‘TWD: World Beyond’ Has Its First Major Death of Season 2 (RECAP)
Dr. Belshaw (Natalie Gold), we hardly knew ye.
“Blood and Lies” delivers both of those things, as Dr. Belshaw’s continued scheming and mad science-ing push her toward her doom; meanwhile, the main characters make a horrifying discovery about the Civic Republic Military’s plans for Dr. Belshaw’s work. Here’s how it happens.
The writing’s on the wall for Dr. Belshaw from the opening of the episode. We see her conducting experiments on an innocent man (we later find out she was gassing him with highly toxic mustard gas), and then she was being questioned by soldiers, and then she ran to Leo’s (Joe Holt) place and begged him to give her back the vial of serum, which, eventually and separately, Hope agrees to do… after Dr. Belshaw takes them to her lab and shows them exactly what she’s really been doing, why it matters and how it’ll help save Leo.
Because of his close relationship to Dr. Belshaw, Leo’s brought in for questioning — and lo and behold, his interrogators are none other than Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and Huck (Annet Mahendru). They grill him about his relationship with the scientist, whether or not he still loves her (they determine he doesn’t), and eventually, they come to the correct conclusion that he’s lying, and so is she and that he found out about her research. And as Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) find out, she was studying reanimation, but she was complicit in the CRM’s plan to wipe out colonies so that they don’t “have competition.” Then, they directed “columns” of walkers to those places to make the deaths seem like an accident. What did Dr. Belshaw get out of it? Test subjects.
Does this make a ton of sense, given what we know about the CRM? Not exactly. It seems counterintuitive to the mission of “rebuilding the world” to cause such catastrophic events, especially when there are so few humans left, and it’s not entirely clear why the CRM would see these other communities, like the Campus Colony, as competition when they are, quite literally, extensions of them.
There’s a bit of drama between the sisters — Iris can’t believe Hope told Dr. Belshaw where the serum was — and they get trapped in the lab, avoiding soldiers that are looking for Dr. Belshaw. After several minutes of tiptoeing around walkers and barely escaping capture, the soldiers leave, and so, after a little while, do they.
Dr. Belshaw retrieves the vial and heads for the interrogation room, where she promptly sells Leo and his family out; she tells Jadis and Huck that he had become suspicious of her work. She believes that this isn’t a betrayal, though — instead, it’s a proposal for them to include Leo in “Project Votus,” too. And what, exactly, is Project Votus? “It’s a project that involves studying live test subjects through death, to further research reanimation,” she explains. And she says she’s on the verge of a breakthrough since she has a test subject that’s approaching eight hours without reanimation. She just needs Leo and his daughter to help.
Except… whether she was knowingly bluffing or just wrong, her test subject is reanimated when they all reach the lab. Jadis is displeased with Belshaw’s lie and openness with classified information, and she and Huck trap Belshaw inside the room with the “TS.” As Belshaw pounds against the glass and begs for her life, the walker kills her. (One might wonder why she didn’t just slam its head against the metal walls, but, oh well.)
As the episode ends, Percy (Ted Sutherland) confronts Huck in her apartment, holding her at gunpoint. Huck tells him she doesn’t much care whether he pulls the trigger, but before he does, there’s something he should know. Later, he goes back to Leo and his family and relays Huck’s information (at the same time, Huck goes to her husband and tells him about it) — the CRM is planning to wipe out Portland, just like they wiped Omaha and the Campus Colony. If they do, they’ll kill 87,000 people. And there’s no good way to warn them since a message could be intercepted and it’d take too long to get there.
In the face of that news, they come up with a new plan. They decide to get the scientists out, then they’ll turn the gas on the facility. That way, Portland survives and the CRM is hit where it hurts. Except it’s a little more complicated than that because one of the scientists who they’d likely inform of their plans, Hope’s new friend Mason (Will Meyers) is the son of the yet-to-be-seen Major General Beale. And Beale is a very big deal within the CRM, which means the group is about to have some very big problems.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, Sundays, 10/9c, AMC