The Walking Dead is ushering in a New World Order. When the zombie drama returns with the six new episodes extending season 10 in February, the traveling group headed by Eugene (Josh McDermitt) splinters after the shocking cliffhanger that ends "A Certain Doom." At the climax of the Whisperer War, King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and newcomer Princess (Paola Lazaro) accompany Eugene for his rendezvous with Stephanie (Margot Bingham) at a rail yard in Charleston, West Virginia. Instead of meeting his blind date, Eugene's group meets a squad of white-armored soldiers who capture them at gunpoint before a cut to black ends the season.
In the first full trailer for The Walking Dead bonus episodes, the soldiers violently tear the group apart, wrestling a squirming Princess into the dirt and assaulting a fleeing Yumiko. An authoritative man's voice interrogates them: "Let's start with your name. Where are you from? Where were you when the fall happened?"
Issue #175 of the comic book reveals the investigator as Lance Hornsby, who sits comfortably at a desk inside a train car. Armed only with a pen and paper, the well-dressed man formally introduces himself as the bookkeeper tasked with handling all new entries into the Commonwealth.
He starts with the group's names — Eugene, Michonne, Magna, Princess, Siddiq, and Yumiko — and after assuring them that the Commonwealth Army will shoot them if prompted, he makes his inquiry: what weapons they're concealing, the distance traveled and days on the road, which friends they might have in the area, and any unusual customs they might have after surviving years in the apocalypse.
Satisfied with the results of his questionnaire, Lance feels comfortable enough to escort them into the Commonwealth: a sprawling network of communities home to the nearly 50,000 survivors governed by Pamela Milton.
In "Splinter," premiering March 21, the group's capture and separation trigger memories of Princess' traumatic past as she makes an escape attempt one way or another with Ezekiel's help. A scene from the episode is available to watch now in a previously released virtual cast table read.
"I think there's going to be some major consequences just in talking on the radio with this person," McDermitt previously told TV Insider about Eugene's connection with Stephanie. "He's making some decisions that could severely alter everyone's way of life, and I don't know that that's solely his decision to make. There could be some life and death consequences based on those decisions he's making."