The Horror Honeys: Beth Greene is Dead. Get over it.

Beth Greene is Dead. Get over it.

A Horror TV Honey Lesson in Tough Love by Lisa

Can't we have Herschel back?
When we first met Beth Greene she was a sixteen year old church-going farm girl who was timid and, mostly, annoying. If you'll remember, Beth is the girl who tried to kill herself while everyone else on the farm was dealing with the exact same grim reality that she was. While Rick has to reconcile the fact that his wife's unborn baby may not be his, Carol still hasn't found her daughter, Carl is recuperating from a near fatal gunshot wound and Daryl is wandering the woods while having hallucinations of his neo-nazi brother, Beth is sad that her father is an alcoholic and then she witnesses the death and reanimation of her mother.  All of these are terrible situations, but only Beth gives a half-assed suicide attempt a go. This momentary lapse in judgement was not looked upon kindly by most fans and Beth's death seemed imminent and completely justified. 

Somehow, this little lady made it safely off of the farm and into the prison. As with all people who are upset enough to attempt to take their lives, Beth decided to become really upbeat and optimistic when the whole suicide attempt thing didn't really pan out. Totally normal and not at all unbelievable behavior. (Um, sarcasm.) Granted, Beth did become the main caretaker of baby Judith after Lori's death and had her new outlook on life been a result of that, I could have gone along with it, but Beth became Miss Happy before the birth of Judith. The girl with a scar on her wrist was now the one singing and trying to keep everyone's spirits up. Again, most viewers did not take kindly to Beth Greene. Despite losing her mother, two boyfriends and proclaiming that she would never cry again, Beth was still everyone's beacon of hope. This never really rang true and most viewers didn't fall for it. Beth was never really able to be her father's daughter. You can cut Hershel's head off, but you can't replace it with Beth's.


After the fallout at the prison and the death of her father (where was the petition to bring back Hershel Greene?!) Beth becomes even more independent and takes full advantage of her time with Daryl by learning how to defend and protect herself. It wasn't until Beth had the great pleasure of being on the road with Daryl that she earned herself a true fandom and even garnered a power couple nickname: Bethyl. Let me remind you that Beth is the girl who, initially, could barely deal with her new reality, then decided to become positive and even touted the virtue of killing the walkers with respect because, after all, they used to be human and shouldn't be treated cruelly. Does this sound like anyone we know? Perhaps a young lady who is currently still looking at the flowers?

Beth Greene was neither here nor there for me, but overall, she was a bit of a throwaway character. Until they partnered her with Daryl. Daryl Dixon, the guy that was created specifically for the show because Norman Reedus is that fucking amazing. Reedus auditioned for Merle, but they liked him so much, an entirely new character was created for him and it didn't take long for the Daryl Dixon love to kick in. Once he donned that walker ear necklace, it was a love fest. Man, woman, child, dog, hedgehog-everyone loves Daryl Dixon and if you don't, you best keep your mouth shut or you'll be fed to the walkers. The undeniable appeal of the outsider with a heart of gold mixed with the genuinely magnetic appeal of Norman Reeuds has bewitched most of the human race and THIS is why we fell in love with Beth. If Daryl saw something in her worth fighting off an entire Golf Club worth of walkers for and then cried like a baby after seeing her whisked away in a suspicious vehicle, well, then we cared for her too. 

At this point, the naysayers who claim that Beth was only given a larger storyline in order to further the storyline of a man are going to chime in. While I see where you are coming from with that argument, Beth was always presented as her own individual person and she was given three seasons to grow and enchant us with her lullaby singing and perky outlook. Why did no one truly care about her until she became half of Bethyl? Most likely because she was mildly boring and rarely brought much to the table. When your half sister is Maggie Greene, you're going to have to give me a little bit more if you want to shine just as brightly. Beth was a Bob, a T-Dog, a Dale, an Axel, an Otis, a Lizzie: she was always on the chopping block and no one really cared until Daryl cared. The furor over the death of Beth Greene is just a testament to the character of Daryl. When people speak of why they'll miss Beth, they mourn the loss of what her character was going to bring out in Daryl. You can either view that sentiment as her still only being an extension of a male character or you can view it as deep rooted Daryl love. Either way, the true character of Beth is not what is being cried over. 


Emily Kinney is an undeniably talented actress and she did a great job holding her own while trapped in that hospital with Dawn, but her story was over. Kinney has been very vocal about believing that Beth's time was cut short on The Walking Dead, but clearly, the writers don't agree with her and you know what? Most people didn't agree with her until they saw Daryl carrying her out of the hospital. I seem to recall an inordinately large portion of the audience complaining every time Beth was focused on this season, or any previous season for that matter,  but now that Daryl cried over her, people are starting a petition to bring her back? As much as I use the "It's a drama!" to defend the "slower" episodes of The Walking Dead, this isn't a soap opera. Beth can't just come back like a character on All My Children. Well, unless the Winchester brothers are about to do a crossover episode and I'm strangely down with that idea. 


Beth is dead and, it seems to me, the biggest thing that died with her was her potential future with Daryl.  As someone who is firmly planted in the camp of "Daryl shall remain uncoupled," I viewed Beth's death with as much sadness as I did Bob's. It was sad and they both went out like champs, but this is a show about the zombie apocalypse; not everyone is going to live. Especially not the girl who everyone could care less about until she became an uncomfortably young love interest for the one character on the show who never shows any kind of need or desire to be romantically partnered with someone. I'm willing to say that Beth was 19 when that bullet went through her skull. Daryl is in his late thirties-early forties. If they were a couple in real life, they would be slaughtered for that age difference, but because there is an obsessive need for Daryl to be with someone, this was o.k. It is my completely unscientific deduction that most people are mourning for Daryl. Not Beth. Yes, there are some people who legitimately loved Beth Greene and I'm truly sorry for your loss. As someone who is still upset over the loss of Hershel, I sympathize with you. For everyone who didn't really care where Beth was from episode to episode until she was kidnapped from under Daryl's nose, what are you really upset about? When Daryl cries, we all cry and think there are a lot of misplaced feelings coming from that.