'The Walking Dead': Will Father Gabriel's Sickness Kill Him?

Time for another round of The Walking Dead dead pool.Father Gabriel, who has spent much of season [...]

Time for another round of The Walking Dead dead pool.

Father Gabriel, who has spent much of season 8 trapped in Negan's Sanctuary, is suffering from an illness that may have been revealed to be the flu.

After falling behind in 8x01, Gabriel found himself trapped on the Sanctuary grounds with Savior leader Negan, with whom he formed a temporary alliance to escape a clawing and closing in walker horde. The pair utilized an old trick — slathering themselves in ripe walker guts — to walk freely among the dead, making their way to safety.

A wartime enemy, Gabriel was imprisoned in the same cells that once hosted fellow Alexandrians Daryl and Sasha, and the end of episode 8x05 saw Alexandrian-turned-traitor Eugene discover a feeble Gabriel in his claustrophobic cell.

8x07 put Gabriel in the care of Dr. Carson, the Saviors' hostage physician "borrowed" from the Hilltop, who informed the priest he was suffering from a severe infection. The pair made a break for it in 8x08, and tonight's episode, "Dead Or Alive Or," sees Gabriel and Dr. Carson hunted by the Saviors as they desperately seek refuge.

The opening minutes of 8x11 picks up with a red-eyed and delirious Father Gabriel whose condition has clearly deteriorated.

He's seen struggling to read a map just inches from his face, prompting Dr. Carson to ask if his vision has blurred.

"If this infection is attacking your optical nerves, it could permanently damage your eyesight," the doc warns.

This recent development could be a road bump in the priest's journey or it could result in Father Gabriel suffering permanent vision loss and going blind, making for a loyalist who truly would have to rely on faith to "see."

A loss of vision would be truly devastating in the dangerous world of a zombie apocalypse — if Gabriel doesn't first succumb to the infection poisoning his body.

Gabriel wouldn't be the first to die by way of sickness: a flu with similar symptoms affected the prison back in season 4, claiming the lives of several survivors who found themselves with little chance to stave off the deadly virus.

Losing a battle with his sickness would differ greatly from Gabe's brutal and gory comic book death, but The Walking Dead has long remixed character deaths as it sees fit — either adapting those deaths differently, transferring the method of death to someone else, or forgoing the death entirely.

Whether Gabriel will be the next to die remains to be seen, but actor Seth Gilliam knows how he wants the preacher to go out.

"In his sleep by a massive coronary would be good," Gilliam told TV Guide. "With a warm smile on his face. At the age of 97."

ComicBook.com's After the Dead will go live with Gilliam for an exclusive interview following the episode airing Sunday night.

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


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