'Walking Dead' Dissection: Lauren Cohan Says It's Time for Maggie to Become a Warrior Again

The actress talks with THR about Terminus, threats to Beth and Daryl and what's ahead in the remaining three episodes of season four.
Gene Page/AMC
"The Walking Dead's" Lauren Cohan as Maggie, taking on a zombie.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from episode 413, "Alone," of AMC's The Walking Dead as well as the comic series it's based on.]

AMC's The Walking Dead continued to explore two factions of its larger group Sunday, putting the focus on Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and her search for husband Glenn (Steven Yeun) as she traveled with Bob and Sasha, while her sister, Beth, has made the most from her time with Daryl (Norman Reedus).

All roads now point to Terminus, the mysterious so-called sanctuary that everyone from the prison gang -- as well as newbies Abraham, Eugene and Rosita -- has moved to the top of their agenda.

Maggie attempts to ditch Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), the latter of whom is increasingly afraid of this world without walls, but the trio are reunited when Sasha attempts to find a new place to survive. A newly recharged Maggie,who gutted walkers to leave notes for Glenn to head to Terminus, realizes she can't go it alone, while Sasha, now romantically linked to Bob, learns that she has to risk her life for those around her if she wants to survive.

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Meanwhile, an injured Beth (Emily Kinney) and Daryl find a sanctuary of their own when they take up residence at a mortuary that someone has been keeping stocked up with food and supplies. However, their time there isn't long when a group of walkers attack the estate and force Beth to run -- only there seems to have been someone waiting to abduct her, and she's taken into a car that speeds away from Daryl. After Daryl attempts to pursue the car for hours, he runs out of steam and almost seems to surrender, nearly collapsing at an abandoned intersection. It's there that he sees a group of violent marauders -- the same ones who nearly killed Rick when they invaded the house he, Carl and Michonne were taking solace in. Led by Joe (Sons of Anarchy's Jeff Kober), Daryl lowers his weapon and seems to have been accepted by the potential new threat.  

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Cohan to discuss Maggie's journey, Beth's abduction, Daryl's new threat and what may be ahead at Terminus now that Glenn has discovered one of the signposts advertising sanctuary, community and survival for those who arrive.

Maggie realized she can't be alone in her search for Glenn. What changed in her?

What was interesting for me in this episode is it's a coping mechanism in as much as it's a real quest to find Glenn. All she can do right now is steam through these walkers. Maggie knows no limits at this point, and that's a big part of her and Sasha's argument. Sasha is avoiding having to be disappointed, and if she isn't going to emotionally invest, then she can't be disappointed. But Maggie knows her better than that, which is what we see at the end of the episode: You can ask her to risk her life for her own benefit. That's all we do now is risk our lives. What's changed in Maggie is that recognition -- it's finding Glenn, but it's also finding out who she is in her search for him and knowing despite all this despair, she is still an incredibly faithful person and she's not going to leave anyone behind. She deeply knows in her heart that they are still alive and it's going to be OK. It's also crazy because Maggie gets to act out what she wishes she acted out with The Governor (David Morrissey), and it was a nice change from the beginning of the season. She goes from this place of forgiveness when Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) go out on this vengeful mission [for The Governor], and says what she has [at the prison with safety, friends and family] is worth looking out for and putting our focus on and I'm going to let [her vendetta with The Governor] go. It bites her in the end, and it's The Governor who takes away the last precious thing from her [her father, Hershel] and possibly her sister and her husband as well -- not to mention the prison, the camp and their whole lives to boot. There is definitely a level of regret in there and recognition that she needs to put that warrior suit back on and not take it off for a while.

Sasha, Bob and Maggie are headed for Terminus, even though Sasha is skeptical of it sounding too good to be true. How concerned should they that Terminus is a trap?

We should always be concerned that anything that sounds too good to be true probably is. This is way too big for any of us to ignore that train tracks leading to something that could be a sanctuary. We have no way of communicating with each other, but we have signs at every single train track to head in one direction, so at least we can all be together and trust what ever telekinetic connection we have, then maybe we'll figure it out when we get there. I don't know that Terminus is going to be a bad idea -- none of us should assume that.

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In the comics, it's at this point that the group encounters a group of cannibals. Could Terminus be their base camp?

We should proceed with caution, but we don't have another plan right now, so we have to follow those train tracks. Sasha is a very good voice of reason, but we don't have time for reason because we need to find the rest of our group. These last few episodes have been very claustrophobic with fog for Maggie, Sasha and Bob, and then Daryl and Beth were trapped in the trunk of a car. This group has been so blinded, and now we have this rope to hang on to with the train tracks. It might be a bad idea, but we have no other option. 

We see Glenn at the end of the episode finding another sign for Terminus. He's traveling with Abraham and company -- should he trust them?

I trust something about that group. Maybe it's Eugene's goofy hair, but I feel like they can trust that group since they actually have Glenn and Tara's best interests at hand. I loved how Glenn took him down. He was on this mission and wouldn't let anyone stop him, and he takes out this hulking muscle man. This moment when Glenn sees the Terminus sign and the hope in that moment reminded me of season one, when he's the little voice that Rick hears in the tank. If Glenn sees or hears something, there's something to it, because he's the character who looks after people. That for me gives that inkling that maybe Terminus is going to be OK and the fact that all the group is finding these signs. Is there somebody looking out for them? Is someone making sure that they all find each other? Maybe it's the spirit of Hershel. I don't know, but it would be nice.

Bob and Sasha are now romantically linked. How might their relationship evolve as they make their way to Terminus?

There's a lot of hope for that relationship. If Sasha can find brother Tyreese, then there's room for love there as well, which would be really nice. There's a lot of love blossoming and these past few episodes have shown three stages of what you do for your loved ones. Bob kisses Sasha to break her out of this cynicism that she's in. There's this maybe blossoming thing between Daryl and Beth where we finally see him opening up, and then who knows. She's maybe kidnapped or killed -- we don't know yet what's going to happen there. Then Maggie is leaving these notes for Glenn. I think overall this is maybe the most romantic episode of The Walking Dead so far. 

Speaking of Beth, it seems like she was abducted. What can you say about what's going on there? How worried should people be for Beth and Daryl?

That's going to be a really good point of suspicion for a while; there's not going to be a quick resolve to that situation. It gets very scary. This whole situation that Daryl has found himself in gets really scary. We should be pretty worried about everyone.

Could whomever kidnapped Beth be connected to this group questioning Daryl?

I don't actually know yet -- that's how scary it is! I don't like the sound of this group at all or what's happened to Beth. It's very creepy.

Daryl at the end of this episode seemed to be in trouble, meeting Joe and his mysterious group of marauders -- whom we know to be violent when one of them nearly killed Rick back at the house. What can you say about how Daryl might fare with them, especially after he just opened up?

Daryl has a very measured course in front of him, where he really has to watch his steps because this could be a group that might accept him -- or they might hurt him.

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How much more can we expect to see of Joe and company? My theory is that these guys are the Hunters who turn into cannibals and are behind Terminus.

We should be concerned about anybody new we meet right now, especially after The Governor. We shouldn't be having any new friends! (Laughs.)

What can you say about what a reunion between Glenn and Maggie would look like?

I already think that they've been a pretty good couple, and that blip with The Governor when they were held hostage at Woodbury really strengthened them. If these two see each other, they are never, ever letting go again. 

What did you think of Maggie's journey this week? Do you think Terminus sounds too good to be true? Hit the comments with your thoughts. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit