Game of Thrones Season 8, congratulations. The 100’s final season has officially taken the throne for the worst television writing we’ve ever seen.
There’s something to be said about killing a character for shock value. Sure, it can surprise your audience, and even occasionally help move along the narrative when done properly. But when it’s done wrong, it can ruin a show’s legacy. Take Veronica Mars as an example. A fan-favorite character was killed off in the final moments of the show’s long-awaited fourth season, and now it’s unlikely to be renewed ever again. The season is widely disliked by both the critics and fans, and now every conversation about the show comes back to that one poor plot choice.
In The 100’s case, there’s been more than one poorly written character death that the creators have had to make statements and apologize for. Most notably, characters Lexa and Lincoln in season three of the show. The latest addition to this pattern is none other than the show’s male lead, Bellamy Blake.
Killing off Bellamy was always going to be a bad choice. He’s one of the most beloved characters by the fanbase. It would’ve always been hard to wrap our heads around what The 100 would be like without Bellamy Blake.
He’s framed as the heart of the series. He would do anything for the people he cares about and has proven time and time again how resilient he can be. When other characters gave up, he kept going. Nearly every single character on the show had a deep emotional bond with him that drove their respective character arcs at one point or the other. He was always going to be a big loss.
But The 100 didn’t treat him like one. After being sidelined for the entire final season, he was killed off in the most gruesome way possible. He was killed off for a notebook. He was killed off by his best friend. Say what you want about the nature of Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship, but they were each other’s person. Platonically or romantically. Both of them have chosen the other over love interests and the safety of mankind before. So, why would it make sense for Clarke to be the one to shoot Bellamy?
We’ve been here before. At the end of season four, Clarke holds Bellamy at gunpoint when he wants to open the bunker to save Octavia. That was literally a choice between Bellamy or her people, a choice between Bellamy or the safety of the human race, and she chose him. Why would she choose the mere possibility of Madi being in danger over him now? He promised he wouldn’t let anyone hurt Madi right before she pulled the trigger. This is a repetitive storyline, and it was done wrong.
Bellamy’s absence in the season has had a considerable impact on the show’s viewership. It’s been hitting series lows in ratings all season. Social media has been filled with questions about Bellamy’s whereabouts ever since he was taken into the Anomaly in the first place. He’s been left out of promotional materials and ignored in behind the scenes extras. It’s clear that this is not just a bold storyline to shake things up in the final season, this is completely done out of spite. In an entire episode about Bellamy’s journey on Etherea, his name was not said once in the five-minute clip discussing the episode. That’s purposeful. There’s no way around it. If you go back and look at actor Bob Morley’s tweets during filming and compare it to past accusations against showrunner Jason Rothenberg, it’s clear that this is a pattern.
Behind the scenes drama has affected the story and the characters suffered for it. Ricky Whittle, who played Lincoln in the earlier seasons of the show, has stated that the show’s creator cut storylines for his character to try and make him as insignificant as possible to the plot. Lincoln’s death was rewritten and moved up earlier in the season and changed to an execution. Fans have complained about how Lincoln’s death was shot, and how out of place it had felt for Pike to kill him in that way.
Bellamy’s character seems to have been given the same treatment. He was killed out of the blue and in a very graphic way. He wasn’t given any final moments with the people he loves to say goodbye. There was no tribute to his death. Finn got an entire episode with flashbacks building up to his death. We only had him for a season and a half. But Bellamy, the male lead for seven seasons, is killed off in the final few minutes of an episode without anyone blinking an eye. Clarke killed Finn while saying she loved him. Lexa died in Clarke’s arms. Jasper died in Monty’s. But Bellamy dies alone.
Screw that. It was a hateful choice. He went out knowing that everyone he loved hated him, and he died by the hands of the person he trusted the most. Did anyone even try to understand where he was coming from? What he went through? Bellamy spent the entire last season trying to bring Clarke back from the dead but she won’t even take a minute to reflect on what must have happened to him to change his beliefs so suddenly? The Clarke Griffin we know and love would have never killed Bellamy, especially for a stupid sketchbook that she didn’t even get. There wasn’t a worse way for him to go out.
If you add in all of the romantic baiting Bellarke fans have dealt with over the years, it’s hard to get past how terribly written this was. We went from writers and cast members tweeting their support for the relationship, to having one kill the other three episodes before the series finale.
Bellamy Blake is a hero. He always has been. But he was written off for the majority of the season, given a complete personality change, and then killed by someone he loved. That’s The 100’s legacy now. They didn’t “do better”. It only got worse.
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!
Coffee Table News
‘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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