Five Thoughts on The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s “The Sky is a Graveyard”

By | November 24th, 2020
Posted in Television | % Comments

We are another episode down on the path to the conclusion of this first season of The Walking Dead: World Beyond and this week was an interesting one. This didn’t feel as purely connected to the continuity as the other episodes, but it takes a fun little detour into some more serious character and group development before we head into the finale. It is easy to see that trust is key to surviving in the ‘World Beyond’ and this episode had a lot of fun playing with that motif by uniting and dividing the survivors in new ways just before they need to be more unified than ever.

1. Things Pick Up Where We Left Off, But

This was one of the more elaborate openings we have seen so far. It immediately turns this into more of a ‘genre’ film and sets the tone for an almost Tarantino-esque character drama set in a single location. It also shows more attention to detail from the start with the way ‘World Beyond’ swirls in from behind the building as the camera rotates in on Silas. This gives a certain impression that we have now entered an alternate world or timeline.

And that is sort of a problem for me, because why is this happening, and why would the characters act in this way? This whole episode is about the group staying in one place and arguing about human ethics in a world that doesn’t have time or need for the same morals and ethics that were necessary in the previous world. It is just odd to me that they are worried about the law when survival through violence is actually pretty important. This is why I agree with one of the characters in this episode.

2. Elton’s Reaction

I thought Elton’s response was appropriate and agreeable, given the situation. Silas has always been honest and truthful with the group, and there is no reason to suspect Silas would harm anyone in the group. Maybe Silas did murder Percy and his uncle, but he also probably didn’t do it intentionally. Silas definitely has some anger issues, and that can’t be ignored, but it also seems like a safe gamble to have someone with that capability on your team; For the greater good.

Elton has been accepted by the group, but he also seems to struggle with feeling somewhat like an outsider in contrast to the close-knit relationship that Hope, Iris, and Felix shared before their departure from the colony. It does seem to drive some of Elton’s feelings, and I think that is part of the reason he is quick to side with Silas and try to find evidence that supports his ideology.

3. Silas’ Background

The flashbacks paint a clear picture of someone that is being tortured and demoralized every day of his life. His retaliation was a response, and not unwarranted. I don’t feel bad for Silas’s father, he reaped what he sowed, but I do empathize with Silas because he has been saddled with a burden that isn’t of his own making. Had his father treated him better, Silas would have had a much different disposition.

It is nice to finally see the fully fleshed out backstory for the mysterious Silas. We have seen bits and pieces along the way but it feels good to have some concrete answers, and it was a fun way to take the series into some more auteur territory for a detour before we get into the 2-part finale. The one thing that really stood out strange to me, is that Silas’ dad clearly turns into an empty, but Silas was cleared in court of charges. So how long ago did people start turning into zombies? Did that take place in the colony since after the night the sky fell? Or was this before everything went crazy? This felt like one of those ‘non-canon’ episodes of a show, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

4. Huck Doesn’t Fit

Last week’s episode took us pretty far into Huck’s background. It was substantial, and it felt substantial, but this week it feels weightless. Huck is back to being poorly acted, and it really grates on me because she has so much potential that is being squandered on poor casting. The dialogue is there, well written and poetically crafted. But Mahendru keeps stressing a weird accent on things and ‘emPHASizing the wrong sylLABle.’

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She still gets a wisdom imparting scene with Hope, another highlight for the character, but even then the written word was stronger than the delivered dialogue. After everything we saw last week, you would think that this character could do no wrong, but this might be her weakest episode yet. The ‘big twist’ at the end was completely uncompelling to me, and I kind of hope that we get to leave Huck behind at the end of the season.

5. Hope’s Reveal

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Really surprised they are progressing the Hope and Elton drama train this quickly. I expected this to be a big moment at the end of the first half of the finale, causing Elton to question his allegiance to the group when they need him most. Jumping in early was shocking, and it was a great way to connect this ‘Elseworlds’ episode back into the fold.

It was cool to see the effect it had on Elton considering all the hoops he was jumping through to justify Silas’s crime and it is a betrayal that is likely to break Elton. He ran off to find Silas, because he feels safer with a monster than he does with Hope. That spoke volumes, and it should have a rippling effect going into the finale now that the group is down by two and maybe even a third. How is Hope going to shoulder the blame for this?

In Summary…

This episode tried on some britches that might have been a little too big and it took a hit in my ranking for that. I think the more film style approach was a fun idea, but the acting just does not have the strength to carry this episode across the finish line. Silas delivered most of the time, and Nicolas Cantu has some acting chops. But the stiff, dry delivery from the rest of the cast kills the experience at a lot of heavy moments. I also don’t know exactly where this falls in an actual timeline because there are both pre and post-apocalypse elements operating here. Maybe it is clear, but I didn’t pick up on it. Not the worst episode, but there are four episodes from this season that come to mind ahead of this one for me. However, I am still excited about the 2-part finale that starts next week.

//TAGS | walking dead world beyond

Ryan Pond


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