It’s been a few weeks since viewers felt the collective trauma of the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead. There’s been little progress witnessed in the episodes that followed, but one thing is for sure: Maggie (Lauren Cohan) isn’t dead. No one has to worry about her … yet.
In this week’s episode “Service,” Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) paid an early, unwelcome visit to Alexandria Safe-Zone to collect taxes for the mob-like protection of his Saviors. In the shit-eating way only he can muster, Negan asks to see Maggie, followed by several uncomfortable lines about “filling in” empty widows. (It was seriously gross, and seriously Negan.)
Viewers were caught off guard when Rick (Andrew Lincoln) showed Negan a grave for Maggie, telling Negan she didn’t survive the pain she was already in when Negan cornered the group in the premiere. Negan remorses until the plot quickly moves on — a gunshot, punctuated with a piercing stare by Negan to Rick.
But Maggie is dead! Sure is anti-climactic, given her years on the show. That’s because she’s not dead at all. During the episode, it was in all likelihood Rick and the others hid Maggie — maybe in Alexandria Safe-Zone, maybe at Hilltop, where they were going when they met Negan — to keep her from Negan, who is a predator and has demonstrated he’ll take anybody simply because he has that power. If Negan can take Daryl, then nobody is safe.
These suspicions were confirmed when the episode ended and teased next week’s episode, “At Risk.” In the post-credits trailer, Maggie is seen safe at Hilltop. But she might not be for long, because the Saviors also arrive for their weekly visit. Someone hide her!
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.