Yesterday concluded my rewatch of The 100, and I have to say, I’m having a tough time understanding the double standards of death on the show. Yes, death is always a possibility in this fictitious world, and yes, a few characters have died on the show before Lexa, but I’m confused as to why some characters seem to cheat death numerous times, even in impossible situations.
Here are just a few instances where some characters conquered death on the show:
- In the pilot episode, Jasper got impaled by a massive spear, was then dragged through the forest by Grounders, and hung up on a tree by his arms, but somehow managed to survive.
- Finn was stabbed in the chest with a poisoned knife, was operated on by Clarke during a hurricane with help from Abby, who used a radio to talk her through the procedure while still in space, and yet, he survived without a long, inconvenient healing process.
- Jaha wore a broken, shattered astronaut’s helmet in space, rode a rocket to get to Earth, and survived crashing in a desert.
- Kane survived with only minor injuries regardless of being crushed by heavy debris after the missile attack on TonDC.
- As announced during the Comic-Con panel, despite being shot at close range, Roan survived and will be in season four.
These five characters cheated death in unrealistic situations where, in some cases, help was not easily accessible. But Lexa was shot by a stray bullet in front of Clarke, in a tower with constant guards and (I assume) plenty of healers living in Polis, yet, there were no guards nor help given.
So, Clarke could save Finn in the middle of a powerful hurricane but nothing could be done to save Lexa?
I’m not just upset that my favorite character died, but I’m also disappointed in the writing of the death itself because it doesn’t seem to make sense given what we know about the Grounder culture. It seems to me that if a Commander is seriously injured, even though it is believed that his or her spirit will move on, Titus and others would do whatever they could in order to save the Commander, not just let him or her die. But after Lexa was shot, Titus immediately accepted her fate and carried out the ritual without trying to help her or assist Clarke.
Not only was nothing done to at least try to save her, but the lighting of the scene seems to suggest that a considerable amount of time passed between when she got shot and when she died, which would have given Clarke, Titus, and even Murphy ample time to find a healer or the necessary equipment to save her. But instead, Lexa bled out without receiving the proper, available treatment.
After the fan backlash, Lexa’s death was pretty much explained as just another casualty in a world plagued by death and violence. The problem I have with that explanation is that to be “just another” casualty means that this is something that regularly happens on this show. Maybe I’m just a bitter Lexa fan and Clexa shipper, but if that’s the go-to explanation, then I think all of the characters should have an equal chance of death instead of giving certain characters nine lives, sometimes escaping ridiculous situations, while others aren’t given a single chance to escape it.
Using that explanation to try to silence upset fans isn’t comforting or satisfying at all. Lexa, a minority character who meant so much to and inspired so many people, was given a cheap, shock-value death. Apparently, she was one of the few exceptions to this “nine-lives rule”, which makes her death even more controversial and harmful to the fans.
Two other excuses and justifications for Lexa’s death as a response to the backlash was that none of the characters are safe or invincible in this world and that her death was supposed to show how fragile and temporary life is. But again, for that to be an actual justification, it should be applicable to all characters.
I can’t help but think that if death had affected more characters throughout the first two seasons, maybe I wouldn’t be as upset about Lexa’s death. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would definitely still be incredibly upset and hurt about how she died and how we were baited into believing she would survive until the finale. However, if we had experienced more character deaths throughout the seasons instead of characters somehow surviving the impossible, I think I would have been more understanding: the overused excuse about death being a constant threat would have been true for everyone, not just when it’s a convenient excuse used to silence the fans’ outcries.
If none of the characters are safe in the world of The 100, why do some characters appear to be invincible and immortal? Why do some characters survive and others die? If life is so fragile, why have we seen so many characters escape impossible situations time and time again? Why was Lexa considered a casualty in this world when others have survived giant spears, poisoned blades, and a rocket crashing into the desert?
Why was Lexa the exception?