This week’s episode of The Walking Dead may have been the most consequential episode of the series in nine years. Rick Grimes exited the series; as we predicted, Rick didn’t die, he only left for feature-film spin-offs (although, that wasn’t the ending they originally had in mind); we got a clue as to Heath’s whereabouts; and we got a huge time jump that introduced an older Judith Grimes, Magna and her group.
So much happened during the episode and after it that another major The Walking Dead story got buried in all the excitement. Last night’s episode was also officially Lauren Cohan’s last episode, too (at least for now). When The Walking Dead returns next week, seven years into the future, Maggie Rhee will no longer be on the show (or running The Hilltop).
“That’s the last of her for this season,” showrunner Angela Kang told The Hollywood Reporter, while AMC programming president David Madden confirmed the news: “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.”
Fans of the series knew that Maggie’s departure was coming. After contract negotiations broke down with the network in the spring, Lauren Cohan took a job on another show, ABC’s action-comedy Whiskey Cavalier. Whether Cohan returns — and when — may depend upon how well Whiskey Cavalier does for ABC and whether it returns for a second season.
Even if Whiskey Cavalier does get picked up for additional seasons, Cohan could still return in season ten or eleven in some limited capacity. She could also ultimately make an appearance in one (or more) of the three planned Rick Grimes’ movies. In the meantime, it’s somewhat disappointing to see that Lauren Cohan not only didn’t get a big send off, but that her exit was completely overshadowed by that of Andrew Lincoln. That said, Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were fantastic in their scenes together in last night’s episode, so if Cohan never returns to the series, she at least goes out on a high note.
Fans will need to tune back in over the next few weeks to find out how The Walking Dead explains Maggie’s absence (although, we believe we know the answer to that).
(Via Hollywood Reporter)