AMC's The Walking Dead franchise is expanding, with new shows, new movies, and new connections between the two currently airing shows and the upcoming third series The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The connective tissue between all the shows is a shadowy group known as the Civil Republic Military, or CRM.
CRM was first glimpsed in The Walking Dead Season 8, and they ultimately took Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) away from Alexandria in a helicopter and toward his cinematic next adventure. They have since shown up on Fear the Walking Dead, and will play a major role in World Beyond, which will focus on some young members of one of the group's outposts.
A lot about the group is still shrouded in mystery, but we've actually learned a quite a bit about them, as information has been doled out piece by piece. Here's what we know about the Civil Republic Military so far.
Who they are
CRM is the military arm of the Civil Republic, a network of three communities that are surviving the zombie apocalypse by rebuilding society into something like what existed before. They have better technology than anyone else seen on any of the shows so far, as evidenced by their helicopters and fighter jets, futuristic bite-proof suits, and buildings that aren't rustic or dilapidated. They have home bases like the Nebraska community where the kids of World Beyond live, and they also have scouts who travel around looking for supplies and new members. The group's logo is three interlocking circles, which The Walking Dead franchise's chief content officer Scott Gimple revealed at World Beyond's New York Comic Con panel in October 2019 represent the three communities. The group's initials, CRM, were revealed in a document on Fear the Walking Dead.
One of CRM's leaders is a woman named Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kubler (Julia Ormond), who will play an important role in World Beyond. It was she who revealed the group's full name, in a clip released by comics publisher Skybound. The name "Civil Republic Military" indicates that this group is fully committed to building a new nation, with a representative democracy as its form of government. We know about The Walking Dead's history with democracies, though, so we'll see how long that lasts.
After The Walking Dead's Season 10 finale for now, AMC released a teaser for World Beyond that incorporates footage from The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead's encounters with the Civil Republic Military, beckoning viewers to "learn the truth."
Where they're from
One of those communities is the fortified location in Nebraska where the characters of the upcoming third series have grown up. As seen in the World Beyond trailer, Hope (Alexa Mansour) wants to leave her smaller community of 9,671 people and travel to "the city," which is presumably one of the other communities. The Nebraska community has a semblance of normalcy previously unseen on any Walking Dead series, and the series' teenage characters have grown up insulated from the worst of the zombie apocalypse.
The other two locations are still unseen and unconfirmed, but it seems like viewers have been exposed to both of them. The people who took Rick are probably not from the same place as Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon), the Indiana-born CRM soldier who spent a long couple of days with Althea (Maggie Grace) on the Fear episode "The End of Everything." Isabelle was in Texas, which is very far from the Northern Virginia region where Rick was taken. Scott Gimple emphatically said that Rick was not taken to the Commonwealth, the comics' very advanced community based in Toledo, Ohio.
A subsequent trailer for World Beyond indicates that one of the communities is somewhere in New York; in it, Hope's sister Iris (Aliyah Royale) is shown holding a map of the state, stamped with "CRM" and the group's three-ring symbol, while she says in voiceover, "Our dad's in trouble... we know where he is." We know that the plot of World Beyond will find Iris, Hope, and a few of their friends going on a cross-country trek in search of the girls' father, eventually ending up somewhere on the East Coast. Maybe "the city" is New York City? And maybe they won't just find their father — could they find Rick Grimes, too?
On Michonne's (Danai Gurira) last Walking Dead episode, she found evidence that Rick was still alive and had relatively recently been onboard a ship that had originated at a shipyard in New Jersey, and set off on a journey north to find him.
What they did
The first time viewers met CRM was through Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), who traded with them in her capacity as the leader of the Heapsters. In exchange for supplies, she would give them people. She gave them Heath (Corey Hawkins), who disappeared in Season 7, and she tried to give them Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — however, the then-Savior leader thwarted that effort. Later, she almost gave them Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) but changed her mind at the last minute. Finally, she spotted the gravely wounded Rick laying on a riverbank after he'd blown up a bridge, and she made the call that summoned them to come and save him. CRM and Jadis categorized the people she gave them as either "A" or "B." On the show it was never explicitly explained what these designations mean, but they basically mean "strong" or "weak." When they picked him up, Rick was a B.
On Fear the Walking Dead, Isabelle was looking for supplies — gasoline in particular — and doing recon in one of many territories that belong to the group. But the details of her mission were highly classified.
What they want
CRM's true motives are still unknown. Their goals don't seem to be malevolent, even if some of the things they do (like trafficking kidnapped people) are bad. And in the World Beyond trailer, Hope (Alexa Mansour) explicitly says they're "bad people." Isabelle was highly disciplined and willing to kill if necessary — she killed her partner after he had a mental breakdown that made him an operational security liability — but she spared Althea because she connected with her emotionally and romantically and Al swore she wouldn't tell anyone about her.
Isabelle wouldn't tell Al anything specific about what CRM was doing, but she said they were building for a future, and she's idealistic about their mission. "We are a force who are not living for ourselves or for now," Isabelle told Al. "You have your stories, already making every day the past. We have the future."
We'll see what else we learn about the Civil Republic Military once World Beyond premieres later this year.