Heading into this weekend, fans of AMC's "The Walking Dead" universe were getting themselves ready for a double dose of CRM action. In Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 "Reclamation," Al's (Maggie Grace) enlisting of Isabelle's (Sydney Lemon) CRM help to escape the nuclear blast at the end of last season now comes with a deadly price. The ruling military organization has sent out a "scorched earth" team to wipe away any evidence that anything ever took place. And that includes out survivors- that is, unless Al, Morgan (Lennie James), and Grace (Karen David) can stop them. Over on The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 "Returning Point," Pollyanna McIntosh's CRM Warrant Officer Jadis Stokes puts the facility on lockdown while Jennifer/Huck (Annet Mahendru) needs to get through to a very surprised Silas (Hal Cumpston) before plans get blown to smithereens. Meanwhile, Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope's (Alexa Mansour) father/scientist Leo (Joe Holt) looks to rally his colleagues to abandon the facility but Jadis already has that covered- or does she?
So when the smoke settled on both episodes, what did we learn about CRM's connections to the greater TWDU as well as the upcoming Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) films? Let's throw on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign and throw down a spoiler image buffer before deep-diving into a special two-episode edition.
"Fear the Walking Dead" Season 7 "Reclamation": While you can check out my full review of what proved to be a mixed bag of an episode here when it comes to any serious intel on CRM and the bigger picture, this episode was a disappointment on so many levels. While we're happy about the possibility of Al and Isabelle having some kind of "happily ever after" (as much as you can in a post-walker, post-nuclear fallout world), the CRM aspects were cut away from any of the current running narratives. The CRM officers we see don't vibe any different than any other big bad our heroes encounter. Our only hope? Now that Morgan knows at least some more about CRM (though Al was still holding back intel, even after everything they've been through), I'm going to assume he's going to start having conversations with others about what he knows. Because if he doesn't, then the introduction of CRM in the fifth season starts to feel like a "stunt storyline" with no real endgame.
"The Walking Dead: World Beyond" Season 2 "Returning Point": While light on a lot of the "bigger picture" connections, there was definitely a ton of movement when it comes to the growing resistance against CRM as our heroes advanced their efforts and Jadis ordered her soldiers to kill anyone trying to escape on sight. But two things didn't get my attention, one that shines a bit more light on CRM (and Jadis') motivations and one that was a nostalgic reminder of an earlier season of The Walking Dead. With the former, Jadis justifies that genocide that's gone on by arguing that CRM needs to win if humanity is to survive because otherwise so much scientific knowledge and research will be lost. Jadis further explains why CRM is "the last light of the world" not only adds a little gray to her actions (very little considering the body count) but further emphasizes just how deadly the military organization's cult-like mentality can be. As for the latter, I know I'm not the only one who got flashbacks to The Walking Dead Season 7 during that tense scene at the Perimeter when it looked like things were going to get really bloody. And for the record, who doesn't still get chills when Khary Payton's King Ezekiel declares, "Alexandria will not fall! Not on this day!"?