If you told most The Walking Dead fans in season five that by the middle of season eight they’d be praying for Father Gabriel to survive, they probably wouldn’t believe you. Yet here we are, not just worried about his fate but actually clamoring for the show to get back to his plotline so we can find out what happened to him. Gabriel is definitely one of the more surprising characters the show has managed to redeem in their viewers’ eyes, which of course only increases the chances that they’re about to kill him off.
To catch people up, Gabriel has been deathly sick since he and Negan covered themselves in walker guts to escape a sticky situation. The last we saw of Gabriel was in the midseason finale when Eugene helped him flee from Sanctuary with the community’s doctor (something we’re sure Negan is going to love). With the return of The Walking Dead focusing mainly on Carl’s death, no one has seen or heard anything from the two escapees since. But new photos from episode 11 confirm we’re finally getting to see Gabriel again, and he’s not looking so hot.
The Walking Dead has been purposefully vague when it comes to exactly why Father Gabriel is so sick. Dr. Carson told Eugene that he was suffering from multiple infections that would kill him unless he got antibiotics. But from what we know, infections caused by walkers are nearly always fatal. Some fans have speculated that Gabriel’s illness may be connected to the toxic waste plant next to Sanctuary, and what we’re seeing is actually radiation poisoning.
Whatever the case may be, the situation is obviously dire and we’re left hoping that the Saviors didn’t claim all the medicine when they struck back against the communities that rose up against them.
Other photos from episode 11 show Daryl and Rosita leading the Alexandria survivors to safety (granted, safe places don’t seem to really exist anymore), and Eugene making more bullets for Negan. Based on this exclusive clip we received from AMC, he better hope those skills keep him away from Lucille for another week.