In an interview with SFX magazine, Cohan, Morgan, and spinoff creator Eli Jorné all addressed the blood puddle in the middle of the room, explaining that the path to reconciliation between the pair will still be anything but easy. Morgan admitted that mostly-reformed Negan has “gone backwards a little bit” at the start of the new series, as Maggie refuses to move their relationship beyond one of tentative allies. He explained:
“I also think there’s some frustration that he has, like, ‘I’ve tried to apologize. I have tried to do the best I can for the last 10 years, and we’ve gotten nowhere. And I still think if I close my eyes, you’re gonna put a shank through my head.'”
For her part, Cohan doesn’t think true forgiveness is really on the table for the pair, no matter what comes next. “I wouldn’t even use the word forgiveness,” the actress told SFX. “It’s way too impossible. But what I think was really exciting, definitely for me to do, was just to say, ‘Have we ever really talked about this?'” After being spared by Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Negan did some time behind bars and upped his karma points by saving Judith’s life, killing Alpha (Samantha Morton), and generally not being as much of a dirtbag as everyone expected. Despite all that, he’s never able to mend fences with Maggie.