i will talk about the bellamy scene from 4x04 in more depth soon, so i won’t go into deep character-analysis mode now, but can i say how wild it is when you look at it from the eyes of other characters? I wanna talk about echo here.
there is this jarring shift from the already existent hopelessness that bellamy feels prior to the revelation, which we witness through kane, to the utter despair he is faced with once he hears about octavia’s ‘death’. and what caught my attention, aside from the emotional transition and his breaking point, is that bellamy and echo seem to interact with each other on a very personal level, too.
when the broken sword clatters to the ground we get these two shots:
the very interesting thing about these close-ups is that bellamy looks at echo, not at roan and then says “no”, while shaking his hand - and echo looks right back at him. obviously, his tongue is too heavy with the weight of what is unfolding in front of him, which his why his reactions establish this crazy build up, since he can’t grasp the reality of that situation. but then we see one word come unstuck anyway, because “no”. and here is how i read the moment.
eyes already underscored by a devastation we have never seen before, the “no” - almost faint in its sound - sounds like a plea to me. a plea in which he needs echo to deny that this has happened. that this is something that took place. but there is no answer. echo’s devastation is clear and she can’t change what happened (even if it was an accident). so, when roan says “I am sorry”, bellamy feels the need to turn around and away from them and that reality - a very immediate move - because it hits, fast and hard. even if echo doesn’t say anything, roan’s words have an effect on him that ring as true as echo’s silence.
and when echo does answer and says
(i think the “good” is meant to comfort him) he breaks.
and here is what i find interesting about echo. she stays.
echo stays and watches him. she doesn’t immediately turn around when roan gives an order, she doesn’t cover her ears to shield herself away from bellamy’s screams, she doesn’t blink, she doesn’t move at all. instead, she watches him head on. watches him wail out in grief and repeat “no” over and over again with that rather devastated exression on her face, reflecting shock and sadness.
this is a very disturbing experience, because that’s how echo witnesses war on an entirely different level. this is why bellamy’s words, before he hears about octavia’s ‘death’, “echo” in this scene: “We’ll always end up here… in the brink of war”, because he is not on the brink of it anymore, but tipping over the edge and falling right into the madness - not with weapons, but emotions - and echo sees all that and can’t do anything, but watch. with his teeth blunted and eyes dimmed, and a primal scream that reveals his insides. this is what war looks like when someone who wears his heart on his sleeves can only scream.
its just pain. and she feels every bit of it.
bob definitely delivers here. he literally transforms and
unleashes the full extent of bellamy’s grief in spades, and it hits you
from all angles, through all characters in different ways, through every corner of the
setting. it’s soul-shattering and an unforgettable
traumatic experience - for many, but mainly bellamy.