Thoughts on the bellamy/raven scene at the end of 4.13?
okay, bear with me. it’s late and my mind is not really functional past 3am but i’m going to type this up anyway, because i’m a bit (actually very) emotional.
i was super impressed by it to be honest, especially because I had no expectations as to how some of the character arcs would come around and create this full circle of growth that they underwent in the past four seasons.
there is a lot to be said about raven and bellamy themselves in that scene of course (which i will), as individuals, but its quite fascinating how these two usually develop this triangle unit with clarke too, who plays another key factor in that scene despite her absence now (yea, believe it or not but bravenlarke, narratively, comes in trio writing and that scene is no exception).
on another note, and I’m not sure if i’m the only one who actually thought of it, but the way the scene between bellamy and raven ends (before we cut to the 6 years and 7 days time jump) reminds me a lot of the scene where Finn expresses the line “Always” himself when raven, after forgiving him for the things he has done to her, tells him that they’ll always be family in season two:
the thing with finn and raven is that while this moment brings forth all of their history and makes a point about how far they have come since they landed on the ground while also showing to us that finn is indeed the only person raven has ever actually considered “family” (she is the one reaching out to him upon realizing how affected finn is by the things he has done that happen to be tied to clarke mostly, if not all), it represents the end of their journey together too, as finn decides to sacrifice himself not much later to save his friends from war.
“always” in that sense is a very short-lived moment for them as raven loses finn by the end of the episode (through clarke’s hands no less, and note that 2x08 is a very heavy bravenlarke ep as well) and has to start to find a way to live without him and deal with the fact that she couldn’t stop this from happening.
so, in one way or another you can make an observation about dysfunction in that scene since “always” (the promising aspect of the moment in itself) gets broken when finn says goodbye to raven - “may we meet again” - and gives himself over to the grounders, shredding the physical idea of “always being a family” because his sacrifice means death and death means absence. there is no emotional preparation for this from an in-universe sense, literally none of his friends see his “i’m gonna turn myself over” moment coming, you know… the turn that essentially even manages to drift many relationships apart.
with bellamy and raven we have to whole idea of “always” turned upside down:
it’s interesting to see how clarke’s “death” serves as a catalyst for this moment for sure, but it’s also important to note that bellamy is the one reaching out to raven here and not vice versa, because while i’m sure that many believe bellamy will focus on his head heavily now (with clarke gone) i feel like this scene communicates that he is starting to find balance between his heart and mind himself like clarke told him to. this is not a “i don’t know who i am anymore” moment for bellamy. in fact, he knows exactly which position he needs to take on without clarke by his side (the baton is a really nice visual touch to the whole idea of that new balance), which adds a more hopeful tone to the tragedy overall, since bellamy, even though he tried to fight against it up until it was too late, got emotionally prepared for this by clarke herself - the possibility that she could be dying on this day and that he would have to take over a complete new role without her (mix of head and heart). like, just think about how this scene unfolds and where it heads to: raven is the one questioning whether they can do this without clarke or not while bellamy is the one who happens to ground raven in that thought process and tell her why they can’t let that happen.
yes, he just lost one of the most important people in his life and he is plagued with an immense sense of guilt up until the moment he and all of his friends actually survive on the ark (when they breathe in air again), but it’s also fascinating to see that he makes that one step towards raven when he says “You with me?”. he makes room for teamwork here, room for the fact that he needs raven in this - the other part of the triangle unit - and heal. there is no point made here about “loss of control”. is bellamy affected by clarke’s “death”? absolutely, no doubt. but he is also ready to not let clarke’s death be in vain. he’s been there and has done that without her before and it made him turn to the wrong side, but now he is going to do better than he did yesterday.
and raven is not going to let clarke’s death be in vain either, but will support bellamy after this loss, because she feels the exact same thing he feels - her worldview in terms of family has expanded beyond what raven ever imagined she could have besides finn, but she has found these people and wants to work with them as much as rely on them, too. and it’s that realization she makes here for herself: they all left clarke behind in a situation that was inevitable, clarke died for them “she saved us again”. so, in retrospect, the groundwork for this moment is that the “promise” that comes with “always” brings new life into raven’s character instead of making it die down in her own hands like it once happened. when she so desperately wanted to save her “family” (e.g finn or even sinclair whom she later tells “you’re always with me” in 4x11, coming to terms with his death all by herself).
its as clarke said, survival is a team-sport. and that’s what they all did, together.
raven’s answer, in hindsight, marks down the beginning of a new
journey, not the end. while clarke literally rises from the ashes on the
ground, raven and bellamy do so in front of the window up in space when
they look down earth:
and i think that’s pretty great.
bellamy and raven survive alongside their other friends on the ark, with help from clarke, which just shows that they are all a family, even when she (clarke) is not around to physically be with them anymore. or in other words: she lives on through them the same way they live on through clarke on the ground.
She mentioned the fact that Bellarke were the only couple (platonic or romantic however you care to see them) separated in the finale and…that’s important guys.
Every other couple is still together:
You know what that tells us? It tells us that the show literally does not care enough about the development of those other relationships to show it on screen. You can expect all of those other relationships to grow and change, and in some cases break while others flourish, but we won’t have the opportunity to see any of that happen on screen.
Meanwhile, because Bellarke has been separated for these 6 years, we will get to see every single last bit of their development and it will all be new to us. This is how you build an endgame main pairing you guy.
This can also play into the time jump, because Bellamy and Clarke will have to “relearn one another”, the writers can use this as an opportunity to essentially “reset” Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship.
Previously it was possible to believe (for some) that their relationship was only ever going to be platonic, a reset would allow them to possibly tell the story of Bellarke as more obviously romantic from their “first” (actually second) meeting.
They could also go a second route which would delay the romance a bit longer (although not indefinitely), because after 4x13 there was truly nowhere else they could take their relationship that wasn’t romantic. This option is the one that would best fit the “relearning” scenario, which is why this is the one I think they’re going with.