Depending on when you read this, AMC’s The Walking Dead is either about to return for the fourth season of highly-rated zombie action, or the first episode, “30 Days Without an Accident” has just premiered. Either way, that is a discussion for another time and place. But with all eyes on the hit series, the network decided it would be a good opportunity to unveil some casting news that will have a huge impact on this season. A while back, Twilight’s Christian Serratos joined the cast as Rosita Espinosa, a character that is familiar to fans of Robert Kirkman’s comic books which serve as the basis for the show. In the source material, Rosita joins the crew of survivors with two others, and now we get the news we’ve been expecting, that the other two-thirds of the trio has been cast.
Rounding out the threesome are Retired at 35 alum Josh McDermitt, who will play Dr. Eugene Porter, and Southland veteran Michael Cudlitz as Sergeant Abraham Ford. Eugene may have a mullet, but he’s wicked smart, and may have something to offer researchers working on a zombie cure in Washington DC. He also has some secrets that we won’t divulge here. You’ll just have to wait and learn those for yourselves at some future date. Abraham is a certified badass, a former military man who eventually becomes Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) right hand man, a role that was filled by Tyreese in the comics, and currently belongs to Daryl (Norman Reedus), who didn’t exist before the series.
As far as the comics are concerned, all three characters play key roles in the group moving forward. That said, fans may not get the exact stories we already know. New showrunner Scott Gimple says, “We’re going to tell a version of the Eugene, Abraham and Rosita comic stories, that’s what we do…I love those characters from the book, they are very different flavors of comic book characters than we’ve seen on the show.”
Fans will have to wait and see how close, or not, these versions of Rosita, Abe, and Eugene stick to their origins, but their inclusion does provide some insight into the direction of season four of The Walking Dead. We know the action picks up with our merry band of survivors still hanging out in their prison stronghold. If the newcomer’s story is even close to the source, this situation might not last long. Rick and company encounter Rosita, Abe, and Eugene on the road, after they’ve been forced to abandon their makeshift home.
The Walking Dead has a nasty habit of needlessly drawing things out, stretching out story elements out just to fill up episode space. One worry was that season four would try to crank out an entire 16-episode season based solely around the prison. Granted there are a ton of new additions and potential new story lines contained in that, but that seemed a little much. Since we know that Rosita, Eugene, and Abe are set to join the party in the middle of the season—my guess would be after the obligatory mid-season break—we can infer that the group will be forced to move on eventually. That’s one thing that Kirkman’s comics have always done well, when the survivors settle somewhere for an extended period, they don’t overstay their welcome. Let’s hope Gimple and the producers have learned a valuable lesson from this.
Check out Cudlitz in action as Abraham in this photo he Tweeted. He certainly looks the part. What do you think of this casting and what this means for The Walking Dead?