After years away, Lauren Cohan's Maggie Rhee has returned to The Walking Dead. Stepping back into the saddle just in time for the Season 10 finale, "A Certain Doom," her reappearance raises more questions than answers — including the identity of a metal-masked mystery man — but brings with it the start of a new chapter for Maggie and son Hershel. Sometime after the presumed death of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and a subsequent falling out with Alexandria leader Michonne (Danai Gurira), Maggie followed Hilltop benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) "someplace far" to assist with a new community. Years later, she reunites with Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) and the survivors at the climax of the Whisperer War.
Back in Virginia, a western-styled Maggie unearths a letter penned by Carol (Melissa McBride), warning her about Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers. The enemy group, who disguise themselves in fleshy masks made from the skin of the dead, have already murdered many of Maggie's friends — including Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and interim Hilltop leaders Jesus (Tom Payne) and Tara (Alanna Masterson).
In the time since Carol wrote the letter — before the start of this season — several events have transpired, including Alpha's death at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). It was Carol who released Negan from prison to carry out the deed, unilaterally ending the life sentence handed down in part for the murder of Maggie's husband Glenn (Steven Yeun).
On the top floors of a hospital tower surrounded by the walker horde set loose by Beta (Ryan Hurst), it's Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) who elects to stay behind and hold off the pack of Whisperers just seconds away from breaching a blockade. It gives Judith time to escape with Scott (Kenric Green) and Rachel (Avianna Mynhier), but three Whisperers overpower the shotgun-wielding priest and pin him to the floor.
Answering Gabriel's prayers is a hooded and masked fighter who makes short work of the Whisperers with his deadly kama weapons. Finishing them off is a crossbow-wielding Maggie, who fires a bolt into the heart of the final attacker.
"He's with me," Maggie says of the unidentified savior, helping up a relieved Gabriel and wrapping him in a hug. It's the third time the masked mystery man dispatched a group of Whisperers to save Maggie's friends, earlier rescuing Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Alden (Callan McAuliffe).
The identity of Maggie's companion, as well as other answers about her time away, will come in the six new episodes extending the tenth season into 2021.
"We're gonna deal with some of the aftermath of this Whisperer War, and obviously Maggie is back and she has this mysterious companion in a metal mask," showrunner Angela Kang said of the Extended Season 10 episodes during the Walking Dead Universe Preview Special. "Who is that, and what does that mean, and where do they come from? We kind of start the story from there and keep going."
It's all part of a new chapter for Maggie, who will come to learn about the destruction of the Hilltop and Negan's newfound freedom. After appearing as a special guest in the season finale, Cohan rejoins as a series regular in the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead due out in late 2021.