Fear the CRM. The Civic Republic Military touches back down on Season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead, set in the fallout of the ten warheads that Teddy (John Glover) detonated across the Texas landscape to bring about his vision for "the beginning": the nuclear zombie apocalypse. As Morgan Jones (Lennie James) and Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) try to rebuild their world in their own way, surviving in a new reality where breathing is just as deadly as the walkers they face, Morgan and Grace (Karen David) will come face-to-face with the CRM in a season that will "send shockwaves" throughout the Walking Dead Universe.
"It's kind of changing the world fundamentally," Fear co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss said on Talking Dead of the explosive end to Season 6. "It's definitely going to send shockwaves beyond Texas and the characters on this show because it's a pretty big deal when a bunch of warheads go off."
Fear is years behind Walking Dead and spin-off The Walking Dead: World Beyond in the timeline, both taking place years after Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) disappears with Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) aboard a CRM helicopter in Season 9 of The Walking Dead. It's all connected: the CRM is the only entity to appear in all three Walking Dead shows and will return in the Untitled Walking Dead Movie set after Rick's fateful helicopter flight.
"Each show has a different piece of the puzzle. But those pieces of the puzzle ... aren't just plots. They're personal stories for the characters that do advance aspects of like the greater mythology," Scott Gimple, chief content officer of TWD Universe, said during Fear's Comic-Con panel in July. "But the CRM stuff in Fear really has to do with a couple characters very deeply, and their situation bleeds out to other characters."
The black-clad soldiers of CRM are "part of a personal and emotional story on [Fear]," continued Gimple. "It just so happens, though, that it does give other information to the greater world in which [the characters] inhabit. And there are sort of interesting historical or prequel aspects because this [Fear Season 7] happens earlier than things we see on the other shows."
Morgan and Grace won't be the only Fear survivors to face the CRM: Season 7 sees the return of Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon), the soldier who formed a romantic connection with Althea (Maggie Grace). Al set off to find Isabelle towards the end of Season 6, and it paid off when Isabelle — piloting a familiar helicopter marked with the Three Circle symbol — airlifted Al's friends to safety away from the blast of Teddy's bombs.
"There's certain people [in TWD Universe] who are aware of [the nuclear blasts], and there's certain people who aren't, and there's certain ways that it feeds story," teased Gimple. "But we lead with each of these shows with the characters of these shows first, with how it affects those characters on those shows. It's definitely about the individual journeys rather than the mythology. Those serve the mythology in that we get a peek at more through them."
Isabelle offers up our peek inside the CRM, the shadowy group commanded by Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) over on TWD: World Beyond.
"I think for me and Ian [Goldberg, Fear co-showrunner], one thing we're very interested in is exploring Al's relationship with Isabelle and exactly what it means to Al and to Isabelle," Chambliss said on Talking Dead. "I think the other interesting thing is just seeing how someone like Isabelle, and perhaps the CRM, would react to half of Texas being blown off the map."