The Walking Dead World Beyond Returns With a Confusing and yet Enjoyable Second Season

Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC

The Walking Dead World Beyond’s first season concluded with a cliffhanger that will be explored on the second season. The reception of the first season has been mixed. I, for one can agree with the reception as I felt like it was a chore at times to get through the first season with the exception of the last half of the first season.

With all of that aside, I got a chance to watch the first two episodes of the second season. Here are my non-spoiler thoughts broken down by each episode.

Episode one titled Konsekans, follows up with the end of the very first episode of the series in a massive way. Although I cannot say what happens at the moment, but there are missing items from the first season about CRM that are addressed right away. The thing here is, why was this moment not shown on the first season of World Beyond? Elizabeth is also heavily featured on the first episode as well as she wants Hope to work with CRM.

My take on some of the dialogue exchanged between Elizabeth and Huck is that the two actresses do not have good chemistry on screen together. But I am sure that it will get better more episodes into the second season of World Beyond. Speaking of following up, Will told Felix and Hope the story of what happened to him prior to the season one finale of World Beyond. It is an interesting story. However, I wished it could have been fleshed out more for me to care about the character.

There are things that do get a bit confusing with one of the character’s hallucination sequences. Get ready because it is there for the majority of the second half of this episode. The end of this sequence is satisfying though. It is just how it begins and what happens in between is what boggles my mind.

Iris became my favorite character on this episode. Especially towards the end when she does something major. In the universe of The Walking Dead, we are used to seeing adults and kids doing this whether if they are in a community, or not. Here on World Beyond, it strikes different because everyone never left their community before to deal with doing what needs to be done at that moment. It is a good scene!

Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC

If you take out the hallucination scenes and watch this episode of World Beyond, it is enjoyable. The second episode titled Foothold is better than the first episode. There are a large number of things I cannot spoil, but you will learn more about CRM on this episode than the entire first season of The Walking Dead World Beyond.

I can also say that the plot is moving very fast this time just on these first two episodes alone that is keeping me engaged to learn more. There is also dialogue that is still suited for a high school play. But not overbearing like the first season. Overall, this season starts off stronger than the last even though parts are hard to follow.

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5 “Out of the Ashes” Review

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Ladies and Gentlemen, “Out of the Ashes” is the best episode of the first half of the final season. The Walking Dead proves time and time again why it is the show to watch on Sunday nights and this episode is one of them.

Whenever Ross Marquand’s character Aaron is the central character on an episode, he knocks it out the park. From the nightmare sequence that brought back past villains such as The Wolves, The Saviors, and The Whisperers, to him waking up back to reality, Aaron is dealing with the pressure of being the man in charge of Alexandria missions. One of them, is for them to make sure the walls are up. And another sets them off to a trip to The Hilltop.

The reason for this trip is to see what tools are left over there to use due to the attack of The Whisperers. Aaron and the rest that are with him such as Lydia, Carol, and Jerry, realize that the last remaining members of The Whisperers are hoarding walkers around. It is here that Aaron goes to a zone we have not seen him in before.

Desperate for answers, Aaron interrogates the one Whisperer and I got a quick laugh out of it when he asked for his name while also reiterating to him “No Alpha or Beta ****.” The interrogation did go too far as Carol pointed out and they did stop until he revealed the location of where Connie is. I found these scenes very engaging and well acted!

Speaking of Acting, Cailey Fleming made me feel for her as Judith misses Michonne very much. The bullying of her by those kids in the episode and the nearly destruction of her last memory of Carl Grimes made me even more sad for her. However, Judith stood her ground and showed those kids why she should not be messed with. In addition, it’s great to see her train the next generation!

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Margot Bingham as Max – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Over at The Commonwealth, Yumiko finally meets her brother for the first time in over a decade, Princess and Ezekiel tried to help Eugene as he wanted to use the radio to contact Alexandria. He did, but he paid a price for it by getting arrested at The Commonwealth. Even though Lance let them free, they will have to pay for it. And do you think it is crazy that The Commonwealth uses money as currency?

I also wonder when the real Stephanie is going to introduce herself to Eugene. We saw her at the ice cream truck for a quick second as he was still with the decoy Stephanie. The reveal must happen soon! Maggie and Negan did not escape my mind. As for their ongoing feud, I think it’s safe to say that it has me siding with Negan on Maggie’s current status. It is important to understand that I am referring to Maggie’s reckless decisions at the moment, not to what Negan did to Glenn. Maggie was right about one thing, though. It is to wait until other people arrive. And Gabriel and Elijah did come later that day.

This episode of The Walking Dead saw the plot advance for the first time since the first episode of this season. The Walking Dead’s final season has a great bright spot in “Out of the Ashes,” after an awful episode last week. Every episode of this franchise should feature great acting, fast-paced action, and an engaging story. And all of that is cramed into this week’s episode! Also, that 90’s themed introduction to The Commonwealth reminded me of Wandavision for a moment! I cannot wait for next week’s episode!

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 4 “Rendition” Review

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Do you eat the same steak at the same restaurant each and every time? Do you have intercourse with your significant other without romance or without spicing it up at times? Or do you like the taste of chicken without any seasoning? If your answer is yes, then this episode of The Walking Dead titled “Rendition” is for you.

I can personally say that I did not like this episode. This is mainly because it has been wash, rinse, and repeat whenever Daryl Dixon encounters a new villain. In fact, I can use the same analogy of how the filler bad guys of this show are introduced. Did we need to see Daryl in this situation again? No.

There are some things I did like in “Rendition” though. The opening minutes had action and the dialogue exchange between Pope and Leah. But this Pope character played by Ritchie Coster, does not interest me at all. Am I supposed to care or take this guy seriously after he killed one of his own men due to what happened on the last episode? No because we already seen this happened in the past. The only positive I can give to the character, is the upcoming comparisons to Breaking Bad’s Walter White in the looks department. Congrats AMC, the Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead crossover finally happened.

Alex Moraz as Brandon Carver, Robert Hayes as Paul Wells, Brandon Box as Fisher, Ritchie Coster as Pope, Michael Shenefelt as Bossie- The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

And let’s bring up The Reapers. Three episodes in, I am hooked. The moment we got their backstory on this episode is the key indicator of the intimidation factor falling to zero. Honestly, this group is more suited for Fear The Walking Dead than the main show. This group is just filler.

I will also praise the stunt work on that fire scene. But as a viewer, I did not believe a single second that either Daryl and Leah will be killed in that small cabin because there is a Daryl and Carol spinoff happening. No matter how many times Daryl or Carol will be in danger during this season, I cannot suspend my disbelief at all.

This episode would have been more interesting if another character was in Daryl’s shoes in that situation. Maybe Gabriel could have been the one captured. He and Pope would have some great dialogue about their ideologies on religion and the current state of the world. Even have Gabriel talk with Leah too and Then somewhere later in the first half, Daryl and Leah reunite. This reunion did not need to happen this early. This is one episode I will not go back to unless it is for research purposes.

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 3 “Hunted” Review

If “Hunted” was a glorified bottle episode, I would have not liked it. But The Walking Dead pulled off a great episode.

The opening sequence is one of the most insane intros The Walking Dead has had since “Walk With Us” in the sense of the nonstop action. Goodbye Cole as we learned nothing important about you.

I wish the opening credits had continued because the abrupt cut away immediately took away the energy of the first three minutes. Where were those badass looking members of The Reapers that we saw at the end of the previous episode? Because they were nowhere to be found on this episode.

The Walking Dead is clearly preparing for the confrontation between Negan and Maggie, which may end with one of them dying. In spite of liking the performance between Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan when it came to building the tension for Maggie to make another difficult decision, I am growing impatient with both of them.

The two of them should not have to work together all the time, and I do not expect them to resolve their issues early on. The ending scene also deserves some kudos, as I felt like I was watching The Last of Us with the way the church and cross were shot.

No matter what Maggie said to Negan, Negan made it clear that her opinions did not matter at that moment as she needed to face reality to make a decision for Alden’s current state.

One of the best parts of “Hunted” are the scenes between Carol, Magna, Kelly, and Rosita. We have not seen someone on The Walking Dead trying to capture a horse in a really long time. The scenario here with the four appealed to me. In addition to discussing lingering issues from the previous season, the characters were also talking about them during this short mission. Carol’s decision to kill one of the horses, however, is controversial. On one hand, the residents need food. Additionally, the residents need horses. I am sure that this will be up for a discussion among The Walking Dead fandom.

As with many episodes of The Walking Dead, “Hunted” starts with a great action scene followed by a great character development across the board. Nothing felt out of place to me as I really enjoyed it! And I think I want to see more from the younger kids playing cards! And this week’s winner of the line of the episode goes to Gabriel!

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Pollyanna McIntosh Joins The Walking Dead World Beyond for Crossover

The first official crossover between The Walking Dead and World Beyond is in the horizon.

Pollyanna McIntosh, the actress who plays Jadis on the original AMC’s The Walking Dead, is going to make her long awaited return to the franchise. But this time, the character is crossing over to the second spinoff, The Walking Dead World Beyond.

Starting with the second and final season, Jadis will be a central character on World Beyond. Her appearance on the show will most likely tie-in with the upcoming The Walking Dead films on Rick Grimes. In case if you forgot, Jadis is the one that saved Rick Grimes at the end of the river when she called for a CRM helicopter to pick both of them up. Jadis referred Rick as a “B” when she saved him.

The meaning of “A” and “B” is getting closer as we see more clues play out. On World Beyond, there was a scene where “Test Subjects ‘A'” were being experimented on. Maybe Jadis could give more of an understanding to exactly what “B” means.

World Beyond’s first season ended with a small cliffhanger that will be explored on the second season. With Jadis now on World Beyond, so many things can happen since she is an unpredictable character. This also raises more questions of whether or not if the Jadis character will appear on the upcoming films to at least show what were Rick’s first few days like at one of CRM’s locations.

Season two of The Walking Dead World Beyond is set to premiere on October 3, 2021.

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Interview: Khary Payton, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, and Eleanor Matsuura Talks Working With Michael James Shaw

Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Michael James Shaw as Mercer – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Fans of The Walking Dead are going to be in for a treat tonight when the season 11 premiere airs.

The highest ranking security guard, Mercer will make his long awaited debut on tonight’s episode. Earlier this year, It was announced that Michael James Shaw will play as Mercer. In issue #177 of The Walking Dead, Mercer was introduced for the first time. Additionally, he appears on the cover of that issue.

There is more to Michael James Shaw than playing the character. On this exclusive that happened during the virtual press junket, I asked Eleanor Matsuura, Melissa McBride, Khary Payton, and Josh McDermitt what was it like to work with him. The cast dished out some details about their experience working with Michael James Shaw.

Eleanor: “He’s a Big Guy. I know Mercer is from the comics and all, but if there was anyone that could be an incarnation of him, that’s Michael. He’s built and he could hit me out with one hand and throw me around. And then you work with him, he is the sweetest, softest, funniest, and nervous kind of guy. He is the opposite of what you expect him to be. And then when he is Mercer, it is like “woah, he is so cool.” I love it when you work with people who are different from their character.”

Melissa: “Someone else that is like that is Cassidy McClincy. When she is on the set, she is in the mood of raw and full of emotion. Then when the director yells ‘cut’, she falls apart laughing. She is pure fun and joy when I worked with her. Cassidy and Michael are obviously different, but I can see the comparison between them when they are in character and not in character. Michael is a sweetheart and that tall man brings a unique aura to the show.”

Khary: “Those are really great examples! I do not recognize Cassidy sometimes when we are on set. When she plays Lydia, her smile goes away. I remember looking at her and not recognizing her for a minute because I’m just not used to seeing that bubbly version of herself. Michael is the same way. You come upon this huge bear of a man as you slowly get to know him. Its like when you come up to him and you think you should be on your guard or he might throw all kinds of testosterone on you. By the end of the day, you wonder how I can get this big bear of a man into my arms because I want to hold him like a baby! But he is just too big.”

Melissa: “I would like to see you hold him like a baby Khary!”

Khary: “I know!”

Eleanor: “There’s four of us that need to try to hug him!”

Josh: “We did scenes with him and his size and intimidation as the Mercer character really suits him. The thing that struck me with him Julian, is his performance. This is a guy we just spent the last few minutes talking about his size and he can certainly do his performance that way. When I was acting across from him, he had this intensity in him when he speaks and when he changes his facial expressions. Then when it was time to cut, it was the slightest change to the softness and I appreciate that. He is a tremendous actor and a wonderful human being. I am sad that this is our final season and that we didn’t get to have more seasons with him!”

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My Slasher: Flesh & Blood Non-Spoiler Preview

Paula Brancati as Christy Martin, Chris Jacot as Seamus – Slasher _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder

Netflix is where I learned about the horror show Slasher. In 2020, AMC announced that it had acquired Slasher and it would air exclusively on Shudder. Watching the first two episodes of Slasher: Flesh & Blood gave me a chance to formulate my thoughts on the series!

The series “Flesh and Blood” is right up my alley, recalling everything from Agatha Christie to CBS’ short-lived “Harper’s Island.” This is actually an excellent pitch for “Slasher: Flesh & Blood”: “Succession with violent, gory murder scenes.” Who wouldn’t want to watch that?

A branch of the Galloway family is headed by David Cronenberg, the King of Horror himself. A wealthy family gathers on an island retreat for a reunion under the sway of the vicious leader Spencer Galloway. It’s not surprising that Spencer keeps a few secrets, including that he’s reviving a tradition that was retired 25 years ago. To this point, Spencer had pitted relatives against each other in endless rounds of challenges and games. 

Sydney Meyer as Liv – Slasher _ Season 4, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder

During one of these challenges, Spencer’s grandsons were kidnapped for a gold bar worth almost $200,000. What is this year’s contest prize? Millions of dollars worth of fortune. The cast of characters also discuss the missing boy’s story over the course of the episode, which is the 25th anniversary of his disappearance.  

A murderous serial killer is also behind the ground, waiting to reveal these individuals’ darkest secrets before burying them. The season includes a humorous twist where they may kill each other and catch the serial killer. While there is little opportunity to comment on social issues between the characters in the game, at first it appears as if the personalities in it are similar to those in “Knives Out.”

Even though Grace (Rachael Crawford) believes she earned what she has through marriage, she believes the things she has are not hers alone except for her son Jayden (Corteon Moore). In spite of striving hard for the family business, Seamus (Chris Jacot) receives no respect from his father, even when Christy (Paula Brancati) and Aphra (Nataliya Rodina) try to comfort him. 

Sabrina Grdevich as Florence – Slasher _ Season 4, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder

Although Florence (Sabrina Grdevich) is one of the most disliked Galloway twins out there, the loss of her son a quarter-century ago leaves her feeling nostalgic for the remaining twin Theo (Alex Ozerov). That’s only a small part of this giant cast, which also includes Theo’s sister O’Keeffe (Breton Lalama), the housekeeper Birgit (Patrice Goodman), her daughter Liv (Sydney Meyer), and Spencer’s doctor (Jeananne Goossen).

In comparison with the previous seasons, the season premiere of Slasher: Flesh & Blood feels all over the place. It is still a jaw-dropping experience to watch the violence and gore. 

Probably due to the show killing so many people by the end. It appears at times that some of the actors are playing daytime television characters rather than movie slashers. I don’t want a masterpiece of acting on a 5 star budget. Just make it plausible. There’s not much left to say about the season premiere, but it will cut deep into any horror fans’ hearts until September.

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