Mild spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead’s Seth Gilliam and Josh McDermitt, alongside Fear the Walking Dead’s Kim Dickens and Colman Domingo discussed their characters and more during the ‘Survival Sunday’ exclusive fan screening at AMC this weekend.
The event included a brief red-carpet affair and a commercial-free dual airing of the last episode of TWD’s Season 8 and the premiere of Fear’s Season 4.
The highly anticipated season finale concluded the fight between survivors led by Rick Grimes and the villainous Negan’s Saviors. And on Fear, viewers were given a western spin on the zombie tale that involved time jumps and a crossover from TWD’s Morgan Jones, played by Lennie James.
Rick and his crew had none other than Josh McDermitt’s unsavory but intelligent Dr. Eugene Porter to thank for their win on The Walking Dead. When the Saviors fired at them, the bullets prepared by Porter in previous episodes jammed their guns, surprising Negan long enough for Rick to capture him.
McDermitt believes redemption is still possible for Eugene. “There’s a lot of redemption within The Walking Dead. Just because you don’t see redemption right now doesn’t mean it’s not coming,” he remarked late Sunday night.
And he could relate to fans who saw nothing good in Eugene’s decisions up to this point: “I think that’s a frustration I have a lot of times when I watch shows. I’m like, ‘Ah man, this character is not redeeming at all!’ But it doesn’t mean it’s not coming.”
Eugene has already switched sides multiple times. But McDermitt understands, “He’s had to make some tough decisions to survive and he angers a lot of the people that he knows within that world. I do think he’s doing things selfishly, but also for a reason.”
Joining McDermitt on the red carpet was Seth Gilliam, who plays Father Gabriel Stokes on The Walking Dead. Until the latest episode, Stokes was a hostage forced to make bullets for Negan and suffered many a moral crisis. “Any time there’s an internal conflict it’s far more fun to play with that if someone is stridently true and knows exactly what to do in any given situation,” Gilliam said, describing his excitement to play a character whose faith is constantly challenged by his actions and the changing world around him.
As for where Father Gabriel goes from here, Gilliam hopes fans will be happy.
Also present were actors from Fear the Walking Dead, the spinoff series which follows former guidance counselor Madison Clark, her family, and comrades nearer the beginning of the zombie virus’ outbreak. Kim Dickens (Madison) and Colman Domingo (the often-self-serving Victor Strand) took questions about the new direction of the upcoming season and reminisced about their time on the new set in Austin, Texas.
Showrunners had anticipated the ‘Survival Sunday’ crossover would introduce fans of one show to the other, and the official Walking Dead Instagram posted a speedy summary of Seasons 1 through 3 of Fear to catch potential Season 4 viewers up to speed beforehand.