Welcome back to our weekly look at the clues & teasers that the second and final season of AMC's The Walking Dead: World Beyond is offering up regarding the larger TWDU as a whole and in particular, the upcoming Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) films. If you're looking to get up-to-speed on what we have to say, take a minute to check out last week's first edition (feel free to head on over to here to tell me how wrong I am) while we throw on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign and throw down an image spoiler buffer as we take a look at this weekend's episode "Blood and Lies" and follow up with a theory that became a little clearer by the time the end credits rolled.
Okay, when it comes to a direct connection to the past, look no further than the exchange between Silas (Hal Cumpston) and Warrant Officer Jadis Stokes (Pollyanna McIntosh) when Silas responds about how he's liking where's he's working with, "it's kinda like living in a junkyard." Let's just say that with the look on Jadis' face when she responds with, "you say that like it's a bad thing" knowing her backstory, we're thankful for Silas' sake that he answered the way that he did.
So now it's time to take a look at Project V (or "Votus," if we're spelling that correctly) and what the known & speculative implication of it could be. From what we can tell, it appears that the work Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt) and Dr. Lyla Belshaw (Natalie Gold) have been conducting is in line with what was discussed before. Essentially, a way to keep the dead from turning into walkers, with this episode's familiar-looking test subject still not the breakthrough they've been looking for though we see just how deadly & fast-acting it is (as Leo explains how it works). But for what purpose? I mean, it makes sense to have something that would effectively eliminate the walker problem before it starts. It even sounds like a pretty important milestone in the walker apocalypse, right? Hip-hip-hooray, CRM!
Well, not so fast. Because if that's "all" they're looking to do then why would Major General Beale and Elizabeth (Julia Ormond) keep the project such a secret (even in CRM terms) and destroy allied communities Omaha and Campus Colony (with Portland on the chopping block, we're sure)? You do it for a couple of reasons. First, when you're about to hand over control to civilian authorities as the "10-year plan" nears its end then there's no better way to convince the population that you should stay in charge by having essentially a "walker cure" at your disposal (and control). But even in its current form, Project V has proved itself to be quite effective as a mass casualty-causer, meaning CRM also has some serious biochemical firepower at its disposal. So if the people won't accept them staying in control over the "good" that they did then they'll keep them in power if a horrible death is the only other option.
How is this a bigger concern for the rest of The Walking Dead universe? With CRM adding to its arsenal by "consolidating" communities, its reach could extend much further than it does now- possibly meaning CRM biochemical attacks on some familiar TWD and Fear TWD locales. Could that be the connective thread that ties this all together? Because don't forget that moment in "Blood and Lies" when Leo responds to Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Iris' (Aliyah Royale) that something must've been added to give Project V some color when it should be colorless. Could CRM be developing a bioweapon that activates the walker "gene" once inhaled in seconds, eliminating the need for the person to die and then turn? In terms of making a "persuasive argument," CRM would pretty much win any debate with a "closing argument" like that. With only three episodes left after this weekend, we'll get a chance to see what truths "Returning Point" holds next week (or starting today on AMC+).