This week’s episode of The World Beyond, “Truth or Dare,” centers on Huck, and it’s the best episode of the series’ run, so far, although the bar is not exactly high. Through its first six episodes, The World Beyond has been a complete mess, and “Truth or Dare” rises to the level of watchable, in part because the episode gets uncharacteristically dark for what has, so far, felt like a The CW series set in the zombie apocalypse.
One interesting note before we begin the meat of the episode: during Huck’s flashback to the beginning of the outbreak, a soldier can be heard saying of the zombie virus, “I heard it came back on a rocket, that it started in space. Somebody breathed it in, it turned their stomachs, and then they got on a plane.” That is quite possibly a small Easter Egg, alluding to an idea Robert Kirkman had about the origin of the zombie virus coming from space spores.
Beyond that detail, Huck’s backstory, as we learn, is considerably darker than what we have seen, so far. Silas killing his Dad was dark, but Huck killing her entire platoon is next level. We learn in Huck’s flashbacks that she was once a soldier and that she and her platoon were tasked with dealing with the zombie threat in the beginning of the outbreak before they had a clear understanding of what was going on. Huck and her platoon were given a mission, in which they were asked to kill everyone — zombies and non-zombies alike — because the Marines feared that everyone near the walkers might have been infected. Rather than kill a large group of uninfected civilians, however, Huck kills her entire platoon with a machine gun from virtually point-blank range.
It’s the first truly disturbing, messed up moment of the entire series. It won’t be the last; in fact, it’s not even the last of the episode. In the present timeline, the new characters, Percy and Tony, have ingratiated themselves into the group and they have agreed to drive the rest of the gang to New York. What they need, however, is gas for their truck, and it so happens that Tony has a map of CRM refilling stations. The gang crashes the refilling station together, and over the course of the mission, Hope is abducted by a stranger who has been bitten. Huck manages to manipulate the stranger to let Hope go by convincing him that she can help him survive the infection by amputating his arm. However, once he frees Hope, Huck kills the stranger, which is more an act of mercy than one of cruelty.
Meanwhile, Huck and Hope bond over the experience, and Hope eventually confesses to Huck that she accidentally killed Elton’s mom when she was a young girl. Huck wisely advises Hope to keep that information to herself, and Hope wisely agrees. Also, Percy and Iris start spending some time together, and it’s clear that Percy develops feelings for her. After the mission is complete, Percy asks Iris to meet her in the truck an hour later. When she arrives, Percy has romantically turned the back of the truck into a museum to impress the art-obsessed Iris. Percy, however, is nowhere to be seen, and Iris falls asleep waiting for him to return.
Iris is awoken by the sound of breaking glass and what the subtitles describe as “departing footsteps.” Iris goes inside to investigate and discovers that Tony’s face has been bashed in and Silas’ wrench is sitting next to him. After Iris calls in Felix, Huck, and Hope, they find Silas in the adjoining closet, holding a bottle and apparently drunk.
Did Silas kill Tony? Maybe? He was obviously jealous of Percy, because Silas had his own crush on Iris, and he was distrustful of Tony, as well. Moreover, Silas is known to have a raging temper, and once used that temper to kill his own father. So, did he get drunk and kill Tony?
I’m not convinced. Silas may be capable of it, but I don’t think that he’d be so jealous of Percy that he’d violently murder Tony, not unless Tony gave him reason to do so. Moreover, we heard glass breaking and — as the subtitles state — “footsteps departing.” That means that someone else was there — like Percy — so it’s possible that he orchestrated the murder of Tony from the start, beginning with the invitation he extended to Iris to meet him in his truck.
The motivation for killing Tony, however, remains unclear. However, he is a con artist, so it’s possible that someone Tony scammed had tracked him down and murdered him (with Silas’ wrench?), or maybe Silas intentionally killed Tony after witnessing him attempt to steal all of their stuff. Again, Tony is a con artist.
On the other hand, maybe Tony was killed trying to protect Percy from Silas, and Percy broke the glass to escape. Recall earlier in the episode when Tony told Felix that, he knew after a day that he would die for Percy. Sacrificing himself for Percy would certainly track.
A Loose End:
— We find out that Huck’s real name is Jennifer. We did not find out where her bizarre, confusing accent comes from.