Fans first met Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) back on The Walking Dead Season 2, and even though she’s had a fairly small role since then, she’s changed a lot and will continue to do so.
Season 2 Beth didn’t do much — until the barn opened up, her mom died (again), and she decided she wanted to kill herself. In Season 3, she was seen with a gun when the group took over the prison; after baby Judith was born, she was mostly on nanny duty, occasionally going full Mary Poppins, but with darker song choices.
Now it’s Season 4 and Beth will have a major role in the second half — including on this Sunday’s Episode 10, “Inmates,” which will show her urging Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) to get up and search for any other survivors of the Governor vs. prison battle.
Beth is still a teenager, but she’s played by 28-year-old Emily Kinney, who talked to Creative Loafing Atlanta about her character’s evolution. “In Season 2, she was thinking about opting out of this whole world. Once she made that decision to stick with it, she became a lot stronger mentally,” Emily said. “I think what you see from that point on is Beth trying to figure out what her role is in the group, how she can help, where she's needed. [...] [B]ut now that they're all scattered I think that's going to change and I think that rather than trying to find where she fits in and how she can help, it's more of an immediate ‘live or die,’ you know? So I think you're going to see her grow in a really great way. And you're going to see her mourn the loss of her father.” (RIP Hershel!)
Promos have shown Beth crying, while on the road with Daryl, so the stoic Beth of the Season 4 premiere may be well in the past. Beth’s thoughts of suicide are also in the past, and not likely to return.
“She pulled herself out of that and you don't see her go back to that; it's not a conversation she keeps having,” Emily continued. “I feel like she went through all this trauma — losing a lot of her family, her mother, and the barn thing — but it doesn't keep coming up as an option. It came up once and then she was like, ‘This is the world we live in and I'm going to figure out how to deal.’ So I think that they set up Beth that way. She is a mentally stable person and she can take a lot. She's a lot tougher than she looks.”
She’s certainly a lot tougher than the girl we first met, but she’s still a teen trying to find herself. And she still loves to sing, so we’ll hear more Beth tunes in the second half.
Are you curious to see Beth’s further evolution on Season 4? She’s all over the promos, so anyone who wanted more screen time for Beth should be very happy with the next few episodes!
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Source: Creative Loafing Atlanta