Walking Dead Adds Another Clue To Rick’s A&B Mystery
The meaning behind the CRM's "A" and "B" remains a mystery in The Walking Dead, but World Beyond might've just added another major clue.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond adds another clue to the ongoing A & B mystery, but what does it mean? The Civic Republic Military remains the overarching enigma of the entire Walking Dead franchise, but World Beyond is slowly drawing back that curtain. Viewers have glimpsed the paradise behind enemy lines, learned about the CRM’s zombie cure mushroom experiments, and witnessed the callousness of Omaha’s total destruction. One of the biggest lingering CRM questions, however, is the meaning behind “A” and “B.”
The Walking Dead season 7 introduced Jadis (later identified as “Anne”) and her Scavenger community, who abducted survivors and shipped them off to the CRM via helicopter. Jadis splits her prisoners into two categories – A and B – but refuses to divulge exactly what these labels denote. Rick Grimes is considered an “A” (Jadis later calls him a “B” but showrunner, Angela Kang, has confirmed she was lying), Gabriel Stokes was “B” but Jadis eventually upgraded him, and Negan was also placed into the “A” category.
3 years and a spinoff later, The Walking Dead still hasn’t revealed the truth behind the A & B system, but World Beyond season 2 might reveal a vital clue. Captured by the CRM, Silas Plaskett has been sent to work at a “decontamination” center, where zombies are culled en masse by teenagers holding sharp sticks. In episode 4, Silas’ team lure undead into a minefield using firecrackers and the fine music of Skunk Anansie, but the crew shepherd one lucky zombie safely into a cage. The chosen creature is wearing one of Dr. Bennett’s monitoring packs and, several episodes earlier, another rigged-up zombie was referred to as “B-04.” That could mean “B” zombies are those being monitored in the wild, with each number corresponding to a different backpack.
Intriguingly, we already know CRM scientists collect “A” zombies too, but for a different purpose. Back in Walking Dead: World Beyond season 1, the zombified corpse of Dr. Abbott was seen labelled “A402.” Combine this with the new information from season 2, and the CRM is clearly dividing its undead test subjects into “A” and “B.” Perhaps Jadis’ “A” prisoners (Rick, Negan, Gabriel, etc.) were all destined to be lab subjects like Dr. Abbott. It’s weird that the CRM is experimenting on one of its former scientists – even if Abbott was causing trouble, why not just kill him quietly, instead of keeping the corpse to prod and poke? The CRM experimenting on the zombified Abbott suggests “A” subjects all possess certain attributes – intelligence, leadership, cunning, etc – and are reserved specifically for lab experimentation.
The survivors Jadis placed into the “B” category perhaps lacked such qualities, and these folks the CRM simply zombify, strap to a backpack, and send back out in the wilderness. This might explain why Jadis lies to her helicopter pilot about Rick being a “B.” If he were an “A,” the CRM would just let him turn and push on with their lab experiments, but Rick being a “B” means the CRM would need to save him first to get the backpack on safely.
Alternatively, the entire system could be metaphorical. Based on Jadis’ dialogue clues in The Walking Dead season 8, many viewers believe “A” prisoners are leader types, whereas “B” means follower. The CRM’s zombie categories could have vaguely similar meanings. “B” zombies follow hordes while being monitored, but an “A” stays safely in the lab, maybe mirroring how “B” survivors become CRM pawns, while the “A” recruits ascend to leadership positions.