Warning: This discussion contains massive spoilers for the latest episode of The 100.
Though plenty of drama went down on the last night — think Red Sun toxins and the end of Sheidheda's reign and the return of Josephine — the most shocking moment marked the death of a beloved character and a turning point for a show that's struggled to find a satisfying way to wrap up seven seasons worth of storytelling for its fandom. What we're left with are a few low-stakes loose ends, some tortured characters, and the wishful thinking we all began this journey with so many years ago.
Few characters have been as championed by a fandom — and as constrained by their own TV show — as Bellamy Blake but this week, the complicated antihero's fight finally ended.
We're Jessica Toomer and Alyssa Fikse and we're bidding goodbye to our favorite Space Daddy the only way we know how — by burning this whole thing to the ground.
Return To Sanctum
Jessica: Well, we had a bit of a hiatus (for reasons unknown) so if you forgot what went down a few weeks ago, here’s a quick catch-up: Bellamy Blake is a traitor and Sanctum’s a hot mess. Clarke’s now been clued in on both facts as the episode picks up with her arrival in the throne room with Cadogan, Raven, Gabriel, Bellamy, and the rest of the Disciples in tow. And right off the bat we learn some not so shocking news: turns out this whole Sheidheda hostile takeover subplot has been for naught. Cadogan easily dispatches his followers, mortally wounds him, and ties him up with Indra in less than a few minutes. So glad we spent all season watching him eat up precious screen time for nothing.
Alyssa: If only they could have taken him out episodes ago. The pacing this season is truly all over the map. So, the Shepherd has basically taken over Sanctum without much of an issue, and his one focus is getting The Key, a.k.a. The Flame. Clarke’s first worry is Madi, natch, but once she gets assurance from Murphy that her daughter is safe (sort of), she goes to retrieve the Flame. As much as I disliked this episode, I did love the little moments between Clarke, Raven, and Murphy. The chemistry that they’ve built up over the seasons is why we’re all still here, isn’t it? The show may have forgotten that, but we certainly haven’t. Wouldn’t it have been nice to see Bellamy included in that? Murphy asks him about his whole new lease on life, and Bellamy reiterates the cult speak that we’ve heard time and time again. He tells Murphy that he’s still his friend and he’s still looking out for all of them, but who can blame Murphy for doubting when Bellamy is in the weird-ass white robe of a true believer?
Jessica: Not I. In fact, I’d argue that Murphy’s response — he basically says "Cool bro, bye" — is how everyone should respond when their best mate starts donning a trench coat from an insane asylum and calling another grown man "my Shepherd" unironically. But you’re right, I loved seeing Murphy and Raven take the piss out of each other for failing so spectacularly at their respective missions. It’s exactly how I’d expect these two to react and there’s some extremely comforting about that. It also means though that my working theory that the writer’s room suffered temporary amnesia and completely forgot the character-building they’ve been doing for six seasons now is probably wrong. They certainly don’t have trouble reusing the Red Sun Toxin schtick when they need a plot device to further disrupt an episode. The phenomenon happens again, forcing everyone to seek shelter in the mechanic shop. It’s a good thing for Emori, who was panicking about Sheidheda’s guards trying to bulldoze through the nuclear reactor’s door, but it’s bad news for everyone else when she shuts off the power and lets those locusts in.
Alyssa: Meanwhile, Bellamy talks to Bill and explains that he feels like he’s failing his friends with his newfound fanaticism. Cadogan gets that condescending smile that we’ve unfortunately come to know so well and tells him that sometimes the path of the devout is a painful one, but that his friends will understand in the end. They’re going to save them all, you see! Isn’t that great? (Deep sigh.) While Emori is trying to keep everyone in the bunker alive, Nikki decides to break out and cause some trouble while Sheidheda’s men are trying to break in. Luckily, the bugs take them out, and Clarke, Murphy, and co. arrive instead. I would be happy to see Clarke and Madi reunited, but under these circumstances, I’m just tired.
Jessica: Aren’t we all? I mean, it’s great that Clarke comes with enough antitoxin to save everyone from Red Sun Madness but it sucks to see that damn Flame again. Worse, it’s now in the hands of another old white man grappling for power. Madi is obviously unsettled by this. She remembers things from her time with the Flame. She drew them in her notebook, and Clarke rightfully warns her against ever showing those sketches to anyone. While all this is happening, Indra is working with Sheidheda to fight against the Disciples guarding them in the throne room. She wouldn’t normally, of course, but the toxin has gotten to these nutjobs so it’s better to work with your enemy to kill your other enemy before going back to take care of your original enemy in the end. Isn’t that the saying?
Reopening Old Wounds
Alyssa: I guess! While all of this other madness is occurring, Gabriel is starting to hallucinate Josephine (remember her?) due to the toxin. He’s working with Jackson to manufacture more antitoxin, but he isn’t quite ready to take it himself because his psychotic ex is speaking to him from beyond the grave. She encourages him to take the Flame for himself because he’s a nightblood and he knows how to reconfigure mind drives. She goes on a lengthy spiel about who deserves to save humanity and all of that, and for a minute, you can see that Gabriel is considering it. He’s a man of science, and for better or worse he has devoted himself and his work to the continuation of the human race, so it would make sense for him to at least consider this possibility. I’ve really grown to like Gabriel a lot over the past two seasons, I just wish that he had been introduced at a different time.
Jessica: Same. There was a lot of potential for that character but just not enough time to realize it. Still, he’s become one of the few things I’m still interested in when it comes to this show right now. He and Jackson work on creating an antidote for the toxin while back at the bunker, Raven gets the power back on. She’s been having flashbacks to her nuclear meltdown days when she sentenced all those men to die so being down there is really tough for her, but things get worse when Nikki shows up to confront her about killing her husband. I never want to see Raven Reyes in pain. Ever. But I did really appreciate this interaction. Raven got to finally acknowledge her own guilt and lingering trauma and Nikki got some peace. I never liked the character but she did deserve that. Of course, when Nikki leaves the reactor, Clarke, Murphy, and Emori rush down to make sure Raven’s okay. (Question: Were they just gonna let those two hash it out and see who was left standing?) Again, we’re reminded that some bonds on this show are still intact. I love seeing this little makeshift family come together, even if we’re sorely missing our Space Daddy.
Alyssa: I loved that moment. You’re absolutely right, they have really become a family over the course of time and space and other insane circumstances. They’ve all done things that they regret and will probably haunt them forever, but at least they’re all together now. Indra is back in the throne room and is decidedly on her own. No one seems concerned about the fact that Gaia is missing (Tati Gabrielle being absent for so much of the season is SUCH a bummer), and of course, Indra has to pick up the slack by herself. This ungrateful group of people really does not deserve her. She ends up breaking free of her bonds and fighting off Cadogan’s men despite their invisibility suits, and Sheidheda even helps her at one point, causing a distraction and alerting her to an unseen threat. After the bodies hit the floor and she’s taken back the high ground, does that mean that she’s going to let Sheidheda free for his assistance? Absolutely not. She is still going to let him bleed out and die. Hell yeah. At least someone is still seeing sense around here.
Jessica: We can always count on Indra, fam. Gabriel and Jackson arrive right as Cadogan and the others make it back and Gabriel, still feeling the effects of the toxin, tells Cadogan he can repair the Flame with the same tech he used to create mind drives but as he’s uploading the Flame’s consciousness, Josephine reappears trying to convince him to offer his mind for the Flame. He’s a nightblood, he’s intelligent and morally good and worthy. He should take the final test for humanity. Gabriel has enough sense to call bullsh*t and ends up shooting the Flame mid-upload which leads to a tense stand-off. Clarke demands Cadogan send them to Sky Ring where they can find their friends and intends to bring him along with her. The Disciples aren’t happy about that. Some shooting happens. Bellamy’s best mate gets killed. And Sheidheda once again tears his ugly head, telling Bellamy he has something that might help him on his throne. It’s Madi’s book.
The Head vs The Heart
Alyssa: I GUESS WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THIS NOW. Bellamy goes to grab Madi’s sketchbook and starts flipping through the pages, seeing drawings of hedas past (hi, Lexa), and honestly, I am not quite sure why this is so important? It’s just drawings of past leaders, not really the secrets of the universe. Bill fires up the portal and most of the team goes through, but Clarke realizes that Bellamy has the book and pulls a gun on him. He pleads with her that this could save mankind in this final battle. He’s made his choice, and despite years and years of living and fighting alongside Clarke and the rest of the originals, he believes that one rough trip up a mountain can erase all of that. NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE. THIS IS BAD WRITING.
Jessica: Who knew that after years of genocides and wars and betrayal and space journeying, the thing that would end Bellamy Blake was a kid’s drawing book? I mean, seriously? There was hardly anything in there, just pictures of things we’ve all seen before. Cadogan has at least some of the Flame decoded, why would he need a sketchbook? What would that help? And why couldn’t Clarke have shot the book, or just let Bellamy take it and killed Cadogan when she got to Sky Ring? Again, the sheer amount of plot holes and the disrespect the writers seem to have when it comes to this fandom continue to amaze me. I’ve never thought you should write for your audience, but if you’re going to so blatantly antagonize them with shoddy character choices, at least make it interesting and worthwhile. I’m sure the excuse to kill off a main character before the series finale will be something about being “edgy” and “taking a risk” but this was not that. It was lazy. It was unnecessary. And it felt oddly vindictive. Like, did Clarke have to be the one to put her best friend down? I know Jason Rothenberg has never been a Bellarke stan but this felt specifically cruel.
Alyssa: I am really sick of shows throwing away years of character development for shock value. It isn’t good storytelling! If some people figure out where your story is heading, you’ve done your job. It’s fine. Twists need to be organic. Plot points need to be earned. Clarke killing Bellamy dead over a truly inconsequential sketchbook doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. She has proven time and time again that she would rather let humanity burn than allow Bellamy to come to harm. I get that Madi’s safety is on the line and Clarke’s motherhood is a huge part of her character, but Jesus Christ. She didn’t even take the book.
Jessica: SHE DIDN’T EVEN TAKE THE DAMN BOOK! What the hell is this show right now? I’m honestly disturbed at how much they’ve made Clarke, Raven, Octavia, hell even Echo, suffer over the course of the last few seasons. I know suffering is the theme but for some reason, these personal betrayals and impossible choices facing the women of The 100 feel gross. Clarke Griffin would’ve found another way. She wouldn’t have shot her best friend. Not after just one episode where they found themselves on opposite sides. And Bellamy Blake would not have risked a child’s life, Madi’s life, for some final war he just started believing in two episodes ago. These are not the same characters we know and love which maybe, in hindsight, will make this all a bit easier? Bellamy Blake didn’t die today. He’s been dead. So has Clarke Griffin. Maybe it’s best to just remember them as they were, to appreciate the good seasons we had, and scrub our memories of this current hellscape?
Alyssa: So, we’ve got a handful of episodes left, and I have truly given up on any sort of satisfying ending. At least Gaia’s absence is on everyone’s radar, but Bellamy is dead before he even had a single meaningful conversation with Octavia. Wasn’t the relationship between the Blakes supposed to be a core of this show? How is Octavia going to deal with the fact that Clarke killed her brother? I get that she’s been softened by her time on Sky Ring, but I cannot see her taking this news well. After everything that she’s sacrificed to get him back. What a mess. WHAT A MESS.
Jessica: Yeah, I’ve got nothing right now.