The Walking Dead came back on AMC this past Sunday to begin the second part of its final season. “No Other Way” wrapped up storylines involving the Reapers and the fire at Alexandria, but the big surprise came at the end when we leaped forward to time. At some point in the future, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) returns to the Hilltop to restart the community there, only to be confronted with a Commonwealth army headed by none other than her old comrade Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus).
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Angela Kang confirmed that Daryl has “joined up with the troops” and “is now part of the Commonwealth army. So that definitely puts him in a different situation and potentially at odds with Maggie, who clearly in the time that has passed has either stayed or retreated to Hilltop. Whereas who knows where everybody else has landed”
I will just say that, after having been kind of in lockstep for a lot of the start of the season, Maggie and Daryl, obviously kind of split ways in terms of like the decision making at the end of Episode 9, and maybe that affects some things going forward.
However, despite Kang seemingly hoping to maintain the mystery, much of what happens to everyone is revealed in the trailer for next week’s episode, “New Haunts”:
We will see Negan again in a “very different context”
In the trailer, we see that Carol (Melissa McBride), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Magna (Nadia Hulker), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Princess (Paola Lázaro) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) are all with Daryl at the Commonwealth. However, one person not joining either group is Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who departed after the events of “No Other Way.” Negan finally understood he couldn’t be safe where Maggie was concerned following her attack on the Reapers.
“I think in their own way, they are making peace with each other by saying we should just not occupy the same spheres,” Kang told EW. “And he’s taking his destiny in his hand beyond that. [I] want people to watch and see what happens next, but we will pick Negan back up in a very different context.”
Lauren Cohan also spoke with Entertainment Weekly, saying that “No Other Way” was “one of the most fun episodes” she’s ever filmed for the series.
Cohan says that Maggie’s actions in taking out the Reapers reflect Negan’s from earlier in the series. “When Maggie and Negan have this scene in an earlier episode, and we’re eating squirrel, and Negan says to her very shockingly, ‘The thing I would’ve changed is to have killed you all.’ It’s obviously horrid that he says that to her, and it just makes you question all the leeway and all the progress that he has made— has he just kind of undone it?”
But regardless of the idea coming from him, the rationale as a leader, knowing that people who have already proven to you that they put themselves and their family first at the expense of anything that you cherish, and they’ve already proven to be the threat that they are, where one of them has taken out three of us in this corridor of crazy… how can I in this position of leadership that I’m supposed to be in not eliminate that threat?
As for what comes next, Cohen isn’t so much curious about Maggie’s position as she is Daryl’s. “So at the end, that’s what I’m very excited for the audience to look forward to, because what could possibly transpire in only six months to have those two on different sides of the wall?” she wondered. “And we will find out.”
The first batch of episodes from The Walking Dead‘s eleventh and final season are already available on AMC+, with subscribers able to watch new episodes a week before their air on TV. The Walking Dead continues this Sunday with “New Haunts.”