A wave of anxiety hit the world last night upon the conclusion of The Walking Dead: World Beyond.
Back then, the limited series looked as if it had no impact whatsoever on the bulk of the entire TWDU picture, but all that changed last night during the post-credit scene that has completely changed everything we know about this universe.
The Dead Were Born In... France?
With the World Beyond finale's post-credits sequence set in a French biomedical lab, The Walking Dead finally gave us a true look at the zombie outbreak elsewhere in the world. The state of the building indicates that France is just as post-apocalyptic as the U.S., and given mainland Europe's geography, the entire continent has most likely been ravaged by the zombie virus.
However, one significant distinction between the U.S. and France is that French survivors (at least some of them) know exactly where the virus originated. The smoking man in the closing scene of The Walking Dead: World Beyond knows which scientists are to blame for the infection, and his group has imprisoned many of them while slaughtering the others.
How widespread is this knowledge in France? Is the origin of the apocalypse an open secret throughout Europe, or does the truth just belong to a small number of French survivors? In any case, their awareness is significantly superior to that of many Americans.
How in the World did France Make Things Worse?
The answer can be found in both the first and last parts of the post-credit scene. Remember the video the unnamed French doctor was watching? Dr. Edwin Jenner, a CDC virologist, was the source of the transmission!
Dr. Jenner will be remembered by longtime Walking Dead fans for his appearance in the Season 1 finale. He indicated back then that the French were making significant progress in discovering a cure for the virus.
“It was the French. […] They were the last ones to hold out as far as I know. While our people were bolting out the doors and committing suicide in the hallways, they stayed in the labs till the end,” Jenner told Rick Grimes and friends.
The fact that World Beyond's France scene implies that the zombie virus was actually a coordinated effort involving numerous countries is worth noting.
When the outbreak started, members of the French lab's Primrose team were in Ohio for a conference, and there's a possibility Spain was also involved in the research. How many other countries were aware of the virus? Is the CRM attempting to hide the U.S.' involvement in the project?
Though Walking Dead: World Beyond offers many intriguing questions, it is a significant step forward for the franchise to depict the zombie apocalypse from a European perspective.