Anyway, there's no better example of that than the next to last episode of Season 2, where a major character bites the dust, and then bites the dust underneath that dust, making the drastic transition from living to undead to just plain dead within the span of a few minutes. Shane, a disgruntled ex-police officer played by Jon Bernthal, attempts to kill his former partner and "best friend," Rick (Andrew Lincoln), for reasons you would know if you'd just give in to your friends and watch the damn show already.
Rick is forced to stab Shane, who even in death continues being a douchebag and goes after his buddy again as a zombie. Finally, Rick's son, Carl, shows up and shoots Zombie Shane with a gun in the one instance in this show where the gross parental neglect actually helped anyone.
"Carl, if you shoot me, I'm going to significantly reduce your allowance!"
Shane was maybe the second most important character on the show -- his death was the equivalent of Jerry being forced to brutally kill Kramer, which is why it was saved for one of the final episodes of the season. As such, it came as a shock to many viewers ... unless, of course, they'd seen the following ad on AMC's site a couple of weeks before:
The screwdriver is for your ears during Lori's scenes.