The Walking Dead Season 9 episode “What Comes After” premiered on November 4, and was the final episode featuring Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). The episode got the show a decent bump in ratings, but many were left scratching their heads after learning that it also served as the final episode for the character Maggie (Lauren Cohan).
So what gives?
Fans of the show have known for a while that Cohan wanted to leave the show due to not receiving enough money from the network. Ultimately, she decided to jump ship after eight seasons, signing on to the upcoming show Whiskey Cavalier on ABC.
The last time we see her in The Walking Dead, however, she is with the rest of the group, distraught over the death of Rick. Following that is a time jump at the end of the episode, in which she apparently leaves the community.
Angela Kang, the showrunner for the series, told The Hollywood Reporter the following: “That’s the last of her for this season… 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.”
THR speculates that, at some point, Maggie leaves to join Georgie (the woman who gave her the “Key To A Future” book), who wanted Maggie as part of her own group.
The show is seeing some of the lowest ratings since Season 1, and has been the target of criticism for its long, drawn out storylines that don’t seem to ever be fully flushed out. We’ve speculated in the past that they indeed may have longer-term plans for her, but suffice it to say, this is a pretty disappointing and disrespectful exit.
Hopefully episode 6 “Who Are You Now?” will give fans some clarification, but until then, we’ll just have to speculate.
The Walking Dead season 9 episode 6 premieres on November 11.