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Did The Walking Dead Just Set Up Negan & Maggie's Spinoff?

The Walking Dead season 11’s “Outpost 22” episode may explain how the upcoming Maggie & Negan spinoff happens. Season 11 is confirmed as The Walking Dead‘s final official run, but AMC has already announced numerous spinoffs, one of which is titled The Walking Dead: Dead City and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan alongside Lauren Cohan’s Maggie on a road trip to New York. That mere concept raises questions. What could possibly be so vital that Negan and Maggie settle their remaining differences enough to travel this long journey together? And why would either character leave behind their beloved children to make a long and perilous trip to the Big Apple?

The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21 may answer those questions. Captured by the Commonwealth, Maggie is separated from Hershel, and has no idea where the youngster was taken. Likewise, Negan is separated from pregnant wife Annie, who gets marched away in a different group. “Outpost 22” also reveals Commonwealth prisoners can be taken away to the mysterious “Designation 2” and never seen again. If Negan and Maggie remain estranged from their loved ones until The Walking Dead ends, The Walking Dead: Dead City could be the ensuing rescue mission. Getting their kids back is, of course, a strong enough motivation for Negan and Maggie to work together.

Related: How Walking Dead Season 11 Part 3’s Story Connects To Daryl’s Spinoff

Even if Maggie reunites with Hershel before The Walking Dead ends, she could still accompany Negan on a journey to rescue Annie. It was, after all, the ex-villain who kept Hershel safe during The Walking Dead season 11’s Riverbend incident. Similarly, if Negan reunites with Annie, but Hershel remains AWOL, Negan may accompany Maggie due to his lingering guilt over killing Glenn. Even if Maggie and Negan both rescue their loved ones from the Commonwealth’s clutches before The Walking Dead finishes, this whole ordeal has taught them an important lesson: let evil and villainy go unchallenged, and risk that evil coming to steal away their loved ones.

Whatever threat Negan and Maggie are facing in The Walking Dead: Dead City, both evidently believe staying at home with their children is more dangerous than heading out and confronting this new challenge directly. The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21 explains why Negan and Maggie would come to that conclusion. Both tried to give the Commonwealth a wide berth for the sake of their families, but the Commonwealth hurt those families regardless. If another threat, be it the CRM or something else, is looming in the shadows, Negan and Maggie will be hoping to avoid making the same error twice, maybe explaining why they leave Hershel and Annie behind.

A simple way to navigate most of The Walking Dead: Dead City‘s premise issues is simply having Kien Michael Spiller’s Hershel Rhee and Medina Senghore’s Annie appear alongside Maggie and Negan in the spinoff. The Walking Dead season 11 has already teased Hershel’s presence by foreshadowing a day when the youngster will take revenge for his father’s murder. That tense conversation with Negan hinted at a larger role for Hershel in The Walking Dead‘s future.

The only logical way Annie could appear in The Walking Dead: Dead City is if a time jump occurs between The Walking Dead‘s series finale and Maggie & Negan’s spinoff. Leading a pregnant woman on a trek from Virginia to New York seems unnecessarily risky, and even more so after the birth when both parents have a baby to care for. A time jump could age Negan and Annie’s child enough for the NYC trip to make sense. Even if Negan and Maggie travel alone, however, the Commonwealth stealing their children in The Walking Dead season 11 would neatly explain why two doting parents temporarily leave their children behind to investigate a faraway threat.

Next: Walking Dead Proves Daryl & Maggie’s Spinoff Pairings Should Be Flipped

The Walking Dead continues Sunday on AMC.

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