The Walking Dead Return Reveals Maggie's Whereabouts and a Violent New Threat

We now know what Maggie faced after she left Hilltop — and it’s not pretty.

Maggie Rhee vanished from “The Walking Dead” after the six-year time jump, when star Lauren Cohan jumped ship to star on “Whiskey Cavalier.” When that show was canceled at ABC, however, Maggie returned in the Season 10 finale — and now, we know what she’s been up to in those missing years.

The first of the six additional episodes added to the season — meant to either set up Season 11 or provide some backstory for characters like Negan — aired Sunday night, taking place shortly after the survivors took out the Whisperers in the finale.

While Maggie was happy to reunite with Judith, Daryl and Carol, she was slightly less excited to see Negan out of his prison cell. Let’s not forget, it was Negan and his trusty baseball bat Lucille who murdered Glenn and she’s (understandably!) not ready to forgive him for that one.

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She introduced her original group to some of her new friends — namely Elijah, AKA the man in the iron mask, and Cole — who were in need of a new home after their previous village was attacked. Maggie hoped to bring them to Hilltop, only to learn that it had been burned down by the Whisperers.

Though Carol explained how Negan helped them take out Beta, everyone was still skeptical Maggie would ever “come around” to the idea of him being free.

What followed was a heartfelt conversation between Maggie and Daryl, as she explained where she’s been all these years and why she stopped communicating with the rest of the group. When he said he was worried when her letters stopped coming, she said she wasn’t close to the drop spot for a long time … and when she was nearby, she simply chose not to drop one.

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“Georgie had all these good ideas, with things going so well at Hilltop, the idea of doing that for others felt good” she explained. “So we’d find groups and do what we could, but it’d always go sideways.”

“We had this group, we taught them to reroute water, build a forge, she heard about this city out west and she and twins went out there to check it out,” she continued. “Not long after the place fell, we ran and I haven’t seen her since.”

Maggie wasn’t ready to get into specifics of what went wrong in Knoxville and said she almost returned to Hilltop after the place fell. Instead, she went to a home owned by her grandmother by the ocean, somewhere she and Glenn had planned to go to when he was alive. She said Hershel “loved it” there, saying the place was “so peaceful” with hardly any walkers.

As for why it took so long for her to come back, that came down to Negan.

“[Hershel] asked how his daddy died. I knew he would, I knew it was coming. I told him that a bad man killed him and he wanted to know if that man got what he deserved,” she then explained. “He wanted to know if that man was dead. Truth is, I left home because I couldn’t have Negan taking up any space in my head and I realized I didn’t want to bring Hersel back to that.”

She and her son eventually met up with another community who “needed us as much as I needed them,” with Maggie saying “it felt like it was meant to be.” But that place also fell, to a new group they’ve dubbed the Reapers.

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Maggie’s story wasn’t the last we heard of that murderous group, however, as one of the Reapers had apparently been following them and started killing anyone he came across in the woods. While the Reaper momentarily had a leg-up on both Maggie and Daryl, they got backup from the rest of her group and were able to hold the guy — briefly — for questioning.

“Why’d you do this? We did nothing to you! Who are you? What do you call yourselves?” exclaimed Maggie. The man’s only response: “Pope marked you.” He then pulled a pin out of his jacket pocket and blew himself up with a grenade.

At this point, we’re in new territory, as neither the Reapers or a person named Pope appear in the comics on which the show is based. It’s possible the Reapers could be working for the Civil Republic Military — the shady group who “saved” Rick Grimes and is at the center of spinoff series “World Beyond” — or The Commonwealth. The man, however, didn’t really look like he came from either group, simply based on his costume. Hopefully, we’ll get more answers in the five episodes to come.

With Hilltop no longer an option, Maggie took her crew to Alexandria, telling Daryl she’d “deal with Negan if I have to” so long as the group was safe there. The episode ended with them all arriving at their new “home sweet home,” as Carol and the rest of the survivors continued to refortify the town following the Whisperers’ siege.

In the show’s final moments, Maggie threw Negan a quick glance as she and Hershel walked through town — and he did not seem happy to see her.

“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays on AMC.

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