'Walking Dead': Why Hasn't Maggie Looked for (or Mourned for) Beth?

Executive producer Robert Kirkman explains
'The Walking Dead's' Lauren Cohan

What's going on with Maggie Greene?

That's one of the questions diehard fans of AMC's The Walking Dead have been pondering so far this season as Lauren Cohan's fierce fighter has seemingly forgotten about Beth, her younger sister and lone surviving blood relative.

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In the fifth-season premiere, Maggie learns from Daryl (Norman Reedus) in the rail car at Terminus that Beth (Emily Kinney) was taken by a black car with a white cross on the back of it. But in the episodes that have followed this season, Maggie hasn't done much of anything to either find or mourn her sister. Granted, escaping Terminus and surviving the deadly encounter with Gareth (Andrew J. West) and the cannibals was more important. But Maggie and Glenn (Steven Yeun) then hit the road with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and company only to discover that the mullet-sporting scientist was a fraud, bringing the character back to square one.

"It's definitely something that will be explored," executive producer Robert Kirkman tells The Hollywood Reporter of Maggie's seeming lack of interest in her sister. "Maggie is aware that her sister is out there. Because of the nature of this world, she is probably a little bit more willing to admit that she is more than likely dead than Daryl is. That's Daryl's M.O. Daryl is somebody who wouldn't stop looking for Sophia. He is not somebody that is going to accept reality in the way some of these other characters will."

Meanwhile, viewers of course are privy to Beth's survival at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where she's being held captive by Dawn (Christine Woods) and company and forced to repay the weirdo group for what they believe is saving her life.

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Kirkman notes that the nature of the new world also hasn't given Maggie much time to mourn the loss of her father, Hershel (Scott Wilson), who was killed off in last year's midseason finale.

"You can also complain that Maggie hasn't expressed too much loss over Hershel, just because we haven't spent a great many scenes talking about the loss of her father," says Kirkman, who created the comics on which the AMC zombie drama is based. "There's been so much other stuff going on that this character is dealing with that there hasn't been an opening where she would sit down and say, 'Oh my gosh, she's still out there. What can we do?' "

This Sunday's episode will largely focus on Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride) in a mix of flashbacks that help fill in the gaps between Carol's arrival at Grady Memorial and when they took off after another car with a white cross on it in their quest to find their friend.

"Daryl and Carol hadn't gone on a mission to find Beth until they saw that car. There are really no options here. If Maggie had somehow been with Daryl in that scene, she would have been racing after that car just as intently as Daryl had," Kirkman adds. "The story just hasn't shaken down that way. We will be dealing with it in upcoming episodes, and you'll definitely see where Maggie stands on this. I do stand by the fact that the character's behavior is very much in line with the way we've established her."

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit