After my review of "Slabtown," readers seem to have gotten the mistaken impression that I hate the character of Beth Greene. That couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, part of my problem with "Slabtown" was that because I have no emotional investment in Beth, I had no emotional investment in the episode.
I watch The Walking Dead for a lot of reasons. In fact, I wrote an article on why many people watch The Walking Dead. My primary motivation for watching the show each week has nothing to do with action, blood, guts or gore. I watch for the emotional torture I subject myself to as I hope and pray that those characters with whom I invest my emotions don't die or do something unredeemable.
For me to hate Beth, the character would have had to have been a much more integral and intense part of the story. I would have had to have felt something more than mild irritation when she was on screen for me to hate her now.
There have been characters on The Walking Dead whom I hated. I hated Lori with a burning passion and cheered when the character was finally gone (though the cheer was tempered by the fact that even as she died, she was the same selfish, horrible person she had been in life). I hated Shane, though to a lesser degree than Lori. I cheered when he died, though again that cheer was tempered by the pain both Rick and Carl had to go through over Shane's double death.
The most intense emotion I ever felt for Beth was irritation. She was an annoyance. A whiney teenager who has slowly grown into a hesitant young woman, who might, if given time, mature into someone I could be emotionally invested in. But as the character stands, at best, I am ambivalent toward Beth. And there lies my problem with "Slabtown." If I don't care about the main character of a spotlight episode, I'm going to feel "meh" about the episode. And that's exactly what happened.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for the writers of the show and for Emily Kinney as an actress. It's the character--Beth--for whom my feelings run lukewarm