Alexandria’s trusted doctor could pose a threat to the community’s spooked survivors, warns The Walking Dead star Avi Nash. Traumatized by an encounter with Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers that left ten dead, including friends Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Tara (Alanna Masterson), Siddiq’s easily-triggered PTSD is impacting his care of the community. When the sight of sharp medical equipment sparked a disturbing flashback and a panic attack while caring for a wounded Carol (Melissa McBride) in “Ghosts,” Siddiq was forced to step away, leaving Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) to finish the job. What happens when a caregiver needs taking care of?
“I think what it does is muddy the waters for him. That’s why he doesn’t want to let anyone know what he’s dealing with,” Nash told the AMC Blog. “I think he believes that if he can throw himself into his work and be of use to the community, maybe his demons will go away. He’s starting to find out that it’s not that simple. Alpha’s f—cked him up so badly that he might even be a danger to everyone else. There’s that moment in the episode where he’s not able to perform the surgery and he lets Dante take over in that moment, but it really bothers him.”
Siddiq also worries his panic attacks could endanger Coco, the baby girl he shares with Rosita (Christian Serratos).
“We’ve gotten to a point where we’re not just surviving anymore. We’re thriving – and a baby is a perfect representation of that. We feel confident enough to bring in new life into this world. Coco is his future and Coco is not just his child – she’s also the child of that community,” Nash said. “Judith is like his little sister. RJ is like his son. These communities raise these children together. They are the future, but when you add his mental state into that, Coco is also his nightmare. Somebody once told me that when you have a child, it’s the first time when your heart exists outside of yourself. You don’t just care about yourself anymore. He wants to be a great father to Coco, but he’s scared. What if he has a flashback while he’s with Coco? What if he harms his child? What if Alpha comes back?”
As the Whisperers further encroach on the survivors, there’s a growing sense of paranoia close to boiling over into a fight that may be unavoidable. Where does Siddiq stand in the war against the Whisperers?
“He’s really torn. He has a responsibility, alongside Dante, to be ready to take care of the wounded. He has a responsibility, alongside Rosita and Gabriel and Eugene, to take care of his child,” Nash said. “And he also has a responsibility to himself, and to those that were killed in the barn, to put Alpha’s head on a stake. He’s torn between those three things. He’s happy to be out there in the trenches and killing those walkers and to not be the doctor, but he’s torn because that’s what he promised Rick and Carl. A doctor gives hope and mercy, but he wants to give wrath. He’s pulled in these directions all season long.”
There could be a darker reason why Siddiq is slow to speak about his mental troubles: we suspect he might have been forced to participate in the Whisperer murders that ended with the victims’ decapitated heads displayed on spikes.