Bellamy Blake is finally back on our screens.
The male lead has been absent throughout most of The 100′s final season and the show’s struggled because of it. The show’s ratings have been steadily declining and fan reactions have been largely negative.
Now that fan-favorite character Bellamy is back, we’re finally picking up speed. I expect there will be a lot of mixed opinions on the episode’s ending, but there’s no denying that this was by far the most interesting episode of the season. And that’s all because of one Bellamy Blake.
We’ve never gotten a Bellamy-centric episode before, and while that doesn’t make up for his prolonged absence, it was really nice to spend so much time following his journey.
We needed all this time so we could wrap our heads around the fact that he became a completely different person.
I’ve sat with this episode for a week and tried to figure out whether or not this narrative choice feels true to the story and the character. And unfortunately, I don’t think it really does.
But first, let’s talk about how we got to this point.
As we guessed Bellamy didn’t die in 7×05 and was instead sent to another planet through the anomaly. Thankfully, he wasn’t alone. The Bardo guard he was holding at knifepoint right before the explosion came through with him. He’s not the ideal companion, but he knows the code to get them back to Bardo.
So, Bellamy nurses him back to health. This beginning sequence was the highlight of the episode for me. Bellamy is a very intelligent man, and it was nice to see that in action again. Often the show likes to just focus on his past transgressions instead of acknowledging how he’s not only a great fighter but a great strategist. He kept most of the delinquents alive in the show’s first season and was the one to come up with the “inside man” plan that helped take down Mount Weather. So, of course, he knows that he has to keep his enemy alive to find a way out of here. And he’s going to help heal his injury while providing food and warmth for the both of them. He was great at Earth skills!
He even takes this time to read all about the mysterious Shepherd of Bardo. The mythology surrounding Cadogan is expanded on in this episode, but the show can’t really seem to pick a side. Is he a god? Is he a cult leader? Are we supposed to be as confused as Bellamy is?
Because so far everything we’ve been shown leans toward the cult leader side. He’s just a guy from Earth who manipulated people into following him. He’s been set up to be another false god. So, what’s with the sudden change? Now he can perform miracles? He can stop storms from another planet and give Bellamy a vision of his deceased mother?
Speaking of, I can’t believe we got to see Aurora Blake again only for it to be in this context. Seven seasons later and this is what we get? A 60-second clip of her telling Bellamy to go into the light? Come on.
Ever since season one, Bellamy’s expressed how afraid he is of what his mother would think of him if she was still alive. His reaction to seeing her again was incredibly emotional. But, instead of any type of heart-to-heart conversation, all we get is her encouraging him to follow Cadogan. Talk about a missed opportunity.
It would’ve been nice for the only Bellamy centric episode ever to be more about Bellamy. He was in every scene, but somewhere around the twenty-minute mark, it stopped feeling like him. It became about the mythology and Cadogan and the ominous last war they have to fight. It all feels like it’s more of a build-up to the prequel series the creators are trying to launch instead of wrapping up the story of the characters we’ve come to know and love over the years.
The most steadfast aspect of Bellamy’s character has always been his loyalty to the people he cares about. So, to have him spend months trying desperately to get back to them only for him to betray them without even thinking doesn’t make sense. Sure, it’s a good twist, but it’s bad writing.
Characters mean nothing if you’re not going to keep their traits consistent. Of course, Bellamy has been through a traumatic experience and Cadogan has “saved” him more than once. It’s reasonable that he would feel loyal to him once he gets back to Bardo. But it just feels off.
I don’t like the concept that Bellamy’s life has just been death and despair because he loved the few instead of the many. This feels like a gross oversimplification of his complexity.
Belief in a higher power can be a great, healing thing. But the way this storyline is done just feels wrong.
Bellamy’s always put other people before himself. He’s as selfless as they come. Now it’s being drilled into his head that all of the sorrow he’s faced is because he still somehow wasn’t being selfless enough. That by loving his family and friends he has hurt mankind.
Haven’t we been through this before? “Love is weakness.” This feels eerily similar to the same debates we were having all the way back in season two.
It feels bizarre. Bellamy’s love for the people he cares about is not a bad thing. His “obsession with his sister” does not create a hole in him. Love has always been his driving force. So no matter what he thinks Cadogan has done for him, it just simply feels out of character for him to betray everyone so easily at the end.
He doesn’t even say anything to the people he was so desperately fighting to get back to. He halfheartedly hugs Clarke and then blows the whistle on them. Clarke’s reaction says it all. She can’t believe he would do such a thing. Bellamy is the only person Clarke has ever canonically said she trusted. She told him immediately what was going on because she never would have expected him to betray them. So, where do we go from here?
Is Bellamy going to serve as an antagonist now? Will Clarke & co. be able to snap him out of it? And more importantly, are they even safe on Bardo anymore?
- I loved the callback to the “I’m not afraid” line. It felt very full circle.
- I also really liked when Bellamy alluded to the myth of Icarus. He’s such a nerd.
- As we know by now, there’s plenty of throwaway lines the show is never going to actually do anything about. But I did find it interesting how Bellamy listed Octavia, Echo, and Clarke as the ones he needs to get back to. It’s not too damning of a statement, but it’s a bit strange when you think about it. He spent six years away from Clarke, and yet she’s still one of the top three people he cares about? What about Raven, Murphy, or Emori? If there isn’t something more to his relationship with Clarke like we’ve all suspected, then this is a pretty random choice. They’ve had the least time together. It makes sense for Bellamy to be the person Clarke considers her best friend after all of this time because she spent those six years alone (besides Madi). But he had all of this time to bond with other people who he now considers family. Nothing is ever going to come of it, but it still felt validating to hear. Because they really have always been just out of reach like he said.
The 100 Series Finale Review- May We Never Meet Again (7×16)
Based on the first fifteen episodes of the season, we knew The 100‘s series finale wasn’t going to be great. But, wow. It was somehow still worse than expected.
If the closing message of the show was meant to be that humanity can be better if they put their minds to it, it should’ve ended with season five. But instead, we watched two more seasons of humanity proving that it will never change and committing more and more atrocious acts of violence. Why should they be allowed to transcend? Because they called a ceasefire one time?
The speech Octavia gave that changed everyone’s minds wasn’t nearly as powerful as the writers intended it to be. Neither was Raven’s plea to the judge. Nothing felt earned in this episode.
The Lexa and Abby cameos felt horribly out of place. If they were going to bring either of these actresses back, it should’ve at least been for something worthwhile. The concept of the judge appearing as your greatest love/teacher/failure/etc. was an interesting idea, but it wasn’t done well. It wasn’t used for any emotional impact. If Clarke or Raven were actually affected by the person they saw standing in front of them and changed what they said because of who they felt they were talking to, it would’ve been worthwhile. But, The 100 always likes to introduce cool ideas and never follow through on them in a meaningful way. This will just be another plot point added to the list of missed opportunities (like the radio calls, M-CAP, etc.)
I have mixed opinions on Clarke failing the test. It makes sense that Clarke would be defensive of her actions, especially this season seven version of Clarke, but it also feels wrong. She didn’t seem remorseful at all. We’ve seen Clarke wracked with guilt over her choices in the past, so it doesn’t fully add up that she would be so defiant at this moment. She’s grappling with what happened to Madi, so that provides some context for the way she acts, but still. It just felt really off. Especially considering it came right after the sequence of Clarke killing several guards and Cadogan without any emotion in her eyes. Who even was that?
And now she never gets to transcend? It’s a bizarre choice to doom your protagonist in that way. The beach scene at the end is presumably intended to be hopeful, but it didn’t feel that way. Especially because of the gaping hole left by Bellamy.
None of that meant anything without him. A peaceful life with everyone together, living happily and falling in love? You can keep it if your male lead isn’t there.
It’s insulting that Levitt gets to be there but Bellamy doesn’t. That Hope and Jordan get to have the happy life together that he didn’t get to have with anyone. Why do the new characters get special treatment when the co-lead is erased from the narrative and denied any semblance of a happy ending? Bellamy was right. He was right about transcendence, and now everyone gets it instead of him. I guess it’s poetic justice that Clarke won’t get it either then.
Why did Emori get to transcend? She was technically dead. It’ll probably be blamed on the mind drive, but it kind of takes away from Murphy’s sacrifice to be with her.
We were given another needlessly gory death of someone who provided great representation when Emori died at the beginning of the finale, only for her mind drive to be put into John’s head so they could have their final moments together. The scene of them dancing in the headspace while Miller and Jackson danced in Sanctum was the only scene that was somewhat enjoyable in this episode.
I wanted to highlight Murphy’s speech to Emori where he talks about how without her he would just be surviving, not living. He then goes on to say that he would choose a few hours with her over forever without. That was a good callback to “life should be about more than just surviving”, and also just a really sweet sentiment. Murphy and Emori were stuck in the pointless Sanctum storyline for most of the season, but I’m glad we got a few good moments in with them at the end.
I don’t buy everyone choosing to live on Earth with Clarke instead of transcendence. Most of them haven’t been friends with her in years. Hope, Jordan, and Levitt barely know her. Why would they give something like that up for her? It genuinely doesn’t make narrative sense, so it doesn’t feel like a good ending.
Sure, maybe it can be argued that they just want to live a normal life, and it’s not necessarily for Clarke. But that’s not a great ending either.
- The Hope and Jordan scene in the bunker was so pointless. This is the finale, come on! Use that time to make your ending more believable.
- The “worse than killed her” line was super off-putting.
- So much of the first half of the season was spent on Echo, Hope, and Gabriel for no reason. Hope got shoehorned into an undeveloped relationship, Gabriel was killed, and Echo got…? Nothing?
- The series couldn’t decide between a nihilistic ending or a hopeful one until it was too late for either option to be well-done.
- Still not a fan of Levitt and Octavia.
- Indra killed Sheidheda way too late.
It’s finally over. What’d you think of the ending? Are you hoping the prequel gets picked up? (I’m not.) Let us know in the comments below!
‘The 100’ Showrunner Jason Rothenberg on Fan ‘Expectations’ and ‘Surprise Guests’ Ahead of Series Finale
It all comes to an end this Wednesday, September 30.
This may be a relief for some The 100 fans who have been less-than impressed with the show’s direction in the final season.
Showrunner Jason Rothenberg spoke to TVLine about what he hopes that final hour-long episode accomplishes especially after the penultimate episode left many questions that needed to be addressed and much to be desired.
“We’re going to try and wrap up as many things as we can,” he said. “It’s a finale — and it’s a series finale on top of that — so there will be some surprise guests. Fans can have expectations of a certain scope and scale that I feel we’ve always been able to achieve in these finales.”
The final episode also marks his directional debut.
“This was a difficult season, because we also made a pilot within the season in the middle of everything,” he explained. “And because we shot the pilot so late in the season, I went right from being on the set of the prequel to prepping the finale. … It was definitely a challenge, but I’m glad I did it. I kind of wish I’d done it earlier, so I could have four or five [episodes] under my belt now, but it would have been a regret had I not.”
He even explained that the final scene from the penultimate episode, which saw Clarke deciding to relieve Madi of her pain and suffering, was intended to kickoff the series finale.
“I actually wrote and directed that scene,” he said, adding, “But the finale was too long, so I had to put it at the end of the previous episode. That episode originally ended prior to Clarke making the decision to euthanize her child, so there was going to be a little more time — at least in the audience’s mind — before she got to that decision.”
Rothenberg seems to believe that he’s achieved what he intended for the finale and even promises some “surprise guests.”
“If the finale gets a little trippy, as seems pretty likely if Clarke and Co. are in for a test on top of the war, then all bets could be off and we could see the returns of some dearly (or not-so-dearly) departed characters,” he said.
Here’s the official synopsis for the series finale: “After all the fighting and loss, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and her friends have reached the final battle. But is humanity worthy of something greater?”
The 100 Review- Only One More To Go (7×15)
The penultimate episode of a series will tell you everything you need to know about the finale. Will there be enough time to wrap everything up? Are characters headed towards endings that make sense for them? Is the message the show is trying to leave us clear? Based on this week’s episode of The 100, next week’s series finale will likely not meet any of those criteria.
An hour that should’ve been spent on wrapping up relationships arcs and setting up the last big obstacle our characters have to face included a lot of filler moments. Over the years The 100 has introduced way too many new characters that they don’t know what to do with. Any effective character development ended after season four, and we’re now left with a plot that’s too ambitious that we have no emotional connection to.
This Could’ve Been Avoided
And unfortunately, these final episodes are tainted by the loss of male lead Bellamy Blake. It’s not lost on the audience that every other character is getting a death scene surrounded by the people they love and a traveler’s blessing. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s hard not to imagine how Bellamy would’ve been able to save Madi from her fate. The only reason he wasn’t in that room with Cadogan and Levitt is because Clarke wasn’t able to trust him. It would’ve been nice if she could’ve at least tried to understand where he was coming from. She wouldn’t be completely alone if she did.
It’s incredibly frustrating to see Clarke continuously push the blame for Bellamy’s death on anyone but herself. His faith didn’t kill him, she did. His death is not comparable to anyone else she’s lost. This wasn’t a Finn or an Abby situation. He was still himself and she had many other choices. It doesn’t make narrative sense to show us Bellamy crying and begging Clarke to trust him and telling her that all he wants to do is protect everyone only for all of his friends to agree that he was too far gone to be saved. If they wanted to write a brainwashed Bellamy, they should’ve done it. But instead, Clarke seems heartless and out of character. It’s a shame that Bellamy was only worth anything to the people he loved when he agreed with them.
Octavia only wants to honor the memory of the brother that would give up anything for her. She won’t acknowledge the man who developed a sense of agency and found something that brought him comfort and peace. Even in death, he’s still mistreated.
Under The Rubble
The only good parts of the episode were involving Emori. I’m really hoping she pulls through. She’s the hidden gem of The 100, and it would be a shame for her to not get a happy ending.
Murphy and Emori are easy to root for. They’re a great match. It’s been nice seeing Murphy care for someone other than himself. His desperation to find her underneath the rubble was the most in-character thing we’ve seen this season. The conversation they shared while Jackson was cauterizing her wound was adorable.
I especially liked the part where Emori was describing how happy she was in Sanctum and how she finally felt like she mattered, only for Murphy to intercept saying that she always mattered to him. Who would’ve thought John Murphy would end up being apart of the only good couple left?
Raven and Emori’s friendship was a bit more developed than the rest of the relationships built on Skyring, so their moments together also felt meaningful. Everyone’s become so self-sacrificial lately but hopefully Raven continues to be stubborn and Emori & co. travel to Sanctum instead of Bardo.
What’s The Point?
The entire final sequence was sickening to watch. It’s disturbingly written, and the way it’s shot makes your skin crawl. The 100 brands itself as a series that pushes boundaries and isn’t afraid to face the dark sides of humanity. But there comes a point where enough is enough. The show’s become another egregious example of what happens when you become addicted to making your characters suffer and just end up creating torture porn. What’s the message you’re trying to give your audience? That no matter what you do, you can never be happy? That there will always be worse things ahead?
Isolating your protagonist from everyone she’s ever loved isn’t bold storytelling, it’s just bad. It’s exhausting to watch. And to show a child left behind in that kind of state? There’s no shock value or benefit to going to such a dark place. It just upsets your audience without adding anything to the narrative.
There’s not much else to say about it.
- Clarke and Gaia’s scenes felt hollow. Their relationship isn’t developed enough for any of their moments to have meaning. Same can be said for Octavia and Levitt.
- On the other hand, Gaia’s moments with Indra felt well-earned. They’ve fought over faith for a long time, and they’ve come a long way.
- Should we be expecting Clarke to go full Daenerys in the finale? Without Madi, she apparently has nothing left to fight for.
- Jordan always feels out of place. They never really figured out what to do with him.
- I pray I never hear the words “go float yourself” again.
- Clarke humming the same song she hummed to Atom in 1×03 when she mercy killed him would’ve been really powerful in any other instance.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!
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