So there’s been a ton of debate lately over the possibility of TPTB hiding what’s happening with Bethyl. EK was only ever seen on set once before the msf, and not at all after it. Which could be due to them wanting to keep Beth’s story under wraps.
However, a lot of Bethyl positive things have been said and written. Several times even. Which kind of contradicts the “keeping things under wraps” thing.
But I think this could be boiled down to the fact that TPTB has never left a romance unresolved for a long period of time.
Think about it: Rick and Lori were already together. Shane and Lori wasn’t a secret to the fans at all. Then there was Shane/Andrea and The Govenor/Andrea. Glenn and Maggie hooked up and started their relationship immediately. Tyreese and Karen were a couple as soon as season 4 started. Bob and Sasha addressed their feelings for each other. And Abraham and Rosita are already a couple.
The pattern here is that TPTB have never led the audience on concerning romances. Every single one of them were very clear and straight forward.
The only relationship that has ever seemed open ended is Daryl and Beth (I am not counting Rick and Michonne because they have not shared any kind of romantic feelings for each other
I believe the writers don’t prefer any kind of “slow burn” romances. And I think this is due to the show being based off of comic books. I do not think that Kirkman is a fan of those kinds of things. He seems to just like putting romances out there in a very clear way. Because The Walking Dead is not about building up romances or telling love stories. It’s first and foremost about survival.
Even though Daryl and Beth’s story was interrupted at the end of season 4, it only makes sense that it will be addressed some time in season 5. TPTB obviously had plans with these two from the very beginning of season 4. “Still” and especially “Alone” showed us some very obvious love tropes.
As for all the Bethyl positive things being said: TPTB aren’t about trying to deceive or mislead us when it comes to romances (See previous examples). There have been multiple confirmations by TPTB that Daryl and Beth shared a deep connection with each other. They aren’t trying to trick anyone when it comes to Bethyl. It may take some time, but I believe this is due to how Daryl and Beth are as characters. Daryl is a very emotionally distant person. He is not like Glenn or Tyreese or Bob. He is unable to fully realize his feelings for someone the same way or as quickly as them. How Daryl and Beth are feeling toward each other will be addressed in season 5. It will take some time for both Daryl and Beth to come to terms with how they are feeling toward each other.
But even though it will take longer, Bethyl is still the same as all of the other couples. The audience knows that there is something going on between them. There are no secrets and there is no ambiguity. TPTB have never led us on before, so why would they start to now?
I’m not going to go into the “other ship” much, but TPTB have never led anyone on with them either. Critics and articles may have been promoting them for some time but we have to remember that those are often written with a biased slant. TPTB have never said that they shared any feelings toward each other, like they often have with Daryl and Beth. And we have to remember that a “strong bond” does not equal “romantic feelings.” There has never been anything shown on screen that suggests that the other ship share any kind of romantic feelings with each other.
However, Daryl does have feelings for Beth. The audience has seen it (I don’t care who anyone ships but anyone who says they did not see a connection form between them in “Still” and “Alone” are lying), and TPTB knows what they are doing. Every single romance on this show has been openly clear to the audience and Bethyl fits right into their pattern.