"I wanted you to hear it from me." Carol (Melissa McBride) confesses to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) in a sneak peek from "Home Sweet Home," the first episode of the extended Season 10 of The Walking Dead. When Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) unwittingly crashes Maggie's homecoming in the February 28 episode, she's unsettled to see her husband's killer outside of the Alexandria jail cell where she long ago left him to rot for his crimes. It was Carol who unilaterally decided to free Negan, convincing the convict that unforgiving Alexandrians wouldn't forget what he did to Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) unless he did "something to make them forget."
When Carol and Daryl (Norman Reedus) bring Maggie to the burned-down Hilltop colony, set ablaze by Alpha and an undercover Negan at the height of the Whisperer War, Carol tells Maggie:
"Negan was with the Whisperers that night. I wanted you to hear it from me, because—"
"It was you? You let him out?"
"Alpha needed to die. And Negan was our best chance," Carol explains. "We were gonna lose everything. Negan's a reason we didn't."
Cole (James Devoti) challenges the possibility of going to Alexandria to "live next door to the guy who torched this place, same guy who killed her husband," but Daryl says the Alexandrians are "still figuring things out."
"Thanks for telling me," says Maggie, walking away from the ruins of the community she once built up with help from benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson).
"You know what, there are plenty of people that, at this point, can vouch for Negan. I don't know that Maggie wants to hear it, and every time you look at that face, you can only think that one thing and remember that one thing," McBride said on Talking Dead last year about how Negan's release might impact Maggie and Carol's relationship. "[Getting past it will be] really hard, but if it means that Carol and Maggie get to have a scene together, that makes me happy. I don't know. [Maggie's] got a lot of catching up to do."
When teasing Maggie and Negan's co-existence in the extended Season 10 and beyond, showrunner Angela Kang said, "Negan killed Maggie's husband and burnt down her house, so it's just not going to be an easy road, I think, for either of them. And Negan's been on this whole other journey while she's been gone, but it's sort of like Maggie is coming in and she hasn't seen any of that."