Re: Petition to bring back a killed Walking Dead character (SPOILERS)
'Over time' being 'from episode to episode.' Merle suffered particularly because besides being a jerk the writers didn't get a handle on his other aspects (and judging from the way the back half of the season was written it feels like they only had vague summaries of each other's episodes to go on.)
What strengths Walking Dead's writing has in terms of character are really only true in terms of individual episodes rather than consistent character arcs, like last season's "Clear."
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick