This article contains spoilers from episode 9×05 of The Walking Dead – “What Comes After”. If you have not watched the episode yet, read at your own risk!
This past Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead was nothing short of a roller coaster ride of emotions. As Andrew Lincoln/Rick Grimes’ last final episode of the series, fans were on the edge of their seats waiting to see what would happen to the man who started it all, and thankfully, they were met with a bittersweet happy ending as a wounded Rick was taken away on a helicopter with Jadis. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only Walking Dead family member viewers were saying goodbye to. “What Comes After” also marked the last appearance of season 9 for Lauren Cohan, who has played Maggie Rhee on the series since season 2.
Maggie’s story seemingly has an unconventional ending (for now), but she was able to finally have her moment with Negan, deciding to leave him locked up at Alexandria to suffer as opposed to killing him. It had been rumored that Maggie’s final episode would be episode six, but seeing as there was a huge time jump revealed in the episode’s final moments, writing her out prior to this “new chapter” seemed like the best fit. The good news is that, unlike Lincoln who has officially wrapped his run on the series (he’s doing movies!), Cohan’s exit is more open-ended for a return.
[row] “That’s the last of her for this season,” showrunner Angela Kang told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I would hope it’s not the last you’ll see of her for the show, but she is not in any immediately forthcoming episodes,” AMC executive David Madden added. [/row]
Of course, with the massive news of AMC’s Walking Dead expansion plan, which includes original films, potential new series, and digital content, there is also a chance that Maggie’s story will continue in another form outside of the series. When Scott Gimple was asked by EW about whether or not Cohan would appear in the upcoming film trilogy, or a separate film on her own, he definitely wouldn’t count it out.
[row]”That is absolutely a possibility. I will say that Angela [Kang] and I and others really want to see Maggie back on the show. We have a lot of story for her that we want to tackle and we’ve talked about different ways we can do it. That said, if Whiskey Cavalier lights up the world, we’re still going to do Maggie stuff. We’re just going to figure out different ways to do it. It might be me shooting Lauren in between scenes of Whiskey Cavalier, of Maggie in a post-apocalyptic Prague [where Whiskey Cavalier is filming].”[/row]
Earlier this year, amidst contract negotiations with AMC, Cohan signed on to star in a new ABC series called Whiskey Cavalier, which was picked up to series making it nearly impossible for her to continue on the zombie drama. However, both Cohan and Kang have been extremely vocal about her story not being over.
“ We have always planned to have this great story with Maggie this season and I think we promised something. We wanted to pay off that promise. We definitely have a very strong Maggie arc,” Kang told Comicbook.com earlier this year.[/row]
It’s unsure how the series will address Maggie’s exit in the upcoming episode, but we think that it’s safe to say she most likely decided to join Georgie, who had been asking her to come work for her through letters this season.
So, at the end of the day, the exits of both Maggie and Rick weren’t nearly as devastating as we had expected. They will both be back and their stories in this epic universe will continue. The even better news is that fans can look forward to Cohan most likely popping back up on the series at some point down the line!
Are you sad that you weren’t able to say goodbye to Maggie? Or are you just happy she found her closure with Negan?
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.