Oh my GOD.
Okay, okay. Here we are at the end. This season has been rough as FUCK. The writers set a huge challenge both for themselves and the audience. They went super dark and tore everyone apart, miring them in pain and trauma and some really messed up decisions in an effort to cope with their pain. They’ve been slowly building them back up and bringing them back together and Perverse Instantiation Part 2 was the culmination of it all.
It was incredibly hard to watch at times, both because of the darkness of the subject matter and the occasionally incredibly shoddy execution, particularly in the first half of the season. I’ll get into it in more depth when Natalie and I do our (inevitably massive) season 3 breakdown but I am so fucking in love with this season and the character arcs and philosophical themes it played with. I think the message you can’t escape your pain, you have to endure it and the best way to do that is with your loved ones, is incredibly powerful.
I just, idk, I love it, I love it all, good and bad. As this season has (hopefully successfully) driven home to the audience, you need the contrast of the darkness to fully appreciate the light. Yes, a perfect existence devoid of pain sounds fine and dandy, but that’s not life, that’s not real.
Honestly, this season has been mind-bogglingly meta and I genuinely can’t tell if that was intentional or not. If yes, the writers are way smarter than the fandom gives them credit for. If no, they’re incredibly fortuitous (in a twisted, fucked up sort of way) in how it all played out on and off screen. I MEAN SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. THIS WHOLE SEASON HAS BEEN ABOUT FORGIVENESS FOR UNTHINKABLE ACTS AND ENDURING EXTREME, HEARTBREAKING PAIN AND WORKING THROUGH IT TOGETHER AND LIKE, DID THEY KNOW? DID THEY SEE THE FANDOM MESS COMING AND TRY TO ADDRESS IT IN THE SHOW? I DON’TACTUALLY THINK SO BUT WHAT IF THEY DID? I’m going to be pulling my hair out all hiatus over this. This show is honest to god going to ruin my life.
Anyway. Backburning my existential crisis for now while I recap. Spoiler alert, there’s a lot of screaming.
Part 2 of the finale picks up more or less where part 1 left off, both in terms of plot and emotional intensity. While Bellamy, Murphy and Pike check out the zombie sitch, Clarke uses the EMP machine on her mom. It was a one-time use machine but Ontari is out of the picture and after everything they went through last ep, can you really blame Clarke for wanting her mom right now? I’m sure some of you can but I can’t.
Abby and Clarke have an incredibly emotional moment. Abby can remember all of the things she did while chipped (you know, stabbing her daughter in the chest multiple times and then hanging herself after telling Clarke it’s her fault) and is understandably REALLY FUCKED UP ABOUT IT. They cry a lot, I cry a lot, no one knows what to do with their hands. Two minutes and thirty seconds in and I’m already a wreck. Whoo boy.
Bellamy and co come back and Clarke lays out her plan: they hook her up to Ontari a la Mountain Man transfusion and stick the flame in her neck. No one in the room thinks this is a good idea (Bellamy helpfully reminds her that it ate Emerson’s brain in like, thirty seconds) but they’re out of time and options because the rest of the team bursts in to tell them the zombies, led by Chip!Kane (*sobs*), are going all World War Z and climbing the outside of the tower. Yay!
Back in Arkadia, Chip!Jasper’s dragging Harper around by the hair because Alie is rude and trying to get them to open the door. Raven keeps him talking (blah blah blah Alie knows their plan, blah blah blah there’s no hope, standard villain stuff) while Monty sneaks out to shoot Jasper in the leg so Harper can ninja kick him and get away. TEAMWORK! So much teamwork in this episode, it warms my heart. This season has been a wild and painful ride with the group breaking apart and then working their way back to each other and I love the culmination of it all. More on that later, plot is happening.
In the throne room, Abby is hooking Clarke up to an Ontari shaped blood bag. It’s gross (I don’t like needles) and doesn’t seem like it can be all that sanitary but desperate times, etc. Bellamy and Pike are preparing their defenses by greasing all the balconies with lamp oil. Unfortunately they don’t have enough for the commander’s chambers so Pike and Octavia head out to defend that room with Brian and Miller in tow to babysit and make sure Octavia doesn’t act on the murdery glares she’s been throwing Pike’s way the whole episode. Surely this plan cannot fail.
Abby starts the transfusion. It is apparently an uncomfortable feeling and Bellamy tries to lighten the mood by joking about doing it while hung upside down. Judging from Clarke’s lack of wtf are you talking about expression (she SMILES, weakly but I’ll take it), at some point they talked about what happened to him in Mt Weather and I have a lot of emotions about that (please send me any and all fic depicting this conversation). Murphy does the flame keeper thing and goes to stick the chip in her neck WHILE CLARKE DESPERATELY REACHES OUT AND CLUTCHES BELLAMY’S HAND.
Scroll through this bit of you don’t want to deal with my shipper meltdown.
SHE’S BEEN HOLDING IT TOGETHER AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THIS HAS TO BE DONE BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY THERE’S A HIGH LIKELIHOOD SHE MIGHT DIE AND SHE’S TERRIFIED. HER HAND IS TREMBLING AND SHE REACHES OUT TO BELLAMY FOR COMFORT AND HE IMMEDIATELY CLASPS HER HAND AND HOLDS IT WHILE MURPHY PUTS THE FLAME IN AND I HAVE ACTUAL CHEST PAINS. ABBY AND MURPHY ARE FOCUSED ON THE FLAME SO SHE ALLOWS HERSELF THIS TINY MOMENT OF WEAKNESS AND HE’S THERE THEY HOLD HANDS AND THE CAMERA PANS UP TO HIS FACE AND HE’S LOOKING DOWN AT HER, STEADY LIKE I’VE GOT YOU, I’M HERE.
I CAN’T GET ENOUGH AIR I NEED OXYGEN HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Ahem. Okay I’m back. Murphy does the flamekeeper thing and puts the chip in. It looks very uncomfortable given the way Clarke starts screaming. She passes out, everyone freaks out (Bellamy’s voice cracks when he asks Abby if she’s okay, I’m FINE). Murphy goes to take the Flame out but Clarke wakes up, eerily calm, and says she knows what to do, she needs to take a chip. Murphy speaks for all of us when he sarcastically says “yeah that seems like a great idea.” I officially give up, I love Murphy. Murphy fan, party of one. Abby makes a last ditch effort to convince Clarke not to by laying out the risks (Alie will know, if she kills her in the CoL, she’ll be dead on the outside, thank you for reiterating the stakes, show) but Clarke isn’t afraid because the flame will protect her.
Bellamy cuts through the bullshit by going and grabbing a chip, telling her “I believe you.” (*hyperventilates*) Clarke assures Abby it’ll be okay, Abby steels herself, kisses Clarke on the forehead and tells her “may we meet again.” Then Bellamy feeds Clarke the chip, telling her “we’ll keep you safe.”
[Lengthy break as meg rolls around on the floor screaming.]
AND WE ARE IN THE CITY OF LIGHT WITH CLARKE. Okay so really quick, let’s talk about how Clarke manifests herself in a variation of her season one look. This is how Clarke’s subconscious wants to see her, fresh faced, princess-twisted hair, as she was when the they first hit the ground. This is who Clarke wants to be. I’M REALLY FUCKING EMOTIONAL GUYS. ALL CLARKE’S SUBCONSCIOUS WANTS TO DO IS BE THE PERSON SHE WAS IN THE BEGINNING BACK WHEN SHE AND BELLAMY WERE WRANGLING A BAND OF THEIR FERAL ADOPTED SPACE CHILDREN. ME TOO CLARKE ME TOO.
So fresh. So clean.
So anyway, Clarke is in the CoL. It’s downtown Vancouver. The incredibly dramatic strings tell me this is supposed to be a very dramatic moment but unfortunately some of the drama was lost for me since this was all pretty thoroughly spoiled when Jason Rothenberg leaked the finale filming location back in January and shitloads of fans showed up and took video. Le sigh. More on that in a moment.
Clarke runs into Jasper happily eating an ice cream cone (she is surprised, we are not) and realizes no one can see her. Before she can get too distracted, the flame whispers her name, reminding her she’s got shit to do. She takes off, following a series of helpfully placed infinity symbols guiding her to the kill switch.
In the commander’s room, Brian isn’t doing so good. His wounds are infected and he’s sweaty and feverish, not exactly the kind of dude who’d be all that useful in fighting off a zombie horde. Poor Brian. Miller goes full mama bird and decides to take him to Abby. Brian is concerned about leaving Pike to defend the room alone but Octavia, ominously sharpening her sword in the corner, reminds them Pike won’t be alone. She makes it all sound very comforting and not at all like a threat. Jk, it’s totally a threat! As the zombies literally climb into the room, Octavia decides it’s a good time to hamstring Pike. I’m just. Jesus. I’m not surprised because Octavia has horrific impulse control but REALLY O? REALLY?????
Bellamy runs into Miller and Brian and immediately figures out what the inevitable outcome of leaving Octavia alone with Pike is and rushes off to save the day. He finds Octavia standing by and watching as some zombies beat Pike to death. She tries to stop Bellamy but he quickly takes out the zombies because at least one Blake has a solid grasp on the necessity of all hands on deck. They run out of the room and barricade the door as Emori and Kane climb over the rail.
In the hall, Pike and Bellamy take turns lecturing Octavia on appropriate vengeance timing. I gotta say, Pike is impressively chill about the fact that she just sliced up his leg. I know he’s the worst and all but he’s totally aware of that and has apparently accepted that being the worst means sometimes people are going to come after you with edged weapons. Sorry/not sorry but I think 3b Pike (i.e. Pike when the pacing gives Mike Beach time to fully portray his layers) is a very interesting character. Anyway.
Bellamy takes his turn on the lecture-go-round and sums up his season 3 arc for anyone not paying attention. “I let my need for revenge put me on the wrong side.” Pike then sums up his season 3 point of view for anyone not keeping up (I would be irritated that this was all so blatantly stated but apparently a lot of people needed this explicitly spelled out so whatever). To summarize:
Pike- we were protecting our people, if that army was still there when Lexa died, they would’ve attacked.
Bellamy- I wanted to believe you and that we were the good guys and they were the bad guys because I was too fucked up to cope otherwise but I don’t know what I believe anymore (recapper note: aside from believing in Clarke, EMOTIONS), but I know I have to live with what I’ve done.
Bellamy is not justifying their actions, the exact opposite, he’s acknowledging they fucked up massively and there’s no going back, only living with it AKA THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS SEASON.
In the CoL, Clarke’s not doing so good. Her nose is bleeding and she’s having trouble walking. Cut to Raven and co seeing Clarke’s code appearing in the CoL. Unfortunately, if Raven can see her code, that means Alie can too. The CoL bots start closing in. In the throne room, Clarke’s body starts seizing, the transfusion isn’t working as well as they’d hoped and her body is rejecting the flame. Abby sets Murphy to work pumping Ontari’s heart. In the CoL, some bots catch up to Clarke and start kicking her ass. Simultaneously, in Arkadia, Raven realizes Alie is running a flush program to get Clarke out of there. Chip!Jasper reveals Alie is also aware that Clarke has merged with the flame and she’s running a merge program to absorb the Alie 2.0 code. What happens when the merge is complete? Alie deletes the kill switch.
Things are getting pretty dire when, at the last second, LEXA APPEARS AND KICKS BOT ASS.
I keep thinking ‘surprise, bitch’ but lol, no.
- That was an EXCELLENT entrance
- Lexa smiling over her shoulder at Clarke like ‘I got you babe’ was adorable af
- This probably would’ve been a far more dramatic reveal if, you know, it hadn’t been thoroughly spoiled way back in January. Like, literally, as soon as Clarke approached the steps anyone remotely involved in the fandom knew exactly what was coming because this footage has been floating around the internet for months. Way to steal your own thunder, Jason.
Clarke and Lexa have a moment, there’s tender face touching and an emotional embrace while stringed instruments go haywire. Unfortunately there’s not much time to dwell, a mob of bots are closing in. The CoL starts freaking out, cycling from day to night as Alie uploads more of the flame’s code. Murphy’s CPR isn’t working and Clarke collapses and starts to convulse. Abby takes drastic measures, slices open Ontari’s chest and has Murphy GRAB HER HEART AND START MANUALLY PUMPING IT. Murphy is SUPER DISPLEASED with his role but does it anyway because whether or not he’ll admit it out loud he is an official member of the adventure squad now. Guess I’ll have to cross that (maybe) off of my tshirt.
It works and Clarke stabilizes. She wakes up in Lexa’s arms and seizes a moment to kiss her. It’s really sweet guys and I’m glad Clarke and Lexa are getting some small amount of closure. It’s not my ship but I appreciate what this means to both Clarke and (hopefully) the Clexa fandom.
I’m going to casually ignore the awkward flame protection dialogue and focus on Clarke realizing she’s wearing her father’s watch and it’s working. Stick a pin in this, we’re coming back to it later. Another Becca clue appears in the form of a girl on a bike, leading Clarke and Lexa to the kill switch.
In Polis, the zombies are breaking through the barricade. Bellamy and co set a trap, Octavia lures them into a flooded hallway (WHILE KANE REVEALS INDRA IS ALIVE OH THANK GOD I WAS SO WORRIED) and Bellamy and Miller toss some shock batons into the puddle, zapping all of the zombies. They’re temporarily knocked out and the adventure squad confiscates their weapons to even the playing field.
In the CoL, Clarke and Lexa hit a literal wall (Lexa: “firewall” Me: rolls my eyes and thanks the deities that at least it isn’t literally on fire because there’s only so much I can take). Jasper shows up, smiling like a Stepford Wife and he and Clarke explicitly lay out the CoL conflict of messy free will vs controlled utopia (my biggest complaint with this episode is how often the dialogue may as well be DO YOU GET IT NOW? DO YOU? DO YOU?). The bots close in and Clarke frantically reviews her options when suddenly, a door appears in the wall. RAVEN FUCKING REYES SAVING THE DAY IN THE ELEVENTH HOUR, USING THE CODING SKILLS SHE PICKED UP WHILE CHIPPED AND WRITING KILL SWITCH ACCESS INTO ALIE’S CODE. SHE EVEN PUTS A GODAMN RAVEN ON THE DOOR. I AM SCREAMING. RAVEN REYES FOR THE FUCKING WIN. EVERYONE ON THE ADVENTURE SQUAD PLAYING A KEY ROLE IN TAKING DOWN THE CITY OF LIGHT. TEAMWOOOOOOOORK.
RAVEN FUCKING REYES
As the bots attack, Lexa prepares to guard Clarke’s back and Clarke desperately tells her she loves her. She knows this is goodbye and godammit she isn’t going to miss her moment again. Lexa promises she’ll always be with Clarke and throws herself into the fight. She whips out her double swords and with a flourish and an epic battle cry literally leaps at the attackers. I got goosebumps you guys. I love that Lexa’s second bow out was in true battle queen fashion.
Clarke goes through Raven’s door and enters Becca’s lab in Polaris where Becca is waiting. Clarke asks Becca if she gave her the watch and Becca responds no, you did. This is hugely significant. Clarke entered Utopia and her subconscious made sure she had a tangible reminder that time was ticking and she had shit to accomplish to save her people on the other side. EVEN BEFORE SHE WAS PRESENTED WITH HER CHOICE A PART OF CLARKE WAS ALREADY REMINDING HERSELF SHE HAD TO GO BACK, THAT SHE HAD PEOPLE COUNTING ON HER, THAT SHE HAD PEOPLE TO RETURN TO. I AM EMOTION.
Anyway. Becca leads Clarke to the kill switch which is a lever because of course it is (guys, it’s always going to be levers, just roll with it). But wait! It’s not that simple! Alie shows up to explain the other side of things. It turns out the nuclear power plants hit by the nukes back in whenever have begun to meltdown (science side of tumblr, is this legit? You know what nevermind I don’t care). The earth is about 6 months out from being overrun by radiation (96% of the Earth’s surface, to be exact. I see you show, leaving a 4% loophole). As far as hardsells go for the CoL as their savior go, Alie’s got a pretty good pitch.
Cut to the tower, Bellamy is marshaling the troops as they prepare for their last stand (pause to note that he has given Abby, the last line of defense around Clarke, his pistol and is going to hold them off with a shock baton. MINIMIZING FATALITIES. CHARACTER GROWTH. GUNS AS AN ABSOLUTE LAST RESORT). Murphy is still in the corner frantically squeezing Ontari’s heart (have I mentioned how much I love this incredibly gruesome touch? I love it a lot).
In the CoL, Alie lays out the effects of a second nuclear apocalypse. Becca has no time for it and points out she’s stalling. As soon as she finishes the 2.0 upload she can just delete the kill switch. Clarke asks Alie why she doesn’t just tell people the stakes and give them a choice. Alie rattles off some people make bad choices shit (true) and Becca asks Alie to define perverse instantiation: the implementation of a benign final goal through deleterious methods, unforeseen by a human programmer. I’m rolling my eyes a lot over literally including the episode title, but the definition is used as a chillingly calm voice over as the battle rages in the throne room (KANE IS FIGHTING BELLAMY MY HEART MY HEEAAAAART) and it was very neatly done. Fingers crossed Jason Rothenberg does WHATEVER HE HAS TO to keep his crew because they are the true heroes of this season.
I did roll my eyes as Becca clearly states “The goal isn’t everything Alie. How you reach the goal matters to.” OH REALLY? IS THAT A THEME? THAT YOU HAVE BEEN EMPHASIZING OVER AND OVER FOR THREE SEASONS? I mean, okay, to be fair, because Clarke and co are technically the heroes of the story, in normal narrative terms, that generally means their actions are the ones you’re supposed to support. They’re the heroes and therefore their actions should be seen as heroic, right? NOPE. I honestly don’t know how people can be into this show without realizing that it’s constantly subverting this idea. We aren’t supposed to see Clarke’s, Bellamy’s, Octavia’s, etc actions as right and heroic any more than we’re supposed to see Pike’s, Jaha’s, the Grounder’s actions as wrong and demonic. IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG (or, as the show has explicitly stated several times, there are no good guys). That’s the truly fascinating thing about this show, there are no heroes. There are just people fighting for what they believe is the right thing at the time, fucking up and (generally) learning from their mistakes. The show challenges the audience to constantly try and understand where people are coming from, to discuss the things they’re doing, to look at it from all sides. It’s brilliant and I fucking love it.
Getting back on track. Time is running out. In the CoL, Alie is nearly uploaded. In Polis, the lines of defense are falling, Abby is shooting people and Kane has Bellamy on the ground and is strangling him (HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEE) (ALSO CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE ABBY/CLARKE in 3×15 AND KANE/BELLAMY in 3×16 PARALLELS? PARENTS AND SURROGATE PARENTS TORTURING THEIR CHILDREN UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALIE I’M DYING I REALLY AM SEND HELP).
PS I’M BASICALLY GOING TO JUST SCREAM FOR THE REST OF THIS RECAP SORRY/NOT SORRY.
OKAY. OKAY. OKAY. SO. ALIE’S FINAL PITCH TO CLARKE (OVERLAYING EVERYTHING GOING TO HELL IN THE THRONE ROOM). “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BEAR THE BURDEN OF DECISIONS LIKE THIS ONE, CLARKE. YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE PAIN OF THE THINGS THAT YOU’VE DONE ANYMORE. THE LIVES THAT YOU’VE TAKEN AND THOSE YOU’VE LOST. YOU WILL BE AT PEACE.”
AND CLARKE. FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGES. THAT SHE HAS BEEN RUNNING AWAY FROM HER PAIN. AND IT DOESN’T WORK.
ALIE MAKES ONE LAST ATTEMPT TO REMIND CLARKE OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF PULLING THE LEVER AND CLARKE SAYS “WE’LL FIGURE SOMETHING OUT. WE ALWAYS DO.” SHE BELIEVES IN HER PEOPLE. AND ALSO, ALSO, ALSO, NOTICE HOW THE FIRST PART OF THAT LINE LITERALLY REITERATES WHAT SHE SAID TO BELLAMY IN DAY TRIP????? WHILE I FULLY BELIEVE SHE MEANS EVERYONE BY REITERATING THAT LINE FROM THAT SCENE TELLS ME SHE ALSO SPECIFICALLY MEANS WE AS IN HER BELLAMY. WE HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE FROM THE WE IN HAKELDAMA. CLARKE AND BELLAMY ARE A TEAM AGAIN AND SHE BELIEVE THEY CAN SAVE THEIR PEOPLE FROM EVERYTHING TO COME.
AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN
“YOU DON’T EASE PAIN. YOU OVERCOME IT.”
SHE CHOOSES HER PAIN. SHE CHOOSES REALITY. SHE CHOOSES HER PEEEEEOOOOOPLEEEEEEEEEEE.
E V E R Y T H I N G.
*deep breaths* *reins it in*
I never for a second actually believed Clarke would choose to stay in the City of Light because hello, She’s Clarke fucking Griffin. She is a Big Damn Hero and Big Damn Heroes never choose the easy way out. She is the post apocalyptic reincarnation of Buffy Summers. The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live.
I’m a fucking wreck. I cannot tell you how much this message, this storyline, this ending means to me.
And then we have an excruciating montage of everyone waking up from the CoL and their pain and memories returning. Kane’s fucking face as he realizes what he’d been doing. He can’t even look at Bellamy. Mild comedic interlude for Murphy’s “a little help here” as he keeps pumping and Abby’s ‘ew gross’ face as she pulls the flame out of Clarke’s neck. EMOTIONS RETURNING IN FULL FORCE AS CLARKE SINCERELY THANKS MURPHY AND HIS NBD NOD and “JUST ANOTHER DAY ON THE GROUND, RIGHT?”
AND THEN THE EMORI REUNION SHE’S CRYING HE RUNS TO HUG HER SAYING “HEY HEY HEY” IN A SOFTER VOICE I’VE EVER HEARD MURPHY USE. THEY’RE HANGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE AND SHE’S APOLOGIZING AND HE’S ASSURING HER IT’S OKAY.
AND MILLER SAGGING AGAINST BRIAN IN RELIEF. I CANNOT BELIEVE BRIAN DIDN’T DIE. I WAS SO OKAY WITH HIM DYING BECAUSE I REALLY THOUGHT THERE WAS NO WAY HE’D MAKE IT OUT I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW RELIEVED I AM TO SEE HE MADE IT.
AND BELLAMY AND OCTAVIA LOOKING AT EACH OTHER. THEY AREN’T READY TO HUG YET AND IT KILLS ME BUT THEY’RE RECONNECTING, THEY’RE STILL INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO EACH OTHER AND ALWAYS WILL BE.
AND KANE IS COMPLETELY BREAKING DOWN AND CLARKE TELLS ABBY SHE’S OKAY SO ABBY CAN GO TO HIM AND SHE PUTS HER HAND ON HIS SHOULDER AND THEY FUCKING FOREHEAD TOUCH AND SHE HOLDS HIM WHILE HE CRIES.
AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN.
CUT TO ARKADIA. JASPER IS BACK AND HE IS NOT FUCKING OKAY. HE’S SOBBING. HE WAS FINALLY HAPPY. SERIOUSLY FUCK YOU DEVON BOSTWICK YOU FUCKING NAILED THIS SCENE AND I CANNOT. MONTY RUNS TO HIM AND CUTS HIM LOOSE AND THIS EXCHANGE HAPPENS: “JASPER. I KNOW THIS WORLD CAN SUCK. BUT AT LEAST IT’S REAL.WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER.” “YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT?” “WE WILL BE HAPPY AGAIN. I PROMISE.” AND THEN JASPER APOLOGIZES FOR STABBING HIM AND MONTY APOLOGIZES FOR SHOOTING HIM AND JASPER MAKES A JOKE AND THEY LAUGH AND THEY HUG FOR REAL AND JASPER APOLOGIZES FOR REAL FOR EVERYTHING AND MONTY SAYS IT’S OKAY.
AND THEN JASPER GOES TO GET ALCOHOL AND HE WALKS OUT INTO THE LOADING BAY AND STOPS OUT OF SIGHT OF HIS FRIENDS AND LISTENS TO THEM LAUGH AND THE EMOTIONAL STRINGS ARE GOING HAYWIRE AND I HONESTLY THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO KILL HIMSELF AND I WAS SO FUCKING TERRIFIED BECAUSE I WAS EMPHATICALLY NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE THAT.
JASPER JORDAN CRACKS A GENUINE NONCHIPPED SMILE FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL SEASON.
I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD IF ANY OF YOU COME INTO THE COMMENTS WITH ANY MANPAIN BULLSHIT BLOOD WILL HAVE BLOOD. JASPER’S ARC THIS SEASON HAS BEEN SO FUCKING IMPORTANT. HE HAS DEPICTED A CHARACTER STRUGGLING WITH CRIPPLING TRAUMA AND DEPRESSION. HE HAS HIT ROCK BOTTOM. HE HAS ALIENATED ALL OF HIS FRIENDS. HE HAS LOST ALL HOPE. HE HAS GIVEN UP. BUT THEN HE CAME BACK. HE MAY NOT HAVE FOUGHT HIS WAY OUT LIKE RAVEN BUT NOT EVERYONE CAN CAN FIGHT LIKE THAT. SOMETIMES YOU NEED YOUR FRIENDS TO PULL YOU BACK AND AT THE END OF THE DAY HE DID THE HARD THING. HE CHOSE TO BELIEVE IT WILL GET BETTER. HE FOUND HOPE. THIS IS SO. MEANINGFUL.
I’m sobbing so godamn hard. Don’t look at me, don’t touch me, leave me alone.
Okay, okay, okay, but wait. There’s more.
BACK IN THE THRONE ROOM. BELLAMY GOES TO CLARKE AND HELPS HER OFF THE THRONE. AND THEN THEY STAND TOGETHER. ON EQUAL GROUND. IN FRONT OF IT. LET’S TALK ABOUT VISUAL STORYTELLING AND HOW FUCKING IMPORTANT THIS IS.
I have been harping on and on for awhile now about how the biggest thing I need from Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship is for them to be equal partners, working together. No princess/knight. No Clarke leads, Bellamy follows. I want them to go back to the season one co-leadership forged in blood and fire(™ Gillian). It is my favorite of all things and possibly the number one thing I OTP about them so hard. Possibly. Don’t quote me. All the reasons I OTP them are the number one reason.
ANYWAY. This moment at (basically) the end of the episode (and the fact that they go back to it after the show squeezes in one last WTF????) tells me that everything I just said above? That’s coming. That’s going to be season 4. Remember that nothing about the blocking, the editing, the framing, is an accident. Somebody planned and executed that and they did it for a reason. I would put large amounts of money on this theory. I cannot fucking wait.
Okay so right, a little bit more plot to get through. Clarke tells Bellamy the world isn’t exactly as safe as it might seem (casually pointing out that the season ends with only Clarke and Bellamy knowing what’s coming, subtly reemphasizing that they are in charge here).
A brief sidebar on teamwork. I have seen some people irritated about how the season ended with Clarke the Savior saving everyone and I would just like to point out that it didn’t? She may have been the one who pulled the lever but literally every single member of their squad played a key role and she never would’ve been able to pull the lever without all of them. It was a full team effort. Furthermore, Clarke herself considers it a full team effort.
Bellamy: You don’t look like someone who just saved the world.
Clarke: Because we didn’t.
Anyway. Just when we thought it was all over, OCTAVIA STABS PIKE IN THE CHEST. This was so chilling. Her face was so blank. Remember how I said I was waiting for Octavia to fall off of her morality pedestal? She’s been falling in slow motion the entire second half of the season and that sound you may have heard was her crashing to the ground. Welcome to the murder side Octavia.
And then, without looking at anyone, she turns and walks out of the room, Bellamy staring horrified after her while Clarke watches him, deeply concerned.
- How incredibly endearing was Abby ducking behind Clarke when the dudes burst in guns drawn and Clarke shielding her? So endearing. Also emphasizes the shift in authority that’s been going on since season two, the adults aren’t remotely in charge anymore.
- Here’s a question. Do you think Lexa didn’t tell Clarke I love you too because it’s been pretty obvious all along that’s where she’s at? Or do you think it’s because the part of her that resides in the flame is the commander part that put her feelings for Clarke aside to do what needed to be done? I honestly don’t know. I kind of lean towards the latter because it doesn’t seem like season 3 heart over head Lexa would pass up the opportunity to say it back but I like that they left it open to interpretation.
- Interesting parallel worth noting: Bellamy and Lexa both played the exact same role inside and out of the CoL, fighting off Alie minions to protect Clarke while she takes care of business. It is very interesting to me that the writers chose to connect those particular characters.
- Okay but for real what if this was all some complicated, meta, social experiment with storytelling and fandom and I’m going to take off my tinfoil hat one of these days, I promise. IT JUST LINES UP SO WELL I’M LIKE ????????!!!!!!!!!!???????????
- (I really don’t think they planned this)
- (But what if)
- (shut up meg)
- GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS EVERYBODY LIVED. IT WAS LITERALLY THE MOST SURPRISING DEATH TWIST THEY COULD’VE GONE FOR. I 0% EXPECTED THAT. HIGH FUCKING FIVE SHOW.
- (okay everybody except Pike. Please do not come after me with pitchforks but I’m actually kind of sad about this? Not like sad, sad, but aww, too bad. HEAR ME OUT. 1) Mike Beach is ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL and I will miss him talking about The 100 and sharing BtS pics and generally being the coolest. 2) He is an incredibly talented actor and the layers he brought to Pike’s character, especially in 3b, were fascinating. Like I genuinely cannot believe that through the strength of his portrayal alone, he brought me around to not necessarily sympathizing, but accepting Pike’s point of view. It was like Richard Harmon winning me over x a million because it happened over the course of 8 episodes, like what the fuck. 3) I was really into the contentious dynamic between Pike and the rest of the group. It was an interesting angle and I would’ve been into seeing more of it. However, apparently Mike has a role on a new show that looks AMAZING and I’m fully confident he’s going to kill it and I wish him all the best. He was a treat)
- SORRY I’M GOING TO BE SMUG ONE MORE TIME AND REMIND YOU ALL THAT SOMEWHERE IN ONE OF MY 3A RECAPS I TOTALLY CALLED THE SEASON ENDING WITH A SECOND NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE AND Y’ALL WERE LIKE OMG NO WAY THAT’S SO DARK THEY WOULDN’T. WHILE THEY DIDN’T ACTUALLY DROP A NUKE, IT IS CLOSE ENOUGH THAT I AM COMFORTABLE SAYING WOULDN’T THEEEEYYYYYYYYYYY??????????????????
- Oh god I can’t wait for season 4
- EXODUS SEASON
- EVERYONE FRANTICALLY LOOKING FOR THAT SAFE, UNTOUCHABLE 4%
- PULLING IN THE AZGEDA, TRIKRU AND FLOUKRU ALLIES ALONG THE WAY
- BASICALLY IF ROAN, INDRA, NIYLAH AND LUNA DON’T ALL COME BACK I WILL BE VERY UPSET
- They’re totally coming back if they can
- Oh god season 4 is going to be amazing
On a closing note, I’m going to indulge my inner teenager and leave you with a song that my friend Meagan introduced me to a couple of weeks ago (sidebar, she writes the most amazing reviews of the show and I am head over heels in love with how she breaks down the themes and complexities, do yourself a favor and check them out). Our greatest wish was that the finale would match up with the song AND IT DID SO PERFECTLY IT’S LIKE THEY FUCKING LISTENED TO IT WHILE WRITING (I stg I didn’t used to be this paranoid, this show has ruined me).
Have a listen:
And if you can’t listen, here are the lyrics:
I remember when I was young
I was fickle you were so strong
I remember trees as they called your name
Mother told me listen up close
There’s a story they have composed
Look how they’re clapping arms are a swaying high
Do you remember back on that day
When the trees swayed in the same way
How the clouds hung low over kings and thieves
How your mother stayed by your side
Watch the curtain tear in your eyes
All the heavy hearts could’ve cracked the ground
The beats of hammers felt like drums of war
Killed for the words you swore
From the belly of the deepest love,
The hills trembling throats sing hallelujah
Like the flowers on a dogwood tree
blush with blame you took for me
Oh how you wish to be with me
Oh how you wish to be with me
Do you remember seeing the man
covered by the same blood he damned
Join the song with the sky in the darkest hour
I need something to hold on to
Stronger than the iron that held you
Louder than the roar of the crowd that day
The beats of hammers felt like drums of war
Killed for the words you swore
From the belly of the deepest love,
The hills trembling throats sing hallelujah
Like the flowers on a dogwood tree
blush with blame you took for me
Oh how you wish to be with me
Oh how you wish to be with me
I tried to get to you
But you came to me instead
with the dawn the grave is gone
oh how you wish to be with me
I MEAN. LIKE. IT’S SO PERFECT? AND IT’S A DUET? LEAVE ME HERE TO DIE??? I CAN’T GO ON????? If anyone reading these makes bellarke videos and wants to make a video using this song, please tag me when you do. You will have my undying gratitude and I will do my absolute best to convince my husband to name our theoretical firstborn child after you. I’m not even joking. I have a problem and I don’t care.
I will be retreating to AO3 and tumblr for the duration of hiatus, as has become my custom. Feel free to drop me an ask if you want to scream, I have a massive backlog of meta asks to address so my meltdown is far from over. Also, stay tuned, Natalie and I will be doing a full season review, it’ll be epic. We’re also talking about doing a rewatch, We’ll probably be posting about it on our tumblrs since I think I should probably relinquish Cuddlebuggery for the sake of the people who come here looking for book talk (sorry guys, I appreciate your patience).
THAT’S ALL FOR NOW FOLKS. WHAT’D YOU THINK?