first appeared to be, and when the going got extremely tough, a completely surrounded Heath told Tara to save herself, which led to her falling into the river. This would be the last time we saw Heath, for when Tara returned to the place where their truck was parked, it wasn't there anymore, and tire tracks led off into the distance. On the ground, she found a keycard that had "PPP" written on it. Let the theorizing begin.

heath tara the walking dead

On the optimistic side, it's possible that this is a message from Heath to Tara, somehow meant to lead her to where he's going. The main goal would be Alexandria, but they probably set up some kind of a safe point set up to reconvene at if they got split up. The situation might have been dire, and this might have been the only way he could think of to keep her in the know. I'm entirely clueless on what "PPP" could specifically stand for, though I'm certain that keycard wouldn't be opening any doors there.

On the pessimistic side, perhaps Heath wasn't in a position to leave Tara any messages, as he might have been kidnapped by the Saviors or the Oceanside residents or some other threat. After all, his broken glasses were also found near the "PPP" card, which indicates a struggle; most people would probably have worn broken glasses to drive away, so I'm leaning more towards him the possibility of him being snatched up. Maybe "PPP" is related to the Sanctuary or some other Savior outpost. Maybe Heath and Daryl will be bunkmates one day soon.

I was so glad that we reconnected with Jesus last week (which will happen again in Episode 7), and I'm even glad that that mustached mini-Negan from The Saviors got more time to shine. Meeting back up with Tara and Heath was a little less exciting, since they're secondary characters, and considering we already hadn't seen them in forever, taking Heath away again already (or at least appearing to) feels like an ineffective way to utilize a character's disappearance. Actor Corey Hawkins was only in four episodes before this, and his casting as the lead in 24: Legacy had some worried his Walking Dead days would be numbered. Perhaps this is the first step to removing him completely. Or maybe not.

With pretty much all the characters now accounted for, for better or worse, The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC. Head to our fall premiere schedule and our midseason debut schedule to see what the small screen will have to offer when The Walking Dead takes its winter break.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.