“Truth Or Dare” is a slightly better episode than usual thanks to its focus on Huck, but the show still has a long way to go.
This recap of The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 1, episode 7, “Truth Or Dare”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
“Truth Or Dare” makes its intentions clear as a Huck-focused episode by opening with her dreaming – it’s always a clue! She packs her stuff up – she’s still, you’ll recall, out on a scouting mission – and heads out onto the road, where Felix and the others pick her up in a truck. How convenient!
Nevertheless, Huck’s backstory, doled out in flashbacks throughout this episode, is easily the most interesting thing that World Beyond has done thus far, so credit where it’s due. With the group now having accepted Percy and his Uncle Tony as part of the troupe, it makes a degree of sense to establish someone as at least halfway competent and principled, even if we have to endure a pretty naked Mountain Dew advert on the way to that.
The group doesn’t have much of a plan (when do they ever?). They have some maps and the vague promise of hidden CRM oil caches and Iris has presumably read the script in advance, so she’s able to put things together well enough that they can determine a new location to arbitrarily split up and get killed in.
All of this is standard stuff, so Huck’s flashbacks in The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 1, episode 7 stand out as a nice distraction, especially once they begin to inform the present day goings-on and introduce a welcome note of moral ambiguity which is only reinforced by a cliffhanger ending that suggests perhaps one of their number is a danger to the others. Huck’s military career at the beginning of the outbreak isn’t just interesting in character terms, but as a sneak peek into the official handling of the risen undead, which seems to have included orders to just start indiscriminately wiping everyone out, even those still living.
It’s not exactly subversive that a television show’s hero – one of them, anyway – would refuse to go along with this, but in doing so Huck is also forced to gun down her Marine comrades, and in the present day, grappling with a bitten man named Walter whom she and Hope have encountered, she displays more moral flexibility by manipulating and then euthanizing him. This is much better characterization than usual and lends a darker tinge to World Beyond that it sorely needs.
And, after some pointless deviations which include the standard game of “Truth Or Dare” – which doesn’t go well – and Hope confessing to Huck about having killed Elton’s mother, this theme continues with the mysterious death of Tony, whom Iris finds with his face stoved in and a drunk Silas nearby. Did the hulking lad kill Tony? I certainly hope so, since at this point it’s only pretty major developments like that which could make this show more interesting. Huck’s background was a nice step in the right direction if you ask me, but we’re still going to need a fair bit more.
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