The Walking Dead might have offered a major clue regarding Maggie's temporary exit in Episode 9x02, which showrunner Angela Kang is willing to acknowledge.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x02 follow. Major spoilers!
During a scene which seemed quite low key (aside from the heartbreaking paintings of Glenn, Hershel and Beth on the wall), Jesus spoke with Maggie about the mysterious Georgie and her community. Jayne Atkinson's character has remained in touch with Lauren Cohan's as she plans to exit the series this season, apparently inviting her to join them, repeatedly.
"It's like when you're playing a video game, and the fog of the map around you is expanding as you go into different areas to explore," Kang told THR. "That's what's happening with [Georgie's group]. The Alexandrian group thought it was just them before Jesus came along and told them, 'The world is so much bigger than you think.' Then they found out through Georgie the world is even bigger than that group thought. There will be certain societies that just kind of exist out there, that we don't constantly check in on. We don't always tell stories with Oceanside, but they're very much there. That's the same deal with Georgie and the twins. She's off trying to figure out who else is out there. That builds very much into the idea of civilization that all of our characters are grappling with."
As the fog continues to clear, Kang continues to promise more plans for Cohan and her Maggie Rhee. "Either way," Kang says, "we're still going to tell more stories with Maggie."
Still, getting Cohan back on the AMC zombie show might be easier said than done. She recently locked up a deal with AMC to appear on Whiskey Cavalier. "I hope it'll work," said Kang. "We'll cross that bridge [when we get to it]. Lauren and I have had conversations, and she's excited to come back, even if it's not for a full season. We can work with that. That's scheduling problems. We'll figure out the story. She's great. We have a great relationship, and she still loves the show. Sometimes our actors need to spread their wings a little bit. We get that."