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    Queen Rose of The Kingdom Carl's Right Eye's Avatar

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    Why did Rick turn his back on Shane after killing him?

    Something has been bothering me since the first time I watched Better Angels and I just re-watched it last week.

    Jenner told Rick that everyone is infected.

    Why did Rick turn his back on Shane and begin walking towards Carl, without shooting or stabbing Shane in the brain? Did Rick not believe Jenner or was Rick just plain stupid?

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    Zombie Hoarder JamieLee84's Avatar
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    That is a good question. I don't think he had a concrete belief in what Jenner told him at this point. The way I see it, Rick was torn up because he was forced to kill his best friend, and to make matters worse, Carl was there to see the aftermath. I think when he saw Carl all of his attention shifted towards him. Had Carl not been there, maybe Rick would have stuck around to see if there was any truth behind what Jenner told him.....or maybe not...I dunno. I think he was in shock...and he thought Carl was going to shoot him so he was trying to diffuse the situation. You would think that Carl would have said something...hey Dad, walker Shane is behind you...lol. I think in Rick's mind, he was stuck in between two potentially deadly situations, and Carl with the gun was the most immediate.

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    Just Another Dead Girl ScifiSpirit's Avatar


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    Interesting question! Rick not stabbing Shane in the head was a clear plot device to allow for the reveal to the audience since none of us had yet learned what Jenner told Rick. That's my first take on it.

    Although, with all that in mind, I would argue that Rick possibly didn't believe Jenner. He really had no real reason *to* believe him. When the met Jenner, yes, he had answers to what the plague was that they were all facing, but he had no cure, he had no solutions, and he was on the verge of suicide. So, I can somewhat understand Rick maybe not fully coming to terms with what Jenner told him and being skeptical of it. So, maybe, deep down, he really didn't believe him or just wasn't fully convinced yet.

    Now, that being said, if I were Rick, I certainly wouldn't have taken any chances though! LOL. Whether I believed Jenner or not, I would have been more cautious with anyone who died and wasn't stabbed in the head. So, like I say, plot device. Carl was there, so maybe Rick was going to go back and stab Shane afterwards and he thought he had more time. That *could be* a possibility too, but speculating about things like that can get you going in circles.

    I think it's fair enough to say that Rick wasn't thinking of what Jenner told him at the time and he was overwrought with emotions when he actually did kill Shane. When you consider everything he was going through (the Barn just happening, Lori being pregnant, getting ready to kill his best friend, the ZA world as it is, etc etc etc), he clearly wasn't thinking as best as he could. So, I'm, personally, not gonna call him stupid. I'll be fair and say he was overwhelmed and just not thinking clearly enough. Such as it were.

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    "We could arrange to have you carried." AdamUpBxtch's Avatar


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    Rick said he didn't believe him remember when he said "You saw how crazy he was" so Rick didn't believe him when he told him

    - - - Updated - - -

    plus Carl came out of nowhere and he thought Carl thought he just killed Shane when he wasn't a walker

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    Token Black Guy Tschandler's Avatar
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    If you actually paid attention Rick never turns around until Carl says "Dad". And much earlier in Nebraska he held is gun on dead Dave/Tony. I just rewatched both for the proof.

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    NOT the Glue Police Sawahcakes's Avatar

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    I honestly believe that at that point Rick didn't trust what Jenner had said 100%. Until that point the walkers had been the main threat--not people (they were still a pretty minor threat at this point), not starvation, not the elements-- just the walkers, especially since this was still fairly close to the beginning of the ZA. Nobody had seen a person turn without being bitten until that night, and had Rick been with Glenn and Daryl that night he could have explained why Randall turned as well.
    And i do agree that Carl was Rick's main focus at that point. Surely he couldn't have predicted both Shane turning and how quickly he did at that point.

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    "We could arrange to have you carried." AdamUpBxtch's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawahcakes View Post
    I honestly believe that at that point Rick didn't trust what Jenner had said 100%. Until that point the walkers had been the main threat--not people (they were still a pretty minor threat at this point), not starvation, not the elements-- just the walkers, especially since this was still fairly close to the beginning of the ZA. Nobody had seen a person turn without being bitten until that night, and had Rick been with Glenn and Daryl that night he could have explained why Randall turned as well.
    And i do agree that Carl was Rick's main focus at that point. Surely he couldn't have predicted both Shane turning and how quickly he did at that point.
    yeah Jenner even said the reanimation times vary

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    NOT A DAD Mechroboticon.'s Avatar

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    Very good question. I'm honestly thinking Carl interfering with the whole scene could have possibly had a role in it. Think about it, his sons sees Shane is dead and his blood is on his father's hands. I'm sure Rick's first reaction is to calm Carl down and explain himself. Although, Shane did turn pretty fast in that scene. Rick may have though he had more time??? I'm not entirely sure.

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    The show used the Rick turning his back on Shane to accomplish several goals with one small physical movement IMO.

    First, it is a common, very human response to sights and situations that are physically and emotionally devastating, so I feel this was part of the reason for having him do that. Rick had just killed his best friend and work partner of many years and was still reeling from the knowledge that Shane wanted to kill him- he'd figured it out but still, it hit him hard, as it would have hit anyone really.

    To me Rick was totally in the moment at that point although @ScifiSpirit mentions some other possibilities as to things on Rick's mind. To be honest though, I truly think Rick was overcome in a naturally human way with the kill or be killed choices he and Shane made in that terrible moment.

    Then, @JamieLee84 @Sawahcakes and @AdamUpBxtch mentioned, he had no reason to trust what Dr. Jenner had whispered to him plus the reanimation times varied as we have all seen. After that, Carl called out to Rick and of course Rick's attention shifted as @Tschandler and @Mechroboticon. noted.

    This was a great example of how well the show can utilize brilliant blocking and physicality in scenes to punch up the raw emotions and show us, rather than tell us through exposition, how the characters are managing the events around them IMO. The show can do this - Seasons 1-2 were full of these little moments which make the character development and emotional costs of ZA so much more real and realistic to viewers.

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    Governor Will's Avatar
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    Rick turned his back on him because he didn't believe what Jenner said about being able to turn without a bite.

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