Shane Walsh, portrayed by actor and podcast personality Jon Bernthal, began his journey as the best friend of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in The Walking Dead series. The pair served as King County Sheriff Deputies, a job that would see Rick shot and hospitalized, where he remained unconscious. Shane would leave Rick alone in the hospital when the outbreak occurred and tell Rick’s family he had died.
During the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, Shane appeared to be a concerned and loyal friend to Rick. But when he saw his opportunity to become the protector of Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs), he took it. While his intentions to protect them were good, his betrayal of his friend was inexcusable.
After Rick is reunited with his family, Shane’s feelings are divided. He’s happy to see his friend alive but knows what this means for the little family he created with Lori and Carl.
The Walking Dead – Shane’s death
Shane would meet his end in the penultimate episode of season 2, “Better Angels.” From the time Rick returned until the final altercation between Rick and Shane, Shane would do everything in his power to prove he was a better man than Rick. This led to much dissension between the former best friends, and after a massive knockdown drag-out fight, Shane would set his plan into motion to kill his former friend.
Shane would organize a search party for the missing prisoner Randall (Michael Zegen), who Shane had already killed. He would pair up with Rick in the search, but Rick quickly realized that Shane had other plans. The two argue about who is the better man to take care of Lori and Carl, and refusing to pull his gun on Shane, Rick ends up stabbing him.
Carl comes upon the scene and sees Shane dead, a man who had been a father to him in his own father’s absence, and viewers see him aim his gun at Rick. But it would quickly be revealed that he was aiming at the reanimated form of Shane.
This death marked a significant milestone in The Walking Dead story. Shane wasn’t bitten but did reanimate, proving what Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich) told Rick at the CDC was accurate. “We are all infected.”