The Walking Dead EP Explains Maggie’s Heartbreaking Decision In 11×03

The Walking Dead

The moral dilemmas keep piling up as The Walking Dead plows ahead with its final season. For the second time in two weeks, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had to make a difficult choice to leave someone in danger for the greater good. But while Maggie’s controversial decision to let the Walkers get Gage in episode 2 was one she could live with, episode 3 saw her have to abandon a friend, something which hit her hard.

In episode 11×03 “Hunted”, the Reapers attack, killing off much of the Wardens and leaving Alden (Callan McAuliffe) gravely wounded. The selfless survivor encourages Maggie to leave him behind – at least for now – so that she can continue with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to the supply house, where they can get resources the starving Alexandria so desperately needs.

Negan urges Maggie to make a decision, causing her to hit back at him, blasting the former Savior for how he finds it so “easy” to be “reckless with somebody else’s life.” She says it’s his “fault that we’re here… Because you destroyed everything that we built.” Negan coolly responds, “You still have to decide.” Maggie elects to do the only thing she can and leave Alden, barricaded inside an old church with a knife and some supplies before they go on their way.

While speaking on The Walking Dead: Episode Insider, showrunner Angela Kang explained where Maggie and Negan’s heads are at during this “heartbreaking” moment.

“By the time we get to that big scene with Negan and Maggie at the end, and Alden’s there, and Maggie’s going to make this heartbreaking choice that they do have to keep going and leave Alden, which she absolutely does not want to do,” said Kang. “I think that, for Negan, he’s a smart guy. He can see that she doesn’t really want his advice. That doesn’t mean he’s going to stop giving it altogether, but I do think he’s at a point where he realizes if he’s trying to push her too hard here, all that’s going to happen is she’s going to get angry and it’s going to delay maybe this choice that she knows herself she needs to make.”

Kang went on to say that Negan believes Maggie is going to make the tough choice here and Maggie knows that, too, but it still hurts.

“He’s pretty sure that she’s going to make the choice to keep moving. He knows that she’s mission-focused,” Kang said. “But she kind of has to go through the emotion of it and it makes it even that much more heartbreaking when the person who should be panicking is like, ‘You know as well as I do what has to be done.'”

Time will tell whether Alden gets out of this or not, but with this being the final season, the odds are worse than ever for our intrepid band of survivors. The Walking Dead continues next Sunday on AMC.