The Internet Has A Theory Concerning What Has Happened To Gabriel On ‘The Walking Dead’

The Walking Dead season 8 has been pretty straightforward so far without a lot of the twists and turns the show was known for in the past. But things changed a little bit in episode 5 when Father Gabriel suddenly came down with a bad fever. Had our favorite awkward priest been bitten by a Walker? Is he doomed?

Re-watching the episode, there was no indication that the undead took a chunk out of him. That’s led to various theories on what happened and how screwed Gabriel may be as a result. The simplest explanation: Gabriel got sick because he just draped a bunch of bacteria soaked corpse guts all over himself.

It should be no shock to anyone that this would make a person sick. Frankly, we’re a bit surprised there haven’t been more epidemics wiping out everyone like in season 4. Even Negan implied that pulling the ol’ goop-n-go tends to make people ill. Ill enough to die? That’s unclear. Bites and even scratches tend to kill, but there’s no clear sign that too much zombie juice too close to the skin or an orifice could result in death.

And maybe it’s not as simple as that. Some users on Reddit have been discussing the situation and user Zorbinski has a wild explanation that ties into several other plot elements revealed over the season.

The way I interpreted everything is that the walkers around this area are irradiated from the chem plant. THAT is why Gabe is sick, and Negan made the comment on how everyone gets sick from gutting up- to which Gabe replied, “We’re from Georgia.” It’s a joke, but it’s also true to the situation. I don’t think the Saviors know that those barrels are dumped in the woods, or realize the walkers are getting radiation from it.

They’ve been building this “mysterious dangerous substance” now the whole season. Carol and Ezekiel came across the walkers that were glowing or whatever (and commented on it). Shiva saved Ezekiel, and the camera panned over to the barrel in the creek. Negan and co are always mentioning “The Chem Plant.” Then finally, Negan warns Ezekiel about getting sick from wearing guts – but Gabe doesn’t know about the irradiated walkers…

Everyone saying “It’s inconsistent” isn’t picking up what they’re putting down. THESE zombies, AROUND THE SANCTUARY, are irradiated and toxic, as a result of the Chemical Plant nearby. Father Gabriel isn’t faking, he doesn’t have heat stroke, and I would even go as far as betting he WAS NOT BITTEN . . . . He has RADIATION POISONING. Or something similar- related to the chemicals spilled out and getting in the walkers.. . . Negan has him put “gently in 2” because he knows what’s going on since it’s happened before- You get “Sick after Blood Cover!”

It adds up. The Saviors have been namedropping the chemical plant just as much as the satellite station, and we got a glimpse of some toxic sludge earlier, but many didn’t overthink it because we were concentrating on Shiva too much. The Walking Dead isn’t above adding an interesting set piece just to give us another kind of cool new Walkers. But at this point, there are so many signs it has to mean something.

But we’ve worked ourselves up into a froth before thinking we’ve got it all figured out. Game of Thrones taught us that the simplest (or even dumbest) answer is often the right one, and that would point to Gabriel being sick because he bathed in zombie filth. Let’s not think we’ve got all the answers here … no matter how intriguing the one cooked up by this fan may be.

(Via Reddit)