I think for me, it's going to be "that response". Context comes in way too much, not to mention that the ideas being addressed may not call for an extreme response, like death, in order to be translated on to a page or a piece of film. Obviously you can't avoid conflict in a conventional narrative, and seeing as external conflict is (arguably, probably just me speaking here) easier to plan out and make believable, then bringing a death in might be an acceptable idea. I believe that some conflict requires the characters in a narrative to be active and alive though, to bring in internal conflicts too, since, you know, one character's conflicts disappear the moment they're wiped out.
It can be interesting to see main character deaths carried out in unorthodox ways though, not so much experimental ways, but ambitious ways. Janet Leigh in Psycho for instance. That example rests on the question, "Is Janet Leigh's character the protagonist of the film?"Honestly, that sort of thinking interests me, haha.
I don't know if this is what you were expecting. My overall view is that death is an extreme measure of resolving a conflict, hence it is relevant in extreme circumstances. In others, it can seem horrendously out of place, and we focus ourselves on issues that the work wasn't really discussing, or something really trivial. There's an almost unlimited number of ways of reading a text of course, but fnpqd[oq.
Yeah, I'm a bit lost now to tell the truth.