AMC's The Walking Dead franchise is still expanding, with new shows and movies and new connections between the two (currently) existing shows. The connective tissue between all those moving parts is a group known as CRM. They were first glimpsed in The Walking Dead Season 8 and 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 the upcoming third series. A lot about the group is still shrouded in mystery, but we've actually learned a lot about them as information has been doled out bit by bit. Here's what we know about CRM so far.
Who they are. CRM is 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 community where the kids of TWD3 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 TWD3's New York Comic Con panel in October represent the three communities. The group's initials, CRM, were revealed via a document on Fear the Walking Dead, but what the letters stand for is currently unknown, though presumably they're the names of the three communities.
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 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 Fear. Isabelle was in Texas, which is very far from the Northern Virginia region where Rick was taken. The "C" in "CRM" doesn't stand for "Commonwealth," because Scott Gimple emphatically said that Rick was not taken to the comics' very advanced community based in Toledo, Ohio. But there was a reference to Toledo in The Walking Dead Season 9, so that may be where Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has been studying with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson).
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. She tried to give them Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but he thwarted that effort. Later, she almost gave them Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), but changed her mind at the last minute. Finally, she spotted Rick laying on the riverbank and made the call that summoned them to come and get him after he'd survived being impaled on rebar and blowing up a bridge despite needing serious medical attention. 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 on 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. 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 Al 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 CRM as The Walking Dead Season 10 continues and TWD3 premieres in spring 2020.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.