Maggie’s tense conflict with Negan (which comes to a terrifying breaking point in this episode), previous trauma on the road, and the general direness at Alexandria all culminate to put her in a dark place. It’s a concoction that Cohan says will significantly inform her decision-making this season.
“I think it [will be] good in a lot of ways, as long as it doesn’t harden her to the point that she loses her humanity,” Cohan tells
Obviously, Hershel is a driving force that reminds Maggie of the innocence and good in this world. He’s the reason she is risking it all to rebuild Alexandria and maintain a semblance of hope. But the lack of true resolution with Negan is a major barrier now that she’s back in the community. Cohan believes the pathway towards Maggie moving forward lies in something that is simple on the surface: an apology.
“[Negan] has harped on about what he’s done, but he has never apologized,” Cohan states. “It’s a nuanced situation. Maggie doesn’t want her hate for Negan to pull her down and drag her to the depth of her personal hell. There’s the question [to herself] of how to rise above this and keep doing good things for the bigger picture. And I like that this is what she’s trying to do.”
If Maggie’s track goes in the direction of the comics, then she will be stepping into yet another leadership position.
“I honestly want to see people change and I want to see them find a way to build something sustainable and happy and nourishing and worth living in,” Cohan says. “I want to see good things happen.”
But, that final journey to happiness (if it happens at all) is still a long way from now. This season certainly isn’t sunflowers and rainbows. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that
It’s a period of life full of deep despair and suffering. Things are on the brink of becoming unbearable with feelings of stagnation and overwhelming frustration. But, Cohan is hopeful that her residual flashes of resilience and determination will become something greater.
“I think [things may go] into the nastiest most hopeless track and something good is going to be born from it. That’s what I really feel. It’s like this little seed. And there’s just a tiny little sprout. But [she has] to feed it.”
Right now, things are anything but hopeful for Maggie after Negan leaves her for dead. But, we get the very strong feeling that she will come out of this dustup unscathed (and angry). And she will rise to the challenge of providing a stable future for Hershel and her apocalypse family. Because she’s the formidable Maggie Rhee.