FBI Star Missy Peregrym Previews Maggie's Risky Return To Work And Redefining The Partnership With OA

FBI is finally bringing Missy Peregrym back as Agent Maggie Bell after a long absence, and her first case back won’t be easy on her. After being exposed to sarin gas back in April resulted in a long break from the job while she recovered, the Bureau has a double homicide in store for Maggie as she rejoins the team. Ahead of the episode, the actress spoke with CinemaBlend about why Maggie’s return is going to be risky… and why the partnership between Maggie and OA will need some redefining. 

Missy Peregrym’s first episode back is called “Ready or Not” and will air on Tuesday, November 15. Not only will Maggie have the double homicide to investigate, but she’ll reveal something to her partner that causes him to worry about her. In light of the title of the episode, I asked the actress just how ready Maggie actually is to jump back into action, and she shared:

She doesn't know. I mean, she thinks that she's okay. She's been told by the Bureau that she's okay, so after extensive therapy and being analyzed by the Bureau, she comes back. She misses her team, and she wants to have her life back again. But wanting it and being involved in it and taking risks again, brings up a whole other side of things. And it's really difficult for OA, actually, to have me back as well.

Considering that the last case Maggie worked involved enough exposure to sarin gas that she would have surely died if OA hadn’t gone all-out to save her, it’s easy to understand why her return to work could be complicated! Missy Peregrym has explained why she found it easy to relate to Maggie in coming back. Based on her comments about whether or not Maggie is ready, it sounds like not much is going to be easy for her character… or for OA. 

Her partner had an incredibly difficult time with her near-death experience back in Season 4, not helped by the fact that he was already triggered due to the case involving sarin gas. OA also went through a trauma of his own recently, with Zeeko Zaki sharing how he might have handled the situation differently if Maggie had been around. Missy Peregrym previewed what their partnership looks like after the passage of time with her character out of commission: 

It's complicated, because you can't forget what happened. Some things you have to work through in real time. You can talk about it all you want, but until you're in situations again, you don't really know what you're going to do and how you're going to feel. I don't think OA has really dealt with his side of things. So it brings a lot of stuff up for him, and he becomes incredibly overprotective, which is not safe with our line of work. We can't do our job. Our whole thing is to take risks, and to be really communicative and careful about it. But when you hesitate, that's when things go wrong.

Being overprotective just isn’t something that can work when it comes to a job that requires agents to put their lives on the line for the greater good. While he has tried to protect her at times in the past, it sounds like “Ready or Not” will show a whole new side of OA as he deals with his portion of the trauma while Maggie does the same next to him. She has her own challenges with coming back after seven months; how will she react to how he handles her return? 

Fans will have to tune in to the episode to find out, but this isn’t the first time that Maggie is coming back to her normal job after being absent for a while. Just as the sarin gas was used to say a temporary goodbye to Maggie for the sake of Missy Peregrym’s maternity leave and birth of her daughter, Maggie was sent on an undercover mission at the end of Season 2 so that the actress could go on maternity leave for her son. 

Her return that time wasn’t easy on her, as she lost somebody important to her while working undercover. I asked how Maggie’s state of mind coming back to work this time compares to how she returned from her undercover operation, and Missy Peregrym shared: 

Undercover was just more of, it was still part of the job. Sometimes you lose people. It's the risk of having somebody that you're working with undercover that things can go sideways, and everybody is aware of that risk. That doesn't make it easier when somebody dies, but it's kind of the job whereas this was way more intense. This makes you question yourself, and it makes you scared to go and take risks and scared to do your job and it changed the dynamic between me and OA, because it's something that we experienced together, and that didn't happen the first time. That was just me. That was me undercover and that was my story. How do you redefine your partnership when you both go through a trauma? [That's] essentially when we're dealing with this time.

While Maggie’s first case of Season 5 (and the redefined state of her partnership with OA) will be complicated, fans can celebrate that the actress is back in action after such a long absence. Shantel VanSanten of For All Mankind filled in for Maggie as Agent Nina Chase while she was gone (and Nina will return, according to the executive producer), but there was no replacing Maggie. 

Watch the “Ready or Not” episode of FBI (opens in new tab) on Tuesday, November 15 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS to see Missy Peregrym’s return as Maggie Bell. You can also revisit earlier episodes of the series streaming with a Paramount+ subscription, and start planning ahead for the new year (including when all three FBI shows will be back) with our 2023 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.