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Major spoilers for The Walking Dead episode “Spend” below, so stay inside the revolving doors if you don’t want to know anything.
As it usually goes on The Walking Dead, walkers ended up doing some major damage to the survivors, as an eventful warehouse trip took Noah and Aiden out of the picture. (Particularly Noah’s cheek.) But it was a living and breathing character that truly did the most damage in “Spend,” as Father Gabriel took it upon himself to completely throw Rick’s crew beneath Satan’s bus to Hell to the one person who it affects the most: Deanna.
At the end of the episode, just as all manners of shit are about to hit the fan, Gabriel took a rare step into the spotlight to once again prove how much of a coward he is. (But not necessarily a stupid or incorrect coward.) He starts his spiel off by saying that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” and then proceeds to tell Deanna that everyone else is going to bring destruction to Alexandria and its citizens.
I’m grateful to be here. I am. But you made a mistake letting in the others. Rick…his group…they’re not good people. They’ve done things. They’ve done unspeakable things.
He then goes on to say that they’ll inevitably choose to save themselves over anyone else in the community, and that they shouldn’t be trusted at all. To be fair, he’s saying pretty much the same thing that Rick said when he, Michonne and Daryl started up their secret meetings. (Although I think Rick would be partial to saving Jessie in a time of need.) But it’s still a really shitty thing for Gabriel to do, considering his own history, both within the group and before they found him. If he thinks for one second that his congregational woes won’t go public after the group catches wind that he’s a backstabber, he’s in for a sore surprise.
And how will the group find out? Maggie just so happened to be coming up the stairs as he was beginning his plea, and she was just as shocked as the audience to hear his damning claims. It will presumably create a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, as Rick’s group will definitely be defensive and possibly murderous should Deanna cause a huge stink over all this.
While I might have previously assumed that Deanna would look at Gabriel’s wide-eyed ravings with the proper amount of consideration, his visit precedes her getting the news that her son Aiden was killed, so her mental state in the coming days will certainly revolve around everything Gabriel told her. (And Reg will not take his potential protégé Noah’s death lightly either.) Not to mention whatever happens with Rick and Carol’s new plan to kill Pete for abusing his family, since Carol’s complete lack of proof beyond her own past as an abused wife will definitely muddle things once the time for action comes, and her overly harsh threats against cookie-loving Sam won’t help her out much. And even though Abraham is proving himself as the leader, Deanna presumably won’t see his ambition as anything but him taking advantage of everyone. I dare not wonder what she thinks about Daryl’s quick assimilation.
As I see it, Gabriel just put the biggest target imaginable on his head, and neither Rick nor anyone else is going to take it lightly when they find out. I don’t see him making it through to Season 6, but then I didn’t even think he’d last this long. There are only two more episodes of Season 5 of The Walking Dead, including that supersized finale, and I can’t wait to see how the Bible-destroying Gabriel’s words will alter the storyline.