The Ones Who Live Reveals Why The CRM Hasn’t Attacked Rick’s Group (& Debunks A Major Theory)
7 mins read

The Ones Who Live Reveals Why The CRM Hasn’t Attacked Rick’s Group (& Debunks A Major Theory)


  • Despite the presence of Rick Grimes within the CRM, The Walking Dead’s villainous organization is not currently aware of Alexandria and its allies.
  • Okafor’s confrontation with Rick confirms that the CRM has no knowledge of Alexandria, Hilltop, or Oceanside.
  • The theory that the CRM was blackmailing Rick to cooperate by threatening Alexandria is now debunked.



Despite being infamous for destroying rival settlements across the United States, the CRM has not yet attacked Alexandria, and The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live episode 1 explains why. While the Civic Republic itself is a relatively benign entity, the Civic Republic Military that protects it is a sinister organization that has committed genocide against numerous other communities – most of which posed no threat whatsoever. As such, it comes as something of a surprise that The Walking Dead‘s CRM has not yet attacked the Alexandria-Hilltop-Oceanside alliance.

This is especially strange considering the CRM currently counts that alliance’s former leader, Rick Grimes, among its ranks. Rick would, of course, never sell his community out, but given that the CRM was working with Jadis when its fateful helicopter first picked the dying protagonist up, all prior indications suggested that the CRM was aware of Alexandria’s existence. That prospect became even more likely after The Walking Dead season 11’s ending. Lance Hornsby was secretly in league with a larger community nearby, and the CRM fit that description perfectly. Once Alexandria took control of the Commonwealth, the CRM looked sure to have learned about Rick’s friends.


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Alexandria in The Walking Dead

Contrary to expectations, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live episode 1 confirms that the CRM does not know about Alexandria. The relevant scene comes when a raging Rick finally confronts Okafor following another botched escape attempt. Rick demands to know how much of his life pre-CRM the lieutenant colonel is aware of, and Okafor confirms that he read about a woman called “Michonne” in Rick’s letters and saw an image of a young girl he assumes to be Rick’s daughter etched onto a cellphone. While Rick is disturbed by this revelation, the scene actually proves how little the CRM truly knows.

The villainous organization evidently has no knowledge of Alexandria, Hilltop, or Oceanside, nor of Rick’s past. The only reason Okafor is aware of Michonne and Judith is because he pried into Rick’s personal messages. Okafor goes on, threatening that if Rick Grimes strays out of line again, it will be easy for the CRM to investigate survivors called “Michonne” around the area Rick was first picked up. Once again, this line reinforces that the CRM does not currently know about Alexandria. Okafor believes it would be relatively straightforward to locate it, but this has not yet come to pass.

Intriguingly, Okafor and Rick’s confrontation tacitly confirms Jadis has not revealed anything about Alexandria and its allies to the CRM either. As seen in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Jadis is now a military investigator within the CRM and was rewarded for bringing in Rick. Clearly, however, she has remained tight-lipped about the other survivors she briefly lived with following the war against the Saviors. This makes sense, as World Beyond also revealed Jadis adopted the surname Stokes in honor of Gabriel. She would likely not have taken such a sentimental risk if her bosses were aware of Gabriel’s existence.

The Ones Who Live Debunks A Major Walking Dead Theory

A CRM helicopter approaching Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead series finale.

By confirming that the CRM is not currently aware of Alexandria, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live actually debunks several major theories. The biggest is that the CRM was blackmailing Rick Grimes to cooperate by threatening to destroy Alexandria, which is plainly not the case. Rick’s reasons for ultimately cooperating with the CRM are entirely different, while the CRM is so strong and influential, it doesn’t even need to resort to blackmail as a coercive option.

The Ones Who Live also debunks the idea that attacking Alexandria is part of the CRM’s wider grand plan. The way CRM helicopters somehow avoided Rick’s group until now hinted that Major General Beale had designs for Alexandria and was quietly biding his time before striking. Based on what Okafor says, Alexandria is so small that it barely registers as a blip on the CRM’s radar at present. Omaha and Portland – the other communities Beale targets – contain around 100,000 survivors each, making Alexandria and its allies small fry in comparison.

While not debunking the idea completely, The Ones Who Live also pours cold water on the theory that Lance Hornsby was working with the CRM. If Lance really did have an agreement to send troublesome Commonwealth citizens to the CRM for nefarious purposes, then the CRM could not have failed to notice the Commonwealth’s abrupt change of leadership. It may not have drawn the connection to Rick Grimes, but if the CRM had any dealings with the Commonwealth, it would surely have one eye on Alexandria.

The Ones Who Live will inevitably reveal more in coming episodes, and the above speculation all hinges on the depth of Okafor’s inner knowledge. As a lieutenant colonel, Okafor held a very high rank within the villainous organization, so if he asserts that Major General Beale does not currently know about Michonne and Alexandria, his words carry credence. Nevertheless, even Beale has his secrets. The villain might actually know exactly where Rick comes from and what his friends have been doing, but has not shared that intel with even his most trusted officers for some unknown reason.

Okafor Mentioning Alexandria Makes More Walking Dead Cameos Possible

Simply by making the suggestion that the CRM might one day investigate the area Rick Grimes was picked up, discover Alexandria, and then threaten its residents, Okafor is foreshadowing a troubling potential future for Rick’s friends and family in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. It now looks inevitable that, sooner or later, the CRM will turn its attention toward Rick and Michonne’s people, whether in retaliation for something the couple do or because it deems the community a threat.

If that does happen, The Ones Who Live will have a golden opportunity to incorporate cameos from the franchise’s larger universe. Any character who was still alive and living in Alexandria or the surrounding communities when the main show ended could feasibly reappear in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live should the CRM launch an attack. Especially important for Rick and Michonne’s story will be cameos from Cailee Fleming as Judith and Antony Azor as RJ. Rick’s story would simply not feel complete without a long-awaited Grimes family reunion.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

continues Sunday on AMC.

The Walking Dead The Ones Who Live TV Show Poster

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

Release Date
February 25, 2024

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


Scott M. Gimple

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