When The Walking Dead made its long-awaited return with its extended Season 10 episodes, star Lauren Cohan was thankfully able to truly settle back into playing Maggie, since her official return in Episode 1016 was necessarily more limited. Fans learned more about what Maggie was up to during her years away from Alexandria and the now-destroyed Hilltop, and were introduced to a new villainous threat. But on the more positive side, the character also delivered some very meaningful name-drops, with Emily Kinney's Beth and Scott Wilson's Hershel among the R.I.P. references.
Maggie was able to speak lovingly about her past during multiple scenes, first during a heart-to-heart conversation with Norman Reedus' Daryl, and then later with Angel Theory's Kelly. Understandably, Lauren Cohan was pleased to be able to give those long-gone Walking Dead characters (and the actors who portrayed them) some love and attention. Here's how she put it in an interview with AMC.com:
Indeed, The Walking Dead could have easily found ways to carelessly shoehorn verbal callbacks to Beth and the short-lived Shawn, but Maggie's situation allows for some truly organic and genuine motivations for her to talk about the many family members she lost over the years, not to mention Steven Yeun's Glenn. Raising a child in the post-apocalypse is presumably hard enough as it is, so being able to share stores with Hershel about his namesake, his father, and his family legacy is a much-needed way for Maggie to teach her son while also digging into some cherished memories that have nothing to do with walkers or Negan.
Even beyond her parental role, Maggie was also able to bond with Kelly over the idea of sisterly love, and the pain that comes with losing them. Granted, Connie is still alive out there for Kelly to reunite with at some point, while Beth was ruthlessly killed off back in Season 5. (Though not as ruthlessly as she could have been, I guess.) Cohan continued:
Considering even the opening scene featured references to Andrew Lincoln's Rick and Danai Gurira's Michonne (though without names being used), it's almost hard to remember the long era in which The Walking Dead purposefully avoiding having its characters remembering killed-off characters and talking about past events. Obviously, the show wouldn't be very fun if it only consisted of characters reliving old times, but it's definitely more reflective of real life for people to at least sometimes reminisce and be mournful. Hell, Negan is getting an entire episode to delve into his backstory.
Here, Lauren Cohan gives showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang credit for bringing that element into recent seasons and for allowing characters to handle their grief so that they might move beyond it at some point.
Don't expect to see Lauren Cohan's Maggie waxing nostalgic with Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan anytime soon, however. She might not end up bashing his brains in like he did to Glenn, but I don't foresee a point when they'll be able to talk to each other with anything but antipathy oozing from Maggie's every pore. And so help me, if he attempts to bond with Li'l Hershel the way he did with Judith, I'll jump into my TV and slap him myself.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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