After last week’s disastrously bad episode, World Beyond has finally found it’s footing. “Madman Across the Water” made up for it in a great way. The memories of a cringe dance sequence followed by a wolf that served no purpuse has erased from my memory. On this episode, there was a sense of urgency, suspense, and danger that the group encounters.
The strongest praise I will give is Elton. Nicolas Cantu’s performance on “Madman Across the Water” is his best perfomance on World Beyond so far. That is because of how well his flashback scenes were used to enhance the character. Watching Nicolas portray Elton on this episode compared to the last four is night and day. I say this because for the first four episodes, Elton was a character that was trying way too hard to fit in with the rest of them. Since everyone was forced into a situation where they had to adapt, Elton came off more human than robotic.
The dialouge for most of this episode reminded me of how ridicilous most of the dialouge was on some of the season 8 episodes of the main show. Did we really need to see Iris break up a verbal fight just so she can have this giant speech? Felix is older than all four of them. He should have showed more authority towards Iris at that moment. Felix also should remind all of them that they have no idea what they are in for because this is not a trip to disneyland. It is dangerous out there.
I will admit, that I was jumpy when that thunderbolt hit that shed. When that happened, the tension rised when the empties started to arrive.
The scene with Hope and Elton towards the end is building towards something. Little pieces like this that will come to play in later episodes. Hope now knows that she shot Elton’s mom and when the time comes for her to tell Elton that, I would like to see how he will react. It made me gasp once she seen the photo and I am sure that everyone reacted the same way.
The most interesting part of Elton’s flashback scenes, is his last one. After the military left the museum, Elton found a map that lead him to the Campus Colony. I wondered how the characters ended up there. And I am happy to see at least one of the characters go there.
The final moments of the episode really made me look forward to the next episode. They were all in a situation that could cost them their lives. And this is their first test on how to survive a bad encounter because people are worse than the undead. What worked on this episode better than the last episode, is the task of building a boat with the resources they had. Although the scripting of the dialouge is questionable, the setting and urgency of needing to get something done in a quick time mattered more than dancing in a school gym.
Overall, I enjoyed “Madman Across the Water” for what it was. This is the first strong episode that did not have CRM attached to it at the end. “Blaze of Glory” also did not have a CRM scene, but there were huge inconsistencies that took me out of the moment. Next week, we will see how they all deal with a threat.