This THE 100 review contains spoilers
The 100 Season 7 Episode 13
Is Bellamy Blake really dead this time? It feels more accurate to say that Disciple Blake is dead. Bellamy Blake never made it back from that other planet. And in a way, Bellamy Blake never made it out of season 6.
If The 100 is viewed as Clarke Griffin’s story – it’s easy to, considering she gets the narration, opened the show, and is one of a dwindling number of characters to appear in every episode – then Bellamy’s death is a gutting blow, but a strategic choice, from storytelling point of view. It’s an emotional inflection point, changing the game for the final five episodes and raising the body count in the highest of stakes way, as opposed to the previous episode’s death, which you’d be forgiven for already forgetting about. Given this show’s penchant for death, there are so few characters left whose deaths could cut Clarke deeper than Bellamy’s (Madi would be worse, Octavia, Raven and Murphy only slightly less miserable.)
But if you view Bellamy and Clarke as co-protagonists (even when they weren’t always co-leaders of their people) on a show that became more of a true ensemble in later seasons, it’s a bit baffling. Bellamy Blake dies not for any of the people he loves or any of his core beliefs, but moments after spouting ALIE-esque rhetoric about ending all suffering. The 100 has gotten Bellamy Blake very wrong in the past, notably during the minefield that is season 3, but the writers worked so hard to bring him back on track and genuinely earn the character’s redemption and real growth on top of that. And now, it seems they’ve chosen, for the second time, to fridge a guy for Clarke Griffin, sacrificing Bellamy’s character arc in favor of pushing her narrative forward.
I don’t so much oppose Bellamy Blake dying as I’m confused by him dying in this way. If Bellamy had died rather than handing over the book that would place Madi in danger, even if it were still somehow at Clarke’s hand (allowing for him to invoke “together” one last time to let her know it’s what he wants and he’s with her till the end, even though it’s the hardest choice), it would be a hard thing to watch but ultimately a noble death. Instead, after he’s been largely absent this season, it’s like watching a body snatcher make season 3-Bellamy-level-nonsensical choices and then die. “Unsatisfying” puts it too lightly.
Yes, there are real world reasons for his reduced role this season, and indeed real world reasons that make it harder for many fans to connect to his character, but that factors into the audience experience too. Presumably his absence didn’t come with a requirement that he join the Disciples and remain faithful so unconvincingly. In the end, it’s a tough way to say goodbye to a character that has been a cornerstone of the show for seven years, and I’d imagine many in this passionate and devoted fandom are going through some multilayered grief over this.
Before Bellamy’s death, this felt far more like a classic episode of The 100, a thrill ride that whips through plot like hurry-up offense trying to beat the clock. It certainly helped that so many of the key players were on the same planet together again. And frankly killing people off again after keeping everyone alive for so long feels a bit more on-brand. So much for my theory that the show might be softening for some happy endings!
I’m glad the fabled giants of the past turned out to be an overblown promise, and instead a return of the red sun toxin – this season has tipped into too much mythology even for my taste, and returning to existing mythology working very well here without needing exposition or forcing the show to make a choice about whether the last war is real, if those beings still exist, or about a million other questions so numerous that I’m guessing they will be circumvented by some version of Jordan’s theory being correct, and Cadogan being a crock.
The toxin gave us one last chance to see Josephine, who is always a delightful wildcard, even from within the confines of Gabriel’s mind. The toxin’s presence set the scene for plenty of erratic behavior in what was already a fraught circumstance, making Gabriel’s switching loyalties make some kind of sense, and allowing us to briefly enjoy Indra and Sheidheda working together. The toxin also cast a sense of doubt over the entire episode that ratcheted up the tension. Was Nikki really with Raven? Would Indra pull a Bellamy and let her drug-induced experiences drive her to unthinkable new loyalty to Sheidheda? Will we ever learn the deal with Murphy being immune to the toxin?
We all knew that Indra not killing Sheidheda outright would lead to something terrible, but here’s hoping that his telling Bellamy about the book is the last of it, if for no other reason than so there’s more room to pack in everything else that needs to happen this season.
Raven and Nikki finally had their face off, in a much-needed moment of brutal honesty. All the crying and apologizing to her friends in the world would never change the fact that Raven hadn’t harmed them – she harmed Nikki. It’s a welcome but unusual move from The 100, a show where plot armor thickens to protect some characters not only from paying in blood, but even having these kinds of frank conversations when they’re done wrong. Ultimately, though, the characters (like Murphy or Octavia) who are really held to account for their actions, even if it’s at times far more than other characters, end up being the best developed and the most interesting to watch.
Unless, of course, they get a personality change in the space of an episode and die two episodes later.
- Finally(!) everybody figures out that no one knows where Gaia is
- Good to know that even in a post-apocalyptic moon scenario, puppy dogs bring kids together
- This pair of lines is gold: “John Murphy will think of something. We’re safe now because of him. I have faith.” “No offense, but if our lives really do depend on Murphy, we’re screwed.”
- Clarke having zero patience for Cadogan’s philosophizing is a whole mood
- Gabriel asking if Russell suffered is interesting
- The kid Madi was hanging out with looked an awful lot like Jasper when he knocked Nikki out. I know it’s just a coincidence, but it made me smile.
- “Just tell me if Nate’s OK.” “You have no idea who that is, do you?” “Miller.” Josephine out here acknowledging some real truths
- Clarke brought antitoxin for all of them and Cadogan tries to say its “another lesson in the destructiveness of familial love” which is some real galaxy brain thinking, my dude
- “First I kill my enemy’s enemy…then I kill my enemy” I love Indra
- I was really hoping to see Indra get in that suit and go find her daughter
- Um hi was Bellamy’s mountain friend a nightblood? Or is my TV’s color out of whack?
- Theres literally a planet called Planet Offline? Oof.
- After all that, Clarke still didn’t get Madi’s book…