If you watched the awesome extended trailer for The Walking Dead Season 4, you saw a lot of new series regular Larry Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey.
Bob is in the car with Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Tyreese (Chad Coleman) as they are attacked by walkers (and learn about the possible “sanctuary” safe zone). Bob is also seen telling Tyreese he wants to start pulling his weight with the prison group. And we see Bob’s hand shaking at one point.
Who is this guy and what’s his role in the new season?
Spoilers ahead! Stop reading if you don’t want to know details from the comic books, which may or may not reveal Season 4 plot points.
Bob is a former Army medic who, in the comic books, becomes the town drunk of Woodbury. He also ends up close to The Governor, and Bob ultimately saves The Governor’s life after Michonne tortures him.
However, that’s in the comics. Robert Kirkman, who wrote the books and executive produces the AMC show, is a big fan of changing things from his own source material, to keep things fresh for the TV version. That said, Kirkman told The Hollywood Reporter, “Bob Stookey is very much the character that he was in the comic series. He also appears in the novel series and is a pretty big character there, as well. Maybe that means we're adapting some of the stories he was involved in, maybe we're doing some other things he was a part of, or maybe we're going a different way. Like all of the other characters, though, we may do different things with them. They are very much the they're same characters that are being adapted into this world and have the same personalities and back stories. Bob will be someone who is familiar to the comic and novel audience, but we're definitely not married to doing those stories and could do different things there.”
Unlike in the comics, the TV version of Bob is found by Daryl Dixon (who is not even in the comics) about a week before the events of Season 4 pick up. Instead of going to Woodbury, Bob joins the group at the prison. But Bob is still an Army medic, haunted by his past. “His backstory is not entirely the same as in the comic and the novel,” new showrunner Scott M. Gimple told Entertainment Weekly. “I think he’s seen things go bad over and over, and winding up in this stable place doesn’t shake him from his experience. He struggles with that.” Lawrence added to EW, “You can see there’s something deeper and darker that’s going on with this character, just from the first episode. We don’t really know what it is. We just know he’s got some issues that he’s dealing with.”
Here’s one theory, and maybe it’s crazy: What if Bob already knows The Governor by the time we meet him on the TV show? What if he’s already The Gov’s inside man, and he’s part of the reason for all the craziness that happens at the prison? In the trailer, we see that someone has been feeding the walkers to make them hungrier. It sounds like something The Gov might be involved in, but he’d need help on the inside. Too far out there? Share your own theories below!
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly