After winding down the prison storyline, AMC’s zombie hit The Walking Dead has taken a nice, character-focused detour the past few weeks. According to star Lauren Cohan, the current arc is even worth saying goodbye to her TV husband.
As the gang was scattered following the fall of the prison, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Cohan) — the closest thing to a happy couple in the zombie apocalypse — were forced in separate directions and are now searching for each other across the rural wasteland. According to Cohan, that separation is making for some of the best stories in the show’s four-season history, and she told MTV she thinks fans will continue to enjoy that character-focused journey:
"I'm loving the storyline, because I feel the presence of Glenn so strongly when you're on [Maggie], and I feel the presence of Maggie so strongly when you're on Glenn. This little bridge that people are trying to cross to get back to each other, it creates so much tension. I think without this mission to find each other, we're not going to find out more about these characters. Yes, she's inextricably tied to her husband, but who does she become when she's in search of the thing she really needs?”
We never see each other. It’s been great, seeing the finished product; we get to go off on these little capsules and get to know characters that we really haven't gotten to know very intimately yet. Like last week with Daryl and Beth, this whole expose of who they are and where they're coming from. That's all super-fun. But at points in the season, we really missed the camaraderie of mucking it together. It's been a page-turner of an experience with these scripts, with the focus on new characters and going into more philosophical areas. It's been super stimulating," she said. "It's been nice to stop and ask these questions of, ‘Do you get to come back from what you've done? Who are we now?’”
Cohan makes a strong point, and though some fans may not be digging the more standalone pace the past few weeks, it has served up more character development than we’ve had in years. It’s been great to see Maggie and Glenn’s strength when separated, while realizing that strength is derived from their desire to find one another.
We’ll apparently get to see a lot more of Maggie in this Sunday’s episode, “Alone,” which Cohan described as “a very gnarly episode” about her journey to find Glenn. What do you think of the back half of season four?