It's hard to accurately determine who had the roughest time during the first half of the third season of AMC's hit gore-fest The Walking Dead. Lori might be the front-runner, but she's dead, so let's cross her off the list. Hershel lost a leg, but he's alive and doesn't have to do any manual labor now slash still has his family, so he's pretty set until his inevitable demise. Rick and Carl experienced devastating loss (and a loss of innocence for the latter), and Daryl is now faced with a kill-or-be-killed scenario versus his brother, so they're all valuable contenders. It was a rough fall.
But for many, witnessing Maggie's sexual assault at the hands of the Governor (David Morrissey) was the most gut-wrenching moment of Season 3 thus far. It was real, it was horrifying, and the camera just wouldn't let us look away from the devastated look on her face as she realized what was happening. But according to actress Lauren Cohan, Maggie will be willing to forgive.
"She really did lose her innocence in that scene," Cohan says. "It was something that needed to happen. It's part of this world — it's something that would happen."
And of course, an enraged reaction from loved ones (in Maggie's case, her boyfriend Glenn) is also something that would follow a sexual crime. The Governor went after Maggie as a torture technique when neither she nor Glenn would give up the location of the Grimes Gang, and Glenn's emotional fallout will lead to trouble for the beloved couple during the second half of the season.
"[Glenn's reaction] definitely presents some challenges, because Glenn is so vengeful," Cohan explains. "That hurts Maggie, because she wants to put [the assault] behind her and get on for the betterment of the group. We've got a lot of the aftermath of that coming up in the second half of the season."
So the big question is — do they stay, or do they go? The Gang has a temporary safe haven in their prison, but the thirst for vengeance and the necessity of getting rid of the Governor will be a driving force as they decide their next move. And according to Cohan, Maggie is pretty firmly in one corner. "[Going back to Woodbury is] just a big risk, basically," she says. "To stay or to go is a big theme. To go after the Governor or just to try and live."
A huge factor in this decision will be the presence of baby Asskicker (err, Judith), who will be an adorable little struggle for the Gang moving forward. "[Judith] complicates things," she says. "It's really taxing on Rick, because he's tasked every day with this baby, at the expense of the death of his wife. It's going to be interesting to see how the baby brings the family together, and changes the whole dynamic. The baby is obviously a risk factor, because the group isn't as mobile. We have to get food — there's such a priority on it."
Luckily, the group will have some help, in the form of newcomer Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and his band of survivors. But don't count on a warm welcome. "The group is definitely wiser now," Cohan explains. "But we see that they're good people. It's just a balance of Rick's instability now, and then this group of new people. We've all been burned pretty badly. But now we have such an external threat [with the Governor], so it's silly to squabble"
Thankfully, despite the challenges Glenn and Maggie will have moving forward, Cohan says the struggle will spice things up instead of cooling things down. So, basically, expect some more lovin' in the watch tower scenes going forward. "I wouldn't say there's trouble in paradise, just that there are difficulties that they both go through as a result of [the attack]," she explains. "That keeps the relationship interesting! I do genuinely think that you get a sense of Maggie and Glenn's sense of humor, and their sense of fun [this season]. There's going to be some really good Maggie/Glenn up and downs."
The Walking Dead returns Sunday night at 9PM, on AMC.
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Gene Page/AMC]
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