The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 Episode 8, “Returning Point,” sealed this series as now being officially better than “Fear the Walking Dead,” something I didn’t think would ever happen back when I delayed watching Season 1 because I was unimpressed with the first couple of episodes. This show has really grown into itself and it’s now presenting a compelling storyline about what happened to CRM after Rick was delivered to them by Jadis.
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, Episode 8, “Returning Point.” This is a review from the early showing on AMC+. The episode releases on TV on November 21.
The Stakes Are High in Episode 8
This was probably the most intense episode in the series yet. From Hope and Iris trying to avoid capture, to Dr. Bennett’s detailed escape plan, to the Perimeter community being lined up for execution — many moments kept me on the edge of my seat, guessing about what might happen next.
When the episode begins, we start with a flashback to the moment that Indira and Elizabeth first made the deal between the Perimeter and the CRM. Indira, as it turns out, is the one who made the globe that stands outside the CRM facility.
Elizabeth reacted very caringly when she learned about Indira’s illness, although I’m certain it was because she found an opportunity to turn this to her advantage.
After that short flashback, we return to present-day where Jadis is apparently running everything now. (Where did Elizabeth go? Did they ever explain that?)
We have a lot of scenes involving people preparing, like Dr. Bennett convincing his scientists that they need to flee based on the genocide the CRM is conducting, and Dennis preparing his group (including Silas) to help Huck and the others fight back. This is a situation where “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I wouldn’t trust Huck at all right now, considering how she played our protagonists in the past and even killed Percy’s uncle to further her agenda. But trust her or not, they don’t really have any choice but to work with her if they’re going to have any shot at taking down the CRM’s facility here and moving their scientific research somewhere else.
Jadis (who’s apparently running everything now), is determined to continue making her mark. She’s been following keycard movements and used that to deduce that the scientists in Dr. Bennett’s group have changed their habits. She thinks this means the doctor hasn’t fully bought into what they’re doing, and she needs to excise the rot before it spreads by killing at least one of his daughters.
Huck warns Iris and Hope that they need to execute their plan now or it’s going to be too late. At first I wondered if this was another trap by Jadis to see if Huck was on her side, but as it turns out, Jadis is serious about making this power move.
Iris, her dad, and the others end up concocting a pretty smart plan where everyone escapes into a biohazard facility that will be impenetrable once Jadis decides to lock down the facility. This will give them a chance to flee into the tunnels to escape and devise some explosives to ward off Jadis’ group as they’re leaving. But knowing that Jadis is going to have her own plans as well, Hope grabs Major General Beale’s son, Mason, and takes him as a hostage to ensure they’ll be able to escape alive.
The main issue I have with this entire plan is that no one bothered to tell Mason the full truth about what’s going on, even after they had him captured. I know they can’t trust him, but they still should have told him, so we could at least gauge whose side he might end up on. He already mentioned questioning some of his dad’s ways and his current situation.
Probably the most intense part of the episode, though, was when the man from the Perimeter decided it would be smart to turn his own people in. This leads Jadis to send an armed squadron over to line up everyone in the Perimeter and summarily execute them, even after Indra asks her to just kill her and let the rest of her people go. Jadis is COLD. Thankfully, Dennis, Silas, and their crew manage to get their in time to start a firefight with the military, and they end up winning the battle.
But not without a possible casualty, since Dennis ends up shot and we’re left wondering if he’s going to survive or not.
We Don’t Have Any One-Dimensional Villains This Season
In the end, Jadis explains her viewpoint: she needs to win because the CRM is going to lose every scrap of scientific knowledge it’s gained, which she believes will seriously harm humanity’s ability to survive. She’s justified genocide for the end goal.
Of course, as the viewers, we’re going to vehemently disagree with Jadis. But I like how this show has not made her a one-dimensional villain, but has at least tried to show things from her perspective so we can understand her motivations. Sometimes, The Walking Dead universe makes people evil for the sole purpose of having someone the protagonist will fight, without much thought put into what’s driving them. But here, the show has put a lot of thought into Jadis’ motivations, and I appreciate that.
Overall, this was an excellent episode with some true tension-filled moments that occurred because our protagonists are fighting against a smart enemy. No one is being dumbed down for the sake of a storyline, and the stakes are really high for everyone. I’ve got to give props to the cast and crew: they’ve really raised World Beyond to a higher level this season.
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