It’s been a bumpy ride for Maggie and Negan in The Walking Dead season 11 so far, but the latest episode of the post-apocalyptic drama’s final run may have just seen them reach some kind of understanding. In the premiere, “Acheron, Part 1”, Negan left Maggie for dead after she threatened to kill him. In “Acheron, Part 2”, once they were under threat by walkers, Maggie handed Negan a gun, which he returned after the danger was dealt with.
In episode 11×03, “Hunted”, things took another unexpected step. After the Reapers launched a vicious attack, separating Maggie, Negan, and Alden from the rest, it’s Negan who comes to the rescue when he beats one of the killers to death with a crowbar moments before reaching Maggie. Just a few moments later, Negan shoves her away from a grenade exploding.
That makes two times in one episode that the former Savior has now saved the woman who wants him dead, just a couple of weeks after he was willing to let the walkers get her. So, what’s changed? Showrunner Angela Kang opened up about the logic behind Negan’s actions while speaking on The Walking Dead: Episode Insider. The EP explained that he knows he needs Maggie’s help to live through this, plus he’s hoping that he can maybe win her over eventually.
“When Negan saves Maggie, I think he’s accepted that to get through this, I mean, Maggie’s a really good fighter, too. He doesn’t want to see her go,” Kang said. “He’s very, very drawn to people who are very strong and stubborn and have leadership qualities. We’ve seen that throughout the years. In some ways, you might even say that was sort of his Achilles’ heel, is that he was always thinking, ‘I can turn this person to my side, and I like you because you’re a badass and you tell it like it is, and I like that you push up against me.’ And he’s always trying to go like, ‘Come on! Take all of that and just transfer it to my team. If we work together, it’s all going to work out.'”
Now that the final season is underway, fans remain as curious as ever about how the animosity between Maggie and Negan plays out. Can she ever get past the fact that he murdered her husband? Can Negan ever prove to her that he’s not the same man he used to be? Both of these seem unlikely at this point, but it’s obvious that the pair are developing a certain level of trust as they work together to stop the Reapers and bring supplies back to Alexandria.
The Walking Dead season 11 continues next Sunday on AMC. Or, catch the latest episode on AMC Plus now.