The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 Episode 8 Ending Explained
We are down to the final stretch of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” and the stakes have been raised appropriately. The last few episodes were focused on bringing tensions to a boiling point. Secrets were spilled, characters were forced to choose sides, and new threats came out of the woodwork. This week’s episode, “Returning Point,” feels like we’ve now reached the beginning of the end. The hour was propulsive and tense and finally brought the war between the Bennetts and the Civic Republic Military out into the open.
For the Bennetts, the first part of that war involves trying to rally more allies to their side. Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt) makes a plea to his fellow underling CRM scientists whose good work the Campus Colony Crew wants to preserve. After seeing the Project Votus reports, which one of the scientists points out is undeniable proof that the CRM committed genocide and plans to do it again, they get on board. But getting everyone out of the research facility without fully showing their hand proves to be wishful thinking, especially with Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) on high alert.
The CRM’s research base isn’t the only place where everything is coming to a head. Following the death of Indira’s (Anna Khaja) son Dev (Abubakr Ali), the leader of the Perimeter community comes clean about her kidney disease and the medication she has secretly been receiving from the CRM to treat it. She informs her community that she will step down as their leader — but first, they must all get out of the CRM’s territory.
Here’s how everything played out on the latest episode of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.”
Dennis gets in the game
One of the biggest developments this past episode was Dennis (Maximilian Osinski) being brought up to speed by Huck/Jennifer (Annet Mahendru) on what has been going on behind the scenes at the CRM research facility. Just like the scientists, he doesn’t need to think about it for too long before he switches allegiances.
When Huck leaves, Silas expresses some understandable distrust regarding the woman who framed him for murder not that long ago. But Dennis comes back with a pretty sensical retort. “You know, on the inside, they tell you that everything you do is in service of the greater good,” he says, “That what you do today could help create the next five-hundred years. You go in not knowing exactly who you are, you lose perspective. You lose yourself.”
When Silas pushes back and appeals to a universal notion of right and wrong, Dennis responds, “No, there isn’t. Not for a long time now.”
While Dennis’ assessment may not be a pleasant one, it does help us better understand how the CRM operates. The people who help them carry out even the most evil of their plans have been manipulated to do so through fear. In a world where everything has been turned upside down, people are desperate for a return to order and structure, something we see throughout the “Walking Dead” universe. The CRM manipulates that desperation in order to convince people that they are the path forward and nothing, not even human lives, can stand in the way.
It’s also convenient that they speak in terms of five-hundred-year intervals. It keeps the focus on an unknowable future and off the immediate present, where the casualties of the CRM’s push for progress are piling sky high.
The Bennetts take a captive
At the CRM’s research facility, Jadis realizes that things are about to go sideways and initiates an evacuation drill meant to flush out the Bennetts and their allies. But thankfully the group has already figured out a workaround. They get everyone into a secure facility whose gigantic reinforced metal door will buy them enough time to chisel through the floor and get into some mining tunnels underground.
In addition to the scientists, the Bennetts also bring along a prisoner: Mason (Will Meyers). One of the big revelations last episode was that Hope’s crush is the son of Major General Beale, the often mentioned but never seen leader of the CRM. It looks like the Bennetts are indeed going to try and use him as a bargaining chip now that their rebellion against the CRM is out in the open.
While Mason could be the key to a successful escape, it is a risky move. The CRM has shown again and again that it will kill anyone who gets in their way without hesitation, so, we can only imagine what they would do to anybody who harmed the son of their leader. But on the other hand, even without Mason, the Bennetts all went on the CRM’s kill list the minute they started hatching their escape plan. Kidnapping Mason is a dangerous gambit but they have already crossed the Rubicon. While the CRM may have the manpower advantage, the Bennetts and their allies are working from a place of desperation. With nothing left to lose, they’ll take the risks.
Huck is behind enemy lines
No disrespect to the others, but nobody was hustling this episode the way that Huck/Jennifer was hustling. While everyone else was avoiding the CRM soldiers, Jennifer was right in the middle of the action watching Jadis hunt down the Bennetts in real-time. On one hand, this is a potential strategic advantage. But on the other hand, with every new part of the conspiracy that Jadis unravels, she gets a little closer to exposing Jennifer as a traitor.
The tension boils over when Jennifer walks into Jadis’ office and sees Brody (Lee Spencer), Indira’s chief political rival on the Perimeter council, talking to a CRM soldier. Jadis reveals that Brody came ready to snitch on all the ways in which the Perimeter has aided and abetted the Bennetts’ rebellion. When Jennifer is left alone with him, she berates him for turning on his own people, and he retorts that he’ll throw Jennifer under the bus, as well, unless she can promise him citizenship in the Civic Republic.
Unfortunately for Brody, that isn’t something Jennifer can offer. In coming directly to Jadis’ office, he’s also left her with few options. In what appears to be a snap decision, Jennifer shoots him in the head. She manages to cover when Jadis returns by saying that he was threatening to go public about the CRM’s involvement in the Omaha disaster.
Jadis appears to believe this but we still have a hard time accepting that she is completely in the dark about Jennifer’s double-dealings. Jadis has proven to be a bloodhound when it comes to sniffing out treachery and betrayal and the idea that she has somehow missed that the biggest traitor of all is standing right next to her strains credulity. While this might just end up being a bit of narrative dissonance, we’re still waiting for a hidden aspect of Jadis’ agenda to be revealed.
The Battle for the Perimeter
Brody’s betrayal has a pretty immediate negative effect on the Perimeter, which is that CRM guards arrive, line everyone in the community up, and prepare to execute them. But before the soldiers can turn their neighbors into a smaller version of Omaha, help arrives in the form of Dennis and Silas, who assist Will (Jelani Alladin) in starting a gunfight that turns into a full-on battle. Several Perimeter members die as a result but the community manages to hold the line and secure a victory against the CRM.
There is unfortunately one very notable casualty of the Battle for the Perimeter. When the smoke clears, Dennis opens his shirt and reveals that he’s been shot in the abdomen before collapsing to the ground. Is he actually dead, or just gravely wounded? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out but there is an easy case to be made for Dennis having served his narrative purpose after he swooped in and saved the day.
The episode ends with the Bennetts escaping through the tunnels under the CRM research facility and Jadis ordering a massive operation to find where they are going to surface. With just two episodes left, the stakes couldn’t be higher on both sides. The Bennetts have not only betrayed the CRM, taken several of their key scientists, and kidnapped the son of the military’s leader, but as Jadis points out, they also basically stole all the research, leaving the organization back at square one. That is proverbially burning the place to the ground if they manage to get away. The big question for the next two episodes is whether they can pull off their great escape.