Rick Grimes hasn’t been seen in The Walking Dead universe since a chopper bearing the Civil Republic Military (CRM) group’s overlapping rings logo airlifted him to an unknown location. Paving the way for the upcoming movie spinoffs, this event happened in season 9, but eagle-eyed fans have since spotted subtle foreshadowing for it way back in season 7.
As flagged up by Reddit user Stayhomewalker, episode 11 of that series – titled “Hostiles and Calamities” – evoked the CRM emblem long before Walking Dead viewers knew they’d be showing up on screen. In the scene in which Dwight discovers his wedding bands inside a cigarette box, he empties them out onto his hand and the rings fall into a familiar pattern.
This Easter egg – seen below – that flew under most people’s radars when the episode aired in early 2017 is almost certainly intentional. Clearly, plans to introduce the CRM were in place by that point, given that the organization made their first official appearance in the show the following season, in the fifth episode of season 8, to be precise. They’ve since featured in Fear the Walking Dead and will crop up in spinoff show number two, World Beyond, which is expected to begin this year.
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So, it seems the CRM will be at the centre of the Walking Dead universe as a common thread running through its three TV shows and a major presence in the movies. The exact nature of the sinister group is yet to be revealed, but rumor has it that their ultimate goal is to rebuild civilization and find a cure for the zombie epidemic through twisted human experimentation.
Fans will have to wait until the first of the Grimes-fronted films arrives in theaters to learn all of their secrets, although they might be thrown a nugget or two when the concluding episode of The Walking Dead‘s tenth season finally airs following coronavirus disruption. Watch this space.