The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2 episode 6 spoilers follow.
Between awkward dinners, major power cuts and a hefty amount of scheming, there was a lot going on in World Beyond’s latest episode. But for many, the most exciting scene came towards the end when a familiar face from The Walking Dead popped up to explain something fans have been wondering about since season seven.
Patient viewers who sat through the end credits last week might have already realised that Jadis is back, but this is the first time that Pollyanna McIntosh’s character appears in full, and she’s a lot chattier than you might expect.
Back when we were first introduced to Jadis, she mostly spoke in shorter sentences, using a limited vocabulary that was also shared by her followers. It wasn’t until the Scavengers disbanded that Jadis’s way of speaking reverted somewhat back to normal, but the reasons behind this were never fully explained.
No longer restricted by that pidgin English, Jadis shares a long conversation with Huck in this week’s episode where the pair discuss her goals, and even more importantly, what happened to her in the six years that have passed since she stowed Rick Grimes away on that CRM helicopter.
“We never talked about what I did to get into the republic six years ago,” says Jadis. “Here’s a tip, wanna create a civilisation from scratch in a hurry? Give them their own language. Give them a little theatre to share in. It’ll make that theatre real. It’ll bond them, separate from everyone else.”
McIntosh has hinted before that Jadis might have been putting that broken speech on to manipulate others. A few years back, she told Comicbook.com that: “It’s a bit unnerving, you know, which seems to be very much [Jadis’s] game. Her manipulation is strong and that’s always a really solid place to start as an actor, you know.”
When asked a similar question about the reasons behind that way of speaking, executive producer David Alpert gave HuffPost a slightly different explanation:
“Sometimes in different groups, people develop their own speech patterns and habits, and once you’re sort of cut off from pop culture, radio, television, etc., and you’re not hearing other people talk that way, I think you would find – the way that there used to be much more local accents – the same thing would happen in the apocalypse. It’s like our Cockney slang. That’s what happens.”
So this week’s episode of World Beyond marks the first time that Jadis herself has fully addressed why she invented this strange way of speaking. And during this chat, the former Scavengers leader also hints at the even bigger mystery that surrounds Rick Grimes and his whereabouts.
“I love my people, but I lost them because I made the wrong alliances… And after, I had an opportunity and I created a ticket to get into the Civil Republic – I gave the CRM something very valuable.”
Although Rick isn’t directly mentioned, it doesn’t take a genius like Doctor Ellis to know what Jadis is talking about here. And while this doesn’t yet provide the kind of answers that showrunner Matt Negrete promised us a little while back, it’s a good start on that front, particularly when it comes to the word “valuable”.
Last season, World Beyond revealed that the CRM labels people as “A” if they’ve been chosen as test subjects in the search to find a cure. But what’s a “B”?
Back when Jadis first handed Rick over to the CRM, she changed her mind last minute and switched him over from an an “A” to a “B”, saying “he’s hurt, but he’s strong.” At that point, it was clear that “B”s were more useful to the CRM alive than dead, but now that Jadis has described Rick as particularly “valuable,” it certainly lends credence to the idea that “B”s might be potential soldiers or even leaders deemed fit to join the CRM cause.
Or what if there’s something particularly special about Rick, something that sets him apart from even the other “B”s? Perhaps Rick’s “value” didn’t become apparent until later on in that six-year gap, maybe at a point where he stepped up and helped the CRM in some crucial way?
This is all conjecture still, but one thing we do know is that capturing Rick Grimes gave Jadis a boost within the CRM community, one which she’s putting to good use now six years on. “It’s not just about moving up,” she tells Huck. “My purpose is to create a new era on this planet.”
Will this “new era” put Jadis at odds with the rest of our heroes? Most likely, and her new alliance with Huck is sure to ruffle a few feathers too by the time that World Beyond ends its second and final season. That’s all assuming, of course, that Jadis gets that promotion she’s so desperately keen on.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2 airs on Sundays on AMC in the US. You can stream the series on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.
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Walking Dead: World Beyond just solved one old franchise mystery while teasing another