Spoilers for The Walking Dead are below.
“Knots Untie” did a lot of heavy lifting for The Walking Dead in the story development department, bringing the characters and the audience to the Hilltop Colony for the first time, and introducing everyone to the conceitedly slimy Gregory. But the episode’s third-tier story was entirely devoted to Abraham and his mental fork in the road splitting his attachment to Rosita with a growing fascination for Sasha, and I can’t help but think that this season’s focus on Abraham is only setting him up for disaster in the near future. And it all might be Rick’s fault. Kinda sorta.
Hear me out. Abraham has been a hulking force on The Walking Dead since his first appearance in Season 4, always quick to bring out a giant gun and a meaty quip. But as far as legitimate plot is concerned, everything is tied to a relationship. Before and immediately after the apocalypse, it was with his wife and children, whose deaths drove him as close to suicide as one can get. Then he became a friend and protector to poor old lying and loveless Eugene, and over the years, the romantic side has been with Rosita, sometimes with Eugene watching from the darkness. And now he’s got his mind all twisted over Sasha, having spent all that alone time with her (like two days or so) in the first half of Season 6, along with their patrol time together.
Plus, he’s talking about “settling down” and starting a family, drawing insight from Daryl that directly opposed that of Maggie and Glenn. And for whatever reason, Abraham seems to be a much calmer person after having his head go full tomato for that near-strangulation at the Hilltop Colony. I’m not saying he’s going to stay in this somewhat softened state, but If we’re getting these kinds of emotional peeks into Abraham’s psyche, then he’s almost definitely being hoisted up to fall hard. (Important comic moments are mentioned below, making it all more spoilery than usual. Be warned.)
That’s just using what the show has offered, for the record. I’m sure everyone can already guess Rick’s immediate reaction to retaliate hardcore against Negan and the Saviors isn’t the wisest one. If showrunner Scott Gimple and creator Robert Kirkman directly lift the following episodes’ bigger moments from the source material, then something just might go terribly wrong. The headline might be a hint. Also, the show is already beyond the point in the comics where Abraham and Rosita have split up following his sexual relations with another woman. That other woman isn’t in the show by name, but this storyline could easily be where live-action Sasha is headed, giving those three characters some salacious drama to mess with in the meantime.
Of course, Rick and Michonne never got nude and sexy in the comics, so it’s not like everything on The Walking Dead is the same on the page and screen. And Abraham’s changing up his love life isn’t necessarily an attempt to sop up as much audience interest as possible before putting him six feet under. I guess they can just do these kinds of things when the dumb shit has been left behind. And maybe Rick won’t have to deal with the mental and group fallout over his impulses kinda sorta causing his friend’s demise. Maybe.
But I believe it’s all going to end horribly for Abraham. Sooner than almost everyone else’s horrible death, I mean, with the exclusions being those who meet horrible deaths before him. Will he be the guy at the end of Negan’s bat? I’m not sure yet. What do you guys think?
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC