As it turns out, the rumors that are floating around out there are turning out to be true — Jon Bernthal is returning to The Walking Dead season 9 as Shane. This news was first reported over by TVLine, with site sources saying that he is going to be a part of one upcoming episode.
The rumors surrounding a potential return for Bernthal first started to fly after the actor (now the lead of Netflix’s The Punisher), was spotted in the Atlanta area close to where the show films. This was a pretty strong indicator that he would be back, but even with that, we hardly considered this to necessarily be confirmation, either.
So why bring back Shane now, especially since Lori is no longer a part of the series and the entire makeup of the show is so different? Our theory, if we were to make one, is that Rick may be having some sort of flashbacks to various parts of his life. With Andrew Lincoln leaving the series this year, it makes some sense to revisit a few different notable periods of his life. We also wonder if this could lead to eventually also getting to see appearances from the likes of Sarah Wayne Callies or Chandler Riggs, given that the Lori and Carl characters were certainly far more important to the overall run of The Walking Dead than Shane ever was.
No matter the reasoning, Bernthal’s an excellent actor and it’s a thrill to have him back. We expect that there is going to be nostalgia with his arrival, but hopefully, there’s something else that we learn about Rick or Shane in the process. It would be nice if this scene was to have some other sort of greater value beyond just anything we would suggest here.
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