Negan leaves Maggie behind to die to start Season 11 of The Walking Dead, but what if the walker-snagged shoe was on the other foot? In "Acheron: Part 1," Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) guides Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and her Meridian-bound group through the streets of D.C. on their mission to save Alexandria. When a detour through zombie-flooded subway tunnels leads to a dead-end, Negan climbs atop a train car and decides not to help Maggie as she's swarmed by walkers clawing at her legs. Maggie loses her grip and is dragged to the tracks below, but makes her escape in "Acheron: Part 2" — no thanks to Negan.
"No way would I have left him. No way. I would have pulled him up," Cohan said on Talking Dead. "We're on the same mission. I think when Negan gives Maggie the gun back at the end [of 'Acheron: Part 2'], I do see that as a kind of little semi truce. That we see that there's a greater evil, and we get to the point of the episode where we really see there's a greater evil against us."
Negan believed Maggie lured him into the tunnels to die, revenge for killing Glenn (Steven Yeun) years earlier. But when Maggie has her chance to kill Negan, she doesn't pull the trigger.
"Maggie is struggling to not become the person that she might be. She's struggling to hold onto the person she was. But also, that story she tells... if she were to kill Negan, she'd be that bad," said Cohan, referring to Maggie's twisted tale about surviving on the road. "She'd let that animalistic nature take over her, so she's not gonna just let him die. She's saying to him, 'Keep pushing me, and I will.'"
"But him coming up innocently trying to get on the train with her," Cohan said, "these aren't the kind of 'push me' moments that would lead her to kill Negan."
"The final scene with Negan and Maggie, I think we were really interested in the idea of just pushing the conflict between them as far as possible," showrunner Angela Kang explained on The Walking Dead: Episode Insider. "Negan, that guy's a survivor. If he thinks somebody is out to kill him, then I don't know that he's actively trying to get rid of her, but he's an opportunist as well. So he sees this opportunity to just not help, even if that effectively means he's okay with letting her fall to her death, possibly."
Negan leaving Maggie behind "was always about this character moment of these two people that hate each other and don't trust each other," Kang added. "And when you're in an extreme situation, do you step up and help unexpectedly — which is usually what we see our characters do — or do you let the worst version of things happen? We just thought it was interesting to push them to that point."
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Walking Dead Season 11 airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.