Radio pen pals Tater Bug and Blue Weevil finally made their connection on The Walking Dead. Or have they? Spoilers for TWD Season 11 Episode 2, "Acheron: Part 2." When over-the-airwaves wooer Eugene (Josh McDermitt) embarks on a date with destiny, it's to meet Stephanie: the woman whose voice comes through crackling static on Eugene's long-range radio back in Season 9. At the height of the Whisperer War in Season 10, Eugene and traveling companions Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) pick up Princess (Paola Lazaro) while en route to their rail yard rendezvous in Charleston, West Virginia, where the white-armored soldier cops of the Commonwealth arrest the group without ever making contact with Stephanie.
Contact isn't made until the final moments of "Acheron: Part 2," where a formal but invasive inspection and interviewing process ends with General Mercer (Michael James Shaw) granting Eugene and friends asylum and citizenship in the united townships of the Commonwealth. Out steps a woman (Chelle Ramos), who asks meekly, "Um, which one of you is Eugene?" When her bashful beau raises his hand, she introduces herself: "Hi. I'm Stephanie."
The Commonwealth is real. Stephanie might not be. Read on to find out how this meeting unfolds in the comic books, but be warned of future spoilers.
Calling Out on the Open Air
Someone's got their signals crossed: the woman identifying herself as Stephanie isn't Stephanie. (Ramos is credited only as "Woman 2.") The Walking Dead put a face to the name — and the voice — when Margot Bingham (television's She's Gotta Have It, New Amsterdam) joined Season 11 as Stephanie, a role that Bingham confirmed on Instagram:
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Eugene and Stephanie's first face-to-face is more straightforward in the comic books, where they meet in The Walking Dead issue #176. In issue #178, Stephanie reveals the cautious community has protocols against making contact without first alerting the authorities, explaining why armored soldiers — not Stephanie — greet Eugene's group on the final page of issue #173.
Come issue #185 — 34 issues after Stephanie's voice first comes over Eugene's radio in #151 — the "Eugephanie" romance becomes official with a kiss and the relationship is consummated in issue #186. At least in the comic book universe, it's a relationship that endures for decades.
A Lonely Heart
After telling lies to Commonwealth auditors in "Acheron: Part 1" and "Acheron: Part 2," Eugene recalls the "lovely voice" that spurred his journey and admits to fears that Stephanie "was not who she said she was... that maybe she was a femme fatale, laying a trap for a lonely heart." Whether the real Stephanie is Eugene's "One True Love" remains to be seen.
"I don't know that he's thought about [what she looks like]. They have similar interests, and I think he's connecting with her on a level that he never really connected with Rosita on," McDermitt said about a potential Eugene/Stephanie romance last year. "They're kind of into some nerdy things, and that's awesome, and she likes his weird references, and she has probably her own weird references ... what he's building with Stephanie is a stronger foundation, this is starting on more solid foundation."
On Eugene meeting Stephanie, McDermitt added it would be new territory for him after outgrowing his crush on Rosita (Christian Serratos).
"I think he's excited about moving forward with someone who is a little more like-minded. If you've ever been in a relationship and you're able to grow in that sense too, I think that's a place that's probably lacking in his life," McDermitt said. "I'm not saying he's definitely going to be in a relationship with Stephanie, but I'm hoping that there could be something more there so that he's able to grow within the boundaries of being in a relationship."