Mark Watches ‘The 100’: S03E07 – Thirteen

In the seventh episode of the third season of The 100, sigh. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of homophobia, queerbaiting, me yelling about sad gays.

Did Joss Whedon write this episode? I don’t know whose decision is was to stage one of the most absurdly offensive scenes I’ve ever seen, so I don’t really care to lay blame here. I’ll just yell at the show as a whole for making a decision that is painful and nonsensical and enraging. Because seriously, this is “Seeing Red” all over again, yet YEARS later, and EVEN MORE EGREGIOUSLY OFFENSIVE.

Look, I’d be mad if any show killed off a LGBT character because there are so few of us. That shouldn’t be surprising; the Bury Your Gays trope is one I have spoken of countless times on this site. But the sheer audacity of this show to kill off Lexa after she has sex with Clarke is just… jesus fucking christ.

I’m sensitive. I know that. This episode aired on March 3, but I’m watching it after Orlando, and it hurts. It hurts so much and that’s not something the people running this could have known necessarily, but the truth is that we do die. We are shot by people who think that our relationships are not healthy or that they aren’t right, and the fact that this show included a character saying that kind of shit before accidentally shooting a lesbian is just… god, it’s so callous and ridiculous and gross. The same show that can’t show Miller and his boyfriend kissing goodbye, or that cuts away from Clarke and Lexa’s sex scene can show her gratuitous and bloody death. And it feels like salt in the wound.

I don’t know shit about how this went down in fandom, what happened in the lead-up to this, or what the writers said in response. I imagine that there’s a reason that my Tumblr and Facebook dash was so completely full of things I couldn’t read, though. My god, how many times does this happen? Hasn’t it happened a lot this year? Didn’t we just deal with this on Supernatural last year? I can’t possibly believe that the people running shows can claim to be ignorant of this trope anymore. It’s 2016. Knock it the fuck off.

So, new rule: no one under the LGBT or queer banners is allowed to be killed off on any show for a year. The end. After that year is up, we add another year just for good measure. Writers, figure out a way to build tension or reveal new plots or provide emotional motivation without our deaths. The end, thank you.

*

There’s a much larger issue here, one I’m frankly tired of writing about. I cannot say the same thing twenty different ways. But there’s also a very tiny, insignificant issue here as well: this episode was actually pretty damn good before it was flushed down the toilet in the end. No Pike plot, and instead, an ambitious (if at times confusing) flashback to explain where Alie came from and why her plot is actually way more important than anything dealing with wars or clan battles or Grounders. I never thought we’d get scenes aboard a space station again, and they’re SO GOOD.

It’s clear that the show is trying to jam this new mythology into the existing one. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it feels strange. I don’t recall seeing a single infinity symbol in seasons one and two, nor do I remember any discussion of the religion of people like Titus outside of season 3. That stuff feels clumsy, like a retcon forced into the show to get the writers from point A to point B.

But telling the real truth of how the Earth was destroyed was far more compelling. I loved seeing Roger Cross appear as the unnamed commander of Polaris, and I loved that this felt like a classic science fiction tale. Becca is a character who is desperate and fierce, but she doesn’t feel hollow. She’s someone operating under an intense guilt and shame for creating the AI that obliterated the world. It made perfect sense to me that she would behave irrationally in order to atone for what she’d done, and that includes risking the lives of her commander and fellow scientist. That doesn’t mean she’s a good person for doing so, and I think it’s pretty clear she fucked everything up. (Though I still don’t understand why the rest of the Ark fired on Polaris. Why? That confused me.)

So, now the Grounders have worshipped Becca – called the Commander due to the word on her space suit – who brought ALIE 2.0 to Earth in her own body. It explains the Nightbloods, too, who must contain part of the AI themselves… maybe? How did they get the black blood? How did that AI chip get from Becca to the first commander? How did this morph into a cultural mythology? Those people that found Becca must have known about modern technology or space flight or any of those things, so how did this become a religion?

I hope those questions are answered soon.

*

I’m still mad about Lexa. I’ll be mad about it for a while.

The video for “Thirteen” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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