The Walking Dead: World Beyond recap: Huck's backstory precedes a bloody cliffhanger
Showrunner Matt Negrete's promise of "shocking endings" is already coming true.
Huck is the last one of the core group on The Walking Dead: World Beyond to get an origin story via flashback, and it's the darkest we've seen so far. It also puts one aspect of her character further into perspective, something that we've known so far but becomes a stronger point in the seventh episode, "Truth or Dare": she is the only one who's actually experienced the "world beyond," the Civic Republic's Campus Colony, and the evils that world can bring.
Previously, we knew her as the Huck Finn of the group. She came to the colony by water, clinging to her life before security guards found her. While the latest round of flashbacks don't bring us up to that point, we learn her real name is Jennifer and that she was a marine. Felix and the others find her on the road in Tony and Percy's truck, and she begins to have flashes of the outbreak's beginnings, triggered by a corps she finds with army boots and an EGA pin.
Huck was in a bar, drinking and playing blindfolded darts with others in her unit —including a romantic interest — when a breaking news update took over the television to report on a viral outbreak at a nearby hospital. Her unit receives orders to track down any civilians and bring them safely back to their temporary base for protection. Huck remembers first firing on the empties and using her thermal vision goggles to decipher friend from foe. It's not long, however, that they receive orders from the top to kill everyone they come across, living or dead. No reason is given, but some theorize it is to help contain the spread of the pandemic. Huck remembers standing side by side with her fellow soldiers in a line as they are all about to fire on the civilians they previously rescued. At the last second, Huck hits the light switch and, in the darkness, shoots and kills everyone in her unit to save the group of people. It's something she lives with and it's why she carved a scar across her cheek — to remind her of what she did and to constantly work to make up for the lives she took.
In the present, Huck thinks about her past decision as she helps Hope, who tells Huck that she killed Elton's mom on the day the sky fell. Huck urges her to keep that information to herself. Telling Elton and Iris would only help her. Maintaining the secret allows them to live their lives while she bears the burden for them.
It became a thing to begin with because of Percy. The kids were off drinking, taking a break from reality for a moment. Tony and Percy had shared what they found in the truck when they first stole it: colored filters that, coupled with light, reveal the hidden markings on the CRM map. They used it to find a local fuel stash so they could gas up the truck for the remainder of the journey, and Iris used it to find a double helix symbol on the New York state map she received from Col. Kublek. It's their first solid lead on where her dad might be. So, everyone is letting off some steam before they raid the fuel station the next day. The kids are playing Truth or Dare, and of course, Percy asks Hope for the worst thing she's ever done. She tries to lie, but he senses there's a truth she's hiding. Hope storms off and that's when she runs into Huck and spills the beans.
Hope and Huck are still discussing the situation as the group infiltrates the CRM stash when they run into trouble. Felix and Tony are able to find the gas easy enough, as well as a secret CRM pamphlet containing a long list of various codes that they can't decipher. Hope, however, is grabbed by a man by the name of Walter. He and his brother had apparently taken the complex from the CRM, but he had to stab his brother when he woke up to find he had changed — not before biting Walter in the leg. Huck tries to reason with Walter, who's holding a gun to Hope's head. She promises that she can save him by amputating his leg. She claims she's seen it happen. She convinces Walter to let Hope go and fix the gun on her instead, but it becomes clear that Huck has no intention of helping Walter. She's just trying to tire him out. As he loses his strength from his wound, the gun feels heavier and heavier in his hand, until Huck is able to grab it. Huck is still telling Walter that she'll help him when she puts a bullet in his head.
When everyone regroups later that night, Tony and Percy announce that they discussed some things with Felix and they want to remain with the group for the foreseeable future. Everything seems at ease again. Percy awkwardly asks Iris to meet him by the truck and she arrives to find he tore pictures out of one of his art books to create a makeshift Louvre in the trunk. Iris mentioned earlier how if she could do anything, she would want to see the Louvre. Iris falls asleep flipping through Percy's art books. When she wakes, he's still not there. She goes looking for him and instead finds Tony... what's left of Tony, that is, in the bathroom. His face has been completely bashed in, seemingly by Silas's wrench that now lies coated in blood beside the body. A trail of blood leads out a broken window, and Iris thinks that's where Percy fled. The others arrive and notice there's someone lying on the floor behind one of the stalls. Felix throws it open and finds a quivering Silas staring into empty space.
Silas has been forced to watch Iris flirt with Percy and bore his sadness in silence. It's known that he tends to fall into these violent fugue states, but only when prompted. His physical state suggests he went into one, but it all feels like a deflection to whatever truth lies behind this bloody mess.