The Walking Dead: World Beyond sheds new light on the Civic Republic, the secret society that shuttled Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) away from The Walking Dead aboard a CRM helicopter. Part of the Alliance of the Three — an agreement between the three major post-apocalypse civilizations that are bound by a recurring three-circle symbol — the Civic Republic is located approximately in the Southwestern United States and is supposedly developing a cure to the zombie plague. Despite being aligned with Omaha, Nebraska, and an as-yet-named society in Portland, Oregon, the Civic Republic's military force massacred the nearly 10,000 people living inside the walls of Nebraska's Campus Colony once home to sisters Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Iris (Aliyah Royale) and friends Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston).
In Sunday's "The Tyger and the Lamb," Civic Republic Military soldier Barca (Al Calderon) expresses remorse over the Campus Colony slaughter that ended the series premiere. The CRM stance is that it "neutralized a threat," but Barca questions spilling the blood of civilians.
Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond), Lieutenant Colonel of the CRM, makes a show out of every amenity and luxury inside her well-furnished apartment. The Civic Republic possesses what most do not: Energy. Water. Medicine. Transport. Schools. Culture. Currency. Agriculture. Manufacturing and a functioning economy. A council, courts, and the rule of law.
"We are the last light of the world. We are the last hope," she tells her subordinate. "And we, us, we enable this population of over 200,000 souls to live. To create the future." The Campus Colony "didn't seem like a threat," she adds, but "they were going to be."
Handing him over to a pair of black-suited soldiers, each wearing zombie bite-proof jackets and face shields, Kublek says Barca is to be remanded to the CRM Health and Welfare Complex. He'll remain there until he's fit to serve again — this time in a labor-oriented capacity.
When Barca casts doubts on returning to duty, Kublek indifferently says he won't be leaving the complex.
"Do you think about how many died?" he asks. She answers: "We are the light of the world." He's marched away. A brief struggle in the hall gives way to swift silence. Kublek turns up her music and cries.
Past episodes of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead told us the CRM will let nothing stand in the way of "the future" and rebuilding the world. Barca's execution is another sign that Rick is a prisoner, explaining why he hasn't returned home in the seven-plus years since his abduction.
Rick returns in the Walking Dead feature film headed to theaters, where moviegoers will learn more about the "vast mythology" behind the CRM. An early teaser trailer for the film hints Rick was transported to Philadelphia, not far from the CRM New York research facility where Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt) is purportedly developing a cure in World Beyond.
Scott Gimple, the chief content officer of the Walking Dead franchise, is on record stating the Civic Republic is not the same community revealed in the final minutes of The Walking Dead's tenth season finale. Those white-armored soldiers are the Army of the Commonwealth, a sprawling network of settlements based in Charleston, West Virginia.
The Civic Republic dwarfs the Commonwealth several times over: in the comic book, the Ohio-based Commonwealth is home to nearly 50,000 survivors versus the Civic Republic's 200,000. More about this top-secret society will come to light in future episodes of World Beyond.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond premiere Sundays at 10/9c on AMC.