You know what Gimple did? In a simple, SHORT, three episode arc (Inmates, Still, Alone), Scott Gimple created a character who was once seen as nothing but walker bait, just “another dead girl” by most of the audience, and totally flipped it. Look at this shit. Look at the hooplah over her death. Look at it! It’s not just us, those crazy few in the fandom. Even people who didn’t like Beth are upset with the waste. Even critics. It’s why the Bring Beth Back petition is doing crazy well.
But wait. Let’s go back to S4. Gimple has made it clear many many times that he’s had S4 and 5 planned, from the beginning of filming. He is not a writer that doesn’t think ahead. He plans meticulously. It’s the one thing, as one writer to another, that I completely envy about his process. He KNEW in the opening of Season 4 that Daryl and Beth would be hugging, and that they’d be thrown together when the prison fell. He planned to make Beth yell her way, not just through to Daryl, but speaking directly to the audience who saw her as nothing but a character to kill off, like T-Dog, like Carl’s friend who got sick, even Lizzie and Mika. He purposefully built her up, and gave her the PROPHESY (no, no, I swear I won’t get into the religious themes all over, others are doing it better than I am in this fandom), of being the New Sheriff In Town.
Why would a man, who also said he’d planned Beth’s death since S4, throw it all away if that’s really it?
The other option is that AMC shutdown Beth’s storyline, presumably because they got uncomfortable with the age difference between Daryl and Beth, or, just some other unknowable thing happened in which they had to change up their story last minute. I really feel like Gimple wouldn’t do that. If he did, I think he’d fight hard on it. I always got this feeling from Gimple, when he took over, that he was trying to fix the issues that arose with Mazzara. (Wasn’t Gimple the one to rewrite/write Andrea’s botched death so she’d at least get a goodbye with her family?) He has been meticulous with everything else he’s given us so far, from the very beginning of Season 4. After the huge success of 4, why would Gimple not use that leverage to overcome any doubts AMC could have had? Another reason I don’t buy into AMC specifically stopping a potential “taboo” ish relationship between Daryl and Beth is, 1- their non-issue with showing quite graphically the sexual relationship between Abraham and Rosita, and 2- this isn’t their first show with an unconventional age gap. Also, AMC was the one to “spoil” that there were deeper feelings between the two, and had no problem saying so on their character pages, as well. I just don’t see it as being logical that they’d shy away this time. And 3- even if it were something AMC pulled rank, Gimple’s not such a bad writer that he wouldn’t at least try to tie most of it up. He wouldn’t leave such a mess behind. He’s too meticulous for it.
What I think is happening here… (except for in my moments of doubt), is that Gimple is going to sit back until February and love it. He flipped it. He flipped everyone. Every person who had no interest in Beth and would have shed no real tears over her previous to S4 is a wreck now. Everyone’s livid. Look at what he did with a character in THREE EPISODES. And I think he loves it. I think he revels in everyone up in arms for losing this character most people didn’t care about just a year ago. I think he loves that he made everyone love Beth as much as he did, a character he created from the beginning, with the suicide attempt, an episode he wrote, I believe.
And I think he’s going to be so smug if we all lost faith so quickly, only for him to bring her back, and say, see, I had this planned the whole time. We told you you’d “dig” it.