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Bellamy Blake of 'The 100' hasn't changed; everything else has

Bellamy Blake has been through a lot in the first two seasons of The 100, and it looks like creator Jason Rothenberg has plans to put him through a whole lot more in season three.

I think it’s great.

I also think it’s going to piss off a whole lot of people. Correction: It already has pissed off a whole lot of people, and I think it will continue to do so.

Recently, Rothenberg found himself in the middle of a dust-up because of a comparison he made between Bellamy’s behavior regarding the Grounders and the anti-Muslim sentiment that grew after 9/11. It was a touchy subject and Rothenberg took some heat, but I see what he was going for. It can’t be easy to try to explain your motives for a storyline when people on the Internet parse every single word you say.

Having said that, it’s not something I’m going to parse—because I’m not Jason, I’m not in his head, and it’s not my job to speak for him. What I can do is wax philosophic on what I think makes Bellamy, well, Bellamy … and why his recent transformation makes so much sense and says way more about the nature of humanity than many people may be comfortable with.

Please note: None of this justifies or excuses his actions, nor does it mean he’s immune to the consequences. So please, don’t take any of this as an endorsement of anything he’s done.

When we met Bellamy in season one, he was angry, defensive, protective of his sister, and trying very hard not to be put to death—both on the ship to Earth and once they landed. The threats and circumstances may be different, but his reactions stay consistent.

If you look at Bellamy from the point of view that he’s been protecting his sister his entire life and that he’s lived his life on the defensive and pretty much without any kind of hope, everything from his sudden desire to lead once they land to his willingness to go out and kill Grounders makes sense. He’s either defending his sister or himself, which just means he’s staying alive to protect her.

Hope, happiness, the idea that anything can be different or that people aren’t just out for themselves—these aren’t things he considers, because he’s been raised in a world in which his sister could be killed just for existing.

Until Clarke Griffin.

Once Clarke Griffin becomes, well, Clarke (and all that entails), Bellamy starts to see something else as possible. He sees someone who sacrifices, who thinks about others, who cares about more than her own survival. He sees … hope.

He also fell in love with her. Not the romantic, heart-fluttery, sexual-attraction thing that we’re so used to in stories like this. Nope, Bellamy fell in love with Clarke Griffin in the most idealistic way possible. He fell in love with her vision of humanity and with the possibility she sees in him. Clarke saw Bellamy as a potential hero and leader to their people and, once Bellamy saw himself through her eyes, that’s exactly who he wanted to be.

That’s pretty much who Bellamy was all through season two. Clarke was the visionary, and he was the one backing her play. He trusted her with something more important than his own life. He trusted her with Octavia’s life multiple times. He trusted that Clarke knew what she was doing; he followed her because she gave him a purpose, and she saw a world that was more than just kill or be killed.

Bellamy Blake put his hand on that lever in Mt. Weather and took equal responsibility for killing all those people because he loved and trusted Clarke—and because he wasn’t going to let her shoulder that burden alone.

And then Clarke Griffin turned around and left.

Right after they’d saved their people. Right after he’d shown her just how much he loved her and trusted her and how he’d do anything for her, Clarke took on the burden of Mt. Weather as completely hers …and then she walked away.

Leaving Bellamy.

Not just leaving, but leaving after he killed people for her. After he trusted her with his sister. After he fought to be everything she saw him to be. After making him feel … hope.

She left. Can you imagine that?

You build your new life on a new world with a new vision and a new identity, and the person you did all of those things for leaves? After you get your heart that broken. After you put yourself so far out there. After you walk out onto that tightrope and then someone cuts that rope.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Bellamy Blake was dealing with one hell of a vacuum when season three started. Is it any wonder that he was vulnerable to a new hero to worship?

Consider that it was Clarke who left and then ended up in Polis with Lexa, that it was Clarke who tried for the alliance, that it was Clarke who took Abby and Kane away from Arkadia, that it was Clarke who refused to go with him when he came to save her, that it was Clarke who trusts the Grounders, and then the Grounders blow up Mt. Weather.

Now she’s not only left him, but her “hope” is the reason more people are dead. People under his protection. People he was responsible for.

Pike looks pretty good now, right? Pike is a realist. Pike knows what needs to be done. Pike makes decisions that are looking out for their people. Not Lexa, not the Grounders, not the Others. His people. The ones he promised to protect.

Even going into episode five of season three, I think Bellamy could have been talked down. He was upset when Pike killed the Grounders. He saved Indra’s life. He felt distaste for Pike’s actions and he was wobbling. You could see it.

And then Clarke Griffin did the one thing that pushed him over the edge.

She rejected him.

If you watch that discussion between the two of them, if you watch the myriad emotions flying across both of their faces, you can see it. Bellamy Blake all but declares his love for Clarke, and Clarke is too busy thinking about Lexa and the Grounders.

All he wanted was for her to see him and know how much he needed her—and there she was, thinking about the Others.

In that moment, it didn’t matter to Bellamy that the Grounders didn’t bomb Mt. Weather. He didn’t care that it was one rogue Ice Nation warrior sent by Nia. He couldn’t see the delineation between the actions of two members of the Ice Nation and the entire Grounder population.

This is similar to the way some people saw the actions of a group of radicals on 9/11 as the actions of Muslims as a whole. The way Islam became “dangerous.” The way that, even now, people talk about banning Muslims from the U.S., and others find that to be a reasonable suggestion.

For Bellamy, now stripped of hope, love, and a purpose, the Grounders became one group. They became the Enemy. It’s their fault Clarke has changed, and it’s their fault that everything is so very wrong.

I’m fairly sure that Bellamy thinks Clarke has been brainwashed/misled/tricked/choose your own word. I think he put those cuffs on her because he thinks she’s not herself. Well, that and the fact that he’s mad at her. But he’ll eventually blame even that on the Grounders.

I think Bellamy has a new mission now. He’s going to save Clarke Griffin—and woe be unto anyone who gets in his way.

P.S. I also think Bob Morley is doing some of the best work on television this season. I didn’t have a place to put that in this post, but I couldn’t leave it unsaid.

The 1005 airs Thursdays at 9/8C on The CW.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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