Sunday, February 21, 2016

Character Development ... The 100

My posts have become sporadic at best. Life happens. Maybe that’s my new normal? I will continue to update just perhaps not as regularly. It may sound like a cop out, give me an easy out for not updating weekly anymore, but I’d much rather focus my posts from now on.

Everyone pretty much knows that I am an aspiring fiction writer, that’s the ultimate goal! I read a lot. I watch a lot of adaptations of books to movies/TV shows. I also have a lot of opinions on them.

Let’s start with my latest page to screen adaptation: The 100.

For anyone that hasn’t watched this show on The CW I highly recommend you do and I would go no further in this post, spoilers and such. Today I would like to focus on character development, specifically the character development of everyone’s favorite delinquent leader, Bellamy Blake.

For anyone that’s followed the series all the way up to the current episode of season 3 we all know that Bellamy’s story is a fairly wild ride. We’ve seen him play many different character tropes, the jerk, protective big brother, rebel, soldier, friend, hero, etc. There really does not seem to be an end to the ways in which his character has grown and changed over the last two seasons leading up to now.

At the end of season 2 we’re left off after Mount Weather has been slayed, season 3 picks up and shows us the aftermath of those events. Clarke, his partner for all intents and purposes, is gone and he’s left alone to deal with what they had to do in order to save their friends from the Mountain Men.

IMDb: Wanheda Part 2
What I really want to talk about are the last two episodes of season 3, 3x04 and 3x05. Now I follow The 100 on Twitter, Tumblr, etc. and I see other posts in regards to the show and its characters. Many of the posts I am seeing recently are claims that all the development Bellamy’s character has gone through has been ruined by his behavior/decisions in the last two episodes.

Well I want to say as a writer; that’s just not true. Let’s talk about the events leading up to 3x04. Bellamy and Kane go on a rescue mission to try and save Clarke from the Ice Nation. In the process Bellamy goes rogue and ends up with a stab wound in his leg, it lands him squarely on the bench, which is a place he hates to be. Despite all this he tries a second time to do the right thing and save his people at the summit in Polis, he wants to bring Clarke home. However, his rescue at the summit turns out to be a trap (thank you Echo, don’t trust Azgeda apparently).  While he’s gone Mount Weather, full of members of the Ark/Farm Station, is destroyed by an Ice Nation assassin as part of a coup to start a war with Lexa. Bellamy’s girlfriend Gina is among the carnage.

So that leads us to 3x04 and 3x05. Of course I agree that he’s made some bad decisions and the things he’s done the last two episodes is not the Bellamy Blake that we’ve all grown to love over season 1 and season 2. That, however, does not mean all the growth his character has gone through was for naught. If anything seeing him falter and make a few bad decisions while blinded by grief makes his character more human.

He’s still human and grief, pain, loss can make people do crazy things. He is not thinking clearly when he makes these decisions, these choices that have him slipping off the path he’s been solidly on for the last two seasons. Bellamy Blake is ultimately a good person he’s just upset, confused and being viciously manipulated by Charles Pike.

Marcus Kane has been shown as acting as a mentor to Bellamy and Marcus does what he has to in the name of protecting his people. Charles Pike believes he’s doing the same thing but only sees the Grounders as the enemy. It is a blanket view on all Grounders; his view is clouded by hate due to what Azgeda did to Farm Station when they landed. Pike has been shown as using Bellamy’s grief against him in order to gain leverage on his cause.

At the moment Bellamy is angry at losing so many people in Mount Weather, he’s upset over losing Gina, he’s hurt because he can’t seem to get Clarke to come home and he’s struggling with the revelation that Octavia, the sister he’s sworn to protect, is gearing up to leave him too. All of those emotions are clouding his mind it’s a lot for one person to deal with. Pike knows this and is exploiting that to get Bellamy on his side.

So yes he’s made some truly misguided decisions that have truly horrific consequences. But the Bellamy we watched grow over the first two seasons still exists; he recognizes they went too far by attacking the Grounder army. He’s the reason Pike did not kill Indra. Deep down he knows what he’s doing is wrong but I don’t think he quite knows how to fix it just yet. So I have hope for him, he will come back to us as the Bellamy we all know and love.

And if it’s not on his own I’m sure Clarke and the rest of the original hundred would surely help move the process along. His character growth has not been destroyed, not by a long shot, as long as he recognizes that what he’s doing is wrong there’s hope for him. He will get back on the right path … and for the love of god, STOP LISTENING TO PIKE!

This season has been a wild ride so far I can only imagine what the rest will be like!