The Good, The Epic and The Ugly

I think I can say for sure that “Watch The Thrones” was as beautiful as it was infuriating. We’re only at the beginning of the season and I already feel breathless because of all the different emotions this show makes me feel. The 100 is a masterful series when it comes to pulling the rug from under your feet: you never know what to expect, or when to expect it; if you will laugh or cry, or do both things at the same time; if your favorite character will upgrade from awesome to even more badass, or if your heroes will slowly descend into chaos.

I also want to point out that I am eternally grateful for the fact that The 100 is giving us incredible role models like Clarke, Lexa, Raven, and Octavia, among many others. Imagine what it’s going to be like for girls that are growing up to watch this show and realize that women can be respected, admired, and loved as leaders; that women can be smart and brave while having disabilities; that it doesn’t matter how old you are – it’s never too late to actually figure out where you fit in life; that women loving women isn’t frowned upon, but that instead makes you stronger; that being open and vulnerable isn’t a weakness; that learning to forgive can also be healing. Just thinking about how utterly happy all these girls will be because they get to see themselves accurately represented on TV makes my heart grow fonder for this show.

Another one of the main reasons why I love The 100 so much is because of how controversial it can get with each new episode. Every week, you’ll always see the fandom passionately discussing the events of what happened and it is that kind of excitement that drives me to write reviews as extensive as this. So, with that being said, this is your friendly reminder that this article contains HEAVY SPOILERS from episode 3×04 “Watch the Throne” of The 100 so I definitely advise that you go watch the episode first, okay? Okay.

Hammer time!

Jasper & Monty

First things first: wow! Mr. Devon Bostick and Mr. Christopher Larkin were incredible in this episode. These actors truly stepped up their game and the result was an emotionally explosive scene that left many of us aching. To see Jasper and Monty – who have been each other’s rock for as long as the show has been airing – drifting apart in that way was almost unbearable, but also extremely necessary.

Jasper refuses to forgive. He refuses to try and move on and insists on destroying himself, be it through bad decisions or just alcohol. He’s miserable and pissed off and Monty is just trying so hard to be there for him, even though he needs the support just as much. I understand that seeing your best friend so utterly broken is hard – especially if you were directly responsible for the event that’s causing them so much pain – but sometimes you also need to know when to let go. And I’m glad that Monty finally decided that he needed to focus on himself, too. Because he’s just as messed up as Jasper is, and he also needs to take some time to heal.

It was a really nice touch, them going back to the Dropship, the one place that started it all. It seems like an eternity has passed when in reality they have only been on Earth for about five months. In season two, Clarke and Anya are the ones that bring the audience back to the Dropship; and all we see when they arrive is what remains of the 300 bodies that Clarke burned to the ground. There’s not a single plant around it, no sign of life at all. Everything is skulls, ashes, and darkness. However, three months later, when Jasper brings the audience back – perhaps in hope of remembering how innocent they all used to be, perhaps because he was looking for the connection he used to have with the other delinquents, a connection that was severed with Maya’s death – we see that the Dropship – now surrounded by green, brightness and light – has healed in a way all these kids have not.

However, I do have to mention that I still don’t understand what’s Jasper’s importance as a character in The 100. He brings nothing of importance to the table; in fact, he’s so irrelevant to the story the show is telling right now that if he doesn’t show up for half a season, I’m more than certain that very few people would actually miss him. Jasper’s pain and struggle have already been established, so there was no need to prolong it. Instead of giving so much screen time to a character that is so trivial, maybe they should have use that time to give us more Raven scenes – which is something that everyone ALWAYS wants – or even use that time to help make the whole mess regarding Bellamy and Pike a bit more real.

I’ll talk about those two, extensively, in a bit.

And what even was up with Jasper stealing Finn’s ashes? Was I the only one that was genuinely puzzled by this jerk move? Was him drunkenly falling all over what was left of Finn meant to signify Jasper finally hitting rock bottom? Or is there another meaning to this whole thing that completely flew over my head? Either way, you can’t just steal someone’s ashes just because you’re angry and want to hurt the people those ashes belonged to. That’s just being rude, and stupid. I hope Raven kicks Jasper’s butt when she finds out. After all, he definitely deserves it.

Queen Nia vs The Commander

“Watch The Thrones” it’s set just a day after “Ye Who Enter Here” ends. And it starts with Lexa bringing an imprisoned Nia into a coalition meeting to be judged for her attack on Mount Weather. The curious thing about this is that Nia didn’t hide in her lands and waited for the war she wanted to boil, instead, she stuck around Polis because she wanted to be caught and brought to Lexa in order to make her pay. The queen confesses to being responsible for the destruction of Mount Weather and by doing so, she’s condemned to death for treason. But then Nia claims that it’s “judgment day” and she calls for a vote of no confidence – which is a rule established by Lexa that states the only ways a Commander can be removed from power is through a unanimous vote by all the Ambassadors of the Coalition or death.

I have said before that Lexa is a visionary and this whole episode just proves it. Instead of allowing Titus to send all the traitors to be executed, she lets them make their move. Lexa wants to know if her suspicions were right; she wants to know if, in fact, all her ambassadors have truly turned against her. And they have, but the coup fails anyways because Klark kom Skaikru, the Ambassador that represents the Thirteenth Clan of the Coalition, votes in favor of keeping Lexa in power. In “Ye Who Enter Here,” we saw a Lexa that was trying as hard as possible to convince Clarke to help her make the Sky People the thirteenth clan because it was the only way all their people could be protected from an imminent war. Polis has shown us many new sides of Lexa, one of them being how much of a political animal she can be. She knows how to work around the laws of her people because she created many of them; just like Lexa knows about everything that happens in the city and beyond, because those lands are her kingdom. I’m certain that Lexa was aware of Nia’s plan and that’s why she wanted Clarke to work with her so badly; she needed a way to maintain the peace a while longer and having Wanheda bow to her and join the Coalition as an ambassador was the only way she could achieve that.

Which in turn, makes Lexa offering Clarke an out, even more significant. Lexa knew that she would be dethroned – and possibly killed – if Clarke decided to walk away; if she decided that Wanheda wanted to be no part of the political game that was going on in Polis. Lexa knew that the Ice Nation would take over the Coalition and turn against the other clans in order to conquer them all the moment she was kicked from the throne, and yet she was willing to put everything on the line to allow Clarke the space she so desperately wanted – to keep running away from everything. The moment she offered Clarke the option to leave was the first moment we saw of Lexa choosing her heart over her head. She trusted Clarke in a way that, perhaps, she’s never trusted anyone, and Clarke did not let her down. Because Clarke decided to stay, Wanheda bowed to the Commander, the Skaikru became the Thirteenth Clan, and Clarke’s vote of support to Lexa helped them, once again, extend the reigning peace just a little bit more.

Lexa had the opportunity to execute all the coup plotters because the law saw them as traitors, and she would have been justified had she decided to simply end their lives. But once again, she chose to take the higher road. Lexa knew that a coup wasn’t everything in play and so, she forced Nia to go ahead do what she really wanted to do, which was to challenge Lexa’s position as the Commander because Nia thinks her unfit to command.

Nia picks her son Roan to be her champion, even though she knows that the challenge consists of a single combat to the death. The fact that Lexa replies with “I am the Commander. No one fights for me.” is as expected as it is breathtaking because that’s just the kind of leader that Lexa is. Unlike Nia, who hides behind coup plotters, dirty lies, and even the life of her own son like he means nothing to her, Lexa always stands tall in the first line of battle, brave and proud to be fighting for what she believes is right for her people. Lexa’s own life doesn’t belong to her, it belongs to the thousand of innocent Grounders – and now Arkers, too – that would suffer the consequences of losing such a monumental challenge. Lexa knows that Roan is a great warrior – there’s a reason why she chose him over everyone else to bring Clarke back to the safety of Polis – therefore, she knows that beating him won’t be easy; she knows that she could even die, but she’s willing to do it anyways because it’s what’s best for her people. That’s the kind of person Lexa is, and that is how much she truly cares.

The interaction between Nia and Roan is very telling, too. The Ice Queen is trying to manipulate Roan into believing that she picked him to be her champion because beating Lexa will make him a legend among their people. But Roan knows better than to believe that his mother cares about him. Their relationship is clearly not a good one and it makes me wonder why. Has Prince Roan always been against the barbaric, power hungry way in which Nia leads Azgeda? Was Nia directly responsible for the fact that he was banished, perhaps because she sent him to capture Costia? Either way, the fact that Roan doesn’t get along with Nia gives me hope that he’ll be a better ruler of the Ice Nation than his mother ever was.

After Nia sends Clarke back to Lexa with the message “I have my own natblida, and she will be the next Commander.” we learn a little bit more about just how important a Nightblood actually is. The Nightbloods have been around since the First Commander; and when one of them is found, they are brought to Polis to be trained – to be the next Heda, or perhaps, even something else*. After learning of a possible Commander from the Ice Nation, Titus is infinitely more worried because he thinks they fell right into Nia’s trap. He urges Lexa again to reconsider, to let someone else fight her battle, but Lexa is set in her decision to fight for her people because she knows there’s too much at stake to leave the responsibility in someone else’s hands, and maybe even because she wants to show to everyone – even Clarke – that she is certainly not weak like they currently believe she is.

The Prince Roan of Azgeda vs Commander Lexa of Trikru fight scene is by far the most amazing action sequence I have seen on The 100. The choreography was spectacular, the music was on point, and the editing made me sit at the edge of my seat for as long as the scene lasted. It was brilliantly made and definitely up there with anything Spartacus or Game of Thrones have offered us before. But what truly made it perfect was the way in which the whole challenge ended. Lexa had Roan at her mercy, she could have easily killed him, yet she chose to spare him because she knew that he had nothing to do with the attack on Mount Weather and that Roan had no choice in fighting her. Instead, Lexa turned her spear to Nia and killed her on the spot.

The Commander killed the Ice Queen in order to stop a brewing war from happening at all. But Lexa’s proclamation of “jus drein jus daun” before launching the spear into Nia’s chest served a dual purpose as well: justice for Costia.

Lexa publicly declaring Roan the King of the Ice Nation was another brilliant insight to just how much she understands the workings of Grounder politics. Now Roan owes Lexa not only his life, but also his position of power, and we already know that he is an honorable man, so I doubt he’ll want to retaliate or break free from the Coalition. I’m just really hoping the conflict with the Ice Nation can finally be put to rest. Who knows, maybe Roan will even end up becoming a tremendous ally. I certainly wouldn’t mind it if this were the case.

Another favorite part of this epic scene was the last shot of Lexa being framed by the sunlight like she is everyone’s hope in the face of darkness.The Commander is standing victorious in the middle of the arena, after defeating her enemy, while her people joyously chant: Heda. Heda. Heda. By winning that duel, Lexa shows to everyone that the Commander is formidable, magnificent, powerful, untouchable. Heda has proved her worth, and she will no longer be questioned. Lexa looks at Clarke -the person that gives her strength- just once, to make sure that she’s still there and that Clarke saw her win like Lexa told her she would; then she takes a deep breath and Lexa just transforms back into the Commander everyone knows her to be; into the kind of venerable god her people actually believes she is.

Lincoln + The People of Arkadia

I have so much to say about this I’m finding it difficult to pick a starting point.

The first scene we see of Arkadia in this episode is of the council discussing the events of what happened at Mount Weather. Charles Pike is naturally angry because he lost half of his people in the attack and he’s asking for revenge, “We need to hit them now, we need to hit them hard, leave no survivors.” Pike wants to march into a war that isn’t his – like Kane pointed out, the conflict is between Lexa and the Ice Nation – and he doesn’t even has a solid plan for it. I can understand that Pike is hurt and that his rage is blinding him, but does he honestly think that a few people from the Ark can take weapons, go against the Ice Nation and come out victorious?

Since the moment I met him, I have been saying that Charles Pike is a despicable character that will cause a lot of trouble. Him going through a lot upon landing doesn’t justify the fact that he’s racist, cruel, and thinks of himself as superior to all the other Grounders. In the meeting with the council, Pike says “If we don’t defend ourselves, they will take what we have, that’s what they do.” like he is the victim of the situation; like it isn’t the other way around. When the Ark fell from the sky, they landed in territories already owned by others. Like invaders do, the Arkers stole something that doesn’t belong to them and then got mad when the rightful owners started attacking them. It’s the brazen double standards that make this storyline so frustrating and hard to swallow. That, and all the holes it has.  

We get to see a scene of the guards from Arkadia treating Nyko – and the injured Grounders that are with him – like crap. This is shown to us to establish the consequence of the attack on Mount Weather; the Arkers are angry because some Grounders killed 49 of their people and now they think that all Grounders are the same. You would think that after three months of peace – which was something that they had only because of Lexa, the Commander of the Grounders – they would know better than to generalize.

Next, we see a small memorial for the people that died in Mount Weather, filled mostly with the remaining members of Farm Station. In the middle of paying their respects to those that died, some of the guards walk in to inform the council that there’s an army of Grounders gathering around Arkadia. Kane immediately reassures everyone that it’s a peacekeeping force to ensure they can defend against any further attack. Abby warns them that they can’t let anger drive their policy, but Pike replies with “anger is our policy” and starts instigating those present into hating the Grounders and telling them to go home, which results in one of the guys from Farm Station attacking Lincoln because he doesn’t belong in Arkadia since he is a Grounder. A fight between the guards and those trying to attack Lincoln breaks out and it only ends when Pike tells them that they don’t attack each other because their enemy is “out there.”

I want to point out the fact that, instead of going to Lincoln to check out if he’s alright because he knows he’s hurt, Bellamy decides to walk towards Pike. That’s the moment he decides which side of the fight he wants to be on, but more on Bellamy in a bit.

Lincoln is clearly frustrated because no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make the Arkers realize that not all Grounders are savages. He’s been trying for months to form some sort of understanding between them but no one seems to want to cross the bridge he’s built. Lincoln saying “get knocked down, get back up again” broke my heart because he is by far my favorite male character and it pains me to see him suffering that way; he’s extremely brave because he’s standing tall in the middle of a society that simply won’t accept him, that sees him as nothing but a savage, even though they are not any better. Lincoln also proves once again that he’s the biggest person when he refuses to press charges against the guy that attacked him. He knows that retribution will only infuriate people more and that’s the last thing he wants.

Since Lexa lifted Lincoln’s kill order, Octavia wants them to go join Indra’s army outside of camp. She still doesn’t understand why Lincoln is trying so hard, mainly because she isn’t fond of most of the people in Arkadia. But Lincoln reminds her that leaving means giving up, and he’s still hopeful that by staying in Arkadia he’ll help the Arkers understand that not all Grounders are as bloodthirsty as the Ice Nation. And I’m so thankful that he decided to stay because Lincoln single-handedly managed to stop Pike and Bellamy’s incoming attack.

Hannah’s throwaway comment of “so much for the good Grounder” was just another reminder of how utterly loathsome Pike, Bellamy, and the Farm Station were in that moment – and will be in the next episode. Did Lincoln suddenly became a “bad Grounder” for stopping them from committing blatant and unjustifiable genocide? Did he stop being good just because he stood in front of several armed guys just so he could protect his own clan? How can this group of people honestly believe that murdering 300 warriors that they know are there to protect them (both Pike and Bellamy were there when Lexa said they would avenge the assassination at Mount Weather together, they were there when Lexa sent Indra to protect Arkadia) makes them better than a guy who is willing to die in order to stop them from becoming monsters? Hell, Lincoln’s entire village was slaughtered by a Skairku member; he was even captured and tortured by Bellamy himself, and yet, you don’t see Lincoln bringing an army of Grounders to execute every single Arker that walks the Earth just because the actions of one single individual makes him think that all the Sky People are the same.

And then the part that makes all this mess even worse happened. In a completely ‘what the heck’ moment, the Arkers decided to elect Pike as their chancellor. I could have accepted this if, maybe, Pike had been living in Arkadia for more than a single week. If, maybe, the memorial for those that died in Mount Weather had been a huge thing where all the people of Arkadia were present and suffering the loss of those gone. If maybe we saw someone other than Farm Station siding with Pike’s view of the Grounders. If maybe we had seen the people of Arkadia divided into two points of view regarding Lincoln and his people while the election took place. Maybe then I would have accepted this plot twist as plausible. But from what I have seen as a viewer, it’s hard to believe that anyone with a brain in Arkadia would pick Pike – a guy that literally just got there, who’s filled with nothing but hate and anger, a guy that only wants to start yet another war – over Kane – a guy who has managed to make their camp prosper because he got them a peace treaty with the Grounders that has lasted three blissful months and could have continued even longer.

I can accept Pike leading his people to commit mass murder because he’s been constantly narrow-minded and just generally awful. I can even accept Bellamy’s decision to join them (I’ll explain more in the next segment) because he’s had this tendency before. But I’m sorry, knowing that the people of Arkadia would consciously pick Pike as their leader is simply something I cannot buy.

Bellamy Blake

The first time I saw the episode, the exact moment that I saw what Bellamy chose to do, my first thought was: “No, I refuse to believe this, it can’t be happening. Bellamy Blake has come too far to actually do this.” But then I stepped away, let a few hours pass, re-watched the episode again and came to the conclusion that yes, what Bellamy did in “Watch The Thrones” was definitely within the right parameters of his characterization.

First, I’m going to point out the issues I have with this particular storyline and then I’ll explain why it does make sense to me. Alright, let’s start.

The fact that Gina, Bellamy’s girlfriend of around two months, was killed just because they needed a “shock factor” to justify Bellamy’s pain really wasn’t the smartest move. Having a main character’s token love interest suddenly killed off in order to create conflict is a television trope that is constantly criticized by viewers. This is a trope that’s overused and screams of lazy writing. This is a trope that I never thought I would see the writers from The 100 use, but alas, they have proven me wrong.

A huge part of what drives Bellamy to make the decisions he makes this episode is the fact that he’s grieving the loss of his beloved girlfriend, but the reality is that Bellamy and Gina’s relationship felt flat to almost every viewer because there was just no story there. We only got like three scenes of Bellamy and Gina interacting with each other before Gina was killed off, and I could not sense or see Bellamy’s love or devotion for this girl in any of them. Most of the time it felt like he was still with her just so he wouldn’t be alone. At best, it seemed like Bellamy just barely tolerated Gina’s affection and at worst, he wouldn’t even pay attention to her while she spoke to him. There was no chemistry between the actors and no solid foundation to help sell the fact that Bellamy cared for Gina even the slightest bit. There was absolutely no need to kill Gina because it literally made no difference to the story, after all, when Bellamy finds out that his girlfriend is dead he doesn’t even looks upset, instead, he’s too busy trying to drag Clarke away from Lexa because she’s just another evil Grounder in his eyes.

Also, Bellamy was very aware that Clarke was still in Polis when he decided to carry out the attack. He clearly still believed that Lexa couldn’t be trusted and that Clarke wouldn’t be safe in Polis; therefore, if this was his belief, then why didn’t Bellamy stop to think about what would happen to Clarke when the Grounders back in Polis find out that 300 of their warriors had been cowardly slaughtered by Skaikru? Did he not care about Clarke enough to remember her through his pain, or was he lying when he said he didn’t trust Lexa because in reality he knew that Lexa would protect Clarke no matter what?

And then there’s the fact that Bellamy didn’t think of how his actions would impact Octavia for a single second. For someone that willingly committed genocide just because his sister was in danger, it strikes me as odd that Bellamy wouldn’t even spare his sister a thought when he decided that killing 300 Grounders was the absolute right thing to do. He was in the throne room when Lexa sent Indra to protect them so he was more than aware that the Grounders gathering outside Arkadia were Indra’s army. Bellamy and Octavia spent three months living together in the camp so I’m sure that he knows how much his sister is struggling to fit in and I’m certain that Octavia told her brother everything about her journey to becoming a Grounder, to becoming Indra’s second, to finally being accepted and care for by someone other than her brother. Had Bellamy stopped to think about how much his actions would hurt Octavia, I’m sure he wouldn’t have gone through with it. After all, Octavia is his everything, and he would never intentionally hurt her. But he did not think about her once, and I cannot come up with a single reason as to why, because no matter how much pain he’s in, Bellamy has always put Octavia first, and the fact that he didn’t, this time, is what bothers me so much.

However, there are many reasons as to why Bellamy taking this turn does make sense.

Granted, Bellamy has had one of the most wonderful character development of the show, but we all need to realize that a person doesn’t change completely from one day to another. It’s been barely 6 months since all these characters left the Ark – Season 1 was 29 days on the ground. Season 2 was 52 days, and Season 3 has been 3 months and about 5 days – so it does make sense that some of the bad traits he displayed in season 1 are still lingering beneath the surface. Regression is, sadly, something that many human beings experience when they’re on the road to becoming a better person. Some can overcome it, but sometimes, many people can’t.

The first scene we see of Bellamy in season 3 is of him resigning his post as a guard of Arkadia because he’s ridden with guilt and he feels responsible for what happened in Mount Weather. It’s been established that he’s emotionally unstable and we all know that Bellamy never makes great decisions when he feels like the world is closing down on him. He willing tried to kill Jaha just so he could get on the dropship because he didn’t want to lose Octavia. He threw the radio away to stop the rest of the Arkers from coming down – even though he knew the Ark was running out of air and, therefore, causing the death of 300 innocent Arkers – because he knew he would be judged for his actions. Bellamy has always been susceptible to madness when he’s in a really tough situation, and I can see where believing that he was doing what’s right for his people led him astray.

I won’t touch on Bellamy’s part in the memorial because I have already said that I don’t believe he truly cared for Gina; at least not enough to use her as part of the fuel that drives him to side with Pike. Instead, I want to talk about the moment in the cafeteria where Bellamy decides that he will help Pike in the attack against the innocent Grounders that are there to protect them. I want to mention the fact that, to Bellamy, Pike is not just a stranger that arrived at Arkadia just the week before. Charles Pike was a teacher on the Ark, and not just any teacher, but someone who taught the necessary skills on how to survive on Earth. Bellamy’s relationship with Kane has made it clear that Bellamy has learned to at least respect authority in the past few months, so it would make sense that he’s inclined to listen to those above him that have more experience than he has when it comes to conflicts and Grounders. Let’s remember that Bellamy’s only encounters with the Grounders have been the war with Anya, Raven being tortured, Lexa abandoning them at Mount Weather, and Echo’s betrayal. I’m not saying that these facts justify his actions in any way, but it does makes sense that he views the Grounders as dangerous because – unlike Octavia and Clarke – Bellamy never had a chance to experience a side of the Grounders that didn’t involve manipulation, betrayals, and violence.

When Pikes tells Bellamy that the death of everyone in Mount Weather is on him – unlike Kane, who told Bellamy that it wasn’t his fault and that he made the right decision because he was trying to save lives – Bellamy is more than ready to believe him because he already carries that guilt. He thinks he let everyone down because he vouched for Echo and she ended up betraying them; because he swore to protect his people and ended up failing them. It is logical that he’ll jump at the first chance to fix what has been done, even if the chance presented to him is misguided and absolutely wrong. Charles Pike is giving Bellamy the option to stop another attack before it happens, and Bell is so riddled with guilt that he can’t seem to realize that Pike’s plan is just a bad idea.

When Bellamy asks Pike if he is asking him to steal the guns to go attack the Grounders, he thinks that by doing so he’ll be committing “treason”. He cares about how the Arkers see him but he doesn’t seem to think about all the innocent lives at risks because all he can hear is Pike reassuring him that they will attack. Pike, a guy that has been dealing with battling Grounders for almost 5 months. Pike, who is a superior that speaks with conviction and has people that believe in him. Pike, who only wants to do what’s best for his people, just like Bellamy himself. It makes perfect sense that Bellamy would opt to listen to him because he thinks he’s doing what’s right for his people.

Once again, it all comes down to perspective. I can put myself in Bellamy’s shoes, and I can understand why he’s doing what he is doing. However, that does not mean that I believe he can be redeemed; not if he goes through with it, and definitely not if he’s directly involved (again) in a massacre of 300 innocent lives. Bellamy doesn’t even register Octavia’s “What’s wrong with you?” when she stands against him, ready to stop him if necessary. He doesn’t seem to realize just how awful his actions are, and he doesn’t seem to feel any remorse at all because he thinks that by taking 300 Grounder lives, he’s saving everyone at the Ark.

I’m intrigued as to where Bellamy is going and I can’t wait to see how it develops. I trust the writers of this show to know their characters better than anyone and to know what they are doing, so I’m willing to keep on riding the rollercoaster that is The 100. After all, we’re still very early in the season and I’m sure that there’s a lot more madness and blood that’s yet to come.

Clarke and Lexa

The moment she arrived in Polis, Clarke Griffin has done nothing but flourish.

I honestly believe that the Grounder culture fits her just as well as every new outfit she wears this season, and I’m just so glad that we get to see how much Clarke is slowly healing; slowly growing once again into the fierce leader and masterful strategist that she was before Lexa’s betrayal and pulling the lever in Mount Weather. Clarke has been learning a lot about how the politics of the Grounders work, and she’s been undeniably fundamental in stopping the Ice Nation from taking over the Coalition. I love the fact that Clarke has been a hero from the shadows so far this season; that she hasn’t been actively fighting, but that her actions have helped save lives, regardless.

Clarke as the thirteenth Ambassador of the Coalition is by far one of my favorite sides of her. You can see her at the beginning of the scene being unsure as to how to proceed or behave, yet the moment Nia tries to overthrow Lexa, she stands her ground and votes against Nia and basically saves both Lexa and the Coalition from imminent destruction. Clarke immediately understands what’s at stake in that moment; she finally understands why Lexa needed Wanheda so badly and she doesn’t hesitate to support Lexa because she’s as much of a pragmatic leader as the Commander is. For a second, she’s almost relieved because the coup has failed and they have managed to avoid another crisis yet again; but then Lexa accepts Nia’s challenge and Roan is chosen as her adversary and Clarke’s whole world just crumbles once again.

Later, when she walks into the throne room, Clarke is stunned to find Lexa casually sitting in her throne teaching the Nightbloods some lessons. This is a side of Lexa that’s entirely new to her, and for a moment, Clarke is in awe of the beauty of it. But then she meets with Titus and hears that he hasn’t managed to talk Lexa out of fighting the duel herself. Clarke is puzzled as to why Lexa needs to fight herself instead of letting someone else fight for her like Nia is doing; Titus explains to Clarke that Nia’s strength isn’t in doubt, but Lexa’s is because of her. Lexa finishes her class and Clarke immediately goes to her, ready to attempt talking her out of fighting the duel herself but before she can say a word, Lexa introduces her to one of the Nightbloods.

Aden is the most prominent of Lexa’s novitiates and he’s likely to succeed her as the new Heda if Lexa dies. My money, however, is on Ontari. The Commander tells Aden that Clarke worries about her people and Aden replies that if he were to become Heda, he would remain loyal to the Thirteenth Clan. Lexa thinks this will help reassure Clarke, but in reality, it only manages to make her even more angry. Because she can’t just put the fate of her people in the hands of a child, but also because Clarke is worried about Lexa, too. Clarke and Lexa are very stubborn people, and whenever there’s a bickering scene between them, Eliza and Alycia absolutely slay it. Besides the epic world expansion and the amazing writing, what put The 100 on almost everyone’s radar (including mine) was the introduction of Lexa’s character and her relationship with our beloved leading lady, Clarke. From the very first scene, you can feel the electricity buzzing between Clarke and Lexa, you can already see the layers of complexity that surround these two women and how alluring their whole dynamic seems to be. The chemistry between Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam-Carey is palpable, undeniable, and engaging; making their onscreen connection so marvelous that it happens to be one of the most fundamental reasons as to why The 100 is often critically praised.

The interactions between Clarke and Lexa in season 2 were mind-blowing, but in season 3, they’re simply breathtaking. When Clarke tells Lexa “this is not just about my people,” she says it because she’s genuinely worried about Lexa’s fate. They had only come to an agreement the night before – reaching the beginning of forgiveness, and maybe even something more – and Clarke is absolutely terrified of losing that even if she won’t admit it to herself. Clarke is obviously concerned about the fate of her people, but she’s even more preoccupied about Lexa, especially because she’s seen Roan fight and she knows how deathly skilled he is. And wasn’t it wonderful how offended Lexa got when Clarke implicated that she had no chance of beating Roan? The way Lexa raised her chin puffed her chest out and hissed “you have never seen me fight” was beyond adorable for me. After all, these characters are still young, and witnessing some of their more childish traits leak out every once in awhile is always a welcomed surprise.

Lexa then tells Clarke that she needs to accept the fact that she might die in the arena – and she says it like it isn’t a big deal like she easily accepts it just like she did when the pauna was coming to attack them. But the difference between that scene in season 2 and this scene in “Watch The Thrones”, is that back then, Clarke only needed the spirit of the Commander to stay where it was (in Lexa) because she desperately needed the alliance to work, but now that Clarke has already made the Sky People a part of the Coalition, and that she already has the promise of loyalty from the likely acceding Commander… now Clarke just needs Lexa to live. So she replies with “like hell I do” and storms out of the throne room when she realizes that she cannot change Lexa’s mind. At least not about letting someone else fight the challenge.

So Clarke goes to Roan, the only other person that can help her keep Lexa alive. She uses her best skill, manipulation, to try and get Roan to help her stop the challenge from happening. She reminds him that she kept quiet about his plan to kill Lexa and Clarke even tells Roan that he could become a great King if he helps her take down Nia, that no one would be able to cast him out of his own kingdom. And she manages to get through to him, perhaps not in the way she was expecting, but enough to make Roan help her come up with a plan to take Nia down.

Isn’t it funny how just days before Clarke was claiming that she wanted to kill Lexa, that she wouldn’t care if Roan finished her off? Yet in this episode, all we see is Clarke trying so hard to keep Lexa alive that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of someone she’s supposed to hate but that’s she’s unable to because she cares too much about her. Clarke goes into Nia’s room by herself and almost manages to manipulate the Ice Queen into believing that she wants to ally herself with the Ice Nation when Ontari – Nia’s own Nightblood, and quite possibly the next Heda we’ll have in the show – realizes that Clarke is setting up a trap and stops her before Nia can cut herself with the poisoned knife. Clarke is aware of what Nia is capable of, yet she still risked her life in order to try to save Lexa’s.

Seeing as none of her efforts have worked so far, Clarke once again tries to reason with Lexa, reminding her that she’s walking straight into Nia’s trap. And I like this particular scene because it reveals just how much they each care for the other. “I know you’re just trying to help, Clarke, but there’s nothing you can do here.” Lexa sounds slightly frustrated when she says this and I can’t pinpoint if it’s because she is still upset that Clarke doesn’t believe she can win, or if it’s because Lexa is shaken over the fact that Clarke was reckless enough to go against Nia by herself – that Clarke could have easily been killed by Nia and Lexa wouldn’t have even known about it until it was too late, just like how it happened with Costia.“I can’t just let Roan kill you.” Clarke replies right away, and she sounds almost desperate because she’s out of options and Lexa is still willing to fight. “If that is to be my fate, you must. You’re driven to fix everything for everyone but you can’t fix this. I have to do this on my own, and you have to let me.” Lexa knows Clarke better than almost everyone at this point – just as well as Clarke knows her – because they have been through alot together and it shows in the easiness with which they can read each other completely. Lexa is aware that Clarke is worried about what might happen to her, but she’s also aware that there’s no other choice, not if they want what’s best for their people. So she’s trying to make Clarke realize that it must happen this way. But Clarke is also stubborn and she’s relentless, and she won’t accept the fact that she might lose Lexa that day. “I won’t just sit there and watch you die.” Clarke tells Lexa, and her voice breaks in a way that makes Lexa swallow hard because she just knows. She knows that Clarke loves her just as fiercely as she loves Clarke, and when she tells Clarke, “Then this is goodbye, for now,” it almost sounds like Lexa is begging Clarke to believe that she can come out of the duel triumphant.

And Clarke does show up in time to watch the fight because she would rather deal with the consequences of watching Lexa die than having Lexa die believing that at the very end, Clarke wasn’t there to support her, to care for her.

I want to point out is how absolutely great all the reaction shots we got of Clarke in this episode: from her shock when all the ambassadors betrayed Lexa to the fierceness in her eyes every time Lexa wouldn’t listen to her; to the desperate look that took over her face when she saw Lexa being knocked to the ground by Roan. In The 100 we don’t hear lots of “I love you” mostly because we don’t need to. We see the sentiment just as present in scenes like “I swear fealty to you” and “I won’t just sit there and watch you die.” ”Clarke’s entire face is a canvas and you can see every single emotion she doesn’t dare to speak out loud clearly painted across her features. She looks at Lexa after Nia challenges her and her eyes scream “I’m worried about you dying” yet she doesn’t say a word. She looks at Lexa and she wants to say “I can’t lose you again” yet what comes out of her mouth instead is “like hell I do!” She pushes her way through the crowd in order to reach Lexa on time and just her being there is as much of an “I love you” as Lexa’s “I’m glad you came.” Clarke can’t even face Lexa when she says “I was just doing what was right for my people” because she knows that Lexa will see it for what it means: “You’re my people too, but I’m still not ready yet.” Clarke doesn’t want to accept that she loves Lexa yet because she’s still recovering, still healing; but she cannot hide what she’s genuinely feeling for Lexa, either.

I also have a soft spot for the bedroom scene. First of all, we see Lexa without war paint, with her hair down, barefoot, and wearing a nightgown that shows more skin than anything else. We have never seen the Commander look so feminine or so openly vulnerable. This is a side of Lexa that she probably doesn’t show to anyone and yet Lexa willing reaches out to Clarke and lets Clarke see her as vulnerable as she is in that moment. Not only that but Lexa also thanks Clarke for everything. She could have been smug and superior, she could have said the “I told you so” that Clarke was already expecting; but instead, Lexa is just honest and humble in her appreciation of the fact that Clarke helped her keep her people safe, that she tried so hard to ensure that Lexa stayed alive.

Then Clarke offers to patch up Lexa – even though Lexa has already been tended to. And as she’s working she asks: “Your ambassadors betrayed you. How do you move forward?” to which Lexa replies with a straightforward “They were doing what they believed was right for their people, too.” and for me, that’s when everything between them comes full circle. I think this is the moment that Clarke truly realizes why Lexa did what she did back at Mount Weather. The look of stunned understanding in her face says more than a thousand words. It’s a healing scene, for both of them. It is a new beginning that will hopefully allow them to have more playful and flirty moments like the one they had when Clarke asks Lexa is she ever talks about anything other than her death and Lexa’s reply is just a shy smile. The way Clarke and Lexa look at each other after Clarke tells her “Reshop, Heda.” and Lexa answers with “Good night, Ambassador” is a look of understanding, a look of “I’m ready to trust you” a look that maybe even promises a future more bright than what they already have.

I’m extremely excited for where this season is going and I cannot wait to watch a new episode. I’m addicted to this show and I need my fix STAT. Anyways, as always, thank you guys for reading my super long review/analysis. I really appreciate it! Hit up the comments or send me a tweet or an ask to my Tumblr (hajabeg) and let’s talk about this show that we all love and adore, yeah?

*I have a theory that links the Nightbloods to ALIE and the City of Light, but I didn’t want to post theories here. If you’re interested in reading it, just send me a tweet and I’ll link you to my post.

Tune in to watch live a new episode of The 100 this Thursday at 9 pm EST on The CW Network!

And no, I did not forget the bullet points:

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