The Walking Dead alert: Jon Bernthal, who played Shane, has been spotted on set while the cast films Season 9, Comicbook.com reports. He's been caught on camera by fans, but so far we haven't seen him filming anything. Instead, he's just walking around restaurants and buying coffee wearing a weed leaf Willie Nelson sleeveless T-shirt like a normal human being.
Shane was a huge part of the first two seasons of The Walking Dead as Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) pre-apocalypse best friend and "the other man" after Rick woke up from a coma to discover that his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) had been hooking up with him. One could also argue that Shane is the best character The Walking Dead has ever had and that Bernthal is the best actor the show has ever had, and I am that one.
But Shane is dead, killed after Rick shanked him with a blade and then killed again after Carl (Chandler Riggs) shot him when he turned. Obviously Shane can return in flashbacks, and with Lincoln leaving the show next season for the series' biggest departure ever, we should all expect some tributes to Rick, including old friends showing up in hallucinations to say their goodbyes.
However, if you're a cynic, then you can read into Bernthal's visit as just that, a visit to hang out with old friends as they all say farewell to Lincoln and Lauren Cohan (who plays Maggie), who is also leaving the show. I am choosing not to believe this, because the show (and the comics) hasn't really been the same since Shane was killed and I want him or Bernthal to come back in any capacity.
Me, I know that the show will be looking for a new leading man and that Daryl (Norman Reedus) is being pegged to be that guy, but I'm all for Shane's long lost twin brother Shaun taking over the reins, because The Walking Dead is better with Bernthal. Make it happen, AMC!
The Walking Dead returns this fall on AMC.