The Walking Dead: World Beyond Disproves Rick Grimes Theory

Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 Episode 7, "Blood and Lies." Who is Major General Beale? The shadowy commander of the Civic Republic Military outranks Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) and Warrant Officer Jadis Stokes (Pollyanna McIntosh), soldiers carrying out Beale's orders to eliminate threats to the Civic Republic: the allied communities of Omaha and the Nebraska Campus Colony. As the CRM targets Portland in the final episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, an exposed truth disproves a fan theory: that CRM Major General Beale is Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). 

At the CR Research Facility where Staff Sargeant Jennifer "Huck" Mallick (Annet Mahendru) exposes the CRM conspiracy to destroy the Alliance of the Three, Jadis reveals intel on Rick: she traded him to the CRM six years ago. In Season 9 Episode 5 of The Walking Dead, Jadis brands Rick a "B" for extraction aboard a CRM helicopter and a flight to the hidden city of the Civic Republic. 

RELATED: Jadis Reveals Rick Grimes Intel on The Walking Dead: World Beyond

In World Beyond Season 2 Episode 7, CRRF student and asset Hope Bennett (Alexa Mansour) plots an escape from the facility where her father, geneticist Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt), is researching how to accelerate the dead's decay and neutralize them as a threat. That's when Mason (Will Meyers) makes a revelation: Major General Beale is his father.

Fan theories published on social media hypothesize Major General Beale is really Rick, the "something very valuable" Jadis gave the CRM six years earlier. One theory posted on Reddit speculates Rick suffered amnesia after surviving the explosion that led to his medevac in the CRM helicopter, explaining his leadership role as the high-ranking Beale.  

But Rick can't be Beale. The Walking Dead: World Beyond takes place ten years post-outbreak, and Rick was in a coma at the onset of the zombie apocalypse in 2010. (Rick never mentioned a seven-year-old son named Mason.) Season 2 Episode 7 reveals the Major General and Lt. Col. Kublek co-founded Project Votus eight years ago, confirming Beale was already active military two years into the apocalypse — at a time when Rick was leading his own group of survivors in 2012.

In 2010, the CRM agreed to transition power to the Civic Republic Civilian Government after ten years. A decade later, the CRM's covert attacks on Omaha and the Campus Colony are grounds for Major General Beale to call for an emergency delay of civilian oversight, ensuring power remains with the CRM. 

RELATED: The Walking Dead: World Beyond Declassifies the CRM Master Plan

Season 2 already confirmed Major General Beale ordered the destruction of the Omaha Safe-Zone and the Campus Colony, what Jadis calls a "tactical military operation" killing a total of 110,000 people. The CRM is targeting another 87,000 lives as they move to wipe out Portland — leaving the Civic Republic as the last-surviving civilization of the Alliance of the Three. 

It's more likely Major General Beale will be the villain of the Walking Dead movies, where Rick could be caught in the Civic Republic's civil war with its authoritarian military. 

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Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 premiere Sundays on AMC.