It’s a small world, after all! Set immediately after a zombie siege on a survivor camp, Karina and Paul flee from a horde of the undead. In a scenario similar to the episode “Wildfire” Karina and Paul decide to escape the clutches of the dead. Little does Karina know that her only surviving companion Paul is bleeding to death from a mortal wound during combat. Ashley Bell and Wyatt Russell give solid and compelling performances as the pair of survivors sticking to their own oaths that could guarantee them survival. They both want something different and have varying outlooks on the new world ahead of them. Karina is hopeless and lingering on the edge of insanity, especially when she discovers Paul is bleeding badly.
They look all over the country for a medical center and happen upon an abandoned hospital that’s free of the dead. Paul is convinced he can survive, but Karina holds little hope. Coming across Gale, she helps Karina tend to Paul and much to her surprise has completely given up on any hope of his survival. Kendra all but loses hope, as Gale has decided to avoid exterminating Paul. She wheels him in to the hospital cafeteria to rise. When Paul awakens from his wound, he’s horrified to see he’s trapped among a horde, while Gale plans to convince Karina that giving up is not a sin. Especially in a time so heinous built on fighting what they call “Decays.” Like the first two webisodes, “The Oath” links right back to Rick Grimes and his ultimate journey and fate, offering an idea in to the world built on the walking dead, and how they all connect in to one another.
Frank Darabont originally planned to offer up standalone episodes that would connect right in to Rick Grimes and the Atlanta Camp survivors, and AMC along with Gregory Nicotero seem to be practicing such an idea. The concept for the webisodes are radical and offer a nice treat before the new season, and “The Oath” manages to be much more entertaining than “Cold Storage.” Nicotero is able to derive tension and shock moments perfectly, and garners great performances from the cast of three. Especially Bell. The whole idea of the oath never has the intended effect on the audience, but the ending does offer a unique and twisted glimpse at the longing for companionship in a world where the dead have consumed humanity. And it offers up yet another origin of a crevice of the world Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes awoke to one fateful afternoon.