'The Walking Dead': Everything We Know About CRM
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1 finale]
Who knew the helicopter Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) glimpsed in The Walking Dead’s Pilot episode all those years ago would end up having this much significance?
Hundreds of episodes (and two spinoffs) later, we now know those “helicopter people” are part of a group called the Civil Republic Military — aka CRM — and that it's one of the driving forces behind the franchise.
Post-World Beyond finale, here’s everything we know about CRM.
The Group Is Shady
That's at its best, and it's downright malevolent at its worst. Isabel (Sydney Lemmon) told Althea (Maggie Grace) not to dig into CRM because it's a force living for something greater than themselves (read: the group is ruthless). We saw that on World Beyond’s first season, when it leveled the Campus Colony, one of the three interconnected networks of CRM; the others are in New York and Oregon. (We've literally never seen the Oregon community, as far as we know. What's their deal?!)
We still don’t know exactly why it took out all those people or destroyed what appeared to be a thriving community with thousands of people; all we know is that Lt. Col Kublek (Julia Ormond) said the group was “a threat.” That, combined with its “shoot-on-sight” philosophy detailed in Season 6A of Fear The Walking Dead seems to point to its military being more villainous and less heroic. According to Leopold Bennett (Joe Holt), though, they also have a governmental system that’s actually not so corrupt.
It Has a Lot of Resources
On Fear and World Beyond, CRM has had access to all kinds of amenities that Rick and his group would’ve killed for in the early seasons of the main show. Not only do Lt. Col Kublek and Dr. Bennett have their own modern-looking apartments complete with electricity, but they have fuel for their helicopters and cars (no horses for CRM!), military-grade weapons, supply crates stocked with medicine and, more importantly, beer. While Alexandria and Hilltop struggles to survive, it appears CRM’s has no trouble locking down the basics.
As we learn in the World Beyond finale, CRM also considers people a resource, but not in the way Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) once did. While the former leader of the Saviors took all comers, CRM is selective about who it chooses to invite into its operation. The group appears to be choosing only the “best and brightest” while leaving the rest to die, as evidenced by the directions for Huck (Annet Mahendru) to bring teenage genius Hope (Alexa Mansour) to the community while the rest of their group was expendable.
The Methods Are…Unusual
On The Walking Dead, Jadis/Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) was in charge of providing “As” and “Bs” to CRM, presumably for experimentation purposes (more on that below). And on World Beyond, Huck serves a similar purpose, although she's tasked with bringing in one specific asset. Either way, it seems like CRM tends to plant someone within a community for its purposes and have them recruit— if you can even call it recruiting? — those who fit their needs. With that said, it seems they occasionally go through traditional channels as well, considering Dr. Bennett was brought to CRM after a visit from its leader.
CRM also appears to send teams out in search of resources, as Isabelle and her partner are tasked with getting supplies on Fear. Isabelle is also particularly frightened of something called the “Reclamation Team,” which seems to be the scorched-earth division that that puts down team members who fail their mission and/or let secrets slip about CRM to those who aren’t in the organization.
It Appears to Be Trying to Cure the Virus
What might be the biggest revelation from World Beyond arrived in a post-credits scene, where we seem to learn a little more about what A’s and B’s are. We’re still not totally sure, but in one scene from the spinoff, we see CRM’s procedure for testing walkers to see if they possess any brain activity. They’re labeled with a string of numbers beginning with the letter “A.” If you recall, Rick was originally supposed to be an “A,” and so were Negan and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), who Anne also attempted to bring in at various points throughout the series. On the subject of Rick, Anne changed her mind in attempting to save his life and said he was a “B,” so, presumably, “B” status enabled CRM to save his life.
If this logic holds, “As” are test subjects for CRM’s experimentation — they’re either bitten when they get there or they’re bitten after they arrive, and then CRM’s scientists conduct experiments on them to try and cure the virus. We still don’t know anything about what “Bs” are, though, and we’re probably not too likely to learn much about 'em until the Rick movies.
The Walking Dead, Returns 2021, AMC