The first episode of the new The Walking Dead spin-off, The World Beyond, has premiered, and the show immediately throws us into a new mystery. The limited series — scheduled to run for only two seasons and 20 episodes — is designed to answer this question: “What is the Civic Republic, and what are their motives?”
There’s a new cast of characters here, and an explosive secret between them, namely that Elton’s mom killed Hope and Iris’s mom on Monument Day ten years ago, while Hope accidentally killed Elton’s mom in retaliation. Now, Hope, her sister Iris, Elton, and Silas are all on a journey from Nebraska to New York to find the father or Hope and Iris, who is working in New York to help the Civic Republic find a cure for the zombie virus. Silas, meanwhile, appears to be zombie chum, but I suspect he’ll be the Carol Peletier of the group: a character who starts out weak but who evolves when confronted by zombies. Elsewhere, two other characters, Felix (head of security) and Huck, are tracking the other foursome.
Meanwhile, the end of the episode reveals that the CRM liquidated the Campus Colony in Nebraska. Elizabeth and the military, it appears, killed absolutely everyone there, which certainly suggests that the Civic Republic is made up of very bad people. But like a lot of other villainous groups we’ve seen in The Walking Dead universe, the Civic Republic probably thinks they are serving a greater good. They are, after all, ostensibly searching for a cure for the virus.
In the meantime, before Elizabeth — who is the head of the CRM — liquidated the Campus Colony, she had a conversation with Hope and Iris, in which she gave them a map and told them where their father is, which suggests that she wanted Hope and Iris to escape before everyone in the Campus Colony was killed. Why? That remains unclear.
However, there was one exchange between Elizabeth and Hope and Iris that’s very intriguing for fans of Fear the Walking Dead. “I have a daughter,” Elizabeth tells Hope and Iris. “She’s a bit older than you. She’s a soldier in the CRM. She’s away from me a great deal, and that makes me scared sometimes.”
Elizabeth doesn’t come right out and say her name, but it’s worth combining that exchange with what Scott Gimple said during Comic-Con a couple of months ago — namely that we will “find out more about Isabelle in the future.” Who is Isabelle? Isabelle is a CRM soldier (a little older than Hope and Iris), who we met on Fear the Walking Dead. She’s the CRM soldier who was searching for gas for her helicopter in Texas and fell in love with Althea.
It doesn’t take a big leap to put two and two together here and draw the conclusion that Isabelle is likely Elizabeth’s daughter. It’s worth noting, too, that Isabelle told Althea in Fear the Walking Dead that she is from Indiana, which could possibly answer one lingering question on The World Beyond: Where is the Civic Republic? Is it Indiana? Possibly. Elizabeth, after all, noted that she had to travel a long ways to get to the Campus Colony in Nebraska, and Indiana and Nebraska are 800 miles away from each other. That’s a “long way,” but not so long that the alliance of three — between Portland, Nebraska, and possibly Indiana — isn’t out of the question (Nebraska to Oregon, after all, is 1200 miles).
Likewise, remember what Isabelle told Althea? “If you see someone wearing this [CRM] jacket, you should be afraid…” That was made abundantly clear in the final seconds of The World Beyond premiere when the CRM took out hundreds of people. “We are a force who are not living for ourselves or for now. You have your stories, already making every day the past. We have the future,” Isabelle told Althea on Fear the Walking Dead. That language syncs perfectly with the damage that Elizabeth and the CRM did to the Campus Colony, which was almost certainly more about the future than the now.
I bet it won’t be the last connection between The World Beyond and the other two shows, either. Scott Gimple may have planted another future Easter Egg by having Huck and Felix spray-paint zombies blue to track how far they travel. I bet we end up seeing the odd blue zombie in the other shows in the future. We’ll find out in the coming weeks.
The World Beyond returns next week with its second episode, along with the sixth season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead on AMC.