Just how big can the world portrayed on "The Walking Dead" get? At this point, there's really no telling.
In prior seasons, things were easy. In Season 3 there were two locations to keep track of: The Prison, and Woodbury. Those were simple days! Now, in Season 7, "The Walking Dead" has the Alexandria Safe Zone, the Hilltop Community, the Sanctuary and new addition the Kingdom to keep track of. With so much focus on Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors, that's a lot to ask audiences to remember.
Of course, that didn't stop the AMC series from adding yet another new community to get used to. After losing track of Tara (Alanna Masterson) way too long ago, she's reintroduced as she comes into conflict with the all-female Oceanside. They're a formidable group that's well-armed -- and just as afraid of the Saviors as anyone else, if not moreso.
The group actually adds an interesting new angle to the show, but something's got to give. While the new communities introduced this season have the potential for truly great stories, it distracts from the show's throughline.
It's a lot like open-world video games, like "Grand Theft Auto." With so much world to explore, the primary mission gets lost somewhere in the mix. "The Walking Dead" has a lot of balls in the air right now, and they're all so promising. But sometimes, you just want to let the story resonate with you, rather than immediately think about what's happening in several other places.
Truth be told, most of them are essential to the story at this point. Negan and the Saviors directly impact Alexandria, the Kingdom and Hilltop. However, in the comics Oceanside is introduced much later -- after Rick and his group bring the war to Negan. Instead, on the show, they're yet another new group to think about in an already very busy work.
But that's not entirely a bad thing, either. This show is the perfect place to give an all-female group of survivors more of a spotlight than they've received in the comics. When it comes time for Hilltop, Alexandria and the Kingdom to attack the Sanctuary -- because it's got to happen -- who's to say the women of Oceanside and all of their guns won't help lead the charge?
Of course, the group could also be a valuable trading source with everyone, as they are in the comics.
So for now the jury remains out on whether or not the addition of Oceanside at this point of the story is a good thing. For the love of all that is good though, please let this be the last new community to be introduced for quite a while.