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Spoilers below for the most recent episodes of The Walking Dead, so be sure to catch up before reading on.
Further distinguishing itself from past seasons, The Walking Dead has leapt forward in time in Season 9 to bring in new mysteries and new characters. Because it's been established that Maggie fled the Hilltop to live with the once-seen Georgie, fans have wondered if we might get to catch back up with that fascinating character, or if the show might venture over to her community. It doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon, though, at least according to what showrunner Angela Kang told CinemaBlend.
I think, you know, there's a world of opportunity. We're only just starting to get into the next season now. Scott Gimple and I have talked about, you know, we sort of have a notion of Georgie's group and sort of what they're up to out in the world. Where those stories land, or if they land or whatever. That's all to be talked about and figured out.
By starting things off with talk about next season's creative efforts with Scott Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang was presumably locking the door after slamming it shut on a potential return from House of Cards' Jayne Atkinson as Georgie. Granted, she might have just been sidestepping around revealing that it does happen in Season 9, but her answer likely would have been slightly more vague about the future in general.
Still, even if the plans aren't yet being set in stone, Angela Kang still has a mental head start on how Georgie's story will play out once the show gets back to telling it. In her words:
But I've got a pretty good notion of what Maggie's been up to in the meantime and everything. Yeah, and so what's exciting about there being a universe is that there's a lot of different avenues for story, and different ways the world is expanding. That's kind of as much as I can say about it, in the absence of anything specific right now.
The Walking Dead universe is expanding to include the previously announced Rick Grimes films, as well as further spinoffs, limited series, specials and more. As such, it wouldn't be so ridiculous if Scott Gimple & Co. decided to just keep Georgie and Maggie's present-day narrative separated from the main show in order to spend more time exploring that storyline in a standalone project.
Waiting even longer to catch up with Lauren Cohan's Maggie and Jayne Atkinson's Georgie obviously isn't an ideal situation for fans. However, it might be the most feasible way for it all to come together. Cohan's Walking Dead exit was (mostly) due to her upcoming ABC series Whiskey Cavalier knocking her scheduling out of whack, and if it gets renewed for a full slate of Season 2 episodes, it'll be even harder for her to make an extended Walking Dead return.
Granted, The Walking Dead wouldn't necessarily have to show Maggie when visiting with Georgie and/or her community. She could be out on a mission or something. As well, the show could have Georgie revisiting the Hilltop at some point to pass on a message from Maggie, or audiences could watch the character visiting other communities out in the world. The options are vast and seemingly limitless at this point, but the important thing is just bringing Georgie back in whatever way possible.
Jayne Atkinson spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of her arrival in Season 8, at which point I'd asked about the possibility of her returning. Here's how she'd put it at the time.
I couldn't possibly comment. Wink, wink, nudge nudge. Know what I mean? Know what I mean? . . . I think that's why they bring her. They want to plant a seed of hope in the story because of her. What goes down must come back up. 'I expect great things. And I'll be back.'
Jayne Atkinson had seemed optimistic enough in the moment that I legitimately thought then that she might already be back during Season 8. That didn't happen, obviously, and viewers didn't hear anything about her again until her name came up a time or two during Season 9, in reference to Maggie taking a trip there. If only this was like Beetlejuice, where saying her name a third time would make her magically appear.
Stay tuned to learn more about when The Walking Dead will go off exploring its undiscovered-to-viewers communities. Season 9 will be back on AMC starting on Sunday, February 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows are on the way before then, head to our fall TV schedule and our midseason premiere guide.