7:02pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead' Star on Maggie and Sasha's Emotional Fight for Survival
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from episode 705, "Go Getters," of AMC's The Walking Dead.]
AMC's The Walking Dead returned to the Hilltop Community during Sunday's episode, with viewers seeing Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) for the first time since Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham's (Michael Cudlitz) death in the shocking season premiere.
Maggie — and her unborn baby — are going to be fine, but the Hilltop's resident doctor suggests she take it easy and remain at the community, where Sasha has become fiercely protective of her friend. That doesn't sit well with the group's smarmy leader, Gregory (Xander Berkley), who is upset that Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) group couldn't wipe out the Saviors. He feigns surprise that Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) group is much bigger than he told Rick and company, and feels that Maggie and Sasha's presence at the Hilltop could hurt the group with the enemy.
Told to leave the next morning, Maggie and Sasha wind up saving the day when the Saviors send in a horde of walkers — with Jesus (Tom Payne) now ready to go to bat for them to stay with Gregory, who attempts to turn them over to the Saviors during their raid the next day.
The episode concludes with Enid (Katelyn Nacon) arriving from Alexandria and reuniting with Maggie, who gives her the pocket watch that her father Hershel (Scott Wilson) gifted to Glenn. Sasha, meanwhile, honors her late love interest Abraham by smoking his cigar — and sending Jesus to find out where Negan's compound is. Jesus, for his part, is shocked to find that Carl (Chandler Riggs) — who wound up accompanying Enid to the Hilltop — in the same truck on his way to take out Negan.
For more on the episode, THR caught up with Martin-Green.
Sasha is very stoic following Abraham and Glenn’s deaths. How is she coping?
All the loss Sasha suffered before Abraham drove her to a new way of life. Now that she's lost him, too, she feels a focus that she's never felt before. Abraham's legacy, and the legacies of everyone she's lost, can be carried on through Sasha. She's coping by giving her all to a mission that she believes will do that and will ultimately save us all.
This episode really showcased the strong bond between Sasha and Maggie as they are both bound together by grief. Why is Sasha being so fiercely protective of Maggie here?
She’s putting Maggie’s needs over her own. Getting Maggie and her baby safe was what we all sacrificed for — and we ended up on our knees. We fight for life and for the future. Sasha has learned that there's nothing more worthy to fight for. Another beautiful thing in the midst of the grief is that Sasha and Maggie keep Abraham and Glenn alive though each other.
Sasha remembers Abraham by keeping his cigar and smoking it as she sharpens her knife. How is she honoring his memory? That scene looked like something Abraham has done in the past.
[Laughing] I was actually smoking it for real, though the cigar was being temperamental! It's a simple yet poignant act, imitating a lost loved one's behavior. It channels them, and you can draw comfort or strength from that. For Sasha, it was savoring in the fun and cool confidence of Abraham, two of my favorite things about him, before sharpening her knife, essentially readying herself for battle.
Sasha sends Jesus out to find where Negan and the Saviors’ compound is. What’s her larger plan?
We'll definitely see what all the larger plan entails, but you can rest assured that she's taking her time and perfecting each step of the process before she takes action.
Sasha has now lost her brother and two love interests in Bob and Abraham. Is she a black widow? Will she be closed off to romance going forward?
That's interesting, I've heard lots of people say that it seems like Sasha has a death touch. I think it comes down to everyone's path being different in this world. It so happens that Sasha's is riddled with loss. But the loss she's suffered has made her who she is now as Sasha, and for that reason, she accepts it. She will never close herself off to anyone anymore, she's thankfully progressed beyond that.
We see Sasha and Maggie save the Hilltop Colony during the walker attack. What’s their larger plan for co-existing at the community with a guy like Gregory, who clearly can’t be trusted?
I think the plan is to change the atmosphere. Maggie and Sasha both understand how dangerous Gregory is, for them, for the Hilltop community and for everyone at large. Anyone in support of Negan's philosophy, even if that's through cowardly compliance, is a threat to the world.
Jesus makes a seemingly meaningless comment about Maggie eventually becoming a leader, which was a nice nod to comic book readers. What kind of challenges will Sasha and Maggie have at the Hilltop?
Dealing with Gregory seems like it will be an arduous process. And Maggie, my goodness. She's lost her husband, she's pregnant and still healing from a horrible and life-threatening scare with the baby. It's an unbelievably vulnerable time for her. But she's already showcased an astronomical amount of courage in how she got up and kept going. She's also keeping Glenn and Hershel's legacies alive through her.
How might Maggie respond to learning that Sasha sent Jesus out to find the Saviors?
If she were to find out, she could respond in lots of ways. She could feel betrayed; she could feel represented. She could agree with the decision or disagree. It'll be interesting to see if she does ever find out, and how she would respond if she did.
What can you preview about Carl and Jesus’ experience with the Saviors?
It will be very dynamic.
How would you describe the midseason finale?
It's going to be awesome.
What did you think of Maggie and Sasha's experience at the Hilltop? Sound off in the comments section, below. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. For more Walking Dead coverage, bookmark THR.com/WalkingDead.