Many The Walking Dead fans might be triggered by the topic we are about to dive into, but today we will be talking about if Shane Walsh was killed off too soon in the series and all the opportunities that were missed in doing so.
Shane Walsh died in season 2, episode “Better Angels,” after Rick pieced together his story regarding a captive and that he wanted to become the leader of the group of survivors. Quite frankly, Shane probably would have been a better leader in more areas than Rick was in the long run, but we will get into that a bit later on.
The story of The Walking Dead basically started off with Rick being in a coma for a couple of months after being shot. During that time the zombie apocalypse took over and Shane was forced to leave Rick and take cover in the camp we see in early episodes of season 1. Shane was acting as a leader, father figure to Carl, and also lover to Lori. However, this somewhat happy-ish story got interrupted when Rick woke up from his coma and soon found the camp where his son and wife were.
Fast forward, Rick and Lori go back to being a married couple now that she knows her husband is alive and not dead at the hands of walkers as Shane had thought. Lori tells Shane that everything between them cannot continue now that her husband is back. However, Lori soon finds out she is pregnant…which makes her wonder who’s baby it actually is at first, but it is obvious that it is Shane’s child and is confirmed later at a The Walking Dead convention that it indeed is his daughter.
Shane and Rick later both have conflicts as he finds out what happened between his best friend and his wife while he was in the hospital, but also because they are butting heads over what is best for the group of survivors. It is obvious that maybe Rick was overtaken by stress but he didn’t give his son, wife, or best friend any of the attention they truly deserved, leaving Shane many times to help Carl himself, for example, in the gun situation. Shane did constantly push Rick’s boundaries but sometimes he was actually right to do so, but Rick saw he was trying to control the group in the wrong ways. However, Rick didn’t stop once to actually talk to his best friend since high school and have a heart-to-heart with him. We are seriously talking about the end of the world here, not everyone will make it out of that mentally stable.
Shane then died at the hands of Rick before becoming a walker himself and then being shot by Carl.
Would Shane Walsh Had Made A Better Leader?
Shane’s one motivation was to keep his people alive, and honestly, he was a born leader accepting that hard decisions had to be made in order to survive the walkers. Shane was clever and a strong character, ready to make the tough choices even though he did mess up things sometimes. He was prepared and adjusted more for the world they were living in now than Rick was. Shane brought forth a more primal, selfish, street-smart perspective that would thrive in a brutal, apocalyptic world with no rules.
“We have to do bad things to survive.”Shane Walsh
Would Shane Have Actually Killed Rick?
The scene where Shane was supposedly about to kill Rick is out of his character. It is obvious that the writers forced certain things to happen based on whims. Shane about to kill his best friend was uncharacteristic of him and didn’t fit the show, it just seemed like another forced plot twist. Yes, Shane did make mistakes along the way, but with the pressure of this deadly new world and the stress of keeping the group safe and together, who wouldn’t? Instead of Rick trying to help out his best friend, he instead killed him off in the sad field scene. It is also very uncharacteristic for Shane not to have seen the knife coming, not only because he is street-smart, but also for the fact he was a police officer before the apocalypse.
The Baby Is Actually Shane’s
One of the biggest things that started the whole debate between Rick and Shane is Lori. While Rick was in the hospital, in a coma, and figured dead after walkers go into the building, Shane become lover to Lori. There is no for-sure information on how long Rick was in the hospital with a coma before Lori got feelings for Shane-or if those feelings existed before Rick was out of the picture for a bit.
The Walking Dead Wiki however does express a timeline of the events. The helicopters napalm bomb hit 15-17 days after the global outbreak, which could mean Shane and Lori had an intimate relationship 61 days after the outbreak. The first episode of the walking dead takes place around 57 days after the outbreak started, so it could be very accurate.
The biggest question that went unanswered in the show was whether or not Judith was Rick or Shane’s daughter. This was never confirmed in the show, however, it was confirmed in the comics as well as at Comic Con in 2013, on the eve of Season 4’s premiere. Jon Bernthal, the actor who plays Shane Walsh, confirmed that Judith is “100 percent Shane’s baby.” In the comics it was clear that Judith was Shane’s daughter and not Rick’s.
All in all, in Shane’s final season and also final episode, Lori turned both men against one another in a way that made them become lions fighting over the lioness, which then ended in Shane’s too soon death and many missed opportunities.