We open the episode with Clarke and Lexa bringing the Ice Nation Queen's body to Arkadia to show that justice had been served for the deaths at Mount Weather. Clarke wonders how her former home will receive her and Lexa assures her that they will welcome her as a hero.
Arkadia won't welcome Clarke home as a hero because Pike and gang are so anti-Grounder it's ridiculous. They went through with the murder of 300 (299 since Indra was spared) soldiers that were sent to protect Arkadia. It's awful and upsetting and even more so that Bellamy was a part of it.
Clarke and Lexa eventually run into the dead army and find Indra, hurt but still breathing. She tells them that it was Pike that did this and that Bellamy was with him. She states that Bellamy tried to reason with Pike to spare the wounded but was shut down. He managed to get Pike to leave Indra alive so that Indra could give the message that Skaikru rejects their inclusion into the coalition.
Clarke asks for a chance to talk to Bellamy because she believes she can get to him and since he's so close to Pike now, it would end up being better than an all out war that Lexa instantly calls for. Lexa tries to keep Clarke prisoner at first but eventually gives in.
Back in Arkadia, Kane shows Octavia a secret passageway to get her out of their settlement so that she can go find Indra. Octavia is able to sneak away and speak with Lexa and Clarke. What bothers me here is that Kane and Abby didn't try to send some sort of warning to Indra before all of this went down. Pike literally tried to leave the camp with guns and got stopped and put in a holding area. They knew his intention and even if they didn't think it would come to fruition what's the harm in warning Indra of the possibility and getting her to head out of the danger zone?
Pike and his gang were in that "jail space" for an entire election so WHY DIDN'T ANYBODY DO ANYTHING? So frustrating that this show manages to portray really clever and smart actions and then follow it up with stuff that comes across as unfathomably dense. Maybe that's where they are losing me with the pace of this plot. Things are happening just to start conflict and the writers want me to buy into it so quickly but it's just not working.
In another stunning bit of this downward spiraling plot, Pike begins to demand that all the Grounders currently in Arkadia (most in the medical area) be put in internment. Literally uses that terminology. Pike was a teacher on Arkadia. I may be wrong, but I think they had an Earth history class up in the Ark. How did they not know about Hitler or really any dictator that tried to pull that crap?
Bellamy questions Pike's decision to expand the area of their camp to the point where it would interfere with another village. Pike nonchalantly says they'll just clear it out. This doesn't sit well with Bellamy, and you can see the conflicting emotions all over his face, but somehow he still goes with it. Okay, then.
When Octavia gets back to Arkadia she is pissed that the Grounders are being forced into prison. This includes Lincoln who finally broke and lashed out against Pike and his group. He's also super pissed at Bellamy, who again shows some hesitation in this whole situation, but is ultimately all "LOL get in the cell, Lincoln." IS BELLAMY ON DRUGS? I DON'T GET IT.
Octavia clearly wants to beat whatever weird phase Bellamy is in out of him but instead she brings him to Clarke. He is definitely surprised to see her there. Clarke asks him if war is what he wants and insists that it can't be because Bellamy isn't that guy. But Bellamy insists that he is. It's who he has always been. Here is confirmation that everything Bellamy hated about himself in the first season, and actively acknowledged before starting down a more righteous path, is still simmering within. And he's finally letting it out.
This Bellamy and Clarke confrontation is a beautifully acted scene. Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor play off of each other so well it's no wonder people latched onto them in the first season as a potential couple.
Bellamy manages to confess every bit of anger he has at Clarke for leaving him and their people after the Mount Weather incident. He questions her decision to do so, but she expresses that she did it believing he would be okay to handle the repercussions on his own. She trusted him enough to handle something that broke both of them but he didn't trust himself. That's what I'm taking from this.
Neither goes unscathed here. Bellamy speaks his peace and correctly states that Clarke kinda brings on a lot of death. It's raw, emotional and it hurts to hear him say it but I don't disagree.
I don't think it makes Clarke weak for taking it and apologizing. Yes, she is a strong woman and a strong character but I think fans have put her on some sort of level akin to Jesus. She's not untouchable. This scene showed me that Clarke is vulnerable. She's apologetic to a person that has become her friend and right hand man. That doesn't make her weak. That makes her human. She's an 18 year old woman that shows strength through leadership, intelligence and yes, vulnerability.
Anyway, Bellamy seemingly goes to comfort her and we think she's gotten through to him but then he whips out some handcuffs, puts them on her and starts to take her to Pike. Yep.
I absolutely LOVE Bellamy and Clarke's dynamic and will support it in any way it takes form. Best friends, lovers, frenemies, fight to the death enemies, etc. They are magic together and I refuse to be told otherwise. Bellamy laying out ever single one of his emotions was probably necessary for him as a person. It was necessary for these two as a duo. Clarke didn't necessarily DESERVE it but she needed to hear it. When you care about someone don't you hope they are honest with you? Don't you want them to call you on your BS so that you can recognize it, accept it and then begin to grow as a human being? This is how so many of their people perceive her and it's vital that she at least know so that she can move forward with feet on firmer ground. Especially as their leader.
And let's not skim over the fact that Clarke was straight up manipulating the situation over on her side. Bellamy just wasn't taking the bait. She was hit with some harsh words during the exchange but she still ultimately used it to appeal to him by asking that they fix this mess together. Clarke's manipulative powers crack me up. I kind of love it. I REALLY JUST LOVE THESE TWO IN SCENES TOGETHER.
Octavia stops Bellamy before he can go through with handing over Clarke. Clarke tazes (and I laughed more than I should have) Bellamy and escapes through the secret passage back to Lexa and Indra. She brings with her the bad news that Bellamy isn't going to be of any use with this whole mess. Lexa wants revenge but Clarke implores that she try to think a little differently this time.
The cycle of violence and death will never end if the Grounders continue to hold on to their "blood must have blood" mantra. Clarke asks that Lexa take the first step in showing the world a better way and finally bring about peace. Lexa agrees and changes the mantra to "blood must NOT have blood." Maybe she can whip up something more clever when she has more time.
In the City of Light storyline, we have Jaha returning to Arkadia with A.L.I.E. in tow. His other Grounder companion is shot outside of the gates but Jaha is so chill and just beckons him into the City of Light where there will be no more pain. When he eventually sees Kane and Abby and expresses this idea to them, they are hilariously skeptical. He also tries to discuss it with Pike but Pike just gives him a blank stare and asks Jaha to stay out his way.
I felt a little tension with Jaha and A.L.I.E. during that scene. It seems like A.L.I.E. has a plan beyond what Jaha is wanting for the City of Light. He wants this for his people because it's a place of no pain or death. Meanwhile, A.L.I.E. was noticeably peeved that Jaha wasnt getting through to Pike and wasn't willing to try harder. I'm very intrigued with how this will play out.
Jaha begins his crusade to convert the people of Arkadia to the City of Light philosophy. Raven listens in but is the most skeptical when talking to Jaha one-on-one. He eventually appeals to her current mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. Abby, with her doctor's orders, won't let her do much outside of sitting and tinkering with stuff because of her injury. Raven feels useless and by the end of the episode we see that she may be tired of feeling useless. She takes the City of Light pill that Jaha gave her and almost instantly realizes that her bum leg feels no more pain.
As Raven wonders at this "miracle", A.L.I.E. appears to her and says that they have work to do. I am 100% more intrigued with the City of Light plot than anything else happening on this show right now. Even more so, when in side plot B, Murphy and Emori run into trouble while performing random cons on people. Murphy drops a City of Light pill that he had on him and a Grounder sees it and refers to the infinity symbol on it as the "sacred symbol." This infinity symbol means something to both A.L.I.E. and the Grounders and I'm excited to dive deeper into that. I personally think something about A.L.I.E. has to do with how the Grounders choose their Commanders. But I'm probably wrong because I'm apparently wrong about most things on this show.
I originally wrote what was essentially an "in defense of loving Bellamy Blake" essay in this spot. But then I went and ate some meatballs, came back to my words and erased them all. I don't need to justify why I still love and support my favorite character. I just do. People are going to form their own opinion of him after watching these last two episodes and it's fine if it is opposite of mine. It's not fine for my own character, as a real life person, to be questioned because I still wish to support his story but I can't do anything about the incredibly vile nature that comes with fandom on the internet.
The discourse this show brings about is as fascinating as it is terrifying. In my own little corner over here I know how I feel about the character of Bellamy Blake and I know where I stand with his character progression after every single thing we have been told and shown on screen. I'm intrigued as to where we go from here. Calling for his instant death is an insult to his complexity as a character and maybe our complexity as human beings. This show is riddled with characters that have blood on their hands. Murder is murder and no character is innocent of it. Hate Bellamy Blake all you want but know that he most likely hates himself even more.
Those meatballs honestly must have been my City of Light pill because I'm feeling as chill as Jaha right now. Letting go of fandom and the nasty side effects of it is liberating. We are only in episode five of sixteen so a lot of crazy is still left to trudge through. May all of your favorites be spared because you deserve to happily flail about as a fan of this sometimes infuriating but always entertaining show.
May we meet again,