If you haven’t watched this scene yet, GO WATCH IT. It’s the longest of the S2 deleted scenes (I think deleted from “Spacewalker” though I’m sure someone will tag in and correct me if I’m wrong). It’s amazing and important for so many reasons, and I remain lowkey devastated that it got left on the cutting room floor.
Here’s the setup. Lexa has been watching Camp Jaha and sees the Sky People preparing for war; Indra wants to strike the camp before the Sky People strike them and insists that they are enemies. Marcus doesn’t deny that they’re making preparations for war but says, “when we are attacked, our first instinct is to defend ourselves. In that, we are very much like you.” Lexa says she offered the Sky People a generous peace, yet they prepare for war. Marcus pleads for more time - not to ready their weapons, but for him to be able to explain to the Sky People how generous Lexa’s offer is and why they should take it, because he does believe in peace between them.
I love this scene so much for so many reasons. First, my personal opinion has always been that when the show decided to go all in on Clexa, Lexa’s vital relationships with a lot of other characters in the show got shorter shrift than they deserved. It’s great to see such a powerful Lexa scene that has zero to do with Clarke whatsoever.
Second, it’s an important Indra/Lexa relationship moment, and honestly my personal opinion on Indra is the more the merrier. I fucking love her, and I love how she is one of those amazing supporting characters who brings out new shades in everybody. Look at how many different characters are transformed by coming into contact with her. Think about that moment when she goes head-to-head with Abby in the field, or her complicated relationship with Lincoln, or her mentorship of Octavia. Indra doesn’t have a huge role or a ton of lines but she’s so fucking important, and the brief interactions she and Lexa have here speak volumes about their relationship and her role as the Commander’s advisor. We talk a lot about Lexa in the context of her training as Anya’s
second, but I also think Indra’s influence is a really important
consideration here. This scene instantly made me headcanon that Indra is the first person
who ever said “love is weakness” to her, and after Costia died it stuck.
It just sounds so much like something Indra would say - or at the very least, a sentiment she would heartily endorse.
Third, this scene lets us watch Lexa being a solid tactician, which is something we’re largely told instead of shown. This is a great Lexa scene in terms of developing her character as a leader, where we see her weighing two very different approaches to how to deal with the problem of the Sky People: Indra’s, and Kane’s. Indra thinks there can never be peace or understanding between them and has troops ready to move in and attack, claiming that the Sky People think Lexa is weak. “Let me show them how strong you are.” Lexa is solidly in control and she commands that room. (The way all the guards step in closer the minute Marcus makes a sudden move is great.) She offered peace, the Sky People are preparing for war, fuck the Sky People, case closed. She’s making the sensible decision here, based on the information at hand. She’s doing exactly what she should do for her people.
But we know, from the scenes when she was holding him and Jaha captive, that she respects Marcus Kane. She knows he’s a good man. It doesn’t make her inclined to let his people move their guns to the walls to attack the Grounders with no provocation, but their conversation is remarkable in how respectful it is despite their being enemies.
This brings me to the part of this lengthy meta where I get to talk about my boyfriend and what a significant (and unfairly excised) scene this is for him. For example, let’s talk about how one of Marcus Kane’s most solid qualities over the latter half of Season Two is that he doesn’t talk down to the young people because of their age. When the Sky People first land, he does the whole “hand over your guns, kiddos, the grownups are here” thing, which is of course infuriating to us the viewers as much as it is to Bellamy. It’s Abby, the mom who can’t turn off her Mom Switch, who says “they’re being led by a child,” who keeps saying “they’re just kids,” who has the hardest time adjusting to what life on the ground has turned The 100 into. But Kane snaps out of that fast. He meets Lexa here as an equal - or, more accurately, he meets her as a humble and respectful supplicant pleading for something from a person in higher authority - despite being a man twice her age.
It’s also important here to have some real-ass talk about what the thing is he’s actually pleading with Lexa for, because that’s interesting too. He’s asking for more time. Yeah, time to stockpile a shitload of weapons, is Lexa and Indra’s opinion.No, he says, time for them to understand how generous her offer of peace really was. Meaning, time for him to talk them into accepting it.
Meaning - Finn.
Look, “Spacewalker” wrecked us all equally, and whoever your bae is (Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Abby, Finn, Lexa) I think we can all agree that scene is harrowing and it hurts to watch. And I know a lot of people liked Finn and were sad to see him die, and I know at least a few of those people read this blog (HI ANNA!) so I apologize if this sounds heartless. But Kane going to Lexa to strike a deal for more time so he can talk the Sky People into turning over Finn is a moment I really wish we’d gotten in this episode, because it’s actually a terrific Kane moment to me. Kane is in the middle of a character arc that begins with “You have a strength that is not weakened by sentiment” and ends with him offering his own bone marrow to save Abby from pain. Turning over the kid who massacred a Grounder village in order to establish lasting peace for the Sky People is a completely sensible and logical decision for Marcus Kane - at this stage in his character growth - to make. One person dying to save everybody. That’s smart. That’s the logical thing to do. It’s not pretty, but it’s what leadership looks like. That’s what Kane would say.
Kane thinks it’s a good trade. He tells Lexa her offer was generous, and he legitimately appears to mean it. He thinks Finn for a truce is a really good offer, because he hasn’t realized yet that he’s still making the same mistake over and over. He hasn’t yet hit the moment where he realizes that these are the very kind of decisions that shaped the Ark’s younger generation and lead him to explain to Abby that Clarke let the Tondc bombs fall for the same reason that she turned Jake in and he authorized the Culling - which is also the same impulse that led him to plead with Lexa to let him talk the Sky People into handing over Finn. This is what he means when he tells Abby “she learned it from us.”
And then we arrive at the best moment of the scene, at the very end, after Lexa has given Indra the command to rally the troops. Indra has said there can be no peace between Tree People and Sky People. Lexa calls out Marcus (correctly) for the fact that the Sky People sure as fuck aren’t behaving like people who actually want peace. You kind of get the sense that Lexa may think Marcus is the best of a bad bunch, and while she doesn’t hate him - she’s as respectful in addressing him as he is to her - she sure as hell doesn’t trust the rest of his people. And Kane gets it. He doesn’t tell her that she’s wrong. He doesn’t lie or argue away their actions. He says “we’re the same as you. When we’re attacked we defend ourselves.” Which you can see, ever so slightly, getting Lexa’s attention. And then in the final moments, as he’s begging her to reconsider and give him more time, he plays his last card.
“Tree People and Sky People together,” he says to her in Trigedasleng, and holy shit this is important.
Kane made the effort to learn Trigedasleng before anyone else except Octavia. He’s the first of the adults to treat Grounder culture with respect.
Indra insists that all Sky People are the same, that they are all the Grounder’s enemies. Lexa’s respect for Kane is how we realize that she doesn’t actually, deep down, believe that. Kane communicating with Lexa in her own language as a sign of respect,
and the way he has consistently treated her, feels in some way like what opens the door to
her relationship with Clarke.
Lexa’s betrayal at Mount Weather becomes a whole lot more complicated and interesting in the context of this scene, because it reminds you that the betrayal is a lot bigger than just Clarke. Long before the kiss, long before she went full-on heart-eyes for Clarke, she was considering the possibility of building a bridge between Trikru and Skaikru, and then she straight-up lit that bridge on fire.
Kane somehow evolved from the righteous asshole of Season 1 who refused to listen to anybody else’s opinions on goddamn anything into Camp Jaha’s most effective diplomat and literally who among us would have watched the pilot and ever in a thousand years seen that coming.