Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead, "Knots Untie," was a big one for Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan). Maggie demonstrated her skill as a negotiator and a valuable lieutenant to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) when she struck a deal with Gregory (Xander Berkeley), the leader of Hilltop, the neighboring community Rick's crew visited this episode. Rick seems to be grooming Maggie to be his lieutenant. She's tough, but she's good with people, and she may make a great spokesperson for Alexandria.
She and her husband Glenn (Steven Yeun) also had an incredible stroke of good luck when they met Harlan, a Hilltop resident who in his past life was an obstetrician. Harlan is able to give Maggie prenatal vitamins and even perform an ultrasound, so Maggie is able to see the baby inside of her. The sonogram printout is the image of the future they're fighting for.
TVGuide.com talked to Lauren Cohan, the actress who plays Maggie, about her character's big episode. The conversation is below.
There was a lot of talk in this episode about whether it's a good idea to start a family in this climate or how a family would work. Are Maggie and Glenn ready to bring a life into this world?Lauren Cohan: Well, so much of The Walking Dead is about family. What it takes it takes to sustain and protect a family and what family means to Maggie and Glenn is very clear. Secondly, I've seen so many examples of people handling pregnancy in crazy conditions that it's not that crazy to me to have a family at this time. And third, Maggie and Glenn aren't trying to scrape by. They're trying to actually have a life and to thrive and flourish. It's completely in line with their hopeful outlook toward the world and their faith in great things that they want to take that love and make a child with it.
What do you mean by examples of pregnancies in crazy conditions?
Cohan: In a broad sense, women who go into battle while they're pregnant, and in a micro- sense, a few of our cast members have shot entire seasons of The Walking Dead and come through their eighth and ninth months of pregnancy while shooting.
What kind of mother do you think Maggie will be?
Cohan: I think she'll be as fierce and protective as any mother could be. I think she'll raise a really strong kid who's prepared for this world.
She wasn't in this episode, but Maggie is maybe developing a sort of surrogate mother-daughter relationship with Enid. Can you tell me a little bit about how that relationship is developing, or what Maggie sees in Enid?
Cohan: The key to community and family is to share what you've learned and to draw people's strengths out of them when they're in a time of sadness or weakness. That's just part of the wisdom of life for this whole community. Enid is a very strong and capable girl that's going through what's actually a very normal teenage phase that unfortunately happens to be compounded by being orphaned and living in a town surrounded by flesh-eating monsters.
Tom Payne talks the mysteries of Jesus
In this episode, when Rick says to Maggie, "You gotta start doing these things," before she goes to talk with Gregory, I thought that was interesting. What role does he envision for her?
Cohan: I think that what happens with this group is that needs are borne out of necessity. Rick needs Maggie to talk to Gregory because he knows that he might just punch him if he speaks to him. So she sort of begrudgingly agrees and struggles somewhat through the first negotiation, but ultimately finds her in, which is that they won't take no for answer and she's going in there as the representative for her group. So it ultimately becomes a very exciting prospect and something that she relishes. It's the culmination of Rick's encouragement and Deanna's tutelage and learning from her parents. She's coming into this moment of taking ownership for not just her own, but her whole family's and her unborn child's fate.
The scenes where she's negotiating with Gregory, especially the second scene, it felt like a different sort of scene from what the show normally does. What was that like to play, this sort of back-and-forth, repartee-driven scene as opposed to stabbing people in the head?
Cohan: Dialogue scenes are always a fun thing to sink my teeth into. I love the action, but I also really enjoy something that isn't about "somebody in this room is going to be dead by the end of the scene." [Laughs] It was a fun meeting of the minds. Gregory is such an interesting character to Maggie, because she's infuriated by him, but she spends this episode figuring him out, just sort of trying to crack the nut. And he's not really as together and macho as he would have had us believe in the beginning. They don't have ammo, as they said. They don't have the brute force and the soldier strength that our group has. We're agreeing to go on this mercenary mission because there's a pretty equal trade that can be enacted between Hilltop and us. So it's a fun tactical headspace that she gets to go into and that she ultimately realizes is a strength for her. She doesn't need to bully him. She gets the deal done, and she does it with a kind of softness that I think is something that we'll see her developing and strengthening as we go on.
I wasn't clear at the end of the episode if they're going back to Alexandria or they're going straight to Negan.
Cohan: You'll see! [Laughs] If it wasn't clear, it wasn't clear for a reason.
Catch up with TVGuide.com's video recap of "Knots Untie"