The latest episode of The Walking Dead gave some of the characters at the Hilltop a bit of a breather to actually talk to one another. In a chat with Maggie, Jesus mentioned past boyfriends, revealing to Maggie (and viewers) that's he's gay. He took a moment to gauge Maggie's reaction and figure out if she would have anything to say about his sexuality; when she didn't, the conversation moved on, and the reveal was treated as a passing mention rather than a major game-changing event. Actor Thomas Payne has weighed in on whether Jesus' sexuality will ever be a bigger topic on the show, saying this:
I don't think so. They haven't done that with any other characters, really. I mean, he could in the future maybe have a relationship with someone. But I don't...you know, it could come out of nowhere like Richonne did.
The Walking Dead has dabbled in romance plenty of times over the years, but the show has rarely dwelled on any of the love stories. Glenn and Maggie got the most focus, and the aforementioned Richonne is getting plenty of airtime, but most other relationships are either largely off-screen or only implied. Jesus isn't the biggest character on the show, and most of his scenes have had to do with his role as zombie apocalypse intermediary, not his sexuality. Thomas Payne's comments to TMZ indicate that there isn't a plan in place at the moment to give Jesus a romantic storyline, but he didn't rule it out for some point in the future.
Earlier episodes hadn't really given any hints to Jesus' sexuality, but some fans had an idea that he might be gay. Jesus is openly gay in the Walking Dead comics, so readers already knew that the show might take him in that direction. The Walking Dead just hadn't covered that particular ground on screen with Jesus until the most recent episode. Thomas Payne also addressed the question of why Jesus' sexuality never came up before:
He wasn't closeted. It just hadn't been mentioned on the show. People's sexuality on the show isn't a big deal. And it wasn't ever gonna be like, 'Hey, check it out. It's a party!' I mean, the fact that they put it in at all is kind of cool. They didn't need to.
The knowledge that Jesus is gay really isn't going to change the course of The Walking Dead in the foreseeable future. He's not the first gay character on the show, and his sexuality isn't his defining characteristic. It's just a fact about who he is. Kudos to the show for fleshing out the character with a personal detail, especially considering that we haven't gotten to know too much about Jesus just yet. He's one of my favorite characters to join the show in the last couple of years, and I'll take all the info on him that I can get.
Hopefully Jesus will be around for a lot longer so we can get more info on what makes him tick and maybe even see his sexuality expanded upon. Tune in to The Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC to see what's next for Jesus, and don't forget to drop by our midseason TV premiere schedule and our summer TV premiere guide.