Shane exited The Walking Dead in much the same way he'd lived through it: with violence and vitriol. Rick ran a knife through his guts before Carl dispatched his reanimated corpse. But the scene could have gone down very differently if Jon Bernthal had had his way.
At last weekend’s Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, Bernthal - who played the troublemaker on the show - shared his thoughts on Shane's demise and how he would have preferred him to die:
The way that I wanted it to go down was that Rick was going to take his gun out, and he was going to throw it away and say, ‘I can’t kill you, brother. What do you want from me?’ And that would enrage Shane, and he would push him even further, saying worse and worse and worse stuff to him.
The point being that basically what I wanted to have happen was that I would rush him and force him to stab me. And then he would stab me, and I would fall on the ground. And when I reanimated, I would get up as a zombie. And since Rick threw his gun, when I’m approaching him as a zombie, he would pick up my gun, which was on the floor. And he would point it at me to shoot me. And he would just go click, click, and click. And my gun was empty. And then, Carl would have shot me. So Shane took Rick out there to make Rick shoot him to make him be man enough to raise his child. And to sort of infect his head and his psyche forever to put that on him. It’s the most selfish and selfless thing to do there.
It's certainly a different take on the ending and one that would have seen a sort of redemption for Shane. In the original showdown, Shane showed no remorse for his actions, telling Rick that he would be a better father to Carl and husband to Lori.
It's interesting, when you watch the scene again, to see how much Rick has hardened up in these past two seasons. You can see the anguish he suffers when he kills his friend, struggling with the decision to kill a fellow human being. Fast forward to the Season 4 finale and Rick's ripping out throats without a care in the world.
The zombie apocalypse changes people.
You can check out the original ending here:
Which ending do you prefer? Hit me up in the comments below.