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The Walking Dead Will Never End After Rick’s New CRM Discovery

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live episode 3.


The CRM’s 500-year plan gives AMC a never-ending stream of storytelling possibilities beyond 2024.
The CRM’s blueprint provides hope for a permanent solution to the zombie apocalypse, potentially ending Rick’s story.
Future series could explore the far-future of The Walking Dead’s world, showing the challenges faced by Judith’s grandchildren.

Based on what the CRM is proclaiming in The Ones Who Live, The Walking Dead could walk for 500 years, and might even walk for 500 more. AMC’s main The Walking Dead TV show ended in 2022, but the network has big plans lasting deep into 2024, with Dead City season 2 and Daryl Dixon season 2 both in production. What comes after is less certain. The Ones Who Live season 2 with Rick and Michonne is a distinct possibility, and numerous clues point toward an Avengers-style crossover between all living characters in The Walking Dead’s world.

Those plans will keep AMC busy for the foreseeable future, but provide no indication of how long The Walking Dead will ultimately last as a franchise. Thanks to Jadis in The Ones Who Live episode 3, however, the post-apocalyptic shenanigans can continue for decades to come. Explaining to Rick Grimes precisely why she believes in the Civic Republic Military, Jadis reveals that the organization has concocted a “500-year plan” to restore civilization across the world. Whether the CRM’s 500-year plan will assure humanity’s future remains to be seen, but it has certainly assured the future of AMC’s franchise.


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The CRM’s 500-Year Plan Means The Walking Dead Can Continue Forever (If It Wants To)

Close up of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes looking distresed from The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

Clearly, the CRM’s 500-year plan does not mean that audiences should expect a steady stream of content until 2524, when all new releases will presumably be downloaded into the brains of paid-up subscribers. It does, however, give AMC a route toward continuing The Walking Dead for as long as it wants to. Rick Grimes has come across an enemy mapping out the next five centuries of The Walking Dead’s timeline, which indicates that the franchise’s creative minds are beginning to consider what the fictional universe’s far-future will look like.

The CRM’s 500-year plan raises questions over what kind of threats – living or dead – the world will face when Judith’s grandchildren are the ones leading Alexandria. The Walking Dead does not need to show every single one of those 500 years onscreen, of course. The franchise is well-accustomed to time skips, and the original, unused ending for The Walking Dead would have leaped further into the future by showing Judith as an adult.

Using those narrative techniques, future Walking Dead shows could be set several decades after the current generation. Perhaps the CRM is still causing trouble at that time, and the war against Alexandria remains raging long after Rick Grimes and Major General Beale are dead.

The CRM’s 500-Year Plan Sets Up The End Of The Walking Dead’s Outbreak (& Rick’s Story)

Rick Grimes in a conference room from The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

The CRM’s 500-year plan means that, for the very first time, The Walking Dead has a workable endgame. The big, overarching question at the heart of Robert Kirkman’s story has always been, “How does the world recover from the zombie apocalypse?” but neither the original comic book nor its TV adaptation have truly grappled with this lofty theme.

While Major General Beale and the CRM are obviously bad guys, the 500-year plan to rebuild civilization could eventually pass over to Rick Grimes and his allies when the CRM is beaten – albeit removing the bits that involve blood, murder, and betrayal. In the right hands, the 500-year plan could become a blueprint for answering The Walking Dead’s big, eternally-ignored question, solving the zombie apocalypse permanently, and ending Rick’s story with Andrew Lincoln’s protagonist literally saving the world.

Whether AMC actually shows the outcome then becomes entirely optional. The Walking Dead franchise could end with Rick Grimes resolving to restore the world using the CRM’s 500-year plan from The Ones Who Live as a basis, leaving the audience to assume he succeeds and everyone lives happily ever after. On the other hand, that process could provide the basis for multiple Walking Dead projects spread across the next 14 years, and possibly beyond, chronicling the efforts of future Grimes descendants as they try to honor Rick’s vision.

Episode #

Episode Title

Release Date



February 25



March 3



March 10


“What We”

March 17



March 24


“The Last Time”

March 31

The Walking Dead The Ones Who Live TV Show Poster

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

ScreenRant logo

Created by Scott M. Gimple and Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is a sequel spin-off series in The Walking Dead television franchise. The series picks up some time after Michonne departs from the original series, as she searches to be reunited with her lover, Rick Grimes. Meanwhile, Rick finds himself amid another war between the living and the dead.

Cast Andrew Lincoln , Danai Gurira , Pollyanna McIntosh , Lesley-Ann Brandt , Terry O’Quinn

Release Date February 25, 2024

Seasons 1

Showrunner Scott M. Gimple

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