NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” are present in this review
The Walking Dead: World Beyond appeared to be slowly turning a corner over the past couple of weeks. It’s still not a very good show, but at least it was becoming something better than a truly bad show. Sadly, this didn’t last. “The Sky is a Graveyard” returns The Walking Dead: World Beyond to being a directionless, unfulfilling bore. The series has once again slowed to a crawl, wasting an entire hour-long timeslot spinning its wheels in the fallout of Tony’s death and Percy’s disappearance. This is meant to amount to a very contrived setup for next week’s two-part season finale, and overall, it kills whatever growing narrative momentum that The Walking Dead: World Beyond was starting to scrounge together over the past couple of episodes.
This entire episode’s progression revolves around the group trying to decide what to do about Silas, who seemingly killed Tony, and likely Percy too. Except Percy’s body isn’t found, with a trail of blood that stops at the river instead being located, which really tells us nothing. This creates entirely circumstantial evidence against Silas, who was found covered in blood and passed out at the scene, but this is apparently enough for everyone to detain Silas outside, and debate exiling him from the group, which is more or less tantamount to killing him. Yeah, if this sounds like an incredibly stupid storyline to you, that’s because it is.
For all of this group’s talk about staying together and being a family, that gets thrown completely out the window when most of the group, save for Elton, seems pretty content to just throw Silas to the wolves on circumstantial evidence, evidence that was likely forged. It makes all of this show’s protagonists look stupid, unlikable and disloyal, and that further begs the question of why any viewer should care about their ultimate fate. Elton is exactly right when he points out that Silas has never been a visible danger to other living people. His only bouts of violence are against walkers, and only in the name of protecting his group. Forcing everyone to distrust Silas like this is illogical and ridiculous, and basing an entire episode around this idiotic, head-scratching story turn is an incredibly bad idea!
Fortunately, Silas’ characterization at least continues to do fairly well here. While SIlas is detained outside (seriously? Isn’t that a little negligent with walkers around?), he reflects on the circumstances under which his abusive father died. The show actually makes a commendable effort to flesh out and make Silas’ connection with his late father complicated as well. Good bonding moments are shown alongside Silas’ father’s abuse, and surprisingly, Silas’ mother is revealed to apparently be alive as well. After Silas was forced to kill his re-animated father in self-defense however, his mother became terrified of him, presumably abandoning him to the custody of Campus Colony soon afterward. Yeah, this is a bit of a stretch, since this is Silas once again exerting brutality on a walker, not a living person, but whatever. It got Silas to where he needed to be in this ensemble.
Some of the debates about Silas’ character are actually alright as well. It’s just tedious and annoying to base an entire episode around them, especially when a good chunk of them are complete bullshit. Huck’s distrusting of Silas is at least believable for reasons that are revealed towards the end, but for all of Elton’s talk about Felix not wanting to break up the group, Felix sure doesn’t seem to emulate this example. Hope’s apathy toward Silas’ fate is also inexplicable, since Hope has been displaying more responsibility on this journey than she ever did at Campus Colony. Hope even saves Silas’ life after he attempts to allow a walker to bite him outside, again begging the question of why Hope is okay with accusing Silas without any concrete proof that he did anything, and why these idiots thought it was a good idea to detain Silas outside, where they couldn’t see him, and at which point Silas also eventually gets himself free. What did they expect?!
This is the latest instance of The Walking Dead: World Beyond pushing its plotting forward not because of organic, believable obstacles, but because its protagonists are short-sighted dumbasses that really should have been walker chow by now. Even the issue of Silas being exiled ultimately ends up being moot, with this episode eventually taking the coward’s way out, and having Silas exile himself, saving everyone the trouble of actually declaring him guilty or innocent. Elton also ends up leaving alongside Silas, which gives Hope a convenient opportunity to finally confess that she killed Elton’s mother as a child, which achieves the same result, and is thus rendered pointless. Seriously, why is this show’s writing so incredibly toothless?!
At least one decent twist is saved for the final seconds of this episode though, when it’s revealed that Huck is actually the undercover daughter of Elizabeth. Huck being a double agent for the CRM actually feels smart, and makes plenty of sense, especially when it logically justifies Huck’s behaviour when it comes to her wanting to ditch Silas, namely so that she can isolate at least one of the all-important Bennett sisters. Again though, Huck’s subterfuge would have been far better if it wasn’t dependent on the other characters unrealistically acting like idiots. Regardless, the evidence to viewers now seems to point to Huck being the one who killed Tony, and possibly Percy as well, and that would be a solid turn, in theory. This still begs the question of how Huck would have successfully murdered one, maybe two people though, along with staging a crime scene for them, without anyone noticing.
It’s frustrating to see The Walking Dead: World Beyond once again backsliding into pure tedium and contrivance this week, just in time for next week’s two season finale episodes. Even with the promising revelation of Huck being both Elizabeth’s daughter and a CRM mole, this show’s storytelling is once again being dragged down at every turn by its forced, toothless conflicts and its dogged, tiresome pacing. “The Sky is a Graveyard” is yet another unsatisfying filler episode, one that only exists to force a ridiculous excuse for Silas and Elton to branch off from the main group. I guess Elton abruptly leaving in solidarity with Silas just happened to work in Huck’s favour. Either way, the case against Silas is idiotic, and when most of this episode is spent arguing in circles about a character that seems very obviously innocent, especially given what we now know about Huck, it’s impossible to invest in anything that’s going on.
I guess we’ll just have to hope that The Walking Dead: World Beyond manages to miraculously right itself for Season One’s final two episodes next week. At this point though, I’m really not holding my breath.
- More interesting backstory explored with SIlas
- Some decent debates around Silas' character
- Huck being revealed as Elizabeth's daughter, and a CRM mole
- The case against Silas is circumstantial and stupid
- The protagonists arguing in circles is unhelpful and tedious
- Silas and Elton splitting off feels incredibly contrived