The Walking Dead: World Beyond co-creators Scott Gimple and Matthew Negrete explain that group of woods people seen behind Will (Jelani Alladin) in the final scene of the two-part season finale. "In This Life" ends with Iris (Aliyah Royale) determined to "kick the Civic Republic's ass," while Felix (Nico Tortorella) is decidedly less sure of what's next after finding out best friend Huck (Annet Mahendru) is a spy for the Civic Republic Military — who whisked away Iris' sister Hope (Alexa Mansour) because she's an asset needed to rebuild the world.
Hope is gone, but not all hope is lost when Felix suddenly sees a hooded Will step out of the woods with other mysterious-looking survivors. Gimple admits to Entertainment Weekly he "can't say much about who the group is," but he does shed light on the so-far unnamed newcomers:
"One thing I worried about was maybe people thinking, 'This is a group we've seen before in the Walking Dead universe.' This is a brand new group. So there's that," Gimple said. "As for Will, there are some references to what Will was doing and Leo expecting him back. There was a little bit of an excursion that happened that Will was supposed to be back from, and he obviously is not and he's with these people and things are afoot."
Will was with Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt), acting as his security detail at the CR research facility in New York where Bennett is away teaching the next generation of bright young minds. But Bennett grows suspicious of the Civic Republic Military when his colleague goes missing — we saw the colleague as one of several empty experiments in an earlier post-credit scene — and Will fails to return from a "scouting expedition."
Asked if Will's group is some sort of resistance, Gimple explained, "It's a little more complicated than that. But that group isn't the CRM obviously, and things are happening, but it's even a little more complex and less binary than a resistance. Some very difficult relationships are being tested — and I don't mean personal relationships. I mean sort of big relationships of societies."
Added Negrete, "He says something to Felix, to the effect of, 'I thought you were dead and you guys don't know.' Know what? So there's an implication that he might know that something bad went down where they're all from. So there's definitely some blanks to be filled in there. We'll learn more as we get into season 2."
Iris and Felix left their home at the Nebraska Campus Colony just before it was liquidated by the CRM and Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond), who earlier revealed the CRM eliminated the colony of nearly 10,000 survivors because they were "going to be" a threat.
"We also saw in the post-credits coda of episode 9 that Will is on the run and there are some CRM soldiers chasing him, or in hot pursuit," Gimple said of the final post-credits scene of the season. "Something has gone awry and something's gone down, and there are definitely some blanks to fill that will be filling in season 2."