A storyline that from Robert Kirkman’s source material that we have been teasing for almost three years now has finally arrived. In 2018, I predicted that the Commonwealth storyline would be teased in the 11th season finale, so I was off by one season. However, in what was supposed to be the 10th season finale, we finally got a glimpse of the Commonwealth, or at least a group of Commonwealth soldiers.
It comes in the final seconds of “A Certain Doom,” the 16th episode of the 10th season, and the episode originally designed to be the season finale before the pandemic rearranged the series’ schedule. Eugene, Yumiko, Princess, and Ezekiel travel to West Virginia to meet Stephanie, a woman with whom Eugene has been communicating over the radio for quite some time. They arrive late, however, and Stephanie is nowhere to be seen. Eugene makes the assumption that she has left, but redoubles his efforts to find her (because he’s that “horny,” Princess jokes), which is when a group of Commonwealth soldiers pop out and surround Eugene and Company.
Did Stephanie even exist? Or was she just a character played by someone to lure newcomers out to West Virginia to be abducted by Commonwealth soldiers? That is unclear, but I can say that the Commonwealth is a huge community of 50,000+ people, who live very similarly to the way they lived before the pandemic. They have electricity, and sports teams, a military, and rock concerts, etc. They function as a fairly normal society within the zombie apocalypse.
If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it mostly is. The Commonwealth is a highly functioning society, but the community has also set up a caste system, of sorts, based on the professions/jobs of those within the community before the zombie apocalypse. So, despite everything else that’s going on in the world, lawyers, doctors, entertainers, etc., are still wealthier than everyone else and treated as such. In other words, the Commonwealth had a chance to start all over again, and in most respects, it appears that it just continued the same old ways as before.
Is the Commonwealth related to Rick Grimes’ whereabouts or the CRM? That is unclear. Thanks to The World Beyond, we now know that CRM stands for Civic Republic Military, but we do not know what the Civic Repubic is or where they have taken Rick Grimes. The Commonwealth and the Civic Republic are likely not related, and it’s still very unclear as to whether the events of The Walking Dead will ever intersect with Rick Grimes again, even in the movies.
It is worth noting, however, that The Commonwealth storyline is the last of Robert Kirkman’s source material before he finally ends the story. We will, however, get to know The Commonwealth very well over the next 30 episodes and two years.