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The Walking Dead: World Beyond - Madman Across the Water - Review

  The Walking Dead: World Beyond, “Madman Across the Water,” was written by Rohit Kumar and was directed by Dan Liu, whose other credits include The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Kumar’s only other writing credit is 13 Reasons Why, which establishes her as a teen-angst specialist. The episode features flashbacks about Elton (Nicolas Cantu) the night the sky fell. Not surprisingly, we are also one step closer to Hope (Alexa Mansour) confessing to Elton that she’s the one who shot and killed his mother after she sees his picture of her at the end of the episode. Also? Still no clue as to how this title has anything to do with this episode...

In the flashback, we see that Elton (Roger Dale Floyd) had a sweet relationship with his mother (Christina Brucato) and father (Reece Rios). His mother dedicates her book to “her little explorer.” His father works at the Natural History Museum. Things are starting to fall apart, and she leaves for a meeting at the college. When Isaac has to go and investigate, he puts Elton in a box and tells him to stay there. This of course starts his claustrophobia and is echoed in the episode. Elton stays, but when he finally does come out, he passes a dead, changed, and dismembered Isaac…

In the present, the group is ready to cross the Mississippi but all the bridges have been blown, so they need a boat. Felix (Nico Tortorella) shows Elton his proposed route back, but Elton tells him he never said he was in. He also tells Felix that he doesn’t think the others would listen to him. Huck (Annet Mahendru) then proposes to Felix that she could go on with the girls while Felix took the boys back. Anybody else starting to get a bad feeling about Huck?

We do get Huck’s backstory this episode. Apparently, she was found floating down the river on a raft = hence her name from Huckleberry Finn. She doesn’t remember much from before – or does she? She looks a lot like Julia Ormond (Elizabeth Kublek) to me… Is she a mole?

They find all the boats destroyed, so Iris (Aliya Royale) is determined that they will build their own. They are close to some adventure park called Daiquritown, so I kept expecting them to run into exotic animals… but no such luck. 

Hope overhears Felix and Huck talking about getting them to turn back, and she confronts Elton. He admits that he was helping and then it all comes out. Felix tells them that he was going to take the boat down the Mississippi and then up the Missouri and back to the College because there’s no real evidence that their Dad is in trouble. 

Iris insists that they all stop fighting and concentrate on building the boat. Huck and Hope go off to find fuel for the boiler Iris is going to make. Hope is furious with Elton and Felix, but Huck tells her that she’s changed her mind. She’s now on board with going on. It may be the biggest thing they ever do and it will make them stronger – or does she know there’s nothing to go back to or does she have orders to bring the girls in?

Felix also talks to Hope, filling in more backstory for us. Hope tells him that she and Iris were excited when their father took Felix in because they thought they were getting a brother, but they were just problems to him. She blames him for not stopping their Dad from going. Later Felix reveals why he’s so determined to believe the father is ok – he was supposed to go with him but Will took his place, so he feels guilty that he’s not there.

We then get a truly bad special effect storm with some truly remarkable lightening strikes. A pole is hit that falls on Daiquritown, releasing the large group of empties that have been locked in for what appears to be a very long time. 

Elton and Silas have gone back to get nail polish to power the boiler as the wood wasn’t getting it hot enough. They try to outrun the storm and Elton trips, spilling one bucket – which is naturally red. Hope cuts her hand – will this be significant? The nail polish works to make the generator work, but now the belt breaks and empties are almost there. Luckily, these are pretty accommodating and polite empties so they mostly try to squeeze between two tries that Felix is able to create a fence on with Elton’s fishing line. 

Elton has to overcome his claustrophobia to fix the broken belt and the others have to rescue him when he freezes. Hope is about to abandon the boat, but it’s Felix who gets them to give the final push to get it in the water and away from the empties. He admits to Hope that she and her sister are stubborn. He knows he can’t get them to turn back. He tells her that it was never about a promise to her Dad that he came after them. She tells him that she wanted him to find them – but to come with them, not take them back. 

That night Huck tells them they should divide and conquer – she goes off to scout ahead for 48 hours. Sure she does… 

Elton meanwhile goes off from the others to write in his mother’s book and remember them. Hope comes to check on him. He tells her about his dad and that he was brave because he was scared but did what he had to anyway. He also tells her that even though it’s impossible, he sometimes still hopes that his mother and sister are alive somewhere. He tells her that his sister’s name would have been Esmerelda. He then shows her the photo of his mom – and Hope knows she’s the one who killed her. Surely, she won’t be stupid enough to ever tell him????? But of course, she will….

The episode ends with what appears to be an empty coming out of the woods near the camp, but ends up being a person… I won’t spoil it here – but it’s clear who it is in the promos for tonight’s episode…

Once again, this was a pretty ho-hum episode. It really doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of danger here. The empties are few and far between and pretty stupid. I’m just not feeling the danger. I’m also having a hard time connecting with these teens who seem like regular angsty teens. Carl Grimes was never like this! What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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