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How Shane (Probably) Will Return For Walking Dead Season 9

Jon Bernthal Shane The Walking Dead

Jon Bernthal is returning to AMC's The Walking Dead.

For the series' upcoming ninth season, the man who has become synonymous with Marvel's Punisher is said to reprise his role as Shane Walsh after having left the zombie apocalypse show during Season 2. The only question that's been lingering around isn't really why AMC would bring him back so much as exactly how the show will bring him back for however many episodes they've got him for.

Considering that Shane was effectively killed twice in the show -- first by Rick, then by Carl shortly after his transformation into a Walker -- it's clear his return will be achieved either via flashbacks or hallucinations. The former seems most likely; with the specter of Andrew Lincoln's time as series protagonist Rick Grimes coming to an effective end in this same season, there'll no doubt be an episode where Rick looks back on his life and all that he's lost as a result of the mass infection.

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Before he and Shane came to blows, the two of them were best friends, after all, and the series didn't really have a chance to show them as such without the undercurrent of danger (and spousal betrayal) around them. Rick's no stranger to losing people at this point, but Shane really was the first person in the Group whose death hit him on a personal level.

The Walking Dead TV Shane and Otis

Before his death in this past season of Walking Dead, Rick's son Carl had dreams showing what life could have been like if all the various factions stopped warring with one another and committed to peace. These dreams saw the return of several dead characters who appeared in them to be alive and happy; Glenn and Maggie were a family, while Sasha and Abraham showed up as well.

RELATED: Rick Grimes May Have Just Become The Walking Dead Comic’s Main Villain

If Rick continues the dreams his son had, that would probably also be how Bernthal shows up again. A perfect world where everyone's together, and he and Shane just get to co-exist how they used to be sounds like the kind of dream Rick would have, and doubly so if Carl and Lori were there as well.

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