The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2, episode 3 recap – “Exit Wounds”

October 18, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
AMC, Weekly TV
2

Summary

“Exit Wounds” isn’t as aggressively stupid as some prior episodes have been, but it still has very little going for it.

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2

Summary

“Exit Wounds” isn’t as aggressively stupid as some prior episodes have been, but it still has very little going for it.

This recap of The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2, episode 3, “Exit Wounds”, contains spoilers.


The Walking Dead: World Beyond has never been a particularly complex show, but since the climax of the first season deigned to split a lot of the core cast up, the first few episodes of this one have been splitting time rather unevenly among them. In other words, I’d totally forgotten that Elton and Percy were even a thing. Perhaps my brain was trying to purge all that corduroy from my mind. Either way, “Exit Wounds” catches us back up with these two and loops them back into the main plot, while also agonizing over Huck’s moral code and Hope’s state of mind as the latter finds herself in a temporary high-school drama. The show still isn’t very good, but I was slightly less annoyed by it this week thanks to slightly less aggressively stupid decision-making. There’ll be more of that to come though, I’m sure.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2, episode 3 recap

Anyway, Percy hasn’t changed much, and the whole thing with Elton is whether or not he starts to buy into Percy’s cynical ideology. The con artist has, admittedly, been betrayed and suffered great loss on a pretty regular basis, but his outright refusal to accept that anyone could still be decent just feels like an excuse for him to make bad decisions. This is exemplified almost immediately in “Exit Wounds” when the two of them happen on two teenagers with an ample supply of food, and while Elton is negotiating for some of it, Percy just starts flagrantly stealing it and they’re all forced to run into the woods where they almost get killed by earthy walkers.

I like the design of the walkers, at least, and the reverential way in which Asha (Madelyn Kientz) scooped out the zombie’s eyes and replaced them with pretty little flowers was nicely grim and weird. Later, she and Elton – is a love story developing here? – have a little conversation about whether the walkers still have souls, and a part of me wondered whether having everyone in World Beyond call them “empties” was just to facilitate this moment. Anyway, as it turns out, these two are working with Iris and the rest of the Perimeter, which allows Elton and Percy to return to a part of the main group just in time to see Huck and Hope doing the same, but more on that in a minute.

There’s potential in The Perimeter as an idea. They obviously represent the humble blue-collar rural perspective versus the muted militarism of the Civic Republic, which is a bit arch, but they’re also in an intriguing predicament given how their morality relates to their safety. They want to help people, but they also want to preserve an arrangement that has kept them alive. This being The Walking Dead, it’s all inevitably going to go wrong, but the people there seem pretty decent, and I wouldn’t want to risk my life for idiots like Iris and Elton either.

But let’s talk about Hope since this is where things get really silly. She’s still trying to find her place amongst the youth of the CRM but is suffering from regular PTSD-induced flashbacks to her experiences on the road, which makes for, admittedly, a nice counterpoint to the other kids’ sheltered upbringings. But goodness, the idea of Hope being a genius is just so hilarious to me. There’s a scene in “Exit Wounds” in which she gets into a scientific argument with Mason (Will Meyers), the handsome lad who caught her eye last week, and it’s such a grossly overwritten bit of claptrap that my eyes rolled so hard they almost plopped into my lap. Honestly, we spent a whole season depicting everyone in this show as stupid, and now we’re expected to just buy into the ridiculous idea that Hope was some kind of Good Will Hunting-style mega-genius all along? Stop it, show. Just stop.

In the grand scheme of things, this all seems pretty pointless anyway, since by the end of the episode Hope has been spirited away by Huck, arriving at the Perimeter in view of Elton and Percy, neither of whom want to see either of them. So, why bother with all this tortuous teen-romance stuff in the first place? Why play Jenga, of all things? It just seems like such a waste of time.

Huck gradually realizing that she has been manipulated and that Elizabeth being her mother has blinded her to the reality of the CRM’s activities is probably the most compelling arc in the show thus far, which admittedly isn’t saying much, but there’s something about Annet Mahendru that I find really compelling, and Huck is a character deserving of a better show. Hopefully, now she’s on Team Good Guy for real she’ll get to do some more cool stuff and not have to spend entire episodes being shelved for feigned, uninteresting domesticity. It won’t make the show overall much better, but it’ll make watching it more fun, at least.

You can catch The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2, episode 3, “Exit Wounds”, on AMC

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