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‘TWD: World Beyond’: More CRM, More Cool Walkers (RECAP)

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[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1, Episode 3, “The Tyger and the Lamb.”]

Not a whole lot happened on this hour of AMC’s latest Walking Dead spinoff, and there wasn’t much to hold one’s interest until the very end.

The bulk of the story deals with Hope’s (Alexa Mansour) plan to get the siren working and lure the walkers away with the noise, and all the drama that plan causes for her friends. During the last five-ish minutes, we get a CRM update, which raises more questions about what the principles of this organization really are.

Hope’s Plan

Hope makes it to that building safely, almost gets taken out by a walker, survives that, gets to the siren, and of course, the siren handle breaks. Oh, no!

Meanwhile, the rest of her friends make it to a different building, where they’re joined by Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru). We don’t see how the last two make it through all those walkers; they just do. And they manage to do it without getting blood on their clothes, or on them, at all. Right. Felix wants to go after Hope, but Iris (Aliyah Royale) says they won’t make it, and they have to let her sister do her job. “She’s got a point,” Huck says, so no one goes.

Hope takes the siren apart and radios her sister, saying she can’t figure out how to put it back together — she makes Iris promise not to wait for her if she’s not at the exit on time, and they sign off by “not saying goodbye.” Somehow, even though she was confused by it not five minutes earlier, Hope manages to not only put the siren back together, but get it working. How? Well, that’s not shown onscreen, either.

Iris Learns the Truth

Anyway, the whole group makes it out of the Blaze of Gory just fine. Hope and Iris have close calls, which results in them saving each other in dramatic, slo-mo scenes with a voiceover from the latter, who’s reading “The Tyger and the Lamb” by William Blake. Later, the group heads to a nearby lake, where Felix attempts to get them to go back home — little does he know, there’s no home to go back to — but eventually, since none of the teens will budge, he and Huck opt to join them on their journey.

Oh, and Hope breaks it to Iris that she accidentally killed their mother on “the night the sky fell,” since she picked up a gun and it went off. Iris accepts this without question and comforts her sister as she cries. Then everybody heads off to the next step of the adventure, happy and cheery and alive and well. The Walking Dead, this certainly ain’t.

CRM’s Lies

The last five or so minutes are where things get interesting. We finally get a glimpse into CRM, via Elizabeth’s (Julia Ormond) incredibly lush apartment. She gets a knock on her door from one of her soldiers, who’s conflicted about what they did to the campus community; no amount of attempts to convince him they eliminated a threat will neutralize his guilt. Finally, she caves in and gets them both some soup, and while they sit at the table and eat, there’s another knock at the door. Turns out, Elizabeth ratted him out for his lack of commitment to the cause, and a group of soldiers is there to take him away.

He’s dragged down the hallway, screaming about how “it’s a lie,” and Elizabeth turns on every electronic or noisemaking device in her apartment. She then sits down at her table and studies a map … and starts crying.

Other Observations

  • I’m trying to find something good to say about this episode, but I think the best I can manage is that the walkers at the tire fire set looked cool. Sometimes I think there was more effort put into them than the humans.
  • I’m not even sure what happened with Silas. It’s clear he has anger issues and he beat (or maybe even killed?) someone. Okay? If the show wasn’t going to explain it in no uncertain terms, I don’t see why we had to have at least three different flashback scenes about it.
  • The voiceover with the poem didn’t work for me. There’s such a thing as being on-the-nose to the point where it becomes pretentious. That, combined with the overdramatic slo-mo (why does this show treat it like such an accomplishment when a character kills a walker? They’re well into the apocalypse at this point!), made a scene that could’ve been intense utterly cringeworthy.
  • Iris’ reactions to things don’t make sense. She didn’t seem affected when she learned what happened to their mother. I would’ve expected more tears from her, maybe some confusion, maybe some shock. I mean, come on — everything you’d believed for years about your mother’s death was a lie! Doesn’t that merit some kind of reaction? Instead, she just says, “You should’ve told me” several times and sheds a couple tears that don’t feel emotional.
  • I was also confused when Iris didn’t seem upset or distracted at all knowing that her sister was in grave danger. She’s your family, for goodness’ sake! Shouldn’t you be worried about her? Compare that with Amy worrying about Andrea (Laurie Holden) in TWD’s first season, or Alicia’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) unwillingness to give up on Nick (Frank Dillane) when the beach was being overrun in FTWD’s second season.
  • At the end of the day, I think my main problem with this show is that nothing feels dangerous. If this were The Walking Dead, I’d be nervous about the kids’ lives, because we’ve seen young’uns die on that program — Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Henry (Matthew Lintz), as well as Sophia (Madison Lintz), Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Ron, Sam and several others. But this show is FTWD Seasons 4-5 levels of optimistic, and that makes me think the teens aren’t in any real danger. Thus, even the high-stakes or worrisome situations feel flat, because they’re in direct opposition to the show’s tone (and relentless cheery music).
  • Did the last five minutes make anyone else wish a spinoff had been done about CRM, maybe from the perspective of a conflicted soldier or a new trainee? I suppose they’re saving that kind of stuff for the Rick movies.
  • Rating: 1/5. Between the strange and unnecessary flashbacks, odd writing choices and flat attempts at humor, inconsistent characterization and slo-mo scenes, getting through this episode was tough. Oh, well. At least there was more CRM.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Sundays, 10/9c, AMC

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