The 100’s final season failed Bellamy Blake (and he deserved so much better)

The 100 -- "The Blood of Sanctum" -- Image Number: HU613b_0212b.jpg -- Pictured: Bob Morley as Bellamy -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The 100 -- "The Blood of Sanctum" -- Image Number: HU613b_0212b.jpg -- Pictured: Bob Morley as Bellamy -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. /

The most recent episode of The 100 shocked fans by killing off one of the show’s main characters — but the way it chose to do so was more disappointing than anything else.

It’s no secret that the seventh season of The 100 has been one of the series’ weakest. With too many convoluted plotlines, too few of the character interactions that gave the early seasons of the show so much heart, and no signs of wrapping things up in a satisfying manner, fans have been preparing themselves for disappointment heading into the final handful of episodes.

Perhaps nothing could have prepared us, however, for just how much disappointment the series had in store for us when it chose to kill off one of its main characters this week, after undoing seasons’ worth of development over the runtime of a single episode. And let’s just say it: Bellamy Blake deserved better.

It’s not so much that the series chose to kill Bellamy that makes this narrative choice such a disheartening one. After all, The 100 has never been shy about writing off major characters — and when it’s done right, the emotional impact can be powerful. It’s more the way The 100 decided to take Bellamy out of the equation that’s cause for complaint. (And fans on Twitter are definitely complaining.)

To start, Bellamy’s character arc has been on a steep decline this entire season. He’s missing for the first half of the episodes, the result of actor Bob Morley taking some time away from filming. And while we can’t fault the actor for his personal choices, the lack of focus on Bellamy and Clarke set a poor precedent heading into the show’s ending, especially since the writers used a half-baked combination of kidnapping and a fakeout death to explain away Bellamy’s absence. (The fake death is even worse in hindsight, given that all of our characters mourned and got over Bellamy long before he was actually killed — making the real thing that much less devastating.)

When Bellamy finally did reemerge, it was on one of the many planets we’ve been introduced to this season. He was forced to survive alongside one of the Disciples, and here’s where things really went haywire: Over the course of these 40 or so minutes, Bellamy became a believer — so much so that he betrayed his closest friend and little sister the moment he arrived back on Bardo.

Now, The 100 has done villain arcs. Just about every major character has made horrible choices at some point, but usually, their reasoning is sound enough that the audience believes it. (We’ve also already been through this with Bellamy and Pike, a much more organically formed match-up.) Things weren’t so believable this time around, as much as the following episodes insisted that Bellamy had seen the errors of his ways and decided to fight “for all mankind” — or, you know, join a cult. Whatever we’re calling it these days.

During “Blood Giant,” it seemed like Bellamy might come around, especially after awkwardly being reunited with Murphy and Emori, both of whom echoed Clarke and Raven’s sentiment that following Cadogan into an existence free of attachments was a poor choice. And Bellamy did question himself, revealing to Cadogan that he felt like he was failing everyone he cared about.

Cue the end of the episode. During the installment’s heart-pounding final moments, Bellamy discovers Madi’s sketchbook — and the fact that she’s retained some of the memories she got from the Flame, a fact Clarke would do anything to prevent Cadogan from finding out about. Yes, anything. Including shooting her closest friend, a man she’s spent seven seasons leading her people with — someone she previously would do anything to protect.

And once you get past the shock value of it all, you have to wonder if this really needed to be the way Bellamy’s arc ended. It’s tragic and it’s devastating, but not for the right reasons. Bellamy dies friendless and alone, doubting himself after spending years becoming someone who’s learned to make the right call. He figured out how to be both the head and the heart, but that was taken away from him for the sheer sake of shattering the audience.

On top of that, his character perishes without any resolution. Sure, this happens in real life, but it seems like The 100 could have given us something — a brief moment of redemption, a conversation with Octavia, a heart to heart with Echo. Instead, we get to watch one of the show’s biggest characters — one who has demonstrated the most growth since season one — die at the hands of his best friend without any emotional fanfare. (After all, everyone hates him now, right?)

Oh, and here’s the kicker: Cadogan’s people got Madi’s sketchbook anyway. So it was all for nothing. That’s a feeling fans of The 100 will be able to relate to after this week.

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How do you feel about how The 100‘s final season has treated Bellamy’s character? Sound off in the comments below.