Why FBI's Missy Peregrym Found It 'Very Easy' To Relate To Maggie's Situation Coming Back To Work

Missy Peregrym as Maggie Bell in FBI Season 5
(Image credit: Bennett Raglin/CBS)

Missy Peregrym is on the verge of making her long-awaited return to primetime with the next episode of FBI on CBS. The actress has been absent as Agent Maggie Bell since back in the spring, when the character was exposed to sarin gas. Maggie has been recovering off-screen since April, but that’s about to change on November 15. The actress spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of the episode, and weighed in on why she found it easy to relate to Maggie’s situation.

The big episode is called “Ready or Not” and will see the team investigating not one but two homicides as Maggie’s first case back from medical leave. Whether or not the character is truly ready to come back after her sarin gas exposure remains to be seen, but Missy Peregrym was missing from the FBI action for a much happier reason: maternity leave and the birth of her second child, daughter Mela

Despite the very different reasons for Maggie Bell and Missy Peregrym being gone from the small screen since April, the long gap in between her final episode of Season 4 and her first episode of Season 5 was something that the two definitely have in common. In fact, according to the actress, the amount of time passed was something that she could easily relate to in coming back. When asked how it felt for her to come back and play Maggie’s return storyline after so many months, Peregrym shared:

[It was] similar! I found myself on set finding it very easy to relate. Deep down, I know I can do this job. I've been doing it for a very long time, but I was really nervous that maybe I wouldn't be able to remember my lines. I didn't know if I'd be able to focus properly. That's a whole thing after you have a baby. You go into this major hilarious overprotective mode with your kids. Everything is about sustaining the baby's life. Obviously with Otis, we had to really deal with his transition with adding another child into the family, so it was all-encompassing. To leave Otis was hard for me after spending that wonderful time with him, and then also to have Mela at work and not sure if I could pull off both things. I didn't know if I was actually going to be able to do my job.

Whether Maggie will also have doubts about her own abilities is uncertain at this point, but the span of time that both were gone affected the actress in her return. This isn’t the first time that Peregrym has come back to FBI after going on maternity leave, as Maggie was sent off-screen on an undercover op (opening the door for the first FBI connection to One Chicago over on NBC) to explain her absence at the end of Season 2. The actress was back for Season 3 after giving birth to son Otis. 

So, was she able to get past her doubts when she was back on set and in Maggie mode? Peregrym continued, shedding some light:

I did it, and I was really proud of myself, [laughs] and I was so happy that I ended up being okay, but again, it's like the lead up to everything is so nerve-wracking. 'What if' scenarios are horrible to play in your mind over and over and over again. That gives me my most anxiety in my life. And again, that's what you do as a mother. What if? That's the whole point of 'what if,' so that you keep your kids safe. But then it's torture when you apply it to your own life in terms of if you can pull off what you need to do to take care.

It may not have been recovering from sarin gas, but Missy Peregrym had to overcome some real-life struggles to get back to doing her job. While the episode hasn’t aired yet, the promo material so far suggests that she’s ready for action… although OA may not be so comfortable with it. Zeeko Zaki previously opened up about how OA handled a traumatic event with Nina as his partner as opposed to how he would have if Maggie had been around; how will his dynamic with his longtime partner change after her return?

Only time and “Ready or Not” can answer that particular question, but Missy Peregrym had nothing but good things to say when asked what it has been like for her to be back to work:

It was surprisingly great. I was really nervous to go back… Mela was still pretty new. She's three and a half months, so I wasn't sure how it was gonna go with feeding her and production and getting up really early, or if I was going to have to wake her up. I just didn't know what it was gonna look like, and so for a Type A control freak, that was tough. But turns out it was pretty great, and it was really nice to see everybody. It's always really fun going to work and working with people who I've been with for like five years now, so I couldn't have asked for a better transition.

It seems safe to say that Maggie isn’t going anywhere once she’s back, and the show itself certainly isn’t going anywhere. Back in May, FBI (along with FBI: Most Wanted and FBI: International) was renewed for two more seasons, so fans can count on more action through at least Season 6. 

For now, fans look forward to seeing how FBI (opens in new tab) brings back Maggie with the next new episode on Tuesday, November 15 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. If you want to refresh your memory on the incident with the sarin gas, you can do so with the show streaming via a Paramount+ subscription. You can also 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.