More than 34,000 people—presumably doted-upon only children, but that remains unverified—have signed a change.org petition to bring back a Walking Dead character who was killed in the show’s recent mid-season finale. If you don’t want to know who that was, stop reading now. (Also: Darth Vader is Luke’s father.) The petition, called Bring Beth Back!, insists that the character—played with tough grace by Emily Kinney, and last seen with a bullet through her brain, being carried lifeless toward her agonized sister—was killed in a manner that was both “sloppy” and “unsatisfying,” and that her death was used only to further the storyline of a man. (Specifically Daryl.) The petition does not suggest how the Walking Dead creators might choose to resurrect a character who’s not merely dead, but really most sincerely dead. The signers of this very important document already had one really good idea—bring the character that we identified with back, now!—and they can’t be expected to come up with all the good ideas, can they?
Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple was sympathetic to the masses that have chosen to second-guess him and his team of professional television writers, telling THR, “It’s not a fun story or a story we took lightly. Beth didn’t die because she was weak; 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.”
Kinney herself told the site, “Sometimes there isn’t rhyme or reason; why does that person die and not that person?… There was great writing and a lot that was just getting started. I was excited to explore those sparks. It ended in a flash. That’s the way life is.” So what they’re saying, if I’m reading correctly, is that in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which reanimated corpses lurk around every corner and most remaining humans have become savagely selfish in order to survive, the people with the coolest backstories or highest levels of gumption won’t necessarily be the ones who make it all the way. Maximiliano Hernandez, who played the complex but short-lived Officer Bob Lamson, did not comment, but in fairness we did not try to contact him.