The Walking Dead ends the Whisperer War without significant casualties from the survivors in its Season 10 finale, where a last-minute rescue from Maggie (Lauren Cohan) spares Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) from his grisly comic book fate. In "A Certain Doom," the priest prepares to meet his maker when Beta (Ryan Hurst) descends upon the group's hospital tower hideout with a zombie horde of biblical proportions. As Daryl (Norman Reedus) and a troop of heroes wage war with Beta's army outside, Gabriel is overpowered and nearly gutted by invading Whisperers on the top floors of the hospital tower when a bolt-shooting Maggie arrives with a metal-masked fighter.
In The Walking Dead issue #158, Gabriel acts as lookout atop a water tower when he spots the Whisperer horde advancing towards the survivors' position. Descending the tower ladder in a quickened panic, Gabriel slips and is left dangling helplessly with a snapped ankle. Beta steps out of the horde with a blade and guts Gabriel, warning he "should have whispered." A mob of walkers eats Gabriel alive, leaving him a husk of picked-over bones.
"It felt amazing. It was such a fun [moment]," Cohan said on Talking Dead about saving Gabriel in the nick of time. "People who know the comics know that that's actually how Father Gabriel is supposed to die, so the fact that there's this last-minute big moment is very exciting."
It wasn't until Cohan read the script for the Greg Nicotero-directed episode that she learned Maggie would rescue Gabriel from a Whisperer-caused death, guaranteeing his return in The Walking Dead's final season.
"For me, reading the script, and just sort of getting to that point… I had no idea what was going to happen and how I was going to return. For it to be like that just gave me chills," Cohan said. "I spoke to Angela [Kang, showrunner] and asked, 'Can I have a new weapon, or some new skills from my time away?' And it was a person [laughs]. I love that it was a living, human weapon."
Added Gilliam, "I was very happy that Maggie comes back. I was happier that she came back when she came back [laughs]. If she came back maybe three days later, I don't know how happy I'd have been that Maggie came back [laughs]."