The 100: Blood Giant

"Don't make me do this."

I haven’t been this annoyed since the final season of Game of Thrones.

Though I haven’t been writing about this series as a whole, I think my feelings about Bellamy’s return have been accurately captured by Billie in her review of ‘Etherea’. Bellamy’s transition to disciple and his devotion to Bill have been eye-rolling at best, and flat-out character assassination at worst. I kept waiting for the other ball to drop and for Bellamy to come around at the last minute, but throughout ‘Blood Giant’ he continued to show no loyalty to the people he used to love, eventually turned on Clarke. It was just about the most un-Bellamy thing that he could have done, even if he really did believe turning over Madi’s sketchbook to Bill was in everyone’s best interests (it wasn’t).

Clarke’s reaction to Bellamy’s betrayal doesn't feel as out of the blue as his own actions do. She’s always been Madi’s mother bear, and her protective nature feels right on brand. Does that mean she had to kill her best friend to stop him from going through with it? What happened to a good leg shot? Let’s also not forget that she turned on her heels pretty quickly after she pulled the trigger, leaving Madi’s sketchbook behind after doing just about the hardest thing she’s ever had to do in order to get it back. Even before that, wouldn’t she have thought to find the sketchbook the second Madi told her it was filled with her memories from the flame? It was sloppy writing all around, honestly. Even though Clarke has been one of the better characters throughout the run of this show, and even this season, it's going to be pretty hard for the massive cohort of Bellamy fans out there to forgive her. I just don’t get it. It certainly pushes her story forward, but at too great a cost.

It’s the cherry on top of a great big pile of shit that such a dreadful moment happened at the end of a decent episode. How long has it been since the red sun last descended on Sanctum? I feel like it's been a while. I wonder why the writers waited so long to pull such a fun plot device out the bag again? The rapid deterioration of Sanctum’s mental state ramped up the tension, and the forward momentum that Clarke’s return provided was used to great effect. The episode zipped from one scene to the next, with some great character beats throughout.

Funnily enough, the only other episode I’ve reviewed this season was ‘False Gods’, in which Raven made the tough call to sacrifice those Eligius prisoners in order to repair the reactor. Here she comes face-to-face with Nikki who, luckily for us, decides the best punishment Raven could get is to live with what she’s done. Isn’t that the most suitable punishment for someone as deeply empathetic as Raven? It’s a dark, and fitting, climax to her arc this season. I’ll be keeping everything crossed she doesn’t get a personality transplant and turn on everyone in a few episodes’ time. Now I’m rooting for her to get some sort of bittersweet ending.

Indra got to experience a certain amount of triumph after her defeat at Sheidheda’s hands. He may have helped her to stop Bill’s soldiers, but Indra knows better than to set a mastermind like him free. I don't think letting Sheidheda bleed out was a good call either, though. He’s weaseled his way out of certain death before, who’s to say he won’t succeed again? He should have been offed right then and there.

Gabriel acted pretty smartly this week, even if a lot of the other characters didn't. He nearly succumbed to his inner Josephine, but was able to coax himself back at the last second. Gabriel nearly fell for his inner saboteur's advice that he repair the flame and take the "test" himself, only for him to destroy the flame completely before he could restore it. A good decision at the time, a bad one given the sketchbook nonsense that followed. I appreciated seeing Josephine again, though, even if she was just Gabriel’s own personal hallucination.

Plus

On a scale of one to “Alexa getting shot by accident” did Bellamy's death annoy you? I can’t decide which made my blood boil more.

I’ve always thought that The 100 had great rewatch value. I’ve actually seen every season bar six and seven at least twice. Knowing that this is where it ends kind of kills my desire to drive back into it again. Will I change my mind after the final three episodes? I did get past what happened to Lexa, but the writers have several seasons to move past that.

Indra decapitating Bill’s invisible soldier was a standout character moment for a character that’s gotten a million standout moments already. #Indra2020

No Bardo this week, so the characters being held by Bill’s soldiers weren’t in this episode. I’m already shaking at the prospect of their reactions to what happened in this one.

I’m assuming Bellamy’s death is the nail in Echo’s coffin. There’s no way she’s not going out in a blaze of hate-fuelled glory now that Bellamy is officially gone.

After about 50 seasons, the gang finally realised that Gaia is missing. Here’s hoping she’s back in time for some decent action before episode 16.

While I’m here, this is my no-kill list. i.e. my list of characters that simply must survive the finale, otherwise I’ll... post something angry on social media. Disclaimer: Bellamy should have been on this :( - he was the only guy I had on my list. I adore Murphy and he would have been on here, but part of me thinks a heroic death would be pitch perfect for him.
  • Raven
  • Gaia
  • Hope
  • Clarke (I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes herself a sacrificial lamb to protect her people one last time, but we’ve been through enough so I hope not)
  • Octavia
  • Indra

PS I reserve the right to change this list.

He Said, She Said

Raven: "I was afraid he was as much of a coward as I am. He wasn't. He was brave."

Bellamy: "Look at yourself, what you feel right now, the need to protect someone you love so badly you're willing to kill your closest friend, someone you trust who's telling you that the fate of the entire human race is at stake. All that suffering can end."

I’ve always been an advocate for major deaths in television if they are in service of a particularly crucial plot point, in the interests of changing the future direction of a series to promote a healthier story and the characters in question have run their course. You need only to read a certain finale review I posted on this site a year ago to know this. What I’m not a fan of is the quick disposal of an integral part of a series for reasons that feel neither necessary, nor fully justified. This twist was such a cataclysmic misfire that I can't really see how The 100 will be able to make sense of it before the finale. I’m so deflated and frustrated that I'd be checking out of the show if it wasn't about to end.

No rating for this because I'm still too fragile.

14 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Panda, thank you so much for reviewing this episode. I -- just couldn't.

Samantha M. Quinn said...

I reserve the right to change the list indeed.

I haven't even seen the episode yet, and after hearing the news and watching a clip of Bellamy's death I just can't. I may finish at some point, and I was never a Clark/Bellamy shipper, but this is just so poorly done. You could almost feel the writers trying to twist things around to get to this point now.

Sigh. I was hoping all these story shenanigans had a point. Now I'm pretty sure they had no idea what they were doing.

Great review sir, you made me laugh twice.

Anonymous said...

Murphy had better live.

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, lol. :)

Panda said...

As I said, I reserve the right to change that list ;)

But in all seriousness, I think Murphy going out a true hero would be full circle for him. Not that I’d be disappointed if he lived, either!

Panda said...

They absolutely made the Bellamy stuff up as they went to deal with Bob Morley’s request for less screen time.

Anonymous said...

I meant the thing about Murphy. Emori can come too. And poor Raven. And Octavia. Meh on Clarke though.

Lamounier said...

Some twists are bad. Some twists are terrible. This one was... lazy.

Why? Why? I mean, why?

Going into this episode, I knew someone important was going to die. I was worried for Bellamy (because he switched sides), Murphy (because his arc this season has "unexpected heroic death" all over it) and Raven (because this show loves to torture us by torturing her). When the Red Sun plot began, I was worried for everyone that I cared about. But then the effects of the Red Sun were over and it was pretty clear Bellamy was Jason Rothenberg's latest victim.

And I felt... nothing. I'm not even angry that Bellamy died a religious zealot, I'm angry at how lazy is was, I'm apalled at how poorly written the scene was.

Clarke killed Bellamy over a sketchbook? Sure, an important sketchbook, but still... I kept thinking "shoot him in the leg, damn it." Seriously, what an underbaked death scene. There was no emergency to it, it was not the extreme situation the writers wanted it to be, it was rushed. If things really needed to happen this way, Clarke killing Bellamy should have been an epic moment to shatter our hearts the right way. Not this sloppy writing mess. What happened? Did Bob Marley abruptely said "oh, you know what, I'm not shooting any other episode"? Compare this to Clarke killing Finn, for crying out loud. It doesn't hold a candle to it.

It would've been a risky writing choice to have Bellamy's arc end with him being a religious zealot anyway, but that they didn't even write his demise properly? Ugh... Just... Why? I'm not even mad at Clarke for killing Bellamy when she could have shot him in the leg, I'm just angry at the lazy writing. He was not an immediate threat! Way to get rid of a main character, folks.

Will the series finale involve time travel and give us back Bellamy? Maybe when the characters transcend or whatever they will find Bellamy there?

The rest of the episode was very good, actually. Too bad that final scene ruined it.

Indra, honey, why didn't you kill Sheidheda?

Panda said...

I bet everything that Rothenberg will double back on Bellamy’s death in a few years time. I can just picture him at some round table retrospective admitting it was lazy writing. I think he might have even admitted the same about Lexa’s dreadful exit?

I honestly would have preferred Bellamy to have died when he was blown onto Etherea than see him die in such a lazy way in this episode. If Bellamy had died under more believable circumstances, I would have accepted it. I’m fine with character deaths that make sense. This did not.

Billie Doux said...

I so agree with both of you. This particular situation reminds me of what happened on another show I reviewed with you, Panda. Rob Thomas might be experiencing the same second thoughts some day. If he isn't already.

Panda said...

Can’t say I agree with you on that one, Billie. I think that made sense. This one didn’t.

Lamounier said...

So... it looks like there were behind the scenes factors. There is a teaser on YouTube for the next episode, and they talk about last-minute changes that were made, and I believe the last-minute change was Bellamy's death. That final scene was rushed and the episode had no build up to Bellamy's death.

It's not that Rothenberg hasn't made bad choices before, but maybe the behind the scenes circumstances forced his hand? What if the reason why Bob Morley asked for some time off the season forced him to leave again? This is all speculation, of course, and I'd rather have them write Bellamy off and have him appear in the finale for 10 seconds, good old Bellamy, as if none of the religious crap had happened to him, than Bellamy dying the way he did. But I can forgive the writers just a tiny bit if they suddenly had to adjust the story due to external circumstances. If that's the case, I wonder how Bellamy's arc was originally suppposed to end.

Oh, well. I'm still appalled by this horrible, lazy turn of events. I'm usually not one to say this, but maybe this show should have ended in season five.

Panda said...

I really enjoyed season 6, and honestly I was enjoying most of this current season until Bellamy came back. So, this twist aside I’m glad the show made it through this long. Season 5 would have been a bit too early to wrap things up.

Hopefully there are some good moments coming up to get us through to the end.

magritte said...

I agree with Samantha and Lamounier that while Bellamy's whole conversion has been unconvincing, what bothered me most about this episode was how contrived the plot gears were to push Clarke to kill Bellamy. And how completely illogical it was to kill over the sketchbook and then leave it behind.

And even if Bob Marley did want to leave the show, they've handled that situation much more effectively in the past--for example, Lincoln's exit in season 3.

Bellamy's whole plotline has bothered me this season. I couldn't recall why everybody thought he was dead rather than just sent through the anomaly somewhere and then when he reappeared his religious conversion didn't work for me. I think the season has suffered from too much separation of the characters.