the only reason I want the bellarke kiss to be in season 4 is because I'm afraid that if they wait until season 5 the spark between them will be lost. I know I'm silly to think that bc the spark could never be lost bc of their amazing but chemistry, but I read someone say "how will they be able to grow closer if not romantically" and I agree, even if it means waiting until the s4 finale. the only way I could see it happening in s5 is bc the apocalypse will force them to push aside their feelings
Yeah, I get what you’re saying but ultimately, I’m torn on whether or not I want a bellarke romance in season four. I think it really depends on how much time season four ends up covering, because if the last few episodes of season four are ~6 months after the events of 3x16 I could definitely be on board with a bellarke kiss/romance. (I know they said no time jump to season four, but that’s about the time between 3x16 and 4x01. There’s no reason they *have* to stick to barely covering a month in time while the season progresses.) But if the last episodes of season four are less than three months removed from 3x16, it’s just too damn soon for me (with one exception, which I will get to in a moment).
If I’m remembering my timelines correctly, roughly six months have passed since the dropship came down. That means that in under six months Clarke has fallen in love twice and had both of her lovers die in her arms under circumstances that would make Clarke feel responsible for their deaths. (Note: I’m not saying she is responsible for their deaths. Just that she probably feels responsible, since Finn claimed he committed his massacre to save her and L.exa died because Titus was trying to kill Clarke. One of Clarke’s primary character traits is taking responsibility for things that were ultimately out of her control and feeling guilty for things she didn’t do.) I’ve gotten a weirdly large amount of pushback for saying that Clarke likely sees people falling in love with her as a death sentence but I stand by that headcanon. Clarke internalizes a lot of stuff and takes on burdens that aren’t necessarily her fault, and losing two loves in such violent ways at such a young age would warp just about anyone’s sense of self.
However, losing Finn and L.exa has not stopped Clarke from loving people entirely, as Demons and Perverse Instantiation Part I demonstrated. Clarke loves her friends fiercely and losing L.exa did not change that, but there is, in my opinion, a difference between being able to say “I love these people enough to die for them” and being able to say “I will let myself fall in love with this person, even though that means I risk losing them.” I’m fine with Clarke spending the majority of– or even all of– season four healing so she can move back to an emotional place where she’s willing to fall in love again. I also think this would be a nice parallel to L.exa’s story, where the loss of Costia convinced her that love is weakness. Clarke never fully bought into that motto but she does have a tendency to compartmentalize and shut down emotions that she finds inconvenient in the moment. Her love story with L.exa was as much about L.exa learning to love again as it was about Clarke learning to make peace with who she has become, but I think L.exa’s death will rattle her a bit and it will take some time before she’s back in a place where she can not only love someone else but let them love her.
As for bellarke not being able to grow closer unless it’s romantically, I don’t know if I fully agree with that because I think that they still have a lot of repairing to do with their friendship. Clarke leaving in 2x16 was the right choice for her, but sometimes you can do what is right for yourself and it will still hurt someone you care about. It’s awful and unfair, but that’s life. That was the tragedy of her leaving at the end of season two because it was an impossible choice– she could stay for her friends (particularly Bellamy, who was bearing a burden just as great as hers) and risk losing herself, or she could leave to try and heal and risk hurting Bellamy. Neither choice would be free of pain for one of them, and while Clarke was 100% right to choose herself, Bellamy’s anger with her was also valid.
When Clarke returned in 3x05, Bellamy’s anger with her broke something between them and I’m not sure that fissure is fully healed. In Nevermore they literally decide “the lifeboat is leaky but right now the ship is going down, so everybody into the lifeboat and we’ll patch that crack once we’re safe.” They’re very hesitant and unsure around each other throughout that episode, carefully testing to see how far down the crack between them goes. In Demons Clarke honestly expects that Bellamy would let her die for them, and when he refuses she’s kind of surprised. To me, that indicates that in 3x12 Clarke thinks Bellamy doesn’t care about her nearly as much as he once did. I think Bellamy’s refusal to take over her mission– knowing full well just how important to Clarke that mission is– because it would mean sacrificing her was one of her first concrete moments of “oh, this is fixable” for Clarke. They were moving in that direction by the end of Nevermore but they didn’t really have time to sit down and hash things out.
The Beach Hug of 3x13 was definitely the moment that set them back on the path towards being who they were in season one and season two, but I don’t think they’re fully there yet. Think about how panicked Bellamy was when Clarke announced she was going to be Roan’s bait: Bellamy instantly doubted his connection to Clarke, and his panic was a sign that he was worried that he really didn’t know her. Part of the break between them was over Clarke deciding to trust L.exa again despite– from Bellamy’s point of view– having no reason to believe her word. So when Clarke agrees with Roan, whom Bellamy sees as “the guy that kidnapped Clarke” he has a moment of panic. Is this L.exa all over again? Why is she willing to trust this man with her life when I’ve seen no proof that he would keep her safe?”
But then Clarke reaffirms what happened in 3x13, reminding Bellamy that she’s not trusting Roan, she’s trusting him. Trust is the core of their relationship and it was a lack of trust that tore them apart in 3A. That’s also why Bellamy’s unflinching belief in Clarke’s decision to take the chip in 3x16 was so important– he didn’t have the facts, just like he didn’t have the facts in 3x03, but he trusts her decision this time. Bellamy has no idea what will happen to her, or if this will kill her, but he trusts her judgment.
That’s huge, but I personally feel that they still have a little way to go. If 4x01 picks up the second 3x16 ended, Bellamy and Clarke have only been back on solid ground for, I dunno, less than a week? Not very long, in any case, and guys, 3x05 was bad for them. Not irredeemably bad, but bad. They have both now shown each other that their trust is unwavering, but I think they will need a little more time to feel completely secure that the other person trusts them. Bellamy’s fear in 3x15 isn’t that he doesn’t trust Clarke, it’s that she doesn’t trust him. And Clarke needed Bellamy by her side when she went into the CoL not because she didn’t trust him, but because she needed a reminder that he believed in her.
So what I want out of season four is for Bellamy and Clarke to show that they are still repairing their friendship. I want them to spend weeks on the same team, no distrust between them. I want them to fight for the same things and disagree over plans but come to a mutual solution. I want, to borrow a line from The Hunger Games, to see them growing back together. I want them to remind each other of how good they are together, and I think that would be, for me, a very emotionally satisfying character arc. Both Eliza and Bob have spoken very highly of the bond between Bellamy and Clarke, and watching that bond solidify and strengthen over the course of a season would be great to watch.
And as for romance: I could maybe see a kiss, or an admission of love from one or both of them, by the end of season four, but only under duress. JRoth did say that Bellamy might not feel he deserves a spot on the Ark 2.0, and I could see him telling Clarke he loves her as a goodbye, or Clarke kissing him to try and convince him to stay with her. Bellamy expresses his emotions through words while Clarke expresses hers through physical affection so that’s how I see that going, but only under very extreme circumstances. (Or if the season somehow manages to cover more than three weeks, I could see it happening more gradually. But my money is on 2ish months max in terms of timeline, and that’s just too soon after L.exa for me for anything that’s not triggered by a life-or-death situation.)
In the end, I have no idea how all of this will play out, and I totally get how you feel here. That’s legit, and while I sort of disagree, I also understand your reasoning. But no matter what happens, they’ll be together again and I think that will be some compelling storytelling.