The animosity between Negan and Maggie isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and in the opening episode of The Walking Dead season 11, it reached a fever pitch. The premiere, “Acheron, Part 1”, saw Negan leave Maggie to die when she slipped and fell into a pack of ravenous walkers. In “Acheron, Part 2”, the ever-resourceful Maggie was revealed to have survived – and she was obviously pretty peeved at Negan’s actions, to put it lightly.
When she joins the other survivors in a subway car they’re using as shelter from the dead, Maggie lashes out at Negan with his gun and reveals to the rest what happened. For a tense moment, it looks like the former Savior might be executed on the spot. But Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s ex-villain once again manages to talk his way out of it, telling them how Maggie was threatening to kill him in the first place and, more importantly, he reminds them that they need him to survive.
If it was up to star Lauren Cohan, though, things would’ve played out very differently. Reflecting on the events of episode 2 to EW, Cohan revealed that she wanted Maggie to kill Negan right then and there, but she respects the strength her character has to ignore that impulse and rise above it. As she explained:
“I just wanted to kill him. I wanted to kill him. I wanted Maggie to just shoot him,” Cohan said. “The fact that I want that and she wants that, then she doesn’t do it — that’s why I’m like, okay, she’s keeping this this hope of overcoming this animal anger. There’s a tiny little thread of like, “I got to keep that alive. I got to keep this respect for life alive.” Jeff is so good too, because, when I watch the episode and I’m like, “S—, I could see why Negan’s so scared of her, that this can happen.”
Walking Dead viewers are suffering from whiplash right now from having their loyalties torn between Maggie and Negan. Obviously, fans turned against Negan following his actions in the premiere, but then Maggie herself made a cold-blooded decision herself when she elected to lock Gage out of the subway car, leaving him to the walkers, even though there was time to get him inside. It’s clear by now that Maggie’s not the same person she was before she left Hilltop during the time jump.
The Walking Dead episode 11×03 “Hunted” airs on AMC next Sunday, or else can be streamed now on AMC Plus.