How ‘The World Beyond’ Fits Into ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe, And What ‘CRM’ Means

The Walking Dead: The World Beyond debuts on Sunday night, and while I will not give any of the plot points away, I will say this: It’s good, it’s very different from The Walking Dead, and it fills in a few gaps in The Walking Dead universe.

Chief among them is that we finally see confirmation of what “CRM” stands for. Recall that CRM is the organization behind the helicopters that picked up Rick Grimes. Recall that the helicopter pilot, Isabel, also had a brief encounter with Althea on Fear the Walking Dead. Previously, Scott Gimple described CRM as an organization related to three different colonies, and many of us were left to believe that he was referring to the Commonwealth, Monument (the working title for The World Beyond), and a third colony potentially related to Fear the Walking Dead and a villainous character named Virginia.

We clearly overthought it, because as we learn in The World Beyond, CRM simply stands for Civic Republic Military. Central to The World Beyond is an alliance of three colonies, one in Oregon, one in Nebraska called the “Campus Colony” (which is where The World Beyond is initially set), and the “Civic Republic.” What has not been explained in The World Beyond, and in fact, what seems to be the mystery behind the series is this: where is the Civil Republic, and what it is that they do?

We know that the Civic Republic picked up Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, but we do not know if the Civic Republic is good, or evil, or if their intentions are nefarious or noble. The opening episode of The World Beyond only muddies those waters even more. What does seem clear, however, is that the alliance of three is working toward finding a cure for the zombie virus, which is honestly the first we’ve heard about a potential cure in The Walking Dead virus since the delusional rantings of Eugene early on in The Walking Dead.

In fact, the main narrative thrust behind The World Beyond — a planned, limited, two-season series — seems to be to find out what exactly where CRM is, and what it does. That’s the little puzzle box that the series will take 20 episodes to answer. More than likely, it also provide some answers about Rick Grimes, his whereabouts, and what he’s been doing since he was picked up and flown away from Alexandria.