The reunion that occurred in The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s penultimate episode came far too late for the spinoff series. Since the show is just a two-season story, the following episode will be The Walking Dead: World Beyond series finale. The events of the finale are expected to provide resolution to the main characters’ conflict with the CRM, which is why the characters regrouping should have happened far sooner.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond began as a coming-of-age story about four teenagers who became a found family through their experiences in the zombie apocalypse. It didn’t take long for its story to expand beyond Hope (Alexa Mansour), Iris (Aliyah Rose), Silas (Hal Cumpston), and Elton (Nicolas Cantu) to incorporate more characters. At the end of The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 1, various events broke the family apart and created branching storylines. For this reason, many characters went considerable lengths of time without seeing each other. It wasn’t until the ending of The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2, episode 9, “Death and the Dead,” that the four characters were all together again.
While it seems both fitting and necessary that Walking Dead: World Beyond’s Iris, Hope, Silas, and Elton will be at the center of the show’s series finale, there’s a sense that the wait for this reunion was too long. Splitting up characters for multi-episode arcs and allowing for new relationships to form is a common storytelling tactic for both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, but not one that feels appropriate for World Beyond. Unlike the original show and its first spinoff, World Beyond is a limited series, confined to a two-season run, which means that it has significantly less time with its characters. Restricting World Beyond’s core group to just one full episode together in its second and final season is a huge missed opportunity.
A big part of the premise of World Beyond was the focus on these four teenagers and the dynamic they share, which is why the show shouldn’t have stepped away from that for so long. Some, like Hope and Iris, have been in each other’s company for some time now, but others have been apart for far longer. Specifically, World Beyond’s Elton and Hope haven’t interacted since the former found out the truth about Hope’s role in his mother’s death in season 1, episode 8. The Walking Dead: World Beyond could have used season 2 to further explore that relationship as well as the others that existed between the characters, but decided instead to save the reunion for the ending of the series.
Because of the show’s decision to delay the reunion, The Walking Dead: World Beyond now only has one episode to revisit the family it created. Of course, that hardly feels like enough. Considering that the show started with a fixed two-season plan, it’s a disappointment that the Walking Dead spinoff didn’t make better use of its time. It may be difficult for the finale to deliver the payoff the show needs for all of its characters and their individual arcs.