Mar 12 2012

The Walking Dead and the Ghost of Shane Walsh

Published by at 11:44 am under Entertainment


Shane is dead.

No, not my inseparable best bud Shane. That dude is doing just fine and if a Zombie Apocalypse ever does actually happen, we’ll be busting caps in the hordes together. I refer to The Walking Dead’s Shane Walsh, who met his death in glorious Shakespearean tradition last night when Rick Grimes gutted him. Then he turned into a zombie. Next, he turned into a ghost. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Played capably by John Bernthal, Shane was just a dense ball of dramatic tension, constantly butting heads with everyone around him, making the most of his physical presence and often making the decisions that were not purely ethical, but the smart choice (such as snapping the neck of a guy who was probably going to lead a bunch of gang-raping hillbillies back to the good guys’ camp). He was always the most interesting character, aside from the main protagonist (Indeed, not a few bloggers from “Team Shane” evidently thought he ought to be the main protagonist). To the end, I hoped the writers might somehow keep him around, but it made way more sense to the story for this to be his final moment. It was a good death.

I was intrigued by a comment Bernthal made after filming his last scene in The Walking Dead:

It’s funny because I promised everybody that I was going to come back and sort of say my final goodbye. And I came into work while they were shooting the next episode and I walked out onto the set and I saw the cast and the crew and everybody was working, and I realized I’m no longer a part of it. And I really didn’t know what to do. This was my show! These are all my friends, my family. And so what I did was I actually went out into the woods and I hid and I watched them shoot for about two-and-a-half-hours, and I was just sitting there. I sound like the biggest weirdo in the world, but I didn’t say goodbye. I couldn’t. I just wanted to watch and spectate. And none of them even knew that I was there, and I just walked back to my car and went home with my dog Boss. But this will always be the greatest job I ever had. I’ve never met people who care about what they do more, and it was just such an honor to be a part of it, and I’m gonna miss them all so much.

So, to recap: actor plays guy who dies and transforms into the undead. The next day, in real life, he turns himself into a ghost, invisibly watching over the lives of those he has left behind.

Now that’s acting.

Best of luck to Bernthal in his upcoming role in L.A. Noir. Looks to be awesome.

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