Warning: major spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of Season 3 of The 100.
The 100 is not exactly a show meant for the light of heart, and rarely has it been darker than in “Hakeldama.” The fifth episode of the third season moved the focus away from Clarke, Lexa, and Grounder politics at Polis to dive directly into the Lord of the Flies-esque atmosphere that has developed at Arkadia. Last week's loose end that saw Pike becoming chancellor and winning the resources to attack a Grounder peacekeeping force was rather neatly tied off when a handful of Sky People massacred 300 Grounder allies. The tragedy was not a huge shocker considering Pike’s radical beliefs, but there was a surprise in the fact that Bellamy Blake has become Pike’s right hand man in bloodshed.
The 100 has always been clear on the fact that nobody who sees the world in all black or all white could last for very long on the ground, and Bellamy was never the finest and most upstanding young man, but his arc since his early days of self-absorption in Season 1 had been consistently redemptive. He’s been on the lighter side of gray and definitely one of the good guys. Now that he’s been party to a slaughter of allies, an advocate of interning the Grounders who had been given safe haven within Arkadia, a backstabber to the man who is basically his brother-in-law, and someone who handcuffed his partner of the first two seasons to a table, Bellamy is pretty much one of the bad guys now.
Of course, he wasn’t entirely bad in “Hakeldama.” Sure, his actions were a huge departure from his good heart and loyalty of days gone by, but he did advocate for not slaughtering all of the wounded. Thanks to Bellamy sparing Indra, only ALMOST all of the Grounder allies were brutally murdered with advanced weapons that they had no hope of countering. What a guy.
If that sounds harsh, it’s because The 100 took Bellamy past what may well be a point of no return in “Hakeldama.” Both this episode and the last made the point that ten Sky People with automatic weapons can make easy work of legions of Grounders with bows and arrows and knives, so we can’t even argue that Bellamy participated in a battle. Bellamy joined Pike in a massacre of sleeping soldiers who meant them no harm. He clearly didn’t feel great about it afterward, but he also didn’t show remorse. Rounding the Grounders in Arkadia into an internment camp and manhandling his beloved sister didn’t help his case. Plus, he totally turned on Clarke after holding her hand. What the hell, Bellamy?
The 100 really pulled out all of the stops on negating Bellamy’s development from antihero to hero with the events of “Hakeldama.” If the show plays by its own rules, Bellamy’s decisions in this episode may be his ultimate downfall. Season 2 rightfully made a big deal out of Finn mowing down an entire village full of innocents in his attempts to locate Clarke; Bellamy actively and knowingly participating in massacre is even worse. Finn paid for his crimes with his life, so Bellamy’s days may be numbered from this point forward. If not, his days as one of the few absolutely trustworthy good guys are almost certainly done.
Lexa’s decision not to retaliate on Arkadia - by wiping the settlement and all of its inhabitants off the planet - does mean that Bellamy likely won’t face execution in a repeat of Finn’s fate, and there is story potential in Bellamy as a bad guy. After all, he was the main antagonist on the ground in the first chunk of the first season, and the dynamic with heroine Clarke when they were still enemies was always compelling. If Bellamy going too far in “Hakeldama” means that Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor will finally be allowed to share scenes together on a regular basis again, at least something good will have come out of Bellamy going bad.
I’m bummed out that all of the build of Bellamy’s arc over the first two seasons has pretty much been lost in one fell swoop, but The 100 has never shied away from allowing characters to get their hands very dirty. As long as the show doesn’t wave aside his misdeeds because he’s the male lead of the younger generation, Bellamy going too far could take the plot in some unexpected but interesting directions.
We’ll have to tune in next week to see if Bellamy faces any blowback for his behavior in “Hakeldama.” In the meantime, feel free to join me in a chorus of “What the hell, Bellamy?” while queuing up Netflix to replay some earlier episodes. The 100 airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Do You Think Bellamy Went Too Far?