Fans will meet the newest character on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Sunday when Season 5 introduces Gabriel Stokes, a reverend Rick and the group encounter.
Gabriel is a well-known character from Robert Kirkman’s comic book. Here’s are five things we already know about him (SPOILERS AHEAD):
Seth Gilliam plays him on TV
Gilliam is the third alum of “The Wire” to join the cast of “The Walking Dead.” Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob Stookey) and Chad Coleman (Tyreese”) also starred on HBO’s Baltimore-based series. Gilliam is a gifted actor who’s also made memorable appearances on “Homeland,” “The Good Wife” and “Oz.” If the Season 4 finale of “The Wire” was any indication (Gilliam’s best performance to date), expect him to bring emotional depth to the character of Gabriel.
Gabriel doesn’t get along with Rick
Gabriel and Rick are at two very different ends of the spectrum in terms of the zombie apocalypse. Rick has come to terms with doing everything it takes to stay alive. Gabriel is a reverend who still hasn’t realized it takes brutality to survive. The two will likely have the same trust issues on TV that they do in the comic book. Though, I’m not sure Rick really trusts anyone new at this point.
He has a secret
Gabriel may be a reverend, but he isn’t without his sins. In the comic book, it is quickly revealed that during the onset of the outbreak, Gabriel locked the doors of his church, leaving members of his congregation outside to be slaughtered. He was too much of a coward to save anyone but himself.
He’s kind of pathetic
Gabriel’s key scene in the comic book comes when he reveals what he did during the outbreak to Rick. He then begs Rick to kill him. “I’ve suffered enough,” he says. Where the rest of Rick’s group seems to have developed a hard edge, Gabriel is very weak. It will be interesting to see how that comes across in the series.
There’s hope for redemption.
There’s no clear indication of how long Gabriel will stick around on the television show. You can assume that hiring someone like Gilliam means he’ll stick around for at least one season. However, the cast is getting a bit crowded, especially with Morgan’s pending return. If the comic book is any indication, Gabriel will stick around for a while, making it to the Alexandria Safe-Zone with Rick and company. There, he finds redemption. But he could just as easily be killed off on the show. We’ll see what happens.