The Walking Dead's CRM Civil War Is Rick Grimes' Endgame

The Rick Grimes endgame is happening without Rick Grimes. Six years after a Civic Republic Military helicopter flies away with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) on The Walking Dead, the CRM master plan spanning all three AMC series comes to light on The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Season 2 of the spin-off, where Jadis returns as decorated CRM Warrant Officer Stokes, appears to adapt Rick's story from the final stretch of Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's comic book — just without Rick, his fate up in the air after Season 9. Lincoln won't be returning on the final season of World Beyond, but the unfolding story is happening on an even bigger scale than the comics with even bigger implications for Jadis and Rick's returns in The Walking Dead feature films.

Civic Republic Civil War

World Beyond Season 2 Episode 5, "Quartervois," reveals a power struggle between the Civic Republic, a hidden civilization with a population of 200,000 survivors, and their authoritarian military force, the Civic Republic Military. The CRM serves the Alliance of the Three, a network formed between the CR, Omaha, and Portland. 

Except the Alliance of the Three, bound by the three-circle symbol, is no longer an alliance of three. 

A conspiracy uncovered by CRM Staff Sargeant Jennifer "Huck" Mallick (Annet Mahendru) reveals her mother, Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond), secretly destroyed the Omaha Safe-Zone and its Campus Colony satellite under orders from CRM Major General Beale. A total of 110,000 people died in attacks the CRM called "tragedies" caused by massive zombie hordes. 

In "Quartervois," a glimpse at a Civic Republic newspaper sheds light on CRM origins and politics of the Walking Dead Universe. 

Power to the People

At the start of the zombie apocalypse a decade earlier, the CRM agreed to a ten-year transition of power to the Civilian Government as a main provision of the Founding Compact. Ten years later, Beale's CRM wants an emergency delay of civilian oversight — a direct result of the tragedies at Omaha and Campus Colony. 

Beale's reluctance to relinquish power to the people is not unlike the endgame of The Walking Dead comic book. The final volume welcomes Rick's group of survivors to the Commonwealth, an Ohio network of settlements governed by Pamela Milton. 50,000 people live behind the walls of the advanced community, operated as a class system so that a better life — and power — is reserved only for the elite in this New World Order. 

Enter Rick Grimes. 

Peace Over Power

Officer Mercer, general of the Commonwealth Army, puts into motion a coup to install better leaders for a better Commonwealth. A revolt against Governor Milton — and her spoiled son Sebastian Milton — forces Rick to pick a side despite his efforts to avoid another bloody war. 

Mercer elects Rick to lead the citizens of the Commonwealth and transition to a democratic government, restoring power to the people. With the Commonwealth on the verge of civil war, Milton accuses Rick of conspiring with Mercer to overthrow her with his resistance army. 

Rick wants to set the Commonwealth on the path to peace, keeping its people united against their only enemy: the dead. Before civil war can break out between both sides, Rick delivers an inspiring speech and ends the conflict without violence. The Commonwealth ushers in a new era of peace, but at a cost (spoiler warning): Sebastian assassinates Rick for ousting his family from their position of power.  

The Commonwealth immortalizes Rick in death, honoring his legacy as a leader who inspired peace and a better life — for all the living. It's a clash that could unfold over the Walking Dead Movie trilogy, where that fateful helicopter flight shuttles Rick to a new corner of the zombie apocalypse — and right into the clutches of the CRM.

A release date for The Walking Dead Movie is TBD. New episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 premiere Sundays on AMC. 

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD and stay tuned to ComicBook for coverage all season long.