The Walking Dead off-screen events that made this season 7 episode seem so strange

*Beware season 7 spoilers below*

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Last night's episode of The Walking Dead was something of a departure for the series, choosing to focus on two supporting characters who haven't been seen since the latter stages of season six.

Titled 'Swear,' this particular outing caught up with Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Heath (Corey Hawkins) who teamed up to head on a scavenging hunt for the Hilltop Colony.

While it was a decent hour of television - and certainly a step up from last week's lacklustre episode - it may not have passed you by that the whole thing seemed a little strange.

Firstly, Tara: choosing to ditch her character then pick her up for a centric episode six episodes into a new season may seem like an unlikely move from the writers but it's almost certainly to do with the fact that Masterson was pregnant in real life.

Then there's Heath, the character we first meet at Alexandria Safe-Zone in season five. He only appears in a handful of scenes in this episode, including a set-piece on a bridge which sees the duo happen upon a horde of walkers - it's here where Tara gets separated from him (she falls off a bridge and washes up on shore where she happens upon a new community more of which you can learn about here).

Towards the end of the episode, she returns to the scene where she discovers Heath's glasses as well as some tracks leading inland. "Maybe that's you. I hope that's you," she says to herself, a smile on her face and Heath's fate in the balance. Surely he'll show up again in a future episode. Right?


The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 7 Promo

Actor Hawkins is the new lead in Fox's 24 reboot Legacy. In an interview with Variety, Masterson seemed to confirm that Hawkins' time on The Walking Dead was over despite the fact Heath could be still alive.

She said: "It was really great of Corey to come back and shoot with us one more time. He came back and did these scenes with me in one day. He’s such a force. He got in the RV camper and was like, 'I gotta go be Jack Bauer'.”  

At least this means he can be brought back easily should Legacy be a flop in the ratings.

The Walking Dead airs in the UK every Monday at 9pm on FOX