'The Walking Dead' Producer Explains Father Gabriel's Sickness

The Walking Dead co-executive producer Denise Huth visited the Talking Dead couch Sunday night, where she opened about Father Gabriel's mysterious affliction.

"He's definitely not doing well, clearly, with the eyes, he's very sick," Huth said of Gabriel, who has been sick "ever since he and Negan gutted up back in [episode 8x05]."

Asked by host Chris Hardwick if the guts gave Gabriel a sort of septic shock, Huth answered, "The science we never really know, we're not really understanding how the zombies occurred in the first place in this world, but it makes sense."

"It's interesting, I always loved in that episode back in 8x05 where Negan says to [Gabriel] when they start to do it, 'Haven't any of your people ever gotten sick doing this?'" Huth said. "So that was sort of an indication that Negan had seen that happen."

"It's a question mark," she added. If your limb is on the receiving end of a bite and it doesn't get chopped off, "you're gonna get sick, you're gonna die, you're gonna turn," but "what happens when those guts get in your eyes or in your mouth? You don't know, you don't know," Huth said.

Hilltop physician Dr. Carson told Gabriel he was suffering from a "severe infection," one that is putting the priest at risk of going blind.

While it remains to be seen if Gabriel's illness will ultimately kill him, Gabriel has found himself returned to the Sanctuary as a prisoner and put to work sorting bullets under newly appointed outpost leader Eugene.

With both of the doctor Carson brothers now dead, the Sanctuary is left without a doctor — so where does that leave Gabriel?

Speaking to ComicBook.com's After the Dead, actor Seth Gilliam admitted he's worried about his character, who he's played since episode 5x02 back in 2014.

"But you've got to figure that [the filmmakers] come up with really creative ways to kill people off on this show, so when it is your time to go, it's going to be something you're going to have fun doing, I think," Gilliam said.

"I'm hoping that we'll learn a little bit more," he said of the specifics surrounding Gabriel's exact illness. "I believe some things may be said, but I'm not certain whether or not they'll make the cut."

By the end of 8x11, Negan and the Saviors have weaponized walker guts and will turn to biological warfare beginning in this Sunday's episode, "The Key."

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.



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