We learn more about the Civic Republic research in this episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. In “Foothold,” Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Silas (Hal Cumpston) make some new friends. Elizabeth (Julia Ormond) is closing in on Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Felix (Nico Tortorella).
Felix finds Iris in the woods after she kills the CRM soldier. They ran to a few walkers as more CRM soldiers approached, but the two were able to stay alive and out of sight.
The next day, Iris freezes when she comes face to face with an empty. She thinks about her dream and the soldier she killed. Will (Jelani Alladin) is a little upset with her for being so careless. Iris understands and says she did it because she thinks the CRM attacked Omaha and Campus Colony. Felix isn’t so sure. He doesn’t understand why the CRM would want to kill thousands of people. Iris reminds him of what they put them through to get Hope. Will agrees with Iris.
They are looking for an empty that could pass as Will. He finds one and puts his jacket on the body and Felix takes it to be released with the rest of the dead.
Hope settles in at the Research Facility. Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt) is very concerned about what Hope went through to get there. Dr. Lyla Bellshaw (Natalie Gold) is supportive and decides to disappear until Leo can tell his daughter about them. Lyla feels bad about spilling the beans about Hope’s computer skills. Leo says it ended up being a good thing. If the girls didn’t leave Campus Colony when they did, both Hope and Iris could be dead right now.
When Leo tries to talk to Hope about her journey, but she doesn’t want to talk about it. Hope was more worried about Leo and his safety. She’s happy to see that he’s fine. Leo worries now for Iris, but Hope says she’s okay. Iris is a lot tougher than he thinks.
Leo apologizes for not being aware of the CRM’s agenda. He always wanted Hope to follow in his steps and here she is. The only bad thing is that now she has no free will to choose her own path. Hope questions if they have to do what the CRM says and Leo isn’t sure.
Silas is taken to an old stadium just outside of the research facility. The place is managed by Dennis (Maximilian Osinski), a CRM soldier. He meets other young people Webb (Jesse Gallegos) Grady (Kellen Joseph Quinn) and Tiga (Ry Chase). They are outside, killing empties that are in a pile. Most of the empties are burnt. Silas is given a weapon and instructed to begin killing and cleaning up.
Later, Silas asks Grady what this place is. Grady says they lure in the dead with music and lights. When they get enough, they set off explosives. When the fires die down, they kill any empties that are still moving.
Leo confronts Elizabeth about what’s next for his family. Elizabeth says her team is already looking for Iris and Felix. She is confident they will be there by that evening. As for Will and Romano, she lies and says they encountered a large column of the dead so their return is delayed.
Leo is upset that Hope was put through so much trauma. Elizabeth was confident that she would be brought in safely because her daughter, Staff Sergeant Jennifer Malick, aka Huck (Annet Mahendru) was protecting her. As for the way Hope was brought in, Elizabeth thought it was important that Hope experience what the world is really like. Hope grew up behind the safety of walls and didn’t know the real dangers of the world. She needed Hope to realize the importance of their work and her role in the CR.
Elizabeth knows no matter how mad Leo is, he will continue to do his work for them. She also knows about the fax transmissions that he sent to his daughters. He broke their laws, but they looked the other way. Elizabeth advises him not to make any more bad decisions like that.
Lt. Newton (Robert Palmer Watkins) walks in after Leo leaves. He reports that they have not found their missing soldier or Leo’s missing security detail. Elizabeth asks him to get a transport ready for her.
Hope wanders around the community. Everyone stares at her wherever she goes. She finds a bench and sits alone. She has a small notebook with her and writes down all of the security features that she sees. Lyla approaches and offers to give Hope a tour. Hope sees Lyla’s security badge and agrees to go with her.
The research facility used to be a government funded education research lab that housed experiments in dark matter and neutrino physics. Before that it was a diamond mine. Now they are using the labs to find out why the world turned. They want to pinpoint what makes the dead turn. While also discovering what keeps the dead animated, slow the decomposition and feeds their appetite. They want to turn off the triggers and eliminate that threat.
Along the way, Hope sees a sign on a door for Authorized Military Personnel Only. She tells Lyla that she has to go to the bathroom and approaches that door. A young man stops her, asking if she needs help. His name is Mason (Will Meyers) and he already knows who Hope is. The door leads to a supply closet. Mason offers to take her on a tour but she’s already on one.
Perimeter resident Brody (Lee Spencer) voices his concerns to Indira (Anna Khaja) about Will, Felix and Iris. He thinks it’s too dangerous to allow them to stay. He also reveals the journals from Iris’ room. Will and Felix say they have a plan to keep everyone safe. Before they can reveal their plan, Indira is alerted that the CRM are approaching. Iris, Will and Felix hide behind a tapestry while Brody covers the journals with papers. He tells Indira that they could lose a lot if they don’t give up the outsiders. Indira tells him not to say a word.
Elizabeth enters and says they are looking into something. She looks around the house, admiring the art, but really examining the place. The wind blows the paper off of the journals and Brody squirms. Indira distracts Elizabeth by asking about Jennifer. Elizabeth tells Indira that one of her soldiers is missing. Indira wonders if Elizabeth is blaming them, but Elizabeth is sure it’s a CRM problem. Indira says they haven’t seen anything. Elizabeth says their wall was damaged. She offers to have her security look around to make sure no one slipped in unnoticed. Indira says the wall is fixed and her people do a good job,but Elizabeth insists.
The soldiers walk upstairs as Elizabeth turns her attention to the tapestries. Will, Felix and Iris are hiding behind one of those tapestries. Just before she gets to the trio, a soldier radios in saying they found the missing soldier. Elizabeth apologizes for the intrusion and leaves. Brody covers up the journals and everyone breathes a little easier.
Hope looks around her father’s lab. She finds Lyla who apologizes for Leo’s absence. Lyla says Leo has no choice but to work hard for the future of humanity. Hope gets it. Lyla further explains that there are a lot of parents that want to find a solution to the dead problem, but they don’t have the resources. They are relying on Leo to do it for them and that’s a lot of pressure on him.
Lyla shows Hope a video of her dad, explaining his work for the CRM. He started by hooking up a monitor to an empty brain. They tracked the stimuli of the brain in different environments. Lyla says they tried for years to do that but Leo did it in two months. Because of his work, they’ve collected a lot of data. He may have come up with a fungus that can speed up the dead’s decay and eliminate them as a mobile threat.
They find the missing soldier in a river. Newton is pretty sure there was struggle. Elizabeth thinks it was Iris and Felix. She asks Newton not to let this information get back to Leo.
Leo returns home and explains to Hope that he tried to get an update on Iris and Felix and came up with nothing. He asks about the tour from Lyla. Leo says that Iris and Felix weren’t at the retirement home. The CRM can’t find them. Hope knows they moved and they are okay. Leo asks if she’s not telling him something. He needs her to be honest with him and asks Hope what’s going on.
Dennis takes Silas to his living quarters for the duration of his stay. He explains this stadium was the first of its kind. There are six others across the state. If what they do works, they can clear out the state and gain a foothold. Then they can cultivate the land. This stadium is a training ground. Dennis says they are starting over. Silas asks if that’s what he’s doing personally. Dennis says he’s a mechanic and trains the others to fix what’s broken.
Dennis leaves for the night. Webb says he’s going to the research facility. Tyga mentions that Dennis has a lady friend there. Dennis loads up a body in his truck. He gets in the driver’s seat to leave and takes out a picture. The picture is of him and Huck.
Indira decides to let Will, Iris and Felix stay. Iris tells Felix that she’s not worried about being found, she worries that she won’t get to hit the CRM back. Felix asks if she’s ready to fight back and she is angry. Iris says this is war and Felix agrees. Until they can figure out how to get them back, they will go out and fight the dead.
Lyla talks to Elizabeth about Hope and Leo. She says they need Hope to keep Leo motivated and focused on his research, but Elizabeth says that’s what Lyla is for. Lyla says she’s doing her best. Elizabeth hopes it’s enough for his and her sake. Lyla asks when she’s getting her next test subject. She also heard the general’s plans are moving ahead of schedule. Elizabeth says she will have what she needs in time.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond airs Sundays on AMC. You can also watch new episodes early on AMC+.
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