Billy Oduory breaks down The Walking Dead Universe…
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, set to premiere on February 25th, 2024, is one of the most anticipated TV shows of the year. The success of the two hit Walking Dead spinoffs released in 2023 (Dead City and Daryl Dixon) proved that the end of the 11-season-long parent show was only the beginning of better days for the Walking Dead Universe. The Ones Who Live is set to reunite two of the franchise’s most liked characters, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), as they find their way back to each other against all odds.
The final season of The Walking Dead set up a fertile ground for almost endless possible spinoffs, six of which have already been confirmed by AMC. Fear The Walking Dead, the longest one so far, concluded in November 2023 on a high note, although it is unclear whether its characters will reunite with their counterparts from the original show in the continuing spinoffs. World Beyond is another spinoff that, despite concluding in 2021 after just two seasons, holds the most significance to The Ones Who Live because it reveals how Rick ends up with the dreaded CRM.
With Maggy and Negan facing the New Babylon Federation in Dead City, Daryl and Carol taking on the evil Genet and her Pouvoir des Vivants gang in Daryl Dixon, and Rick and Michonne taking on the powerful Civil Republic Military in The Ones Who Live, The Walking Dead universe seems to be headed for an epic showdown with global implications. Restoring civilization remains the franchise’s ultimate goal, and while that may take some time, here is a look at how close each of the confirmed upcoming spinoffs will take the universe there.
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live: Season 1
Initially intended as a film trilogy, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is the spinoff that will deliver the long-awaited conclusion to the story of Rick Grimes who left the parent series in Season 9, and his wife Michonne Hawthorne who left in Season 10 to look for him. While the love story between the two is the driving force of the show, The Ones Who Live is also expected to deliver the most important revelations about the pandemic.
At the heart of the storyline is the shadowy military organization known as the CRM which is believed to have a global reach. On paper, the CRM is just the military wing of the powerful Civil Republic, but the organization could well predate the pandemic. The CRM is on a secretive sinister mission to rebuild civilization in their convoluted image of a perfect world. As revealed in the original show, the CRM is a sadistic group willing to commit genocide to eliminate any threats to its mission.
Gabriel’s ex-lover, Jadis Stokes (Pollyanna McIntosh), is expected to play a key role in the show, hopefully aiding Rick’s attempts to defeat the CRM. Having traded Rick to the CRM in exchange for a position in their ranks, Jadis is expected to be the antihero who eventually, has a change of heart and helps Rick.
Jadis was last seen in World Beyond working as a loyal CRM warrant officer, which suggests that she was brainwashed into believing that the CRM is good for the world. McIntosh said in an interview that she acted alongside Andrew Lincoln on the set, which puts their characters in the same location in the show.
The leader of CRM, who is expected to be the show’s main antagonist, is Major General Beale (Terry O’Quinn), whose role in the CRM’s war crimes is still a mystery. Rick Grimes was last seen in the final season of TWD held as a CRM prisoner, killing walkers after what is revealed to be a failed escape attempt. While it is not clear whether Beale is also at this facility, he and Rick are bound to meet at some point in the first season. Their meeting will shed more light on why the CRM was so interested in Rick.
The final season of the parent show also showed Rick putting letters to Michonne in floating bottles, but it is not clear whether she will receive any of them. Michonne was last seen following a group of survivors, although they weren’t headed to New Jersey where her clues to finding Rick led. The long-awaited reunion between the two lovers might, therefore, happen more as a coincidence, in what will likely be the show’s best plot twist.
Scott Gimple who is one of the executive producers of the show warned fans that the version of Rick they should expect in The Ones Who Live is the “red machete Rick,” seen in the fifth and sixth seasons of the original show. His comments suggest that so much pain and suffering could have changed Rick, turning him into a different person. Rick could actually be forced to pull a Jadis and join the CRM to get to the root of the organization’s mysteries. The main concern, therefore, is whether Michonne will be able to reconnect with this new version of Rick.
The Walking Dead: Dead City: Season 2
Set in post-apocalypse Manhattan, The Walking Dead: Dead City follows the story of Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) after their difficult reconciliation towards the end of the parent show. Dead City starts with Maggie enlisting Negan’s help to save her son, Hershel, who has been kidnapped by a former Savior called The Croat. The whole plot turns out to be a trap since Maggie always planned to betray Negan by turning him over to the Croat in exchange for her son.
Towards the end of the first season, it is revealed that the mastermind of the whole plot is a mysterious woman known as The Dama, who wants Negan’s help to defend her island empire from the power-hungry New Babylon Federation. The Dama insists on Negan reverting to the darker version of himself from his time as a Savior in order to turn her followers into a united army that can take on the Federation.
Apart from its renewal for a second season, there is little information from official sources on the possible release date, plot, and cast details. However, the ending of the first season set up a confrontation between The Dama’s gang and the ruthless New Babylon Federation for control of Manhattan. The abundant supply of Methane on the island is the main reason for the Federation’s desire to take control of it.
Despite betraying Negan, Maggie has a change of heart and decides to rescue him, but it is too late because the Dama already has Negan where she wants him, setting up a second season where they are both hostages. Both the Dama and the leader of the New Babylon Federation are psychopathic power-hungry tyrants who are willing to do anything to win. Negan and Maggie are, therefore caught in between these powerful forces, and their decision could eventually decide the fate of Manhattan.
While there are no crossovers in the first season of Dead City, the New Babylon Federation has a lot of similarities with the CRM which leads us to believe the two may be related. Like the CRM, the Federation is ready to commit genocide to take control of a vital resource. The federation also puts on the face of a law-enforcement agency, but, like CRM, they take hostages to force their marshals into compliance and commit massacres in the name of restoring civilization.
The Walking Dead: The Book of Carol
This is the title of the second season of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, which will focus more on Carol’s (Melissa McBride) journey to Europe as she tries to find her friend Daryl (Norman Reedus) and bring him home. The first season follows Daryl as he washes up in France and finds a new family in a nun called Isabelle and a mysterious boy called Laurent, whom people believe to be a savior of sorts. Daryl becomes a father figure to Laurent after Isabelle convinces him to escort the boy to a place called The Sanctuary to keep him safe from the many evil forces that want to lay their hands on him.
The show sees the old rugged and grumpy Daryl transform into a father figure who puts his life on the line to protect Laurent. Daryl’s greatest enemy turns out to be Genet, the tyrannical leader of the powerful Pouvoir des Vivants militia, which effectively rules France. Genet doesn’t appreciate Laurent’s popularity as a symbol of hope for the people because it undermines her position as the self-imposed savior of France.
Despite escorting Laurent to the Sanctuary and being given the means to go back home, Daryl’s bond with Isabelle and Lurent proves too strong, which is why he is likely to stay in France in the show’s second season. The threat of Genet also still lingers and Laurent will never be safe as long as she still rules France, which is why Daryl has to find a way to defeat her, and no one is better suited for that battle than his friend Carol.
The season finale showed Carol stopping a man who had Daryl’s bike and forcing clues on Daryl’s whereabouts out of him. Carol’s cameo appearance in the first season is proof that the cavalry is on the way for Daryl. The second season, which is already filming in Europe will see Carol and Daryl reunite and take on yet another tyrant together just as they did so many times in the parent show.
Genet and her gang are revealed to have powerful allies around the globe, with whom they collaborate in various ways including human trafficking and trading in deadly weapons. Genet also conducts scientific experiments aimed at weaponizing walkers, which seems similar to what CRM is doing. We strongly believe that Genet and her gang are affiliated to the CRM and she could be the CRM’s liaison in Europe.
Genet’s connection to the CRM connects all the dots on the shadowy organization’s mission to dominate the globe. With all the villains in the spinoffs seemingly working for the same organization, The Walking Dead protagonists could be on the same mission to save the whole world in their respective spinoffs after all, but the details remain to be seen when each spinoff airs later in 2024.
What are you most looking forward to from The Walking Dead Universe in 2024? Let us know on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…