The Walking Dead, TV Shows

The Walking Dead Beth: 6 Observations You Might Have Missed from Coda

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Warning: TONS of spoilers through the mid-season finale about The Walking Dead Beth and Coda. (Remember, you can highlight anything in this blog that you like and automatically share it on FB or Twitter!)

If you haven’t seen the episode The Walking Dead’s “Coda” yet or would like to watch it again, it’s available for instant watch on Amazon (just click here.)

Dawn and Beth face off on The Walking Dead
(AMC/The Walking Dead)

I… I’m still in shock after Season 5 Episode 7 of The Walking Dead. I have so many thoughts and so many questions, I’m not even really sure where to begin. (Aside from: Whyyyyyyyy?) 🙁

1. What is the theme of Walking Dead? What is the overarching message? 

I think the question is worth asking… It’s not “treat others decently and things might turn out OK for you.” It’s not “Things work out in the end.” I mean, Beth was pretty much the last vestige of purity, untarnished, a bit of hope, and that light was snuffed out. She wasn’t ready to give up on everybody, she still believed people had good in them… She was the closest person character-wise to Hershel. She took after her dad.

So she had to die. 🙁

But honestly, Hershel’s death was worse for me in many ways. But that doesn’t make Beth’s death hurt any less.

I think Hershel's death was worse, but Beth's was still terrible. #TheWalkingDead Share on X

It seems that The Walking Dead is simply a story about what happens when humans are pushed to the extreme. Like Game of Thrones, it has no qualms about killing off main characters. It’s not being gritty for the sake of grittiness. It’s being real. This, Walking Dead says, is truly what would happen if zombies were real. This is reality. 

2. Rick Grimes is a Walter White Type Character

I’ve heard this tossed around – what do you think? Like with Breaking Bad, are we watching the main character (Rick Grimes) evolve from someone with high moral standings to a sinister, dangerous man? There’s a big difference though. In The Walking Dead, this must happen for Rick and his group to survive. It’s imperative. But that doesn’t make him look less crazy to a passerby who doesn’t know his background. Seeing someone kill a man for “not stopping” looks crazy, if you don’t know the story.

Seen without his back story, Rick is sinister & dark. #TheWalkingDead Share on X

Where is the line between hero and anti-hero? I don’t think Rick’s crossed that line. I think he’s just become the zombie-killing bad-ass hero that he must be in a true post-apocalyptic world.

3. #Caryl  Won, but Beth Wasn’t Their Redemption for Sophia

#Caryl Forever
(AMC/The Walking Dead)
Daryl couldn't save Sophia and he couldn't save Beth. #TheWalkingDead Share on X

I’ll be the first to admit that I was partially wrong in this last blog post. I posited that Beth would be Carol and Daryl’s redemption. While they couldn’t save Sophia, they would be able to do so with Beth. My prediction that Daryl and Carol were the new “power couple,” not Beth and Daryl, was right.

But instead of redemption, we got more pain, more loss, and more despair. I’d imagine that seeing Beth die was like a flashback for these two.

#Caryl couldn't save Sophia or Beth. There's no redemption. #TheWalkingDead Share on X

4. Beth’s Death Was Meaningful and Meaningless All at the Same Time

First, Beth’s death was meaningful. Dawn made a quip earlier in the season about how Beth was weak and would put other people’s lives at risk to save her own. Beth proved her wrong when she sacrificed herself to let Noah escape a couple episodes ago. But then she did it again.

Many people are upset about her stabbing Dawn in the shoulder with a pair of scissors. I think she was actually aiming for Dawn’s throat, but Dawn’s quick cop reflexes deflected her aim (and also led to Beth’s death.) Beth must have known her chances were slim. But she also figured out that Dawn wouldn’t stop (when she said “I get it.”) Dawn would ruin Noah’s life and possibly go after the gang too. So rather than sit back and watch it happen, like so many others would do, Beth took a chance. She did something. 

And she died as a result. 🙁

But the part that makes her death meaningless is that it didn’t have to happen. She could have pulled Rick aside and talked to him. They could have gone back, guns blazing. Instead, Beth put everyone in the group at risk by pulling her stunt.

Things might have turned out better if Noah had refused to go with Dawn. Dawn’s own people might have turned against her. But we’ll never know.

Beth’s death reminds me a bit of Charlie’s death on LOST. Yes, deeper meaning, revelation and salvation might have come from it. But it also didn’t have to happen.

Beth's death is like Charlie's on LOST. Meaningful but not necessary. #TWD Share on X

5. The Name “Coda” Revealed the Ending

Coda is the ending part of a musical segment. And because Beth still liked to sing (remember when she even told someone at the hospital that she was still singing?), the title of the episode hinted that this was going to be the end of Beth’s song.

Coda is the end of a song. And Coda was the end of Beth's song. #TheWalkingDead Share on X

I was hoping that all the hints about a character dying in the mid-season finale was just going to end up being about Dawn or maybe Tyreese’s sister (who even remembers her name?) I just never really figured they’d kill her off after growing her character so much. But I was wrong.

6. Maggie is Still the World’s Worst Sister

The scene where Maggie saw Beth’s body tore me up. There’s no way to hear that scream and not be affected. (Although Daryl’s reaction affected me even more!) But I’m still mad at her for not caring about Beth up until now. Maggie moved heaven and earth to look for Glenn, even when she had no idea if he was still alive or if she could ever find him. But she didn’t do anything to find Beth. She just left and went to DC without even mentioning leaving Beth behind.

When they got back to the church and everyone says, “Let’s go save your sister!,” it made me mad. Really? Let’s go save her? You haven’t even been looking for her! This meme that someone else posted seems to sum that up well:

Beth Maggie Meme

However, I’ll always remember this photo and pretend it was how the episode actually ended:

Beth and Maggie hugging on The Walking Dead
(AMC/The Walking Dead)
This photo is how I imagine Coda ended... #TheWalkingDead Share on X

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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