The group maps out their next move with plans to steal from the Civic Republic Military in a sneak peek from The Walking Dead: World Beyond episode 107, "Truth or Dare." In Sunday's "Shadow Puppets," our survivors are tricked and robbed by grifters Percy (Ted Sutherland) and uncle Tony (Scott Adsit) when Iris (Aliyah Royale) offers to help Percy reclaim his stolen truck in exchange for a ride to their destination. Percy and Tony's ruse goes off without a hitch, but they turn back to rescue Iris' friends when they come under siege by "has-beens," what they call the flesh-eating undead known as empties.
Tony, a former small-time illusionist in Las Vegas, has another trick up his sleeve: a secretly-coded map pointing to CRM refueling stations across the Eastern Central United States. The paper appears blank, but looks can deceiving: using colored lenses illuminated by a makeshift projector, Tony reveals one of the hidden fuel caches they'll have to hit before continuing their 1,100-mile mission to a Civic Republic research facility in New York.
The lab is the same place where CRM scientist Dr. Lyla Bellshaw (Natalie Gold) is conducting zombie experiments and awaiting the visitors now en route to rescue Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt), Iris and Hope's (Alexa Mansour) father. Secretly pulling strings is CRM Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond), who gave the girls a coded map guiding them towards the facility where Bennett is said to be seeking a cure to the zombie plague.
"These are con men. Obviously, we want them to con our characters. What's something that's cool, that seems to be pretty clever, and in a way that can essentially inject a little bit of momentum to the season?" co-creator and showrunner Matthew Negrete told EW about Percy and Tony's grift in "Shadow Puppets." "And then the writers came up with the idea of, they've got this truck. And we did want to have them tied potentially in some way to the CRM. And so they use the truck to that end. And the writers came up with it. And they pitched it to me and I thought it was great. I loved it."
"Shadow Puppets" ended with Tony revealing to Felix (Nico Tortorella) that the disguised truck used to belong to the CRM — given away by the matching three-circle symbol on Felix's jacket. Should things go sideways with the black-wearing and heavily-armed soldiers of the CRM, Tony says, Felix's insignia might get them out of a bind.