Setting the stage. The Walking Dead will soon become a little less crowded with the departure of both Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee. Cohan is only set to appear in six episodes of season 9 since her ABC drama, Whiskey Cavalier, was recently picked up at ABC. While Lincoln has chosen to depart the show altogether, Cohan’s exit may be a less permanent one.
During the Sunday, October 14, episode, a major hint was dropped as to how Maggie could leave the show, but still remain alive. While discussing her plans for the Hilltop with Jesus (Tom Payne), she brings up Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), the survivor who was introduced last season. It’s revealed that Georgie is hoping to have Maggie join her – which could be what happens come time for Cohan to depart.
“That’s a fair suspicion,” showrunner Angela Kang told The Hollywood Reporter when asked if it’s wise to guess that when Maggie leaves, it will be with Georgie. “I’m not going to say that’s exactly what happens.”
She continued: “It’s like when you’re playing a video game, and the fog of the map around you is expanding as you go into different areas to explore. That’s what’s happening with [Georgie’s group]. The Alexandrian group thought it was just them before Jesus came along and told them, ‘The world is so much bigger than you think.’ Then they found out through Georgie the world is even bigger than that group thought. There will be certain societies that just kind of exist out there, that we don’t constantly check in on. We don’t always tell stories with Oceanside, but they’re very much there. That’s the same deal with Georgie and the twins. She’s off trying to figure out who else is out there. That builds very much into the idea of civilization that all of our characters are grappling with.”
Regardless of Cohan’s departure, the drama will still “tell more stories with Maggie,” Kang noted, adding she’s very hopeful that Cohan’s exit won’t be forever.
“Lauren and I have had conversations, and she’s excited to come back, even if it’s not for a full season. We can work with that. That’s scheduling problems,” she said. “We’ll figure out the story. She’s great. We have a great relationship, and she still loves the show. Sometimes our actors need to spread their wings a little bit. We get that.”
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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