Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The World Beyond Connection That Could Hint At Rick's Fate

The Walking Dead: World Beyond is the latest spin-off in The Walking Dead franchise, and while only one episode has aired so far, there's already a lot that separates the series from its predecessors. For example, fans shouldn't expect World Beyond to span over a decade like its flagship series has, since the show's creators have announced that it's only going to consist of two 10-episode seasons before ending. That may not sound like a lot of time, but there are plenty of ways the series, which follows a group of teenagers as they come of age in the midst of the apocalypse, can add to the mythos of The Walking Dead

That said, this is still a Walking Dead show, so there are a few favorites from the OG series who may find new life through the series and connective threads that will tie World Beyond to the larger, zombie-infested universe of the franchise. One such link has already appeared in the show's first episode, and it may have a significant bearing on the fate of one of The Walking Dead's most important characters.

Spoilers ahead for anyone who isn't caught up with The Walking Dead.

What is The Walking Dead's Civic Republic Military?

For years, people wondered if Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) might someday die on The Walking Dead. When his time finally came, however, he didn't bite it: Instead, he was taken away in a helicopter to ... somewhere. Since then, only a few small clues have hinted at his whereabouts.

With the debut of World Beyond, though, that may be changing, due to the introduction of the mysterious Civic Republic Military, or CRM, who appear as a full-fledged organization from the very first episode. One of the most noteworthy features of the organization is their use of a helicopter — or perhaps multiple helicopters as it's not made clear yet how many they have. From what we've seen so far, the CRM collects survivors and scavenges for supplies. Any larger motives the group may have are still yet unknown. However, it's now clear that Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) is the leader of the CRM, and so far, she has appeared among soldiers bearing black clothing and guns. 

As it turns out, the group is just as ferocious as they appear, as evidenced in the World Beyond pilot, where they finish the episode by taking out hundreds of people all at once. While there's still much we need to learn about this group, one thing is clear: they appear to be the ones who flew away with Rick Grimes. 

What is happening between Rick and the CRM?

The CRM first appeared on The Walking Dead on season 8. However, they made their biggest power move in the season 9 episode "What Comes After."

Toward the end of the episode, an injured Rick is struggling to lead a swarm of zombies away from his companions, and eventually sees that the only way to do so is to lure them across a bridge and blow it up. He is lost in the explosion, causing his friends (other than Daryl) to presume he's dead. Soon enough, though, the audience quickly learns that Rick's not dead at all: Instead, he's been picked up by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), previously known as Jadis, who has been in contact with the CRM for some time, for unknown reasons.

Rick regains consciousness in the helicopter, with Anne assuring him everything will be okay. She says that "they" will save him. The helicopter flies off into the distance, and Rick hasn't been seen on The Walking Dead since.

From that point on, the show's communities operate as if Rick is dead... but this last season has changed that. The big twist occurs when Rick's partner Michonne (Danai Gurira) is shown coming across an old iPhone with a carving of her and Judith (Cailey Fleming) on it. The phone also shows Japanese characters on it, which ComicBook.com translates into "Believe a little longer." This signifies to her that Rick is still alive, so she goes off in search of him. However, it doesn't answer the many questions about his survival: namely, why did the CRM pick him up? And what plans are in store for Rick in the future? 

What does this mean for Rick's fate?

There are many theories on how Rick could return. Based on the carving Michonne found, it's obvious the CRM isn't just keeping Rick locked away somewhere, and appear to be moving him from place to place. But why would he be going on missions, instead of contacting his friends? One theory, based on the first World Beyond episode, involves a key piece of dialogue, where Iris (Aliyah Royale) tells Kublek, "You don't let anyone in or out. You won't let people communicate with your people or vice versa. You don't tell anyone where you are, and you have our dad." 

It seems the CRM is very committed to making sure what happens in its communities stays in its communities. They don't allow any communication with people outside of CRM, which is probably why Rick had to make that carving in the first place: It may have been the only hope he had in letting Michonne know he was still out there, presuming she (or someone else) found it. Of course, seven years have passed between Rick getting abducted and Michonne finding the drawing. The CRM has kept him for a long time now, and as World Beyond continues, we'll likely receive more clues as to what really happened to Rick. 

With only one episode of World Beyond out so far, there's still a lot we don't know about the future of The Walking Dead universe. Tune in to see what happens next, as World Beyond airs Sundays on AMC at around 10:00 p.m. And stay tuned for the eventual Walking Dead movie, which will finally explain Rick's story once it releases in 2021 (or 2022).