FBI's Missy Peregrym Breaks Down Maggie's Secret After Returning To Work, Plus Potential Fallout With OA

Missy Peregrym as Agent Maggie Bell in FBI Season 5 on CBS
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 7 of FBI Season 5, called “Ready or Not.”

FBI has finally welcomed Agent Maggie Bell back for the first time since April, as she recovered enough from her sarin gas exposure to return to the job. “Ready or Not” also marked actress Missy Peregrym’s return, months after departing for her maternity leave. The agent’s first case back involved a double homicide that put a lot of stress on her, and she had a secret safety net in case that stress became too much for her. Confiding in OA about it ultimately backfired, and the actress opened up to CinemaBlend about the secret and potential fallout between Maggie and her partner. 

While Maggie seemed totally ready to get back into action on her return, she found herself struggling with some elements of the case, which led to the reveal that she had filled a prescription for anti-anxiety meds that she received from a therapist with no connections to those at the FBI who approved her for active duty. She confided in OA that she had the pills just in case her nerves about returning became too much, and promised that she would tell him if she took one (or even thought seriously about taking one), since it would be against Bureau policy for an agent to be in the field on such meds. 

So even though Maggie wasn’t keeping the secret of her prescription from absolutely everybody, she was determined that the FBI didn’t need to know unless the anxiety was severe enough to affect her on the job and she took any of the pills. Missy Peregrym weighed in on her character’s state of mind in filling the prescription but not officially telling the Bureau, saying: 

I think it just made her feel safer to have that as a backup. I think she really wanted to believe that she was okay to do this, that she's ready to come back. It was her choice to come back when she did, and she needs it. This job is very much a part of her identity and her purpose, and so she doesn't want to lose that. Of course, it's a big deal to be taking Xanax, especially when you're not supposed to be on that in the Bureau. Maggie doesn't lie. She doesn't live in a way where she's deceptive, and she doesn't really hide stuff, and I still approached it that way, too, when I was playing her. It's more that she said she would be honest with OA if she wanted to use it, but she was recommended to have it by an outside therapist, and that seems logical to her.

Maggie never lied to the FBI about the anxiety meds, but wasn’t entirely forthcoming about having the prescription to anybody other than OA. She made it very clear that she would tell him if she felt that she needed to take any of the meds, and had a good explanation for why she saw a therapist who wasn’t affiliated with the Bureau. She was keeping it a secret in some ways, but not being deceptive. It made her feel safer in her return, and the only person who really made it an issue was OA. Peregrym (who previously shared how she related to Maggie in her return) continued:

[She had them] just in case she doesn't go okay. I mean, who else is going to be able to protect her from the situation? It would make me feel better if I was walking into something knowing I had something that could help me calm down if I didn't cope very well. So it makes perfect sense to me that Maggie would bring that just in case things don't go well. I think one of the things that really hurts her with OA, obviously, is that she was really honest with him. She was forward and she told him what it was for, and she said that she would tell him the truth, and he didn't trust her. So even more than being overprotective, [that] he thought she would lie to him hurt her more than anything.

OA of course didn’t spread the news around that Maggie had been prescribed some anti-anxiety meds, and instead went above and beyond to try and protect her. He stopped her from shooting the criminal of the week because she would have had to take a blood test, and he thought that she might have secretly taken some of the meds and wanted to cover for her. 

They lucked out in that they still caught the bad guy despite OA stopping her from shooting him, but it left their partnership in rough shape. When I asked Missy Peregrym if OA not trusting her damaged his partnership with Maggie, she shared: 

It has the potential to damage their partnership, because when you don't trust each other, that's when things go wrong. Also, we can't afford that. We can't afford not to trust each other and work together. So it's really important to Maggie that they sort this out, and it's tricky because I don't think he really understands what he's dealing with either, in himself. So he thinks that he's doing the right thing.

OA has had a rough time in the months since she was exposed to sarin gas, including going through a trauma of his own just a few episodes ago, and Zeeko Zaki opened up about how he might have handled it differently if Maggie had been around. Missy Peregrym confirmed that OA had the best of intentions with overprotective efforts, then elaborated: 

Of course you want to protect your partner, of course you don't want anything bad to happen. So he thinks he is being a good partner to me by behaving the way that he is, but it's actually from his fear of me getting hurt again, and because he blames himself for what happened to me, and that's the stuff that we have to get through. That's the conversation, and we do obviously end up having that at the end of the second episode of my return back.

The very good news is that their partnership clearly isn’t irrevocably damaged at this point, and fans can look forward to seeing them hash the situation out some more in the next episode. Only time will tell what comes of their conversation, but Maggie is officially back in action, and that bodes well for the team moving forward. Here’s hoping that she and OA are back at their best before the end of the year!

Keep tuning in to CBS on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of FBI (opens in new tab) with Missy Peregrym back as Agent Maggie Bell. You can revisit earlier days of her partnership with OA streaming with a Paramount+ subscription, and start planning ahead for the new year 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.