The Walking Dead: World Beyond Series Premiere Recap: Brave
In the series premiere of the new Walking Dead spinoff, Iris welcomes an enigmatic ally to their community while Hope questions the visitor’s motives. A message upends the sisters’ worldview, forcing them to decide between the safety of their home and the uncertainty of the world beyond.
Campus Colony of Omaha
The episode begins with young Iris (Aliyah Royale) waking up from a nightmare seeing herself among the undead. She later invites the new kid, Silas (Hal Cumpston), to her sister’s “Feast Day rager” in storage room C-12 while a couple of girls nearby talk about something Silas apparently did in Omaha and how he should be in jail. Iris, who we learn is class president, later runs into Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru) who tell her they will be behind the barrier and commends Iris for planning this event (which turns out to be a welcoming party of sorts), to which Iris says she’s just doing her part.
Elsewhere, we meet Iris’ sister Hope (Alexa Mansour) who is sneaking into a bus’ luggage compartment with a handful of flowers as a group of well-dressed people pile on. Felix and Huck lead the bus through the gates of the community and to an open area nearby, taking out walkers on the road as they hurdle through. Once the bus is stopped, Hope hurries out from underneath the bus and runs towards a nearby graveyard, kneeling in front of a post that reads Kari Bennett, the girls’ mother, and placing the flowers by the marker. Five helicopters, four of them carrying shipping containers, fly overhead and Hope heads back.
Back near the bus, Iris’ class vice president unrolls the sign she made, only to find that it now reads “The Civic Republic Sucks Ass” and Iris knows Hope is the one who altered the sign. After one of the helicopters lands in the field, Felix greets Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) of the Civic Republic Military. Felix introduces himself as Felix Carlucci, Senior Security Force Officer, Campus Colony of Omaha. We learn that Elizabeth is serving as the sole representative of the CRM for the colony’s Monument Day. Elizabeth spots Hope hiding by the bus and flipping her off. As Felix speaks with Elizabeth, a few walkers head towards them and Elizabeth’s soldiers take them out easily with their modified guns. Elizabeth explains that the helicopter has another stop before it will circle back; they fire disruption charges to scatter the sound. There is a tiny bit of tension between Felix and Elizabeth, as the colonel (and CRM) seemingly refuse to give their base location and their origins remain a mystery.
Elizabeth is greeted by Iris’ welcoming committee with Iris saying the Alliance of the Three (Portland, Omaha, the CRM) is about how they’re all the same and that they’re in this together. Felix, Huck, and the welcome committee escort Elizabeth and her soldiers back into their community. Hope asks Silas not to say anything about seeing her sneak off the bus and invites him to her rager. Later, Iris and Hope discuss the “sucks ass” sign Hope made and we find out her distrust of the Civic Republic stems from them not knowing where they’re from, what they’re up to, and the fact that their dad, Leo Bennett, was sent over to the Republic to share his knowledge as they work towards a cure for the undead.
Iris asks Hope to sign Felix’s birthday card; Hope says he hates her but Iris asks her to do it for dad. Looking at the art on the card, Hope tells her sister she could go back to drawing and painting and forget about science. Iris argues that art won’t help put an end to “reanimated necrotic mater.” Iris reminds her sister that tomorrow is Celebration Before Commemoration and Hope tells Iris she has to come to her party.
Iris once again has nightmares about being dead and gets up in the middle of the night to finish her speech for Monument Day, which was named for being “monuments of the past” as they are all survivors who live for the rest who didn’t. We learn that their mom died “that night” 10 years ago today, as did many others, and that the teenagers who grew up in the colony don’t really remember the world before. She also expresses hope for the future. Iris later checks a machine in an office cabinet to see if there are any new messages from their father, but there are none.
In class, Iris listens to the teacher talk about Feast Day and Monument Day. She has a brief flashback to an old memory with her, her mother, and fire, but her attention is drawn to Elton (Nicholas Cantu) when the teacher asks him what kind of monument he’s going to be. Elton says he wants to be complete, aware, and kind, wants to not be afraid, and wants to see what this world is now like his parents. A girl drops a note off to Iris telling her Hope’s hooch lab was just raided.
Felix has Hope in a cell, saying they confiscated enough illegal alcohol to last a lifetime. He tells Hope he thought she got her act together with her dad gone but he was wrong. He then looks at a picture of himself with Hope and Iris’ dad and asks if they’ve heard from him yet. Hope tells him it’s been months. Felix quietly asks her why she does what she does “when you have what you have?” Hope turns the question on him, asking him what he’s doing there. Felix says Hope’s dad gave him a life, something to be grateful for. Iris shows up to sign for Hope, reminding Felix that he could have done it himself as a family member since he was given guardianship over the girls by their father. Felix just wanted Hope to think about what she did.
Outside, they run into Elizabeth who thanks them for there sacrifice, having to spend months without their father around. Elizabeth also brings up knowing Iris is pursuing biochemistry and immunology, taking after her father. The colonel attempts to make small talk with Hope, but Hope isn’t interested and walks away. Hope tells Iris that she knows she doesn’t trust them either. Iris then denies it when Hope says she knows she’s having nightmares. Hope says Elizabeth is part of the reason they’re never going to see their dad again.
Safety Not Assured
Back in the cabinet, a message is sent through seemingly from their dad saying his safety is not assured. Meanwhile, Iris goes to visit Dr. K (Beth Leavel) and tells her about the nightmares. Dr. K tells her in order to deal with her trauma, she needs to be honest with her sister about the night their mom was killed. It was a chaotic night; she remembers a pregnant woman they couldn’t help, how the “sky was falling” and a plane crashed down. What ultimately killed their mother was the empties (their name for walkers). She died in front of Hope after mother and daughter were separated from Iris and their dad. Dr. K says that because Iris feels guilty about not being there for Hope when it happened, she feels like she has to do everything for everyone and is putting her own life on hold. She adds that with 9,671 people in the colony, that is too many people to be living for.
Dr. K, who is on oxygen, says she’s been thinking about the end for obvious reasons. She implores Iris not to end up in her position. Iris asks how she can live for herself, and Dr. K tells her to talk to Hope honestly. Elsewhere, Hope chats with Huck after a training session and they talk about the city, aka Omaha, Nebraska. Huck’s from the city but likes it better in the smaller town, which Hope thinks is crazy. Huck reminds Hope that there’s over a hundred miles of “crap” between them and the city when Hope says she’s determined to go there one day before they die. She believes the world is going to end not just because of the empties, but people, too. Huck believes that the future is what they make it. After Huck leaves, Iris flashes back to the night their mother died, recalling being terrified by the empties.
Back at the office, Iris reads the message from their dad. Elton and Silas drop by to say hi and remain as Hope arrives and she reads the note. Iris tells the boys they can’t tell anyone and Elton says they won’t. He reveals that he sneaks out of the community regularly, and that’s why he wears the “tuffy stitch” suit, which is durable to bites, something he discovered during controlled experiments. He mentions that he goes out there to look for something he lost and see how the world is changing. The girls discuss their dad’s message, and Hope tells Iris only one person can help them find their dad.
Felix and Huck finish tagging empties with blue paint in order to help Dr. Bavolar study their migration patterns. Huck tells Felix that he’s still trying to prove himself after what his parents did to him. She mentions that a guy named Will thinks Felix is “aces” and notices that Felix is wearing Will’s jacket. Felix says that Will left it at his place before he shipped out and that Will is protecting Leo. Felix admits he misses Will. Huck says his folks dealt him a bad hand and she just wants him to be happy, before wishing him a happy birthday.
Iris and Hope show Felix the message, saying he could be in danger. Felix reminds them that Leo told them not to say anything about the messages, to keep the girls safe, which is what Felix promised. Later that night, Elizabeth confronts the girls on the street when she overhears Hope calling them bad. Iris stands up to her, saying they don’t let anyone communicate with the Civic Republic, they don’t give their locations, and they have their father. Elizabeth talks about her CRM daughter and how she gets scared because she doesn’t see her daughter much, but she remembers that she’s serving to protect the Alliance. She says it makes her brave. She then that their father is teaching in a Civic Republic research facility in New York State. Elizabeth gives them a coded map to the location, but the watermark and stamp on the paper would tell certain people that she gave it to them and she could go to jail. Elizabeth says Iris and Hope are both like their father because they’re brave like he is.
Iris and Hope wake up the next day to a new message from their dad, telling them it’s gone bad and he’s keeping his head down. He says he’ll find help and not to tell the council or Felix and that he loves them. Iris goes to see Dr. K but Dr. K has passed and is now an empty who is soon killed and taken away by a professional cleanup crew.
During the 10th Monument Day, Elizabeth gives her speech as Iris awaits her turn. When she takes the podium, Iris tells the crowd that she dreams she’s dead and that the person who was helping her is gone now. She says growing up is realizing the person in charge of your life is you. She was a little kid the Night the Sky Fell, and says she has to start with now, and now starts with the truth, and the truth is, she doesn’t trust Elizabeth or the Civic Republic. Elizabeth tells Iris that one day she will.
The Journey Begins
Iris takes Hope aside and tells her they need to go help their dad. She then brings up that Hope shouldn’t have had to see their mother die like that alone. Hope replies she’s glad her sister didn’t see it. In a flashback, we find out their mother wasn’t killed by empties but by the same scared pregnant woman before who now has a gun and is trying to take a nearby truck for herself and her family. The woman ends up shooting their mom in front of the very young Hope before dropping the gun to the ground. Hope grabs the gun and ends up shooting and killing the woman. Hope also takes the woman’s necklace, and in present-day we see her fiddling with it, repeating to her unaware sister that she’s glad she didn’t see it.
Iris and Hope tell Elton and Silas they’re leaving to find their dad. Elton says its over 1,000 miles on foot and that he wants to go with them to see the world before he’s gone. Silas wants to go as well, to not be who people in the community thinks he is. The four set off on their journey. Later that night, Felix finds his birthday card from the girls with Hope writing that they took his and Will’s jackets, his S-pole, and some food. He and Huck also know Silas and Elton are missing as well. Huck tells him she was training Hope how to fight the dead. Huck says they must be headed to Omaha, but Felix disagrees, saying he knows where they’re going and that they’ll never make it.
While walking over a bridge, Silas trips over a horn that Felix says is from a triceratops and belongs to him. It’s the item he’s been searching for that he lost a long time ago. It was meant to be a gift for his sister. He explains that his pregnant mom died “the night things went bad.” When packing away the horn, Elton pulls out a photo of his mom confirming it was the same woman who killed Iris and Hope’s mother and Hope killed when she was a kid. When the four encounter an empty, Iris says she wants to be the one to kill it. Back at the Campus Colony, Huck and Felix hit the road in search of the kids. Sometime later, Elizabeth and a bunch of the CRM stand inside of the colony surrounded by dead bodies and empties, some of them with the blue paint from earlier, after an apparent massacre. A soldier tells Elizabeth that they’ve searched the buildings but can’t “find her.” The episode ends after Elizabeth replies, “Good.”
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