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The Walking Dead: World Beyond - Family is a Four Letter Word - Review

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  The Walking Dead: World Beyond “Family is a Four Letter Word” was written by Maya Goldsmith and directed by Aisha Tyler. The episode primarily takes place during one night and is split between Silas (Hal Cumpston) at the culling post and the arrival of Huck (Annet Mahendru) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) at the artist’s colony. No one is happy to see Huck, but the episode also provides some background on her that may have the audience feeling a bit more sympathy for her. It’s definitely her family that is the four letter word.

The episode opens with a flashback to Huck being discovered on her raft outside Omaha – and being named Huck because of it by the couple who find her. Later in the episode, we see Huck again slashing her own face – and we get a direct link from the flashback last season when we saw her slash it to mimic the one on her friend Drake’s face. She then goes to her mother (Joan Ormand) who is waiting for her. She expresses concern for what she’s done to her face – right before she has a soldier break Huck’s arm right in front of her – and clearly on her orders! This is Huck’s punishment for refusing to kill civilians in the flashback in last season’s “Truth or Dare.” This all adds context for Huck – talk about an abused child!

In the present we pick up right where we left off, and while (almost) everyone is happy to see Hope, no one is happy to see Huck. Indira (Anna Khaja) is worried that Huck is going to bring Kublek’s wrath down upon them. Huck assures her they won’t. We learn that no blood has ever been shed at the artist’s colony since it was founded. Clearly, that’s not going to last…

Hope and Iris (Aliyah Royale) are overjoyed to be reunited, but clearly have very different ideas about what needs to happen next – although they are both on the same page about escaping to Portland. Does anybody else think that Portland has also been wiped out? I’m betting it’s not there to go to… Hope insists they come back with them because Dad (Joe Holt) is going to get into trouble for stirring things up trying to find them.

Iris confronts Huck about her theory about Omaha. Huck is clearly completely taken off guard and won’t believe it, insisting it makes no sense. It’s clear that she isn’t privy to her mother’s work – no doubt because of her earlier failure to follow orders. Kublek confirms this when Huck goes to her the next day after filming a video to send to Portland (I’m betting there’s no film in the camera). Kublek stonewalls Huck and tells her that she’s just gotten back and she’d hate to think Huck hadn’t learned her lesson…

Iris insists that they aren’t going with them to the research facility. Huck dangles Silas in front of them, saying that she’s arranged for him to be at a culling outpost not far from there. Iris insists on talking to Hope alone. 

Hope and Iris make no headway. Hope tells Iris about their Dad. Iris insists that they will be prisoners and it will be impossible to get away if they all go to the research facility. Hope wants the safety of the facility to plan their escape. In the end, Hope and Huck go back alone.

Huck goes for a walk while she waits for Hope – presumably because she’s tired of Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Indira shooting daggers at her with their eyes. Felix has just returned from patrol with Will (Jelani Alladin) who stays hidden. Felix follows Huck and confronts her. She tells him she’s sorry about Will – and clearly believes her mother’s story about him being killed on a reconnaissance mission. Felix slams her to the ground when she turns away and then holds a walker over her threatening to let it bite her. He’s clearly got some betrayal issues – and promises that one day he will kill her. And didn’t that desiccated walker have some pretty outstanding clothing to not rip?!?!?!

When Felix gets back to the colony, he sees Percy (Ted Sutherland) leaving the armory – without realizing its him. He goes to Will and they find the bloody bandages. Felix realizes that Percy is going after Huck and they go after him. Presumably he’s more worried about not upsetting Indira than saving Huck. In the end, Will has to expose himself to save Huck. She is shocked to see Will, and he tells her that they tried to kill him because he kept asking questions about Omaha. Huck insists that her mother would have told her – so maybe she will finally start to accept who her mother is? She promised not to expose either of them. 

Elton (Nicolas Cantu) freaks out when he sees Hope and also wanders off into the woods. He finds a hunter’s lean to – a pretty ridiculously flimsy structure with a bunch of CRM medical supplies in it. Asha (Madelyn Kientz) finds him and reveals that she is getting dialysis… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! In the woods, with no electricity. Did they do ANY research for this? My mother was on dialysis for the last three years of her life – and trust me, it is NOT possible to do without a very large, expensive, and electrically powered machine…

She confides that only her mother and brother know about this medical miracle. Elton doesn’t tell her about Hope’s connection to his mother, but he does tell her that he’s only recently had to give up the hope that his mother and sister were alive… Still betting they are and we’ll meet them…

Back at the colony, Hope finds out about Will and says this will change everything – maybe due to Dad’s reaction? Iris promises to get Hope and their father out – and Hope and Huck leave. Hope finds that Mason has left a message for her.

Felix talks to Percy. Felix tells Will they can’t stay now, but Will insists that Huck can’t tell without getting herself into trouble too. Felix tells Will where Silas is and Will thinks he knows a way to get everyone out. 

Percy goes to see Iris and tells her that he wanted to kill Huck more than he’s ever wanted anything else in his life. She commiserates that he just wanted justice. Maybe it’s just me, but Iris suddenly seems like a completely different character – I’m just not seeing the connection. It’s certainly more that her just seeming “older” as Hope says. It’s a lot more like they simply re-wrote her… Percy and Iris share a kiss.

We finally get to see the culling outpost in action. I enjoyed the fireworks and music – but those were some of the worst looking walkers they’ve ever had on the show! I honestly thought it was a bad video game or commercial for Halloween costumes! I did like the walker with a walker head embedded in its stomach though – that was pretty cool.

When Dennis (Maximilian Osinski) sees Silas get distracted by a helicopter he tosses a thermos at him and discovers Silas hand wound. He takes him inside and stitches him up. There’s a nice easter egg of a Half Moon album on the wall – yes that was Beta’s (Ryan Hurst) band prior to the apocalypse. Silas also sees a map on the desk. He takes it and tries to sneak off.

Webb (Jesse Gallegos), Tiga (Ry Chase), and Grady (Kellen Joseph) see him and stop him. It looks like they are pranking/punishing him when they force him into a warehouse that looks like a costume shop exploded. Walkers seem to come out of nowhere, but Silas makes short – and impressive – work of them with a baseball bat. It turns out that this is the training ground the others have devised for themselves. A lot of the walkers are tied up and have no teeth. It was still a bit of hazing, but they were there to step in if Silas got into trouble. The three are all trying to move up the ranks in the CRM. By the end of the episode, Webb is sent off to do just that. 

Silas tries to leave again, and this time, Dennis stops him. Dennis tells him that this is training, so that they avoid the end of the world. Silas tells him that he’s trying to find his friends. There’s someone in their group that is dangerous. Dennis suggests that maybe they’ve already taken care of her. It’s deliciously ironic when Silas tells him he doesn’t know Huck. And in a way Dennis really doesn’t know who “Jennifer” is anymore – and who she’s becoming as she learns more about her mother. Dennis makes fun of her, saying that he doesn’t care what she did, Silas isn’t allowed to be friends with someone named Huck – LOL! However, like the real Huckleberry Finn, Jennifer really did learn to love the people she was supposed to look down on and hate. 

Dennis tells Silas that his friends are probably stronger than he thinks and that there’s too much area for him to search to have a hope of finding them. He tells him that running away is just giving up – but he only gets one screw up. It looks like Silas has decided to stay… wait until he finds out that he’s there because Huck put him there.

This seemed in many ways like a bit of a filler episode. However, we do see that Huck is definitely starting to see her mother in a different light. Will she have burned her bridges with the people who really treated her like family though? If she does turn on her mother, will the others ever forgive her for what she has done? I suspect it will take a couple more episodes before we have everyone reunited. I’m also betting that Indira’s fears about protecting her community and children, especially Asha are going to be well founded. I can’t say that there were any real standout performances for me in this episode, although Cantu and Compston are always a delight to watch. What about you? Let me know your thoughts about the episode in the comments below!

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