Read our previous The Walking Dead: World Beyond reviews here. This review contains spoilers!
In this setting, many would advise against a sizeable group spitting up and exploring a building by themselves – given the struggles of ‘The Endlings’ in previous episodes. In “The Wrong End of a Telescope,” the six find a long-abandoned high school low on food and water. On an exploratory mission, they break up into groups of two; (Huck/Hope, Silas/Iris, Felix/Elton). One of the key elements of this episode is Felix and Huck’s plan to cause dissension within the group to carry on with the mission.
Honestly, who can blame them? These teens are in over their heads and the road will get more perilous closer to possibly finding Hope and Iris’s father. However, given how close Felix is to Leo, why would he want to abandon finding him when he could be in danger? While they look for supplies, Felix gives an impassioned plea, speaking to Elton going along with the plan. Yes, Felix has lost many people along the way, and given the way Elton reacts to certain things and his claustrophobia – this might be too much for him. Felix and Huck will play on this further, as there’s more to Elton’s backstory. As the ‘analytical’ brain of the group, will logic or his adventurous nature win out as we go forward?
Things with Hope and Iris develop separately, as Hope was initially put off by her sister wanting to go on her own. The high school served as a suitable setting to explore Iris’s discontent with not having that experience. You have a huge gym with worn memories of a dance and paintbrushes. These four episodes have been a retrospective look for Iris. Hope finally came clean about that night they lost her mother and the sad thing is, there is no normal. She’ll never experience what being a typical high schooler can be.
Iris also serves as somebody who seeks to understand Silas. He’s also trying to hold on to any semblance of a family he has – with the music he plays reminiscent of what his grandmother loved. In this group, he’s found his family. People that can accept them for what he can be and not the mistakes of his past. Silas, in a state of shock, hints at his innocence in killing his father. (We’ve only seen flashes of a confrontation at this point).
On the flip side, while Huck is not as open about her upbringing, we see flashbacks of Hope’s relationship with Leo. He tries to connect with her through her mischievous ways as she and Iris are different. There’s an impostor syndrome that’s present within Hope that she tries to fight off, even though her dad tells her they were inseparable. Much of this trip – while it is trying to find her dad, it’s about Hope trying to distinguish herself. She initially internalizes this false blame that her mishaps were the reason that her dad left. However, what is the thing that Leo is trying to protect her from and the conversation that they are supposed to have?
“The Wrong End of a Telescope” has its instances of suspense. There are empties as a sad reminder that some students and facility did not make it out. A wolf makes an appearance and Hope tries to tie its appearance metaphorically to her dad, wanting to protect her and her sister from something.
There are two festering threats in the group. While he tries to keep that side of himself tranquil, Silas’s bubbling anger could prove dangerous in the wrong situation. Perhaps a developing relationship with Iris will lead to her being the person to talk him down, but one has to wonder if the group will keep being as forgiving towards him. Then, there’s Elton – the proverbial mole who will most likely get everybody into trouble as hinted in the preview for next week.
There’s a coda that happens at the end of the episode that brings about more questions. Who is this scientist, where are they, and why are they doing some experiment on empties? The even larger question is the picture – Hope and Iris’s dad is in it and the empty is one of the scientists from Portland.