CLEVELAND, Ohio – When Abraham Ford showed up during the second-half of Season 4 on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” he was a forceful breath of fresh air.
His over-the-top persona as a military leader focused on his mission to make it to Washington D.C. harked back to the early days of the TV show, when characters were more loyal to the comic book — Rick wore his police uniform like a second skin. Glenn looked like a teenage pizza boy.
Still, as great as it was to meet a character like Abraham, we have yet to get a look at who he is on the inside. That will change during Season 5, which premieres Oct. 12 on AMC.
A look at the trailer for Season 5, which premiered at this year’s Comic-Con, shows Abraham getting as much screen time as any character other than Rick Grimes.
Amidst all the gunfire and zombie action is a shot of Abraham and Rick acting out one of the most important scenes from Robert Kirkman’s comic book.
Abraham and Rick clash early on over leadership. The former is dead set on getting Eugene to Washington D.C. so he can help develop a cure for the virus. The latter is more concerned about the safety of his children and the rest of the survivors.
Rick and Abraham were bound to come face-to-face at some point on the TV series and it appears Season 5 will highlight that moment.
The situation causes Abraham to let his guard down for the first time as he bonds with Rick over the losses both have experienced.
Eventually, Abraham becoming Rick’s right-hand man, which could make Abraham very important to how the TV series progresses.
For the first time since Shane’s death, the burden of leadership and tough decisions on Rick’s shoulders is finally lightened. This frees Rick from the emotional weight that made his character nearly unbearable during the first half of Season 4.
It appears in the trailer that we’re going to get a taste of the old Rick with a bit of edge to him. Thank goodness.
Abraham’s increased role could affect other characters as well. With the entire cast coming together and no longer being limited to individual story lines, it’s inevitable that someone (if not multiple people) will have to die. The obvious candidates are Bob, with online rumors already predicting his death, and Sasha, who appears to be detaching herself from the group in order to secure her own survival.
In the comic book, Abraham’s prominence coincides with the demise of Tyreese. Though, Tyreese’s role in the television series hasn’t quite lived up to his importance the comic.
At best, Abraham’s increased importance could cause a shift in the group’s hierarchy as Daryl struggles with the loss of Beth and possibly reconnects with Carol, while Tyreese bonds with his sister, Sasha.
What’s clearly obvious is that Abraham will be essential to the group’s survival at Terminus. Rick doesn’t trust Gareth and vice versa. So it will be necessary for Abraham to help convince both Rick and Gareth of their mutual interests.
Lastly, the longer “The Walking Dead” goes on, the more important Abraham will become. If the goal for the first half, and possibly the second half, of Season 5 is to head to Washington D.C. then Abraham will continue to be a key figure.
Every great character has a moment where they question themselves and their future. Readers of the comic book series already know how the road to Washington D.C. turns out. If the TV show sticks to that scenario, we’ll get to see every facet of Abraham’s character.