THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 206, WHO ARE YOU?
In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Iris and Felix opt to stay put at RF and solve a mystery, Huck slips into her old ways, and a restless Will decides to take action in episode 206, “Who Are You?” In an episode about deceit and ambition, everyone is wearing a persona.
We start the show with a hop to the not-so-distant past. In the undead apocalypse equivalent of a meet-cute, Leo accompanies Lyla on a research expedition. When Lyla drops some papers, Leo helps her pick them up as the soldiers wrangle an undead test subject nearby. Nothing quite so romantic as paperwork and the moans of the hungry dead for these scientists I guess.
Leo, Huck, Hope, Iris, Percy, and Felix discuss the coded data that Huck passed along to Leo for answers. The working theory based on the data is that CRM used chemical weapons on Omaha and Campus to kill the population, then the CRM released empties to cover up the crime. The group has not formulated a reason for the actions, but they believe that is what the data says. Hope suggests that they stay in the research facility until they uncover the whole story. Iris agrees, and she volunteers to write the note to put in the dead drop for Will.
Though a few theories are bandied about, Felix questions Huck. Huck insists that her role was to act as an observer and that she has no information about the fall of the cities. Huck adds that her mother had to have known about the work though. Still angry, Percy notes that everything was Kublek’s fault except for the part where Huck made the decision to kill Percy’s uncle and frame Silas. Huck ignores Percy, and she floats the theory that the CRM would have destroyed the cities if the CRM believed that they were a threat to the balance of resources. When Iris asks Huck about the hidden CR city, a defensive Huck avoids the question.
If Huck is thinking she made a mistake in giving the data to Leo, she is almost certain when she runs into Jadis Stokes in the corridor. It seems that once upon a time, Huck trained Jadis as a soldier. Now, Kublek has sent Jadis to the RF to keep an eye on Kublek’s daughter while she is away. Jadis makes it very clear that she will be watching every move that Huck makes. “I hope I don’t have to arrest you,” Jadis says with a grin.
In another hallway, Percy and Iris sneak down to the motor pool to put the message for Will in the dead drop of a truck. Percy swears he will keep his promise to help Iris, and he will follow her even though the plan is now to stay in the RF.
At the lab, Lyla offers to bail on their dinner date, but Leo insists she joins the family dinner. Leo confirms that his daughters know about Lyla. After a moment of flirting over some clothing Lyla gathered for the girls, she knocks the bag over. When Leo stoops to help her pick the items up, he flashes back to their meet-cute. Leo remembers that the papers he had helped her with had the V symbol on them, just like the chemical data Huck had given him. Leo looks a little heartbroken, but he hides it from Lyla.
Over dinner, Iris is set off when she sees Leo and Lyla holding hands. Iris asks Lyla about her life before the end of the world, and Lyla confirms that she used to work for big Pharma researching cures for diseases. Iris barely contains her disgust when she questions Lyla about animal testing. Everyone around the table knows what Iris is hinting at, but mercifully Lyla is just feeling the tension part.
“[It comes down to] how much of your humanity, your soul, are you willing to sacrifice for the greater good. We all do things we wish we didn’t have to, but that’s just life,” Lyla says. Iris argues that Lyla always has a choice and she can not excuse that as “just life.” Hope hustles Iris out of the apartment with an excuse about a sick Felix. Leo convinces Lyla to stay behind with him.
OPEN AIR CONFESSIONS
Outside in the open courtyard with people around, Hope very freely gives her opinion about the fact that there are good people in the facility. Hope expresses, well, hope about the research and a chunk of the population. Iris counters that from her point of view, all of CRM is the enemy. To prove she means it, Iris confesses to Hope about the soldier she murdered in the forest. Iris admits that in her note to Will that she told him to be ready to burn the RF to the ground. Safe to say these sisters are not seeing eye to eye on the plan for the facility.
After Felix guilts Huck into helping him break into Lyla’s lab, they go to the key card room to do a little hacking. When Huck has some difficulty transferring Lyla’s permissions to her card, Felix suggests they check the log for spaces outside Lyla’s lab. Sure enough, Lyla has been hot-footing it down to the basement.
On the walk, Huck tells Felix that she had gone undercover at Campus as a way to make up for a mistake made by her husband. The husband is news to Felix, but he dutifully listens to Huck while his mouth hangs open in shock. Huck explains that there had been an incident in the field where people had been killed. Though Huck’s husband saved lives, he had been drinking at the time. Huck took the blame so that an investigation would not uncover that her husband had been drinking. The problem was that Huck had forgotten to wipe the log for the key card when she wiped the surveillance tapes, and she had been caught.
After a cursory look at the room noted on Lyla’s keycard log, Huck determines that they need to cut the power to unlock the door. As the power station is across the quadrant, Huck goes to cut the power while Felix stays behind to enter the room when the lock disengages.
I DIDN’T MEAN TO TURN THE POWER STATION OFF
While Huck sabotages the power station, Felix slips into the secret lab. Inside the lab is a freezer with several rooms. The rooms contain frozen undead test subjects, vials of serum, and big tanks of biohazardous chemical gas. Felix radios Huck to ask her about the name of the chemical on the data logs. There is no response. Felix freaks out, and when he goes to leave the room, the lock reengages. Felix is trapped.
After a long wait where Felix is halfway to being a popsicle, Huck rescues him. Huck explains that the backup generator had kicked in faster than expected, and she had been forced to detour to the key card room to work some magic. When Huck asks for a report, Felix pulls one of the vials of liquid out of his pocket. Huck tells Felix to get the vial to Leo, while she goes to wipe the key card log. Looks like Huck has learned from her past mistakes.
WHO ARE YOU, JADIS?
It is unclear if Huck managed to cover her tracks, but she next pops up in her mother’s office. Jadis summoned Huck there to talk. Jadis tells Huck that before the CRM had rescued Jadis six years ago, she had run a colony of people before a bad alliance had ruined it. When Jadis says her ticket into the CRM was a gift of something valuable, I’m guessing that means Rick. Why Rick in particular was of value to the CRM is not discussed.
The point is that Jadis found her purpose with the CRM. More than that, Jadis found ambition. Jadis makes an effort to trip up Huck by calling her Huck, but Huck is quick to note that is not her name. Considering that Huck answers to that regularly, it is pretty clear that she is only playing the role of Jennifer now for Jadis’ benefit. Jadis clocks it, and she notes that it can take time to drop a persona you have lived in too long. Especially after one has bonded with people. Huck stresses that she sacrificed a lot to prove herself to the CRM already. “There is always more,” Jadis says.
Upstairs, an unnerved Lyla tells Leo that she has been keeping something from him. Leo follows Lyla outside, but her confession is not what he expected. Lyla tells Leo about how her daughter and husband died at the start of the apocalypse, and how she had experimented on their undead corpses. “I did horrible things,” Lyla whispers. Lyla stresses that her only goal now is to save the world. Saving the world and honey potting Leo I guess.
Dev retrieves Iris’ message from the CRM truck, and the town council is alarmed by its contents. Brody calls for a no-confidence vote in Indira, but she survives it. Will is frustrated that Iris wants to burn it all down. Elton confides to Will about Indira’s secret, so Will makes up his mind to break into the RF. The plan is for Will to enter through a pen of empties in the corner of the research facility. Once Will gets through that madness, he will inform the others so that they understand that Indira needs to continue to receive medical help. One can’t get kidney meds if the source is burned to the ground.
Will forces Asha to stay behind, and Elton accompanies her to the woods to pray. Dev escorts Will to the spot they have chosen to break in. As Dev offers his father’s unused gun to Will as a gesture of thanks, Will has no time to thank Dev. That’s because a patrol has spotted them, and shot a hole through most of Dev’s face. Dev is dead. Will takes off.
We are at the point in the season when everybody is lying to everyone else and almost all of them know it. No one is who they say they are. No one is honest about their motives. Almost everyone is trying to make up for mistakes or rectify wrongs. Every character is either settling on a purpose for their life or full speed ahead on a purpose they have already zeroed in on. As the show careens toward the end of the series, the action is definitely picking up. We are getting a few answers to the question, but I’m not sure how satisfying it will be.
Did CRM destroy the cities as a way to balance resources while also wresting control of the republic from civilian oversight? The motives seem possible but not plausible. It still seems like the CRM wasted a lot of talent in the tens of thousands of people that were killed. The CR may want those people to rebuild society, but maybe the CRM is less interested in that motive.
“Who Are You?” itself has some good tension. The scenes between Jadis and Huck are interesting. Not only for what they say but what they are not saying. Huck appears to be firm with Leo, but I do not think she is interested in burning everything down. If anything, I think Huck just wants to demilitarize the CR society. It is no wonder that Huck focused on Hope over Iris. They both see a hopeful future. Iris just sees rage.
ODDS & ENDS
- Silas’ fate waits till next week.
- Huck did not tell Felix that Silas was with her husband. She also did not mention her husband’s name.
- Brody threatened to tell the CRM about Will and the group. Could he be to blame for Dev’s death? That was an awful large patrol who knew exactly where to look.
- Jadis appears to have adopted Father Gabriel’s last name.