The 100: Season 03, Episode 07, Thirteen

We open where we ended, with Murphy being tortured. When you think about it, it’s hard to have sympathy for Murphy – an often snide, sociopathic, murderous thief – but the point with torture is the subject doesn’t need to be sympathetic, in fact often it’s better if they aren’t; the moral quandary and audience affinity is more complex. I’ve gone back and forth over the utility of Murphy as a character, but I like what they’re doing with him now.

It does seem Murphy is fated to be abused yet not die. He’s a literary punching bag. He won’t be the last major literary/TV/film theme in this episode.

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A.L.I.E. is HAL, and also Asimov-y, and also the Machine from Person of Interest. (If you aren’t watching that, suffer through the first half-season and it starts getting good, and is now very very good.) Like the Machine, her creators try to curtail her, she ‘gets out,’ they try to write a virus, she only grows stronger, there are moral complexities, etc. It’s great, too.

I was initially under the impression the Ark was in space reactionarily; in other words, things had gotten so bad on the ground they built the Ark to outrun the apocalypse. (Of course, they planted that idea by calling it the Ark.) It’s a neat twist to see it’s not even an accidental Battlestar Galactica sort of station, but in fact the end of the world came from it, albeit indirectly. Becca didn’t mean to nuke the ground out of existence, she just thought she could fix . . . well, everything.

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Like Becca, Clarke isn’t super strong in the patience department, which does have the benefit of moving the Counsel and the plot along. With Grounders pushing to wipe out Skaikru before Skaikru can continue their scorched earth policy, Lexa has to think on her feet quickly and come up with a third solution; again with the Solomonic tendencies. Lexa proposes a siege until those of Skaikru who wish to overthrow Pike do it themselves. (Which could be read as an interesting possible solution to various despots in our world today.)

Encamping around the remaining Arkers and drawing a line they can’t cross kind of cuts off the element of surprise in an ‘uprising,’ but it’s a solution which walks a fine line and appeases the coalition while satisfying the sort of moral boundaries Lexa and Clarke have come to agree on. Lexa firmly sets a distinction between vengeance and justice.

Titus, meanwhile, wants blood. He’s dramatic, he nags a lot, he’s always springing traps and sneakily attempting to maneuver any and everyone, including Lexa. He accuses Clarke of bias when he too is biased. He causes Lexa great pain and strongly combats her decisions at every turn, but damned if he’s gonna let anyone stab her. He operates here as a Lady Macbeth sort, though he’d make a great fundamentalist pastor’s wife. Just as in last episode, he ends up boxblocking, (which is both infuriating and amusing), and nefariously operating behind the scenes

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Titus gets defensive when Murphy points out the similarities between the Skaikru legends and his religion, snapping “My faith has got nothing to do with yours.” The cave drawings are a perfect representation of how people translate things they don’t understand, or which have been muddied by oral tradition (like a nuclear cloud, and a falling space station), into religious specifics (like a goddess figure coming to earth in a ball of fire). Titus’s anger of discovering his religion and the people he hates have identical beginnings is exactly how many people of various faiths react when they’re told their particular faith has basically the same foundation and symbols and teachers as that of a faith they despise.

That scene is as close as The 100 has gotten to establishing an in-universe religious battle. It’s usually more concerned with broad questions of morality, humanity, leadership, ethics, etc., and that’s where Becca and her pursuit of A.L.I.E. 2.0 comes in. Becca wants the next version to “understand the value of life by coexisting” and thus will make version 2.0 “interface with humanity on a biological level.” Becca believes sharing a biology will lead to empathy, possibly through a shared mortality, thus with empathy will come morality. I’m not quite sure I follow her reasoning, that morality and/or humanity will naturally, necessarily follow empathy. The flaw in that progression is empathy doesn’t follow biology, as proven by all the specimens which seem to be biologically the same as those in need but are, in fact, cold-hearted asshats. Still, I’m interested to see where Becca takes this theory, now on earth. The more it develops, the more insight we’ll get into what the City of Light is attempting to be.

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One of my favorite things in the episode is the scene between Octavia and Indra. Indra’s PTSD is manifesting more typically how we expect PTSD to manifest in life and on screen; drinking heavily, self-loathing, a loss of purpose once one is physically unable to do what one did for so many years. The exchange between her and Octavia is absolutely a traditionally male exchange; brothers at arms expressing frustration and physically lashing out and being told to get back up. The shots are beautiful, as well; seeing Octavia looming over Indra, framed against a bright blue sky, shows just how far Indra has sunk, and their chemistry is strong. I’m thrilled it looks like we’ll see more of them as comrades-in-arms soon.

In keeping with an implicit and explicit theme this season, Octavia and Clarke both want to do the right thing, but come to different conclusions about how. Clarke has changed a great deal, but she still ultimately decides she needs to be present for her people, to lead from among them. So, she decides to leave and go back to the Ark encampment.

Clarke leaving is the perfect setup to allow her and Lexa to consummate their love, then continue to drag out the tension of whether they can (individually as well as collectively) actually have a relationship while being in their fraught leadership positions. This is the definition of ‘having your cake and eating it out too.’

This sex scene and then long-distance relationship tension is what the first three quarters of the episode sets us up for, except they just can’t leave it with that resolution. No, they have to have their big sweeps moment, and to hell with the fact it is also playing into half the tropes in the book, especially the worst ones.

First, we have our Romeo and Juliet moment. The two lovers from warring clans, finally together, clandestinely in bed, one with a deadline to leave, talking about the light as one puts off going. All that’s missing is a reference to a songbird’s cry and a debate what sort of bird it is. Then, a meddling priest and an abrupt emotional shift, as a post-coital-blissful Clarke comes out to the scheming Titus. And then a recreation of one of the most famous lesbian TV deaths in history, down to the sort of gun, the stray bullet, the shock half-registering with both women. It goes from literary to tone-deaf and graceless in the space of two minutes.

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Jason Rothenberg said about it: “I don’t even want to talk about the trope that’s out there about LGBT characters; that is not something that factored into the decision.”

Guess what: you don’t get to play directly into that very trope in an egregious way, then blithely not talk about it. You can’t sucker-punch the audience, then refuse to engage. That’s not how being a showrunner works. You can say the idea of gay sex = death didn’t lead you to your particular conclusion, and that may be true. But when you are actively contributing to the existence of a particular trope, directly perpetuating every part of it, and echoing specific famous instances of the trope, you *are* talking about it, no matter what you say.

Of course you can attempt to explain your choices, you can argue for the necessity of your actions in context. But to hand-wave such a blatant example of the trope as inconsequential and unrelated to a larger part of pop culture is dismissive at best, and inaccurate no matter what your intent. Being aware of it yet insisting on coloring-by-the-numbers to the extent it is here shows blatant disregard for your story’s effect. To bring up a theme from The 100 itself: you can have good intentions, yet still do a terrible thing, and intentions don’t excuse you from having to face up to (or just talk about in an interview) what you’ve done and the effects it has. It’s not Lexa dying which is the problem. When and how and why she dies is what really embodies the trope, and that’s the issue.

There’s no way that the writers don’t have something up their sleeve. Maybe Clarke ends up being the next commander and Lexa is ‘implanted’ in her, and visible to her at all times. Maybe they suggest Clarke is in love with an AI, which is now transferred to another body [Star Trek / callback to the first female-female kiss alert], which would not only be awful but take the entire show into a different sort of genre. Maybe there’s a manifestation of Lexa in the City of Light, which is the bait for Clarke and with whom Clarke gets to spend some actual quality time with before she’s jerked back to reality. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. At this point, any reappearance of Lexa is a cheap excuse for this bit, a sneaky attempt to wrap yourself in a lesbian death meme and then try to come out of it all sanctimonious.

I predicted and expected Lexa’s death, and there are a lot of reasons it works narratively and emotionally (as well as out of necessity, what with the actress being on another show*). Had she died in the finale, on the battlefield, or as a result of sacrificing herself for the things she’s espoused, I would have mourned and moved on. Not to mention, the actresses acted the hell out of it, and the final blessing is incredibly moving. But when your audience sees a queer sex scene for two beloved characters and is immediately afraid for one characters’ life, and that reaction is not only justified but validated, you have to understand you are not operating within the usual boundaries, and you have to not immediately – literally, immediately. the very next scene in their timeline –  fulfil those darkest fears.

You don’t get a pass because you have killed other characters, too, or because Lexa’s death furthers the story. Once more for those in the back: it’s not about the fact Lexa died, it’s when and how she died.

Let’s compare and contrast to a big death in the show: Finn died as a result of a long chain of events precipitated by his own murderous rampage. He died after a buildup of inevitability caused by his own actions, the law of the land, tribal tensions, and personal choices of himself and a few other characters. He died after being imprisoned and confronted with his crimes and sins.

Lexa died as a result being hit by one stray bullet in a freak chain of events, immediately after having sex with her girlfriend. Tropiest. Way. Possible.

You can’t have consummation then death in consecutive scenes and not have it as a Banner Lesbian Death Trope. You can’t mimic one of the most famous offings of a queer woman in the history of television, and not have it be just a cruel twist of your pen. You can’t kill lots of characters in ways directly correlated to plot and paying for your sins, and then stretch to kill one of two queer women immediately after she has a sexual/happy experience, and expect us to believe you know about or respect either your own story or your target audience. 

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Beyond the actual tropiness, and ignoring Titus’s function as a destruction ex machina, the drastic turn means the episode doesn’t work the way it’s put together. Lexa’s death is presented in conjunction with the Commander reveal, intercutting from one to the other. This means Becca’s revelation (and the implications, which are many) ends up being not dramatic, but overwhelming. It’s so overwhelming it succeeds at underwhelming. Everything about how Plot A is executed undermines the part of Plot B which should be one of the biggest reveals of the season so far. Becca is the first Commander . . . but the way she shows up curtails our grief, and so we don’t have time to care what her appearance means. We haven’t had a beat to process everything else which has occurred.

We should be revelling in the Becca-Raven parallels, especially since one made ALIE, and presumably the other will take her down. We should be exclaiming over the confirmation Becca’s ‘modified’ blood is what makes her immune to radiation, and how she is this story’s Adam, the progenitor of Nightbloods. We should be seeing the parallels between yet another set of good intentions and terrible outcomes. We should have a clearer idea of why the Ark executed the scorched earth policy so quickly, and see in it a warning sign of what Lexa was trying to prevent.

Why don’t we have time to take all that in? Because you can’t swallow a whopping plate of information two seconds after being punched in the gut.

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Stray Observations

– *TV shows shoot out-of-sequence, so when they say they only had Alicia Debnam Carey guaranteed for seven episodes, and maybe a few more depending on her FTWD shoot schedule, that doesn’t mean they only had her for the first seven.

– “Considering you pray to garbage . . . no offense, obviously.”

– Did they even HAVE corporations on the Ark? How does Murphy know to use that word?

– There are about eight kinds of tension whenever Clarke, Lexa, and Titus are in a room together.

– The scene between Titus and Lexa alone is very Star Wars Jedi/Padawan. ADC should have played Anakin Skywalker instead of Hayden Christiansen.

– That rack-focus-to-scene-transition with Lexa’s hand was attention-grabbing, but I dig it.

– I swear, if Murphy decides to be A Good Guy and built a LexaBot, I will throw my TV through a window.

11 Responses to “The 100: Season 03, Episode 07, Thirteen”
  1. I just…can’t even with this shit anymore. You hit the nail on the head with this, though: “Once more for those in the back: it’s not about the fact Lexa died, it’s when and how she died.”

    I’ve already come up with several different ways they could have handled her story line without killing her off (at least, not right now) while still furthering the reveal about ALIE 2.0, etc. IT’S NOT THAT HARD, and it would be far more interesting. Bonus? You wouldn’t have just alienated and violated a huge chunk of your fanbase, Jason. TRY. HARDER.

    • Melanie says:

      Exactly. So many ways. Don’t kill her right now (which could have been done even if the actress’ time was limited; shoot that scene out of sequence). Spread this storyline over the whole season, which would have the added benefit of not rushing and selling short other plotlines like Bellamy’s inexplicable about-face on slaughtering grounders and allies, and Pike’s magical overnight election. Even if you insist on killing her this episode, how about not doing it in the most atrocious, random way possible that has nothing to do with her being a Commander and does nothing to underscore the values she’s attempted to espouse the last several episodes? TRY HARDER indeed.

  2. caitharbs1834 says:

    This was a perfect summation of why this episode was so devastating for so many people. You put it all into words, awesome write.

  3. Thank you for your review and for your in-depth summary of the Dead Lesbian Trope (and why it is so painful). I loved the character of Lexa and thoroughly enjoyed ADC’s portrayal of her. I was both saddened and angered by how they chose to write her out of the show. As you said, the parallels between Lexa’s death and Tara’s death are so direct and so clearly trope-ish that I cannot fathom how anyone thought it was a good idea. (Clearly they also didn’t consider how it would completely alienate a devoted segment of their audience). But nothing was as heartbreaking as signing onto Tumblr last night and seeing the utter despair it caused the queer community there.

    Yes, writers should be able to explore the full range of human emotions and life events (as well as death) for all characters, including queer ones. But this – this was cruel and irresponsible writing.

    • Melanie says:

      Absolutely; I don’t think anyone should be off-limits. Just because you have queer characters, doesn’t mean they should be ‘safe’ from everything. But, using them in a way which is essentially mocking the queer community . . .

      I mean, intentionally recreating Tara’s tragedy seems mocking. I don’t understand how it could have been intentional, the parallels are so numerous including the way they shot the scene. Rothenberg says they were aware of the trope. and though he says that in the context of it not factoring into their decision, it seems apparent it factored into the execution. Working in film and television, you must have seen and heard of this scene. To replicate it is utterly tone-deaf, and absolutely painful. Does it bring up emotions? Well, absolutely. Does that mean you’ve succeeded as a good writer? Nope. Do they understand how doing it *in this way* carelessly, wantonly hurt a vulnerable section of their audience who trusted them to tell a good story? Every indication is they don’t.

      I can’t emphasize enough how much I agree with you.

  4. Great read as always Melissa. Very probing to the point you got me to thinking and helped me process why I am just so….(breathe)…..well, here goes my two cents:

    I understand the reality of the situation. Alycia Debnam-Carey (ADC) had to leave to go film the Fear the Walking Dead (FTWD). It’s my understanding FTWD is filming now in Mexico while the 100 is still putting the finishing touches to the S3 finale. Jason Rothenberg (JR) spoke very openly about the negotiation efforts the CW network made with AMC to have ADC appear in S3, but for limited time before she would have to return to FTWD where she is a series regular. I know shows have to make choices based on the story they have to tell and the resources available. Business happens. I get it. However, the fan side of me is still pissed beyond words over the choice to kill off the character of Lexa.

    I have read a lot of people’s reactions to Lexa’s death from utter despair to utter elation. Rather than setting fire to the universe with my anger your article made me step back and ask myself the question: Why am I upset? Why am I so pissed off? The only answer that really resonates for me is this: missed opportunity.

    Here is a FANTASTIC character we meet in S2/E6, a character that has been talked about since S1, and we meet her in the flesh. The show then spends the next 10 out of 16 episodes in S2 to define her in our eyes as this incredibly strong, capable character. We, as an audience, then began to fall in love with dynamics she brought to the S2 two story arc. It was beautiful to watch. In fact, I re-watch S2-E6-16 all the time, and consider that period to the show’s best work ever.

    Then in season S3 the show spends 6 out of 8 episodes making us further fall in love with her, with Lexa’s ability to deftly manage a multitude of political machinations all intended to kill her, destroy the clan alliance and Skykru. Not only that but the show created a beautiful, undercurrent love story between her and Clarke. I’m not very girly girl but E3 brought all the girl out in me with that gorgeous Unity Ceremony (***coughs*** wedding) with that beautiful music intertwined, and then the Fealty/Vow scene afterwards. That would have made even the toughest of ladies croon.

    Then E4 happens with the fight where Lexa not only avenges the death of Costia by killing the Ice Queen but she also avenges the Skykru lives lost in the explosion at Mount Weather by that assassin. Granted, it was in this episode Clarke and Lexa SHOULD have knocked walls down consummating their love for one another, but the show decided nope. Then in E5, due to Clarke’s influence, changes entire Grounder nation tradition so that both their peoples can find a new way to deal with their problems than simply the extreme response every time. By this time, after nearly sixteen straight episodes of seeing this wonderful character and relationship created before our very eyes we, as an audience, and I cannot describe it any other way, were “being made love to” by the writers, and I for one was loving every minute of it. Then in E7, Clarke and Lexa FINALLY consummate their happiness and the hope for a future together, and then Lexa dies right afterwards. What. Was. That?

    All the potential for a future together – lost! It would have been a forged future, where there might have been a great of conflict as they managed the political needs of their people against their personal need to be together as couple. All that potential just thrown out a window. It’s like the show put out one eye to spite the other. Really showrunners? Couldn’t think of a third option? I’m not gonna lie, I also wanted my “As the World Turns” moments: I wanted a scene where Niylah showed up one day at Polis to make supply trades and runs into Clarke with Lexa standing there. And I REALLY wanted to see a scene where Clarke told Abby she and Lexa were lovers!  Fly on the wall for that one! And I had hoped that Costia was still alive (I had speculated it was Echo), and to see that whole dynamic play out.

    I went through all the same “what if” scenarios the rest of the Fankru did. I know the show established that the only way a Commander could be replaced if she is voted out by the 13 clans or by their death. I was hoping for a third informal option and that Lexa would be deposed somehow, and she would go on the run. That would have left her story open ended so the actress if the show wanted to return could. But, we as fans, just don’t have a clear view as to what was negotiated between CW and AMC and what was considered NON-negotiable.

    The only thing positive I could take away from all of this is that Lexa’s character was not a character made in vain. She was central, absolutely central in bringing together ALL the plot thread questions fans have had about the Infinity symbol, City of Light, the backstory on the Ark, all of it since S1. And it in her post-death scene when they pulled that AI out her neck it all came together. This is the legacy of Lexa: to be the one who was key to it all. I keep having to remind myself of that to keep me from crawling the roof.

    While I know shows have to make choices based on the story they have to tell and the resources available this was a risky decision to kill off such an integral character to the core plot the show trying to tell. I truly do wonder if the 100 can go on. The rest of S3 is pretty much predictable now: everyone is heading off to the City of Light, and who knows we may yet see Lexa one last time, but then after that, what? Where can the story go? That was the problem of S1. Really didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t do anything. In fact, whenever I recommend people watch the 100 I tell them to start with S2 first then S3 to date and then double back to S1 and cherry-pick what they want to see.

    You know, I grew up watching a TV show called “Dallas” and there are several interviews where Larry Hagman, who played JR Ewing on the show and was also one of the Executive Producers talks about how the ratings for the show suffered tremendously when Patrick Duffy, who played Booby Ewing decided to leave the show the end of the S8 to pursue other acting opportunities. The show went into S9 and the ratings suffered big time. People truly missed the character Bobby Ewing and felt Dallas was not the same without him. Larry went to Patrick and begged him to return, but the way Bobby died on the show seemed impossible. Patrick Duffy’s wife said “the only way he could go back if it were all a dream.” And that’s exactly what the show did, by having Pam wake up one morning, finding Bobby in the shower, and said she had a bad that he had died. That one sentence negated an entire season.

    Why do I bring up Dallas example? Unless the show can introduce a story dynamic as compelling as S2 Mount Weather, or as compelling story character as Lexa S4 (and yes, I am confident the 100 will get a S4) will be its last.

    But even with the reality of scheduling which made it hard for ADC to continue as Lexa there is still hope – through the City of Light story arc. And that is why I believe that because her character was so central in revealing the connections to Becca, and the City of Light that we may yet see her again. So I say that while the Lexa Character/ADC is out for the short-term she may not be out for the long-term, and so long as I keep that perspective, I can keep hoping without giving into my desire to set fire to the universe.

    There is one thing I want to remind people: Lexa was not the sole LBGTQ person on the 100. There are at least three we know of to date: Clarke, Miller and Bryan, and Clarke is the lead character in the show, mind you. Let’s not forget they us represent too, shall we?

    Finally, I think the show needs to have a “Come to Jesus” with the fans, and just declare they are going completely “off book.” JR has said the show is “going” off book, but has quietly said it. But unless the show has some sort of side agreement with author Kass Morgan that certain aspects of her story cannot be corrupted, there should be a no-holds barred, decimation of any hopes or expectations from what has happened in the books, and put it on a billboard for all to see. That means the death of a major character, and I do not mean Lincoln. I mean like Octavia, or Raven or Bellamy. (By the way, you made my case for this by perfectly recounting the whole Finn situation and the circumstances that led to his death. The same should be so for Bellamy.) That way you know for sure the show is “off book” and NO ONE is safe, keeps the show fresh, and fans on their toes.

    This all being said: I don’t care how they do it: It could be the craziest, most illogical, hair-brained, martians come to Earth, Bobby Ewing “dream” scenario ever told. Please just bring Lexa back!

    As always, thank you Mehls for your insights. I highly respect your POV. Your insights into E7 helped me to focus and express mine here to get my….(breathe)….feelings out. Please keep up what you are doing!

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks for this comment. It’s always wonderful to me when something moves a reader to comment, and this one is long and obviously deeply felt.

      I, too, get the business side of it, and I think with them having hyped and talked about The Commander [not just Lexa, but the figurehead of the Grounders] for so long even before we say her, something big and dramatic had to happen. Her abdicating here, when everything had come to a boiling point and she was still attempting to make her counsel understand the push for peace and “justice, not vengeance” and “blood must not have blood” doesn’t work. A death for that which she loved and worked for, a death in battle, a death in defending Clarke from the harm which has befallen those she loved before, a death in protecting her young Nightblood wards, a death in confronting a rebelling Counsel, those all work, and they don’t betray our trust. Even with knowing they only had ADC part of the time, they could have had her in later episodes this season. They could have done so many possible things to, as you say, make the most of their opportunity with this well-rounded and complex character.

      This character who, like everyone on this show, has done some dark and terrible things. Hell, when Emerson came back into the picture I thought they may have released him, only to have him come back later and kill Lexa, thus her having paid for actions at the Mountain in a roundabout way. Still ‘unfair’ in the sense that life is often unfair, but not “random and utterly contrived and absurd” as her counselor pulling a gun mere feet from where she was, waving it about and yelling loudly that he’d kill Clarke and Lexa would never know. Like, what?! As sneaky and conniving as Titus has shown he can be, that’s just ridiculous.

      I digress. Back to some of your points.

      The leadup was ‘paid off’ with her death in big way; as you note, she’s central to it all, and will surely be coming into play in coming episodes. It’s a pretty big deal.

      I think showing Clarke still felt deeply the wounds from Lexa betraying her at Mount Weather, and not moving to have sex with her then, and Lexa respecting that, was a good move. It was a deep betrayal, I know some months have passed, but it takes time to forgive. I think the tipping point for Clarke being their separation, and Clarke’s choice to go back to her people and be the leader they needed, was really beautiful (as well as I note above, a lovely opportunity to separate them, keep the tension up, and write Lexa out for a bit). But, I can see where some and you would think otherwise.

      I’ve never watched Dallas, but my mom absolutely loved it and she talked about how that whole season was one of the biggest TV events of her life. It was huge. Everyone was talking about it, and then everyone was talking about it when they ‘undid’ it as well. Obviously with the internet now it’s much easier to share and talk about it, but I definitely haven’t seen this much furor over anything, even Bellamy’s turn this season. (To be fair, I wasn’t watching live when Finn died.

      Which leads me to another thing: poor [I assume at least bisexual? doubt they’ll break it down] Clarke, having to kill and then unsuccesfully trying to save her romantic partners. Ugh.

      You’re right we know of at least three other queer characters, but at the moment Clarke’s not allowed to have a partner live, and Miller and Bryan have been together since they were in space and won’t even kiss goodbye, so . . . I’m pretty peeved about it all. On a show which is so, so, so good on many other points, it’s still unscoring some problematic things so far as lgbt characters, and it’s still really rushing some storylines.

      In that interview I link to, given before the episode aired, but published afterwards, Rothenberg said he was ready for the backlash because he’d gotten so much over Bellamy. I think Bellamy’s turning on the grounders so thoroughly this season was rushed and poorly done, as was the actual election of Pike. There are storylines all through this season I’m enjoying that are brilliantly conceived and poorly executed, mostly by just rushing them so hard. But this one, this one is as Christine H says up there – cruel and irresponsible writing.

      It’s a pretty foregone conclusion Lincoln dies. Murphy has nine lives to the point of it being an ongoing bit, and I think he’s going to come in handy that way and play a big role soon. Raven is essentially their only character with a disability, and killing her off would be just as awful, at this point in the story, so far as tone-deafness. Now Lexa is dead, Clarke and Bellamy are the two truly safe characters, at least for this season; I really don’t see them killing *another* of their biggest young leads. I think killing Octavia would be gut-wrenching, especially as she’s the only one ‘on the ground’ really straddling the grounder/arker worlds, but of those left, I think she may be the one who they’d see as most expendable, and since Lincoln is going to die, it would also complete the very Romeo and Juliet sort of love story they’ve had.

      “It could be the craziest, most illogical, hair-brained, martians come to Earth, Bobby Ewing “dream” scenario ever told.” Ha! That’s great. Honestly, with the introduction of this AI, and some more ALIE backstory, I’m curious to see how sort of harder-sci-fi they’re willing to go. I’ve not read the book (books?) but it definitely feels they’re setting themselves to move more into some Matrix, BSG, The Expanse, Asimov-y territory.

  5. Alex August says:

    It has taken me days to find the words to deal with this episode on any sort of scale that literally went beyond half a tweet the day after.

    I honestly had hope, and then was entirely distracted by the adorable pillow talk, that the writers would leave it at ‘good bye, for now’ as the constant mention of her death, and Jason Rothenberg’s insistence he was aware of the shitty lesbian death trope so that mistake wouldn’t be made, made me believe they were setting up for something big. Huge in fact. The tie-in from the Grounder Commander to Sky People AI would have been perfect to where Lexa gives her life toprotect Clarke and whoever else is left from the 13th clan. That would not only mean Lexa’s goals of saving Clarke, and more recently Skaikru, could be achieved, but the Commander could be at rest after having saved what is left of the people (or their descendants anyways) that tried to kill her for her efforts.

    Instead they rushed Lexa’s departure in some terrible reenactment of Tara’s death and made it nearly meaningless, with the only “value” to drive poor Clarke into a very dark place where her time hunting panthers will seem like a trip to Disneyland.

    The drama of the Ice Queen, the handing over the last mountain man for Clarke to cut into 49 times until he is dead by Roan right after the new vengeance-free diet plan Lexa put all the grounders on, Emerson being turned loose to live entirely as an outcast, Ag Station going all militant and pulling the rest of the Arkers under Pike’s leadership, a near constant threat of rebellion by the grounder clans – there was so much to work with (too much really) that a stray bullet wasn’t even necessary.

    There were dozens of options for that episode alone – even though the “she has to be done by episode 7” is bullshit – and dozens more open up if filming was done early for just the few scenes with Alycia Debnam-Carey, Eliza Taylor and select other cast members that would then be added leading into the finale. Of course the possibilities are nearly endless if Alycia wasn’t written off the show and Lexa remained in the shadows until scheduling allowed for her return, but that’s obviously an entirely different situation from simply trying to ensure the character’s end – like that of Finn’s – had meaning.

    From the perspective of working on a show, instead of just a fan, I can understand the show needed at least one major character death before it went too many more episodes into Season 3. This especially needed to be someone connected to Clarke and no one was closer to her at this point than Lexa. It was getting a little too “Arrow” with all the close-calls, and talk of resurrection, piling up since Season 2 without anyone who had more than five lines actually dying. But wasting it on “another dead lesbian” trope and expecting people continue to over heaps of praise is like assuming sticking one’s head up one’s ass would be comfortable.

    The reaction from Jason Rothenberg only makes this seem like an entirely insensitive joke of “hey, do remember the last time a lesbian power couple on a network channel like this were happy and the show runner that people respected for giving representation to the queer community killed one of them with a random bullet? well you will now *que several minutes of the narrator laughing*” instead of “we know how much Lexa meant to the fans, and how much she meant to those in the world of The 100, and we wanted to honor that even if the character was no longer going to be present in the lives of our fans and our other characters”.

    I have seen the dismissal, and in some cases out right cruelty, by those getting pissed off that this is considered an issue, but the telling of fiction is a damn important part of society and when it seems like every effort is made to ensure the story told was about how you shouldn’t be happy and different at the same time if you don’t want to die randomly why everyone else around you is okay because they are either perfectly average or odd but miserable, it fucking sucks. No matter if Lexa died as a gay woman, or as the woman pushing for change, or the female leader in a world where men still see themselves as the world leaders – she was different, then she was happy for a couple minutes and then she was dead.

    Of course the days seem marked for either Miller, or Bryan, as well. They are probably okay as long as Pike is stirring up shit as that is obviously a strain on their relationship, but after that is addressed one of them is going to take a loose beam to the head, or accidentally get ran over by Raven, or be revealed to have a terminal disease and die seconds later.

    • Melanie says:

      “the telling of fiction is a damn important part of society and when it seems like every effort is made to ensure the story told was about how you shouldn’t be happy and different at the same time if you don’t want to die randomly . . . it fucking sucks. No matter if Lexa died as a gay woman, or as the woman pushing for change, or the female leader in a world where men still see themselves as the world leaders – she was different, then she was happy for a couple minutes and then she was dead.”

      ^^^^^^ 1000x this.

      There were so many better ways to carry this out. Instead they promoted how great and powerful it would be. It was tired and easy, obvious even in its plotlessess.

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  1. […] back up even further. I’m not getting into the external consequences of that whole scene [I did that here]. But for a moment, let’s talk about the […]

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