The Walking Dead Mystery: What happened in the beginning?

Maliyah Monae as Young Iris, Samantha Lorraine as Young Hope, Joe Holt as Dad, Christina Marie Karis as Mom- The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/AMC

Am I alone in finding the beginning of The Walking Dead apocalypse confusing?

With the arrival of World Beyond, we’ve been seeing a decent bit more of the beginnings of the zombie outbreak in the Walking Dead universe and the downfall of society, and, the more of it I see, the more confused I become.

It feels like every new bit of information I get…only makes less sense.

Let me start with what prompted this.

In last week’s episode of World Beyond, we caught a glimpse of Felix’s experiences as things began to collapse at the beginning of the apocalypse. Much like with what we saw in The Walking Dead season two episode, “Chupacabra”, where Shane and Lori witnessed Altanta being firebombed by the military as they were stranded in traffic heading into the city, Felix was in the middle of traffic gridlock, with cars crashing, people screaming, and rockets being launched into Lincoln.

I know that the characters in World Beyond (Felix included) refer to that night as “The Night The Sky Fell”, due to planes falling from the sky, and I’ve had people suggest to me that what I saw was that, but, having rewatched it, from what Felix (And we) see, and from the sounds they make, and the explosions they cause, I’m certain that what Felix saw wasn’t planes crashing. I think the explosions are too small, the crowd around Felix doesn’t react (And, you’d think, even in that kind of scenario, that people would react to a plane plummeting from the sky just overhead), and the “woosh” sound seems a hell of lot more like rockets or missiles launching than a plane dropping out of the sky.

Christina Brucato as Amelia- The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/AMC

Christina Brucato as Amelia- The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/AMC

Well, one would think (And I certainly did at the time) that that was Felix witnessing Operation: Cobalt being unleashed on Lincoln.

It turns out I was wrong.

According to showrunner Matt Negrete, who answered the question for Undead Walking: We haven’t specifically seen anything in 1-3 that is directly tied to operation cobalt (at least that I’m recalling), but that’s not to say we won’t be exploring the military’s role in how they handled the early days of the outbreak in future episodes.”

So, this raises the next question: What did we see?

I, honestly, have no idea. I am clueless as to what that was, if not Cobalt.

“We haven’t specifically seen anything in 1-3 that is directly tied to operation cobalt (at least that I’m recalling), but that’s not to say we won’t be exploring the military’s role in how they handled the early days of the outbreak in future episodes.”

But, as I was thinking about this, I suddenly remembered something we learned from last season of Fear The Walking Dead, specifically, the season’s fifth episode, “The End Of Everything”. In that episode, we see one of Althea’s tapes, specifically, the one titled “The Bog #7”, where we watch muzzle flashes from a battle, Al explains, between the U.S. Army and the National Guard.

While this provides zero answers as to what Felix’s flashback was showing, it is another aspect of this period in The Walking Dead timeline that leads to my confusion.

Why was that happening? What would cause the army and the National Guard to go into battle with each other? We saw nothing like this in the first season of Fear, which featured the National Guard pretty prominently in the second half of the season, so…this doesn’t make much sense.

Fear The Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC

From what I can see, there is a serious gap in the timeline of the beginning of the apocalypse, where, after things began to fall apart, there was a period where the government was, apparently, still trying to fight the dead, but then, rather suddenly (And, maybe, only in some places) everything began unravel at lightning speed, with all cohesion disintegrating and chaos breaking through.

This is, sadly, a problem that Fear, specifically, has had from the beginning, and, one I’ve railed against for a long time. Even in season one, we had such gaps, where major events in the outbreak were just…skipped over. Hell, we went from one episode where the National Guard, apparently, were holding onto Los Angeles, and, in the next episode, they were deciding that L.A. was untenable, and that they needed to firebomb the whole city, with only a quick explanation as to why, but little sight of it.

Here’s what I’m hoping: As World Beyond progresses, we will get more backstory from our characters, showing some glimpse as to what was going on and why it was happening. If we’re lucky, we may, finally, get some explanation as to how the zombie outbreak became a zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead universe, and put an end to this senseless confusion.

And that’s it for this Walking Dead Mystery! If you want to avoid confusion about what to do if you ever find yourself in a zombie apocalypse, why not pick up a copy my book, The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse! You can find it on Amazon here, and on iTunes here!