‘The Walking Dead’ Has A Maggie Problem And There Are Only Two Ways To Solve It
Every since Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has returned to The Walking Dead for its 11th and final season, she’s been almost impossible to watch.
Maggie has become a one-note character, robbed of anything even remotely like a complex inner self, her withering hatred toward Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) not even slightly diminished over however many years it’s been since they last saw one another.
Gone is the far more interesting, more complex Maggie that—years ago in both real life but even longer in the fiction of The Walking Dead—chose to show her husband’s killer mercy. That Maggie was at least somewhat complex and interesteing; this Maggie is boring, flat and a bad leader on top of it all.
She’s just gotten all but one of her people killed—handy from a budgeting perspective for AMC, but not particularly great for her character or for actual dramatic tension, since we didn’t care about any of those characters to begin with.
There are two ways we can solve this Maggie Rhee problem.
The first and the simplest way would be to kill Maggie off. It would be karmic as well, given that the deaths of Agatha, Duncan, Cole, Maya, Ainsley, Gus and Gage—all characters we know nothing about but who have been essentially Maggie’s family for years at this point. She sheds few tears for any of them, which is odd given the grudge she still holds over Glenn’s death. (Then again, she barely batted an eye when her sister was killed, having forgotten about the whole thing the very next episode! Sorry, Beth!)
But while I do hope that Maggie is eventually killed off, I would prefer a second solution to happen first—and it’s not just “make Maggie a better character and also write better” though those aren’t bad advice.
What I want is for Maggie and Negan to hook up. I want them to become a thing—like Olicity in Arrow, but instead we’d call them Naggie or Megan or something.
Look, all I know is that sparks were flying in that last episode of The Walking Dead. It wasn’t a very good episode, but there’s a point where Negan looks at Maggie and seems very badly to want to kiss her, and I get the feeling she’d like him to do a whole lot more than that.
This would not only serve to break the awkward, kind of dragged-out-to-death tension between the two, it would make their relationship infinitely more complex and interesting. Maggie might regret her choices, but she’d probably keep making the same bad decision over and over and maybe Negan wouldn’t want to keep it a secret, but she would.
There are just tons of different narrative avenues you could take a romantic relationship between these two but I don’t think AMC has the guts to make it happen. We shall see.
On a side-note, I never expected I’d like Negan this much. Jeffrey Dean Morgan has really done a fantastic job making this character so much more likable than before, so much more compelling and deep and actually pretty much the brains of the whole operation at this point also. Go figure.
I made a video on this subject as well which you can watch below. Thanks!
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. You can support my work on Patreon and sign up for my newsletter on Substack. Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.