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The Walking Dead's Latest Death Bears An Eeerie Resemblance To Another Character's Grisly End.. And Proves Maggie Is Going Down A Dark Path

Has Maggie changed too much?

By Kristy AndersonPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 4 min read
Credit: AMC

WARNING: SPOILERS for The Walking Dead 11x02, 'Acheron: Part 2'

The Walking Dead has always been a dark series, considering its zombie apocalypse setting, but the final season's second episode, 'Acheron: Part 2', is particularly grim. Much of the drama in the first few episodes has come from the understandable tension between Negan and Maggie, as Maggie leads a group on a mission to reclaim her previous community, Meridian, and secure enough food for the struggling Alexandria.

Throughout the trip, Negan questions Maggie's leadership decisions, wondering whether her judgement might be affected by his presence. It all culminates in a scene where a supporting character meets a grisly end due to a questionable choice by Maggie.

Some fans have noticed that the death in 'Acheron: Part 2' bears resemblance to a past death on The Walking Dead, and may prove that Maggie is in a bad place.

Poor, Poor, Noah

Back in season five of The Walking Dead, shortly after our heroes are welcomed into Alexandria, Glenn, Eugene, Tara, and Noah, one of the newer members of our group of heroes, are chosen to join a supply run crew headed up by Aiden Monroe and his offsider, Nicholas. In season 5, episode 14, 'Spend', the crew embarks on a supply run to a nearby Warehouse that soon goes awry when the inexperienced Alexandrians fail to listen to Glenn's advice. Aiden is killed, Tara seriously injured, and nearly every Walker in the vicinity alerted to their presence.

As they attempt to escape, Glenn, Noah, and Nicholas become trapped within the sections of a revolving door, with a horde of Walkers trying to reach them from another section. Glenn formulates a plan dependant on Nicholas holding his own section of the door shut to keep the Walkers out, while Glenn smashes another part of the door to free himself and Noah, after which they will rescue Nicholas. Nicholas selfishly opens the door and escapes on his own, allowing the Walkers to grab Noah, and Glenn forced to watch as his friend is devoured. Nicholas then attempts to bully Eugene into heading back to Alexandria and leaving Glenn for dead, but thankfully, Glenn escapes and catches up. The incident results in animosity between Glenn and Nicholas that lasts the rest of the season.

While their relationship later improves, Nicholas, sadly, does not become one of The Walking Dead's great redemption stories. He shoots himself while he and Glenn are trapped on top of a dumpster surrounded by Walkers, and drags Glenn down with him. Glenn, famously, was only able to survive by crawling under the dumpster while the Walkers feasted on Nicholas's remains.

A coward to the end, Nicholas was never able to move beyond his selfish decisions causing the death of others.

The Wrong Decision?

In 'Acheron: Part 2', the group (minus Daryl, who is off searching for Dog) spends a large chunk of the episode hiding in an old subway car, locking the door so no Walkers can reach them. They are later discovered by Gage, who fled with the group's ammo and supplies in 'Acheron: Part 1'. Gage begs to be let in to the car, as a horde of Walkers are gaining on him. Negan and Alden both rush to the boy's aid, but Maggie stops them. She orders them not to open the door, despite Gage's begging, and Alden's assertion that they had enough time to let him in and still keep the Walkers out. Cursing Maggie, Gage stabs himself in the heart to spare himself the pain of being devoured. The group are forced to watch through the window of the Subway car as Gage's body is torn apart by the horde, just as Glenn was forced to watch Noah be devoured. But unlike Glenn, they could have done something about it and didn’t.

Maggie tries to justify her decision by claiming that they didn't have enough ammunition to clear the Walkers to a manageable level, and later with a story about how life in Alexandria is too precious to risk it for the life of just one. However, some members of the group, and a lot of fans of the show, don't quite buy this as an excuse, especially when, later in the episode, the Walkers, now with a zombi-fied Gage in the lead, break into the train car anyway. This makes Gage's death seem horribly pointless and tragic. Ultimately, the group were not any safer for the decision to let Gage die, and yet, Maggie, even when pushed, never acknowledges that the choice she made might have been wrong.

Maggie’s actions, or lack there of, regarding Gage are later starkly contrasted by Daryl when he discovers the injured Roy being pursued by Walkers. He knows full well that Roy put the group in danger by running off with the ammo and supplies, but it never occurs to him to leave Roy to be Walker food. As much as Daryl cares for and trusts Maggie, if he had been there, he most likely would not have agreed to the decision to leave Gage to his death.

Maggie, in her time away, may have become more cold, clinical, and brutal in her leadership choices than the Maggie we remember from before her departure. As a long running and deeply loved character, Maggie has a greater chance at redemption than a minor antagonist like Nicholas. However, in a series like The Walking Dead, there is not always time for redemption to be found. Only time will tell if Maggie has enough.

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Kristy Anderson

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    Kristy AndersonWritten by Kristy Anderson

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