Though we have known that Lauren Cohan — who plays Maggie Rhee — would bail out of this season of The Walking Dead early on, we received word two weeks ago (in the midst of Rick’s departure) that the episode in which Rick exited would also be Maggie’s last of the season. The last we saw of Maggie came before the time jump, when she opted against killing Negan.
Knowing that Maggie left, however, didn’t answer why she left, and to be honest, the “why” is still up in the air. However, in this week’s episode, we at least learned where Maggie has gone, or at least with whom. As hinted several weeks ago, Maggie has taken Georgie up on her offer to join her and her crew to go “far away’ and begin work with a new community.
On the show, Maggie’s decision to leave Hilltop has left Jesus begrudgingly in charge — he is the Democratically elected leader of The Hilltop, but he’s run opposed every election, and it appears from his conversations with Tara that he’s not exactly thrilled about leading the community. Tara, in the meantime, seems to have taken up many of his day-to-day duties behind the scenes.
It’s also interesting to note that Michonne hasn’t been back to The Hilltop in years because of Maggie, and we’re not entirely sure why. It may be because of the showdown the two had before the time jump when Maggie confronted Michonne about entering Negan’s jail cell to kill him. However, that interaction ultimately seemed to end on a good note (Maggie didn’t kill Negan), so it is possible that Maggie and Michonne butted heads in other respects, creating added friction.
As for Maggie’s actual whereabouts, the comics provide some clues as to that. After The Whisperers arc — which could theoretically run through the rest of this season and all of next — the TWD takes up The Commonwealth storyline. The Commonwealth is a large community of about 50,000 people in Ohio that has its own army, a sporting arena, and even musicians. It also has a class system, which is bound to create some problems for Alexandrians. The social and financial standing of people who live in The Commonwealth is determined by their careers prior to the apocalypse, so lawyers continue being lawyers while waiters presumably continue working as waiters.
As Maggie is not dead, and her exit is open ended , there’s a chance she may reappear in the 10th or 11th seasons as a member of The Commonwealth, but that may all depend on how well Whiskey Cavalier, her ABC show with Scott Foley, performs after its debut in the winter.