Well that was … awkward. While preparing to say goodbye to Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead also delivered the return of one of the series’ fan favorites, Shane Walsh. In a hallucination by Rick (Andrew Lincoln), he found himself back in his cop car next to his former partner (Jon Bernthal).
“God damn cowboy, you look like s—t,” Shane said to him when they came face-to-face again. The scene mirrored the one from the pilot, sitting in their police car looking at an overturned car in front of them. (Shane was killed in season 2.)
“I’m looking for my family,” Rick told Shane, who had the perfect response: “Oh, is that what you’re doing, looking for your family? One could argue it’s my family you’re looking for right? How is my baby girl by the way? Got my eyes doesn’t she?”
Rick answered that Judith does not have Shane’s nose, and Shane quipped, “good thing she ain’t got my ears, man.”
This conversation is extremely important to fans of the show. In case you need a refresher, when the series began, Rick reunited with his family, who thought he was dead. They were in the care of Shane – Shane and Lori, Rick’s wife, had entered a relationship and she was pregnant. However, Rick has always raised Judith as his own, while there was always a huge chance that Shane was her father. In season 4, Rick told Michonne (Danai Gurira) that he was aware he wasn’t really Judith’s dad.
“It’s one of those watershed moments that happens, certainly between the two lovers, between Michonne and Rick, that brings them together,” Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly in 2016 following the reveal. “It’s a very important moment in understanding his psyche and going, ‘This is what I’ve been doing for the last two years. I’ve accepted the situation and I will accept the situation if it’s going to save lives and if it’s going to protect the people I love. I will take it.’ It’s another perfect kind of quiet heroism. You know, he’s a stepdad and it doesn’t stop him loving his child, but he kind of has accepted that it’s not his.”
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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