A majority of Walking Dead fans say Maggie (Lauren Cohan) made the "wrong call" letting a member of her team die in "Acheron: Part 2." Spoiler warning for TWD Season 11 Episode 2. After Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) leaves her behind to die in "Acheron: Part 1," Maggie makes her escape in "Part 2" and scrambles to safety inside a subway car surrounded by walkers. Before she can deal with Negan, they're interrupted by Gage (Jackson Pace), who abandons Maggie's group with Roy (C. Thomas Howell) and takes off with their supplies in the preceding episode. Now he's back and begging for help.
Alden (Callan McAuliffe) alone tries to pry open the door to their subway car and save Gage from the walkers about to tear into him, but Maggie refuses: "We open that, they'll all get in," she says, explaining there's not enough ammo to kill the walkers that would follow. Gage apologizes and pleads for a second chance, only for Duncan (Marcus Lewis) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) to side with Maggie. He's doomed.
Gage stabs himself repeatedly in the heart to spare himself from being eaten alive. Maggie, Negan, Alden, and the rest can only watch as walker teeth and fingers tear into Gage, making him the first casualty of the final season.
They could've saved Gage. Change my mind. pic.twitter.com/I9NLYUT5Xs— NyxMoonVA (@ev4n2k4) August 30, 2021
A poll aired live on Talking Dead Sunday shows 53% of viewers voted "no" when asked if Maggie made the right call with Gage. The other 47% voted in favor of Maggie's decision, which some viewers called "cold-blooded" when reacting to the gory death on social media.
On The Walking Dead: Episode Insider, showrunner Angela Kang said Gage's death happened because "it was really important to come to a point in this story where a horrible decision had to be made."
"Our people would have let him back in if they could have, but I think when they look at the math of, you've got a herd of zombies coming after you, you were a coward, if we let you in, now we're going to use our ammo, we're going to use our energy. You might die anyway, and we might all die," explained Kang, who co-wrote the episode with Jim Barnes. "I think that Maggie kind of looks at that and she thinks like a general and goes, 'You're an acceptable loss in order for the rest of us to go on.' But that doesn't make the decision any nicer or easier because he also takes his moment to kind of say, 'F you.' Like, if you're going to do this, then you're going to watch me turn in front of you. Like, that's what's going to happen."
Here's what Walking Dead viewers have to say about Maggie's life-or-death decision in "Acheron: Part 2":
From @TWalkingDWorld and @courtgirl26
That was absolutely horrifying. Gage was an asshole and a coward, but he didn’t deserve to be eaten alive.#TheWalkingDead— The Walking Dead World (@TWalkingDWorld) August 30, 2021
I think it's hilarious how many are ready to burn Maggie at the stake for Gage but have totally forgiven or continue to overlook everything that Negan has done to our group and the other communities including killing kids. This fandom is a trip! #TWD #TWDFamily #TheWalkingDead— Grimes Family❤️🧔🏻👩🏾👦🏽👧🏻 (@courtgirl26) August 30, 2021
From @LostSisGrimes and @FrancesStockton
Whoa! Maggie just pulled a Negan. That was brutal. Poor Gage. #TheWalkingDead— FrancesStockton (@FrancesStockton) August 30, 2021
From @BHanspiker_10 and @StarryMag
Maggie may as well of Lucilled Gage like Negan did Glenn. She no different. #TheWalkingDead— Brandon Hanspiker (@BHanspiker_10) August 30, 2021
Tough call. Maggie chose to lose one to save many. Generals always have to make hard choices. Watching Gage get ripped apart was hard but it certainly puts the Negan dynamic in a new light. #TWD #TheWalkingDead— StarryMag (@StarryMag) August 30, 2021
From @_taylorquinn and @kaitlinlexiexx
Ok-regardless if this was done to make Maggie and or Negan better or worse, it doesn’t matter-what was her endgame-what was different between negan leaving her and her abandoning Gage #TheWalkingDead— Taylor Quinn (@_taylorquinn) August 30, 2021
the only characters i like right now are Alden and Negan..the others literally just let Gage die #TheWalkingDead— Kaitlin (@kaitlinlexiexx) August 30, 2021
From @VampurrKitty and @SkulleeMonster
I feel no sympathy for Gage good riddance #TheWalkingDead— Lia Williams 🔥🐉🐯🦉🦄 (@VampurrKitty) August 30, 2021
Oh hey look, and now they have to waste said ammo that they JUST said that they didn't have enough of...What the fuck is that about? Like clearly Gage's death is pointless now and they could've saved him #TheWalkingDead— 🌪️Jer The Tornado Guy🌪️ (@SkulleeMonster) August 30, 2021
From @SPNWalkingDead and @sunshinesreedusprevnext
From @leviosaLAUR and @natalieerin_sprevnext
From @indimontgomery and @gracelucas36
so maggie almost dying was a huge deal but when gage bangs on the door she just lets him die…amazing :( #TheWalkingDead— Grace Lucas🕊🐾 (@gracelucas36) August 30, 2021
From @eck_raiden and @m_ttt21 and @GloriaIFlores
#TWD #TheWalkingDead #TWDFamily No matter how you felt about Gage or his actions in the past that death was by no means moral and justified. Also, anyone worried that Maggie might be in Negan's shoes if Gage's parents show up 😬?— almostthor (@eck_raiden) August 30, 2021
Maggie may as well of Lucilled Gage like Negan did Glenn. She no different. #TheWalkingDead— Matt (@m_ttt21) August 30, 2021
Interesting how the two former saviors are the only ones who showed any humanity towards Gage. #TheWalkingDead— Gloria Flores (@GloriaIFlores) August 30, 2021
From @lemonhues and @TWalkingDWorld
Did everyone forget what gage did to Lydia !? Ain’t no sympathy. A coward is a coward. #TheWalkingDead— Netta (@lemonhues) August 30, 2021
Here’s the thing…if anyone else was trapped behind that door (including Maggie), they wouldn’t have been sacrificed.
Gage was a scared teenager that made many mistakes, but leaving him behind on a mission he volunteered to come on was just cruel.#TheWalkingDead— The Walking Dead World (@TWalkingDWorld) August 30, 2021