Re: Why did Trip have to die in the final episode?
I'll repeat the bit about the spoiler in the title. Despite it being 8 years old, I didn't see the episode for the first time until this past January.
Perhaps they thought they had somehow foreshadowed the event, with "Sim" and radiation burned Trip in IAMD.
Even Berman admits he would never have done the episode had he known the reaction to it.
This shows how out of touch they were with the fanbase at the time, even though Berman was with the franchise nearly 20 years.
Curly: Moe, Larry, the cheese! Moe, Larry, the cheese! (Horses Collars, 1935)