Spoilers ahead for Episode 15 of The 100's seventh and final season, called "A Sort of Homecoming."
The 100 is only a couple episodes short of ending for good, and the stakes are higher than ever as Clarke and Co. do their best to survive the build to the war to end all wars. Unfortunately, the list of major characters who are going to survive is getting shorter every week, in large part thanks to Clarke's actions. The previous episode saw Clarke murder Bellamy, and "A Sort of Homecoming" saw yet another key death. My question now is: does The 100 need to kill her off?
Let's start with Bellamy. Clarke arguably passed a point of no return when she shot Bellamy through the heart in last week's episode. It's not surprising that Clarke would take desperate action to protect Madi at all cost, but taking aim at Bellamy and clearly shooting to kill felt unnecessarily extreme. I still say that she could have just shot and destroyed the sketchbook, or shot and wounded Bellamy to grab the sketchbook while he bled, neither of which would have seen the female lead of the show kill her best friend, co-leader, and longtime partner who also happened to be the male lead. (And real-life husband!)
I'm not sure Clarke can come back from that as a character who specializes in self-blame and for viewers who watched something shocking happen between the two lead characters. Before The 100 moved on from Clarke killing Bellamy pretty quickly in "A Sort of Homecoming," Clarke was a wreck, and I felt like she was almost manic as she tried to isolate their group in the bunker on Earth and justify everything as in service of protecting Madi. Madi herself even objected to what Clarke did, saying that Clarke now has to live with killing Bellamy.
I honestly feel like Clarke lost any shot at a wholly happy ending after pulling the trigger on Bellamy, because as Madi said, she'd have to live with it. But dying in a blaze of glory (or at least self-sacrifice) could give her some redemption. As somebody who wasn't thrilled with how quickly "A Sort of Homecoming" moved past Bellamy's death without anybody really objecting to what Clarke did or acknowledging why he betrayed them, I'm just hoping that killing Bellamy is revisited in an important way. And that important way could be the sacrifice and/or death of Clarke.
Of course, this brings us to the key death in this week's episode that went down after everybody got the news that Bellamy was dead. Gabriel was killed in the middle of a nice moment with Madi. Sheidheda arrived and used a helmet for invisibility, and he trapped most of the group in a room before hunting Madi down, where she was learning to play the piano with Gabriel.
Sheidheda stabbed Gabriel, and Gabriel ultimately perished from his wounds. While this obviously wasn't a case of Clarke pulling a trigger, she is arguably responsible, since she made the single-minded decision to trap them all back on Earth with no means of returning to their people on Sanctum or anywhere else, and her panic about all things Madi-related didn't help.
Whether or not Gabriel's death is Clarke's fault is up for debate; whether or not Clarke will blame herself for Gabriel's death is easier to estimate. Even if she's more preoccupied with Madi sending herself to Bardo to try and stop anybody else from dying for her, and more internally hung up on killing her BFF Bellamy, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if she adds Gabriel to the list of the dead she blames herself for. With the end fast-approaching, every notable death adds weight to my suspicion that Clarke will feel compelled to sacrifice herself.
But does Clarke need to be killed off for the sake of the story? Back before Bellamy died, I was hoping for a happy ending with two of the show's most tormented characters who carried so much responsibility for so long finally free to just live. Now that Bellamy is dead, and at Clarke's hand no less, I feel like Clarke's best shot at peace is by dying. I have a hard time hoping that her slate is wiped clean at this point, and I'd feel the same about Bellamy if the table was turned and Bellamy killed Clarke.
The head can't live without the heart, right? Maybe Murphy will be the big hero at the end of the day. That said, only time will tell if Clarke is killed off after these latest deaths or if The 100 finds a way to end her story in another way.