Warning! SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 10 & comics ahead.
The Walking Dead has finally made first contact with The Commonwealth. This large and well-supplied community is an integral part of where the story goes after The Whisperers in The Walking Dead comics, and fans have been vigilant in looking for any signs of The Commonwealth appearing on the TV show.
Knowing that one of the hallmarks of The Commonwealth are its resources, it’s been speculated that everyone from Georgie to Jadis are connected with the settlement. Georgie, if you’ll recall, is the woman who visited Maggie at Hilltop and gifted her the very plans that have made their communities thrive, while Jadis, of course, is a member of the mysterious group who took an injured Rick away in a helicopter in season 9. Whether or not either of them are actually linked with The Commonwealth remains to be seen, but it appears we’ll be getting an answer sooner rather than later.
In The Walking Dead season 10, episode 6, “Bonds”, Eugene is tinkering away with the radio – now located at Hilltop and souped up for even longer range thanks to the parts salvaged from the Russian satellite. He begins radioing on open channels in the off chance someone, somewhere might be listening. After some time, a voice responds – a woman who sounds just as excited at the prospects of first contact as Eugene. They chat and bond over the startling coincidence they’re both familiar with the same ice cream shop in Pennsylvania, but the woman is cautious about giving away any firm details about herself or her people. Eugene, however, isn’t as clandestine and the conversation ends with them agreeing to speak again – but only them, no one else must use the radio per the woman’s request. Her paranoia is understandable given the state of the world, but it’s also the exact same request made of Eugene in The Walking Dead comics when he first makes contact with Stephanie from The Commonwealth.
Similar to what we see happen in “Bonds”, Stephanie doesn’t immediately identify herself in The Walking Dead comics, either, and they keep their talks free of details like location and community population. As Alexandria becomes further embroiled in The Whisperer War, Eugene shares his grief over their losses with Stephanie – in particular, Rosita’s death, who in the comics does have a romantic relationship with Eugene. The two radio operators form a tight bond and continue chatting until Eugene’s radio is discovered (in the comics, it’s a secret) and another resident uses it, frightening Stephanie into cutting off contact. This incident leads to Rick learning about Eugene’s secret communications and, in time, Eugene is able to again contact Stephanie in order to begin setting up a proper meeting between Alexandria and The Commonwealth.
In the case of The Walking Dead TV show, Eugene’s radio isn’t a secret but rather an integral tool to keep the communities in contact. Still, holding secret communications with a total stranger he knows next to nothing about is sure to cause an uproar once he’s discovered. When that happens, it’ll be interesting to see if Alexandria and Hilltop’s leaders are as willing to meet the new community as Rick is in the comics. It may yet be a while before anyone else finds out, though, and AMC’s The Walking Dead could stick with the order of events as laid out in the comics, holding off on fully introducing The Commonwealth until The Whisperer threat is over. In which case, Eugene’s continuing conversations with the as-of-yet unnamed woman are likely serving as setup for The Walking Dead‘s next arc.
The Walking Dead season 10 continues next Sunday, November 17th with “Open Your Eyes”at 9pm/8c on AMC.