Maggie Rhee is back, and she's fiercer than ever.
The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 17 delved deeper into the beloved character's machinations upon her return and set the stage for what is sure to be a killer showdown with Negan.
Lauren Cohan played every beat of Maggie's visceral anxiety to perfection, with the character acting about as well as could be expected, given the circumstances.
We need to remember that she wanted to murder Negan for what he did to Glen and Abraham but found solace with the fact that he would be living the rest of his days as a prisoner and pariah.
It was a bitter pill to swallow, but the show managed to build the tension fairly well initially with their meeting and again in the closing scenes, proving these bonus episodes will be delving into the characters' finer details.
Putting Maggie at the wheel after such a long time away was satisfying on so many levels. She's one of the longest-serving characters, and for a show concluding its 10th season, she's a big connection to the way the show was all those years ago.
If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know Maggie has never been a wicked character, regularly opting to see the best in people, and even though she's hardened during her time away, she's still one of the nicer characters.
It must have been tough for her to learn that Carol was in on the plan to allow Negan out to finish off Alpha, but it will be even more difficult if people start to see Negan as a legitimate savior instead of the brutal leader of, well, the Saviors.
Negan has had a fulfilling arc of growth, but you reap what you sow at the end of the day, and many people would love nothing more than for him to be banished or put to death.
Maggie isn't looking for Negan to prove to her how much she's changed. She lost the love of her life at his hands, and there's simply no way there will be any forgiveness on Maggie's part.
The Walking Dead has a habit of moving at a slow pace, but "Home Sweet Home" had all the makings of a showstopping season opener. There were many decent storylines at play, but the Reapers killing Maggie's people was handled very well.
We're coming off the war against the Saviors and introducing what I believe to be The Commonwealth, so adding another group into the mix could have resulted in too many cooks in the kitchen.
Then again, these episodes were not always planned, so it's likely they've been thrown in as an adversary to battle on these six bonus episodes.
Maggie has obviously been through her fair share amount of communities, and it's nice that she has followers and all, but the man and his camouflage get-up was somehow freakier than the Whisperers.
At least with the Whisperers, you knew to keep your eyes peeled on zombies, but if the Reapers are legitimately hiding in bushes or whatnot, they could strike at any moment.
Maggie losing many of her followers was unfortunate, but it's clear she's a natural-born leader. She's able to prioritize her emotions to keep her team battling for what's right, and, of course, she's able to fight.
Kelly and Maggie's rapport seemed destined for doom when Maggie realized Kelly bailed on her post to look for more insight into her sister, but I appreciated how it allowed Kelly to get to the root of why Elijah wore the mask.
Elijah is scared shitless of the perils in the world, but he's suiting up in a scary costume that makes him look not only badass but fearless. It's not a bad plan at all, mostly because I wondered who the face was behind the mask since his arrival.
Kelly's search for Connie is heartbreaking, but it's nice the writers have introduced someone who is going through something similar. No one has truly understood the weight of Kelly's grief since Connie went missing.
Carol obviously feels bad for what she did, and Daryl is barely holding it together, but Kelly grew up with Connie, so it hit her on a completely different and more believable level.
Maybe it was just me, but I forgot how much time had passed, but the arrival of Young Hershel was so worth the wait. His age took me by surprise, as well as the skip hat and his similarities in manners to Glen (RIP, dude).
Maggie is protective of her son, probably more so because of what happened to his father, so having her son around the man who murdered people she loved is going to prove to be difficult.
Negan had his redemption arc, and while he didn't deserve redemption, it will be nice to see him suffer when he has to lay eyes on Glen's son every day.
As a whole, this was a successful opener. We have big returns, a new group of villains, and a lot of emotional baggage.
What did you think of Maggie's return? Do you think she will want to kill Negan? What did you think of Young Hershel?
Hit the comments.
New episodes of The Walking Dead air on AMC on Sundays at 9/8c.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.