“This album was made completely and solely on my terms, with no one else’s opinion factoring in, no one else’s agenda factoring in. I didn’t feel that I was having to think too hard about the musical direction. In the past, I’ve always tried to make sure that I was maintaining a stronghold on two different genres, and this time I just had to think about one, which was creatively a relief. It was nice to be honest about what I was making.”
Gimme Shelter was one of the best episodes for Clarke and Bellamy’s development. They’re both finally starting to accept their weaknesses as human beings. Clarke’s weakness is the inevitable damage/death she inflicts on others. This is very much symbolized by Clarke entering a room of white (purity) and her touch against the white bed soils it with black (death).
Clarke “taints” others simply by trying to save them. She has blood on her hands that she can’t wash off and there will be more of it with this latest crisis. But when Clarke looks into the mirror and takes an honest look at who she is now there’s some acceptance there. She WILL cause death along with life and she’s finally coming to terms with that truth.
She lets herself take a shower—a momentary cleansing. And although she can’t wash off what she’s done, she lets herself “live” and enjoy it instead of just surviving. She’s remembering what she told Lexa. She’s remembering the purpose behind her relentlessness to keep everyone alive.
Bellamy’s not at the same point of enlightenment as Clarke but he’s facing his humanity in his own way. His humanity being his inevitable “failure” to protect everyone—especially his sister. Ever since his mother said, “Your sister, your responsibility,” he felt like he owed it to his mother to protect Octavia.
His mother’s death deepened his obsession to protect Octavia. In his mind, If he was the one who got his mother killed, he owes it her memory to protect Octavia forever. This obsession with protecting his sister extends to his people too. That childhood trauma made Bellamy feel like protecting people is his life’s purpose. It connects in his mind as your sister people, your responsibility.
Before Bellamy goes out in the black rain again, he justifies his irrational choice to Kane by bringing up his duty to the 100: “His son Peter was one of the 100. I’m doing this.” Bellamy knows he can’t protect everyone but that doesn’t stop him from internalizing those lives as his responsibility and those deaths as his fault.
Now Bellamy’s finally starting to see things as they really are. He can’t control circumstances much less people. Bellamy saying out loud, “You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved” was a big part of that realization. He’s recognizing that his lack of control over others isn’t entirely his fault and it’s definitely a start in a healthier direction.
Letting himself stay in the rover was a HUGE development as well. It goes against his martyr tendencies. He’s on his way to realizing that his worth is based on more than whether or not he succeeds saving others. And seeing how these separate storylines connect in the theme of accepting your weakness as a human being is incredible. Bellamy and Clarke accepting their humanity little by little is some of the most satisfying character work we’ve seen.
Honestly, I think that I cheer on anybody who is living their life on their own terms and wearing what they want to wear and representing what they want to represent. I think that no other female artist should be able to tell me to wear less clothes and I’m not gonna tell any other female artist to wear more clothes. You know what I’m saying? As long as it’s their idea, and they’re expressing their sexuality or they’re expressing their strength or it makes them feel like a woman to perform a certain way or dress a certain way. I just think that as long as it’s coming from them and they’re living their life on their own terms, I cheer them on. Honestly.