Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I Call BS! The Walking Dead Season 5 Mid-Season Finale.

Emily Kinney 2014 Comic Con (cropped)

Do NOT read this if you don't want any spoilers from The Walking Dead.

Okay first off, it's all over the internet that someone posted on the official AMC Facebook Page about Beth's death before the west coast had a chance to watch it.  I think it was pulled but oops!  Millions of fans were very upset about this spoiler.  Poorly played AMC.

I have never written a post about my displeasure with a television show before.  (Not even when the Lone Gunmen died on The X-files or Charlie drowned on LOST).  I don't get that worked up.  But Sunday night's episode left me grieving.  I think I'm in the anger stage now. I don't know when it will pass.

When it comes to The Walking Dead, I was sad that Dale died, I was bummed when Meryl died, I was devastated when Hershel died, but this?  At first I was sad and as someone on Twitter said, "When Daryl cries, the world cries."  So yeah, I was definitely choked up, my eyes definitely teary.  I usually go to work Monday morning reeling from the previous night's episode.  But I woke up angry.  I felt the writers or the creators or whoever made this decision did a disservice to the fans and to the plotline. 

First of all her father Hershel was brutally killed in last year's mid season finale.  Why choose another family member to die in this mid season finale? 

Second, last season showed a spunky Beth telling off Daryl that she was "still here."  That despite her not being Michonne, Carol or Maggie she was still alive.  Maybe it didn't make sense.  She didn't have amazing fighting skills, yet she was still resilient enough to survive.  Yes, a lot of it is because she had other people around her, but her ability to listen and learn helped her to adapt.  She always pitched in, whether it was stabbing walkers in the head at the fence with a crowbar or taking care of Judith.  That in itself gave hope to those who are just everyday people.  Sure you need to be tough, but you don't have to be brutal.

Third, in one of the The Talking Dead episodes a producer or writer said they would never get rid of Carl because he represented hope for the future.  Now don't get me wrong, I love Carl, I think he's a great character and don't want to see him die, but he's not exactly a ray of sunshine.  He's a dark character.   He's seen the dynamics of the group and the way things have panned out and become cynical.  He's killed in cold blood.  If Carl represents hope for the future, Beth represented, to me at least, hope for mankind.  She was the light of the group and although her despair led her to attempt suicide in season 2, she overcame it.  Her disposition and steadfast nature helped the group see a flame in the darkness. 

Fourth, during this season, at the Hospital, we see Beth using skills to her own advantage and the advantage of her friends.  She shows us she is smart and resourceful.  She shows us that she is interesting and there is way more to her than meets the eye.  Why put her through all this, why develop her character to kill her?  To get the audience attached to her and then pull the rug out from under us?  I guess that's exactly why.  I know this creates drama, and it was certainly effective, but I just don't know that it was necessary.

Yes, I understand this is the zombie apocalypse.  I understand that Beth's actions also caused this.  I even understand that the show is not real.  However, I feel that after everything that Beth has been through and everything that I, as a viewer, have been through with her, it was a cheat and a betrayal to kill her off.

I will probably change my mind, but as of now, I don't know if I want to continue to watch The Walking Dead.  It's the investment in the characters that keep me coming back and yes, I'm invested in the other characters too, very much.  But I thought one of the themes of the show was survival?  I don't know if I want to watch another beloved cast member get killed.  Does this mean that Judith isn't even safe?

Maybe Beth didn't chop the heads off 10 zombies solo like Michonne, or blow up a tank like Daryl, but this in itself made her one of the most realistic characters on the show. Everyone else seems to have superhero status while Beth was a regular person.  Personally, I would want to be like Michonne, or Sasha, but really?  I'm more like Beth.  I'm not a samurai, or a sharpshooter and I probably couldn't get my friends out of Terminus.  But this is exactly why I need Beth on the show, why the audience needs Beth and why the group itself on TWD needs Beth.

Photo by Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Andye said...

Yes! Yes to all this! And even Dawn said that she thought Beth was weak, but she was really strong. And I'm like you, I don't mind if they kill off characters, even loved characters, but not this. Beth represented hope, like you said, and without hope what is the point of watching this?

Jenny said...

I haven't watched this show Pam. How much do I fail? I can't help it though, zombies absolutely terrify me and I don't do well with blood and gore. From what I've seen through previews, this show is pretty high on the grotesque factor. *shudders just thinking about it* Wimp, party of one:)

Unknown said...

I quit watching awhile ago when I thought Kirkman wrote some deaths just for shock and not how it would happen. I do read the recaps though and I agree with everything you said. Carl to me is representative of what the future is going to be---Beth was the hope that it could be something more!

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