The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 Episode 7, “Blood & Lies,” was one of the darker episodes in the series so far. It was intense, but it also kept me hooked from beginning to end. At this moment in time, it feels like World Beyond has turned into a better show than Fear the Walking Dead, which is also airing on Sunday nights.
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, Episode 7, “Blood & Lies.” This is a review from the early showing on AMC+. The episode releases on TV on November 14.
Lyla Took Risks That Didn’t Pay Off
The episode begins with Leopold Bennett’s girlfriend, Lyla, performing a horrific experiment on a man who was once part of the CRM. She’s killing him so she can record how long it takes for him to reanimate. It appears the CRM is experimenting with a compound that they hope may stop people from reanimating entirely, so the longer they can delay reanimation the better. But this is also leading to some very horrific experiments on human subjects. And while Lyla is telling herself that the ends justify the means, it really feels like they could surely come up with another way to test their results.
We jump from here to finally seeing Silas again, after his cliffhanger was left unaddressed last week. Jadis has been steadily climbing the ladder at the CRM since she turned Rick into them six years ago. Despite how sketchy Silas’ story is, she’s decided that he could potentially be an asset to their military unity. She instructs Huck’s husband to keep an eye on him. So that’s pretty much the last we see of that storyline in this episode, but at least they let us know what happened to Silas.
Things have really gone sideways though with the plan to steal one of the vials from Lyla’s work station. Huck and Felix managed to pull off the heist last week, but the missing vial was quickly discovered. Lyla goes to Leopold and begs him to just turn the vial over to her and she’ll pretend she lost it. But he really doesn’t know if he can trust her, so instead he and Felix are brought in for questioning. I’m sure Lyla’s terrified that if their plan is uncovered, she’ll end up having to experiment on her own boyfriend next.
Meanwhile, Jadis is acting like she still considers Huck a friend, but it’s obvious that she’s suspicious of her and is constantly testing her. Huck doesn’t trust Jadis either, so they’re left in this weird situation where they’re both pretending to be friends, but no longer have any trust in the other. I personally wouldn’t trust Huck after what she did (especially considering how she killed Percy’s uncle in cold blood.) But I wouldn’t trust Jadis either. I wouldn’t trust anyone in the CRM.
There’s a pretty intense scene where Lyla tries to get Hope and Iris to turn the vial over to her by opening up about everything that’s going on behind-the-scenes. She tells them about her experiments to see how long it takes to reanimate a person after they’ve died. But, she admitted, not everyone was already bitten when they were forced to be in the experiment. Then she told them the truth about Omaha. She’d developed an injection that delayed the time until reanimation, but needed a lot more test subjects. The CRM told her and Dr. Abbott about an operation that was going to kill thousands but was “critical to the survival of the human race.” She said the CRM civilian government has no idea what the military side is doing, and when Abbott tried to stop them, he was turned into a zombie too. In the end, Hope ends up believing Lyla (at least partially) and tells her where the vial is located, against Iris’s wishes.
But in the end, Lyla ends up betraying them and doing something completely different. She turns in the vial and tells them that Leopold and his daughters did steal it. But she thinks she can save him by being honest. She tells Jadis that he and Hope are too valuable to the Project Voltus to be killed. And she said she’s on the verge of a big discovery because her current test subject hasn’t reanimated in eight hours. So they all need to stay alive for the sake of the project. Jadis accepts the deal, but only if Dr. Bennett agrees to focus his efforts on their project. And he accepts (because honestly, what else is he going to do?)
Things turn south for Lyla quick. Her test subject turned before he hit eight hours, which means she wasn’t nearing a breakthrough like she thought. So Jadis turns on her, just like they did with Dr. Abbott. She says that Lyla found her replacement in Dr. Bennett and since she’s not having any success anyway, she might as well be turned herself. So they lock her into the room where her test subject is and listen to her scream and cry for help just before she dies.
It was a really dark, disturbing scene, but it was also pure Walking Dead. The CRM absolutely cannot be trusted. But Dr. Bennett is now stuck and will be under close scrutiny. I have no idea how he and his daughters are going to get out of this.
It also pointed out to a big security flaw in the Bennett’s plan that I was really surprised everyone overlooked. This facility is locked down tight, so of course they are going to have security cameras everywhere. Jadis found out Lyla was working against them because of the security cameras. The fact that everyone just talks about their plans in this facility really bothers me. At least go outside!
The Beale Reveal at the End Was an Unexpected Twist
While Lyla’s death is arguably the biggest scene of the episode, there are a few more scenes needed to wrap everything up. Huck and Percy have a standoff, where Huck ends up telling Percy everything, including things she hadn’t told the Bennetts yet. This convinces Percy not to kill her. Instead, he goes to Felix, Leopold, Hope, and Iris with what he knows. The alliance is over and the CRM doesn’t care about having any allies. They’re going to wipe out Portland using the gas that Felix found, just like they did the Campus Colony and Omaha. They’re going to kill 87,000 people. We already suspected this was going to happen, but now we know for certain. So the Bennetts are going to follow through on Iris’s original plan and destroy the gas and the rest of the facility with it.
There are a couple flaws to this plan. First, I’d be really surprised if Dr. Bennett’s place isn’t bugged and they’re hearing everything. (Sigh.) Also, this is just one arm of CRM. We know that Rick, for example, is being held somewhere else. So they’ll take this facility out, which is a win, but the “monster” will still exist.
In one of the final scenes, Hope meets up with her new friend. She learns that he’s the son of the Major General Beale, whom everyone has been referencing as being ultimately in charge of everything around here.
And Silas happens upon Huck at the very end when she visits his outpost. Obviously he has almost as much of a reason to hate her as Percy, so it’s not clear how this is going to end up. I can’t picture her getting killed off, but it will definitely be an interesting scene next week.
All in all, this was a really good episode. It truly felt like part of the Walking Dead universe, and the storyline is compelling. Although there were a couple small plotholes here and there, nothing was enough to really take me out of the story. The cast and crew have been doing a great job with this second and final season.
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