Not a ton of people are watching The Walking Dead, and even fewer are watching its second spin-off series, World Beyond. So little, in fact, that its soon-to-premiere second season will also be its last. But the show is clearly trying to draw some extra viewers for its swan song by bringing aboard a main TWD character who holds the biggest secret in the franchise: What the hell happened to Rick Grimes.
That would be Jadis a.k.a. Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), former leader of the Garbage People, who was last seen in season nine flying away in a helicopter with Rick after he’d been injured blowing up a bridge to protect Alexandria (and after star Andrew Lincoln wanted to quit the show to spend more time in England with his family).
Thanks to TWD season eight, we know the helicopter belonged to the Civic Republic Military, a group that made a sinister arrangement with Jadis’ people: They’d provide resources like food (implying that they were extremely well-stocked) if Jadis gave them captured survivors and recently infected test subjects. But after they flew away, the only clue about Rick’s fate was a pair of his boots and his mobile phone, which Michonne found on an island in Maryland.
All this is to say we have absolutely no clue what happened to Rick after that helicopter whisked him away — but Jadis does. Now, I’m not sure why she would tell the kids of World Beyond anything about some dude they’ve never heard of, but we should at least get some info about the CRM, who have been the main antagonists in the spin-off, which is set several years after the events of TWD (they’ve also appeared in the prequel spin-off Fear the Walking Dead, too).
That will at least give a small clue what happened to Rick, which Scott Gimple, AMC’s head honcho of all things Walking Dead, confirmed in a press release: “In our story, years have passed — we’ll get hints of what happened with that fateful helicopter ride and learn Jadis has new allies and alliances; she is a big part of connecting the CRM and Three Circles mythology that’s seen throughout all three series. We can’t wait to share it all with fans of the TWDU.”
Given that AMC is still planning on making a movie starring Lincoln that will presumably answer the major questions about Rick’s post-helicopter escapades, I wouldn’t get too excited about whatever “hints” are on the way. But at least I’m kind of interested in watching World Beyond for the first time ever, so well-plated TWD. Well-played.