The man behind The Walking Dead's resident coward Eugene Porter has selected Seth Gilliam as the most underrated actor on the show's cast list. The Walking Dead season 8 continued this week with "The Big Scary U", an episode widely hailed as the best yet in the current All Out War arc. The installment largely returned focus to Negan and the Saviors, showcasing how the Sanctuary falls apart without their brutal dictator to lead them and also found time to drop a mysterious airborne tease on viewers that could have huge ramifications further down the line.
"The Big Scary U" featured a tense close encounter between Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Negan, who have been trapped in a trailer and surrounded by zombies ever since the season premiere. Still striving to make amends for his past cowardice, Gabriel asked to take Negan's confession and the villain eventually revealed some salient information regarding his past before the duo fought their way out and Gabriel was placed into Savior captivity.
Actor Josh McDermitt has now hailed Gilliam as the most underrated actor on The Walking Dead. Writing in his EW column, McDermitt claims:
"A bit about Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel). I believe Seth is the most underrated actor on our show. This guy has been quietly killing it for several seasons. His character’s journey is incredible, and Seth’s performance deserves a mountain of accolades. I remember back in season 5 when Father Gabriel first showed up on the scene: The rest of the cast were watching Seth do his thing and wondering who the hell this guy is who is forcing the rest of us to up our game."
Many fans of The Walking Dead would probably concur with McDermitt's suggestion that Gabriel has flown under the radar since his debut, but seeing as the comic incarnation of the Priest does much the same, this is likely down to the character rather than the actor. Arguably, "The Big Scary U" was Gabriel's most revealing episode yet and an undoubted highlight in Gilliam's tenure on the show. Although he may not enjoy the same level of popularity as Rick, Daryl and Maggie, Gilliam has developed Father Gabriel into a far more rounded and interesting character than the figure depicted in the comic series. Unfortunately given his current predicament, Gabriel may not be long for this world.
While many would agree with Josh McDermitt's pick for The Walking Dead's most underrated actor, there are certainly some other contenders for that accolade. Cooper Andrews' Kingdom axe-wielder Jerry has brought a rare comic touch to an otherwise bleak landscape and Xander Berkeley has done a fantastic job of making Gregory an utterly detestable human being, perhaps even more so than arch-villain, Negan.
The Walking Dead season 8 continues next Sunday with ‘The King, The Widow, and Rick’ at 9pm/10c on AMC.