Walkers are back under the knife in a new look at The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2. A first season post-credits scene revealed the Civic Republic conducts scientific experiments on empties — the Walking Dead spin-off's unique name for the zombified undead — when Dr. Lyla Belshaw (Natalie Gold) pokes and prods Test Subject A402. The empty examinee is Belshaw's reanimated colleague, Dr. Samuel Abbott (S.J. Ovaska) of Portland, whose necrotic plasma and brain fluid undergo testing inside the sterilized lab where muzzled empties are strapped to gurneys and subjected to post-bite R&D.
"I know the Civic Republic is the last light of the world," The Walking Dead's Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), now a soldier in the Civic Republic Military, says in an extended look trailer for Season 2. "My purpose is to create a new era on this planet."
That could mean ridding the world of empties, the flesh-eating walkers that have overrun the world of The Walking Dead for more than a decade. Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt), a renowned biochemist-slash-geneticist and possibly the smartest man alive, is with Belshaw at the same Civic Republic research facility where Bennett seeks a cure to the zombie virus.
World Beyond co-creator and showrunner Matthew Negrete previously called the post-credits scene a "tease of things to come" in Season 1, telling EW the empties experimentation "implies that a lot of s---'s gone down, and it raises a lot more questions that we'll also be answering later on this season and into next season."
AMC Networks has since released Season 2 key art showing empties with CRM-branded devices strapped to their backs as part of these ongoing experiments (one hint: it has to do with fungus).
Season two of The Walking Dead: World Beyond concludes the epic story of Iris (Royale), Hope (Mansour), Elton (Cantu), and Silas (Cumpston) -- four friends who journeyed across the country on a mission that transformed everything they knew about themselves and the world.
As they face off against the mysterious Civic Republic Military and fight for control of their own destiny, goals will shift, bonds will form and crumble, and innocence will be both lost and found.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns with new episodes October 3 on AMC. All episodes will stream one week early starting September 26 on AMC+. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.