The Walking Dead’s CRM speculation will only intensify now the Commonwealth is revealed to own a functional railway. When it comes to The Walking Dead’s zombie apocalypse, villains aren’t exactly in short supply, but putting your Alphas and your Pamelas, and your Jadises aside, one evil force has been lingering in the background: the Civic Republic Military. Best known for carrying away Rick Grimes in a helicopter, the CRM has been heavily teased through multiple shows, and Lance Hornsby’s comment about « certain alliances » in The Walking Dead season 11 sparked theories of an arrangement between the CRM and the Commonwealth.
Those theories look infinitely more likely after The Walking Dead’s « What’s Been Lost. » Every member of the protagonist group has been captured aside from the slippery duo of Carol Peletier and Daryl Dixon. Using Lance as a guide, they discover a supply train heading for where the prisoners are, but something more sinister is evidently happening. The train can’t be just a plot device to get Daryl and Carol from A to B (pun very much intended), and Lance implies the vehicle is used to carry the captive Alexandrians… somewhere else. While that destination could be a labor camp, a secret execution site, or a prison, it makes no sense for the Commonwealth to build those facilities so far away they require a train to get there. The Commonwealth taking troublesome or undesirable citizens and shipping them off to the Civic Republic via train sounds like a far more logical solution.
The Commonwealth sending prisoners to the CRM fits neatly with details The Walking Dead has dropped already. For starters, the list slipped under Connie’s door revealed a long history of Commonwealth residents disappearing without reason or explanation. This proves Pamela Milton isn’t just making a special case for the Alexandrians, and this train arrangement – whatever it may be – has been in place a while. Secondly, we know the CRM’s main interest isn’t in food or supplies, but people. Jadis’ job was to divide prisoners into « A » and « B » categories and ship them off via helicopter to the CRM. The Walking Dead: World Beyond revealed many of these trafficked survivors become subjects in the Civic Republic’s immoral virology studies.
A CRM-Commonwealth connection explains the necessity for a train in the first place. The Commonwealth owns a fleet of vehicles used to shuttle between sites, but the train is a closely-guarded secret. Why keep a vehicle used for long-distance travel under wraps unless the destination itself is something no one should know about? Lastly, The Walking Dead must still address Rick Grimes’ status before the main series ends – it’s impossible to do that without at least referencing the CRM.
Once Daryl and Carol follow the Commonwealth’s train to their captured friends, they might finally discover where the disappeared citizens are being sent. If so, The Walking Dead’s main characters could finally become aware of the CRM’s existence after years of blissful ignorance. If the train is connected to the Civic Republic, the ramifications could reverberate far beyond just The Walking Dead season 11. As an organized force, the CRM makes Mercer’s Commonwealth soldiers look like the Stormtroopers who bang their heads and can’t shoot straight. If any main The Walking Dead character gets shipped to the Civic Republic, they’re not getting freed within the next four episodes. Daryl and Carol face two choices: rescue any of their people who’re on the train while it’s moving, or never see them again.
The CRM’s presence in The Walking Dead season 11 could bleed directly into future spinoffs – The Walking Dead: Dead City, Daryl Dixon, and the Rick & Michonne show. If any Commonwealth prisoners end up in CRM custody, the protagonists have a big motivation to fight back. Equally, if Daryl and Carol prevent the Civic Republic Military getting its scheduled shipment of bodies, they could incite the wrath of an enemy that makes the Saviors and Whisperers look like warm-up acts.
The Walking Dead continues Sunday on AMC.