Who dies in The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale? Look away now…

The Walking Dead cast photo

Which one will be a drooling, rotting animated corpse in a couple of weeks?

Major spoiler warning ahead. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, you might not want to know which major character is about to bite the dust in the second season finale of the show. AMC made a massive screw-up and published a reference to a character’s “last episode” on the product description for the Season 2 box set. Ouch.

Want to find out who dies? Read on.

Now, I feel kind of bad about revealing this. The Walking Dead is one of those shows that we’re obsessed by in our house. To the point where – despite writing a spoilers blog – we actually avoid spoilers for the show. But, I figure we’re all adults here. You’ve had plenty of warning. You’ve read this far. Let’s go.

The dirty, friend’s-wife-stealing, homicidal ex-cop who dies in The Walking Dead’s finale will be…Shane. Yes, Shane. And here’s the screenshot that should never have squeaked its way past AMC’s marketing department:

Walking Dead box set reveals Shane's death

Frankly, Shane’s last episode sounds far more exciting than the “making of the barn” feature. But naturally, folk will be shocked that Jon Bernthal’s departure has been announced via a web store! Still, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, it won’t be much of a surprise to fans of the Walking Dead comic books – Shane’s character dies early on in those, so it was only to be expected that he’d follow the same fate on the series.

THR also notes that Jon Bernthal was rumoured to be joining former Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont’s new series, LA Noir. Although Robert Kirkman at the time denied that Bernthal was leaving, clearly there might be some truth in those LA Noir casting rumours after all. Expect an announcement soon?

Elsewhere, AMC are obviously irritated at this spectacular own-goal. They released the following statement:

“The post on the AMC store was completely unauthorized. The matter is currently under investigation,” an AMC spokesperson said in a statement without elaborating. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray set has been removed from the AMC store and the link now leads to a dead page.

I don’t know about you, but the character of Shane has been a real conversation starter in our house. I’ll be sad to see him go, really.

Why Shane is one of my favourite characters

For me, Shane is the maligned and most misunderstood character. He found himself in the middle of a zombie outbreak and tried to save his partner and lifelong friend who was in hospital in a coma. As we’ve seen, when he couldn’t stay to protect Rick, he created a barrier across the hospital door which presumably deterred the walkers from entering the room.

And when he assumed Rick hadn’t survived, Shane made sure his friend’s wife and child were safe. Somewhere along the line, Shane and Lori ended up in a relationship together. I imagine some combination of survivor guilt and shared history made Shane a comfortable choice for Lori. He would’ve made her feel protected and she would have made him feel like he was doing the right thing by his friend, stepping up to replace Rick as a husband to Lori and a father to Carl.

Of course, Rick returned from the dead, surprising everybody and instantly ending the relationship between Lori and Shane. From Shane’s point of view, that’s gotta hurt, because Lori froze him out without a second thought. Lori thought that Shane had misled her about Rick’s death, but I imagine Shane at this point in time was confused – he’d developed genuine feelings for Lori and though he had a friendship with Rick, he’s loathe to end things.

At the same time, Rick’s misguided sense of nobility frequently leads him into dangerous situations or to make decisions that often backfire on him. Shane sees the post-apocalyptic world for what it is and he’s much more mercenary about the need to put down the walkers and vigorously protect the group. Sure, there was that unfortunate shooting of Otis, but wasn’t that precisely because Shane wanted to ensure that Carl’s life-saving medicine was delivered back to the farm? Shane’s single-minded if nothing else. And he does more to protect Rick’s wife and child than Rick does himself.

How will Shane die?

Well, my best guess is that tensions between Shane and Rick will continue to escalate. If you’re a fan of the comic books you’ll know how Shane met his end in those. It doesn’t look like Shane will become a zombie before getting his head permanently ventilated. But he could well be killed by another major character. I’ll leave you to speculate which one.

by Gerard McGarry on March 2nd, 2012

Gerard is the founder and editor of Unreality TV. He writes about TV dramas as well as reality TV talent shows and is obsessed by sci-fi and Doctor Who. Follow him on Twitter @gerrybot or Google+

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