Well guys, it’s Monday. We’ve had some time to process what happened on The Walking Dead last night. If you haven’t seen the episode…stop reading this and go watch it. Seriously. Because I need to figure this episode out, and I’m going to figure it out by spoiling it.
Have you watched it?
I’m just going to say it: Beth, thou art a freaking dumbass.
Out of all the ways I’ve seen prominent characters go in TWD, I’d say this death was the most…ridiculous? Senseless? Some adjective that isn’t coming to mind? There isn’t really much to say about what happened. Beth got pissed off and lashed out. By the way, this is a bad idea when there’s a firearm involved.
Her death perplexes me the same way her life did.
I should probably explain.
I have never particularly cared for Beth as a character. For a long time, I coudln’t quite put my finger on why. I finally figured it out the other night: I like my apocalyptic characters to be badasses. That’s just how I roll. If you’re not a direct badass, you’d better at least be a) competent at a task and/or b) funny. Beth just seemed to be kind of…well, useless. She sang, she held the baby, and then…then what?
Yes, she was getting better at defending herself, but she never stuck out to me like…well, any of the others.
Beth also represents probably what might happen to a lot of the population. We’re not all cut out to be badasses. I am probably never going to be Daryl Dixon no matter how many crossbows you give me. While I like to imagine myself kicking undead ass and taking names should the zombie apocalypse begin nearby, I am always vaguely aware that I am realllllly not cut out for that kind of scenario. Frankly, very few people are. Yeah, we all sit here and watch zombie movies (or war movies, or whatever situation you choose) and go “Ha! I’d never do that. I would do this” and generally feel smug about the situation. It’s cool. I do it, too.
Right. Like most of us would last thirty seconds in the apocalyptic situation du jour.
So what happens to those who cannot immediately rack up a zillion head shots/fight off aliens/pilot the Millennium Falcon?
We join a decent group of people and hope they accept what we can contribute, be that cooking, cleaning, babysitting, wisecracking, whatever. And somewhere along the way we hope they do teach us The Ways of Badassery.
So in that sense I see Beth as pretty realistic. Given time, she might have evolved into a fine fighter in her own right.
Her Death-by-Stupidity? Also realistic. It is exactly the sort of thing a teenager would do (yes, I believe Beth is still a teenager) — get angry and then ineffectually lash out at whoever’s angering them. Granted, Beth’s idea of lashing out is planting a pair of scissors in Dawn’s shoulder. Did she even land a shoulder wound, by the way? Maybe the scissors got wedged in the vest.
Was it a dumb way to go? Yeah. But can we talk about Dawn for a minute?
I actually found her pretty interesting. The backstory we got about Dawn, the other officers, and the place was fascinating; power struggles, murder, the whole shebang. I was admittedly distracted during some of her scenes and may have missed some explanation, but it seems like she killed the last guy in charge because he was screwing up? And now her leadership has led to patients being abused and raped.
Way to go, Dawn. But shit, I’d watch the hell out of a miniseries around her rise and descent.
Was she nuts? I dunno. She seemed pretty sane to me. Power-hungry, yes; morally bankrupt, probably, but she was still frightfully sane. The Governor kept heads in aquariums and his zombie daughter locked up in a closet. That’s insane.
In short, I was never wild about Beth, but she had her place in the group. I wonder what the fallout will be. Will they all stick closer together? Or will this drive them apart?
I’m worried about Maggie, to tell you the truth.