The Walking Dead 10x06, “Bonds,” added a new (but unseen) character when Eugene (Josh McDermitt) made contact with an outside community through his newly souped up radio that has been upgraded with parts reclaimed from a Soviet satellite. Though the character plays it safe and doesn’t give her name, she participates in a lengthy conversation with Eugene, and they form a connection over their shared familiarity of Strasburg, Pennsylvania. When Eugene invites the woman to keep in touch, she accepts under one condition: she wants to talk to Eugene, and to Eugene only.
In the comic books, Eugene’s radio penpal is eventually revealed as Stephanie, who represents a network of settlements called the Commonwealth. Home to more than 50,000 survivors, the Commonwealth is an upscale civilization that operates on a class system under its governor, Pamela Milton, who eventually clashes with Alexandria leader Rick Grimes when he aims to reform the Commonwealth into a democratic system that evenly distributes its power among its citizens.
The opening credits of “Bonds” confirms the woman, who may or may not be Stephanie of the comic books, is played by actress Margot Bingham. Bingham played Daughter Maitland in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Nina Meyer in ABC mystery-drama The Family. Most recently, Bingham’s credits include Spike Lee-created Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It and NBC medical drama New Amsterdam.
“I think Eugene’s not really thinking about getting a new community. Emotionally, he’s lonely, and there’s something that I really loved in the comic book that he was the one that was calling out, because here’s this character that has made some questionable decisions in the past, but grew to be a trusted person. But he’s not always connected with people as deeply as everybody craves to connect,” showrunner Angela Kang told EW. “There’s a deep element of he just wants a human connection and he doesn’t exactly know what that might wind up being, but he feels, for a moment, he’s found a like-minded soul out there. Because what are the chances that somebody else is just out on the open wave, hoping to find somebody? And, of course, all the communities and the pragmatic things that come with that become a consideration, but he’s starting from very human place of ‘I just wish there was somebody out there for me.’”
Asked to confirm if the unseen woman over the radio is Stephanie of the Commonwealth, Kang teased, “It certainly seems like that might be the case, right? So I would just say that we also twist things a lot of times, so there may be surprises along the way.”