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In tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, the kids are getting their first glimpse at the world beyond their gates. They are finding things are very different. Meanwhile, Felix and Huck head out after them, while Felix relives his own pre-apocalypse trauma.
The following contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond episode 102, “Blaze of Glory.” Proceed at your own risk.
Iris, Hope, Elton, and Silas are out in the real world. It is a shock to them, having never left the gates of the Campus Colony, but as a loyal viewer of The Walking Dead, this world still seems easier than the one TWD is set in.
For one, the kids are out in the world for three days, and they don’t encounter another human in all that time. Good, bad, or indifferent, I feel like the people in TWD can’t go a few hours without meeting a new human.
Second, the kids encounter a total of three zombies until they get to the Blaze of Gory. I have no idea how far they have gone in that time, but those are damn good odds. They do offer a good excuse for that, though. The Blaze of Gory is something of an urban legend in this universe, one that turns out to be true. Enormous plumes of smoke and licks of fire can be seen from a great distance, and rumors are that it is a tire fire that lures zombies into the flames, which keeps the area relatively zombie-free.
The biggest difference from TWD and this week’s episode are the self-defense classes that are taught in the Campus Colony. They are strictly book-learning: lectures and theory that seem to be based more on avoiding zombies than killing them. Felix teaches his students to be scared of zombies, and to fear leaving the Colony.
It’s kind of culture shock, after having watched ten years of The Walking Dead, where every character is a bad-ass. The episode opens with Iris trying to kill a zombie. She refuses help, even after Hope shouts to her, “You’re not ready!” She tries to stab it through the eye, like she was taught, but she can’t. So she tries to trip it up. She can’t do that, either. Eventually, she tries to avoid it, and in doing so both of them tumble into a ditch. The zombie impales itself on a tree branch, making it essentially harmless, but even then, Iris can’t kill it. Instead, she vomits on it.
When a zombie follows them to the treehouse they spend their first night in, Hope sneaks out in the middle of the night to kill it. But she can’t really do it, either. Instead, the zombie meets a similar fate as Iris’ – it falls into an empty swimming pool. Hope would have fallen in after it, but managed to use its head to kick her way out.
In general, I feel as though World Beyond is too tame after all we, as viewers, have already experienced with The Walking Dead. This feels like The Walking Dead Lite or a PG version of The Walking Dead.
On the upside, this week’s episode had a really cool zombie. Iris hears a noise, and when a “sleeping” zombie gets a sniff of human flesh, it opens its mouth and a huge swarm of bees flies out.