Seth Gilliam talks Father Gabriel's return in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is all about Rick and Michonne, but in episode 5, Father Gabriel played a key role.
Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 24 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 24 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

The fifth episode of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, "Become," swerved into unexpected territory. Sure, it still chronicled Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne's (Danai Gurira) attempts to escape from the Civic Republic, but it also focused heavily on Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her backstory, which featured a familiar face: Father Gabriel (Seth GIlliam).

In the backstory, we saw Jadis, or Anne, at her most vulnerable. Turns out, once every year, she secretly turns away from the CRM and meets with her former lover Gabriel to discuss life. He allows her to vent about her work and the morally ambiguous things she has to do. Jadis says things in front of Gabriel that we'll never hear her say in front of anyone else, but even so, she holds things back. For instance, she never reveals what happened to Rick.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Seth Gilliam explained how his return to the franchise became a reality. "[Co-creator] Scott Gimple gave me a call, and we spoke for about an hour and a half about life and everything else," he said. "I thought it was one of those Scott Gimple check-in calls, because he's a very thoughtful guy in that kind of way. He still sends birthday gifts and messages and just calls to check on you and see how you're doing."

Eventually, Gimple spilled on why he called in the first place. "And then he told me about his idea of the same time, next year kind of deal between Anne/Jadis and Father Gabriel, and it seemed a really cool way to reintroduce Father Gabriel back into the universe ofThe Walking Dead."

The prospect of working alongside Pollyanna McIntosh again was a large part of why Gilliam wanted to return: "I love Pollyanna. I love her process. I love her energy. I love her spirit. I love her creativity. So that was one of the things that got me excited in the conversation with Scott when he mentioned that my scenes would be solely with Pollyanna."

In the final moments of their annual exchange, Jadis pulls out a gun on Gabriel. The scene had us gasping, but ultimately, she lays the gun down. It was a close shave with death, and Gilliam is happy they kept his character alive. Does this mean he's willing to make further appearances? Perhaps.

"I'm not going to lie, I would felt some kind of way. I would have been like, “What? No monologue? No song number before I go? No showing some talents for the next job? That's it?” [Laughs] But I think that Father Gabriel's journey is hopefully not yet done in the universe of The Walking Dead, but if it were, then those would've been fair enough hands to go out with."

It's always nice to see familiar faces return to the Walking Dead universe. Gabriel was a perfect fit for this spinoff. The Ones Who Live is in its endgame now. The season finale premieres Sunday on AMC. You don't want to miss this one!

Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: AMC /

Pollyanna McIntosh reflects on Jadis' fate

One character who won't appear in the finale is Jadis herself, since her story wrapped up in "Become." She'd been trying to get Rick to stay with the CRM this whole season, but Rick and Michonne finally defeated her. She believes in what the CRM is trying to accomplish, but did give Rick and Michonne the information they needed to get away for good, at least if they can break into the CRM and destroy the dossier the organization keeps on them.

Before they left to do that, Rick finally kills Jadis. McIntosh thinks that her character was at peace by the end. "She had a moment of clarity," the actor told EW. "Gabriel had told her who she was and she finally believed it. She finally believed that her purpose was to hand it over and to let these people live. She still hoped that they would leave the CRM alone, but by the end of that moment when Michonne says, 'No, we're going to go back and we're going to destroy them,' she's at peace. She's done her best. And that prompts her to remember a time when she didn't need to think about these things, when she was an artist."

McIntosh thinks Jadis died the way she lived: an "ambitious survivor." Hopefully her last act will enable Rick and Michonne to escape and live a happy life.

Next. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live — Rick has a tough decision to make in "What We". Did Rick and Michonne survive the helicopter lunge seen round the world? And if so, will the CRM crush Michonne's dreams of escaping with Rick and returning to their family?. dark

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