Ahem, Spoilers Ahoy.
It’s the death no one can stop talking about, for good or bad. AMC spoiled the death of Beth Greene themselves at just 10pm the night of the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. With an image from the final (not including the post-credits one of course) scene of the episode, Daryl holding Beth’s dead body in his arms, and the words “RIP Beth,” they let it known, even to people who had yet to see the episode (it wouldn’t begin airing on the West Coast for 2 hours), that Beth was dead.
They apologized for the spoiler, but there’s a contingency of fans who now want them to go one step further, and bring Emily Kinney’s character back from the dead, with a petition on Change.org that asks for the character to return… um… somehow.
Indeed, the petition, written by a user named Amanda T and with 34,268 supporters at press time fully acknowledges this should be impossible. “We realize that the circumstances she dies in are irreversible, but this is television,” Amanda writes. For those not in the know, and again, spoilers, Beth was shot cleanly through the head. She then bled out a significant amount of blood, just to top it off, and received absolutely no instant or immediate care, despite being in a hospital. In other words, she was dead, as dead as can be.
The petition is likely being used more to express frustration, and to make a statement in that the writer (and presumably, the supporters) thinks Beth’s death “was used to further a man’s (Dary’s) storyline.” This assumption comes with approximately 2 minutes of footage post-death that has so far aired. In that footage, yes, Daryl reacted to the events, with tears (and a gun shot to the face of Beth’s killer), but Carol and Beth’s sister Maggie also cried on screen. Rick very nearly started a massacre for that matter, though cooler minds prevailed.
Perhaps the most telling part of the petition, aside from the acknowledgement that what they’re asking for is impossible without breaking the rules of reality established on the show, is how the writer characterizes her death. She writes that it was “a disgusting, unsatifying (sic) death that caused more anger and dissapointment (sic) than shock and mourning.” Typos notwithstanding (it happens to the best of us), it seems perfectly in line with the very concept of The Walking Dead that death is in fact nearly always disgusting, and causing anger and disappointment that makes 34 thousand people sign a petition and numerous sites continue to talk about it over a week later is pretty much the exact goal AMC and its creative teams seek to accomplish.
Regardless, neither AMC nor its writers have responded directly to the post, though showrunner Scott Gimple already addressed the death extensively with THR, calling it “incredibly tragic” and “massively rough.”
”Beth didn't die because she was weak,” Gimple continued. “Beth died because she was strong, and that's painful, and it's not fun and it's not to be taken lightly — and we don't. A lot of things happen on this show that are tragic. How do these characters go on after that?”