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The Walking Dead: Is [Spoiler] Really Going to Die?

All signs point to a fake-out

Liam Mathews

On Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead, Dwight (Austin Amelio) shot Tara (Alanna Masterson) in the shoulder with an arrow while the Saviors were attacking the Hilltop. Since the Saviors covered their weapons in walker blood in order to infect and slowly kill the Hilltoppers, it looks like it's only a matter of time before Tara dies. But there are clues in the show and from the comics that Dwight is still working as a double agent to protect the Hilltop and Tara is not going to die.

Tara had wanted to kill Dwight ever since he killed her girlfriend Denise (Merritt Wever) back in Season 6. Since then, Dwight switched allegiances and has been working undercover to help Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his people fight Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) by passing along information, allowing people to escape during the siege of Alexandria and even turning his gun on other Saviors. But Tara and Daryl (Norman Reedus) couldn't accept that Dwight may have turned over a new leaf after what he did to each of them (Daryl hated those dog food sandwiches), and vowed to take him out when the moment was right.

Tara tried to do it in "Dead or Alive Or," moments after Dwight apologized for killing Denise. She chased him through the woods until they saw some Savior scouts and had to hide to avoid detection. Dwight then bravely rejoined those Saviors and led them away from Tara and the rest of the Alexandria survivors so they could pass to the Hilltop. Tara then changed her mind about Dwight, admitting that he saved them and maybe they could trust him, while Daryl remained skeptical.

Austin Amelio and Steven Ogg, The Walking Dead

Austin Amelio and Steven Ogg, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

Dwight had to go along with the Saviors to the Hilltop to avoid blowing his cover, but he did what he could to avoid hurting anyone. Bloodthirsty Simon (Steven Ogg) asked Dwight if he wanted to kill Tara and he said no. Then as Simon was about to sneak up behind Tara and get her with his hatchet, Dwight shot her in the shoulder. Daryl witnessed this.

After the battle, Tara and Daryl had a conversation in which Tara said that maybe Dwight was like her when she was with the monstrous Governor before she joined up with Rick because that's who was able to keep her safe when she needed protection, while Daryl argued that Dwight was truly a Savior. Tara said that Dwight saved her life, so she no longer felt the need to kill him.

After the delayed-release massacre of the Hilltop started and they realized that the Saviors had poisoned their weapons, Tara accepted that she was going to die and still forgave Dwight. She reasoned that this wouldn't have happened if she hadn't fought so hard to keep Dwight from helping her.

"Karma's a bitch, right?" she said.

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What she does not yet realize is that Dwight probably saved her again. He shot her to keep Simon from hitting her with the infected hatchet. We will probably soon find out that he inflicted a minor injury to keep her from dying. Maybe she'll realize when she continues to not get sick long after everyone else who got wounded has turned.

The story of Dwight's unpoisoned arrow comes from the comics, but there it happened a little differently. Dwight shot Rick with a crossbow bolt in the abdomen on Negan's orders. The show seems to be transferring this to Tara.

However it plays out, there's a bit of misdirection at play right now, because in the "my mercy prevailed over my wrath" flash-forwards we've seen throughout the season, Rick has an abdominal wound. That could be a wound he gets in an entirely different way, or maybe the show is going to pull a Glenn and Abraham-style double whammy and have Dwight shoot Rick and Tara. There's even a slight possibility that Dwight did poison the arrow, and thinking Tara isn't going to die is a misdirect.

One thing's for certain: the fandom's anti-Tara contingent is going to be disappointed if she survives.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.