Yes, this is a picture of Beth Greene (played by Emily Kinney) at a happier time (relatively speaking) in the series, the Walking Dead.
It’s the Mid-season and time for sweeps
This is a picture of a time, fans wanted prolonged, they wanted the series to explore this relationship, help it blossom. The fans hoped it would turn into Love and Zombies as our intrepid farm girls managed both get the pick of the male litter in the “Walker Apocalypse”. So many fanfictions already ring out with the love and wedding bells for Beth and Daryl Dixon.
Alas that time, that hope…<sniff> that hoped for dream has been dashed upon the rocks. Then smashed with more rocks from a followup landslide. Which is then promptly covered up with mud from the mudslide and topped off with an avalanche that covers any trace of Beth Green.
Just the way I like it.
Yes, Beth Greene (played by Emily Kinney) is dead. And if you screamed out spoilers, too damn bad. Watch your Tivo or DVR already.
I am sympathetic to young actresses needing work and being out of steady work is a bummer. But have you seen this girl without all that country dirt, stylish mud and artfully disheveled hair? What a beauty. So don’t weep too long, she will be back at work in just about a minute.
But don’t cheer yet sports fans because there appears to be a fan outcry. (No, your’re not surprised either?) Beth shouldn’t be dead. There is a petition going around which should have just broken 25,000 about six minutes ago. What happens to it after that is unknown but I would expect something to be cluttering some executive’s email in about an hour.
Comic Book.com releases the story of the petition and the heartfelt demands of its creators:
“Beth Greene (played by Emily Kinney) was killed off in the mid-season finale in season 5 of The Walking Dead. Her death was far too soon and the writers threw away the potential of a perfectly good character. Her story wasn’t over. Emily Kinney and her character don’t deserve this. There was so much more to be done with her character and they chose to kill her in a disgusting, unsatifying death that caused more anger and dissapointment 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 irreverisble, but this is television. Anything is possible. By signing this petition you can at least show your support for Beth. Let’s show Emily Kinney how much we love her and want her back.”
There were plenty of other people who could have died instead of Beth. I mean the police woman, she died. That was good, karmic justice. Tyler James Williams was not even on the show an entire season, he could die at any time. I mean we already have four or five black characters now.
One (Mishone)…two (Tyrese)…three (Sasha)…four (Crazy Priest, who surely can’t be long for this world)…five (Mysterious Roaming Black Guy who only gets thirty seconds on the screen at the end of every show)… six (Bob). Oh, wait, Bob is no longer with us. We still have a record number of Black cast members. So I don’t know about you but I was sure one of them was going to catch a bullet or slow walk-by chewing…
Why am I not sad that Beth is dead?
From where I was sitting in my mental director’s chair, yes, someone else needed to die. The cast had gotten a bit plump and difficulty to juggle. Some complexity is good, gives us some polarity and conflict but the season had been filled with cutaways, dangling threads, lackluster characters, phoned in deliveries, a bit of moral ambiguity (I mean Rick, really? Slamming into the guy and breaking his back? Damn!) So we needed something to tighten up that ending. A character who people would care about. No, no one was really upset besides Sasha about Bob. He wasn’t a likable character. Not his fault, he wasn’t ever given an opportunity to shine, and an actor can only do so much with a role that isn’t.
Death Checklist Activate: Rick, nope. Daryl, nope. Michonne, nope. Kids, nope.
Glenn’s group? No. The reveal Eugene lied and there was no cure was already rocking that group. That group isn’t allowed another shocker till they join up again.
Whose left? Tyrese? Unlikely. He survives the comic for some time and while the character is still unpopular, I think there is room to grow and the conflict between Tyrese and Rick is too good to NOT deal with.
Sasha? Yeah. I see her doom approaching. But not yet.
Crazy Priest? No one likes him or cares for him. If he gets eaten, most won’t even notice.
So we have Carol and Beth. Two women who spent a bit of time away from the main group and story and represent complete opposites as far as characters, character arcs and potential growth of the characters in the future. While the Beth and Daryl fans weep, the Carol and Daryl fans are secretly and quietly rejoicing.
The Verdict (and rationale)
The producers chose Beth over Carol because Carol’s recent arc had made her more more popular than she had ever been. Beth had been gone for a while, (and wasn’t really the most popular of the members of the ensemble) The expectation was, her return ensured she would have a particular emotional value because of her youth and as a relatively undeveloped character there was plenty of life left in her (so to speak).
So her death has more ratings value because, she was young, cute, perky, had just started gaining value because of her reappearance, her connection to her sister as the last member of The Farm, meant now only Rick has any living family members. (I would keep my head low, Carl…)
Beth’s death was both strategically valuable and emotionally shocking to both the characters and to the viewers who were to surely have formed an attachment to her.
My prediction was they would kill Carol because she had such an awesome Heroic Arc. She could die now and have been fulfilled individual (as fulfilled as the Post-Zombie Apocalypse allows, at any rate). She had been transformed from abused wife, who lost her daughter tragically, to only cool head in a tight situation, to being put out of the group after doing the right thing by killing the infected people, to being an ice queen putting down a child who, as sad as it is to say, had to die.
She leaves the group, does not die, instead survives and even thrives, gets hard and finally returns to the group, just in time to “Rambo Up” and cover herself in zombie guts, infiltrate and recon enemy territory, blows up a propane tank (which wouldn’t happen for real but dramatic license made her look even more awesome) saves the group from becoming Kibbles and Bits, and walks away into the sunset.
Anything she does after this is just gilding the lily. Carol has entered into the Awesome Hall of Fame and the only thing she could do now to put her over the top is Daryl.
Beth had to die. It was the only logical thing to do to make midterms end on a painful, “you bastards” note and drive folk to come back and see (now that their favorite was gone) to see whose gonna be next.
After all, isn’t that the name of the game?