The biggest exit that came from the first half of The Walking Dead season 9 was, of course, the loss of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes – who’s being flown into his own spinoff movie trilogy. However, let’s not forget the farewells of Maggie Rhee and Jesus as well. Given how abrupt the former left and how there’s still more to explore with the latter, fans are hoping we’ll get to see the characters again. Perhaps even in a flashback episode later this very season.
That was the idea pitched to star Tom Payne recently, who agreed that Jesus could return in a flashback-filled outing at some point which could help fill in what happened to the survivors in that six-year time jump that occurred at the end of episode 6.
“There is absolutely the potential for Jesus to be back for a flashback episode. There’s a six-year jump that happened, within which we don’t know [what happened]. There’s a bunch of unexplained stuff.”
He then went on to list many of the things that need to be depicted, including the origin of those mysterious scars sported by two of the cast, whether there was a romance between Aaron and Jesus and, most notably, exactly how Maggie came to leave the Hilltop.
“And Jesus has been at the Hilltop with Maggie, and we’ll maybe find out how Maggie left and what happened in that storyline, maybe how Michonne and Daryl got their scars, maybe if Aaron and Jesus had a thing. So yeah, there’s lots of different loose ends which absolutely could be explained by a flashback episode.”
Lauren Cohan’s exit from TWD came about rather suddenly due to the actress deciding to jump ship to ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier. As such, Maggie was last seen in episode 6, ultimately deciding not to give into vengeance and kill Negan, and hasn’t been seen since the time jump. It was later revealed that she’d left with Georgie (an optimistic leader last spotted in season 8) to help build a new community.
It’s an effective explanation for getting rid of her for the moment but also leaving the door open for the character to return in the future. Alternatively, as Payne suggests, you could even go back and explore why Maggie made this big decision to leave her own people and go off to create something new.
In any case, we’ll see what The Walking Dead season 9 has in store for us when it returns to AMC on February 10th.