It’s been a very long two months since the mid-season finale, and even longer since I have written about TWD (that is for another post).
If you’re like me, you’ll be watching the Beth Episode tonight before the mid-season premiere.
I am always saying that, for me, The Walking Dead being one of the only shows that seems to be able to get away with killing off major characters, and since I am not a consumer of all things zombie that seems to be the one piece that keeps me glued to this show. That being said, even I was in mouth-hanging-open shock when Beth was killed.
I just read a review in which the writer felt as though Beth’s death was “cursory; a convenient way to make the end of a stalled plot more memorable” and that it “smacked of the sort of arbitrary character death that has plagued the series in the past.”
I can certainly see his further point about a loss of momentum (I too felt like something needed to give), but I feel like that has been in the nature of this show all along. There are episodes that have dragged in the name of building a story, and episodes that have been so quick and all over the map that I have had to watch it again to catch up. I don’t expect it to be different from what it is, and that is where our opinions diverge.
Beth’s death, or anyone’s death, had to happen. Not because I thought the plot had stalled – I feel that there were many directions the writers could have taken without her death; but because that is how this show works: it shocks us out of our viewing complacency by killing off a major character whose return we have been anticipating for weeks.
The unexpected is what The Walking Dead is all about. I enjoy the increase and decrease in the pace of the storytelling because of the emotional investment I have in these characters. If the pace was constantly high, I don’t think I would be able to watch it. Just like with anything, sometimes we need a moment to catch our collective breath and process what is happening. The slower episodes that build story are what gives me that chance.
A mid-season finale is expected to deliver and though I definitely agree that they don’t always, I thought Coda delivered big. I was in shock, and I will miss her. I feel like her story was just beginning to get off the ground and I was anticipating a build on the strength and courage that finally began to emerge when she and Daryl were on the run alone, and that really came to fruition in her confrontations with dawn.
Beth Greene, we hardly knew ye. RIP.