With all the hoopla surrounding Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead, it's easy to forget that Lauren Cohan is also leaving, at least for now. Her final episode as Maggie Rhee is also this Sunday, and if it is the last we see of her, the episode will be an emotionally satisfying conclusion and contains some of the finest acting Cohan (and Danai Gurira and Jeffrey Dean Morgan) have ever done on the show.
Cohan has kept a relatively low media profile this season, probably because she's busy in Prague shooting Whiskey Cavalier, the upcoming ABC series she left The Walking Dead to do. But she opened up to Entertainment Weekly about why she left and the possibility of a potential comeback in Season 10.
Her decision to leave, in the end, came down to money. She said she felt "surprised" about how stressful her contract negotiation got. "I took that, how baffled I was, and thought, 'Okay, well that's a sign. This is maybe just not a fit anymore,'" she said. "To feel like we weren't lining up in so many ways I just thought, 'Okay, well, maybe that means something.'" She had to make the call for what was best for her personally and professionally, and though she loves the people she worked with on The Walking Dead, after eight years it was time to move on.
She really doesn't know if she'll return to The Walking Dead. Showrunner Angela Kang has said she wants Cohan to come back, and Cohan says they and chief content officer Scott Gimple have discussed story should it happen, but there are so many scheduling variables that she just doesn't know yet.
"I think that we like finality, and it's almost because of how much I like finality that I'm forcing myself not to have it and I'm forcing myself not to give it, because it wouldn't be sincere," she said. "Any kind of guarantee that I could give could not be sincere to the fans, to my Walking Dead family, to myself."
So, if we get more Maggie, great. If we don't, what happens in "What Comes After" will do.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.