Writer’s note: massive “The 100″ spoilers ahead. Plan to start? A couple weeks behind? Open this in a new tab and come back to me after 3.07.
You guys, I’m in mourning.
This week, I lost someone who spent Thursday nights on my screen and the rest of the week in my heart — and I’m absolutely gutted.
I didn’t start “The 100″(2014 — present) looking to fall in love. Ask my brother — I was hell-bent on dismissing it as zeitgeisty “Teen TV,” a “Hunger Games”(2012 — 2015) or “Lord of the Flies”(1954) knockoff. But like the newly earthbound Hundred, the show itself matured rapidly before my eyes, becoming an ever-murkier game of “would you rather” that interrogated strength, leadership, survival, morality and justice.
Season two deepened these themes by introducing Grounder Commander Lexa as a foil to de facto Ark leader Clarke. Stoic, reflective, fierce and wise, Lexa quickly became my absolute favorite TV character — an infuriating pragmatist but also a visionary who had forged an unprecedented peace. As Arkers and Grounders banded together against a common enemy, Clarke and Lexa’s tentative alliance gave way to a haunting intimacy borne of the shared experience of holding too many lives in their young, trembling hands.
And so Clarke and Lexa became ‘Clexa,’ my goddamn Ship of Dreams. Clarke reminded Lexa of the compassion she had locked away, and the Commander slowly thawed. Alycia Debnam-Carey added muted affection to the thousand emotions she let filter through Lexa’s eyes. Clexa’s romance was gorgeously restrained and hopeful—and then seemingly irreparably destroyed by Lexa’s 11th-hour betrayal.
But then the show exceeded my expectations. This year, in the truly perfect hour of television that was 3.03, Clexa progressed from adversaries to unbreakable partners. I was exhilarated. Above all, I was proud of the writers for building such exquisite complexity—for ruling with their heads and their hearts.
Which made Lexa’s death this week—meaningless, unceremonious, rushed—hurt so particularly. Since she swore loyalty to Clarke by the light of a billion candles, Lexa and I have been ready to face the consequences of her love. But the sudden disappearance of the thoughtfulness and care lavished upon Clexa for the past year is a profound violation of the trust I had placed in this show to be great. That the writers could weave me a fairytale and snatch it away with the laziest trope plaguing fictional queer couples? There are no words.
But this I believe: good sci-fi rewards you for loving wholeheartedly — for teasing out loopholes and daring to wonder. I don’t know what the rest of this season holds, but I can’t shake the feeling sitting stubborn in my bones that we aren’t done with my brilliant, devoted Commander. May we meet again, Lexa — preferably not in a way that destroys me all over again.
Only time will tell.
Hidden Gem: 2.08. 2.10. 3.03. 3.04. Four incredibly layered episodes that anchor Clarke and Lexa, both individually and together.
#RelationshipWhatIfs: Like I wouldn’t work in Dichen Lachman again?! Though it wouldn’t have made in-world sense, I would have killed for Anya-Lexa scenes.
Selectively Forget: That TV is governed by capitalism and behind-the-scenes negotiations, not the innermost desires of my black-bleeding heart.