The Walking Dead: World Beyond just aired Season 2 Episode 2 on AMC Plus, with the episode slated to air on TV on October 10. The series takes place years before the current season of The Walking Dead, and provides compelling background into CRM’s true motives. The second episode of the second (and final) season revealed more about CRM’s motivations. We got to see Silas, Iris, and Hope all react differently to CRM as it encroaches increasingly upon their lives.
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, Episode 2: Foothold.
CRM Has a Fascinating Scientific Goal
Seeing the inner workings of CRM is fascinating for me. While Hope certainly hasn’t bought into CRM’s mission (considering all the terrible things they’ve done to get there), she’s intrigued by and proud of her dad’s role in helping humanity.
I really liked how they’ve made it absolutely clear that Leopold loves Hope and Iris equally — there are no favorites with this dad. While he’s thrilled to have Hope with him, he hasn’t forgotten about Iris and is still pushing to have her join him too. If he ever found out exactly what CRM did to Iris and Felix, he would lose his mind with anger. (And it looks like Hope might be about to clue him in.)
But knowing what Hope might tell him brings me back to where I have trouble suspending my disbelief. I prefer when enemies at least make some kind of sense. Negan, for example, was a horrific dictator, but you could at least see why he made some of his decisions, even if you knew that many of his other actions were morally reprehensible. But here, CRM doesn’t make any sense. If their motive is to find a cure and Leopold Bennett is a genius who’s accomplished SO much in such a short period of time, you’d think they’d be doing everything in their power to make him as happy as possible. And that would include bringing both his daughters to him. And on top of that, I still don’t understand CRM’s motives for killing these peaceful populations full of smart people who can help them reach their ultimate goals.
Yes, we’ve gotten some explanation, of a sort. When Leopold threatened Elizabeth by saying he would quit working with CRM if she didn’t bring him Iris, she said that they ran a full psychological profile on him. They learned that no matter what they did to get Hope to understand the stakes, he would ultimately still work for the betterment of humanity. That’s a good explanation. But it still doesn’t explain why they would risk everything by destroying entire communities.
But if I put these issues with CRM’s motivations aside for now, I can still enjoy the episode and the storylines it’s sharing. I’m one of the rare people who really enjoyed the CDC storyline in the early years of The Walking Dead, so I’m really enjoying learning about CRM’s scientific experiments. Hope’s scenes with her dad’s girlfriend teaching her about CRM’s goals were eye-opening. They still don’t know exactly what causes people to turn, whether it’s viral, bacterial, or fungal or “something else entirely.” But on top of figuring out a cure, they also want to accelerate the decay of the ones who already turned and essentially wipe them out. The show finally acknowledged that the dead’s decomposition is vastly slowed, which allows them to stay animated longer. They want to “turn off the triggers” and eliminate the dead. It’s a great goal, and one we haven’t heard a thousand times before.
The Three Parallel Storylines Paint a Compelling Picture
Meanwhile, Iris and Felix are having some pretty intense adventures of their own, as they seek to understand CRM’s motives from their own unique vantage points. Their biggest storyline this week was when Elizabeth almost discovered their hideout. Since Iris pretty much stole the show last week, it was understandable that their storyline was a bit more on the backburner this week.
Silas was brought back in this episode, which was a welcome addition.
His storyline is vastly different from Iris’s and Hope’s, which provides a welcome shift in tone. He’s helping clear buildings for future expansion and at the end of the episode, he learned the deeper meaning behind what they’re doing. There are six other locations like the place he’s working on, operated by military personal, all working on an experiment in mass culling. They believe that with the right model, they can ultimately clear out the entire state of walkers and gain a real foothold, bringing back a bit of what has been lost.
This episode, just like last week, compared and contrasted Hope’s and Iris’s experiences, while adding a new layer seen through Silas’s eyes. It looks like Elton will be added to the layers next week, finally making our story complete.