Last week, we met the young characters of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. In “The Blaze of Glory,” Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) lead their group through a very dangerous blaze as Felix (Nico Tortorella) reminisces about his childhood.
Just a quick reminder, this series is about the Civic Republic. Iris and Hope set out to find their father, who’s works for the CR, trying to find a cure for the apocalypse. They are accompanied by their friends Silas (Hal Cumpston) and Elton (Nicolas Cantu). Upon discovered the kids were missing, the girls’ guardian Felix and his best friend Huck (Annet Mahendru) set out to find them and bring them home. What they don’t know is that Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) decimated their community after they left.
There are also some secrets among the group. Silas did something bad in his home community and was sent to the Campus Community. When Hope was very young, she shot a pregnant woman for killing her mom. She told Iris that an empty killed their mom. That pregnant woman was Elton’s mom. And of course, the biggest secret of all, what is the Civic Republic up to?
The kids encounter their first real empties. Iris tries to kill it, but she doesn’t have the training. It’s really kind of sad to watch. While she fights she remembers Felix’s lessons on how to kill an empty. She can’t really apply any of his lessons though. The empty is taller that Iris and she keeps stabbing it in the chest. Eventually they fall into a ditch and instead of killing the empty, Iris throws up on it.
Felix fills Huck in on why the girls left and that Elizabeth helped them. Huck is a little worried that she put the idea in Hope’s head to leave. Felix is certain that Hope didn’t need any help. From their conversation we get that the CRM are ahead of the times in manufacturing and fuel.
We learn a little more about Felix. When he was a teen, his dad kicked him out of the house when he found it his son was gay. At the time Felix was supporting his family while his dad looked for work. His dad disowned him and refused Felix’s help after.
Hope tries to have some fun on their journey. She finds a bowling ball and calls it Big Moe. Elton takes pictures of almost everything. He tells Hope that nature decides who lives and dies. Humans were already killing themselves and he thinks they have about 15 years until they’re all gone. Hope thinks it will happen sooner than that. They’re both okay with the future outcome of their lives.
Iris looks ahead and sees smoke. They are almost to the “Blaze of Gory,” an everlasting fire. The theory is that someone lit a bunch of old tires. The smoke and fire attract the empties. The noise from the empties that go to the blaze attracts more empties. Elton thinks that’s why they haven’t see many empties around town. Iris thinks they can get through it, but Hope wants to go around it. They pack up and start walking. Hope leaves an empty can of peaches in the road. Huck and Felix find the empty that Iris threw up on. Felix is certain that leaving was Hope’s idea.
Elton brought a can of spray paint. He wants to continue the migration experiment. They find an odd looking empty sitting on a bench. It opens its mouth and bees fly out. Another empty appears and Elton sprays it with the paint. Silas runs to help Elton but he can’t bring himself to hit the empty. He picks up Elton and they run away. Silas feels bad about not trying to kill empty. Iris says it’s okay, but reminds him that they will have to kill one eventually.
Elton finds a treehouse and the kids settle in for the night. They play games and the noise attracts Silas’ empty. Hope drops the bowling ball on the empty, but only hits part of its face. Silas keeps apologizing for not killing it. They decide to continue their games until they all go to sleep.
Hope can’t sleep. She keeps hearing the empty outside and thinking about the woman she shot. She decides to get up and take care of the empty. Hope distracts the empty by setting a doll on fire and throwing it out the window. Then she climbs down and leads it away from the treehouse. She inches toward an empty swimming pool. When the empty gets close to her, she move out of the way so it falls into the swimming pool. The empty almost pulls her in, but she gets away.
Hope returns to the treehouse, Silas wakes up and asks if she got rid of it. She says she didn’t do anything. Silas thanks her, saying it was his mistake. She tells him it was, but it doesn’t have to follow him around forever.
Huck and Felix walk along a familiar neighborhood. Huck detects that something is wrong and Felix admits that he used to live around there. He finds the empty can of peaches and says Hope took it from his apartment.
The kids are awake and can see buses all round in the Blaze of Gory. Hope doesn’t like what they see. It might be too big for them to handle. Iris thinks if they can get to the fence in the other side, they will have a clear path through an airfield. First they have to get through the empties before the fence. Elton thinks they can use the buses to hide. Hope thinks the whole plan is crazy. Silas says if they go around, they will probably get caught and he can’t go back. Elton won’t finish before he starts. It’s settled.
Huck and Felix smell the tires burning. As they walk through town, Felix remembers the Night the Sky Fell. He ran through the chaos of stalled cars and explosions to his family’s house. He knocked on the door, but they wouldn’t open the door. His father told Felix to go away.
Felix can’t sleep. He tells Huck his story. They set an alarm and turn in, but Felix is wide away. The kids rest at an old tennis court. Hope asks Elton if it bothers him that humans will be extinct soon. Elton says it doesn’t bother. He thinks they are the last generation. The Endlings. That makes them special. Actually the very last of a species is an endling. It’s their life and death that defines the generation. That makes Hope cry.
Felix quietly leaves Huck sleeping. The kids set out for the Blaze of Gory. Hope spray paints, “We Were Here. The Endlings.” on the tennis court signage.
THE BLAZE OF GORY
The next morning, Huck finds that Felix didn’t sleep at all. He’s playing with a gun though. They grab their things and head out.
There are so many empties just lingering around the buses. The Endlings find their way through the horde, using the buses and trucks for cover. While they maneuver through, they think of Felix’s lessons on how to survive outside of the community. He talks about using the sun as a compass. If they lose that, they are blind. At that time the smoke covers the sun. They keep walking and lose sight of the fence. Empties start to surround them. Hope sees the fence and they start running. Once on the other side, they regroup and find even more empties.
Huck and Felix find the Endlings’ sign. Felix thinks one of the girls wants them to find the kids. An empty walks towards them. Felix walks towards it. He thinks about the night before. He went to his old house. Felix hears the growlings of empties. He walks up to the door and stops. He remembers being locked out, calling for his mom to open the door. They didn’t want his help. So Felix leaves the house.
Felix kills the empty and turns to walk toward Huck. She asks where he went the night before. He says to kill his parents.
Iris didn’t expect there to be more empties on the other side of the fence. The smoke hid them so she didn’t know . Elton proposes that someone run to the next building and set off the tornado siren. The sound will attract the empties and they would have a clear path to run. But that someone, the bait, would be trapped in that building. Iris says no, but it may be their only option.
Iris thinks she’s stupid for leading them into this mess. Hope says what she did was brave. She tells them to get some rest. When they are all asleep, Hope cries. She looks at one of the walkies. Hope leaves the group and walks through the blaze. She thinks about her mom and the two of them blowing bubbles. Hope keeps walking, heading for the tornado siren.