A zombie appears in a scene from the second season...

A zombie appears in a scene from the second season of the AMC series "The Walking Dead." Credit: AP

By now you are probably aware that your "Walking Dead"-crazed officemates have been babbling about something all morning. It is this: Last night's genuinely shocking death on the hit series of a character so well-liked and so genuinely likable that, by God, they can't help NOT talking about this one.

Spoiler alert: Dale is gone.

The end came violently, as it must to those whose blood courses with the blood (such as it is) of walkers. A shot to the head. Stunning.

Jeffrey DeMunn played Dale and played him so well, and with such vitality, that he became the show's everyman -- someone any of us could instantly identify with. The fix-it man, with the puzzled look on his face. Always puzzled, as in "why have zombies taken over the world?" He became a father figure to Glenn -- Steven Yeun -- and a moral counterbalance to Jon Bernthal's Shane.

Quick word on DeMunn: A fine character actor of TV and the big screen, who may have an even more distinguished career on stage, mostly I believe. as an interpreter of O'Neill. (A couple of major awards, plus a Tony best actor nomination in 1983 for "K2."

This is all a way saying -- he's an actor's actor and his absence will be felt intensely on the set of "Walking Dead." 

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