The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s first episode laid the groundwork – almost like a prequel that sets up the journey. ‘Blaze of Glory’ doesn’t waste time as it picks up immediately where we left off There is some trouble – albeit, predictable given the amateur status of our teen group and being out in the desolate, dangerous world. This episode interjects some training advice from Felix (Nico Tortorella). At first, for the head, don’t tire yourself out, and at last resort – run. Almost all the teens have difficulty with this – Iris (Aliyah Royale) attacks, but can’t get a proper kill, Hope (Alexa Mansour) finds herself in a similar predicament tackling an empty by herself, and Elton (Nicolas Cantu), and Silas (Hal Cumpston) both freeze.

Many people would watch this episode and think, “these would be dead in five minutes against the elements.” Thinking of both The Walking Dead and Fear The shows, zombies are disposed of within seconds. Whether it’s Daryl with a clean crossbow shot or Morgan’s staff, but it shouldn’t be believable for kids to be killing machines. There’s a difference between the classroom and being out and experiencing the real thing. It almost feels like a sigh of relief to see someone struggle, and undoubtedly, this group will have to adapt to this -on-the-job training.

There’s a role reversal that happens between Iris and Hope. Iris has taken the role of the brave, but sometimes reckless one. Especially with her insistence of the group going past the ‘blaze of glory’ or the big tire fire field. Logic would think their fates would be directly tied to the episode’s name. They SHOULD perish, but there’s something about the group that makes you want them to pull through. Hope has become more cautious, and this is expressed through her conversations with Elton. Elton speaks of his mom’s talks with him of evolution and the potential end of man. (ironic, given what we know about what his mom did).

While Hope plays it cool, this notion of them being the last bastion of civilization shakes her – but wouldn’t everybody? A lot of this episode deals with appearances and how they are deceiving. Silas’s stature did not prove him to be overpowering to an empty, and there’s a sensitive person inside Hope’s exterior. Amongst the talk of death and fate, nobody really wants to die or go in alone. The teens lean into this journey, deciding that they aren’t going back to the lives they knew, even if it means certain danger. Even within the chaotic, frenetic pace, the episode goes at points; it slows down to our group in a treehouse playing monopoly. Brief moments like those are a good dichotomy to remind the audience of the almost innocent humanity these four have – even if they put on their ‘superhero’ poker faces.

Felix’s backstory gets explored in his very tense relationship with his parents – his father, in particular. Not only was he subsidizing his family, but his father was also hostile to him coming out. In Felix and Huck’s (Annet Mahendru) journey to find the kids, it equally serves as closure for Felix as they stumble through his old hometown. In a talk that he has with Huck, she expresses that they are still his parents no matter what. You have no hand in choosing your initial family, but Iris and Hope have become his. Interestingly enough, he thinks Hope is the conduit for the group’s crazy mission.

Time will tell how the hurt manifests within Felix throughout this season – given he had to see his parents’ unfortunate fate due to their choice. A moment of suspense happens when our teen group or ‘The Endlings’ go through the poison smoke field, but they got lucky. ‘Blaze of Glory’ is heavy on character development and will have you wondering when the group’s good fortune will run out on them.