Bellamy on The 100 isn’t as hard to understand as you might think. A lot of fans were thrown for a loop last week when he abandoned his father figure Kane and chose Pike’s reactionary and oh-so-not-smart decisions. You would think Bellamy would have learned from Finn’s mistake! And while I too was very mad at Bellamy and the writers for their decision, there are some ways to make sense out of the whole thing. If you look at Bellamy’s past, this may not be the “lazy” writing that we originally assume.
I’m going to give some space to both sides of the argument though, don’t worry.
Spoilers through the episode, Hakeldama. I’ve watched the episode and have updated this post accordingly. Pretty much everything is still the same, except this episode really gave us a deep understanding of the terror that Bellamy helped inflict.
By the way, as a bit of trivia: Hakeldama (or Akeldama) means “field of blood” in Aramaic. It’s named for the place where Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus, killed himself. I hope this isn’t foreshadowing of what will happen to Bellamy.
Bellamy Has a History of Needing Close Supervision
— Patricia Santos (@PattMeira) February 12, 2016
Bellamy has grown so much these last seasons, but he’s always needed a strong figure to help him truly see right from wrong and the best path to take. He’s always needed someone to check his “juvenile” tendencies. For quite awhile, Clarke served this role. Eventually, Bellamy began to learn from her and he really started to come into his own as a leader. That’s part of the reason why fans are so upset.
But after Clarke left, it appears that Bellamy began to spin out of control, even before the Mount Weather bomb that killed his girlfriend. First, he witnessed Lexa’s betrayal. Then, he witnessed Echo’s — after he, personally, believed her. He was growing into his own as a leader, but now he’s likely doubting himself and wondering if he even knows how to tell who is trustworthy and who isn’t.
Sadly, Bellamy does have a problem in this arena. Kane started to fill in as a father figure and the leader that Bellamy needed to rely upon. But Kane often takes a gentler approach than Clarke does (which is part of the whole reason why Abby was able to wrest the leadership from Kane and why Pike did it now.) This gentler approach just doesn’t work so well with Bellamy. It’s probably why, however unwisely, Pike was able to move in.
Bellamy Hasn’t Always Been the Smartest, And It’s Easy to Fall Into Old Habits
Many fans have complained that Bellamy is acting more like Season 1 Bellamy Blake (more specifically, Season 1 Episode 3.) And it’s true. But let’s not forget that not that much time has passed since Season 1, even though it feels like years since so much has happened. It hasn’t been that long since Bellamy was pretty much a jerk who made a lot of bad decisions and went all “Lord of the Flies” the second they landed, shouting “Whatever the hell we want!” There’s an interesting discussion on Reddit that touches on this. One Redditor observed that people who binge watch The 100 tend to be more accepting of Bellamy’s change, because it doesn’t feel to them like as much time has passed as it seems to those of us who watched the show as it aired.
When things get stressful and hard, especially when you’re grieving and doubting yourself, it’s very easy to fall back into bad habits. But, of course, this might be a little beyond the idea of just falling into “bad habits.” For Bellamy, this backsliding is going to have lethal repercussions. And that’s a tragedy.
Interestingly, during the episode Hakeldama, Bellamy even told Clarke that he’s always been this way. She refused to believe him, until he betrayed her.
Bellamy Saw A Lot of Destruction From the Grounders
Let’s not forget how The Grounders slaughtered Bellamy’s friends in season 1, which wasn’t that long ago in The 100 time. They were hunted, almost to extinction. Bellamy even brings this up to Clarke as part of the reasoning behind what he’s done. It took a mutual enemy to bring them together, and even that didn’t last long. Clarke is doing the right thing, but it takes a lot of maturity to go her path and understand that there’s a difference between the Ice Nation and the relationship they’ve formed with these Grounders. Perhaps Bellamy just doesn’t have that same level of maturity as Clarke. Or maybe, deep down, he truly believes the Grounders are a threat no matter what. That’s what he’s telling Clarke is the case.
Kane and Pike have had very different experiences with The Grounders and, if some things I’ve read are right, Pike’s experience were downright terrible and traumatizing. (But I’m not sure if what I heard was accurate.) It may feel easier for Bellamy to fall into the fear that Pike is promoting now that Clarke’s not around.
Of course, let’s not forget the other side of the story… Arguments can be made that this just isn’t the best writing we’ve seen so far.
Bellamy Really Should Have Learned from Finn
— Post Apocalyptic (@PostApocalypt) February 17, 2015
Finn went all PTSD and shot up a bunch of innocents, which resulted in the Grounders having to kill him. Bellamy watched this. He saw the consequences and he saw what it did to Clarke. After all he’s been through, I would have hoped that he would have been a little wiser. I would have hoped Finn would at least have come up when Bellamy and Clarke talked.
He’s Undermining Everything Clarke Was Doing
Bellamy knows that Clarke has been trying to forge a partnership with the Grounders (well, everyone but the Ice Nation, of course.) He knows she’s put a lot into this, as have Kane and Abby. Yet he’s undermining all of Clarke’s hard work, essentially betraying her, to follow Pike and get his grief-stricken revenge.
Bellamy really should have been smarter than this by now.
Fortunately, Lexa showed herself to be the more mature one and blood won’t demand blood. But there will likely be a price to pay with the other Grounders for this decision. What I don’t understand is why they don’t at least demand Pike’s life, like they did with the Ice Nation queen. Isn’t this essentially the same kind of thing?
This Isn’t the Bellamy We’ve Come to Know
It’s true, this isn’t the Bellamy that we’ve come to know and love. This is Season 1 Bellamy. To some fans, that’s a sign of lazy writing. Some see this decision as just poor character development, ignoring everything Bellamy’s done to grow in the last seasons. And that’s a very valid opinion. Is Bellamy falling into bad habits that are hard to break, or is this poor writing? What do you think?
Bellamy Is a Tragic Figure
The bottom line is that Bellamy is a tragic figure. As Jason Rothenberg tweeted:
— Jason Rothenberg (@JRothenbergTV) February 12, 2016
Yes, Bellamy’s end goal is to do good for his people. But in the process, he’s making things worse. If the previews are right and he really does go along with Pike, he’s just going to be signing more death warrants and more pain for his people. Bellamy felt betrayed by Clarke when she stayed with the Grounders. He felt betrayed by Echo. He was betrayed by Lexa (although not as much as Clarke.) He watched The Grounders kill his own people, ferociously, so he knows they can’t truly be trusted. But in his grief-stricken moment, he chooses the wrong person to lean on now that Clarke is gone.
Bellamy wants to do what’s right, but he may end up doing the worst possible thing. He could end up right where Finn did, and be an even more tragic character than Finn was. Or worse, the episode title Hakeldama may play a bit of foreshadowing, and Bellamy may go the way of Judas Iscariot.
He saw it all play out when Finn went before him. But he didn’t learn.
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