Rick Grimes was whisked away from his friends and family partway through The Walking Dead season 9. We haven’t seen him again since, but we do know that he was piloted off by Anne/Jadis, who was working for the Civic Republic Military. In season 10, Michonne discovered evidence that Rick was still alive seven years later, which just made it that much more confusing why he had never returned home.
Now, we finally have some answers to this mystery thanks to brand new spinoff series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The pilot episode of the show aired on AMC this past Sunday, along with the season 10 finale of TWD, and for the first time it offered up some concrete details on the CRM organization.
It taught us that they’re a black-clad militaristic force serving under Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek and are part of the Three Ring Network, an alliance of three major settlements including the Omaha Campus Colony, where the series’ young protagonists hail from. As established on Fear the Walking Dead, the CRM is said to be working on a cure for the walker virus and the work of Dr. Leo Bennett, father to heroines Iris and Hope, is key to their mission.
But though their ambitions might be good for the world as a whole, their methods aren’t so nice. When Iris and Hope receive troubling messages from their father, who reveals he’s not safe and is being kept against his will, Iris confronts Kublek, telling her: “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.”
This kickstarts the story of World Beyond, as Iris, Hope and their friends Elton and Silas head out on a cross country trip to free Dr. Bennett from the CRM’s research facility in New York. It may also establish the premise of those Rick Grimes movies, though, as it’s easy to infer that what happened to Dr. Bennett happened to Rick, too, and he’s been pressed into service for the CRM and not allowed to contact his loved ones.
No doubt we’ll get more answers as The Walking Dead: World Beyond continues Sundays on AMC, so be sure to stay tuned.