7:08 pm EDT, September 10, 2020

’The 100’ season 7, episode 13 review: Three to go

The 100 season 7, episode 13 aired last night. Here is our review.

There are three episodes to go of The 100. Humanity will presumably transcend and then it’s boom out, forever.

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Good riddance, am I right guys?

*record scratch*

*freeze frame*

Yep. It’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up like this…

The 100 season 7, episode 13 “Blood Giant” was written by Ross Knight and directed by Michael Cliett. The episode sees Clarke Griffin return to Sanctum, breeze through a red sun event, kill Bellamy Blake, and skedaddle onwards to Earth.

All in all, an solid sequence of events for a show that seems determined to alienate its viewers ahead of the imminent grand finale.

Sitting down to write this review feels a little bit like an exercise in self-flagellation. At this point, I’m stuck between writing off the show for what already before this episode was a poorly executed, character-destroying, storyworld-breaking final season and shrugging everything that happens off as unimportant because of the inevitable cathartic post-mortem denouement that will render it all moot anyway. (And here I thought it was about the journey.)

Hell, for all we know, Clarke is already in the simulation taking the final test. I mean, she probably isn’t. But she could be. That’s how unstable this narrative has become; that’s how unsafe the viewing experience feels.

The result is that I don’t know if I’m being set up to be angry at something only for the story to be like “gotcha, don’t you feel silly for feeling your feelings?”, or if everything is exactly as it seems and I am once again giving the story too much credit (wouldn’t be the first time). Either way, as a fan and as a reviewer, I lose. And for what? As far as I can tell, no one is winning.

It all leaves me a little lost for how to proceed with this review. I’m lost for how to talk about an episode in which so many out-of-character, plot-driven, contrived decisions were made in order to force a terrible story development in service of an endgame that I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna like.

It’s one thing to pick apart story choices when you believe those story choices were made in good faith – as I certainly have done, and have fervently believed — but I find it very hard to believe that good faith was on the agenda here. However I look at it, it all just feels spiteful, and the result is that I can’t take the story seriously.

What I do take seriously however, as I’m sitting here, devouring an entire bag of untoasted toast bread and wondering why I agreed to come back and review this season at all (what I wouldn’t give to just throw some snark at Twitter and go do my laundry) is that, much like the characters’ lives, the viewing experience is just going in circles.

It’s not that this is a new and unprecedented hurt the show has thrown at us. It’s that we’ve been here before. Or at least some of us have. I have definitely sat here and binged my sad spongy bread and felt exactly like this – only then, I still believed change was possible, because it was 2016 and the show was still young and finding itself (and honestly, the world was just different then).

As my former fellow reviewer Erin Brown pointed out on Twitter this morning, the statement released for Bellamy’s death eerily mirrors the statement released when Lexa died in season 3. How the writers were committed to doing better. How they were listening and learning. How they wanted battered fans to keep watching because the story would be worth it, in the end.

I know a lot of fans who stuck around and thus will be reading this weren’t big fans of Lexa, but I was. And as some of you may remember, I almost stopped watching after she died, because while she wasn’t the reason I started watching The 100, she was the reason I truly fell in love with it.

The show became so special to me that I abandoned all the other shows I covered for Hypable to focus solely on The 100. I pushed aside my burgeoning desire to leave fandom journalism behind, for a time. Fandom journalism isn’t the most glamorous profession, but I always believed that what I did could matter to the industry, if I did my job well enough; that my writing about a fandom could not only add something to the viewing experience for existing fans, but help a show’s audience grow and help it find the acclaim I felt it deserved.

I believed The 100 was a story worth fighting for, and I wanted to help it get discovered, and grow, and have the ability to live up to its potential. (And I like to think I did help it do that in some small way, though I guess I’ll never know.)

Then Lexa died. And I almost quit watching, like most of the rest of the reviewers who, like me, had considered her and what she represented a standout part of the show. And for the record, I still believe she was, and that killing her off was a mistake.

But what I also believed, at the time, was that the potential of this show wasn’t confined to one character, or relationship, however groundbreaking I genuinely believed it to be. Clarke was still there, and she still mattered; as representation, but also just as a phenomenally written and acted character. Clarke had so much left to do and be, and a big part of her journey, and my journey with her, would be to truly move on and find love and joy and purpose (or so I thought).

And it wasn’t just Clarke. It was also Bellamy, and Octavia, and Raven. Kane, Abby, Monty, Jasper, Harper, Indra, Luna, Murphy, Emori, Jaha. Pike. The show was chock full of powerful, complex characters, particularly women and characters of color, that were all so unique and flawed and inspirational and interesting, and a lot of them had been there since the beginning. These characters felt real; they were never reduced to their labels, never boxed in by predetermined expectations for what narrative function they could or should fulfil. They had so much potential. They had so much promise.

(At the time, I also didn’t find it unreasonable to assume that more prominent characters and particularly women of color would be revealed as LGBTQ+ in the same groundbreakingly offhand way Clarke and Lexa had been. I was never kidding about Princess Mechanic. It could have happened. So could Sea Mechanic. So could Broan. There were so many possibilities to push barriers, and the choice was almost always made not to push those barriers. But that’s another discussion for another time.)

The thing that guts me isn’t that I believed in the show’s potential or that I chose to stick around. I made that choice in good faith, and I stand by it, and a lot of great and terrible things have happened on the show since season 3 that served the story and that I certainly don’t believe was done with any malintent towards the fans.

What guts me is that, in my heart of hearts, I am really beginning to believe that the show itself didn’t ever believe that they had something worthwhile to offer beyond Lexa. That it peaked in season 3; that all it could do was keep itself afloat on false promises and fake progressions, chasing a ghost of something great, inching forward but always backing off the moment it was on the cusp of building something greater.

And no character has suffered the consequences of this more than Clarke. She has had one foot in the past, emotionally tied to a tiny box and locked inside an emotional vortex of shame and regret for four seasons now, and whatever forward momentum it seemed she finally made in season 6, this season — this episode — completely undid it.

All that disappointment, and I haven’t even gotten to Bellamy yet.

I don’t know why any of these choices are made and I prefer not to speculate. All I know is that we have literally moved across the stars and are pushing our noses up against the glass of an actual celestial race offering humanity spiritual transcendence, and yet we are still having the same conversation about “doing better” by your characters and your audience that we were having 132 years ago.

I also know that you don’t make up for the pain you caused by causing more pain. It’s the lesson the show seems to be setting up to teach its characters, but it’s one I fear the people behind the show haven’t actually learned.

Ultimately, I am left feeling like the voices behind this season don’t love the show the way it deserves to be loved, and certainly does not write to satisfy the audience it actually has, and that makes me feel like a fool for loving it at all, and for defending it as vehemently as I have for all these years.

But I still do love it. Which makes having to write these negative reviews suck. I so dearly want to be happy and excited about this final season. I want to understand the reasons behind these choices, even if I don’t agree with them. I want to believe that there is something worthwhile to be derived from all of this.

Believe me when I say that I want to celebrate how Emori, Indra and Hope have been written: all amazing characters and actresses and my god, have they been done justice this year. I want to be excited about Alaina Huffman and J.R. Bourne and rave about the kids and the dog and cry for Raven and cheer for Clarke and rage at Bellamy and worry for Octavia, but I can’t do any of those things, because I don’t believe in it anymore. It all just feels like smoke and mirrors to obscure the cruel tricks this show plays on its viewers any time anyone dares to care too much, or become too hopeful.

Right now, I just feel like getting it over with. So let’s bellyflop into this week’s review, munching on our soggy bread, and hope for a latent surge of enthusiasm next week.

Knock knock. Who’s there? Candice. Candice who? Candice plot line get any worse?

Clarke, Cadogan, Raven, Bellamy, Ducett and the redshirts arrive on Sanctum to find that Sheidheda has taken over.

Fortunately, the mess that took a whole season to make takes about five seconds to clean up, because Cadogan’s endgame warriors kill Sheidheda’s henchmen and instantly end what, tbh, probably could have been an interesting power struggle.

Those five seconds of interplay between John Pyper-Ferguson and J.R. Bourne were great, though. Even though they are playing new characters that I have zero emotional attachment to, the actors are awesome, and maybe one day we’ll get to see them play off each other in something else.

I’m particularly impressed with John Pyper-Ferguson. What a gem of an actor. And this huge, pivotal role is based off a bit appearance in season 4, too. Excellent work by the casting department, as always.

While all Sheidheda’s unnamed lackeys die instantly around him, Murphy isn’t killed here because, and I quote, “We couldn’t shoot through your main character plot armor anyway.” This is convenient, since they will soon be in need of a new Bellamy and Murphy has spent most of the season awkwardly being molded into the Male Lead shape.

No offense to the character. I just preferred him when he was still Murphy.

For some reason, the red sun makes another appearance, for no real reason other than to, I suppose, give Sara Thompson a last chance to guest star?

(And hey, no complaints here, she was great and her energy this episode was a nice addition. But it’s blatantly obvious that the story is dictated by which actors they want to write for, and it’s getting to be a little much.)

Through Josephine, Gabriel gets to have a revelation about the Flame: he can fix it, and he can be the one to take the test and save the human race.

Before this episode, I’d actually have thought Gabriel would be a fair candidate to take the test, but this sequence proves why he isn’t: he would be at least partially motivated by the glory and by the chance to make up for past mistakes, which would make him ‘selfish’ in the eyes of whomever is judging, and humanity would fail.

Luckily, Gabriel himself realizes this by the end of the episode (wait, does that make him worthy again?) and shoots the Flame… I would say irrevocably destroying it this time, but I know better than to believe that anymore. There’s code in the computer now. They can fix it if they want to.

Before that cathartic moment though, we get a great little scene between Jackson and Gabriel. Two of the most delightful beings in the known universe. I could watch them doctor-science for a whole episode and frankly, I wish I had!

Jackson is hilariously nonplussed about Gabriel talking to his sexy ghost, but helps him nonetheless, because Gabriel is just so gosh darn confidence-inspiring.

(The irony of the fact that nobody questions Gabriel’s loyalty for a second despite the fact that he’s wearing the same cult getup as Bellamy is not lost on me, it just doesn’t feel like a very pressing grievance, all things considered.)

Jackson’s little one-on-one scenes with random characters has been one of my favorite parts of the season, and this is no exception. As off-putting as it is to me that they’re so blatantly writing to actors they like at the expense of the narrative throughlines, I don’t mind it in this instance, because it also serves the character and the overall arc of his story.

Jackson isn’t some random newbie who’s taking screen time away from people who suddenly feel like supporting characters in their own story. We’re talking about a very minor near-background character in season 1 being slowly and consistently pushed further and further to the forefront year after year, and his scenes in season 7 feel like payoffs for half a decade’s worth of setup. It’s purely awesome and something I wish the show had done more. (Harper was another great example.)

That I also think Sachin Sahel deserves the material, and has done amazing with everything he’s been given, is just a bonus.

Sidenote: I also appreciate that Gabriel didn’t know who “Nate” is, because frankly, he doesn’t know any of these people aside from Hope and Echo (and maybe Octavia) and it’s weird when the show acts like he’s always been a part of the inner circle. Him holding the flashlight in his mouth was also a nice touch. Just a cute scene all around, and it put a smile on my face.

Alive and guarded

Another excellent scene is Murphy and Raven bonding over their mutual inability to stop the shitshows unfolding around their respective persons. Murphy and Raven have great chemistry, sometimes distractingly so, but I really just appreciate the show’s consistency in terms of developing and maintaining this dynamic, that has been so loaded since the very beginning.

Their conversation here could very easily just have been a tl;dr of all of season 7’s nonsense, but it’s also a very sweet and human moment between two friends, so kudos for that.

(On The 100, they tend to forget that their characters are human. So any tiny little moment of life, like Murphy punching Raven in the shoulder, stands out more than it probably would on most other shows.)

And Murphy running into the invisible guards and Raven teasing him about his reaction is far and away my favorite part of this episode.

In the bunker, Madi and her new friends are being very very cute with Picasso, who is being very very cute rolling around on her back and making peace happen.

Who knew that all it took to break the cycle of violence was humanity’s collective love of a cute dog?? Problem solved, war over, the end.

Sadly, Nikki, clearly a cat person*, comes in to spoil the fun. She takes The One Faithful Who Isn’t The Worst captive and leaves his son with a heartbreaking little choice of whether to let his father die to save the many or save the one to— wait a second.

Damn it, show, we get it already.

(*If Nikki really is a cat person, then guess what? Bang bang mother***ers.)

Big damn hero Emori makes a split decision to turn the power off, letting the bugs in to distract the guards’ Helms Deep reenactment and, I guess, counting on Murphy’s plot armor to protect him (which we all know it will, so it’s fine).

Have I mentioned how great the writing has been for Emori this season? Truly Emori, Indra and Hope have been the saving graces of my viewing experience this year.

Anyway, everything goes dark for a second — and the characters keep talking during the darkness, which I believe is the first time that’s happened on this show. Randomly, I happen to really love that little device, so it was fun to see it used here.

Then the power comes back on and reveals our surprise hero of the hour: it’s Jasper Jr.! Very cool. All of this depth given to Madi’s new friends is unexpected, but nice.

(Now we just need the “are you here to take us home” girl to make her grand return and give us all a big I told you so because yes, indeed, Clarke was.)

But, unbeknownst to our bunker babies, the ~power~ has shifted upstairs as well: it’s now the ‘good guys’ (ish) that break down the door, and Emori almost shoots Murphy (not that the stakes were particularly high there; she could have shot directly at his face and it would have missed, Murphy is invincible now).

Emori, one of the last remaining characters that retain a semblance of normal human behavior, rushes to hug Bellamy and actually wants to know what he’s been through. Another super well-done platonic friendship, and again I appreciate the episode caring to pay attention to it.

But while it is great that Emori acts like this, it also just serves to emphasize how weird it is that nobody else has spoken to Bellamy like this, or been remotely interested in hearing his side of the story rather than condemn him on sight.

You know, like the past six seasons happened and mattered? Like the bonds we spent time seeing them form actually meant anything… whatever.

Of all the problems with this storyline, perhaps the most egregious is that Bellamy, the one character who has always cared about all of them (and still does!), is being ostracized by all of his friends at a glance. None of them would be acting this way based on the information they have. Literally everyone‘s characterization, except Emori’s for some reason, is being ripped to shreds to force this plot development to happen.

But hey. Not all the bonds are shot to hell (yet).

Emori, continuing to be the unlikely but welcome glue that holds the last remaining shreds of all this together, also has a heartfelt reunion with Raven.

But Raven’s joy quickly fades when she realizes she is back in the reactor; even though she’s taken the antitoxin, she’s still seeing flashes of Hatch, as the guilt she feels for his death (remember, we are still pretending like this is the first time she’s caused someone’s death) is still fresh.

An amazingly timed leak leads her into the scene of the crime, where Nikki catches her, and it looks like it’s bang-bang time for Raven. But surprisingly (?), realizing that Raven is miserable, Nikki lets her live with her guilt.

I suppose that’s something.

It all leads to a great little bonding moment between the core four of the week: Clarke, Raven, Murphy and Emori. Disregarding how unearned it was, because of how arbitrary these relationship dynamics are, I enjoyed it.

But then the final scene happened.

RIP… Clarke Griffin?

Let me just see if I remember this correctly…

In season 4, Clarke threatened to shoot Bellamy to save the human race but couldn’t go through with it.

In season 5, Clarke left Bellamy at Blodreina’s mercy to save Madi.

In season 6, Clarke wrote “leaving Bellamy in Polis” on a lantern, representing her greatest sin, which she desperately wanted his forgiveness for.

In season 7, she… murdered him in cold blood?

So here’s the thing.

If this is all leading to transcendence, which seems likely to me (if for no other reason than because the show can’t end without a Bellamy/Octavia resolution), then yes, the point has to be hammered home that humanity can’t break out of its cycle without divine intervention. That we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. Violence meets violence. Us versus them.

And we have to see that Clarke specifically never improves or transcends on her own merit; her base ‘us’ is Madi (because season 5 said so), and all that really changes is which characters orbiting her ‘us’ she considers allies or enemies. She is, as she always has been, fighting for survival. Fight. Survive. Lather, rinse, repeat, and thus the cycle of violence continues.

And, disregarding the ridiculous and poorly executed hoops the story had to jump through to get post-season-6-Bellamy on Team anything but Clarke, her killing him to save Madi ultimately vindicates his newfound conviction that individualistic love leads to suffering and humanity is better off ‘transcending’, which I’m sure will play into the grand denouement of the story.

The problem isn’t what this storyline means, it’s that it puts message over meaning and plot over character. And if our characters are just vessels for abstract ideologies, then those ideologies lose their potential impact on the viewers. Nothing matters if nothing matters. If Clarke doesn’t feel real to me, then I don’t care what she believes, or what happens to her.

Even as I have loved and defended Clarke, I have struggled with the obfuscation of her true feelings and thoughts, which I always suspected were hidden for the shallow reason that her emotional arc was usually tied to Bellamy, and the writers didn’t want to confirm/deny how she felt about him. (An even more problematic theory would be that they never let her say what she thought because they didn’t map out her thought process.)

But in season 6, we made some headway. Clarke reckoned with some past decisions and took some steps forward — regarding her treatment of Madi, her own self-worth, and yes, her feelings towards Bellamy.

“You are my family too. I’ll never forget it again” were powerful words when they were spoken, and they should have been a long-awaited vocalization of this character’s deepest truth. And that was before he brought her back from the dead by sheer, stubborn force of will alone.

But instead, it now seems like yet more bait to keep the shippers on the hook, like so much of what I desperately tried to consider real character depth and story momentum last season. What I’m getting from this is that there was never any momentum. There was no depth. There was no lasting consequence.

Instead, Clarke is once again a vessel for the story, with no autonomy over her own choices and growth. Just as Bellamy has been made a vessel for the story, at the expense of his arc and every single relationship we’ve seen him so meticulously build up over the past six seasons. And what should have been the show’s biggest, most meaningful, most emotional death scene is rendered meaningless.

And for what? To make the point that we are bad, corrupted beings whose only hope is to trust in external salvation? As much as I believe transcendence will ultimately prove Bill Cadogan wrong, in the sense that it is Clarke’s ability to love that will ‘save’ them, her journey through the show has already proven his point right.

Instead of The 100 giving us hope for humanity, through Clarke’s journey specifically, it is telling us that there is none. Where seasons 3 and 4 were ultimately about the unsnuffoutable (it’s a word, shut up) light burning inside humanity — inside Clarke specifically — season 7 is extinguishing that light and showing that it is not within us, but an external thing that we must aspire to earn.

I don’t like it. I don’t like it for Clarke, as an outlook on life, or as a conclusion to this particular story. I already feel the futility of self-improvement and the hopelessness of the human condition, I don’t need a story to tell me the world is like this. I need it to tell me to keep going, regardless.

Will such an ending serve to justify Bellamy and Clarke’s choices? That is probably the intent. Particularly for Bellamy, whose turn – while abrupt and regressive – was made because he genuinely believes transcendence will save them, and when it does, it’ll prove him right.

But I just don’t think it will be able to make up for this, not for Bellamy and certainly not for Clarke. A Lost-type story-erasing relationship-centric go-into-the-light ending is not going to be powerful in the context of this show, and it won’t overshadow the choices these characters made along the way in the eyes of the real people watching them make those choices.

(And that’s just assuming this is what will even happen. I think it’s pretty clear, otherwise Bellamy’s arc makes zero sense, but for all I know, maybe it just won’t make any sense.)

I know a lot of fans might say Bellamy shouldn’t have had this storyline and died at all, and good arguments have been made for that. But let us assume that Bellamy dying was absolutely necessary in order to facilitate a grand reunion in the transcendence-induced afterlife/next level of existence.

Let’s say his death is somehow vitally important for the final act of the story, and that it’s not the end for him, because they will transcend and reunite and he’ll be proven right, and they’ll all realize their heathen ignorance and be sorry they made fun of his cape, or whatever.

Here’s what could have happened: Bellamy picked up the book, and Clarke instantly shot it out of his hand before he’d even opened it, because that’s the kind of badass, quick-thinking move Clarke Griffin would have thought to make. A gun fight would have ensued; Bellamy got caught in the crossfire.

Here’s what could have happened: Bellamy saw what was in the book and understood that it compromised Madi’s safety, and destroyed the book and himself if he had to, because that is the kind of self-sacrificial, heart-driven choice Bellamy Blake would have felt compelled to make.

Here’s what could have happened: Bellamy opened the book before Clarke could stop him, and Clarke did literally anything and everything except for shooting him in the heart. She could have shot his hand, or his arm; she could have killed Sheidheda and the disciples, she could have jumped through the portal and killed Cadogan. She could have actually taken the book.

Here’s what should have happened: anything that felt like it would realistically happen on The 100 between these characters, as opposed to a reenactment of a spiteful, off-brand anti-Bellarke fanfic written by a bitter shipper.

All this to say: there were many ways the death of Bellamy Blake at his own/a loved one’s hand could have gone down without betraying everything he stood for.

Even after becoming a true believer, Bellamy still cared about his friends and struggled to let go of his love for them. He admitted as much in this episode. So he could have plausibly held onto his faith in transcendence and died sacrificing himself to save Clarke/Madi, even in an effort to destroy the book and Cadogan’s access to his knowledge of what was in it, with a variation of the words “I know you’ll win, and I’ll see you again.”

Because to believe in transcendence didn’t have to mean believing in Cadogan; and even if it did, Bellamy might have believed in Cadogan so strongly that he’d believe he would get the information regardless of whether Bellamy gave it to him, because he was always meant to get it. That’s what having faith is, isn’t it?

Such a death would have served Bellamy’s character so much better, honoring his evolution and relationships, without compromising his final arc of becoming a true believer. It also would have made Clarke at least marginally more ready to believe in the possibility that Bellamy was right, if he died for her and his final wish was for her to trust his conviction — and that would be helpful, since obviously she needs to find a way to trust the ‘test’ enough to take it anyway.

Instead, Bellamy putting himself in a position to potentially hurt Madi, again, and Clarke choosing Madi over him, again (this time pulling the trigger herself), feels regressive and out of character for both of them, and absolutely does not serve or pay off the story we’ve been watching them tell for seven years.

It erases Bellamy’s entire progression from season 3 onwards, having him repeat the mistakes he made with Pike, snapping away all the lessons he learned that actively made him grow and change as a character, like none of it ever happened or mattered at all.

“Son”? “You’re special”? Please. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows he wouldn’t fall for that again. Bellamy converting into a true believer and falling for Cadogan’s blatantly manipulative bullshit is just such a cheap and belittling character choice, saying I’m disappointed feels like an understatement. But there are bigger Bellamy fans than I who can and have made this point better than I can.

For me, what really stings is what this ‘shocking twist’ does to Clarke, a character who – as mentioned – already feels aloof and emotionally impenetrable most of the time, but has at least always been allowed just enough integrity and grace in order for the viewers to understand and forgive her the many atrocious acts the narrative has forced her to commit.

This is the worst act she has ever committed, and we are given no tools to understand or sympathize with it. Like Bellamy, Clarke is forced to forget everything she has done and learned during the past few seasons and walk back all of her growth; to make this moment happen, we have to revert Clarke back to her most unsympathetic and selfish, caricatured “mama bear” persona from season 5 — a persona the show has actively shown us Clarke regrets, and has been working to make amends for ever since.

When Clarke left Bellamy behind in season 5, the show made a huge deal about how much she regretted it, seemingly acknowledging how much of a low point it was for her character. (Arguably, considering this was also around the time she shocklashed Madi, Clarke was OOC in general that season, but anyway.) Every character, except Bellamy, condemned her for it. She condemned herself for it. Forgiving herself was the crux of her arc in season 6, and having Bellamy forgive her was a key part of that.

After all that, how could they not even devote a beat of story to her trying to understand Bellamy’s point of view before she shot him in cold blood? After everything they’ve done for each other, everything they’ve experienced together, everything they’ve forgiven each other for? How could they put her in a scenario when she went straight for the heart? How does this not utterly destroy Clarke’s character? (And if the point is to destroy her, to set her up for the end, is that not worse?)

It seems on every level like a decision made to spite the viewers, not serve the story, or the characters. And what am I supposed to do with that? How am I supposed to take the story seriously after that? What kind of position do you put your audience in, with that?

The thing is, I get the point. (I think.) I get that Clarke had to reach her innermost cave here, and how this was the lowest of low acts they could think to have her do; that Clarke killing Bellamy to save her designated person is the ultimate proof that humanity is hopeless on its own. That Clarke herself is lost. That she has a darkness in her own nature that she has to overcome to ultimately rise up and save the human race from itself.

And, disregarding the escapist spirituality of the ending, which I’m not particularly excited about, I actually respect the grim realism in the conclusion that we can’t realistically break ourselves out of the cycle that has defined the entirety of human history without giving into the idea of some higher power.

The problem for me isn’t that there is no point to this story, it is that the point is being made so very poorly.

Just as Bellamy could have died in a million better and more fulfilling in-character ways, this entire season could have just been… so much better than it is. Than I know it could have been.

And there are glimpses here and there of what could have been a really, truly bittersweet but heartfelt love letter to the characters and its audience. Unfortunately though, they are being overshadowed by large clouds of poor characterization, rushed plotlines, and what feels more and more like spite.

May we meet again (in the giant Groot in the sky)

So. Instead of a character death, we had a character assassination. A giant middle finger to everything Bellamy Blake stood for and had grown into.

I would love to offer a big grand eulogy to the character, because it was truly a remarkable fictional creation. We all know Bob Morley poured everything he had into the role, right until the end, which is commendable.

But there is nothing left to eulogize, because whatever Bellamy once stood for, he no longer was by the time Clarke killed him.

Once, Bellamy truly was the beating, desperate, bleeding heart of this thing. Intentionally. That was his purpose. “Without Bellamy, there would be nothing.”

As a character, Bellamy was a fascinating, flawed broken boy who made mistakes and, unlike most of the other characters, learned from them and grew into a better man as a result. As one half of the main leadership duo, Bellamy was indispensable for Clarke, sometimes the only thing that kept her from becoming the despondent, cold brain that she was sometimes written to be.

I don’t really have any more words for this, and I’m not sure it’s worth finding them. Bellamy was one of the show’s best characters, and Clarke was the best character, and together, they were a perfect unit, steadily orbiting each other at the center of this chaotic story monster. The promise of them always keeping each other alive and morphing into the yin to the other’s yang was sometimes the only thing viewers could truly rely on.

I understand why so many fans flocked to them. Not only did you have very few other options in terms of pairings it was reasonably ‘safe’ to get emotionally attached to, but this relationship was something truly unique and special. Regardless of whether it was romantic (and whatever romantic undertones Bellarke fans did see were definitely put there on purpose, you didn’t imagine them). I’ve rarely seen anything like it. What a shame, to have it reduced to this.

Individually and together, Clarke and Bellamy could have gone down in history as some of the best sci-fi characters of all time. The show very nearly stuck the landing with them, too. If it had ended in season 5 or 6, or given Bellamy a more worthy death, I think it would have.

But however it ends now, whatever conclusion Clarke reaches and whatever peace she may or may not get the chance to make with Bellamy, it is simply hard to find meaning in a story when you can no longer trust, or evidently even understand, the hearts and minds of your main characters.

I only hope making this choice was worth it.

For your consideration

  • The red sun manifesting people’s deepest fears and desires is such a cool idea but unfortunately, like last season, its potential was mostly wasted.
  • Beautiful moment of Indra seeing her mother, though.
  • Felt a little like rubbing it in that both Nikki and Indra were able to ‘transcend’ and not kill their sworn enemies and Clarke just… gunned her best friend down in cold blood.
  • How many times did they cram in the words “best friend” anyway? Like 86?.
  • Why does it make sense to the characters that humanity as a whole can ‘level up’? Why is anyone but the Disciples talking as though it’s a legit thing?
  • Damn it looked sooooooo cold when they were shooting this episode. They can make robe jokes all they want, those Saint Lucy’s Day getups were probably nice and warm.
  • Ducett was a terrible disciple, he clearly cared about Bellamy. This cult is a joke.
  • What does “Blood Giant” even mean?
  • I love Murphy, I do. But they seem to be giving him material that would have been better suited for Bellamy this season, and it makes me feel like the characters are no longer distinct, but rather like the actors are just given story functions at random based on whomever the writers want to give cool material.
  • Huh, I really thought Knight showing small signs of doubting Sheidheda would lead somewhere.
  • I always loved Clarke the most, but the commitment to doing better and always working on being more patient with people around you that I saw from Bellamy and Kane resonated with me on a deeper level. So the way they were both killed off in such off-handed ways feels more personal, because all of the values that I identified with. It sucks.
  • Did Bellamy even know that Kane is dead? Does it matter? Does anything matter?
  • Has Cadogan been an illusion all along?
  • …Is this all a simulation? Is Levitt running it? Is that why he’s vanished? Whatever.

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