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The Walking Dead: World Beyond reintroduces a major character who may change everything

In Episode 3, a pivotal character, who was actually first mentioned by Eugene many seasons ago in The Walking Dead, resurfaces in the spinoff

Zombies might be braindead, but hardly is. Across 11 seasons and several spinoffs, this show’s version of the comic-book-inspired apocalypse has forced us to keep track of mysteries galore that are often years in the making.

Some of the many unanswered questions are where Rick Grimes is, what the CRM really wants and who in God’s name thought a spinoff about teenagers would be fun to watch too. But there’s one mystery in particular that fans have longed to see since the very beginning, and that’s where exactly the virus came from. If we find out, that does not end the questions. What follows is this: Will our survivors ever discover a cure?

had said long ago in its Season 2 that there was no cure, but this spinoff is veering towards a place where there the virus creating zombies out of people could be treated.

Between rabies, space spores and even Breaking Bad’s Walter White, many theories have been proposed when it comes to the origins of the virus, but definitive answers might never come. Still, that hasn’t stopped the CRM from trying to solve this mystery and save their world in the process.

After we briefly saw scientists experiment on “walkers” — the name given to zombies in — in Season 1, the second episode of the final season dives deeper into this research, explaining that fungi could hold the key to stopping the walker threat. Using data he has collected from tagged zombies out in the wild, Dr Leo Bennett explains that modified fungi could speed up a walker’s rate of decay and perhaps even cure the disease completely.

Episode three expands on this even more by introducing a pivotal character who was actually first mentioned by Eugene many seasons ago on . Back when he was lying about being a scientist, Eugene claimed that he was involved in the Human Genome under someone called Dr T Brooks Ellis.

While that turned out to be untrue, episode three of World Beyond’s second season has just introduced this very man in the actual flesh as an ally of the CRM.

The previous episode hinted at this when Dr Bennett mentioned Ellis in a brief video clip, but his identity has now been confirmed during a scene in episode three where the doctor teaches Hope about yeast in class. Not only is that fungi focus quite telling when it comes to his scientific goals, but it’s no coincidence that a poster for the Human Genome is conveniently placed right behind him throughout this scene.

It’s said that every lie contains a grain of truth, and that’s absolutely true of what Eugene used to say, because it seems likely that Ellis was indeed involved in the Human Genome Project, just like he said. Given that Eugene is not a scientist himself, it stands to reason that Ellis and his work must have been quite renowned before the apocalypse hit, which bodes well for the doctor’s ability to find a cure.

And if Ellis doesn’t manage it, then perhaps one of his colleagues or even one of his new students will make more progress in this area. The entire first season of this show revolved around Hope being “the asset,” someone with enough smarts to help the CRM fix their broken world. But even with the combined intelligence of Hope, Leo, and Ellis, a cure could still be a very long way off.

When we asked showrunner Matt Negrete about the possibility of this last year, he told us that the “challenges” of this mean a solution “might take a while to happen”.

“We’re dealing with scientists who live in the zombie apocalypse who don’t have the resources we have now, and a lot of their colleagues have not survived 10 years into the apocalypse.”

As Negrete pointed out, “it’s not just a post-apocalypse now; it’s post-post-apocalypse”. And maybe that’s for the best. creator Robert Kirkman said a while back that it would be “boring” and “un-relatable” to follow scientists on the hunt for answers, and he might have a point because so far, World Beyond hasn’t exactly lived up to our expectations in season two…

The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 airs on Sundays on AMC in the US. You can stream the series on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. And some Australian websites have gone as far as showing non-subscribers the latest episodes of Season 11.

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