Fans of The Walking Dead have endured a double blow this season with the departures of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene. However, while the end Rick's time on the series (in order to launch a big-screen trilogy of his own) was heavily publicized leading up to the start of the season, the departure of Maggie was given far less fanfare.
And with the debut of her new ABC show, Whiskey Cavalier, fans worry the farmer's daughter is gone for good.
So will Maggie be returning to The Walking Dead this season?
Turns out the reason Lauren's exit was less amicable than Andrew's is a dispute over equal pay. Reportedly, Lauren lost a battle with show execs to earn the same paycheck as fellow series regular Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus. While her character isn't dead, it's unlikely we'll see Maggie again unless she and the honchos of the AMC series make up.
One thing that is certain is we've seen the last of her for Season 9. The Talking Dead episode that aired after the midseason finale in November confirmed there would be no more appearances by Lauren in the back half of the season.
And if you've been watching any ABC primetime lately, you've probably noticed the 37-year-old action star has moved on to a new badass role on Whiskey Cavalier. Alongside Scandal and Alias star Scott Foley, Lauren plays a CIA agent to his FBI agent in a reluctant cross-agency partnership to take down some really bad dudes.
Judging from the early impressions by critics, the show's a gem, too. Forbes calls it "action-packed," "funny," and "fun," ultimately touting it 'the nest new show of the season." And since we're a few weeks into the second have of the 2018-2019 season, that's pretty high praise.
Is Michonne leaving The Walking Dead, too?
Sadly, Maggie isn't the only badass woman soon to depart the long-running series. Reportedly Danai Gurira is ready to hang up her katana and will finish out this season and appear only a handful of times in Season 10.
And for anyone who's seen Danai's turn as Okoye in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, this shouldn't be a huge shock. Danai has long been destined for the big screen and (sorry, Walker Stalkers), TWD hasn't been a good enough show to showcase her talents for some time.
Plus, did you know Danai is an award-winning playwright? While all her plays to date have been off-Broadway affairs or regional showcases, they've all been acclaimed, so it's only a matter of time before she's accepting a Tony for her performance either on stage or at the writing desk.
It also sounds like Michonne will be given an open-ended exit like Maggie, which makes it entirely possible their characters can resurface alongside Rick in the big-screen trilogy.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.