‘The Walking Dead': The Situation With Tara Is Probably Not What It Seems

There’s more going on with that Tara-related cliffhanger than you might think

Last Updated: March 26, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

(Note: This post contains spoilers for the March 25 episode of “The Walking Dead.”)

The Hilltop might have repelled the attack by the Saviors, but Negan’s crew still devastated the community with a sneaky tactic: The people they wounded later turned into Walkers, attacking their own.

The attack was a payoff to a plan Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) created two episodes ago. The Saviors are low on bullets — Negan has Eugene (Josh McDermitt) making more at his own outpost, but progress is slow — so for their attack on the Hilltop, he instructed his people to bring blades and bows, which the Saviors covered in zombie blood.

Negan’s idea was to create terror in the Hilltop by deliberately wounding and infecting people there, but leaving them alive to turn later. Negan thought the terror attack might cause Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie (Lauren Cohen) and the rest of their people to abandon the war with the Saviors, which would ultimately save lives in the long run.

Simon (Steven Ogg), Negan’s lieutenant, didn’t believe in that plan, though. With Negan missing, he changed the goal of the attack to one of annihilating the Hilltop. The Saviors failed to do that, but they did manage to injure some people with their Walker-blooded weapons.

The cliffhanger of the episode is the fate of Tara (Alanna Masterson). She was injured by a Savior weapon during the attack, too, and since everyone else who was hurt turned, everyone expects it’s only a matter of time until Tara goes — including Tara herself, who appears to accept her fate. But are Tara’s days numbered thanks to a walker blood infection?

We don’t know for sure, but based on something that happened to Rick in the “All Out War” story in the comics makes us think she’ll survive this. In fact, we wrote about this back when Negan made his gross plan a couple weeks back.

In the comic, the Savior attack on the Hilltop goes pretty much as it does on the show, though some names are different. the big differences are that Negan led the attack in the book, instead of Simon, and that Dwight shot Rick with his crossbow instead of Tara.

The moment is big for Dwight in the comics because his crossbow bolts are clean, not coated with the zombie blood — and that’s important because not only does Rick survive getting shot but it also blows Dwight’s cover when Negan, who saw Dwight shoot Rick, finds out Rick is still alive. It also, of course, confirms Dwight’s status as a double agent inside the Saviors.

The scenario in the show is very similar — Dwight was running around the Hilltop with Simon during the battle, and Tara is the only character he shot. The rest of the zombie blood idea goes as planned, of course, with a bunch of other Hilltop residents turning and eating a bunch of other Hilltop residents during the night. Tara is still okay as of the next morning, though it’s clear that everybody thinks she’s on the way out.

But we don’t think that’s doing to happen, since the parallels to the comic story are so clear. If it plays out the same way on the show, then Tara will have even more proof that Dwight really is on their side.

Tara and Daryl are also wildcards in this scenario, because if they think Tara is infected even though she isn’t, then it’s likely to affect their decisions. Daryl especially still hates Dwight and thinks he’s a traitor, and he’s been known to act rashly before. So we’ll see, but for now it feels like a safe bet that Tara isn’t about to die — at least not from a tainted crossbow bolt.

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