‘TWD: World Beyond’: Welcome to CRM Orientation (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, Episode 2, “Foothold.”]
Orientations are always a little awkward. There’s the “finding out where everything is” phase, the “getting to know people” phase, and so on — but for Hope (Alexa Mansour), all the weirdness of getting set up in a new place is multiplied by about a billion, because she’s at the Civic Republic Military.
Elsewhere, loner Silas (Hal Cumpston) makes his first appearance this season as a worker for a mysterious new faction of the CRM, and Iris (Aliyah Royale), Felix (Nico Totorella), and Will (Jelani Alladin) have a very close call with Lt. Col Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond).
First, Silas winds up at a junkyard-type place for “decontamination,” where they appear to be both capturing walkers and putting them in cages, and luring them in to kill them, all for the CRM. The goal, as Felix’s boss, Dennis (Maximillian Osinski), says, is to kill enough walkers to make the state a “foothold,” and bring back the way things were before. As Silas ends his first day on the job, Dennis leaves with a walker tied up in the back of his truck and heads to the research facility — and he has a picture of Huck (Annet Mahendru) with him. So, at the very least, they’ve got to be friends, but likely something more.
Having been reunited with her father, Hope’s settling in at her new home — but of course, there are a few roadblocks. She’s uncomfortable not only because everyone seems to know who she is and have heard of her before, but because she has to lie to her father about what happened with Iris, where she is and how much she knows about it.
She winds up getting a tour of the place from her dad’s girlfriend, Dr. Lyla Belshaw (Natalie Gold), and Hope seems to be searching for weaknesses in the shadowy organization; she takes notes on their security cameras and everything she already knows about them. Dr. Belshaw does reveal one key aspect of what the CRM is doing; they’re trying to find a cure, but they’re also trying to figure out what keeps the dead “animated,” as she says. “We hope to one day turn off those triggers, eliminate the dead as a threat and eradicate them from the Earth,” she tells Hope.
At one point, Hope sneaks off toward a room that’s for “Authorized Military Personnel Only.” There, she meets Mason (Will Meyers), who seems like he’ll end up being her love interest — and he opens the door for her, showing her that all that’s inside is janitorial supplies. They part ways with a little flirting, and then she watches a training video that explains what the CRM is really doing. They’re trying to figure out how the dead’s brains work and what triggers them, how weather affects them, etc. His work revolves around infecting the dead with fungi, in hopes of creating a disease that would infect and destroy them.
Her dad is starting to challenge the CRM, too, telling Kublek he wants to go on the mission to bring back Iris and Felix. It’s clear he’s suspicious when she says that bringing them back is her “top priority,” but for his safety, he should probably stop asking questions and threatening to stop working for them.
Iris spends much of the episode dealing with the fallout of her actions in the final minutes of the last one. She, Felix and Will hide the CRM soldier she killed, and they dress up walkers to look like them, so CRM won’t keep coming after them. But they end up in hot water with their new community, the Perimeter, whose council is none too pleased they killed a soldier and lied about how much they knew about the CRM.
Their conversation about whether they’ll be allowed to stay is interrupted by a group of soldiers. Kublek walks into the room and chats with Perimeter leader Indira (Anna Khaja), who says she’s “looking into something,” meaning that she’s looking for Will. She quite nearly finds Iris, Felix and Will, who are hiding behind a curtain. Thankfully, she doesn’t discover them, and she and her soldiers leave. They find the walkers the group costumed earlier in the episode, so they might think the trio is dead… but Kublek doesn’t seem so convinced.
As the episode ends, Kublek has an interesting conversation with Belshaw. Belshaw admits that Leo’s enthusiasm for the project has faded since he learned that the CRM was manipulating him; Kublek counters by saying she, as his girlfriend, needs to keep him motivated… for his sake, and for hers. They then have an ominous exchange about Belshaw needing another “test subject,” and that Kublek thinks she’ll have what she needs “in time.”
The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Sundays, 10/9c, AMC