'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' Finale: Helicopter Parents (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1, Episode 9, "In This Life."]
Who knew so many of the main characters on World Beyond would end up having parental ties to CRM? Huck’s (Annet Mahendru) mom, Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Iris’ (Aliyah Royale) dad…hey, what happened to Elton’s (Nicolas Cantu) dad? If he’s not dead, maybe he’s part of CRM, too!
Anyway, with her quest to save her father somewhat derailed, Hope makes a surprising move — and all of the characters experience consequences that’ll change their lives for good in episode 9, the finale of Season 1.
Reunited and It Feels So Bad
As the episode opens, Hope holds Huck at gunpoint. Instead of pulling the trigger, she ends up having to fight off a small horde of walkers that surround them. Left with little choice but to keep going with Huck, they head to a small, dilapidated cabin and make plans to spend the night there before heading to the CRM helicopter pickup site. And then…Iris and Felix (Nico Tortorella) arrive.
How did Iris and Felix get there, when his ankle was hurt and the truck was useless? The room that Huck said was filled with bodies was, in fact, filled with supplies that could fix Felix and get the car running again. Iris drives, and they manage to find Huck and Hope.
At first, Huck tries to play it like she’s happy to see them, and Felix goes along with it — but that soon turns to him holding her at gunpoint. A brutal fight breaks out between the two of them. It's easily the best part of the episode; they really go it and it's intense, it’s gritty, and it’s painful to watch. It reminded me of the Daryl (Norman Reedus) vs. Beta (Ryan Hurst) brawl on the main show. Anyway, a lantern gets knocked over and a fire starts, and everything is utter chaos until Hope and Iris locate the gun, and…
Hope fires one shot into the air to stop the adults’ brawling, then holds the gun to her own head. “I swear to God, I’ll do it,” she says, and Huck, who can’t lose “the asset,” is forced to comply with her wishes. Her wishes are that Iris and Felix are allowed to leave, no questions asked. There will be no termination of the “expendable” group members today.
When Iris asks her why she won’t come with, Hope explains that they’d never be safe: She has to go to CRM, to save everyone. One might wonder why Lt. Col Kublek (Julia Ormond) didn’t just take Hope when she was at the Campus Colony, but apparently they wanted Hope to “be a fighter” by the time she got there.
An Act of Heroism
Anyway, across town or wherever they are, Elton and Percy (Ted Sutherland) meet up with Silas (Hal Cumpston). Percy’s doing better, and he sure as heck knows who shot him: It was Huck. So, hooray! Silas isn’t a murderer after all. That’s good news to him, but Percy’s vowing revenge on Huck for what she did to his uncle.
The group remains with Silas in his new hideout for a bit, until they realize CRM is coming to see what happened at that oil refinery. They manage to sneak out undetected by the squadrons of black-clad, faceless soldiers, but once they reach a gate, Silas hangs back. He tells his friends that CRM will need someone to blame, and he’s going to save them by taking the fall. He leaves his pals with a few last words of wisdom and then walks over to the soldiers, hands raised, and is taken.
As the episode ends, Hope goes with Lt. Col Kublek and Huck back to CRM (and she’s figured out that Kublek is Huck’s mom, because, genius). Iris and Felix stumble through the woods, determined to get back to the Campus Colony. She’s still hopeful about the future, and it turns out she had good reason to be, because they randomly come across Felix’s boyfriend. Of course he and Felix have a joyful reunion, but when the latter expresses his intentions to go back home, Will hesitates — clearly, he knows about what happened to their home. “We have a lot to catch up on,” he says, and that appears to be the case.
- I wanted to like this show. I did. While many had their doubts about a Walking Dead spinoff with teenagers, I thought if it took a tone like The 100 or even Teen Wolf, it might just be worth watching. That’s not what happened here. Seemingly opposed to any moral greyness within the main character circle, World Beyond wrote its adults as teenagers and its teenagers as adults. It rarely put any of them in danger that felt desperate, determined to cling to an “optimistic” tone reminiscent of Seasons 4 and 5 of Fear the Walking Dead.
- I just can’t get behind the idea that CRM would send Huck cross country with Hope with the end goal of bringing her into the organization. That’s dangerous, and it doesn’t seem like a risk they’d take with their “asset.” How are these the same people that conduct carefully scheduled fuel and supply drops? Why would the same people who were instructed to “kill on sight” in Fear not kill Silas the moment they saw him? Is Isabelle part of a different branch of CRM?
- Again, the fight between Felix and Huck was one of the best scenes of the season — it makes me wish the show on the whole hadn’t shied away from the grittiness and violence of this world.
- Percy remains my favorite of the teenagers, probably because his character has the most nuance (Silas is also interesting, and Hal Cumpston plays him quite well). I’ll be surprised if Ted Sutherland doesn’t earn series regular status in Season 2.
- While I still believe he probably shouldn’t have survived, I can already tell the storyline I’m going to be most interested in next season is Silas being taken prisoner by CRM.
- Leopold Bennett (Joe Holt) dating that CRM scientist isn’t going to end well; I suspect one of them is going to die (probably her, if and when there’s an accident at the walker lab). And I can’t imagine Hope’s going to take her dad’s new relationship well once she finds out.
- Rating: 2/5. I had high hopes for World Beyond, having enjoyed other post-apocalyptic shows with similar premises. Unfortunately, it never seemed to figure out what it wanted to be (or who it wanted its characters to be) throughout its first season. In the end it posed more questions than answers about CRM, further complicating an already frustrating aspect of the TWD-verse. Here’s hoping Season 2 finds a way to shine.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond, AMC, Returns 2021