WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 9, “No Other Way,” now available to stream on AMC+.

The Walking Dead loves time jumps. Its most recent six-month jump comes at the end of its latest mid-season premiere and foreshadows a feud between Maggie and Daryl. This isn’t the first time The Walking Dead has hinted at betrayal that ends with a civil war, but it seems more serious this time around.

Season 11, Episode 9 details the final fight between the main group and the Reapers that leads to Maggie and Daryl kidnapping Leah’s right-hand man, Carver, for ransom. Maggie’s apprehension toward Daryl’s suggestion of the plan feels rightfully earned; she questions Daryl if his refusal to kill the rest of the Reapers stems from his relationship with Leah. While Daryl has been undercover with the Reapers to buy Maggie and Negan time to invade Meridian, he seemed awfully eager to be on Leah’s good side, even when she didn’t deserve it.

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Maggie’s suspicion leads her to do what she thinks is right: kill Carver and the remaining Reapers, and gravely injure Leah to Daryl’s surprise. The trade was going well and may have even brought peace to both groups, but Maggie’s past is catching up to her. Negan’s presence is hovering over her shoulder, acting as a nasty reminder of the pain she felt when Rick let him live after Glenn’s death. For Maggie, there was no other solution. The Reapers hurt and killed the majority of her people, but disobeying the trade may have come at a cost.

When the group returns to Alexandria, they’re greeted by Deputy Governor Lance Hornsby and an army of Commonwealth soldiers vouched for by Eugene. Lance proposes two options for Alexandria’s residents: let the Commonwealth provide the materials to rebuild and replenish Alexandria back to its former glory, or join the Commonwealth itself. The scene then transitions from a hesitant Maggie to herself six months later at Hilltop, confronted by Daryl in the Commonwealth soldier attire, demanding to be let inside the gates.

It may come as a surprise for Maggie and Daryl to be at odds after years of friendship, but recent promos and episodes prove that this has actually been coming for a while. The Walking Dead has been promoting Season 11B with trailers that see Maggie on the fence about the Commonwealth and them clashing with Alexandria. Daryl, on the other hand, seems to be fully embracing the city for the sake of his friends and family’s survival. And since Maggie’s reinstatement at the end of Season 10, she’s noticeably become a much darker person who will do anything for herself and Hershel Jr., whereas Daryl tries to take a more peaceful approach by advocating against fighting.

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The Walking Dead has tried the “civil war” storyline before, and it worked… to an extent. The first half of Season 9 dealt with the repercussions of Rick saving Negan, which meant Maggie and Daryl working against him. While an interesting narrative, it fell through when it failed to be anything more than just a disagreement on the matter. This time around, though, there are soldiers of established communities, one of which has the potential to be a very dangerous enemy. The ultimate betrayal isn’t just deciding if one person lives or dies, it’s switching sides to someone who may take over everything that isn’t theirs.

Season 11, Episode 9’s ending tease clearly foreshadows that Daryl switches to the Commonwealth, who wants something from Hilltop in the future. If sticking to the comics, the Commonwealth will want to expand their horizons and merge with Alexandria and Hilltop, risking the small communities’ independence. It’s hard to believe Daryl would want this for the communities, but Daryl has recently proven that he puts survival over his own desires. His only issue is that Maggie may have different ideas about what is in everyone’s best interests. Maggie has little trust left to give, and it’ll be a hard battle for Daryl to take what’s left of what she cares about the most.

New episodes of The Walking Dead air every Sunday at 9 pm ET on AMC. Catch the latest episode a week early on AMC+.

KEEP READING: What Rick Grimes’ Absence Means for The Walking Dead’s Final Season 



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