This week’s sixth episode of The Walking Dead: The World Beyond was marginally better than the last few episodes, but the series is still struggling, except as a very slow way to fill us in on the CRM and the whereabouts of Rick Grimes.
The main series, however, did add two new characters this week, Percy (Ted Sutherland) and Tony, played by Scott Adsit, who should be familiar to many of you from 30 Rock. He’s a great addition; unfortunately, I suspect he will not live long. Percy and Tony, as it turns out, are post-apocalyptic grifters. Percy cons Hope and Iris’ group into believing that two men stole his truck. Working vehicles are apparently in short supply a decade into the apocalypse.
Hope and Iris rally around Percy, and they plan a heist to retrieve the truck. However, when they find it, the passenger is dead, but there are no keys to be found. Iris (stupidly) follows Percy into a building to retrieve the keys, which is where Percy hoodwinks Iris into believing that he’s been shot by the third man. In the past, when Percy played this con on others, they ran away when they heard the gunshot, and Percy and his partner, Tony, absconded with all of their stuff. Iris, however, turns back to help Percy, which is when she spots him running away with their stuff with Tony driving the truck. Tony was only pretending to be dead. He was in on the scam the whole time.
In her efforts to retrieve their stuff back from Percy, Iris falls into a dumpster filled with zombies. When the lives of herself and those of her friends are endangered, however, Percy and Tony return and help them out. Percy reasons that, because Iris is the first person they ever conned who actually came back to help him, he owes it to Iris to help them out. They all become friends and bond over a shadow puppet show together.
For purposes of the slowly moving storyline, Percy and Tony also agree to drive the sixsome to their destination, so I suspect Hope, Iris, and the gang will make it to CRM in New York by the season finale and set up a season two that will be more CRM-focused. In the more immediate future, Tony asks Felix if the CRM symbol on his jacket will get them out of a jam when they try to steal gas from CRM to operate the truck. That is what’s in store next week.
In the meantime, there was another post-credits sequence, as The World Beyond starts to fill in some gaps. Recall that, two weeks ago, we learned that CRM is experimenting on people in order to find a cure. It’s just as sociopathic as when Troy was doing it on Fear the Walking Dead, but the doctors and lab coats give it the illusion of respectability here.
As we learned two weeks ago, they’re experimenting on “A’s”, and this week, we see Dr. Lyla Bellshaw continue to work on these experiments. From a photo on her desk, it also appears that she may be dating Leopold Bennett, the father of Hope and Iris.
However, we also learn that CRM is expecting the arrival of Hope and Iris — in fact, Elizabeth appeared to orchestrate their escape from Campus Colony before CRM slaughtered everyone, so Dr. Bellshaw is anticipating Hope and Iris’s arrival. Before they arrive, however, Dr. Bellshaw has to arrange something with Dr. Bennett. She either has to kill him in advance or inform him that Hope and Iris are going to become part of their experiments.
What’s unclear is why Elizabeth wanted Hope and Iris to travel across the country instead of just bringing them to CRM, but I suspect it’s because she’s testing them. Are they A’s (and will therefore be experimented on)? Or are they Bs (like Rick Grimes) and will thus become useful to the CRM community? I suspect that Dr. Bennett doesn’t want them to have anything to do with the CRM, which is why I think Elizabeth also sent them the messages they believed were from their father in the opening episode in order to manipulate them into traveling across the country.
This storyline is developing slowly, but it’s easily the best thing going for The World Beyond right now.