ABC’s hit show, Designated Survivor is back and after last night’s heart-pounding episode, fans are dying to know; how did the first lady die on Designated Survivor? Other fans are debating if she is really dead or not. If so, why did Natascha McElhone leave Designated Survivor? Keep reading for more details on the first lady’s exit and if she’s coming back to the show!

Did They Really Kill Off the President’s Wife?!

If you’re wondering about Designated Survivor wife Alexandra C. Kirkman, she’s definitely dead—and she’s not coming back. While many have questions and have been hoping for some surprise logic-defying plot twist, we hate to be the bearer of bad news but McElhone’s character is not returning.

For those who don’t remember the season 2 midseason finale, Alex Kirkman died in a car crash and her husband, President Tom Kirkman, was devastated. Many were hoping that it was just a dream or hallucination and that maybe the writers would find a way to bring her back. Spoiler alert: She’s dead and her grief will naturally have an impact on the president, played by Kiefer Sutherland.

“The lack of resolution is very true to life,” showrunner Keith Eisner told TV Guide back in December. “It’s very pat to have everything tied up in a bow and have everyone telling each other how much they love each other before going off and something bad happens to one of the parties. That’s not life, life is interrupted by death. It’s not set up neatly. It’s a very difficult thing for the president to realize that he never had the final conversation with his wife that he really wanted to have. And that’s something that haunts him.”

Why Did They Kill off the Wife on Designated Survivor?

While fans are still debating if Alex Kirkman’s death was an accident (which many are thinking it wasn’t, due to previously evading bribery allegations) the truth behind the actress’ exit was a new project. McElhone has been scheduled to work with Sean Penn in the upcoming Hulu sci-fi show, The First, according to Deadline reports.

“I am so excited to work with original, maverick artists like Beau Willimon and Sean Penn — it’s a real privilege to be invited,” said McElhone. “As well as exploring Mars; I am thrilled to be accommodated by the brilliant planet Hulu and my favorite homegrown one of Channel 4.”

So, it looks like Designated Survivor fans won’t be seeing Alex Kirkman anymore and there’s plenty of danger for Mr. President ahead. They say you shouldn’t make any rash decisions after experiencing the loss of a loved one, so we can only wonder how this will affect this presidency—and more importantly, his country.

“I think we’ve left little doubt as to what has happened,” said Eisner. “And given that, what is it like going forward for Kirkman to be home alone, if you will. To be a widower in the White House. To be a bachelor. That will have personal and professional repercussions for the remainder of the season. And it’s also terra nova dramatically, we haven’t seen this in a television show. A president who is essentially by himself, and the isolation of being a single parent and of having to figure out what to do professionally and personally without his partner.”

After that major death, there’s no telling what other shocking twists and turns the show will take! Now that the show has taken a seriously intense turn, we have a feeling fans are still willing to find out!

Designated Survivor airs on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST, on ABC.