The Walking Dead: World Beyond recap: High school horror show
The Walking Dead: World Beyond did something a bit different four episodes in, which seems more in line with what this spin-off should've been from the beginning. "The Wrong End of a Telescope" is the show's own Teen Wolf. It plays on the vibe of past teen horror stories and the idea that the high school experience is itself a horror show. World Beyond becomes less worried with explaining the "world beyond" The Walking Dead and has fun with genre elements and its main premise: a bunch of teens growing up in the zombie apocalypse. I mean, it's still got issues, but compared to the empty storytelling thus far, it at least tried to change things up.
It begins when the group, running out of food and supplies, come across what used to be a high school as a storm approaches. Iris flips through the yearbook in the auditorium, daydreaming about what the day-to-day life of this purple-haired girl seen in photographs must've been like. After using trophies to collect rainwater, they split off into pairs to scope out the place—which is good for Felix and Huck, who are trying to convince the kids to turn around and go home. Felix pairs with Elton, whom he hopes can be persuaded to convince the others, while Huck goes off with Hope believing she can handle the young girl. That leaves Silas and Iris to continue their flirtations.
Hope keeps having flashbacks to moments with her dad. One memory sees her confront Leo when he forgot about a meeting between them and the principal after setting off homemade stink bombs. Another goes back to the day Leo packed his things to leave for the Civic Republic. In both cases, Hope grapples with her feelings of inferiority. Both her and Iris were adopted children who were said to have bonded in the crib together, but Hope feels like the "dud" in light of Iris' academic achievements. So, when Huck asks Hopes why she left the breadcrumb trail for her and Felix, Hope vaguely mentions she had second thought but then came back to the reason why she wants to find her dad: he had mentioned that it wasn't her fault for feeling so frustrated all the day, getting the sense that Leo was protecting Hope from something. The logic here doesn't really make much sense, but whatever.
Meanwhile, they are not alone in this high school. As Felix and Elton come across a bottle of iodine for purifying water, they also find a fresh streak of blood, as if something had been dragged down a hallway. That something is a wolf... or perhaps wolves. They later find a room filled with gnarled empty remains. They also can't get ahold of Silas and Iris, who are happily drinking soda amid the remains of an old Sadie Hawkins dance in the gymnasium, because their walkie batteries are corroded. Elton, revealing his claustrophobia, has flashes of a bad memory when he was a child when an empty starts banging from inside a locked locker. Felix uses this as an opportunity to try to persuade him towards bringing up the subject of heading back home with the other kids. Felix shows him his tattoo, one that reminds him of the parents and friends he lost, and that he can't lose any more people.
The wolf finally shows its face when it comes across Hope and Huck. It's planted, growling, in the middle of a doorway, which suggests it's protecting something, maybe its litter. They move slowly and are able to get past unharmed, but these canines pose other threats for Iris and Silas. Elton and Felix find them waltzing in the gym, but they can't open the doors between them. They've been warped overtime and can't budge. There's another door leading to the basement, but it's blocked by an empty, so Elton and Felix have to go around. A wolf soon tries busting into the gym through a vent and instead of just going back out the way they came, Iris and Silas open the basement door for some reason, slipping past the empty and locking it inside with the oncoming wolf. But the basement isn't a friendly spot either.
Silas finds a flare and slides it across the floor to find there are a lot of empties looking for their next meal. He and Iris are able to hold them off and barricade themselves in another room, but there are even more empties fighting their way inside. Hope and Huck follow signs for a fallout shelter and find a closet full of canned foods. While stocking up, they hear Iris' calls for help and realize she's on the other side of a door connecting to the closet. Felix and Elton rendezvous with Hope and Huck, and when they finally open the door, they find Silas wailing on an empty in a blind rage. It's hard to snap him out of it. He even throws back Elton when he tries to help. But a yell from Felix brings him back. Silas had a killed an empty that had tried to eat Iris, and the moment brought back memories of when his dad was choking him, Silas fought back and rumor has it that he killed his dad. It's not clear whether he actually did or not, but brief flashbacks reveal Silas' mom testified against her son in court.
It's an easy-peasy wrap up from here. Iris consoles Silas and makes peace with Hope. Nobody judges Silas and he's welcomed back into the group. Now, onward to New York.
This Walking Dead spin-off focuses on the first generation to come of age in the apocalypse.