has hinted at a rather dark explanation for the CRM’s A & B mystery. Though the spinoff has answered several big questions about the organization that abducted Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) over the course of two seasons, it still hasn’t explained one of the oldest mysteries related to the CRM. Ever since the Civic Republic Military's introduction, viewers have wondered about what “A” and “B” represent to the Civic Republic in universe.
These terms first became relevant when began using them to describe certain characters on the flagship. Apparently, they serve as labels for people they have interests in, but what makes an “A” stand out from a “B” has remained unclear. What is known though, is that Jadis originally marked Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) as a “B” but changed her mind, and regards both Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick as “A”s—though she said the latter was a “B” when she handed him over to the CRM. The two letters have popped up several times since, mostly in regards to the CRM’s scientific research. However, a clear answer still hasn’t been provided to this lingering question.
season 2, episode 8, titled “Returning Point”, dropped what seemed to be a hint about what . While talking with Silas (Hal Cumpston), Dennis (Maximilian Osinski) essentially explained why people choose to follow the CRM. According to Dennis, they try to convince their followers that everything they do is for the “”, and that though those who don’t know themselves eventually lose who they are. This recruitment approach can explain how they categorize people and what exactly they’re looking for. It appears that what they really want are people who are vulnerable to being shaped by the CRM.
That would mean that in the eyes of the CRM in universe, “A”s are the strong, and “B”s are the weak—at least where it comes to the potential of emotional and mental manipulation. If that’s the case, a “B” would be someone that’s easily manipulated, and an “A” would be a person who won’t blindly follow the or bend to their will. Based on Jadis’ perceptions of Negan, Gabriel, and Rick, it’s been suspected from the beginning that the real explanation was something along these lines, but Dennis’ comments make it a bit darker, as it confirms the CRM’s plan is to brainwash people who don’t have a clear direction in life. That was how they brought in Dennis, as he admitted to Silas in episode 8 that he was “” at the time of his recruitment.
What purpose an “A” might serve for the CRM has already been touched on in previous episodes of . Dr. Abbott, who opposed the CRM’s methods, was tagged as “A402”, thus indicating that the scientist was an “A”. Dr. Abbott being one of the few who was able to see through them and him being classified as an “A” is consistent with this explanation to . The CRM knows they’re not susceptible to brainwashing, but they can still be useful by becoming test subjects for their scientists.