Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched the latest Walking Dead episode.
On Sunday night, The Walking Dead continued the world-building exercises of Season 7 by reconnecting viewers with Tara and Heath, and introducing the new area Oceanside, a Virginia campground with almost entirely female survivors. (There's one young boy there.) Because Oceanside is so different from its comic book counterpart, it's hard to guess how it'll fit into the show's future, but there's at least one big way the new location could return to the central narrative, and it all has to do with the group's tragic past.
It didn't take any wild guesses to conclude the current residents of Oceanside had gone through some major problems, given the gender disparity, and it wasn't that surprising when it was later revealed that Negan and his Saviors were the reason for the male exodus. After an undisclosed amount of time under Negan's rule, the community decided to revolt, and once that was officially declared unsuccessful, all of the men over 10 years of age were lined up and shot in the head. (I'm assuming Negan was afraid his arms would get too sore if Lucille had to kill everyone.) But as we've seen on The Walking Dead time and again, there's always someone willing to switch sides in the heat of desperation.
As such, there's a pretty good chance at least one of the men from the pre-campground days managed to survive that rebellion and its cold-blooded aftermath, and while he/they certainly could have just run off like the women later did, it's more likely that joining Negan's Saviors would have been a more realistic option. So it's possible that in all of these incidents involving Saviors since last season's mid-year premiere, audiences may have already laid eyes on a former husband, father or brother to one of the women that Tara came across in Oceanside.
Of course, the show would then need a way to prove to viewers that this person knew Natania, Beatrice, and the rest, and then that specific connection would have to be brought into some bigger conflict in order for its to be justified for the story at large. It wouldn't be too hard, since Tara possesses the knowledge of the location; and though she probably wouldn't readily give up that information, there are many ways for this show to get people to talk. Perhaps her grief over the death of Denise, Glenn and Abraham will leave her a little more free-lipped and emotionally fractured than normal.
It's also possible that, even if one of the men had gone off with the Saviors, he might have gotten killed by Rick's group in one of those villain-mauling escapades from last season. If that's the case, then I don't know how the show would bridge the connection to Oceanside. Or, you know, maybe someone from Oceanside is the one responsible for Heath's disappearance, and they'll return next week. Or maybe we won't see the setting again until it comes back closer to the time readers arrived there in the comic books. Or maybe the more vengeful Oceanside women go out and track Tara down themselves. Or maybe, when you sit and think about it, Oceanside never really leaves us, which is a really nice thoug...WALKERS! RUN!
SO many questions, and so little time left to answer them, with the midseason finale looming large over the next two weeks. But while we might not know if Oceanside's impression on The Walking Dead is complete, we do know the zombie drama airs Sunday nights on AMC.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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