The Walking Dead: World Beyond finally finds its footing with its best episode yet

Alexa Mansour as Hope, Aliyah Royale as Iris, Hal Cumpston as Silas, Nicolas Cantu as Elton - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC
Alexa Mansour as Hope, Aliyah Royale as Iris, Hal Cumpston as Silas, Nicolas Cantu as Elton - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC /

The Walking Dead: World Beyond produces an hour of solid character-driven drama in this week’s installment.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond has been attempting to find its identity since it kicked off with a pretty lacklustre pilot. The problem wasn’t the TV show’s concept so much as it was the tone – which ended up making this new installment in AMC’s TWD Universe feel like it belonged to a very different franchise. There was promise but that was overshadowed by a very watered-down and tropey presentation.

That promise began to edge itself to the forefront in last week’s sophomore outing as it dropped the all-too serene Monument setting and employed a greater focus on both the overall ensemble of characters and the horror of the world they found themselves in, with the episode really hitting its stride in the second half.

That momentum carried through surprisingly well into this week’s installment, making “The Tyger and the Lamb” World Beyond‘s strongest offering yet.

Leaving the past behind

Outrunning your past has been a constant theme of Walking Dead-inspired shows over the years, but World Beyond‘s latest installment is more interested in the notion that we can leave it behind altogether. It dramatizes that notion through a handful of characters, but it primarily accomplishes it through Silas and Hope – both of whom were hoping that aspects of their adventure into the unknown would finally allow themselves to be free of who they were before.

As far as Silas is concerned, that is conveyed through a series of flashbacks (much like we saw with Felix in the previous episode) designed to give us a glimpse into how and why he ended up at the Campus Colony and why he never particularly bonded with anyone his own age. It’s clear that the writers were using this to give him a chance to come through for his new friends before the episode’s conclusion – effectively allowing him to overcome some of his demons while doing so – and, in the end, it’s ultimately successful. However, I’m not quite sure the flashback device worked because – thanks to the mini bloody flashbacks to whatever it was Felix did throughout – it made it hard to follow all the timelines.

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Hope was the other emotional heart of the episode as her departure in the closing moments of last week’s offering inevitably takes her to the large siren that she was going to sound so that the gang could escape from the Blaze of Gory. A noble sacrifice, but why does it come at such a self-destructive cost? That’s what Iris, Eliot, Silas and the recently-arrived Felix and Huck were wondering. Of course, we know exactly why she’s doing it.

After the previous episode did a solid job highlighting the poignancy of Felix’s backstory, “The Tyger and the Lamb” manages to do the same with Silas, Hope and, to a lesser extent, Iris. It’s not entirely successful because there are a still a number of issues – particularly in the dialogue department – but on a whole, the episode remained in the high quality vein of the back half of its predecessor, making it the most consistent, engaging and tension-filled hour the show has produced yet.

World Beyond

The episode’s most intriguing moment came in its closing scene as we finally caught up with Julia Ormond’s Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek who, by the looks of things, had returned to the Civic Republic’s base of operations and had to deal with an emotional soldier of hers who was unable to comprehend how what they had done was actually justified. She told him that even though the people they eliminated weren’t a threat at the moment, they would have become one because the CRM had all the resources they would have needed.

The timeline of events is a little confusing here but, since they have apparently returned to base, it seems that Barca was referring to the closing moments of the premiere – in which the CRM seemingly destroyed the Campus Colony. If this is indeed the case, it does clear up some of the confusion that the pilot’s unexpected close left us with and confirms that the Civic Republic aren’t the friends they present themselves to be.

The internal conflict within Kublek’s character also made for an interesting conclusion because her inability to hold back her tears, even with all the resources they have blaring in the background, suggests that even she doesn’t believe her own words. And if that’s the case, it does leave us wondering if there’s an even greater threat attempting to manipulate her too.

Either way, things have gotten much more interesting in the space of 50 minutes.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond breaks out with a strong character-driven affair that takes the story in some interesting directions and gifts the show with its best episode thus far.. The Walking Dead: World Beyond. S1E3. The Tyger and the Lamb. B

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What did you think of The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 1, episode 3? Have you been enjoying the show thus far? Let us know in the comments below!