Dr. Everett describes an area spanning « hundreds of miles » isolated by a 200-meter-wide, 40-foot-deep trench where much of the country’s zombie population has apparently been contained. The narration implies that sometime in the apocalypse’s future, an organized group (potentially the CRM?) dug this massive canyon and herded as many zombies as possible (undead numbers would’ve dwindled naturally by this point) onto the makeshift island. Predictably, however, humans remain their own worst enemies. Dr. Everett reveals survivors are deliberately crossing the trench to collect zombie skulls, which are used as « scare propaganda. » Sneaking into the Dead Sector to poach a zombified noggin proves just how rare undead must be beyond the trench, but it’s not all good news. Amy ominously asks Everett, « You ever see how bad it is on the other side? » Her people are attempting to resettle the Dead Sector, so solving the zombie problem doesn’t automatically mean The Walking Dead’s apocalypse is over.
AMC’s main The Walking Dead TV show hasn’t set up the zombie apocalypse’s conclusion just yet, but season 11 is teasing the outbreak’s next evolution. Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2’s finale introduced a smarter, faster brand of undead in France, not only capable of jogging but also aware of its surroundings – doors, walls, handles etc. These zombies were first shown (probably without any grand design) in The Walking Dead season 1 before quickly being phased out, but trailer footage for season 11’s final third has promised a full exposé on smart walkers. Tales of the Walking Dead episode 4 adds another piece to the puzzle, as Dr. Everett’s documentary describes seeing Specimen 21 kill a wild dog then leave its corpse for the herd behind him, implying intelligent behavior.
Smart zombies look destined to play a major part in The Walking Dead’s future and the franchise’s eventual ending, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Tales of the Walking Dead’s Dead Sector will play any role whatsoever in the main series or its upcoming spinoffs. Tales of the Walking Dead has a very loose relationship to existing canon, with episode 2 delving into time travel and episode 3 giving a completely revised origin story for Alpha and the Whisperers. Tales of the Walking Dead may reveal a future where zombies are trapped inside a single massive area by a humongous trench… but don’t expect The Walking Dead to necessarily honor that outcome if the main timeline ever reaches this far ahead.