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The Walking Dead: World Beyond 1.04 Review – ‘The Wrong End of a Telescope’

October 26, 2020 | Posted by Katie Hallahan
The Walking Dead: World Beyond - The Wrong End of a Telescope
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The Walking Dead: World Beyond 1.04 Review – ‘The Wrong End of a Telescope’  

This week on The Walking Dead: World Beyond, the gang goes back to high school and work on their daddy issues.

The plot! The group finds an old, abandonned high school as a storm is rolling in, so they head inside to take shelter and search for supplies. Inside, they split off into 3 groups to commence their search. Hope tries to call Huck out on keeping things from her, and while she doesn’t exactly get answers (beyond confirmation that yes, Huck wants them to go home), she does realize some things about her father and why he may have left. Iris and Silas get a taste of the high school experience when they find a gymnasium decorated for a dance, and share one of their own. Felix and Elton talk about the latter’s reasons for being on this trip, and when they find some creepy walker leftovers, Felix starts to talk Elton in helping them convince the others to turn back. Hope and Huck find a wolf, and then the cafeteria store room and food supplies, while the others find out there are some hidden dangers in the school as well. When Iris and Silas finally go through an area with walkers in it, hitting a locked door leads to Silas being triggered by memories of attacking his father and beating him bloody. He beats a walker bloody as the others find them and accidentally hurts Elton. The others seem ready to forgive him, however, and even Iris says it doesn’t matter if the rumors that he killed his father are true, because he’s saved their lives twice now. Hope and Iris also come to some closure after Hope’s confession from last week, while Elton asks Felix some questions about how exacly they would get back without going through the Blaze again. In the creepy CRM tag at the end, a woman named Lyla is recording some audio results of an examination on a test subject, a walker strapped to a gurney, mentioning he was a doctor from Portland in life. As she waits for the next test subject to be brought up, we see a photo on her desk of herself and three men: one is the walker on the gurney, and one, with his arm around her, is Hope and Iris’s father.

While an overall straightforward episode, I enjoyed this one. The high school-esque moments were endearing, and we got some insight into a few of the characters, while getting hints at the others. The relationships continue to develop and diversify, and Silas has now scored his first walker kill as well.

The insights into Hope and her relationship with her father were probably the most interesting. We’ve seen and heard that she was something of a troublemaker already, seen how the secret of what happened when her mother died has haunted her for 10 years. But this time, we got to see her relationship with her father, how she’s felt lacking when compared to Iris, how she even maybe blames herself for their father leaving. But what I loved most here was seeing how her father accepted her for who she is, loved her unconditionally, and also that she shared certain his interest in chemistry and science, too. This escaped me before though in retrospect, of course she’s good with chemistry, she was making loads of apparently quite good alcohol. But seeing it made clear was nice. I like their relationship, and it makes me hope even more than I already did that we get to see their father alive and reunited with them eventually. Also interesting that he had something mysterious to talk with her about, but put off doing so. Was it something connected to CRM? Or something else entirely? It’s worth noting that their dad was writing a textbook on immunology, something an emerging government in this setting would definitely be interested in looking into.

The scene of Hope and Iris getting closure on their conversation from last week was touching, too. Iris acknowledging that they should’ve talked years ago, that they had lost that time, but that they were good now. Between this, the scenes with Iris and her father, and the backstory about how Hope and Iris were bonded even as babies before they were adopted by their parents, the familiar old joke feel to the two of them holding hands and flipping each other off, this family unit is feeling more and more genuine.

Silas, Elton, and Huck, meanwhile, all gave us hints of issues in their past with their families. Expanding on what we learned about Silas last week, we learn that the rumors were that he killed his dad. We don’t know if that’s true, but certainly he beat the hell out of him for some reason. When he’s triggered by the approaching walkers and the blood from killing the first one in defense of Iris, he loses it. My guess? His father was abusive and he snapped and beat him up either in defense of himself or maybe his mother, some other loved one. I couldn’t say if he killed him or not, but I’m guessing not for two reasons: one, it seems unlikely they’d let him just leave to another colony if he had, and two, they’re definitely going to be in Portland at some point with how much it keeps being mentioned, and it’s far more interesting if Silas has to face a still living father when they get there. I appreciate that Iris is firmly in the habit of judging people by her own experiences of them, though, and that she readily points out that Silas saving their lives twice is what matters to her. Also, I really enjoyed their moments together throughout the episode, their conversation about appreciating what they did have back at Campus Colony, sharing a dance. It was refreshingly normal! The kind of scene you might get from any YA show (or other media), but it worked just as well here in the TWD setting. Sometimes what shines the most in these shows are these moments of near-normalcy that characters find despite being in the middle of the apocalypse.

With Elton, we don’t get much, but the flashback images of him hiding in some kind of closet or under some stairs and covering his ears are striking. Traumatic enough to make him panic and get shaky when the shaking noise triggers him, but still unclear of what the context was. Was he hiding from walkers? Was he hiding from parents who were fighting? We know both his parents are dead, but that’s all. I lean towards it being something more mundance than walkers, though, given what we learn about his established interest in science over people. Something that’s changing now, clearly, but a fear about people fits better in there. While he’s yet to really attack much less kill a walker, he nonetheless seems to not be particularly afraid of them.

Lastly, there’s Huck, about whom we get only a brief mention of her having been in the army and hvaing a father who was proud, but in a way that she doesn’t seem to have appreciated. This lady is quite a mystery indeed, and while I don’t expect to get answers soon about her, I am looking forward to when we do!

And then there’s the mystery of CRM and Hope and Iris’s father. Let’s talk about the final scene! What exactly has their father truly been working on? Is he still alive? He’s looking very familiar with Lyla in the photo, yet notably absent in the moment, and at least one of their colleagues is already dead. Hell, with the number of walkers in there, I’m wondering how much of Portland is still alive at all!

The show feels like it’s finding it’s feet more and more as the episodes go. The relationships are solidifying in satisfying and believable ways, the mysteries are interesting, and the things not being said are also realistic. It’s easy for things to feel like a mystery just because a show needs them to be, but the things we don’t know here make sense and it feels natural here. As well, the bigger mystery of CRM is very much keeping me intrigued. The morsels being doled out there are working well.

The final score: review Good
The 411
A satisfying and enjoyable episode. Splitting the group up into smaller pairs worked well to give us some new insight and personal conversations between the characters, along with some well-placed and well-chosen flashbacks. The danger is being kept real but measured, since the point here is less about them and more about the larger plot mysteries these characters are pursuing. Still a 7, but a higher 7 than even the last few weeks!