for @justicarlexa: @someone that’s better at analysis than i am, talk about the clarke/niylah pre sex and clarke/lexa post sex parallels
Okay I think we all get the main difference between the two encounters. The one with Niylah is just sex, is Clarke needing something to take her away from her pain for just a moment. With Lexa is obviously much deeper than that. It’s about consummating their love. But to even into more detail…
The biggest difference between the two scenes is Clarke’s attitude towards her partner: selfishness vs altruism.
Clarke is clearly enjoying Niylah’s attentions. After spending so much time on her own, she revels in having someone taking care of her. That is, until Niylah brings up the Mountain, Clarke’s demon. That’s when she completely shuts down, to the point of being almost aggressive towards Niylah with her response.
The damage is done, though. Now that Niylah mentioned what Clarke did, her simple care isn’t enough to quiet Clarke’s mind anymore. To numb the pain, Clarke needs more. So she asks for it, quite directly; guiding Niylah’s hand to her breast. But her need for inner peace is so strong that she has no time to wait for Niylah to move past her hesitancy and initiate things. And so, Clarke goes for it. She takes what she needs, and keeps taking, controlling the whole situation. Niylah goes along with it, because this is something she wants too, but the scene is never about her. Clarke is focused solely on what she needs here, and we, the audience, do the same. Everything is hot and fast and frantic because that’s how Clarke is feeling. We are even shown a brief moment where Clarke seems to almost panic when things slow down for the shortest moment.
She reaches up for Niylah, but not because she is connecting with her. It’s because Niylah is her way to forget. Clarke uses Niylah for her own needs. That’s the selfishness I’m talking about.
And then we have the scene in bed with Lexa. Which is the complete opposite. Even before that scene, we see how different Clarke acts when compared to her actions with Niylah. Right after sitting Lexa on the bed, Clarke pauses.
She stops, searches Lexa’s eyes, gives her a little nod. She is asking a silent question here, she is making sure that Lexa wants this as well. This isn’t about taking, like it was with Niylah. It’s about sharing and connecting and giving. Then they fall into bed, the screen fades to black, and what is the first thing we see immediately after that?
We see her taking care of Lexa. She is gently tracing her tattoos, first on her arm then on her back. She never stops caressing her, she smiles at that cute, relaxed “Shhh…”. Happy about Lexa’s happiness. There is also a sort of protectiveness she seems to have towards Lexa. She lies behind Lexa, spooning her. Lets Lexa rest, contented with just these innocent touches. It’s very likely that she was the one who told Lexa that it was okay to turn around and rest after they made love. She clearly enjoys making sure that Lexa feels safe and cared for. This is her main concern in this scene: Lexa’s needs, not her own. Hence the altruism part.
Also Clarke doesn’t stop at just caressing Lexa’s skin and connecting with her physically. She asks questions about the tattoos, about Lexa’s history. She is curious, wants to know more about Lexa. She doesn’t want just Lexa’s body, she wants Lexa in her entirety. She wants her body and her soul and her secrets and her history. But also, she respects Lexa’s wishes. In that moment, Lexa wishes not to talk about the story behind her back tattoo. And despite her curiosity, Clarke doesn’t push or show signs of disappointment.
She obviously noticed that Lexa grew sadder after they mentioned the Conclave, so she offers Lexa a distraction from that pain. Contrary to the scene with Niylah, this time Clarke is the one offering comfort, not taking it. And the comfort here doesn’t consist in Lexa using Clarke to forget her sadness: the comfort comes from sharing the love they feel for each other. It’s about making things better simply by being together.
So, to sum up, Clarke and Niylah was all about “I”, Clarke and Lexa is all about “We”.
Can we talk about how the movie Home is about alien-invasion-as-imperialism? And how it’s the first 3D animated film ever to feature a black protagonist? And how, in one memorable scene, that protagonist is described as having “beautiful brown skin?” Can we talk about that?