(Note: Heavy S01-E06 spoilers ahead.)

In Series 1, Episode 6, we see Shane at the side of Rick's bed, when bringing him flowers. Indicated by his tone, the proverbial shit hasn't hit the fan, yet, so everything is still "normal". This means that he doesn't have an understanding of the walking dead and what they do to people at this moment.

Nevertheless, a couple moments later, after the whole fan-business takes place he is convinced that Rick is dead and leaves the room to escape. After spotting a group of walkers (which means something to us but not him), he turns around, closes the door and blocks it with an hospital bed.

This doesn't seem to make much sense to me, given the circumstances. His friend is dead so why protect him (for all he knows). Also his blockade would not work as protection from any human (because it's easily removed), only from stupid walkers. Did I perhaps miss something?

(I haven't watched anything past Season 2, Episode 7 yet, so please try to avoid spoilers)

  • 1
    Coma doesn't mean dead Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 13:19
  • 2
    @EightDaysofMalaise: Coma? He puts his ear on Rick's chest. No heart beat = dead.
    – bitmask
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 23:14

2 Answers 2



I think the question has the order of events confused, as well as the point in time when the flashback occurs.

Shane already knows Walkers exist, though the world may not have gone completely crazy yet, he's there to get Rick. He secures the door and puts the bed in front of it to protect him from the walkers and, perhaps, mask the room from the rapid soldier searches (maybe they won't be thorough). Perhaps more importantly, he takes with him a peace of mind knowing he 'did what he could' rather than outright abandoning a friend to a hopeless situation.

Shane knows Rick isn't dead, that's a lie he created out of what he felt was necessity.

More detailed:

Season (or Series) 1 Episode 6 opens on the scene in question. It actually opens with Shane emerging from Rick's room somewhat frantic, not arriving unsuspectingly for a general visit with flowers (I think this was from a different visit in an earlier episode?).

Events unfolded as thus:

  • Shane hears commotion outside Rick's room and opens the door. Several people stream by and there's some yelling. He pulls a nurse out of the passersby and pleads with her to help him. She's panicked, and unhelpful. He didn't ask her what was going on, he recognized things were ramping up, and he needs to move Rick.
  • Looks around and others are rushing around. There's a military presence.
  • Rushes to the end of the hall to get a gurney, spots military personnel holding up civilians (then shoot them).
  • Rushes back to the room with the gurney.
  • He picks Rick up, then realizes he's connected to equipment.
  • Goes to check the equipment, looking as if to find a way to take it with them.
  • The door opens by a soldier, and Shane ducks behind the bed. The environment is unsafe and patrols appear to be taking everyone out.

Up to this point, Shane appeared fully intent on getting Rick out of the hospital, but he's been spooked by the military (and I'm sure knowing there are Walkers about isn't helping).

  • He begs Rick to wake up, or give him a sign. I think he's searching for a reason to continue pursuing his evacuation; to justify the risk.
  • There's an explosion and the power goes out, taking Rick's monitoring equipment with it.
  • Shane checks Rick's heartbeat (is this the sign? has he died?)... no, he's alive, Shane has to do something or make a difficult decision.
  • He leaves the room and starts down the hall with gun drawn. We're not sure if he was leaving or planning to secure a path, though I think it was the latter.
  • On looking behind him at the other end of the hall, Walkers are coming. Times ticking and he's going to be trapped.
  • He goes back to the room, looks in at his friend one last time. Pulls the door shut, and barricades it with the gurney.

Italics in the above are my inference.

In a conversation between Lori and a drunk Shane later in the same episode, Shane:

  • Recounts the craziness
  • Says he listened for a heartbeat but didn't hear one.
  • Says he had Lori and Carl to think about, and had to get them safe to Atlanta, and then
  • "If you had thought for one second that he was still alive, would you have come? So I saved your life. You and your little boys, that's what I did."

I think in that single statement he reveals something significant... He believed Rick had to "be dead" in order for him to save Lori and Carl. Had he told Lori the truth, she wouldn't have left. She would have tried to get to Rick; to save Rick. He lied to save them.

  • I'd also like to note that Shane (or the writers) didn't have the slightest idea how to check for breathing/pulse. If it was played that way for effect (to make Shane think Rick was dead), then they skipped over the fact that as a police officer, Shane should at the very least have basic first-aid skills, including checking for breathing (cheek/ear over their mouth, not their chest) & pulse (carotid artery in the neck).
    – Robotnik
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 7:33

Your assumption that Shane doesn't know what Walkers are or the effects of their bites at that point in the timeline is just that. Given that by the time Shane decides to barricade Rick's room the military is literally gunning walkers and civilians down in the halls, I think its safe to say he knew what Walkers were.

You're right that the bed provides no protection from the living, but he's not worried someone in the military will shoot Rick (remember, he does think he's dead) but as you pointed out it will stop a walker. I believe Shane's intent was to simply prevent his friend from meeting an undignified death in his bed and eventually turned into a Zombie.

  • But moments earlier (IIRC) he pays him a casual visit, as if the world was still normal.
    – bitmask
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 21:51
  • flashbacks can occur in rapid succession
    – revenant
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 5:03

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