local gems or popular tourist sights? professional cameras or smartphone? plane or train? window seat or aisle seat? camping or hostel hopping? restaurant food or street food? posting photos on social media or keeping them to yourself? woods or oceans? trekking or sailing? fishing or hunting? barbecue grilled or fire roasted?
I'm sort of torn on Raven's "She saved us again"? It's like from a character standpoint, I get it. Their friend just "died", so of course they would elevate her. But it still sort of feels like the writers hitting me over the head with "Clarke is THE hero always". When the reality is that Raven has been the one to save their asses in basically every finale. I don't know, it just felt sort of eye-rolly and like JRoth's "Clarke single-handedly took down the mountain" during S2 hiatus.
Alright, Nonny. Let’s get down to business (to defeat….the Huns!).
The actual reality is that there has never been ONE hero in ANY season and no this isn’t me trying to downplay Raven to boost up Clarke because I “hate WOC”. Let me explain the Bravenlarke of it all:
We talk about the Core Four all the time, but in reality the actual core of our show rests on Bellamy, Clarke and Raven (Octavia is usually included in the Core Four, but for the most part her story is almost always separate from the main cast until the very end of the Season). Let’s begin our exploration with Season 1:
We know how the Season 1 finale ends, with the Delinquents closing the Dropship door and “blasting off”, but who actually made it happen? Lots of us would say Raven because, well…she is the genius, but when did the actual idea come into play?
Clarke: “It can’t be that simple. You said there’s fuel in those rockets, right?”
Raven: “Enough to build 100 bombs. I also said we’ve got no gunpowder left.”
Clarke: “I don’t want to build a bomb. I want to blast off.”
Raven: “Draw them in close. Fire the rockets. A ring of fire.”
Bellamy: “Barbecued grounders. I like it.”
Finn: “Will it work?”
Raven: “The wiring’s a mess down there, but yeah. You give me enough time, I’ll cook them real good.”
Clarke has the idea. If she’d never had the idea would they ever have been able to stop the Grounders?
Bellamy runs the physical side of things as the leader of the gunners to get Raven the time she needs to wire up the Dropship.
Raven implements the idea by walking Clarke through the steps (because she is too wounded to do it herself). Jasper does have to complete the job because Raven has passed out, but Raven does most of the setup.
The Season 1 finale was a 3 part save. It’s not Raven who saves their asses, it’s all three of them.
On to Season 2:
The plan to take down the Mountain once again utilized Bravenlarke (with some Monty actually). This might have been harder to recognize because it happened over the course of several episodes. The plan goes into action in 2x09 when Clarke reverses her original refusal to let Bellamy go into the Mountain and decides “It’s worth the risk”, although at the time, we don’t see it that way:
Bellamy: “We need to do this now. You’ve got the alliance. Now is the time to use it.”
Clarke: “First, we need an inside man. You were right. Without someone on the inside to lower their defenses, turn off the acid fog, an army is useless. You should go.”
Bellamy: “I thought you hated that plan, that I would get myself killed.”
Clarke: “I was being weak. It’s worth the risk. My map of Mount Weather. Find a way to get on that radio and talk to us. Good luck.”
The idea to shut down the Acid Fog is initially Clarke’s, but is accomplished with help from Raven(Wick) and Bellamy in 2x14:
Raven: “Wait. Corrosion. The protective oxide film would have to be restored in tanks this old. They’d need to be cleaned.”
Wick: “And neutralized. Bellamy, go to that subdirectory. See if there’s anything there that says “passivation.“”
Bellamy: “Ok. I’m on it. Got it. Says, uh, "aqueous sodium hydroxide bath."”
Wick: “That’s a base. That’ll neutralize the acid. Select that.”
Bellamy: “It’s doing something.”
Raven: “You should be able to hear the pump.”
Bellamy: “I can hear them. Needle’s moving. pH is rising. It’s working. Passivation success.”
Raven and Wick: “Yes!”
As we know, the Mountain discovers the tampering and reverse the Passivation so Bellamy winds up having to blow up the acid, but the initial plan was Clarke’s idea, Bellamy doing the work, Raven(and Wick) walking Bellamy through implementing the idea.
In the end, the final save actually comes down to Bellamy, Clarke and Monty (because Raven is being harvested). I actually think Monty temporarily replacing Raven in the Season 2 finale is because they were originally going to develop Wicken in such a way that they needed the extra development that the harvesting scene gave them.
Clarke: “Monty, can you do it? Can you irradiate the level?”
Monty: “I can do it.”
A bit later:
Clarke: “Why are you stopping?”
Monty: “Because I did it. All we have to do… is pull this. Hatches and vents will open, and the scrubbers reverse, pulling in outside air”
Bellamy: “He’s gonna blow the door. Clarke, we’re out of time.”
Bellamy: “My sister. My responsibility.”
Clarke: “I have to save them.”
So again, a 3 part save, not just Raven.
Clarke has the idea to irradiate the Mountain and pulls the lever.
Bellamy spends the Season as the inside man, disables the acid fog and helps pull the lever.
Monty implements the idea by setting up the Mountain for irradiation.
Let’s discuss Season 3:
The Season 3 save was, again, a Bravenlarke combo. Let’s break down why:
Clarke: “Good. Then we have time.”
Murphy: “What we don’t have is a way down.”
Bellamy: “Time for what?”
Clarke: “An Ascension ceremony.”
Murphy: “Ascension? You just said Ontari wasn’t an option. Besides, she’s still chipped, and we no longer have an EMP.”
Clarke: “We’re not putting the Flame in Ontari’s head. We’re putting it in mine.”
Bellamy: “Clarke, that thing killed Emerson in seconds, liquefied his brain.”
Clarke: “Emerson wasn’t connected to a Nightblood.”
Clarke: “Not exactly.”
Abby: “Connected like Mount Weather.”
Clarke: “Yes. Everything we need is in your med kit”
Abby:.”No. It’s too dangerous, and there are too many variables.”
Clarke: “But no options.”
Then, after Clarke has taken the Flame:
Bellamy: “I believe you.”
Abby: “Do you even know what you’re looking for?”
Clarke: “I’ll know when I find it.”
Abby: “May we meet again.”
Clarke: “We will.”
Bellamy: “We’ll keep you safe.”
And, in the City of Light:
It’s Raven who reveals the door to the kill switch and, when Clarke doesn’t open it immediately, paints her raven across it.
So once again, this is not just Raven at work
Clarke has the idea to take the Flame herself (and even the how-Mt. Weather blood recycling), and taking the Flame is how she knows she needs to take the Chip.
Bellamy leads the guard for Clarke’s physical form, giving her time to complete her mission, with Abby as the last line of defense.
Raven uses her ALIE super brain to read the code, discover that Clarke is inside the City of Light, where she is and that she needs help, then provides that help to her.
And we’re on to our latest Season, 4! And, as I’m sure you’ve picked up on the pattern, Bravenlarke is back at it again, we arrive in 4x12 to:
Bellamy: “Clarke, unless I am missing something, there is no other way for all of us to survive.”
Clarke:“What if there is?”
Skip forward to the Space Squad Seven (Plus Clarke) arriving on Science Island:
Raven: “But there’s no time to go back.”
Clarke: “We’re not going back. We’re going up.”
Murphy: “Ah, don’t look so surprised. It was all your idea to begin with.” (Speaking of Raven’s desire to commit suicide by space, however Clarke is still the person who has the idea to actually live on the Ring).
Raven: “Space? We don’t have enough fuel to get down.”
Harper: “Sounds like a 5-year problem to me.”
Raven: “You’re (said to Clarke) talking about the Ring.”
Bellamy: “Seems like a shame to let a good rocket go to waste.”
Raven: “How do we live?”
Clarke: “They left a water reclamator up there and we know that Go-Sci has an algae farm. We just get those two things up and running and we have food and water.”
Murphy: “Algae salads and recycle urine. Sign me up.”
Emori: “Better than dying.”
Murphy: “Yeah, you say that now.”
Raven: “All right. Slow down. Breathing’s important, too. What’s the plan for oxygen?”
Monty: “Based on what Murphy says about the Lighthouse Bunker, I’m guessing-make that praying-there’s an oxygenator there. We take it with us. You hook it up. Bob’s your uncle.”
Raven: “You’re an engineer, Monty. You do know there’s about a thousand things wrong with that plan, right?”
Monty: “Yes, and every one of them kills us. Of course, staying here will kill us, too, so-”
Bellamy: “Raven, we need you to get us off the ground before the death wave hits. What do you say? Can you do it?”
Raven: “What do I say? I say that death wave can kiss my ass.”
Clarke: “Good. It’s settled then. We’re going back to the Ark.”
Now we’re going to finish this bit of evidence up with 4x13, I’m not going to pull quotes on this one, because the finale should be fresh in our minds as it wasn’t even two weeks ago, I’m just going to do the wrap up:
Clarke has the idea to return to space and even figures out how they’ll supply themselves with food and water once they make it up there and makes sure that the uplink is ready for the rocket when they arrive.
Bellamy is responsible for inspiring the masses (Raven and Echo specifically this episode) and ultimately making the hard call and choosing to close the door on Clarke instead of waiting.
Raven uses her non-ALIE powered but still super brain to figure out how to turn a 2-seater into an 8-seater, run the flight check, pilot them to the ring and get them into the hanger bay.
So when Raven says “She saved us again.” She’s not wrong. If Clarke had not had the idea to go to Space in the first place, everyone except for her would have died. If she hadn’t chosen to make the sacrifice and stay behind, physically moving that satellite dish to make sure the Ark was up, the ones who did manage to make it into space would have died.
Consistently, every Season, the finale save has always been a combination of Head (Clarke), Heart (Bellamy) and Guts (Raven) saving the day, but so many of y’all would rather look at it as Clarke being elevated, or a fandom being racist against a WOC (Raven), or (if you’re a Br/ven) the Bellarke fandom being unable to accept Br/ven as a romantic pairing without putting Clarke in it as well, when Bravenlarke is truly a platonic ship, lmao.
I’d bet you anything that in Season 5, Bravenlarke team work is once again what saves the day (even though 6 years and space has changed their relationship).
They just want to have a nice family Christmas dinner, but somehow it always gets ruined. America brought KFC as his contribution to dinner, France got drunk, England burned the house down...
All about the food. Everyone pitches in to make a huge feast and have a good night. The wine is flowing but no one is going crazy with it or anything. Everyone scolds Romano for his language and someone probably makes Italy cry, but what else is new.
Now this is a party. Austria has the big mansion, so it's always there, and literally everyone gets roaring drunk. Austria always makes enough desserts for an entire army, then spends the rest of the night playing Christmas carols. Prussia is reliably the first one to pass out.
An actual cute, relatively peaceful and family friendly Christmas dinner, well, maybe except Denmark, filling the role of the drunken uncle. They have to celebrate on Christmas day rather than Christmas Eve because mama Finland is busy being Santa.
Another drunken party, but it's less fun and more scary. A fight will break out, Belarus might pull a knife, the Baltics are cowering in the corner...
New to this whole Christmas thing. They could really care less about the actual holiday, but giving gifts is nice and they suppose it's family bonding time and stuff, even with no one really socializing most of the time.
Beach party, bon fire, barbecue. It's summer down there so they spend it in flip flops and bathing suits. This all makes Christmas a lot more relaxed than it is for most of the other families.
When Roy returns to the table their food has arrived, and Bunty is talking to Patrick about he and Georgina’s
château in Champs Les Sims, and how his vineyard is faring. Patrick: As you know, this whole viticulture caper has been a giant learning curve for me, Bunty. But I’m thrilled to report we had some extremely decent yields this year and the Pinot in particular looks exceptional- Roy: Why are we talking about wine? Georgina: Mother and Patrick always talk about wine. In fact, Patrick is always giving Mother crates of wine. Her voice is bitter. Patrick’s expression is pained. He looks as if he is going to say something then closes his mouth. Roy: So you’re basically her pusher, Pat? Patrick: Hey, steady on. That’s completely uncalled for, Roy- Bunty: Oh, this is crazy. Roy, stop it right now. Can’t we just enjoy a nice lunch? Roy: Probably not. Georgina sits up very straight in her chair and looks around the table. Her voice is shaky but clear. Georgina: Neither of you even knows half of it. She’s put me through hell. Haven’t you, Mother? There was the night I had to drag you out of the pool because you’d fallen in fully clothed and blind drunk at 1 am. The time you were too smashed to prepare a meal for yourself, so you just started eating the dogs’ food, straight out of their bowls. The night you felt like eating ribs and thought it would be a good idea to throw petrol on the barbecue, and nearly set fire to the stables- Patrick blinks, his mouth falling open. His face is one big shiny circle of shock. Bunty’s skin is like parchment under her makeup, white and immobile. The food in Roy’s mouth tastes like sand. He keeps chewing, staring at his plate. Patrick: Georgie. My God. I had no idea things had been this bad for so long. Why haven’t you shared any of this with me before? Georgina rolls her eyes. Georgina: Because I was worried you’d tell your mother and then everyone in the town would find out. Patrick: You really think I would betray your trust like that, Georgie? Really? Georgina says nothing, her back rigid, her fingers shredding the paper napkin in her lap. Bunty gets up silently from the table. Three pairs of eyes follow her as she marches towards the restrooms. As soon as she is out of sight Patrick gets up from the table too. Except he walks out the front door of the coffee shop, towards his car.