Percy’s arrival elevates The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s latest episode

Ted Sutherland as Percy, Nico Tortorella as Felix - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: AMC
Ted Sutherland as Percy, Nico Tortorella as Felix - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: AMC /

The Walking Dead: World Beyond introduces a new key player but does “Shadow Puppets” succeed in integrating him into the show?

The Walking Dead: World Beyond has reached its halfway point and a change is coming. At least that’s what the AMC TV show’s sixth offering, “Shadow Puppets”,  suggests. After five weeks of slow-moving character-heavy episodes, we now have a more plot-driven one that feels very Walking Dead in spirit, but more World Beyond in execution.

We’ll get to all that shortly but the person responsible for that shift was the new player on the board – the wild card, if you will – the stranger in the woods named Percy (Ted Sutherland) who just so happened to stumble along the Endlings and confront them with his stick.

Who was he he? What did he want? And where did he come from? These are all questions that “Shadow Puppets” attempted to answer – and successfully did so in spite of the return of a number of the show’s more recurring issues.

New arrival, familiar adventure

“Shadow Puppets” couldn’t have set out to do what it did if it wasn’t for Percy – whose arrival admittedly shook things up at the right time. A loner, by the looks of it, his broodiness soon saw him connect with the Endlings, particularly with Iris – much to Silas’ dismay – who offered the gang’s services to him in exchange for his help. And that created the premise of the episode, as the Endlings agreed to help Percy retrieve his truck if he drove them to where they needed to go.

This opening sets the stage for a very Walking Dead episode as the survivors set out with one specific mission in mind, only to encounter walkers and obstacles – predictable ones – along the way. It’s familiar to fans of the TWD Universe, yes, but to those who were introduced to it via World Beyond, this plot-driven story functions by giving the relatively slow-moving show a much-needed change of pace.

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The story is rooted in Iris’ intuition and her ability to judge certain people’s character. That sets us up for a predictable turn of events that, when you consider some of the earlier red herrings the writers throw in, doesn’t really hold up. It also doesn’t prevent the characters’ actions from being dictated by the plot (instead of the other way around) and it also makes for some ridiculously convenient moments to which there is just no explanation.

And yet, “Shadow Puppets” still works for a number of reasons. For a start, Ted Sutherland’s enigmatic performance carries the episode, making it seem like even the predictable twist was unlikely throughout and adding layers to Percy that the script didn’t always convey. He’s instantly likeable and has crafted a character that didn’t need a flashback episode to explain who he is, but he’s also a charismatic wild card that could change the dynamic just enough going forward.

The episode’s formula could have benefited from a few less conveniences and, on a whole, it wasn’t quite as strong as some of the previous character-driven installments, but it is an entertaining hour of television that finally moves the story forward – and introduced an intriguing presence along the way.

Beyond World Beyond

  • Again, Ted Sutherland is a fantastic addition to the show and Percy is now among the show’s most interesting characters. A truly compelling debut.
  • It does seem like the writers are setting Percy up for a sacrifice. He’s here for a little while now and he has something to prove. He’s also in the way of the teased Iris and Silas romance, so it does seem like he’ll be a casualty of the finale. And, if that’s the case, this writer can’t help but feel like that’s a mistake.
  • The conversations between Elton and Hope are among the episode’s best moments. Some of the dialogue let one of them down, but writers have crafted a really interesting dynamic here and the on-screen chemistry between Nicolas Cantu and Alexa Mansour make them such engaging scenes.
  • Still no sign of Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek. I know they’re saving the showdown with the Civic Republic but Julia Ormond is a series regular, remember!
  • The closing (pre-credit) scene made me a little emotional. It’s a truly powerful moment that will undoubtedly move countless viewers.

Shadow Puppets. B. <em>The Walking Dead: World Beyond</em>‘s new character is definitely intriguing and his introduction was solid but the execution of the episode felt like something of a regression compared to some of the show’s recent episodes.. The Walking Dead: World Beyond. S1E6

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What did you think of The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 1, episode 6? Let us know in the comments below!