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World Beyond Hints At One Of The Walking Dead's Biggest Mysteries

Despite reviews for The World Beyond being mixed, the young adult-oriented series continues to be an invaluable source of information about the larger world of The Walking Dead. In the fourth episode of the season, a post-credit scene brought viewers one step closer to solving one of The Walking Dead's biggest mysteries: What does it mean to be an 'A' or a 'B'? In the process, the episode also seemed to hint at Rick Grimes' fate.

After the credits rolled on "The Wrong End of a Telescope," a two-minute scene revealed a scientist munching on a sandwich while she discussed a test subject known as TSA402. The subject appeared to be her former colleague — he was featured in a photograph on her desk alongside her, Hope's dad, and an unknown third man — but he's now a walker. "Test subject displays no detectable response to psychological stimuli. Necrotic plasma and brain fluid are being drawn for further testing," she said. "Results are being compared to tests during and immediately following reanimation."

She went on to reveal that his name in life was Dr. Samuel Abbott, and he was from Portland, Oregon. But the biggest takeaway was that poor Dr. Abbott, and a room full of other walkers labeled with the letter 'A,' are seemingly test subjects for the Civic Republic Military (CRM).

If everyone labeled an 'A' on The Walking Dead is a test subject, then what does that mean for Rick?

The letter 'A' has been popping up in The Walking Dead for several seasons now. It was seen on the train car at Terminus and Jadis, now known as Anne, spray painted it on a storage container. Most memorably, she was asked if she had an 'A' or a 'B' when the CRM came to pick up Rick with their helicopter. Since he had just saved her life, she responded, "I have a B. Not an A. I never had an A. He's hurt, but he's strong. Can you help him?"

Since we now know that anyone labeled 'A' appears to be a walker — whether that's by natural causes or through experiments done in hopes of finding a cure remains to be seen — it tracks that as a 'B,' Rick is alive. It's possible that 'Bs' are used as workers for the CRM, or they may undergo another kind of test, presumably one that's safer. Since Rick has a series of movies coming up, it definitely feels like all the folks in the 'B' group are much better off than the poor souls who find themselves labeled with an 'A.'

Does this mean the CRM is definitely a nefarious group?

Here's where things become complicated. In the past, living people have been labeled 'A' on The Walking Dead. In fact, when Anne took Rick captive long before she facilitated his helicopter rescue, she locked him in a containment unit marked 'A.' We also know that she was trafficking humans to the CRM in exchange for goods for quite some time.

Since the CRM appears to be actively abducting people and performing experiments on them it would track that they are potentially the ultimate big bad of The Walking Dead universe. But given the involvement of Hope's dad, it also seems like their motives could be more complex than what you might expect from your typical mustache-twirling bad guys. Since Hope's father is said to be searching for a cure, he and the rest of the scientists involved in the experiments may have good intentions, even though the methods being used to supply them with test subjects are undeniably corrupt. If they truly are searching for a way to stop people from becoming walkers, then the scientists working for the CRM's motives are at the very least doing it all for the right reasons.

But since this is The Walking Dead universe we're talking back, chances are the 'A' and 'B' system is even more twisted than it appears at first glance. We'll have to keep watching to learn more.