Spoilers below for The Walking Dead Episode 1016, so be warned!
Though his loyalty was a little shifty during his early days as Team Family's most faithful member, Seth Gilliam's Father Gabriel went on to become as empowered and resilient a leader as anyone else. Despite that development evolution, however, Gabriel still manages to find himself in dangerous situations that immediately cause fans to believe that he's getting killed off. The same went for the long-delayed Episode 1016, "A Certain Doom," whose trailers teased Gabriel being outnumbered by a group of Whisperers.
Thankfully, Maggie and her masked friend arrived without a second to spare and put down the Whisperer threats without any permanent harm coming to Father Gabriel. But that just means fans are going to be that much more paranoid that he's going to bite the big one in one of the remaining six episodes that Season 10 will debut in 2021. When CinemaBlend spoke with Seth Gilliam ahead of the revealing Episode 1016 airing, I asked how he felt about fans constantly assuming that Gabriel's death is imminent, and he told me:
For what it's worth, audiences aren't necessarily being malicious when thinking that Father Gabriel is going to die, even if there have been certain times during The Walking Dead's run where Gabriel's actions did indeed piss fans off. Part of the issue is that Gabriel died in such a horrific and singular manner in the comic book, which happened during the first half of the Whisperer War arc, so Season 10 definitely felt like a prime time to make it happen, though the war is now over with Beta's gruesome death. Another element to consider is that The Walking Dead has put Seth Gilliam's holy man into a wide variety of life-threatening situations that non-marquee characters certainly would have died in. Nothing quite as flagrant as the Glenn fake-out, mind you, but Gabriel has still had some insanely lucky saves.
Fans aren't entirely alone in worrying about Father Gabriel's fate, either, as Seth Gilliam feels that paranoia quite acutely. When I asked if there are times where he's nervous about Gabriel's death coming, the actor said that's definitely the case. Despite showrunner Angela Kang and EP Scott Gimple almost always reaching out to stars ahead of time to break the news, there's still that innate anxiety. In his words:
From a math perspective, there are only 30 episodes left for The Walking Dead to kill off Father Gabriel. Considering he's lived through around 90 episodes of the series so far, making it through another couple dozen installments hopefully won't be an impossibility. But if it is, I hope it happens in a way that absolutely no one could have seen coming. Spontaneous combustion, perhaps.
The Walking Dead is currently on hiatus again while the back six episodes of Season 10 are filmed. While waiting to see when those episodes will be available on AMC, head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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