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The Ending Of The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 Explained

2021 has proven to be a landmark year for the "Walking Dead" franchise, though not necessarily in the most positive ways. After entertaining viewers for over a decade across 11 seasons, the original "Walking Dead" series is nearing the end of its historic run, with the second half of the final season premiering in early 2022. Though the AMC property isn't fading into obscurity any time soon, that doesn't rob this goodbye of its impact. However, before the trend-setting fan-favorite series takes its final bow, one of its spinoff titles — "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" — has already done just that.

The inaugural 10-episode season of "World Beyond" kicked off in October 2020 and introduced the "Walking Dead" fandom to a brand new corner of the universe. The series centers on a group of teens who have spent their entire childhoods living in the shadow of the zombie apocalypse. Tasked with an important mission that hits close to home, they set out from their sheltered home to face the grizzly reality of the world beyond their community. 

Season 2 arrived almost exactly a year after its predecessor, fleshing out this new set of characters and their tale before wrapping it all up with the December 5 episode titled "The Last Light." With that, "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" Season 2 (and the series as a whole) is officially wrapped. Here's where we're at by the time the credits roll, including what the ending of the show really means.

Portland is saved from disaster

After spending much of Season 1 as nothing more than a vague threat, the Civic Republic Military's true villainy revealed itself throughout Season 2. Most notably, the organization meticulously used chemical warfare to eliminate the other large settlements. The CRM had a big hand in the obliteration of the Campus Colony, which apparently took place shortly after the fall of Omaha. Episode 1 of Season 2, "Konsekans," shows this play out as Lt. Colonel Kublek (Julia Ormond) and Lt. Frank Newton (Robert Palmer Watkins) callously watched on. Audiences then find out this was all a part of a plan known as "Project Votus."

Spearheaded by the likes of Dr. Leopold Bennett (Joe Holt) and Dr. Lyla Belshaw (Natalie Gold), the specifics of Project V are still heavily under wraps. What is known is that it calls for the use of a deadly variant of chlorine to wipe out major population centers in short order, and the CRM had every intention of unleashing such an attack on Portland. Thankfully, the intervention of the Endlings and the emotional sacrifice of Huck (Annet Mahendru) in the Season 2 finale led to the destruction of the CRM's chemical supply — saving Portland from a horrific fate.

Silas joins the CRM

By the time "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" concludes, each member of the Endling crew found themselves in interesting spots. Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) reunite with their father, and, despite losing his arm to a Walker, Elton (Nicolas Cantu) evades the grasp of the Civic Republic Military. Sadly, Silas (Hal Cumpston) doesn't get such a happy ending. He stays behind with Huck and Dennis (Maximilian Osinski) to ensure the detonation of the chemical weapons cache. They are successful, but Silas has to kill a mortally-wounded Dennis soon after to avoid imprisonment by the CRM.

Before Silas delivers the killing blow, Dennis offers him one crucial piece of advice: Play their game but don't become one of them. Even though the new CRM figurehead, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), sees right through his façade, she offers to make him her "special project." To close out "World Beyond," audiences see that Silas is now a full-fledged member of the CRM in the midst of basic training. Time will tell if he sticks by Dennis' words of wisdom or if he allows the regime he now lives under to corrupt his fragile, healing mind.

Jadis gets a sneaky (and impactful) promotion

The heroes of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" have no shortage of dangerous obstacles to overcome throughout the series, but the Civic Republic Military is on an entirely different level. Both seasons regularly feature the regime, letting viewers know that it isn't a force to be taken lightly nor interfered with. The same goes for one of its stern leaders, Lt. Colonel Elizabeth Kublek, whose desire to see humanity thrive under the CRM and overcome the zombie apocalypse ultimately corrupts her. To put it lightly, she makes some atrocious decisions that can no longer go ignored.

Despite spending much of Season 1 on the front lines, Kublek doesn't serve as the main antagonist of Season 2. That place goes to "Walking Dead" mainstay Jadis, who came to serve under the CRM as a Warrant Officer tasked with ridding it of corruption, mismanagement, and those seeking to commit treason. However, it soon becomes clear why she took on this straightforward mandate: to oust Kublek from power. In the series finale, Jadis does so and locks up her political adversary on charges of various traitorous crimes, thus paving the way for her ruthless ascent in the CRM ranks.

There is hope for the future

To cap Season 1 of "World Beyond," Iris and Hope Bennett are separated after kicking off their voyage to find their father. Iris continues to learn about the dastardly deeds the Civic Republic Military tries desperately to hide while Hope winds up captured by the regime and nearly allies herself to their cause. Thankfully, by the end of Season 2, they find each other once again with their dad in tow and slip through the fingers of the CRM. Be that as it may, neither of their stories is over by the time the credits on "The Last Night" rolled.

With Dr. Bennett and his scientist peers set up in a secure abandoned building, they can continue their research into a cure for the zombie virus. However, Iris isn't content to stick around and twiddle her thumbs while her dad and Hope get to work. She instead chooses to go with some of Indira's (Anna Khaja) companions to Portland to warn its inhabitants of the CRM's evil plans. With that, the Bennett family is separated once more, but not because of the intervention of a demanding government. This time it's so that they can truly save the world.

An international crisis awaits

"World Beyond" Season 2 ends on an incredibly hopeful note, one that makes it feel like a proper finale. That is, until the post-credits scene plays and reminds us all that the world of "The Walking Dead" is still very much a hostile one that's only getting worse as time goes on. We jump to France, where a scientist accesses an old computer system that plays a message from Dr. Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich). His message examines a medical phenomenon that hits a little too close to home in a world where we're still dealing with COVID-19. The message reveals there is a variant strain of the zombie virus.

According to Jenner, the virus has begun to mutate in areas like France, making the infected there infinitely more dangerous than their American counterparts. This is evidenced by the French scientist who gets killed and subsequently reanimates, but the variant strain makes him and other zombies more aggressive, fast, and strong, in addition to affording them some measure of memory retention. Think the zombies that inhabit the "Call of Duty Zombies" game mode, which spells bad news for the future of the "Walking Dead" universe.

"The Walking Dead: World Beyond" didn't exactly set the world on fire like its predecessors, but given how much it added to the overall franchise, it's a valuable piece of the "TWD" puzzle all the same.