Why Missy Peregrym Left FBI Twice (Only To Come Back Twice)

Missy Peregrym stars as Maggie Bell in FBI, but she was mysteriously missing from a good chunk of episodes in two seasons – why did Maggie leave?

Missy Peregrym is one of the two main protagonists in FBI alongside Zeeko Zaki, who plays Omar Adom “OA” Zidan. However, even though Peregrym’s character, Maggie Bell, is one of the faces of the CBS crime drama television series, the actress is noticeably missing from many episodes in a few seasons of the popular procedural show. As a result, some viewers were curious about why Peregrym was temporarily written out of the series not once but twice throughout its run.

As the show’s name suggests, FBI revolves around the New York City field office criminal division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The two federal agents at the center of it all are Maggie Bell and OA, who are partners, and, as of season 5, the rest of the team includes Jubal Valentine, played by Jeremy Sisto, Isobel Castille, played by Alana de la Garza, Stuart Scola, played by John Boyd, and Tiffany Wallace, played by Katherine Renee Kane. Multiple characters have come and gone from FBI, seeing as that is the nature of the television show. But thankfully, the two separate absences of Peregrym’s Maggie can be easily explained.

Maggie Bell Was Temporarily Written Out Of FBI Twice For Missy Peregrym’s Maternity Leave

FBI Missy with gun

When Missy Peregrym got pregnant in real life, the FBI writers structured the episodes around her scheduled maternity leave so that they could account for her character’s absence. Peregrym announced she was pregnant with her and her husband’s (Tom Oakley) first child in October 2019, so her final appearance in season 2 was in episode 17, just two episodes before the finale. Episode 17 premiered on March 10, 2020, and Peregrym gave birth on March 21. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic cut season 2 short, it’s unclear whether the writers planned to bring Peregrym back before the finale or wait until the season 3 premiere (which is what ended up happening).

Maggie Bell’s portrayer took a temporary leave of absence again in season 4 when Peregrym became pregnant with her second child. Similar to her disappearance in season 2, the actress’s maternity leave came near the end of season 4, and her last appearance came in episode 18, which debuted on April 19, 2022. However, unlike the previous time, Peregrym didn’t return to the CBS television series until FBI season 5, episode 7. She gave birth to her daughter on June 6, 2022, and her return to the show premiered on November 15 of the same year.

How FBI Explains Maggie Bell’s Absences In Seasons 2 & 4

Zeeko Zaki and Missy Peregrym FBI CBS

Sometimes when an actress gets pregnant in real life, writers will make the pregnancy a part of their character’s storyline. However, that was not the case for Missy Peregrym and Maggie Bell in FBI. To explain Maggie’s absence at the end of season 2, the writers created a new story for Peregrym’s character revolving around her taking a temporary undercover assignment that would take her away from the FBI field office in New York City. Because the opportunity came from the FBI Assistant Director in Charge, it was an offer Maggie couldn’t refuse. But since the assignment would only last a few months, the story also allowed Peregrym to return to FBI quickly.

As for Peregrym’s maternity leave in FBI season 4, the writers added more drama to the series to account for Maggie’s absence. While working on a case, Maggie and OA pursued two men with sarin gas, an extremely deadly chemical weapon. Maggie stopped one of the men, but during the exchange, a sarin gas canister fell, exposing Maggie to its toxic elements. Her injuries landed her in the hospital, where she stayed until Peregrym’s maternity leave was over in FBI season 5.RELATED:FBI: What Happened To Rina? Death & Aftermath Explained

When & How Missy Peregrym’s Maggie Bell Returns In FBI Season 5

Missy Peregrym in FBI

Following her brush with death in season 4, Missy Peregrym’s character, Maggie Bell, didn’t fully recuperate until FBI season 5, episode 7. Her severe injuries led to her taking a seven-month medical leave, and the FBI did not clear Maggie for duty until ten episodes following her accident. Even though she technically still had a few weeks left in her medical leave, Maggie was ready to return to work and jumped back into working alongside OA. Her partner worried about her, of course, and for good reason. But eventually, Maggie and OA came to an understanding, and their partnership picked up where they left off in FBI season 5.

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