It turns out the helicopter seen in The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead is not related to the Commonwealth. The Walking Dead franchise is going very strongly; the main show's 10th season premieres in October, Fear the Walking Dead was renewed for a sixth season, a movie starring Rick Grimes is coming, and a new spinoff show is on its way.
One of the biggest mysteries in The Walking Dead was the helicopter first spotted in season 7. Its next more prominent appearance was in season 8, when Rick Grimes watched it fly overhead, and it was an odd, surreal sight in a world ravaged by the dead. Later, viewers learned the helicopter was connected to Jadis/Anne. In the season 9 episode, "What Comes After," Rick shoots down a bridge full of zombies and seemingly dies. However, he was later picked up by a helicopter, en route to an unknown destination. Many fans speculated the helicopter was setting up the Commonwealth community, though it turns out that this is not the case.
During The Walking Dead panel at Comic-Con, The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple was asked directly if the helicopter is related at all to the Commonwealth. Gimple's response was to the point, saying "No, it does not." So, the Commonwealth community and the helicopter are totally separate - but that doesn't mean the Commonwealth isn't on its way to the show.
The word, "Commonwealth" was seen briefly in the season 9 trailer for the main show. Also, season 9 ended with an unknown female's voice on the radio, similar to what happened in the comics. The Commonwealth in the comics was the final community Rick and friends encountered; a civilized place with jobs, buildings, and the like, run by a woman named Pamela. Interestingly, her son has close ties to Rick in the comics. It remains to be seen if the Commonwealth will be introduced at the end of season 10 and serve as the core story for the show's 11th season.
With Gimple's confirmation, the mystery of where Rick was taken remains. Could it be Philadelphia, as many speculate? Fans will probably have to wait a little while before an actual trailer with footage is released, since there is no release date yet. And, while it may not be the Commonwealth, the new setting should be very interesting, as the main show's settings have been mostly rural. There is certainly going to be a lot of discussion until the untitled Walking Dead movie gives fans more details.
The Walking Dead season 10 premieres October 6 on AMC.