Warning: this story contains spoilers for Sunday’s TWD: World Beyond, “Death and the Dead.” Warrant Officer Jadis Stokes (Pollyanna McIntosh) declassifies the truth about the Civic Republic Military’s mission on the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. After trading Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) to the helicopter group to secure a spot in the CR, Jadis spends six years serving the CRM to protect the hidden city of the Civic Republic — the “last light of the world” — and the last hope for humanity’s survival. But not all of humanity’s survival: the CR’s authoritarian military covered up the genocide of the Omaha Safe-Zone and the Nebraska Campus Colony.
Part of the Alliance of the Three with Omaha and the Civic Republic, the 87,000 survivors of Portland are the next target of the CRM in the endgame episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond.
The Last Light
In “Death and the Dead,” Jadis reveals why the CRM carried out the “tactical military operation” that wiped out the homes of Omaha’s 97,407 survivors and the Campus Colony’s 9,671 survivors with a chlorine gas bioweapon.
During a standoff with rebelling Bennett sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) outside the CR Research Facility where CRM scientist Dr. Lyla Belshaw (Natalie Gold) conducted experiments on empties, Jadis says the people murdered at Omaha and Campus Colony were doomed to die and the military “made the hard choices so the civilians wouldn’t have to.”
“Two years ago, the CRM’s modeling revealed that the Alliance would soon become a drain on the Civic Republic’s resources. Omaha, the Campus Colony, Portland had become too reliant,” says Jadis. “They’d never be fully self-sustaining. It was only a matter of time before thousands faced a famine of devastating proportions. At best, those thousands would have died slowly. At worst, disease and conflict would have spread through the Civic Republic itself, and then? The light of the world — extinguished forever. Death wins.”
“We made the choice to spare them that by ending it quickly for them so that there could be a chance for humanity to survive,” Jadis tells the sisters who left their home at the Campus Colony with Felix (Nico Tortorella) and their friends Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston). “What we did to your home was mercy.”
The CRM extracted all Assets, including Hope and her genius geneticist and biochemist father Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt), sending them to the CRRF in Ithaca, New York, to contribute to scientific progress under CRM protection.
Those who died were used as Test Subject “As” to further the progress of Project Votus, the CRM’s study to end reanimation of the dead and eradicate walkers from the planet. It’s the “ultimate priority” for the shadowy CRM Major General Beale and Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond), who founded Project Votus eight years ago — two years post-global outbreak of the zombie virus.
“Their legacy will be stopping the dead from walking this world,” Jadis says of Omaha and Campus Colony’s dead. Opposition to the CRM means “stopping the march towards scientific progress, denying the world the path to its rightful future.”
Kublek reveals Civic Republic intel in the Season 1 episode “The Tyger and the Lamb,” telling disillusioned CRM soldier Barca (Al Calderon) that the massacre of the Campus Colony meant the military “neutralized a threat” to the 200,000 souls living in a classified location at the CR. Challenged over her assertion the small satellite community could pose a threat to the CR, Kublek said: “There were going to be.”
A post-apocalyptic utopia, the Civic Republic is the “last light of the world” because it possesses what few remaining civilizations do not: energy, water, medicine, transport, schools, culture, currency, agriculture, manufacturing, economy, council, courts, the rule of law.
“We are the last light of the world. We are the last hope,” said Kublek. “And we — us — we enable this population of over 200,000 souls to live. To create the future.”
The CRM Master Plan
The “why” behind the CRM’s motives is “the one question we really haven’t answered this season,” showrunner and co-creator Matt Negrete said on AMC+’s TWD: World Beyond: Episode Insider. “Jadis, I don’t think, necessarily wants to give up this information, but she’s really been pushed to this by this group.”
“What she really wants them to understand is what’s at stake here if all this goes away. That’s what ultimately motivates Jadis to come clean in that moment,” Negrete explained. “I don’t think she thinks that she’s gonna necessarily change their minds, but she feels at least motivated to try to make them understand she’s doing all of this for a reason.”