The Walking Dead: World Beyond premiere recap: New CRM secrets unlocked
We've been seeing the same symbol of three interconnected rings, the calling card of the Civic Republic Military, on The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. A black chopper notably bearing those rings picked up a fading Rick Grimes and whisked him off to who knows where. Now, with the premiere of the franchise's latest spin-off, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, we have new info on these black-clad busybodies.
The Civic Republic is one of three interconnected communities that also include one in Portland and one in Omaha. They formed through something called the Alliance of the Three, hence the symbol of the three rings. The CR has its own hierarchy of government officials, seemingly presided over by Maj. Gen. Bill; Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (played by Julia Ormond) is a high-ranking official who heads the military. They do not provide details to the other two colonies as to their location, nor do they let the colonies communicate with their people. The CR also typically doesn't let anyone in or out of the colonies. The three communities came to this agreement in the hopes of building a new future for humanity.
World Beyond begins at the Omaha colony, dubbed the Campus Colony. After an event referred to as "the day the sky fell" — when an airplane crashed in Omaha and the dead turned into empties (their word for walkers) — the people took over Nebraska State University. Leo Bennett, a scientist from the Campus Colony, participated in one of the first science exchanges, which meant he went off to a CR facility to develop new science that could have an impact on the longevity of their communities. Leo's daughters, Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour), are the main protagonists of World Beyond.
Leo made a habit of communicating with his children while with the CR in secret through faxes, but it's been a solid month since they received anything. Iris is Monument High's student council president, and she's been having nightmares of herself as an empty ever since her father left. She's been going to see a therapist to help cope, but she isn't very invested in long-term solutions or talking about when her mother, Kari, died during the day the sky fell.
Hope was the one who witnessed her mother's death. During the chaos, they got separated from Iris and Leo, who were trying to help a pregnant woman. Kari and Hope found a truck in the hopes of escaping the wreckage, but the same pregnant woman held them up at gunpoint to take it for herself. In her panic, the woman fired and killed Kari. Hope then picked up the gun and killed the pregnant woman in retaliation, stealing her marble necklace as a reminder of the incident. As a teenager, Hope is a rebel. Both daughters inherited their father's sharp mind, but Hope uses her science skills to brew alcohol and throw parties. That's what gets her thrown in jail by Felix (Nico Tortorella), a senior security force officer of the Campus Colony and a friend of Leo's who became Hope and Iris's legal guardian in his absence. Huck (Annet Mahendru), a fellow officer, has also been teaching Hope how to fight against the dead.
Elizabeth and her CRM troops arrive in Omaha as a representative of her colony for Feast Day and Monument Day, the former a celebration of their continued survival and the latter a commemoration of those who were lost when the outbreak hit. She immediately recognizes Hope and Iris as Leo's children. Elizabeth appears friendly enough, but Hope is outspoken in her distrust of the CRM.
Later on, the girls receive a new message from their father. It's brief and slightly misspelled, but his note is clear: "My safety not assured." Two of their classmates, karate expert Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and the colony's new kid Silas (Hal Cumpston), walk in on them as they share the fax. They promise not to tell. Elton reveals that he's been sneaking out beyond their borders routinely so he can learn more about what the world has become. Silas suffers from lingering rumors about what he did back in the city.
Hope and Iris take the note to Felix, who urges them not to jump to conclusions. Their frustration spills out into the street, where Elizabeth overhears the girls' concerns about the CRM. Elizabeth mentions that she has a daughter who's serving in their military. (Might this be Isabelle from FTWD?) But that their separation is for a greater purpose. In what appears to be an attempt to gain their trust (more on why that might not be the case in a moment), Elizabeth tells the girls their father is teaching at a research facility somewhere in New York state and hands them a coded map that would reveal Elizabeth as the one who gave it to them if found out by others in the CRM.
After a night of drinking, Iris and Hope see a new message from their dad. This time, it's clear: "It's gone bad. Keeping my head down. I'll find help. Don't tell the Council. Don't tell Felix."
The death of her therapist (from apparent natural causes) puts things into perspective for Iris. During her speech for Monument Day, she expresses her distrust of the CR to Elizabeth's face. Afterward, she and Hope make plans to head to New York and somehow rescue their dad. They ask Elton and Silas for help get out of the compound and end up bringing them along. More impending drama between the dynamic is promised when Elton pulls out a picture of his mother from his backpack. It's the pregnant woman Hope killed years ago. His unborn baby sister also died that night.
Felix and Huck find a note left behind by the girls and they set out in pursuit. It's a good thing, because soon after the CRM are seen killing people in the colony. Actor Al Calderon appears as Barca, one of the CRM soldiers. Based on the look he gives Elizabeth, he seems to feel some disgust for the slaughter that happened this day. Barca says they searched everyone but couldn't find "her." No other descriptor was mentioned. Just "her." Whether it's Iris or Hope or someone else entirely, Elizabeth considers it good news that she's not among the colony. What we do know is that these folks are bad news. But we already knew that, didn't we?
This Walking Dead spin-off focuses on the first generation to come of age in the apocalypse.