Spoilers? If you don’t want no stinkin’ spoilers about The Walking Dead, then don’t keep reading.
This past weekend came to a close with quite a few bangs, as The Walking Dead turned out a ratings bonanza with its midseason finale. After spending a few years watching Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) grow from sheltered farmgirl into a multi-dimensional young adult with a taste for booze and Daryl’s friendship, she was killed in “Coda” in a weird standoff with Dawn the Understanding Hospital Psycho. And while some fans are just bummed out about it, one particular Beth-lover started up a petition to get the character brought back to the show.
To be fair, The Walking Dead is a series that, by its very nature of being a zombie horror, has often brought characters back. But it’s always as a zombie, and that’s not what’s being asked by the petition-starter going by the name Bring Beth Back. Her petition, also non-coincidentally called “Bring Beth Back!,” is at Change.org, the place where you normally see rebellious stances against things that don’t involve deceased fictional characters. Still, as of this writing, the petition has 12,520 supporters, and the number is growing consistently. Geez.
And while the petition is light on explanations as to how showrunner Scott Gimple and comic creator Robert Kirkman would wipe Beth’s death out of the storyline, at least the empowerment angle included therein gives it the emotional push it needs.
There was so much more to be done with her character and they chose to kill her in a disgusting, unsatifying [sic] death that caused more anger and dissapointment [sic] than shock and mourning. Beth was a symbol of hope that a lot of women could relate to and see themselves in (especially self-harmers who saw her as someone who overcame their suicidal/depressive feelings). By sloppily killing her it just shows that she was used to further a man's (Daryl's) storyline. We realize that the circumstances she dies in are irreversible, but this is television. Anything is possible.
There’s a good unspoken point there in that Beth spent part of Season 5 just gone, serving as the goal of a hunt for Daryl and Carol. We all know The Walking Dead likes to kill off the things that people spend a long time looking for, but this one did feel especially forced, given Beth’s sanctimonious attack on Dawn that cause the instinctive gunshot reaction. But what’s done is done, and I doubt this petition is going to sway anyone to act otherwise. And if it did, I’m pretty sure the writers would just take the credit for it anyway.
The Walking Dead returns from its winter hiatus on February 8, 2015.