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The Walking Dead: World Beyond 1.08 Review – ‘The Sky is a Graveyard’

November 22, 2020 | Posted by Katie Hallahan
The Walking Dead: World Beyond - ‘The Sky is a Graveyard’
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The Walking Dead: World Beyond 1.08 Review – ‘The Sky is a Graveyard’  

This week on The Walking Dead: World Beyond, the trial of Silas Plaskett.

The plot: In the present day, we pick up shortly after the previous episode. Silas has been tied to the swingset outside while the others try to determine what happened exactly, find any trace of Percy, and figure out if Silas did in fact kill the missing teen and Tony. Silas can’t remember what happened, but all evidence points to him. Still, there’s disagreement about whether or not he did it, and what to do with him even if he did. It’s discovered that he has some old drawings Iris made and the theory that he was jealous and went into a rage comes up. Iris doesn’t want to believe it has anything to do with her and that once again her gut feeling is that wrong, and Elton refuses to believe Silas is guilty at all and either way should not be cast out. Hope is torn but mostly believes Silas is guilty and worries about the rest of them being in danger, Huck is firmly on the side of thinking he needs to go, and Felix is torn but will side ultimately with what keeps the girls safe. Eventually, Silas makes the decision for them and chooses to leave. After Hope tearfully confesses to Elton that she killed his mother, Elton leaves to find his friend as well. In the flashbacks, we see that Silas did kill his abusive father though it was mostly in self-defense, and then also had to kill his father as a walker as well. Finally, it’s confirmed that Huck is Kublek’s inside woman and that she went to see the Lieutenant Colonel during her scouting mission, assuring Kublek that ‘the asset’ was safe, and begin given a watch from her own father as a reward.

There was a lot to like tonight, but first I need to talk about the things I didn’t like at all. First up: why was so much of this episode so damn dark?! It was like the damn Battle of Winterfell for the majority of the episode! I get how it added to the atmosphere of darkness, uncertainty, hopelessness, et cetera, but it was hard to see much of anything and it didn’t make much logical sense. It was already dark when Iris found Tony’s body, and obviously looking for Percy at night would be nearly impossible, even if time was possibly of the essence. In every way, it would make more sense to wait until morning to look for Percy, examine the crime scene, give Silas time to sober up from (apparently) being black out drunk, and for everyone else to collect themselves.

But more than that, let’s talk about the ready dismissal of the danger Silas poses to the group, but also to Iris in particular. I know none of the kids want to believe their friend did this, including her. I understand that even if he did, they have a desire to help their friend. But they are shoving away and completely dismissing the red flags that Silas is a specific danger to Iris. They’re kids, I know their experience with this is limited, but Felix and Huck at the very least should know better, and I wish that Iris and Hope stood up against Elton’s action in particular. When it’s revealed that Silas has drawing Iris made and threw away a long time ago, that his actions may have been driven by jealousy of Percy for flirting with her, Elton essentially dismisses this. When it’s suggested they throw out the drawings, he then claims that these belong to Silas and therefore they “have no right to take them away.”

One hundred percent NO.

Elton is wrong. This behavior is a huge red flag, especially when coupled with Silas’s known rage black outs, and that every sign points to him having murdered at least one person, maybe two, over jealousy of her potentially having a romantic relationship with another boy. Nothing about that is okay and ignoring it puts all of them in danger, Iris in particular. These are the all early warning signs of a dangerous obsession that could lead to much, much worse. They are signs that he is going down the same path as his father, whether he wants to or not. Elton’s blind, insistent faith in Silas in the face of all of this, that he even actively tries to get Iris to vote for Silas to stay, is dangerous, naive, and enabling, and Iris is under no obligation to tolerate, accept, or ignore this behavior.

I’m not saying there’s a clear cut way to deal with this in their situation, or that Silas necessarily is going to become his father at this point. But they have no resources or means by which to provide him with the kind of therapy or medical resources he needs to deal with this. There’s some very minor, vague acknowledgement of this fact, but not much, and there’s no clear acknowledgement of the situation this puts Iris in. That’s mostly what I wish they had touched on, that she or someone else had taken a clear stand on her behalf, rather than emphasizing sympathy for the person putting her in danger. The episode does a lot to show how complicated the situation is overall, but this piece is missing and it doesn’t just feel ignorant, it feels irresponsible.

Okay. Now that I’ve talked about that, let’s talk about the rest of Silas’s storyline here. The full revelation of what happened with his father isn’t all that surprising. Though the abuse hadn’t been directly revealed before, it was implied that yes, Silas did something violent but also that it wasn’t a black and white situation, given that he wasn’t in jail or anything. The extent of his anger management, on the other hand, is what makes this so difficult. And that Silas himself doesn’t want to be this way and thinks there may be something wrong with him. He’s right, though we have no way to clearly define what that is, but whether due to biology or upbringing or both, Silas has violent outbursts and they are a problem. While in the past they’ve been triggered by a need to defend himself or others, even in those situations he went too far. In this situation? We have no information that suggests this was the case. Tony and Percy were a little shady in some ways, sure, but there’s no indication they were going to hurt the others at this point. There’s also no way to know exactly what happened–so what to do? As Hope asks Elton, how many chances do we get? As Felix and Huck point out, the University has laws about this but they’re too far away for that to be helpful at this point. So what’s the right call? Exile is the best they can do.

The uneven relationship Silas and his father had is also shown very effectively. We see both the loving, fun father who tended to his wounds, shared his love of music that is a defining trait of Silas to this day. But we also see the man who drank, who flew into rages at him, threw dishes, beat his mother, tried to choke Silas himself. We hear from the neighbor that this is not an uncommon occurrence–and yet neither Silas nor his mother left. I don’t blame them for that, to be clear, there is overwhelming evidence of how hard it is to escape an abusive relationship even in the best of circumstances, and the apocalypse is far from those. It says something that at this point, in the present, Silas wants so badly to not become his father and to escape the taint of his past that he’s willing at one point to let a walker kill him even when he could escape or call for help. Hope prevents this from happening (hmm, with her name being perhaps rather symbolic this time), and so he chooses exile for himself in order to keep his friends safe from this anger and violence inside him that he can’t control. That, of course, won’t solve the issue for him, but it’s perhaps the best option he has in their situation. He’s got as realistic a grasp on this as he can, all things considered.

On the flipside of this is Elton. I’m pretty Elton is the youngest of them at 15, though I think his is the only age that’s been made explicit, and we’ve already seen his naivete and insistent optimism more than once. While he’s been through trauma the same as any of them, he’s the one least ready to accept the grim parts of reality. He can’t accept that they can’t help Silas, that Silas is a danger to the rest of them, that somehow there’s some other implausible explanation that means he can hold onto this piece of his innocence. His view of the situation is, frankly, naively selfish. He’s desperate to have a family, for that family to stay together, for everything to finally work out okay, to the point of denying reality, denying his own safety and the safety of others. I can’t blame him, in a world like this, someone his age trying to hold onto hope and the fantasy of a better world is a powerful thing. Having some of that is necessary to get by, to keep moving forward, to keep trying. But too much of it and it becomes fragile. Hope’s confession is heartbreaking for both him and her, and not shockingly he can’t stay around her despite that her sin is very arguably less egregious than Silas’s. She was a scared child, facing a very clear threat in the person who killed her mother in front of her, and she still remembers every second of it. The excess of things Elton carries when he leaves is the literal embodiment of the baggage he’s carrying by clinging to that fantasy. Here’s hoping he can learn to let it go without losing the tools he needs to survive along with it.

And then somewhere in the middle is Iris. Iris is, as I said last week, aware of her lack of awareness. She at least knows she has a blind spot, and she is working hard to fill it. But that takes work, it takes lessons learned the hard way. Breaking down the old, easy beliefs in order to build up the new, wiser and stronger ones is hard. She’s smarter about it than Elton, though. While she’s upset that she’s missed things, both with Percy and Silas, she accepts that she has missed them, unlike Elton. When she goes to talk to Silas, even when she still believes him to be tied up, she takes her weapon with her and she doesn’t return the drawings to him. She’s getting there, slowly but surely, and I hope she gets some kind of win soon to restore some of her confidence.

Also? I hope we find Percy and that he isn’t dead! I really enjoyed him and Tony, and I’d love for at least one of them to still be around and on the show.

Finally, we have confirmation that Huck is working with Kublek. But more than that, I think she’s related to Kublek. I almost missed this, but when Kublek hands her the watch, Huck smiles and asks, “Is it Dad’s?” Not “Is it my dad’s”, which is what she’d likely say to a non-relative. The way she says it is familiar, casual, and implies that Kublek is family or near to it. Her mother or an aunt, maybe? I still think she’s genuine in wanting to keep the other group safe, though, so I think this really comes down to her statement to Hope about always keeping the greater good in mind, which might mean doing things that are painful in the moment, but still ultimately the right choice. So what or who exactly is the asset, and what is Kublek’s plan for it/them?

What do you think Huck and Kublek’s plans are? What do you think the right call was with Silas? Is Percy dead? Will Elton be buried by his own luggage? Sound off in the comments below!

The final score: review Average
The 411
There was a lot of good, nuanced exploration of the complicated situation around both Silas's past and his present, what happened with Tony and Percy, and what was the best resolution to the problem for the group in their current situation. I liked that the episode explored how what happened was affecting each person in the group, and that those reactions were varied. Each one felt real to each character. However, the frustratingly dark visual presentation, the unnecessarily crunched timeline of the investigation, and the lack of acknowledgement given to the danger Iris was being put in specifically leave me having to dock some points.