but seriously

like, i love joking about lexa letting clarke call her by her name instead of “commander” being due to her heart eyes as much as anyone else but can we please talk about how much of a relationship between equals it is?

like. most likely the real reason is bc clarke, alone out of everyone else in the show, is the person that lexa considers her equal. lexa doesn’t command clarke, doesn’t outrank her. they are partners in the alliance, they both lead their peoples and lexa recognizes that.

even her little “lessons” where she’s giving her “love is weakness” spiel is always lexa sharing what she knows to another leader. she frames it as “this is what’s right and you’ll learn that” because it’s based off of lexa’s experiences as a leader - what she had to learn and what’s been right for her, what’s let her survive. but clarke makes her own decisions, and lexa might disagree or argue, but she also accepts it and admits when clarke was right (“I was wrong. Your heart shows no signs of weakness”).

it’s even reaffirmed in this episode: “You were born for this, Clarke. Same as me.” like. that’s such a ridiculous amount of respect lexa is affording clarke.

and you can’t tell me that this isn’t why clarke is able to get under lexa’s skin. lexa’s able to dismiss everyone else bc they aren’t leaders. she can value their opinions and themselves as people, but ultimately she has final say and she knows it. but clarke is her equal and she can’t dismiss it and if clarke can lead with emotion - suddenly lexa has to question. clarke’s point of view has to have equal weight as lexa’s. lexa is learning from clarke as clarke is learning from lexa and i’m really emotional about how much mutual respect they have for each other.