'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' Episode 5 Review: Cheesy but breezy affair as Elton slays demons of gory past
One of the things about 'World Beyond' is the time it's taken to establish character profiles. In their own way, they seem to make peace with their traumatic childhood, and that strengthens the bond they share
Spoilers for 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond Episode 5 'Madman Across The Water'
It was about time the focus was on Nicolas Cantu's Elton and the Austin voice actor steals the show with a brilliant show that will surely have a strong impact on his CV. With the chapter more like a team-building exercise, 'Madman Across The Water' sees Elton slay the demons of his past and cementing his place as one of the group's most trusted members. That he's also got the brains just adds to the character's importance.
For 'World Beyond' ardents, the storyline might feel flimsy and definitely at some point, cliche. It isn't a pattern that's not explored before in films and TV, but over time, it has been an effective storyline whenever a character needs to hog the limelight and in this case, Cantu's Elton does so in helping the teens along with Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru) get to the next stage of their plan. With the Mississippi river blocking their way forward, yankee ingenuity kicks in as they find enough materials to repair a boat.
And while Iris (Aliyah Royale) works with Silas (Hal Cumpston) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) on getting the boat back to a working condition, Felix attempts to convince Elton to help get the others to turn back and head yo Omaha, while Huck tries to change Felix's mind. Unfortunately for the trio, Hope hears the plan and slams Elton about it. A classic teen argument breaks out in the camp, but Elton's reasons for agreeing to Felix's theory, in his defense were strong and it involved a torrid past.
Elton's parents, Isaac Ortiz and Amelia (Reece Rios and Christina Brucato) are shown with his mother carrying the unborn child. The flashback also reveals Elton's parents were from a science background and that's pretty much where his smarts came from. As his mother is called to work on an emergency, the virus outbreak starts spreading its effects, and Isaac is shown to be grotesquely killed. The father saves Elton's life with a comforting message, but a knee-high child still sees the dead body of his father, a sight that would change his life forever.
The fact that he is claustrophobic makes it even harder for Elton to help kickstart the boat, but he does so, and all the while the only intention is to save the lives of his friends. It's a close shave for the survivors as they fend off a horde of empties and sail just in time. Hero of the day: Elton Ortiz.
One of the things about 'World Beyond' is the time it's taken to establish character profiles. In their own way, they seem to make peace with their traumatic childhood, and that strengthens the bond they share. Sure, it's cheesy, but it does the job and with the series hitting the halfway mark, we can be sure the rest of the journey won't have a lighter theme. There's still plenty the series must explain and might hit the pedal anytime soon.
'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' airs on Sundays at 10 pm ET on AMC.