In less than 24 hours, a new episode of The Walking Dead premieres on AMC. Currently the network is running a marathon of episodes to get everyone caught up for the big night on Sunday evening. As I watch the reruns, I am reminded of the late Shane Walsh who was crazy like a fox. Shane was a little off-kilter, but he wasn't always a looney toon. In season 1 Shane has a pretty solid friendship with his best friend and partner Rick Grimes. The guy risked his life for his best friend and when Rick was admitted to the hospital for a gun injury, Shane was at this bedside when no else was. Eventually when the town was overrun by zombies, Shane had to leave Rick and hoped that his comatose state would fool a zombie into thinking he was already dead.
Most viewers do not like Shane for various reasons. He's stubborn, unstable, crazy, obsessed, and an adulterer. However, I think we should give Shane the benefit of the doubt. He took the initiative of making sure that his best friend's wife and child were safe in a town inundated with walkers. He also took on the role of a leader in a makeshift camp and was able to help other survivors keep and maintain a supply of food, water, and shelter. He treated little Carl like his own son and developed a strong kinship to him.
As for his affair with Lori? Hey it takes two to tango, so Lori is not exactly an innocent party here. I'm sure Lori's distressed emotions and confusion made her vulnerable to engaging into an intimate relationship with Shane, but the pendulum didn't swing in both directions for this specific union. Shane obviously had a deeper attraction to Lori than she did for him. He truly loved her and would have given everything including his own life for her. Imagine what it would be like if the only person you ever truly loved turned out not to love you back the same in return?
It would hurt right?
Imagine feeling that way on top of living in a world where that person is literally the ONLY one left to love and once he or she is gone you have no one left. Not to mention you're probably already stressed out at the notion that you have to watch your back every five seconds for a random walker or two to ambush your camp.
Now I will say that after Rick came back and Lori found out her husband wasn't dead that things went into a downward spiral that just got worse before it got better. First Shane finds out that Lori is pregnant and the baby more than likely is his. Shane let his emotions get the best of him when Lori refuses his advances, and he chose to go AWOL in his brain by making some pretty bonehead decisions. First of all, that random moment where he slept with Andrea was just dirty. There was something foul and tacky (for both of them) to fornicate in the car on the way to get supplies that just made me feel like "ewwww". Andrea was pretty distressed after having to kill her own sister (once her sister turned into a walker) and had her moment of weakness too. I'm sure Shane was thinking of Lori while he was banging Andrea too. Let's be honest.
Eventually Shane goes bat shit crazy and starts getting paranoid about everyone and everything. He even killed Otis just to get away from walkers to get supplies. Eventually Shane's story turns into a tragic end when he has his last words with Rick and is stabbed. Shane comes back as a walker and is finished by a shot to the head by Carl. There is a sad irony to Shane's death. The man who was his best friend stabs him in the heart and the young boy who Shane considered his son puts a bullet in his brain. Shane could have had a better existence and better story had he not let his feelings for Lori consume him so excessively.
Jon Bernthal who plays Rick did a damn fine job and exuding the balance between flipped out mental case and a confident cool leader. The hotness that Shane is a hotness that I'm going to miss on this show. He was batty but he was sexy as hell and that rough and rugged southern accent had me at "Hello". Now he's gone and the hot guy factor on the show has decreased substantially
Although...as bizarre as this may sound to many fans of the show, Daryl is actually starting to grow on me and his hotness in slowly increasing. I never thought I would say that about Daryl, but its true. For now. I hope he doesn't do something ridiculous and screw it all up.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday night at 9/8c on AMC.