The Walking Dead

World Beyond’s Major Death Disproves A Walking Dead Rick Grimes Theory

The Walking Dead: World Beyond kills off a major character, but the scene also proves a key theory surrounding Rick Grimes, Jadis, and the CRM.

As The Walking Dead: World Beyond kills off its biggest character yet, the spinoff disproves a popular theory about Rick Grimes and Jadis. The Walking Dead season 9 marked the joint departures of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick and Pollyanna McIntosh’s Jadis, but since taking off in a CRM helicopter, their status has been one big franchise mystery. Finally, Jadis returns in Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2, loyally serving the Civic Republic as a warrant officer. Rick remains nowhere to be found, but clues from Walking Dead season 10 suggest he’s plotting against the CRM. Given their prior connection and joint arrival, viewers might’ve assumed Jadis was actually a double agent, working for the CRM, but secretly feeding information back to Rick’s resistance.

Arriving at Facility 1 to investigate suspicious goings on (and test Huck’s resolve after 2 years undercover), Jadis has pulled no punches with the Bennett family, constantly suspicious whether she’s talking to a quiet teenager stranger, or her own mentor. But Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2’s “Blood & Lies” shows time away from the junkyard hasn’t calmed Jadis’ ruthless streak. She blackmails Leo Bennett into joining Project V, then brutally murders his lover, Dr. Belshaw. As far as Jadis is concerned, Belshaw’s loyalty has now come under scrutiny, and Leo is both easier to manipulate and a better scientist, so Lyla becomes zombie food.

As shocking and uncomfortable as Dr. Lyla Belshaw’s death may be in Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2, her exit debunks any theory Rick Grimes and Jadis might be working together against the CRM. Before the final, flesh-munching moments of “Blood & Lies,” everything Jadis says and does could feasibly be an act. Leading the Scavengers in The Walking Dead, Jadis’ lived a constant performance for many years, so going deep undercover in the CRM plays to her strengths. Also, getting involved with Project V and Huck provides the perfect cover to dig out information Rick could use to bring the villainous CRM down. By inhumanely executing Dr. Belshaw, however, Jadis rules out any chance that she and Rick are working together.

Rick Grimes has committed his fair share of violence in The Walking Dead, but always drew a clear moral line in the sand. Taking out Dr. Belshaw in such a callous, excruciating manner is one line Rick wouldn’t cross, and if he and Jadis were working together against the CRM, she wouldn’t be committing such a dark act. However important stopping the CRM’s masterplan might be, Rick’s not the type to sacrifice innocent people along the way. He’s The Walking Dead’s Captain America – refusing to “trade lives.” Of course, that also proves Jadis is officially a dyed-in-the-wool CRM servant, totally loyal to the cause and, therefore, an enemy of Rick Grimes once again.

Though the chances of Rick and Jadis working together are decidedly slimmer after Dr. Belshaw’s death, there’s still a glimmer of hope for the theory. Maybe Jadis is improvising, knowing that were her partner present, he’d deeply disapprove of dispatching the doctor. Alternatively, Rick’s sense of mercy might’ve dulled over 6 in-universe years. Rescued from death and separated from home, Rick Grimes could be darker than ever when he finally stops playing post-apocalyptic hide-and-seek. While the old Rick would’ve recognized Dr. Belshaw’s crimes were committed under duress from the CRM and held back, maybe The Walking Dead’s new and improved Rick Grimes believes anyone involved in Project V deserves what they get, meaning there’s still a small chance he’s working with Jadis.

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