'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' Episode 1 Review: It's teens vs a zombie-ridden world in promising opener
Spoilers for 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' Episode 1, 'Brave'
There's a sense of relatability while watching the season opener of 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond'. These are tumultous times and with the coronavirus pandemic looking like it won't let up, the world is slowly getting accustomed to what has been described as the new normal — the clichéd phrase doing the rounds across the globe. In the context of AMC's second-spinoff, the world has seen communities mushroom and join hands in a move that demonstrates unity and diversity. It looks like they have a way of surviving after all.
Except, 'Brave' sticks to that adage, "skunks never change their stripes". For all the talk about surviving and fighting for a better tomorrow, the final minutes of the episode show humans wiping out an entire community, and all the while, the zombie apocalypse hasn't ended. With a runtime of an hour, the episode opens with Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour), sisters who have had a difficult childhood but have bonded despite their contrasting personalities. The main characters now live behind heavily fortified walls of the Nebraska Campus University. The colony has an alliance with the Civic Republic that boasts of a slick, sadistic, and ruthlessly efficient unit, the Civic Republic Military (CRM) led by Elizabeth (Julia Ormond). There's a bit of history between the commander and the girls as their father had left to work with the Republic to find a cure.
While Elizabeth assures them of their father's safety, Iris and Hope realize he is in trouble as they communicate with him in secret. Eventually, they decide to set off with two more characters, Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston) who get crisp, but insightful introductions. Elton's a genius while Silas is a broody-eyed, burly youth who doesn't really speak much and his answers are often vague. In pursuit of these four teens are Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru) the guards.
'Brave' does its best to serve as an introductory episode with moderate pacing. The character introductions are kept at a bare minimum but the storyline as a whole doesn't fall short of shocking viewers. The CRM looks like a nasty piece of work and anyone who theorized it can pat themselves on the back as Elizabeth and her men liquidate the entire community in the last scene. The other shock ending comes in with Hope being responsible for killing Elton's mom in the past after she tries to stop Hope and her mother from taking a truck to escape when the zombie outbreak plunges the world into disaster. Naturally, Elton doesn't know about it while Hope has no idea it was Elton's mom she killed.
This makes the series a perfect book material. The transition between horror and drama is smooth and that comes across a plus. Add some decent acting chops to the mix along with some promising drama, 'World Beyond' makes for a good watch. And hopefully, the teens in a quest to search for a missing man and learning life's lessons along the way while slaying zombies continue to impress.
'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' airs Sundays 10 pm ET on AMC.