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Over the course of its first season, The Walking Dead: World Beyond set up some big and fascinating connections between its youthful characters' situations and the overarching mystery behind the CRM group responsible for abducting Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes. The Season 1 finale seemed to set up the concept that something fucked up happened at the Civic Republic Militia facility in New York, a place where many fans have speculated that Rick is being held in or around. According to co-creator and Walking Dead bossman Scott Grimes, we should probably save our speculative breaths.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond looks to be aiming each of its characters at the New York facility, though Hope and Huck will no doubt get there the fastest, seeing how they rode with Elizabeth in her helicopter. Still fans shouldn't count out Felix, Iris, Elton and more making it to the CRM labs in Season 2. What everyone can count out, though, is a Season 2 cameo from Andrew Lincoln as Rick, at least according to what Scott Gimple told Insider. In his words:
You know what? I'm going to say this because I think it's critical to be straight with it. He is not at that facility. Definitively. Some people might be annoyed that I'm saying that, but I just, I wouldn't want people expecting that. You know what I mean? I could tease it out, but I want to be straight with the people. I will say though — even as much as like with the A's and the B's — do we find out more about this mythology that Rick is tied up in? Absolutely. Is Rick hanging out there? No, he is not. Could Rick have ever been there? Certainly possible, but we're not going to be rolling up to him hanging out there.
At this point, it would be kind of torturous to see Rick making a cameo in a scene's background without actually learning what happened to him and/or where's he's been for all these years. For better or worse, that definitely won't be happening in The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, since Scott Gimple confirmed that Andrew Lincoln's long-lost protagonist is not currently located at the New York CRM building. It's possible that he'd been there in the past, which would be a similar situation to how Michonne found some of his belongings during her final Walking Dead episode.
All that said, The Walking Dead: World Beyond will continue to build up its pretty brutal CRM mythology and methodology in Season 2 without Andrew Lincoln and his beard around. Scott Gimple didn't deny (or confirm) the idea that Rick Grimes will get directly referenced in later episodes, so that is technically still a possibility. Maybe we'll see his name on some kind of manifest, or perhaps another drawing/etching of him on a piece of outdated tech.
Not that Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes is the only Walking Dead character who vacated the AMC drama n Season 9. He was actually saved from the bridge explosion by Pollanna McIntosh's nudity-loving Jadis, who served as viewers' first big connection the CRM helicopters and will likely appear in the upcoming Rick Grimes films. Is it possible McIntosh will put in an appearance on The Walking Dead: World Beyond when Season 2 arrives next year? Here's how Scott Gimple put it:
Oh, wow. I hate being the person who can't answer all these questions, but, we'll have to wait and see on that one. It is unlikely, but not impossible.
As it goes, Scott Gimple is The Walking Dead franchise's resident lockbox of information, so that Jadis answer shouldn't have come as a surprise. But at least he managed to proactively tamp down some of the Rick-spectations for Season 2 by letting everyone know that he won't be secretly revealed to be Leo's bunkmate or anything. Although now I'm kind of into that idea.
For now, all Walking Dead franchise shows are wrapped for the rest of the year, at least as far as airing new episodes goes. Early on in 2021, however, fans will get to watch the return of Fear the Walking Dead for the back half of Season 6, while The Walking Dead proper will air the final six episodes of Season 10, also. And then at some point, The Walking Dead: World Beyond will return to AMC for its second and final season. While waiting to hear about those three return dates, head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 TV rundown.