The 100: Thirteen
March 4, 2016 7:32 AM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Lexa tries to maintain peace and order within the clans, and Clarke uncovers a strange and game-changing truth. Meanwhile, a flashback takes us into the darker chapter of humanity’s past.

In peace may you leave this shore.
In love may you find the next.
Safe passage on your travels until our final journey on the ground.
May we meet again.
posted by pjsky (34 comments total)
My anger at Jason Rothenberg is just marginally less than my anger at Joss Whedon when he pulled this same crap.
posted by pjsky at 7:50 AM on March 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

All I have to say is that its appropriate that the Buffy rewatch got to "Seeing Red" this week.
posted by hobgadling at 7:53 AM on March 4, 2016 [6 favorites]

Any theories on "what happened to number 8"? Surely that is important, otherwise, why mention it?
posted by pjsky at 8:07 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by numaner at 9:05 AM on March 4, 2016

I have a feeling number 8 was this "Costas" that Titus and Lexa was discussing, whose head ended up on her bed.

I had that tower pegged as the column part of the Polaris station, all the time thinking "ok, if a space station crashed into Earth like that there's no way it had the structural integrity to stand straight up for a hundred years. Then at the end I saw that it was already there when Becca landed in the pod, so that means this is some location they pulled out of their ass 'cause there's nothing like that near DC, if this is supposed to set in the not-too-far-future.
posted by numaner at 9:08 AM on March 4, 2016

Costia being a nightblood actually makes a lot of sense within what we learned last night, that would be why Titus was all over Lexa about her.
posted by hobgadling at 9:51 AM on March 4, 2016

Or is #8 Ontari? I don't know, there were so many things said that at the time I thought, "wait, what?" and I would normally go back and rewatch the episode to get more clarity. But I can't re-watch it. Too soon.
posted by pjsky at 9:56 AM on March 4, 2016

Well. That happened.

To be honest, I think it's fair to say there was a ticking countdown clock on Lexa from the moment she started taking advice from Clarke, which was so diametrically opposed to the way Grounders did everything. That her death came at the hands of her monk/advisor/Keeper of the Flame, well, that was a surprise I wasn't expecting.

I enjoyed the seven to eight decades flashback and swear that was Roger Cross from Dark Matter and Continuumplaying the military type person on Polaris. (I can't find evidence on the IMDB page - I was watching on a small screen.) So evidently, the creator of Allie injected herself with something which would allow AI. 2.0, to understand what it means to be human (a la Data's forever quest) and that injection became some how genetic used as a marker for those who are candidates to be the Commander. While the Commander title from the uniform was kind of trite, I really enjoy the connections being made in this episode.

Indra got back on the wagon. Hurray!
posted by Atreides at 12:22 PM on March 4, 2016

That was totally Roger Cross, yes. He's unmistakeable.

I knew Lexa was pretty much two weeks from retirement the second she and Clarke made up, but it was still a shock, and I'll still miss her - Lexa was easily my favorite character on the show, and it stings to see such a talented actress completely wasted on Fear the Walking Dead.

Other thoughts:
* Octavia is awesome. I liked her going back for Indra, who is also awesome. I'm looking forward to the two of them fighting crime.

* Damn it show, you're making me feel bad for Murphy. His stuff was great.

* I wonder how the next Commander is going to handle Skaikru. I'm thinking this gets bloody pretty fast, unless they can offer up Pike. (I do wonder if Jaha will be a wild card in that conflict though.)

* Doubly curious what ALIE wants with ALIE 2.0, now.
posted by mordax at 12:36 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think it's pretty clear that ALIE considers ALIE 2.0 to be a threat.

But we don't know what ALIE 2.0 is doing, really. I mean, wouldn't the Commanders have done a bit about sanitation and technology over the last century? Wouldn't having an AI on their side have been useful in fighting the Mount Weather folks?

I suspect that ALIE 2.0 is a late addition to the mytharc, frankly, and this bit is something of a retcon.

The big question is whether the next Commander -- who is likely to be that teenaged boy we saw -- will be on board with Lexa's policies, or will he go some other way? And while all this stuff was going on in Polis, what were Bellamy, Kane, and Pike up to in Arkadia?
posted by suelac at 1:44 PM on March 4, 2016


Don't worry, I just started sobbing when Lexa told Clarke "Don't be afraid." Like uhhhggg. Heartbreak.

I'm SOO in love with this episode though, we got history, we got where it seems the nightbloods come from, we got info about the commander, but at the same time there's still mystery and questions. Not to mention how they're going to try to save the ark and get Pike out of there.

Just wowie this show is so good.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:49 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love this show and most of the main characters, but feel visceral anxiety at the start of each episode in anticipation of what kind of epically short-sighted/ignorant/malicious/spiteful/bad character decision-making is going to go down on the part of some other character to drive the plot forward.
posted by Pryde at 8:53 PM on March 4, 2016

The writers sort of pride themselves on the "nobody cares that Clarke's bi because it's the future" which is cool but then they go ahead and pull the trope where at least one of them is marked for tragedy as soon as two women hook up. To be a little more fair, I'd be hard pressed to name a relationship on the show that didn't end badly, I guess.

I really love the little bits of skaikru religion we get, although it's definitely muted now that they're all actually on the ground. Clarke's prayer was lovely.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:19 AM on March 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I don't see her death as a trope. Lexa is queen in a warrior culture, of course she was going to die sooner than later.
posted by Pendragon at 12:22 PM on March 5, 2016

Lexa was a contract killing because of Fear the Walking Dead and I totally called this coming in last week's thread.


The 100 logo clashing together in the opening titles now reminds me of the ALIE infinity pills. And also the fact that two different peoples clashing in war for eternity is essentially the story of the human race.

Is the grounder matrilinial line of nightbloods supposed to be the next evolution of mankind? If so, it appears war is also coming along for the ride.

I predict either Octavia or Bellamy will get killed by the end of this season, and if it's Octavia, I will be BEYOND PISSED.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:57 PM on March 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Javi Grillo-Marxuach's tumblr and twitter feeds have been interesting since the episode aired.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:20 PM on March 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

>The writers sort of pride themselves on the "nobody cares that Clarke's bi because it's the future" which is cool but then they go ahead and pull the trope where at least one of them is marked for tragedy as soon as two women hook up.

>Yeah, I don't see her death as a trope.

please read this article on Bury Your Gays before you make that conclusion. particularly relevant to what happened here:
Please note that sometimes gay characters die in fiction because in fiction sometimes people die (this is particularly true of soldiers at war, where Sitch Sexuality and Anyone Can Die are both common tropes); this isn't an if-then correlation, and it's not always meant to "teach us something" or indicative of some prejudice on the part of the creator. However, it is impossible to discount unconscious biases & broader context that do lend the trope credence.

Additionally, the problem isn't merely that gay characters are killed off: the problem is the tendency that gay characters are killed off far more often than straight characters, or when they're killed off because they are gay.

This trope therefore has been argued to not apply to a series where Anyone Can Die (and does). However. Regardless of the overall death toll of a show, the death of a gay character nevertheless has different cultural context & emotional weight, as there are unlikely to be many other gay characters in the piece of media.
no tv show is an island. if you are not familiar with the trope, if you're not familiar with lots of examples of queer representation and its long terrible history, especially if you are straight and you don't have the perspective on what this means to an oppressed group, you need to trust me when i say this is A Thing like black sidekick and damsel in distress. it exists outside of genre and contractual obligations and the very reasonable in-universe reasons to kill lexa. it exists alongside these things and cannot be discounted simply because other explanations also make sense.
This isn’t just “we don’t want to lose our favorite character.”

This is fear based in trauma. It comes from the real pain of living our own queer lives and being erased and othered and brutalized, and then turning on our TV and either not seeing ourselves at all, or when we finally do, having it taken from us, usually violently.

It is so common for TV queer ladies to die, it is a known trope and a persistent fear. It comes from a time when it was policy that there were no happy endings for queers, and it’s stayed the status quo ever since.

The message of “your lives will end unhappily and violently” has been drilled into our heads in real life and in fiction by almost constant repetition.
sweet baby sapphos, it’s okay. come here we will huddle together like sad sapphic penguins. youngest in the middle, oldest on the outside to protect you from the cold
What strikes me most is how many people are (rightly) comparing Lexa's death to [buffy character that we all know but i don't want to spoil], even though I know they're too young for Buffy. It's not only a reminder that TV doesn't happen in a vacuum, but also that there are so few resonant lesbian storylines... that my 37-year-old experience is the same as an 18-year-old's experience because they've gone back and watched everything that mattered. Our collective queer viewing experience, our entire pop culture canon, is the same across decades and generations. That's why Lexa hurts almost every queer woman the same way, no matter how old they are or where they're from or any other qualifier. Straight TV writers will never understand how they can inflict time-traveling wounds that hurt us as scared gay children all over again.
that's what killing lexa the way they did means to me. i have to take back everything i said in an earlier thread about this show doing queer representation right. the timing of the stray bullet accidental death in the very next scene after sex, a sex scene which they've been building up to since the kiss aired a year ago, is the biggest possible fuck you to the show's queer fans because it was timed to cause maximum pain. at the very least they denied lexa an honorable interesting death-- you know, the death due a warrior culture queen commander. and they denied us a chance to breathe and soak in this small media representation victory before they whedon-ed her. even putting this in another episode would've made a difference.

let's also remember that titus literally told us that lexa's (gay) love for clarke is the problem. and why was lexa in the wrong place at the wrong time? because she heard gun shots coming from clarke's room. i don't know how much more she-was-killed-because-of-(gay)-love could be made clearer. the show is not an island.

and if i'm a bit salty because i'm an older gay and embarrassed that i got caught breaking a rule-- never watch a show because of a gay character before the series has aired in its entirety so we can avoid being surprised by the emotional devastation of the buffy situation-- well. more fool me. i had the map but i've never been in the territory. clarke and lexa were written in such a way that i really really stupidly thought they would never give her such a poor sendoff. it's like how they're handling pike and bellamy plus the knowledge that i will likely never come across a character and a pairing like this ever again plus copying the tropiest lesbian death in all of pop culture. how many queer power couples in a post apocalypse scifi show you think we're going to get?

lexa, you were one of a kind and you (i, we) deserved better.
posted by twist my arm at 3:22 PM on March 5, 2016 [11 favorites]

I can think of ten ways they could have avoided the response they're getting right now. No sympathy.

It's just a shame that fans are aiming their bile at the staff writers. The showrunner has sole responsibility for this. The other writers couldn't have changed it if they tried, and they can't speak freely in public, either.

Just for fun:
ONE - Just let Clarke leave. She was leaving anyway. Lexa isn't a main character - she's been tied into the main storyline so far, but if she's not around Clarke, you don't actually have to have her in the episode.
TWO - Have Titus actually deliberately betray her so it's not such a fucking Whedon. Maybe he tries to cut the "Commander's Spirit" out of her while she's sleeping (to exposit all the Commander/Nightblood stuff). Maybe Clarke saves her, kills him, and Lexa's mad and they split on bad terms.
THREE - Put Lexa in prison. OR - put Clarke in prison in Arkadia. You'd have to come up with another way to exposit Polaris, but that might be better anyway; Murphy's role here was pretty contrived.
FOUR - Don't develop their relationship so quickly. If she's not literally embodying Clarke's happy gay ending, then it doesn't hurt so much when she dies.
FIVE - Don't develop their relationship at all. Don't elevate Lexa to a main character. If she's not so amazing then it doesn't hurt so much when she dies.
SIX - Let her die in righteous victory. Example - Arkadia swears in as the 13th clan; Ice Nation breaks the treaty and attacks; Lexa lives just long enough to gut the Ice Queen and win the battle. Still hurts, but in a good way. (Rest in power.)
SEVEN - Kill her at literally ANY OTHER TIME IN THE STORY. in ANY OTHER situation. two more episodes, that's all it would take. just let us have this moment where she's blissfully happy and not immediately killed for it.
EIGHT - "Kill" her in such a way that we're not sure she's dead. Give us some shred of hope. Or just some fanfic rationale.
NINE - find literally any excuse to separate them. have her kidnapped by moon monkeys. I don't care. The fans who hate Lexa (and there ARE MANY and they all say some homophobic shit) would eat it up, they'd just be glad she's gone. The fans who love Lexa would be critical, but say it was a scheduling conflict and they'd understand. They'd compensate with fanfiction. Queer lady fans are very good at that.

If anyone's wondering about scheduling details: FTWD first season, not including the pilot, shot from May 10th to June 19th. Season 2 reportedly starting shooting in December.

The 100 s3 started shooting one month in July (after FTWD wrapped) and was still shooting in late January, after FTWD started again. Not totally sure, but generally one episode is eight days to shoot. If they kept ADC until November, she might have had three more episodes.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:31 PM on March 5, 2016 [6 favorites]

THIS! This! A 1000x this. the timing of the stray bullet accidental death in the very next scene after sex, a sex scene which they've been building up to since the kiss aired a year ago, is the biggest possible fuck you to the show's queer fans because it was timed to cause maximum pain.

Also, JRothenberger seems to be handling this about as well as Whedon did. Which is to say, terribly.
posted by pjsky at 10:56 PM on March 5, 2016

If they kept ADC until November, she might have had three more episodes.

From what I understand, she's under contract to AMC and AMC only allowed them to use her for 7 episodes.

I blame this on the way they broke the season, and the way they gave the character so much political and moral authority that it kind of un-balanced the plot. Lexa and Clarke working together for peace are too powerful and too sensible to continue providing the drama the show runs on. So they felt they had to get rid of Lexa, or depower her, and of course death is so much more dramatic than a coup.

What I don't quite understand is why they couldn't have provided a more useful death than that one. Death by accidental gunshot wound is both cliche'd and pathetic, and seems unfair to the character.
posted by suelac at 10:57 PM on March 5, 2016

It really was handled in the worst possible way. I've seen references pop up on two different tumblrs from people who don't even watch the show at this point because of how big the backlash is.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:38 PM on March 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the article link, twist my arm. Certainly gives me something to think about.
posted by Pendragon at 2:40 AM on March 6, 2016

From what I understand, she's under contract to AMC and AMC only allowed them to use her for 7 episodes.

That might be the reason why this season has been so badly paced, if they had to squish some season-long storylines into those seven episodes.

but also there are some relevant spoilers on the internets from the episode they were shooting in late january
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 1:26 PM on March 6, 2016

I have been reading okbjgm and the comments/questions have me crying harder than the actual episode! The outpouring of grief and anger, the pain and sadness are intense. And none of it comes across as "overboard" or mere teenage angst. It is extraordinary and my heart breaks, especially for the younger fans who found such hope and inspiration in Lexa.

And then I found this jewel of an exchange and wanted to punch something. Something in the shape of JRothenberg.

stewart-wade asked:
I'm not asking for a discussion of the process. I'm really just asking a yes or no question: did you know this trope existed and was it a concern for you while writing?

i absolutely did, it absolutely was, we discussed it, and yet, in spite of all of our best intentions and conversations, we were naive enough - or arrogant enough - to believe that the lgb representation in our show, and out ability as witers would superate/redeem our use of the trope. we were wrong.

Arrogant indeed. But at least OKBJGM has the balls to admit it. And this is proof enough for me that Lexa's death (and manner in which she died) had less to do with ADC's schedule or contract with another show, and everything to do with the showrunner's ego. (insert string of expletives and burning hot tears HERE)
posted by pjsky at 6:17 PM on March 6, 2016 [5 favorites]

Late to the thread. Didn't get to watch until yesterday. Managed to avoid spoilers.

I loved so much of this episode and then I didn't. The Polaris backstory was great. Then FINALLY, Clarke and Lexa! I was so happy but thought but I bet she's going to die now. No they won't do that, it's sooo tropey, nah they won't...

Then.... :( Fuck.

The thing is I'm okay with something happening to Lexa it works with the general storyline. I knew something had to happen with her. And the reveal of the AI connection with the commanders was so friggin cool and unexpected. However as Rainbo Vagrant posted upthread there were so many other ways that it could have been done that wasn't, love, sex, happiness! boom! death.

That the showrunner knew about the problems with the Trope and did it anyway is just...ugh.

I love this show and have since I few gave it a go mid first season. Between this and what they've done with Bellamy this season is so disappointing. I probably still watch to see how it plays out but a lot of the joy is gone. It's gone from must watch, can't wait to just another show I'll watch when I have time.
posted by Jalliah at 5:22 AM on March 7, 2016

Thank you all of you for clarifying why I've been upset at that death. It bothered me greatly and I couldn't put it into words, but now I can. I'll never truly know what it's like to experience the Bury Your Gays trope as a queer person, but I can try and sympathize.

I'm not interested in the Bellamy/Pike storyline at all, and it should've resolved itself in one episode (with say, a pissed off Octavia ninjaing Pike's head, she's clearly skilled enough for that by now). I'm going to put this show on the backburner now.
posted by numaner at 7:09 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another late-watcher here and, fuck. This hurts in all the ways everyone has said. My consolation is that I hope this leads to some very nice Tara/Lexa fic set in the afterlife. This was cathartic, too: 100 storylines we brainstormed in five minutes that don't involve dead lesbians.
posted by Banknote of the year at 7:24 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

My consolation is that I hope this leads to some very nice Tara/Lexa fic set in the afterlife.

there will certainly be many fix its. fanfic is one way to do that, but something interesting about social media is the speed at which groups of people can address it. here is a peek at a collaborative iteration:
I love that the Clexakru have not simply migrated over to FtWD but have in fact taken it a step further by accepting Alicia Clark as essentially Lexa’s modern reincarnation. And rather than shipping her with another girl on the show - since that would surely end in tragedy - they have created Elyza Lex, the modern reincarnation of Clarke who happens to be played by Eliza Taylor despite her not (yet) having a contract with AMC.

This is really the most ingenious coping mechanism I have ever seen in response to trauma in fandom over a character death. Bravo, y'all.
i don't interpret it literally that they are quitting in droves to watch ftwd. probably some are, but it feels like venting, at least for now. mostly i just wanted to point out what happened here. al-Y-cia debnam-carey's actual ftwd character is al-I-cia clark. so the joke is take eliza taylor's first name, change a letter, take lexa, drop a letter, and you get eliza taylor's fake ftwd character, elyza lex. a character that only exists in the minds of a subset of queer fans who tumblr together and got pissed at the 100.

it's the equivalent of how fans treat bad seasons of heroes, lost, BSG, the star wars prequels. they Don't Exist. in this case more detailed and goofy but the impetus is similar. it's a blow but the kids have each other in a way that they wouldn't have before the internet. and they have access to people on the show like okbjgm, adina porter (indra) and a lowly writer's room PA named layne morgan. there are a lot of people thanking okbjgm for giving their voices a platform instead of doing jroth's head in the sand routine.

porter has always had a smart and funny twitter presence but she spent a full day after the episode aired consoling fans and just being a social media expert unlike her boss. morgan is the only out queer person who works on the show and answered a lot of asks on tumblr, consoling, trying to give people hope, as well as explaining the silence from a lot of the staff. oh and 14k twitter accounts have accessed the unfollow jroth button.

Thanks for the article link, twist my arm.

thanks for reading it! i should've been more clear that the trope was a jumping off point for me to gather my thoughts. i was reacting to the larger conversation taking place in articles and between fans and the show people, emotionally it wasn't directed at you and sorry i wasn't more careful.
posted by twist my arm at 9:48 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

No problem, twist my arm. It really opened my eyes to this trope and after reading all the reactions I'm not only sad that Lexa is gone, but now I'm angry that the writers didn't find a better solution for the fact ‎Alycia Debnam-Carey was only available for seven episodes this season.
posted by Pendragon at 2:11 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Clexa fandom is amazing. I love how they have taken AlyciaDC's FTWD character into Lexa's modern day reincarnation. It's genius! But, damn it now I have to start watching FTWD!

Anybody here old enough to remember the soap All My Children and the hell the new producer got when he fucked up Bianca's marriage storyline, then blamed the actress in TV Guide? Another case of a clueless, middle aged, white guy with an oversized ego trashing a beloved lesbian character and even more beloved actor who portrayed her.

This shit never ends.
posted by pjsky at 6:48 AM on March 8, 2016

Jason Rothenberg on why they made that choice. Okay, I can get why they wanted to do a reincarnation storyline. That is kinda cool. But still, giant ugh, everyone hated "Seeing Red" when they saw it the first time and hate that it's happening almost exactly the same yonks later. Really really wished they'd just had Lexa piss off everyone enough that she has to go on the run and could be brought back later.*

* I know nothing about The Walking Dead franchise, but I've heard a whole lot of "sounds like the spinoff sucks," so killing off the character for that...ugh.

The sad thing was I liked the rest of it other than the stupid oops death. Becca's storyline was very freaky interesting, I love that the second missing AI turned up IN Lexa and that the whole nightblood/commander thing has been explained. Very cool.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:40 PM on March 12, 2016

Related front page thread.

Though it did occur to me that:
(a) there are no happy endings on this show, or even happy middles. Or even "happy beyond like two minutes."
(b) Seriously, this show will probably end with the entire earth being blown up by nukes again.
(c) Even if the actress hadn't gotten another TV show gig, they probably would have broken up (and reunited and broken up again) a bunch of times over politics, whatever shit Skycrew fucked up again, etc. a bunch of times. So even if Lexa lived, there probably wasn't going to be a happy ending there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:34 PM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maureen Ryan column. She ponders different scenarios the show could have taken and how fans would have reacted to them.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:59 PM on March 13, 2016

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