In the sixth episode of the first season of The 100, Bellamy searches for his sister while we learn more of the siblings. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of claustrophobia, PTSD/trauma.
Good lord, this show is just so relentless. I think that the focus of “His Sister’s Keeper” is rewarding because it doesn’t give us the story we might expect. In other hands, I bet we’d get an episode about how noble and perfect Bellamy is. However, The 100 doesn’t rely on portraying Bellamy as the ideal. He’s clearly flawed, and despite that the flashback shows how much he loves Octavia, we’re still able to see how his love has manifested as a form of toxic protection.
Ultimately, I think that’s the message in this episode. Bellamy may have the best of intentions, but his behavior is absolutely not the best thing for Octavia. This is demonstrated in two ways throughout “His Sister’s Keeper.”
The flashback certainly shows us that Bellamy went to great lengths to protect his sister. He knew from the start of this that if anyone on the Arc found out about her, it would be certain doom for all of them. We see that when he knocks over the toolbox in the midst of a surprise inspection, all so that no one will notice the hidden door in the floor. We know how much he cares when he circles the Unity Day dance, his eyes locked on his sister the entire time. We know that in the present day, he tried to assassinate Jaha to be by his sister’s side, and he sets off into the forest recklessly to track Octavia down.
In one sense, it is admirable. He wants his sister to be safe, and after her experience on the Arc, it makes sense that he would panic every time she was out of his sight, or every time someone else tried to get close to her. I’m not saying we should condone his behavior, as I don’t think this episode does. It’s just that in terms of his characterization to date, I think it’s within reason for him to do these things. He nearly lost her before, and now that he has her, free of the Ark and of all those oppressive rules, he doesn’t want to lose her. But at what cost? His relentless pursuit of Octavia results in three deaths. That’s not to suggest that those three people didn’t choose to come of their own free will, but Bellamy isn’t always ready to acknowledge that he holds a power over those around him. It’s easier to for him to disconnect from what’s happening around him, and it’s easier for him to claim that he’s doing everything just to keep Octavia safe.
But it’s not that simple, is it?
There’s a very deliberate parallel drawn in this episode between the time Octavia spent literally hiding beneath the floor on the Ark and the experience she has with the Grounder who kidnaps her. In both situations, she’s thrust into predicaments that restrict her physical movement and trigger her claustrophobia. The irony, then, is that Bellamy thinks he is helping Octavia all the time when he’s really smothering her so badly that she can’t help but feel like she’s back in that crawl space beneath the floor. It’s sad because I think both of these characters are trying their best to be good people who love each other, but their time on the Ark justâ€¦ fucked them up. A lot. Y’all, Bellamy tried to assassinate someone just to help Octavia!
But the reality is far more muddled than that, and the mysterious nature of the Grounder in “His Sister’s Keeper” certainly doesn’t help us determine what’s going on here. Like what we see with Bellamy, this mysterious person does things that are demonstrably good â€“ such as repairing her busted leg â€“ but he’s also CHAINING HER TO A WALL. Granted, I don’t know the intentions of that guy, and I suspect that pretty much anyone who CHAINS SOMEONE TO A WALL IN A CAVE is not a good person, I think that there’s a quiet parallel between him and Bellamy. In the end, Octavia serves a specific end to these men, and this episode allows her to reject them both as she sees fit. That means knocking out the Grounder and freeing herself when she gets the chance. It also means openly rejecting Bellamy’s obsessive need to treat her like a fragile child. Clearly, from his words at the end of this episode, he feels cheated out of life because of her. Maybe he said that out of anger, but I doubt that there’s no truth in what he told her.
It’s a sad, messy affair.
Well, at the very least, I’m glad that this show isn’t pitting Raven and Clarke against each other. I was so prepared for the two of them to start fighting each other, and I swear, I had the groan awaiting the inevitable. I figured it would appear because it always does. Love triangles are one of the most boring story choices on this fine Earth, and I’m astounded that anyone would ever choose to write one. Unless, of course, they changed the outcome, but when does that ever happen? Like, wouldn’t it be cool if this was just a poly relationship? Or if Raven and Bellamy decided that Finn sucked and just started dating each other? BISEXUAL PERFECTION, I TELL YOU.
As it stands, though, I got the sense that Raven understood that Clarke wasn’t trying to hurt her, and that it was Finn who she should be directing her anger towards. My hope is that this plot doesn’t take up much space in the future because it’s just not that interesting to me.
The video for “His Sister’s Keeper” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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