AMC's The Walking Dead franchise is expanding, with new shows, new movies, and new connections between the three shows in the Walking Dead Universe, The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Aside from the zombies, the connective tissue between all the shows is a shadowy group known as the Civic Republic Military, or CRM.
CRM was first glimpsed in The Walking Dead Season 8, and the group ultimately took Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) away from Alexandria in a helicopter and toward his future cinematic adventures. They have since shown up on Fear the Walking Dead, and will play a major role in World Beyond, which has introduced a character who serves as the face of the group, Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond).
The group is still shrouded in mystery, but we've actually learned quite a bit about them as information has been doled out piece by piece. Here's what we know about the Civic Republic Military so far.
Who are they?
CRM is the military arm of the Civic Republic, a member of the Alliance of the Three, a network of three communities that pool their resources to better survive the zombie apocalypse. The alliance is symbolized by three interlocking circles, an insignia that appears on the uniforms and equipment of the member communities. The three communities are the Civic Republic, whose location is a closely guarded secret even from the other members of the Alliance but may be somewhere in New York state; the city of Omaha, Nebraska, and the "Omaha Campus Colony" where World Beyond began, a satellite outpost of the community; and Portland, Oregon, a community about which nothing has been revealed other than it exists.
The Civic Republic is trying to rebuild society into something like what existed before. They have better technology than anyone else on any of the shows so far, as evidenced by their helicopters, futuristic bite-proof suits, and scientific prowess. They're actively working on trying to find a cure for the zombie virus. The leader of the Civic Republic's military is someone named Major General Bill, but the face of the group for now is a woman named Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek.
In the series premiere of World Beyond, Kublek visited the Omaha Campus Colony on behalf of the Civic Republic, ostensibly to attend a celebration but really to pass some intelligence to Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Iris (Aliyah Royale) Bennett and ultimately liquidate the colony (more on that later). Hope and Iris' father Leo (Joe Holt) is a scientist who, at the start of the series, was away helping the Civic Republic study the virus. The girls don't trust Kublek or the larger Civic Republic because they're secretive and shadowy, and told Kublek that to her face. So Kublek, in an effort to build trust, told them that their father was teaching at the Civic Republic research facility in New York state, and gave them a coded map that could help them find him — a map she said could get her in a lot of trouble if anyone found out she gave it to them.
The next day, the girls got a fax from their father that said "IT'S GONE BAD. KEEPING MY HEAD DOWN. I'LL FIND HELP. DON'T TELL THE COUNCIL." So they set off on a mission to rescue him, along with a few other members of the colony. After they left, Kublek and her soldiers massacred the entire colony.
What do they want?
CRM's true motives are still unknown. Their goals don't seem to be purely malicious, even if they're willing to do terrible things in pursuit of their goal, whatever it is. In "The End of Everything," the Fear the Walking Dead episode that introduced Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon), the first CRM member we got to know a little bit, Isabelle wouldn't tell Althea (Maggie Grace) anything specific about what CRM was doing, but she said they were building for a future, and she felt idealistic about their mission. "We are a force who are not living for ourselves or for now," Isabelle told Al. "You have your stories, already making every day the past. We have the future." Plus, Al and Isabelle shared a sincere romantic connection, and it didn't feel like Isabelle was evil.
On World Beyond, Kublek, seemingly sincerely, told Iris that someday she would understand what the Civic Republic was doing and come to trust them, but then she had Iris' entire community killed. But not before she gave Iris and her sister a map to help save their father. But we don't know why she did that. That's a lot of buts that lead to a lot of questions!
We also don't really know the true purpose of any of their missions. The first time viewers ever met CRM was through Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), who traded with them in her capacity as the leader of the Heapsters. In exchange for supplies, she gave them people. She gave them Heath (Corey Hawkins), who disappeared in Season 7, and she tried to give them Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — however, the then-Savior leader thwarted that effort. Later, she almost gave them Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) but changed her mind at the last minute. Finally, she spotted the gravely wounded Rick lying on a riverbank after he'd blown up a bridge, and she made the call to summon them to come and save him. CRM and Jadis categorized the people she gave them as either "A" or "B." The show never explicitly explained these designations, but implied they mean "strong" and "weak." When they picked him up, Rick was a B.
On World Beyond, we don't know what Kublek was really up to. Hope saw four other planes accompanying Kublek's chopper, but we don't know where they were going or why Kublek lied and said the chopper traveled alone. We don't know why she killed the whole colony.
On Fear the Walking Dead, Isabelle was looking for supplies — gasoline in particular — and doing recon in one of many territories that belong to the group. But the details of her mission were classified.
During Fear the Walking Dead's Comic-Con@Home panel in July 2020, Scott Gimple said we'll find out more about Isabelle in the future, and after watching the premiere of World Beyond, it seems likely that Lt. Col. Kublek is Isabelle's mother. Kublek told Iris and Hope that she has a daughter who's a little bit older than them and a soldier who's away trying to help bring the world back, which is very similar to what Isabelle told Al.
Where are they from?
We can't say for sure, but signs point toward the New York City metro area. Leo Bennett is somewhere in New York, and on Michonne's (Danai Gurira) last Walking Dead episode, she found evidence that Rick was still alive, many years after he'd been taken, and had relatively recently been aboard a ship that had originated in a New Jersey port.
But it's possible the Civic Republic's territory covers a lot of land. Isabelle was in Texas, which is very far from the Northern Virginia region where Rick was taken, which is itself quite far from New York. At Comic-Con@Home, Julia Ormond was asked if Kublek knows where Rick Grimes is. "If Elizabeth knows where Rick is, I'm not sure that she would tell you," she answered. "And if Elizabeth tells you, I'm not sure that you should believe her, and I, Julia, am not going to say anything because I'd like to keep my job."
One thing we do know for sure is that the Civic Republic is not the Commonwealth, a very advanced community that in the comics was based in Toledo, Ohio. The Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple emphatically said that Rick was not taken there. The Commonwealth was introduced on the show in the episode "A Certain Doom," and we'll be learning more about them when The Walking Dead returns. But their soldiers' red-and-white suits were very different than the CRM's all-black suits, and conspicuously lacked the Alliance of the Three's three-ring symbol.
When will we learn more?
At this point, our best bet is to watch Season 1 of World Beyond and Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead, which premieres on Oct. 11, as they are presumably building to some sort of crossover event that will culminate in the first Rick Grimes movie. We guess! We'll just have to wait and see what Scott Gimple is cooking up.
The Walking Dead will return for six more Season 10 episodes in early 2021. Fear the Walking Dead premieres Sunday, Oct. 11 at 9/8c on AMC, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond airs Sundays at 10/9c on AMC. The Rick Grimes movie is still in development.