What TV Can Learn From ‘The 100’ Mess

'The 100' Lexa Mess: What TV,
Courtesy CW

If you wanted to come up with a playbook for how to handle TV promotion and publicity in the age of social media, a few of the major rules might look like this:

  • Don’t mislead fans or raise their hopes unrealistically.
  • Don’t promote your show as an ideal proponent of a certain kind of storytelling, and then drop the ball in a major way with that very element of your show.
  • When things go south, don’t pretend nothing happened.
  • Understand that in this day and age, promotion is a two-way street: The fans that flock to your show and help raise its profile can just as easily walk away if they are disappointed or feel they’ve been manipulated.

It all sounds like common sense, right? Except that “The 100” managed to break all those rules and more in the last ten days or so. And the tumult surrounding the show contain lessons that other shows and showrunners could learn from.

The short version (and this paragraph contains spoilers): A number of fans of the CW show are angry about how the exit of a lesbian character was handled, both within the narrative and by representatives of the show on social media. Given the slipshod and dismissive way things played out in both spheres, they have every right to be upset. The character, Lexa, was killed off in the middle of the season in a manner that invoked any number of cliches about lesbians on TV, and the fact that in January, showrunner Jason Rothenberg took to Twitter to tout the actress’ appearance in the season finale made her death all the more baffling and disappointing. 

One fan on Twitter summed up the general mood among a substantial subset of fans by saying, “I feel like I’m being used to keep up their ratings.”

I’ll get into more details in a bit, but “The 100,” a cult show with a rising profile, really stepped in it by breaking every single one of the rules above. For two years, the show has sought deep and frequent engagement with its fans — but once it was clear that the March 3 episode of “The 100” had set off an ever-expanding array of firestorms, especially among LGBTQ fans, many of the powers that be associated with the show acted as if nothing were particularly amiss. That was one of many mistakes.

What has occurred since March 3 is not just a problem for “The 100” and the CW, it’s a cautionary tale for all of television, which increasingly depends on fans to bang the drum for shows and increase their profiles.

As it happens, the resurgent CW just made a big bet on fan-driven entertainment as the future of TV. The network just renewed all of its shows, in part because it measures engagement in a host of ways; overnight ratings are no longer the be-all and end-all. Social media engagement counts for a lot, and word-of-mouth promotion is often what makes or breaks a marginal show. That’s especially true at the CW, but in the age of 400-plus scripted shows, that’s also the case for many other programs on broadcast, streaming and cable.

But intense fan engagement is a double-edged sword. The fans who know how to help raise a show’s profile and make noise on social media are also whipsmart in any number of other ways. Today’s TV viewers won’t stand for being used as pawns, nor will they help promote a show when they feel it has let them down. With the events that occurred in the March 3 episode of the show, many think “The 100” did just that.

The response of the showrunner has, outside of a few unenlightening interviews, has been disappointing. Rothenberg live-tweeted the March 10 episode of the show as if thinkpieces and damning critiques were not still being churned out. In the limited array of interviews he did in conjunction with the March 3 episode, he has given little indication that he understands the depth of the sense of betrayal or the multitude of reasonable objections to the death story line. Since March 3, it has fallen to co-executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who wrote the episode, to engage with fans in any significant and meaningful way, but his compassionate and committed response has only highlighted Rothenberg’s abdication of responsibility.

It would seem that the attitude of the showrunner and others associated with the show is that if they just ignore everything for long enough, it’ll all go away. Meanwhile, fans are passing around lists of ideas for how to lower the show’s social media profile (Rothenberg himself has already lost thousands of Twitter followers), and the March 10 episode got the series’ worst-ever ratings. To understand how the balance of power has shifted in the fan-driven age, a subset of viewers got #LGBTfansdeservebetter to trend for hours during the show’s time slot on March 10, demonstrating that they can use their collective might to very different uses than a network might like.  

This is not a call for showrunners to pander to their audiences — far from it. It’s a reminder that every story turn and promotional effort should be thoroughly thought through. Sloppy, dismissive and tin-eared moves by a show or its personnel aren’t easy to bury or ignore these days, and fan engagement is a collaboration, not a spigot to be turned off whenever things get inconvenient.

Before getting into the specifics of what got fans riled up, I’ll just note that in this brave new world — a future the CW just bet the farm on — what fans choose to do or not do matters more than ever. TV shows should always pursue admirable artistic goals in the way they see fit, of course — but they shouldn’t take the loyalty and energy of their fans for granted along the way.

I’ll stipulate two things at this point: The rest of this post will discuss plot details from “The 100’s” third season. Also, fans who said threatening or unacceptable things to anyone associated with the show went too far.

But I was in the thick of it as this storm over “The 100” raged during the last ten days, and in my experience, only a tiny fraction of fans went that route. I did hear from hundreds of fans who were confused, disappointed or deeply hurt. As I said in a March 4 post on the fracas, I could understand why they were upset — but in dozens of posts, tweets and emails, they helped me understand why they felt betrayed.

These fans were smart, eloquent and impressively well-versed in promotional strategies, media conventions and tropes. They’re also right.

So here’s the nitty-gritty: The character who died, Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), happened to be one of the few well-developed and complex lesbians on TV, and it’s an unfortunate but enduring TV cliche that lesbians rarely, if ever, live happily ever after. In the March 3 episode, “The 100,” which had touted its commitment to quality LGBTQ storytelling, invoked one of TV’s oldest gay cliches by killing her off mere seconds after she consummated her relationship with another woman, Clarke (Eliza Taylor).

Many fans, regardless of sexual orientation, were left shaking their heads in disbelief.

On a story and thematic level, Lexa’s death (despite being well-performed by the actors) had little resonance and almost no meaning. But all things considered, the blithe manipulation LGBTQ fans and the show’s willingness to deploy harmful cliches about gay characters remain the things that rankle most.

On Jan. 21, while “The 100” was shooting its season three finale, Rothenberg tweeted to his more than 100,000 followers that fans were welcome to visit the show’s set in downtown Vancouver. A cast member also tweeted about Debnam-Carey’s presence on the Vancouver set that day; fan videos and tweets soon confirmed that she was there.

To call Lexa a fan favorite is putting it very mildly. Any morsel of news about her and her relationship with Clarke is instantly circulated through a thriving network of sites, Twitter accounts and Tumblrs devoted to the show, and fans were soon crowing over the fact that one of their favorite characters had made it through the entire season, right through to the finale. “The 100” isn’t shy about killing off characters, but here was evidence — and a rainbow-themed photo — that indicated that Lexa was just fine.

The problem was, Lexa had been killed off months earlier.

The episode in which Lexa died — the seventh one in the current season — was shot in the fall and aired March 3. To be sure, it wasn’t all that surprising that the character was written off, nor did most fans — or myself — have an innate problem with her exiting the show by dying or leaving in some other way. Debnam-Carey is a series regular on “Fear the Walking Dead,” so fans had been speculating about Lexa’s survival chances for some time.

That’s why it is baffling that the show all but ensured that its most hardcore fans knew that Lexa would appear in the season finale. The trumpeting of her appearance at the end of the season prompted many viewers, especially fans of the Lexa and Clarke pairing, to keep hope alive, but in reality, there was no hope to be found. If her appearance in the finale had been secret, that might have allowed the show to unleash a potentially interesting surprise, but in addition to taking the air out of that presumed twist, the way “The 100” shamelessly toyed with LGBTQ viewers — who are among the show’s most active promotional allies — constitutes inexplicable and deeply unwise misdirection.

Adding to the sense of betrayal was the manner of Lexa’s death. She was felled by a stray bullet from an angry male servant, mere seconds after she and Clarke had sex for the first time. The servant, Titus, disapproved of Lexa’s relationship with Clarke, whom he tried to kill, but Lexa caught the bullet. This woman — the most fearsome warrior in the show’s history — didn’t die defending Clarke; she just happened to be in the bullet’s path. And by following her only moment of bliss with her lover, the Grounder queen’s death followed a time-worn and disturbing TV pattern.

Autostraddle came up with a list of more than 130 lesbian and bisexual women who have been killed off on TV shows, and it’s a damning roster. Whatever progress you think TV has made on the front of LGBTQ representation, the sheer number of dead women on the list is profoundly troubling, to say the least. If nothing else, it shows that the Bury Your Gays trope is alive and well on TV, and fictional lesbian and bisexual women in particular have a very small chance of leading long and productive lives.

Critic Nicola Choi wrote that when they spot a lesbian or bisexual woman on TV, many LGBTQ fans simply resign themselves to the fact that the character will die.

“What would happen if every straight, white, male character got inexplicably and deplorably killed off in every show you watched just to further the plot?” Choi wrote. “To a point where you see a straight character and immediately think: ‘Yep, he’s gonna die when he walks into a room without a bulletproof vest.’… What message do you send out, when you write these cheap deaths? That LGBT fans do not deserve to love who they love? That they should fear every door they open?”

Lexa’s cliched death was especially galling given that recently, the show had leaned into the idea that it was a beacon of enlightened representation for LGBTQ characters. Rothenberg gave multiple interviews on the topic — Variety included — and retweeted stories from an array of publications that praised the show’s representation of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters.

Aided by the enthusiasm of the show’s many LGBTQ viewers, the outreach campaign worked. “Until last week, you had numerous marginalized teens and young adults who were feeling engaged, feeling represented, and feeling (dare I say it?) hopeful,” a writer named Kylie noted in an eloquent deconstruction of tropes and how they operate on TV. “Which inherently put you in a position of power over them.”

To writer and professor Elizabeth Bridges, “The 100” used that power in an irresponsible and harmful way.

“We knew [Lexa] could possibly be killed, and we knew that [Debnam-Carey’s] fate for any potential future seasons was questionable,” Bridges wrote. “But we also had constant reassurance from the writers and showrunner that we could trust them not to screw up these characters, that they were aware of the [dead lesbian] trope and would avoid it even if” the actress left the show.

“Maybe she would go into exile. Maybe something else would separate them, but it was clear that they would be the main couple at least for this season,” Bridges wrote. “How wrong we were to trust them. We were queerbaited in the most elaborate way imaginable. They made our pairing canon. They assured us not to worry, that they wouldn’t take it in that worn-out direction, that they were progressive and cool.”

And then Lexa was gone, just like that, via a death that in no way reflected her status as a leader who would risk everything to protect her people. Her demise was badly conceived on every level. Perhaps Rothenberg thought killing off Lexa in that manner was shocking, but her death ended up feeling rushed, off-kilter and poorly handled. Thus it was of a piece with much of the rest of the season, which has been big on bombast and short on compelling logic and believable character development.

There has been one positive development out of the Lexa debacle; fans have coordinated a campaign to raise more than $40,000 for the Trevor Project, a charity that assists LGBTQ teens in crisis. It’s a worthy cause and disgruntled fans of “The 100” are to be commended for channelling their ire in such a positive direction.

Even so, it’s hard not to wish that the show hadn’t led them — or misled them — into this difficult place. 

Lexa’s death, “The 100” and TV deaths in general are discussed on the most recent edition of the Televerse podcast, which is here.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 544

Leave a Reply

544 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Eastwestphoto says:

    Rothenberg is typical of ahole executives with power tripping oozing in there veins. They hate Sci-fi secretly because it does Not allow them too push their hidden Zionism agenda. So they destroy the shows. Star trek, stargate Atlantis, the 100, to name but a few. Turn it dark, make the actors play roles of dispickle characters, war war war. No ethics. No morals, no values, tons of propaganda issues. Finally viewership dies and the executive takes no responsibility for destroying the show. Meanwhile the actors and the fans get screwed by these idiot executives. Honestly no network should hire any executive without first passing a pyschological profile test.

    • Fluff says:

      Wow. Nice anti-semitic cheap shot at Rothenberg. Nothing the guy did, however misguided, and even reprehensible, had anything to do with him being Jewish. Kudos for showing that anyone, even in a community that should understand prejudice and intolerance, can be a despicable bigot.

  2. Embarrassed American says:

    Politically correct nonsense. The death of Lexi followed the storyline. American whiners had their feelings hurt by the death of a fictional character on a tv show because they have no life and are doing nothing but crying for attention. STFU!

    • Neville Ross says:

      How would you like it if a straight character beloved by you were to be killed off on a favorite TV show of yours? This nonsense needs to stop (it was stupid when done on Buffy The Vampire Slayer to Tara McLay, and stupid now.) The showrunners need to watch The Celluloid Closet a few times.

  3. Babs says:

    To be honest I just didn’t care for Lexa. I am more for Bellamy and Clarke just because he will do anything for her and yet Clarke keeps going back to Lexa who keeps betraying her. Yet in reality most smart people would choose Bellamy just because you want someone who will protect you, watch over you, give you good counsel and will do anything for you.
    Also, not sure where they are going with the 100 because I feel that the dialogue and even the season finales are repetitive. Its always with Clarke pulling a lever. COME ON!!!! I feel like they are running out of material.

    • annenoet says:

      I’m screaming – Bellamy will do everything to protect Clarke but Lexa ‘keeps betraying her?’ I think you have it the wrong way around. Like when Lexa literally changed her people’s age old tradition of Blood must have blood for Clarke, risking her own people rising up against her. Or when she had all her Nightbloods swear to keep Clarke safe? Or when she literally made Titus swear not to harm her with her last breath, that was really Lexa betraying Clarke. Lexa is an actual leader, who was forced to make a choice at the mountain. We got to see in S3 just how delicate the peace between the Grounder clans was. That is why Lexa had to choose for her own people at the mountain. They had been warring with eachother for a long time and not taking the deal to free her own people would have lead to war between the clans all over again. She didn’t want to, if it had been up to her personally she would not have – but she is Heda, so she had to, and it clearly broke her heart. She spent all of season 3 making it clear to Clarke that this would not happen again, and it didn’t. So don’t say Lexa ‘keeps betraying her.’ That’s bullsh*t. Now our boy Bellbottom Blarke on the other hand… Oh I don’t even know where to start. Maybe the fact that he actually committed genocide this season, without a very good reason? He murdered 300 grounders that were there to protect them in. their. sleep, while Clarke was in Polis. He did not think about keeping Clarke safe at that point. Not once. If he mistrusted Lexa and the Grounders so much, then who is to say Lexa would not have killed Clarke as retaliation? No, even when the people of Arkadia had murdered Lexa’s army, one of her main concerns was keeping Clarke safe, and Clarke thought she could come into Arkadia and be safe, until Mister Blake freaking blamed her for everything and handcuffed her to a chair to take Pike to her. PIKE!!!! Was he thinking of Clarke’s safety then? No, he wasn’t. I used to love Bellamy in season2, maybe I wouldn’t even have minder if Clarke ended up with that Bellamy at some point. But hat happened to him in season3 is just awful. All his character development is gone, and what is left is just an irredeemable character. I don’t feel he’s been understanding or good to Clarke at all this season.

      • Jaime says:

        I’m actually one of those people who always thought Bellamy was an a-hole. The guy comes across as if he cares but really he’s quite selfish and self centered. I don’t think his character in Season 3 went off the rails really. I think the writers did a poor job of showing how and why he did some of the things he did in season 3, no doubt. Poor writing. But, that guy has always been selfish. He cares for his sister and that’s great and it makes you want to like him but he’s really not the self sacrificing person that Clarke is. Bells cares for you as long as you are his or with him but he will throw you away if you are not his or not with him. Clarke will sacrifice herself for all whether you are with her or not. Her people give her crap all the time and yet she puts her life on he line for them everytime. Lexa is just like Clarke. It’s why Clarke fell for her because Clarke admires that quality which is also a sign of great strength. It’s also a very attractive quality in a romantic partner for her. It made sense for the writers to put Clarke and Lexa together. It would have made very little sense for a Clarke and Bells romance. And they have a very brotherly and sisterly chemistry in my opinion. I never understood why folks thought they should be together. She is not romantically compatible to him at all. Finn was more similar to Lexa. That’s why it made sense to me that she would fall for Lexa. Bells and Finn were nothing alike. Finn and Lexa both had selfless sacrificing personalities. Very strong people. As for the repetitiveness, I agree the writing was not very good in season 3. So far, season 2 has been their best. Their ideas were great for season 3 however. I am not sure I will watch season 4. I don’t feel particularly motivated because there are better shows with better writing on right now. I will likely look at the first two episodes then decide if I want to continue.

  4. john wilson says:

    ive really enjoyed the show but the writing last year was subpar,Bellamy’s back and force was unbelievable and alot of the episodes were like that they just were’nt believable and i think thats why ratings were down.The killing of lexa was done poorly but i understood she would have to go being in FTWD if this show is to survive they have to get back to writing episodes like the first season where you were always thinking whats going to whats going to happen where their were scenes that i almost could’nt bear to watch,With global nuclear reactor meltdowns and the question of how they will get to them to shut them down offers the show a chance to redeem itself ,lets hope its at least believable.

  5. Pieter says:

    The 100: season 1 was ok, It took me 2 episodes to throw season 2 in the garbage container, for season 3 that was 2 seconds. Sheer trash.

    • Alex says:

      The thing is though…did she really jump or was she pushed first? That death seemed to be planned since the beginning and I think Alycia knew this, and she loved that character dearly, I bet way more than Alicia Clark on Fear anyway who is nearly a carbon copy of every other role she had. Jason introduced Lexa to be a pro LGBT show but never intended to keep it that way. He also split up the only male couple on it and is going to make Lexa’s lover end with a man. Yeah great LGBT representation all round…not!

  6. Grow Up Kids, Not Everything Is Opression says:

    This article is dumb dumb dumb. Are you seriously suggesting that lesbian characters can never be killed in TV shows because back in the day some homophobic writers did some messed up stuff?? Nothing about Lexa’s death shows any kind of anti-LGBT sentiment. She HAD to be written off of the show because the actress was leaving the show and the only way the Grounder Commander could be absent from the plot was for her to be dead. Anything else makes no sense plot wise. It doesn’t matter how she was killed, it doesn’t matter who she had sex with before she was killed, and it doesn’t matter what her sexual orientation was. She was killed because of real world logistics, it had nothing to do with her being a lesbian. Anybody who was offended needs to grow a thicker skin and realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Sometimes things happen that seem to fit a pattern but in reality are unrelated – this is one of those times. Give me one solid piece of evidence showing that Lexa’s death had anything to do with her sexual orientation and I will take back everything I said, but on the real it’s not going to happen.

    • annenoet says:

      The only thing ‘dumb dumb dumb’ is your reply. 4 Months after it happened, and somehow still able to reply as someone who is utterly and completely uninformed. ‘It doesn’t matter who she slept with.’ Uhm – yes it does. This is literally a trope in media. You know what that is, or do I have to explain that as well? It’s a pattern. It has nothing to do with wether media creators have homophobic intentions or not. It just means they follow this pattern. The ‘dead lesbian syndrome’ is the pattern of lesbian characters getting killed off, (usually in a violent way,) right after they find some measure of happiness. Lexa getting hit by a stray bullet 67 seconds after finding her happiness adheres to the pattern that makes up the trope, regardless of intent. Media does not exist in a vacuum. If it walks like a trope and talks like a trope – it’s a trope. The 100 is not some magical acception to this pattern because ‘ADC had to leave.’ There were a ton of things that could have been done that would be far less heartbreaking than killing her off within 1 minute of her finally finding happiness. Secondly, though the message of her death may not have been related to her sexual orientation, but to Grounder culture, she was shot by what can only be described as her father-figure. Who did not approve of Lexa being in love. Being shot by a parental figure that disapproves of your love life? That’s a very familiar reality for a lot of lgbt people. I think last month’s events have been proof enough of that. Openly being LGBT is still an act of bravery, and not everyone has the opportunity to come out. The 100 had a very young audience, and the overly large part of that was made up of LGBT people. This is the most insidious part of it. The showrunner, spent a full year baiting these young LGBT viewers by talking about Lexa, Clexa, and all the good his show was doing for representation. He prided himself on being different from other showrunners, and even when the ‘Dead lesbian syndrome’ was brought to his attention several times by fans, he placated them. There’s a difference between a show misleading you, and an actual person flat out lying to his fans in order to get more views. A person flat out lying to his LGBT fans in order to get them to vote for his show during award shows. Promote their show to their friends, etc. etc. The audience of the 100 was young, often still closeted. They have no support, no means to talk to their family about being gay, so often they turn to media as a way to cope. But LGBT representation is scarce. If it exists at all, it often consists of characters in the background that are either the sassy gay best friend or the predatory lesbian. From the 33 gay/bisexual female characters that were on tv in 2016, 19 have already been killed off. Lexa’s romance with Clarke was treated with as much respect as you would usually see for a main heterosexual couple on a show. It made a lot of young people hopeful. Let’s imagine you’re able to dislodge your head from your own ass for a second and are able to put yourself in the shoes of a young closeted LGBT person, who lives in a homophobic household, who lives in a world where gay marriage has been legalized in the USA a year ago, but where hate crimes against LGBT people have only increased since then. A world where they can’t even be safe in a space that’s meant to be their own. They turn to media, and all this media continuously keeps showing is that they die as soon as they find happiness with someone. Should a lesbian character never be killed? No. But there is a different message media creators could be and should be spreading. I have a list of 160 dead characters here, against only 29 endings where a lesbian or bisexual character at least lives to the end. That’s a kill rate of 84%. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that’s unnecessary. http://www.autostraddle.com/all-65-dead-lesbian-and-bisexual-characters-on-tv-and-how-they-died-312315/

  7. JimmyJ says:

    I thought Lexa was an interesting character but she had to die. She stabbed too many people in the back – one could argue the actual death could’ve been more meaningful but I digress. Lexa was stepping on toes left, right and centre.

    I’d also add that she could have easily been a bi character and not necessarily lesbian. I think she was attracted to Clarke, the person, more than her gender…if that makes sense.

    Anyway, I just discovered this show and really like it. It’d be nice if they didn’t make the characters so dumb at times just so they can fall into peril (how many times do these kids have to walk into the forest, alone, and get jumped?!).

    • annenoet says:

      ??? and what kind of difference would it have made if she was bi ?

      Lexa was only attracted to girls. Confirmed by writers. She meant a lot to a lot of girls like her, aside from the horrible way she was killed off – it was good that she was there and that she was her smol lesbean inspiring self.
      Lexa btw, didn’t have a choice in doing what she did. And she spent this whole season keeping her word to the Sky people and protecting them. She redeemed herself through her actions. What did Bellamy do after mass murdering 300 people by his own choice? Right ‘I’m gonna have to live with what I’ve done.’ Wow, some redemption arc right there, he’s really earned the right to live.

  8. Sreynolds says:

    I guess I’m the only one who didn’t like Lexa? And I’m gay. She betrayed Clarke at the mountain and, for me, she was done. I was angry that she waltzed back into good graces so soon after. She would have been a permanent enemy for me. I think some people want a lesbian romance so badly, they’ll accept bad writing. I was never able to see her in a good light again.

    Also, the actress was only guesting and never planned to be permanent. What did you all expect? That she was going to leave her new show because the 100 was so terrific, it would be worth the lawsuit she’d be slapped with upon leaving Fear the Walking Dead?

  9. All writers and actors usually study drama. One thing in particular with respect to character is the psychological aspect of archetypes. I will not bore you here, other than to say they are VERY powerful and can evoke powerful responses in people/audiences who experience them

    So, what IS special about Lexa?

    If I was a writer, invited into a pitch meeting and was asked for a logline on Lexa’s character, i could do it in FIVE words.
    JOAN OF ARC IN WARPAINT.

    Thats exactly what they have done. Not only that, they have put 50% of Boadicea in there too. Two of the most powerful iconic warrior women in history and powerful archetypes. Joan of arc is being dramatically rebooted every few years, seemingly, we cannot get enough.

    On top of that they have made her a Lesbian and a bad ass fighter and a closet sub or bottom. For Goodness sake, its like Supergirl, mixed with Wonder Woman and Xeena on steroids and strapped to a Saturn 5 Launch vehicle.

    This character has inspired old and young, gay and straight, male and female alike with equal measure. In addition to the powerful archetypal image she was also a voice for the GBLT community where she made it clear it was nothing to be ashamed of and that it was perfectly acceptable to love another woman, psssionately.

    Jason just didn’t realise what was happening and what powerful psychological energies he was pushing on TV. And.. By his own admission, he handled it badly.

    That is an understatement. He has possibly broken a dramatic continuity that would have spawned a seperate franchise. Now he has severed the timeline by killing her at this particular point so he is limited to Lexa, prior to the descent of the 100. Lets hope the fake death theory is true.

    He has also rough-shod over the GBLT community. Not through desire or choice but by financial necessity and without knowing what a gold-plated bankable asset he had, and boxing clever and keeping his dramatic options open, he has blown it.

    A virtual reunion in the City Of light will be 2nd class. Having a different actress portraying Lexa will be unsettling, it takes at least ONE/TWO films to get used to a new James Bond and many episodes to adjust to a new Dr. Who. Going down the New Doctor Who path Is what I feel is what he is thinking about as getting ADC back permanently is unlikely, although her role to date in FTWD is hardly inspiring.

    Be careful of archetypes!

  10. Hi Maureen,
    Thank you for a great article..

    I am a 65 year old heterosexual male. The love scene between Clarke and Lexa moves me to tears on every occasion I watch it, and I watch it constantly.

    Like most of the LGBTQ community and probably Hetero too, I was shocked and dismayed by the total shabbiness and amateurish dispatch of Lexa from the story. As a writer myself, I can tell it reeks of haste and perhaps a sense of panic. I agree with most commentators, Alica’s conflict of schedules could have been overcome.

    However, this is not as straight forward as it seems. And, on the face of it, although it may seem to be a lesbian bashing exercise, I do not think it is. If so, they would not have had Clarke engaging again in such a relationship with another character early in S3. They would have steered her back to a male again. Did CW exploit the LGBTQ (and hetero) community for the sake of ratings? Certainly!

    But Lexa was not killed for not for homophobic reasons.

    The basic truth is this. Alicia’s character, Lexa was beginning to eclipse Elizah’s Clarke. She was becoming increasingly more loved and popular. What was the reason for this?

    The reason is simple. Anyone who has studied writing will have also studied archetypes and their psychological significance. CW had in fact created a powerful archetype in Lexa. A warrior princess with the same qualities of historical figures such as Boadicea and Joan of Arc.There are others but we have statues to these two in particular to this day, thousands and hundreds of years after their deaths respectively. Remakes of Joan Of Arc are being made on almost a depressingly regular basis.

    Put this together with the makeup, streaky mascara enhancing the already large eyes and you reinforce this into an even more powerful image that will galvanise at the first sight of it. Clarke, didn’t stand a chance. It didn’t matter if later she donned this make up too. Lexa had captured us mind and soul, in a way Clarke’s character never quite convincingly accomplished. So, what of the previous commander, why didn’t she have the same effect?

    Ah, this is where it becomes more interesting and complex. Even though you may think so, Clarke is not so dualistic or as complex in nature. Neither was the first commander. Both were ‘TOPS’.

    It becomes clearer throughout Season two that Lexa is a BOTTOM. Despite the fact she can fight and kill without any emotion, betray an alliance for her own people’s needs, her vulnerability with respect to another woman she finds attractive is laid bare with almost effortless ease. This dualistic nature becomes intoxicatingly intriguing. This is how she stole the show, for hetero men and gay/bi women alike

    The other reason may cause contention. Basically, Alicia’s range of expression in her acting as Lexa is far more expansive than Elizah’s, at least as far as Clarke’s character is concerned. This is not a comparison of acting skills, but more of Directorial requirements.

    However, if you are watching the first Season of ‘Fear the Walking Dead, Alicia’s character is far from engaging and totally uninspiring, unless at some future point she learns to fight and dons warpaint. Which reinforces my previous point.

    Alicia/Lexa’s range of facial expression during the love scene in Episode 7 totally outshone her lover’s. The point at which she was sat on the bed looking up at Clarke with those big eyes and parted mouth in a total expression of love, consent and submission in comparison to Clarke’s almost steely masculine look said it all. Alicia/Lexa had captured the production of CW’s The 100… completely. And, like Joan Of Arc it became unbearable for her to even exist either in a cell or a convent or in the story of The 100, banished as some fans would have preferred. She had to ‘Go To The Stake’ and her body totally destroyed, even to the point of having her ‘Spirit’ cut from her body as Joan’s ashes were scattered beyond reach.

    So, the studio saw what was happening. It is totally unacceptable for a guest star to eclipse the Main Permanent Protagonist She had to go. But not for the reasons many think.

    So, where do we go from here?

    Jason is now locked in, as far as Clarke’s character is concerned. If Clarke re-bonds with Bellamy, as many would like, or anyone else further down the road, then Clarke’s love for Lexa, her parting words on her death bed would become empty and faithless. The audience would see her as such and fail to trust her.

    This is why either Lexa has to be returned or the Season will end at the conclusion of Season 4.

    My guess is, Clarke will continue to fight the battles to the end and deliver her people and unite the Clans but will remain chaste. She has to.

    But, like Moses who was forbidden to enter the Holy land and, like Frodo Baggins whose wounds were too deep she will travel wearily to the Grey Havens and board the Ship to the Isles of the West and into Legend, together with Lexa who (through whatever plot machinations Jason can imagine) will be there at the very end when she cannot do any further damage to the show and where Clarke and Her Love can be fully and permanently consummated in such a way that the LGBTQ community may and I stress MAY be overjoyed and satisfied.

    So, here we have a typical example of Dr. Frankenstein (CW) creating a Monster (Lexa) that they couldn’t control. They didn’t know what the hell to do. They panicked and killed her quickly and then got embroiled in the ‘dead Lesbian’ dispute which they were completely unprepared for as that was not their reason, hence the panic on the social networks and conflicting interviews. They could hardly admit that they thought Lexa was taking over the show could they?

    So, this is why they are totally screwed. The 100 will be lucky to see the completion of Season 4 and there certainly will not be a season five, unless Lexa plays a dominant part at the expense of Clarke.

    Do not be surprised if Lexa appears in her own future independent show and goes the whole way to provide the LGBTQ community with everything they ever dreamed of and go where Xena only dreamed of.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Alex says:

      Hi, great account of the whole situation, you hit the nail on the head! I also think Alycia is a huge disappointment on FTWD. I would love to know what your thoughts are now on what Jason has done? It has a season 5 in the bag and everything you predicted about Bellarke and people hating Clarke and the show suffering all appears to be coming through, I would really like to know your thoughts on this.

    • HedaMartha says:

      Hi Mike! I just wanted to thank you for your brilliant comments on this issue, and especially for sharing that you are seeing parallels between Lexa and Boudicca and Joan of Arc. I am writing an MA dissertation on these parallels specifically and would like to include your comments as outside observations. I hope this is okay. :)

    • Heda says:

      I see your arguments and I pretty much agree on why Lexa was iconic. To me, it was Alycia and costuming. I also talked to someone earlier about how I mostly shipped Clexa because of the vunerablities it brought out in Lexa. I do think they were soul mates but Lexa portrayed her love for Clarke in a more overwhelming way for me than Clarke did for various reasons. It made Lexa more human to me because she had her Heda side that was ruthlessly pragmatic and cold.

      Then with Clarke due to Alycia’s wonderful acting, she could look innocent, vulnerable, almost like a wounded puppy and then other times like the hopelessly devoted warrior to his/her mate. Furthermore, Lexa balanced those two dualities well especially if they weren’t in a private setting. She also seemed like this selfless tragic hero in a sense because of all the losses in her life that she grieved for in those scenes that Alycia did well. Yet Alycia also portrayed Lexa moving forward to fulfill her calling and destiny for her people very well despite those losses.

      As far as Lexa being to popular, the writers have complained on Twitter about how fans thought this was the Lexa show. Jason has made clear this show isn’t about romance. Raven and Bellamy are also characters that I would say eclipse Clarke in popularity. Jason also hyped the episode where Lexa died on the day of to Clexa shippers knowing the sex scene had been leaked. He called it a game changing episode and encourage live viewing while other writers wicked and nudged about this being the sex scene episode. If he was fearful of Lexa’s popularity then hyping the episode on Twitter where she died strikes me as not smart. Furthermore, there have been many shows where Guest Stars become the most popular character. This doesn’t even factor into how the death played into the Bury The Gays trope to the letter. Or how Costia had been murdered because she loved Lexa/vice versa which was touched on in the death episode by Titus and Lexa with Titus disapproving. Or how Clarke’s other female LI if you will was beaten up after they had sex in direct relation to Clarke. All very problematic portrayals of f/f relationships that had gone past a certain stage (consummation if you will) in 17 episodes. So your theory is hard for me to grasp. Do you mind addressing these points as far as the possibilities for the writers responses?

      Also, I know a few people that watch the show on unofficial channels because they still love the other characters but they will not watch after this season’s finale. They believe Clarke hasn’t been able to grieve Lexa properly and they hate how Clarke is being treated by the Arkers. They feel like female characters are being sidelined, they are very turned off by the colonialist narrative and they are losing their love of the show. If Lexa hadn’t been killed (particularly in that way as well as the fact that Lexa will be in the finale), they would have kept watching officials for further seasons. A few people I know expected Lexa to die in the finale and they would have kept watching if they had shown more respect to her character. I also think a banishment storyline would have left hope that Lexa could come back and the many that had watched since S1 would have stayed past Lexa leaving in that type of way.

      Although I do acknowledge that Jason didn’t help people leaving by making the Polis arc the strongest. He put himself into a corner because the Arkadia plot was rushed and considered unnecessary to some. Some feel Bellamy is ruined as a character while others now really dislike him. This dislike also extends to the Arkers because some of the audience really connected to the Grounders (particularly Trikru). Therefore, they view the Arkers in the wrong for their actions this season. If the other story arcs were as strong as the Polis arc with Lexa then the ratings would be better. Lexa would be a blow but not as bad of one.

      • Hi Heda

        there are a lot of issues in your reply which for the most part I feel I cannot address, especially as you so eloquently do. Although it doesnt apply to me or my gender and sexuality I totally agree with the GBL community on their views of the Trope. Its there in your face and there is enough more well worded opinion on it than I can say.

        However let me try and address some of your points.

        For Jason to say the show is not about romance is total nonsense. Its full of it, albeit brief and sometimes heartbreakingly brutal. Even in the darkest times and moments people will cling onto that single spark of love be it in a prison, concentration camp or the 100 drop ship surrounded by Grounders.

        Do not take notice of Jason. He is full of these little ‘get out’ phrases saying nobody is safe and the 100 is not about romance. Well let us just imagine if the series to date had no Clarke/Finn interaction Raven/Finn/Clarke triangle. No Octavia and Lincoln, no Kane and Abby we would be asleep and possibly looking forward to the commercial breaks. Love is an expression of survival too.

        Jason hasn’t got an overwhelming track record or CV as far as successful productions are concerned, this is his first major production.

        I consider him a relative amateur. Showbiz gossip has revealed that all is not well, rumors of bullying, manic behaviour and Javier hinting that although Lexa had to depart he is saying he would have preferred a different ending that was less ambigous. However, he quotes Lexa as dying a heroes death. I do not think dying from a stray bullet aimed at someone else is heroic. And, now he is leaving the show which just reeks of ‘Creative Differences’ whatever his excuses for developing Xeena.

        In all truth, I strongly feel Jason was in a panic during the making of Season 3′, there were articles appearing quoting him as being able to put in an ENDING into the show AT ANY TIME. I think he was as surprised as anyone to get a 4th season.

        Bellamy….
        He has to be one of the most unsatisfying characters in the whole show. His Alpha control over 100 people at the start giving immediate orders was totally unrealistic his rise to dominance was not challenged, as Clarke’s was questioned and we have seen him flip from self centred ruthless dictator, bully gang leader and murderer to hero and back to senseless murderer and now coming back again. Its crass and dreadful. Another alpha male should have emerged and deposed and killed him. In fact, Murphy’s character is far more realistic, believable and true to his constant inner selfish ‘me first’ nature. He has more scope for believable redemption than Bellamy has. It would be a joy to see this.

        In drama, the audience MUST see a permanent change in a character either through point of view or death. We have seen it in ALL characters and especially in Lexa and Clarke, but Bellamy has not changed, if ge gas nobody can trust it. The change in Murphy though is very subtle.

        However, most people are just resigned to seeing Clarke and Bellamy ship, settle down and have babies but in the opinion of some not only would it make Clarke’s lovemaking and final loving words to Lexa on her death bed shallow, meaningless snd faithless it would be the end of Clarke as a character whose integrity and feelings we could trust, many would say, her and Bellamy would deserve each other.

        Season 3 has been bad for the 100, but there is still time for us to be surprised, there are, what 3 more episodes left?

        Jason has been a victim to a degree of his own success through
        Coming up with a fresh unique dystopian story but marred by
        Reliance on guest actors that overshadowed the regulars and ADC’s tight agenda for another series.
        Creating a powerful archetype of Joan Of Arc in Warpaint, Boadicea on Steroids with a dash of Fiorella (Mad Max) and then
        unceremoniously dispatching her in an crass, corny and unbelievable manner.
        Creating a Lesbian and nit following it up
        And then possibly inflicting us all with a Bellarke.

        I hope I am totally wrong.

        Was the killing of Lexa a deliberate attempt to further the Dead Lesbian Trope? As more and more information emerges the answer can only be no. Jason and crew were the victim (and us too) of show business economics where previous promises fall second place to a show’s ultimate survival and where all previous bets are off. Pressure brought upon him and the writers by those ultimately writing the checks.

        If there is any hope from this, its the redeeming, wonderful, tender and moving love scene between Lexa and Clarke created by this show that has been seared permanently into the consciousness of all who have seen it, male, female straight and gay and lesbian alike snd I truly feel an indelible line has been crossed, a corner has been turned when the GBL will be vincicated in the not too distant future and will get their dreams to come true. Program makers around the world have been watching Jason very carefull on his successes and especially his failures.

        The death Of Lexa may not have been in vain and she will never be forgotten.

        “May we meet again”

    • Thanks for the kind remarks.

      I think we are all hurting because, young and old, straight and Gay we all fell in love with Alicia/Lexa.

      This is the power of archetypal energies mixed with good makeup and a beautiful expressive actress and one that portrays this archetype who deals out total ferocity with equal vulnerability and the ability to admit she herself is weak by offering her total unconditional love to Clarke. Despite my following criticisms regarding timing of her departure, this scene was total genius in writing, direction, lighting, music and the chemistry and acting skills of the two girls. It can NEVER be bettered, only copied poorly.

      We are all totally amazed that CW would trash such a bankable character when a simple plot twist could have had her simply temporally off the show (alive) allowing Alicia to continue her schedule on Fear The Living Dead and drizzle some occasional Lexa topping on the 100 cake when the ratings start to fall as guest appearances.

      A virtual ghost/ AI return of Alicia/Lexa will not be enough. The AI transfer of Lexa to another actress would be a death blow to the show.

      I still maintain my opinion on the clumsiness of the scripting of Lexa’s death and the reasons behind it. It was cheesy, crass and downright corny. It was the sort of plotting you would see in a 1940’s weekly episode of “Jungle Girl’. It was rushed and ill-timed and fans should have at least been given 2 further episodes of Clexa to bask in the glow of that wonderful and touching union.

      However, this raises issues

      My thoughts still seem to echo the old saying “Isn’t it best to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?”

      Where would Clarke and Lexa have gone from S3E7? More stolen kisses in private? Another bedroom scene? How could that first/last scene be even equalled let alone bettered?

      Reading between the lines on interviews and reading the chat online I get the strong impression Jason Rothenburg was surprised and relieved to get a season 4. I suspect he would like this to wrap as soon as possible as he knows that Clarke is now locked-in to Lexa and cannot go any further romantically with anyone else. Her true sexuality has been declared and if we see her hopping in and out bed with all and sundry, she will become a tart and as I said before her words to Lexa at her death would be faithless.

      Jason has realized that Lexa was just too good for the show and now he has to take the consequences. The lesson? Don’t rely on guest actors and never put them in a role so they eclipse the Main Character.

      There is also an old saying “Knowing when to leave is good manners” Battle Star Galactica or BSG didn’t know when to stop. It was obvious the story was going badly adrift and began flowing into all sorts of esoteric nonsense. Starbuck’s exit in the final episode was totally banal and unsatisfactory having insufficient explanation.

      This actually happened in the original series. They found Earth and then it went all naff!

      Jason wants this story told and finished ASAP lets hope he is given the chance.

      Hope springs eternal for the LGTBQ community. A hidtoric precedent has been set and also Xeena maybe coming back I could not think of a better actress than ADC for the role.

      • Jaime says:

        I share your thoughts. I felt that JR did a great job of convincing me that Lexa is the most compatible mate for Clarke and that moving forward she would have to remain alone. Anything else would feel false, hollow unconvincing and strictly for playing to audience (folks who ship Bellamy and Clarke desire them to be together which never made sense to me from the beginning of the show. They seem more like besties, fam not lovers). I could only see him wrapping her story up by keeping her alive but single or killing her to only finally end up with lexa in the afterlife. Many other people have made similar observations about how Clexa story has been told. I also had a hard time believing that this show could go beyond season 4. With the killing of so many characters, it appears that he is definitely setting up a new story with new characters. I love the worldbuilding and hope he tells that story better next season. I wonder who from the 100 delinquents and vast will survive? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Mike!

    • dbjean22 says:

      You hit the nail on the head! Very enlightening view and soooo true. Hoping that FearTWD will write ADC’s storyline in a way that will allow her to show the “badassery” skills we all know, love, and miss. We certainly know she’s got it in her. Thanks for sharing.

    • Erin says:

      This is exactly what I have been thinking and saying except I’m not a writer. Awesome read Mike! The writer of episode 7 is writing for a new Xena reboot. I grew up with the original so for me nothing will compare. I hope he does a good job representing my/the LGBT community. I’m sure he learned a lot from this.

    • Jaime says:

      So glad you said it. I’ve been saying this for some time that lexa had gotten too powerful and she had to go, but did not think about it from
      The perspective of how it affects the future of he show. Interesting perspective.

  11. Dez says:

    Just like this continual perceived notion of “racism” everywhere, it’s only a thing because you’re making it a thing.

    A gay character got killed? Big deal…so did a bunch of straight people, but no one’s complaining about that. Why should it matter the sexual preference of a character on a show? Why should it matter the color of their skin?

    This is all a “thing” because pop media is trying to spin up drama to increase their own ratings and viewers. Seriously, this is dumb. A character dies on the show…it happens…move on. the best storylines are those that provide the unexpected, a twist that no one saw coming, a bit of excitement to what becomes stale and over-predictive. This was nothing more than a clever story change to keep people interested and clinging to the edge of their seats to find out what happens next.

    Oh and one more little peeve to get out here – tolerance does not mean to get to force your beliefs and way of life on me. Tolerance means you see things from the other persons perspective and have respect for their opinions, it’s not forced, and it’s not a big deal if someone feels different than you do about something, that’s normal. Quit coddling those that feel the rest of the world is wrong if they don’t automatically agree with their way of life and their choices. Forcing people to have to accept you is not acceptance, all that does is breed quiet hate. Tolerance is a two-way street, you have to have it yourself before you can expect anyone else to have it towards you (sounds a bit like respect, doesn’t it?)

    • Jess says:

      You don’t understand the issue at all. Have you even read the article? I doubt it.

      Here’s the thing: one straight character dying will NEVER have the same impact as one lesbian dying. Why? There are thousands of those exact same straight characters out there. Lesbians, however? Please refer to “Autostraddle’s Ultimate Infographic Guide to Dead Lesbian Characters on TV”.
      A few numbers from that infographic:
      Straight people are represented in TV with a whooping 18’000+ characters. The number is so big they didn’t even bother counting the exact amount and just added a plus.
      Lesbian AND bisexual characters? Well, there WAS a total of 383 of them.
      Of those 383 characters, 95 were killed. That is 25% of them. That would be equal to 4’500+ of the straight characters dying.

      The thing is: everyone expects the LGBT characters to die. It is in no way a plot twist. It has never been a clever story change. It has never kept people interested, it only serves to traumatize them.

      If you actually tolerated LGBT people you would educate yourself on the topic. That is so very clearly not the case here so your opinion on this is irrelevant.

      Are you really telling me you are able to see things from my perspective? I doubt it.
      But I have been forced to see things from YOUR perspective my whole life. You think having 30 happy endings for LGBT people throughout ALL of TV history is CODDLING??

      You clearly don’t have a clue what you’re even talking about so please do us all a favor and educate yourself before you open your mouth again.

  12. Eero says:

    Show marketed itself to be special snowflake that will give LB(GT) minorities what they want, and their marketing was successful and they got lots of support from those minorities and then they failed to hold up what they marketed and now they suffer.

    Most straight forward lesson to be learn here is do not do false marketing

    • ken says:

      Sorry, my reply was for Jess. Your comment was on point too. :)

    • ken says:

      I agree with you 100% and your explanation was on point but It’s like talking to a corpse. I know people get it because it’s really not that hard to understand, but you have people who are set in their ways and refuse to acknowledge it because of the environment they grew up in, the people they associate with and the family that raised them. I’m not gay but I have a liberal heart but a semi-conservative mind. I know what’s right for me and I’ll fight for it until the day I die and I praise those who have to battle everyday for acceptance especially in this Country were supposedly we are all supposed to be created as equals.

  13. blokis says:

    You cite that because she was on the set the day of the finale filming that it was a betrayal? During season 2 filming of House of Cards Kate Mara posted updates periodically from the set to keep her character’s death in S2E1 a secret. I don’t see how this is any different than that – other than she is an LGBT character.

  14. Claire says:

    This exact situation happened in season one with Clarke’s first love interest who was male. He was a likeable character who was killed off prematurely, much like Lexa. I don’t think this is a LGBTQ issue, but it is definitely frustrating as a viewer and fan!

  15. dan says:

    Lol the second season ended with lexas betrayal……not once has he said she will be around the whole show…….shes on fear the walking dead and agreed to only a guest role this season….lol what did people expect…..so dumb just cause she kissed another girl give me a break…..it was hard enough to believe she could be a leader…..ohh and what a crisis this is lol….and ps shes comming back in the finale….soo all this little babys and chill out

  16. Marie says:

    Thank you for this article. You articulated some things I’ve been having a hard time putting into words, specifically the fact that the showrunners had *clearly* lured fans into believing that Lexa would be around throughout the season.

    The characters that played Clarke and Lexa were giving interviews about the Big Sex Scene, so we knew it was coming up, and it gave a lot of people the false hope that Clarke and Lexa would have a real relationship, whether or not it ended in tears.

    I’m thankful I read this, as it gave me some clarity and helped me organize some of my own thoughts/feelings.

    • Grow Up Kids, Not Everything Is Opression says:

      So be mad at the writers for poor writing. Nothing they did was anti LGBT.

  17. What says:

    Haha a lesbian dies and people freak out. Hundreds of heteros die and no one cares.

    • awkward says:

      That is because LGBT characters are underrepresented. You see hetero characters that are important in a story’s plot constantly, and though that is not necessarily a bad thing, there are very few cases where LGBT characters have good endings and are not just there as props to appeal to other audiences. Straight is sort of the “norm” when it comes to movies or books. You don’t usually expect a gay+ character in mainstream entertainment, and you’re lucky to even find one without the show revolving around romance. So yeah, there’s a reason why people are ashamed that Lexa had to be killed off.

      • LGBT is a minority (a very, very vocal one), so it stands to reason they are not nearly as heavily represented as heterosexuals. Straight isn’t only “sort of” the norm, it is the norm. Wouldn’t be a lot of people around if everyone was into their own gender. And people seem to forget Clarke, the protagonist of the show. She’s also bisexual and is likely not going anywhere. Also, I noticed a couple of gay characters being introduced, and that’s positive IMO.

      • Claire says:

        Clarke is not hetero and she is the main character and still alive soooo….

      • Jaime says:

        I understand the point you are trying to make. However, this is an area where most straight people, unless they are really knowledgeable about the LGBT community and movement or a straight ally in the community, are not very educated or get lost in the discussion and debate on LGBT issues. One of the downsides to the “L.G.B.T.” getting clumped all together is that straight people assume that we all think the same and somehow are the same or accept things in the same manner and form due to sexual orientation in general. That is not always the case because we are different genders, skin colors, races, religions, nationalities, gender identities, different types of sexual orientations, etc.) you name it we have it and it is actually the beauty of all of us in the L.G.B. T. and Q. Yes, many of us are happy that Clarke is attracted to men and women and that the character is so well written and portrayed, but it does not make up or compensate for how we feel about how a lesbian or gay character is portrayed in media, film and TV or the now absence of such a character on the show. I could get deeper into the dynamics of this but I will just stick to a simpler explanation as a starting point in educating you and others who may read this thread. yes Clarke’s bisexuality as a lead and main character is very important to many of us. But it does not compensate nor address the issues raised in this instant.

  18. dbjean@dbjean22 says:

    In your humble opinion, do you think he will consider changing his blunder and write Lexa back into the story? After all, this is scifi! He earned his season 4 from masterfully whipping us all into a frenzy, so the least he could do is reward us with a storyline that would allow our black blooded Commander to miraculously survive the “oopsy” caused by her right hand man. In fact, Titus could’ve staged this in order to “save” her from the coup that he was so convinced was inevitable based on her feelings for Clark. Lexa may have even been in on it after she and Titus had their heart to heart prior to the death scene. Maybe she realized herself that Clark’s life was at stake on her account, and she could no longer effectively serve the Clans so she stepped down. She did, in fact, tell Clark on her deathbed that she was right about there being more to life…Besides, it struck me as odd that Titus fought Murphy like an unleashed Ninja, yet wielded that gun like a drunken monkey!!! That would be a GREAT twist! Lexa’s still alive, unbeknownst to Clark who would return to her people to play out that storyline, we would tune in from week to week waiting for the occasional opportunity for an unexpected reunion between the two, and The 100’s apple cart would be righted. It’s a WIN/WIN situation all around!…or is this what is known as fan fiction. 😦 Personally, I think this could be a plausible turn of events. If nothing else, we uncover evidence in the Polaris space shuttle that all black blooded peeps are able to run on a quart low…and still survive!!!! 😊

    • Neville Ross says:

      This is sci-fi, but it’s realistic sci-fi, not bullshit; if a person is dead on this show, a person’s dead. If you or others don’t like that, you’re free to create your own show, assuming that you can get up off of your lazy asses, get back to school, learn how to write for film and TV (as well as learn how to direct), enter the industry, and then create your own show. But I’m not holding my breath on that.

  19. Angie A. says:

    i feel this article is a little premature… this is a sci-fi show, and therefore a character’s death doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll stay dead. especially in this case when it was revealed that lexa’s soul/spirit/personality was basically an A.I. chip that was removed to be passed on to her successor. obviously, the spirit of “lexa” will return, even if she’s in the body of a different actor. let’s calm down, and wait to see what happens before jumping to conclusions!

    • One slight problem with the AI being Lexa’s soul/spirit/personality. For one thing, Jason said it was an *enhancement* in an interview. This makes sense, if the young boy Aden had recived the AI would he become gay or liked girls even more? Nope it doesnt work. Ascension=enhancement. Lexa was Lexa before she got the chip, she was probably just as much a lesbian then.

      I agree eith DJBean.

      * Its the manner of her death that was soooo unconvincing and totally unsatisfying. She just casually strolls into a room with a passive expression, despite that several gunshots had been fired. No sword in her hand and no dramatic attempt to at least place herself as a shield infront of Clarke, or at least wrestle with Titus and get shot that way.

      * It was so dramatically *BAD* I began to suspect, and still do to a point, that Lexa and Titus staged a FAKE death so she could be free and be with Clarke as a normal human being when she recovered. Expecting Aden, her protege to replace her and her responsibilities. Unaware he would be assassinated..
      * 
The bullet entry *seems* to be right of her centre of the abdomen, away from the aortic artery. Therefore although serious, she died too quickly.
      * 
Titus a little too keen with the extraction tools before she even died.
      * 
Titus in a hurry to get her out of the room keeping Clarke and Murphy initially confined. She was dead why the undignified hurry?
      * 
Body seen covered, not identified to audience.
      * 
Body not seen cremated, just assumed.
      * 
If she was definitively dead, why not show her on a slab for Clarke (and the audience especially) to see and agree to spend a few moments with her, she curiously declined.
      * 
See her on the funeral pyre, uncovered.
      *
      * We needed Proof
      * 
No, I am sceptical. It costs, I am sure at least $5M upwards PER EPISODE to produce this show. Therefore the people employed are not amateurs and therefore there can only be two explanations for this particular bad scene.
      *
      * 1. During filming they had a lawyer fling a demand that it wraps immediately throwing them into a panic and with no time to brainstorm the writers and director made the best call they could. Pity it was a bad one.
      *
      * 2. There is a plot twist of a fake death.

      Plenty of scope for an imaginitive reunion at the end without any vague, nebulous City Of Light stuff. I do not think that would satisfy. The death could be revealed as a flashback to Clarke when they meet again. Just a little more filming, same set, same location, very little extra cost and ADC free to go to FTWD. You never know, it might have been done.
      * 
Someone said 2000 years ago “everything is possible to they who believe” Therefore, it follows if you believe in your story, everything in it is possible, especially if it is Science Fiction.

    • Anna says:

      I understand your intent, but the writers have confirmed that Lexa is dead, and she will not be coming back. They’ve also confirmed that the personality was Lexa and not the commander chip. So if this AI was changed by Lexa or any part of her lives on in another body, another actress… it doesn’t negate the fact that LEXA was killed by a stray bullet. That 15 episodes and worldwide promotion built the Clexa relationship only to give them a 3min scene where they were together, and exactly 67 seconds Lexa was dead.
      The lesbian death trope is real, and this was an example but it is not the only one, so no this article isn’t premature, in fact, it’s about time.

      If your interested in further reading please visit lgbtfansdeservebetter.com

  20. enso29 says:

    As a viewer, I will NEVER understand how you could write possibly one of the best character of your own show and then throw everything away in a minute of madness…this is beyond me

    • Jaime says:

      Me, You and everyone else feels the same way and I don’t have to be an L, G, B, T or Q to get that. I love Clarke and find her to be very interesting and Eliza has serious acting chops on her and she’s great to watch. But, I gotta say that Lexa and Alycia’s portrayal of her really raised the “interesting” meter of his show to “fascinating” and to a whole other level! She and The Grounders themselves make this show way more interesting to watch with all of their mythologies, way of life, culture and language (they speak more than just plain old English). Sorry but the Arkers are not nearly as interesting for me. I will continue to watch because I am a huge scifi fan and the story of the AI etc and the connection to Lexa and the Grounders is intriguing. It will be really hard to watch after the commander’s death especially to see Clarke mourn and miss her great love. How heartbreaking to finally consummate in a beautiful way that relationship and have that person ripped from you only seconds later. What a brutal thing to do the viewers, Jason! Come on, man!

  21. KGSwagg says:

    Scandal fans are doing the same we have Scandal Blackout Thursday’s. We stop watching cause they will not change things. They have lost 5 million viewers since they have come back from winter break. Shonda and ABC needs to fix the show Olitz is the damn show. Olivia Pope is written horribly as well. I commend the fans of 100 keep pushing.

  22. As a gay person myself, I really don’t like being grouped with these “outraged” fans. Lexa’s death was sad but it was not the betrayal that so many people claim it is. The whole season was building up to this moment. We got an insight into how Grounder politics and spirituality works (hint: it revolves a lot around the death of commanders), we were introduced to her potential successors, we were given a storyline(blood must not have blood) that pointed so directly to her eventual demise. On top of that, other storylines were paving the way for that moment too. When she died, it revealed so much about the city of light and the destruction of earth and Ark history. Her death was the moment that tied all these threads together in such a beautiful and organic way. It wasn’t for shock value – it was interwoven into the fabric of the season. It also provided an awesome twist about the relationship between Grounders and Sky Crew.
    In terms of having a sex scene beforehand, this is a common thing all tv shows, books, films, theatre pieces etc do anytime a supporting character dies regardless of their sexual orientation. When a supporting character dies, it is always prefaced by a significant moment. This brings gravitas to the death and reminds us why we loved the character in the first place.
    BUT the thing I find the most interesting about this scandal is that it is having the opposite effect to what fans are claiming it is having. I keep reading articles saying that LGBTQ deaths cause disillusionment, a feeling of worthlessness, otherness. In this case, the opposite is true. This death has created a real sense of empowerment in the LGBTQ community. Rarely do we hear gay voices as strong and proud as what we’ve been seeing in the last couple of weeks. This death has united the gay community not marginalised it. All I’ve seen is fellow LGBTQs speaking boldly and proudly about what their sexuality means to them. I’ve seen straight fans reaching out and showing support to them. I’ve seen the amazing Trevor campaign that was mentioned in this article. All I’ve seen is strength surrounding a storyline that people claim is making them feel weak. If this group of fans want to destroy a show because a character they liked died, I want to make one thing clear: I AM GAY AND YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME!! I like this show, I respect this show and I do not tolerate compromising a brilliant story just for the sake of fan service! xoxo

    • cabro says:

      @ Sammy look, truffle’s comments are homophobic but I suspect her intentions are pure. I don’t know if she is actually pansexual (when you start accusing others of lying about their sexuality, its hard to believe that you aren’t doing the same). The suggestion that somebody will relate to a character just because they have the same sexuality as them is absurd. As is the suggestion that a gay character automatically represents all gay people. A person’s sexuality doesn’t define them and it’s a shame that Lexa will be remembered as a dead lesbian when being a lesbian was such a tiny part of this amazing character. She was so much more than her sexuality and, as you say, people shouldn’t feel defined by their sexuality. HOWEVER, in the case of so many fans of this show, their sexuality does, unfortunately, define them. Many of the LGBT fans are teenagers who are just coming to terms with being gay. At this stage in their life, it is a really big deal and it encapsulates their whole life in this moment. It’s all they can really think about right now. As they evolve, they will realise that there is more to them as individuals than their sexual preference, but until then this is what they are dealing with right now. You accuse truffle of looking at the world through a white person lense but again, most of the fans do look at it through a white person lense. This is a teen soap opera aimed at middle to upper class westerners. It’s been made through a white person lense. If this was a low budget Ethiopian documentary, I would also attack people for looking at it through a white person lense but in this case, it can’t be helped. Just to clarify, you don’t need to be white to have a white person lense. You just need to be socialized in a privileged environment. So, I guess what I’m saying is that truffle and all the people commenting are just products of the society we live in right now. (Although nobody else is being as overtly homophobic as truffle). It’s not really fair to get annoyed at people for operating within current social norms. Soon the world will be more progressive and people will gravitate to your views, but we aren’t there yet as a society. Teenagers in our current world do have to rely on labels, they do have to treat their sexuality as a defining feature, they do have to see gay characters as similar to them, even though they may not be. I know it can be frustrating but until society is more accepting, this is the only way people can cope. I commend you for fighting the good fight, but I don’t think it’s fair to attack people, like teenagers who only recently came out, for not quite being able to differentiate themselves from their sexuality. Let them be and respect their right to be upset. I’m sure in about ten years time when they are more confident in who they are, they will look back at this and laugh. Peace out!

      • Mindy says:

        Thankyou for writing this. I was going to say something similar but you articulated it very well and diplomatically. I wasn’t going to defend truffle though. Homophobia isn’t cool no matter what lense you look through lol

    • Clarke_Isn't_Bi_Until_She_Says_So says:

      Yeah, it’s a common thing for people to have sex before they die in slasher films. Where the slasher punishes people for being immoral (and being black, but that’s a representation problem for another day). Other than that, I can’t think of a single trope in media that kills people off right after sex. Oh, wait, occasionally the cold open for crime shows, but even that is mostly people having sex finding a body.

      Yes, LGBT people are kicked out of their homes, beaten, imprisoned, and it sucks. Obviously those are bigger issues, but you know what has been proven to help bring homophobic people around? LGBT characters they can identify with. Normalizing LGBT people in media is a good thing. Killing them in a trope designed to punish the characters and prevent the spread of homosexuality (literally, that’s where this trope comes from) isn’t going to help anyone. All it’s done is further convince queer teenagers that they don’t get happy endings. There’s a reason tumblr was circulating suicide hotlines immediately following the episode.

      And no, that wasn’t an awesome twist. Twists aren’t things you see coming from a mile away.

    • Anna says:

      You are of course entitled to your opinions, and I’m sure your life experiences are much different than many of the viewers that were triggered by the show.

      A lot of the fans are young teen/preteen LGBT fans who engaged JROTH personally via social media.. they voted in polls, and tweeted live, and bought merchandise, and stood outside the various cons to get pics and autographs… all because they were assured they were finally safe, having the representation they’ve never had…

      You may disagree but Lexa is arguably one of the most badass female characters written, certainly in this generation. She is Their Buffy/Xena… And the fact that she casualy happens to be gay has been praised as “groundbreaking” So when Jroth went out of his way to engage these fans, spoke to them and numerous news outlets about his progressive views and was praised at how groundbreaking this representation was– he lapped it up, he used it for promotion…

      so in Lexas death:

      not because she died or was killed off– But because she died exactly 67 seconds after her 15 episode relationship lead to sex.

      Because the person that ACCIDENTALLY killed her was her “Teacher” and father figure, who was trying to kill the girl she loved because he believed her influence, her love, was making Lexa weak.

      Because she was a warrior that died by a stray bullet. She lost her autonomy. (Even Finn who massacred a village of innocent people had a choice in his death. He turned himself in to be tortured and was killed)

      Because the writers admitted she was killed callously, in the same way a long list of lesbian characters were (the lesbian death trope if you will) JUST for shock value.
      Lexa, the badass warrior who united 12 clans, who caught a sword with her palm, showed humanity and restraint and forged ahead with her intent to change their custom from revenge to justice– died in that matter because it would be “shocking”
      She could have been assassinated for her views, or lost a battle to the death, or a coo, or really anything intentional… but she did not.

      I understand your views about the plot and the significance of her dying but that is not the issue here. The issue is the manor of her death. The way the audience was baited, and the depth of the betrayal.

      You may not suffer from depression, or self-harming tendencies, or eating disorders, or any of the things a lot of fans have come forward to admit. You may not have been desperate to escape your day to day life, or lived vicariously through these characters… You may not have let your guard down and trusted Jroth because he promised to represent you … but please believe that a lot of fans did. There are 3 confirmed reports of suicide. Lots of hospitalizations and relapses. And their pain is real.

      So it may not be YOU we are speaking for, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be heard.
      This progressive show has had 4 LGBT females
      Costia– who was beheaded for loving Lexa
      Niyah– who was beaten after having sex with Clarke
      Lexa– who was killed by a stray bullet after having sex with Clarke
      And clarke– who holds her lovers as they die. Who watched her father floated, who’s best friend was murdered.

      Representation matters. Especially when you go out your way to benefit from it.

      SO the unity formed by the community is not something to praise the show for. It means there are hundreds of thousands of people worldwide tired of their representation. It means a whole new generation had their hearts broke and lost hope… It means even if you liked other aspects of the show, this behavior is not okay. And We never want to see it again.

    • Zoe Stephan says:

      I’m an asexual person, so also a member of the LGBT+ community. For me, Lexa’s death was heartbreaking because Rothenburg had repeatedly promised that Alexa wouldn’t meet the same end as so many other LGBT girls on television (132+ and counting, you can find a list). He used the Clexa storyline to draw in queer fans, and then broke their hearts when it was so abruptly ended. On top of that, the way it was ended (right after Lexa and Clarke slept together) furthers the message that LGBT girls don’t get a happy ending. I don’t particularly care if it was well-written or not, to be completely honest. There were so many other ways to complete that storyline.

    • Truffle says:

      If Rothenberg didnt want to pander to fans, as you said it, then he should have stuck with the book and not create a gay story line to attract more viewers. Because he created Lexa for that sole purpose. To get higher ratings. People hate the show because he states that it is based on a book, yet he deviated from book. Maybe you are a gay person as you state, maybe you are not. But being that you are throwing a hissy fit cause queer women are just so damn sick and tired of seeing so many lesbian character die all the goddamn time, makes me think you are not. If you are gay man, are you not tired of seeing your presentation on tv be so damn cliche? Me? I would love to see a tv show where we are not just a stereotype. What is so wrong for us to want that? Do we not deserve better? Or should we just continue with how it is, lesbians dying seconds after they find love and happiness, and gay men being feminine, walking around in pink shirts and fanny bags or handbags, cause geee, thats the only type of a gay man a tv show can support. Wake the f**k up and think bigger picture and not just this show. Get off your entitled ass and help us change this so that the future generation wont have to go through the same sh*t we are going through.

      • Truffle says:

        :) I’m not white but nice reaching. I am pansexual woman in a relationship with a woman, I have been bullied and harassed because of who I am and who I fell in love with. But I bet this will fly right over your head. Throughout all the comments you wrote, you speak about yourself and you and not seeing what this did to others and why people are trying to change things. Thanks for calling me homophobe thou ;) I will consider this conversation being terminated also. Have a lovely day :)

      • @truffle yeah, I’m not going to continue talking to you. A lot of commenters here are actually quite considered and insightful even if I may not agree with their views but you are just resorting to defining people solely by their sexuality and viewing the world through your privileged “white person” lense. The fact you aren’t aware of your casual homophobia really disturbs me. This conversation is terminated.

      • Truffle says:

        It is sad that the point of all this all, especially the article is still flying so over your head that its about to be shot out into the orbit. I am glad you are a perfect specimen of a gay male. Kudos to you. No character in history of television and movie every represented who you are in slightest. I am beyond happy for your confidence in who you are. But, lets for a moment not talk just about you, and who you are, and who you are not, and just in general, lets talk about other people that walk the earth. What if maybe, just maybe, there are young baby gays out there that gosh, want to see themselves in characters they see on TV or movie theaters? And those characters not being stereotype of what straight people think of us? Just imagine that. Oh and sweetie pie, I know exactly what gay people suffer through in their life. I have been on a receiving end of a lot of sh*t that homophobes throw at gay people so get off your high horse and stop preaching about how horrible gay people have it. I know. We know. Anyway. I hope you will have a good day you perfect human. :)

      • @truffle Wow! This is probably the most homophobic comment I have read in a long time! “Maybe you are gay, maybe you are not”. I am gay and I don’t understand why anybody would lie about something like that. Obviously you think this is acceptable but most people wouldn’t lie about their sexuality. There is so much more to me than being gay though. I am lots of things and first and foremost I am a human being. Gay people are individuals. We are all completely different. We all have different personalities, values and dreams.
        “wouldn’t you like your representation to be more than just a cliche.” Umm… Lexa doesn’t represent me. Lafayette on True Blood doesn’t represent me either. Connor and Asher on HTGAWM don’t represent me. Alex on Orange is the New Black doesn’t represent me. Heather on Glee doesn’t represent me. The father on transparent doesn’t represent me. The only person who represents me is me. And the only person who represents you is you. Again, you have to realise that we are all individuals and we are all different. There is so much more to us than our sexual preference. When you have a show where fan favourites die all the time, you have to remember that all the characters are individuals and they are all on the chopping block. To put somebody in a broad group that needs special treatment undermines who they are as an individual human being. If this was a show where people rarely die and Lexa was just killed for shock value than I’d understand but it’s not.
        “hopefully future generations won’t have to go through the same shit that we do.” If Lexa dying is the shit that you go through, than you are so priveleged and blessed. Do you have any idea of the actual suffering the vast majority of gay people go through every day? The fear of violence, of marginalisation, of death? You seriously need to check your privelege, stop stereotyping and be grateful for how easy you have it. You have a voice where you can spout all this homophobic nonsense, most gay people don’t have a voice at all (North Korea was a great example).

    • tina says:

      I don’t know if you have been on tumblr after this episode aired, but the empowerment you’re talking about didn’t start right away. People were incredibly miserable for days, it was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witnessed in relation to TV. There were suicide hotlines circulating… only then the “empowerment” started, when people started to help each other back to their feet. Because they’ve decided that there was enough misery and it’s time to change things once for good. If you don’t like the community speaking for you, don’t speak fo it either. You’re erasing a lot of pain they’ve suffered.

      • Neville Ross says:

        Tina, this incident aside, why the frack should I (or anybody else) care about what anybody at a shitty media platform like Tumblr says about anything? Why should anybody, right now? It’s nothing but a repository for bullies.

      • tina says:

        @Sammy I know LGBT+ people are suffering in the real life, I’m a lesbian myself. And that’s precisely the thing, a lot of these kids watch these TV shows to find some escape from the real life suffering. And they either don’t see themselves in those stories at all, or watch the characters that represent them being murdered over and over again. And it’s not just gay people as a whole, it’s specifically gay girls (and bi girls). Lesbian deathrate on TV is at 83%. What kind of message is that? TV doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The 100 is a show that has diverse characters, and yes, that’s great. But the minorities on this show are still treated like shit. Costia died BECAUSE she loved Lexa. Niylah was brutally beaten because she helped Clarke. Lexa is dead because she loved Clarke. POC are either villains (Pike, Alie, Bellamy), killed off for shock value (Anya, Wells), or constantly suffering (Raven, Lincoln)….

        This uproar can actually change how are we treated in the media from now on. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through in the real world, I really am. As I am sorry for every kid that’s losing their last bits of hope of finding happiness in real life as they watch themselves get murdered on TV for the hundredth time. Because sometimes, this hope is the last thing that’s keeping them going.

      • Erasing a lot of pain? This whole thing trivializes the real pain and suffering that gay people have gone through. Historically, gays have been lynched, marginalized, institutionalised, violently discriminated for centuries. We have had a horrible history of pain and suffering. For me personally, I’ve been gay-bashed, kicked out of home, severely bullied. I constantly find myself judged and demeaned in the streets for my sexuality. I’ve had a friend kill himself because he was too ashamed to be himself. So when people act like the death of a gay character in a show that has otherwise broken so many boundaries in terms of inclusivity is some kind of attack, it actually makes me extremely offended. These people need to check their privilege. I see all these voices on social media and when you consider how far gay people have come, and how far they have to go (in terms of ACTUAL real-life suffering), they should be happy they have a voice in the first place. A lot of gays don’t. A lot of gays are suffering right now in real, meaningful ways. They are being killed right now all over the world. And if people believe LGBT representation on TV is contributing to this, then they should target other shows, not this one – this one is amazing in terms of inclusivity and, as I said, Lexa’s death was not some random shock moment. It was a crucial part of one of the most compelling stories the show has told.

  23. Nicky says:

    You have been played so hard, my LGBT friends, and I feel really sorry for all of you…I’m sad because one of my favorite character of the show is gone in one of the most cheap way ever, but the extent of their cruel game of buzz/advertising is beyond my comprehension.
    They really crossed the line of decency and respect, in my opinion.

    • I am gay and I do not feel played. Please do not group all gay people into one category.

      • J0rdan says:

        Good for you Sammy. Just because someone uses LGBT does not encompass every single person in that group. If you’re satisfied with this treatment good for you. But don’t marginalize others feelings just because you feel different.

        You claim to have suffered abuse because of your sexuality and have even witnessed death because of it. This is exactly what that death represented to lots of people. That being gay equals no happy ending. Reflective of real life. This was an escape for some. That is why people are upset.

        Also this didn’t need to happen to move the story forward. How’d they get that chip inside Lexa in the first place? I’m pretty sure she was alive then just like the first commander. Would a flashback to her first getting it placed in her neck be so hard? If they really needed to kill her off why right after the love scene and in the most anticlimactic way? Clarke was practically not herself just standing around when she was supposed to be a healer. It was one of the dumbest death scenes.

        But anyway it’s good she got killed off so Alycia can be free of this problematic show. A lot of other issues have been swirling including mistreatment of POC and bullying an actor off the show. And he’s confirmed this recently in appearances.

      • Nicky says:

        Good for you…I was played and I’m not even an LGBT member.

      • I am gay and I DO feel played.

      • J says:

        Sammy, I have read your comments above and not this response. From what I gathered most in the community do feel played. Even if it was half of the LGBT fans that felt played it was to much. They were lured in, encouraged to drop their walls and made to believe that this was a safe space that got their pain. Taking away a safe space from vulnerable people by realizing a fear they continuously expressed is just cruel.

        Also you seem to think representation doesn’t matter yet I would argue that it does. I can link you multiple articles illustrating the link between representation and the way it changes the attitude towards gay people. Then I have multiple other articles that link marginalization and bullying (as I said before linked to representation) to depression and anxiety disorders. Representation is very important when it comes to real life, because it influences real life. Why do you think North Korea controls it’s media so tightly?

  24. Tizzle says:

    Are these people insane?! Are they whining because there was no happy ending? Lets gets this straight….happy endings are boring! If you wanna see a happy ending go watch Barney! But you won’t. The 100 is not a happy ending show. Think about all the people who have died horrible deaths up to the point. Most of the people on the earth (explosions, radiation, starvation). Most of the people on The Arc (suffocation, explosions, floating). They sent down a bunch of KIDS in a Tupperware container from SPACE to SEE if it was habitable. They were completely okay with the idea of them either dying on impact or from the environment. They have been at war with one another or the grounders since the beginning of the 100.
    Oh p.s. who cares if lexa was a lesbo or not. Is not the point of all this LBGT activism for equal treatment. I know I have seen straight relationships on television that lasted shorter amounts of time and where one partner died even more viciously.
    Oh p.s.s remember this is not real life it is a show. So do not take everything so personally. As a black man, I see the most ridiculous stereotypes portraying black people every time I turn on the tv. I see the black guy dying first and there always seems to be a black woman (400 damn pounds) with a body like a sack of mashed potatoes and a bad attitude to boot. But I won’t take it personally or allow it to ruin my day.

    • RR Martin says:

      You never wanted to understand in the first place. You are doing exactly what those people with prejudices against you are doing. What disgusts me the most is you comparing this to what you say is bad portrayal of people of color so other minority groups should just be okay with it. If people kept silent there would be no progress for equality or justice. These people only want to stop the tragic existence of what little representation they do have.

    • I agree with you dude. It was part of the story, not an attack against anybody. People are just looking for something to get upset about though. Next time it’s probably easier for the show runners to leave the LGBT character out all-together if this is the response they get for treating her like a normal person.

    • annenoet says:

      @ Tizzle If you don’t want to come across as ignorant, then using ableist slurs really isn’t helping your case.

    • J0rdan says:

      If you read the article then you would be enlightened. Instead you spout nonsense. I do pity the fool. Here’s another: Fools think themselves wise.

      Have a nice day.

      • Tizzle says:

        Oh where is it? I swear I am always giving these out….oh here it is! Here take this L!!!
        L for lazy, and L for you lost. Is this the best you got? Just say what I say back at me. Sounding you got Up and Down’s syndrome.

        Deuces

    • Truffle says:

      Ignorance. You have it.

    • Michelle says:

      I laughed at your ignorant comment.. go read the article again if you have brains to undestand it.

      • Tizzle says:

        I was referring mostly to other comments and other overall fan outcry.
        So the joke is on you😝
        I pity this fool 👏

  25. Emily says:

    This article pins it exactly. There is a trope that is clear as day and it’s saddening that nowadays where queer people finally have someone to look up to (as we don’t exactly have it in the media) we do so knowing that they’re exoendable and sadly it’s brimming a culture of gay people like me who are being made to feel like their expendable.

    This article is awesome. One of the first I read that genuinely seems to understand that we’re not just angry that they killed Lexa off but because of the false hope we were spoon fed to lure in a higher viewer rating. We’re upset at Jason because of how awfully it’s been handled and his blatant disregard to acknowledge what he has done was wrong and this article highlights that. Great article.

  26. My name is says:

    That wasn’t what the entire episode was about. Did no one care that the storyline finally brought light onto the ‘lost 13th station’ of the Ark, and how A.L.L.I.E was created and how it destroyed the world?

    • Kay says:

      No, no one cared about ALIE or the stupid AI in Lexa’s neck. No one cared about the origin story. No one fucking cared because all we cared about was having to see ourselves die in violent, unnecessary ways immediately after our representation found some small measure of happiness and comfort.

      No one. Fucking. Cared.

      And, honestly, I don’t care now. I don’t even think they handled the 13th station aspect well; they opened more questions than they answered. Maybe that’s my bias, but this episode was so sloppily written and executed, it’s almost laughable. The big “twist” that was Lexa’s death completely overshadowed anything the writers had hoped to gain plot-wise, and it’s their own fault. In my opinion, it’s kind of ridiculous that they were hurt by that. Anytime a character dies—especially a character like Lexa, who’s become such a widespread symbol of hope for so many young people out there, myself included—it will almost automatically derail attention from the main story. Not to mention that this particular character death made no sense, was completely contrived, handled extremely poorly, and perpetuated a harmful trope that the writers had assured us they knew existed and would treat with respect.

      So, yeah. You’re correct. I didn’t care about the 13th station, I still don’t care about it, and I’m not about to apologize for it.

      • Mondo says:

        I liked it. I thought it was one of the better episodes in the series and I would have found it weird if Lexa had somehow lived through the storyline they’ve been building all season. Maybe it’s just because I just watch the show instead of participating in the social media following so many seem to?

        Some of the best characters in “The 100” have died in brutal and provocative ways. Why should Lexa be any different because her and Clark are both women? That’s the crazy part here. You want the character coddled because she’s attracted to women. That’s not equality.

  27. Anna says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to understand the subject you wrote about. I know it sounds sarcastic but honestly it’s the best compliment I can give. In the last two weeks our movement has been misconstrued, demonized, and met with opposition from people who feel like they can dictate what hurts us, or decided for us when enough is enough. Or explain away the choice to use these tropes, or even worse tell us when they do or don’t apply.

    Lexas death United us. When self harm and suicides and a week of sobbing effected such a massive group of people, for most of us again… When we relived what it felt like to be young and devastated for the first time folsom teen and preteen viewers… When we learned to be cautious and not engage or watch TV too deeply because it would end badly…

    We knew this was the last time.
    Representation matters. I envy the privileged who will never understand that.

    But for the rest of us, it is something worth fighting for.

    And to have a voice we need people like you.

    So thank you again.

  28. Joy says:

    Hi Mo,
    I really appreciate first off you taking your time to write the awesome article you did as it was spot on perfection. In my opinion what Jason did was deplorable. He shouldn’t be a show runner especially after creating that diabolical nightmare. Not only was it horrible writing but so very distasteful after the 40 minute mark. I was once a major fan of the show and I shipped Clexa hard, but there again it wasn’t hard to be a huge fan of Clarkes and Lexa’s because of their onscreen chemistry which was off the charts but of course having the show runner baiting you with tweets about Clexa that inticed you to craving the next weeks episode sooner just to get more of those Clexa moments. He knew what he was doing and for that I have nothing good to say about that vial of a man. I was always told to not play with people’s emotions and that is exactly what Jason did to the entire Clexa fandom. Shame on you Jason. But honestly Mo thank you for your awesome write up it was superb. No stellar is a better word to describe work. Thank you again. 🤗

  29. mg says:

    i remember your first recap after the episode aired and to read what youve just written made me want to comment and say thank you. thank you for hearing us.

  30. Yvonne says:

    Great article, thank you for informing the straights, granted they have a while to go!

  31. Liz Sepulveda says:

    Ms. Ryan,
    Thank you so much for such a well written and researched article. Thank you for seeing the true problems our LGBTQ community has with the way this particular show toyed with its fans emotions in one of the cruelest of ways I have yet experienced. Thank you for seeing the “bury your gays” trope, and being able to differentiate with us that it was not about Lexa’s death, but rather how the character’s death was handled.
    It is about the message it sends out due to the way the scenes were stitched together and how we were not allowed to enjoy a moment of bliss before being traumatized by a character’s death after she was finally happy and loved!
    Thank you for seeing that many viewers can be affected by that message that was so hurtful and could have led them to self-harm because it is our daily struggle already to not be able to find affirmations of love, because if we do it will not last and we will be hurt for even braving our world to feel a moment of love.
    Your article made me feel hope in being able to reach others in seeing how this is much more than one character dying, it’s about how our community deserves better representation, and that representation has to allow for its viewers to feel hope and love; not fear.

    Sincere gratitude and respect for your work,
    Liz

  32. Tyler says:

    To all the ignorant, and likely straight, viewers that are posting negative comments, let me direct you to this quote, in the hopes that it helps you to understand the situation:
    “This might seem excessive to many, to have such an adverse reaction to the death of a fictional character, but there a few things to keep in mind. First, mental illness, particularly anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders, and suicide are higher among queer people than among heterosexuals, with these higher rates correlated with discrimination. Second, these fans often follow their shows with a passion rarely seen outside of the most dedicated of sports fans, but instead of wearing body paint to a match in frigid temperatures, they are writing, drawing, and dressing in costume.
    Third, and perhaps most importantly, one must put themselves into their shoes. Imagine, if you will, a world where people like you are less than 4% of the characters on screen. Now take those characters and imagine half of them are villains. Of those that are left, half are killed. Another large percentage are left heart-broken or damaged. In an article from three years ago, the Guardian made a claim that only four LGBT characters have had happy endings in the last 19 years worth of movies. People like you never get a happy ending. Repeat this message year after year and you might start to understand how this could affect the LGBT community.”
    Thanks for reading and maybe gaining further understanding of the issue at hand. And thank you for your support, Mo.

  33. lol some people really care too much …

  34. Leigh says:

    To know that someone understands we feel is something amazing. Thank you very much for taking the time to research about it and understand what this movement is all about. It just warms my heart that someone is behind us, and that gives us the drive to make this change, and be proud of what we have accomplished.

    And to those who still don’t, I hope you’ll open your minds and see how influential the entertainment industry is to its viewers. Though yes, it is FICTION, some see themselves in those characters as someone that they might want to be or someone where they can escape in, for just a moment. and be encouraged to do better in real life. And the LGBT community needs more of these characters that can represent them, especially the younger generation of the community.

  35. Megan says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It really means a lot that the voices of the LGBTQ+ community are not only being heard but listened too. I’ve read a lot of negative comments that are written by people who seem to be missing the point of this. It isn’t about a “ship”. It is about how the LGBTQ+ fans were queerbaited and promised actual representation rather than the tropes we all know to well. For all the straight fans writing negative comments on this article and tweeting negatively towards/about what we are trying to accomplish and even trying to counteract what we as a community are trying to accomplish…put yourselves in our shoes. Imagen if the only representation you got was to be an expendable character to be killed off for “shock value”. I believe it’s been 137 lesbian and bi characters that have been victim to this trope. Imagen the only time you see a character like you on tv they get killed off, imagen characters you identify with being killed off usually after a kiss or sex or even just mention of they’re relationship. Imagen only one character (or maybe if you’re lucky a few more characters but always less than a handful alive at one time) that you identify with being part of the whole show, just one character who is like you- just the one character being the representation that you get to see on tv growing up and then that character is killed off…every show, year after year, show after show. It is heartbreaking and we’ve had enough.
    Again thank you for this article, thank you to those who are giving support, thank you to those who are hearing us and listening. Hopefully tv networks take notice and make changes to ensure proper representation.

  36. Rae says:

    Thank you a thousand times for such a thorough and supportive article

  37. Sarah S. says:

    Thank you so much for supporting this. We all appreciate it so much

  38. Rhonda Hofer says:

    Thank-you for the articulate breakdown Mo Ryan!! I can’t ever remember the last time, I’ve seen mainstream news report such a sensitive topic with this kind of care and attention. I read a lot of negative comments in this thread who think they have a valid argument. I do appreciate opposing points of view it enlightens me on why we are so far behind the entertainment industry with proper representation and partly is due to myopic POV that we see here today. So before you voice your opinions and attack this well this article, that BTW is VERY important to the LGBT community, ask yourself, why am I even here? Go watch yourself be represented EVERYWHERE else, talked and written about EVERYWHERE else…because I’m sure it does feel GREAT to be constantly reminded that WHO YOU ARE…is what is right to be in this world and lucky for you, because we sure CAN’T without the fear that comes with being a trope and don’t even get me started on real life as an LGBT person, I’m solely referencing entertainment in my POV.

  39. Yona says:

    Thank you for sharing our voices, thank you for your respect and your attention and your empathy. While Lexa is very dear to us, this is no longer just about her. This is now about the rampant queerbaiting and mistreatment in the entertainment business, and the fact that we will not let anything slide. This is a wonderful article that I will be sharing with many people, and I hope it helps those who are inclined to be skeptical understand the depth and importance of this situation.

  40. Rowan says:

    As someone who identifies as queer and felt deeply hurt by what feels like a cheap way to kill off an important character, this article makes me happy that someone finally realizes what a problem this is. If Jason Rothenberg had known these four golden rules, I can confirm that I would probably not be making much of a fuss.

  41. Raúl says:

    Very well put together, clearly Mo Ryan did a lot of research for this. It’s always encouraging to see someone actually listen to what an entire community has to say.

  42. Becca says:

    Such a fantastic article, really sums up the issue well. Thank you Mo

  43. JW says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to figure out the message we are trying to send! We expected Lexa’s death, but to be manipulated to get the ratings up in time for the season to be renewed just to have another death trope was extremely upsetting, as is the continued silence from Jason and The CW. I think you captured the essence of our feelings and thoughts on the matter perfectly and we really do appreciate you writing this article. It’s done a lot towards spreading news of our cause and helping to raise more funds for The Trevor Project :)

  44. Ice Star says:

    The character was straight until Lexa kissed her…. Then suddenly she was gay?

    Seems like it was just a politically correct move and did nothing g to further the storyline

    • J says:

      The character was bisexual from the start, she was attracted to Finn and then fell for Lexa. Bisexuality doesn’t go away when one is with one sex or the other.

      As for furthering the story line. I disagree I think it heightened the stakes. It put Clarke in a position of power and danger like she hadn’t before. There would have been a target on her back for just being with Lexa. Also how would she navigate the attitudes of the Arkadians with those of the grounders. I think they could have drawn an interesting parallel between Clarke and Lexa on one hand and Octavia and Lincoln on the other.

  45. Grdi says:

    I really don’t understand most of these comments. I liked that the show introduced a lesbian relationship between the main character and a supporting character. But saying that the supporting character should be kept alive just because the she’s gay? So, if Lexa was Lex, then the death would be ok? C’mon… I think you’re taking this a little too personally. You have an awesome show where the main character is a lesbian. And the show doesn’t just show the two of them being together, but the love they actually have for one another and ultimately the pain of loosing that love. I think it was great. You’re acting like Clarke is now gonna go straight and forget about Lexa completely. Now, if that happens, then please, be upset. I sure will be.

    And about the comments of the way Lexa died – that she she was a great leader of the Grounders and thus deserved a glorious death? …..ever watched Game of Thrones? Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark, Khal freakin’ Drogo – how glorious were their deaths? People often die in terrible and stupid ways. It’s just Hollywood’s thing to make sure that a glorious character gets a glorious death. At least Lexa died in the arms of her loved one. Remember how Tywin Lannister died?

    • some fans are even calling the directors homophobic , lmao , right !!! that must be it :)

    • J says:

      The way she died is one of the most important aspects (aside from cruelly taking away a safe space that was promised by the writers). For someone in the LGBT community it is hard and quite a step to allow yourself to be happy and love the person you love. Lexa struggled greatly with this. Titus her adviser and parental figure time and time again told her not to love and that her love for Clarke was wrong. Also an aspect that is very familiar to a lot of people within the community. Titus even takes it as far as trying to kill her lover and in the end kills her. You may see where that can hurt LGBT youth that are told by their parents that they are sinners, unnatural and unaccepted.

      As for the tropes part. The thing you suggest about Clarke forgetting about Lexa and ending up with a guy, is a common trope in and of itself. Bisexuals are often treated that way around the sweeps period to ensure another season. They get a short arc with a female love interest, half a season is long and after that they return to their original boyfriend and the attraction she had for females won’t be spoken of again.

      As for the magnitude of the problem with killing lesbians of and not getting a happy ending. Auto straddle has two lists up: one with all lesbians that died on television and one with all lesbians that got a happy ending (some of which aren’t really happy endings if you ask me, not dying doesn’t equal a happy ending). It is 142 against 29, not in the way you are thinking either. Those lists indicate that for every happy ending a lesbian gets over 4 die. That is problematic.

  46. Zach Dixon says:

    The 100 is fine. She was gonna die anyway, and die soon. I’m fine with it. This season is shaping up to be there best.

  47. Nancy says:

    I keep seeing. “We have the right to be upset!” Sure you do, no one is arguing that. But, you do not have the right to bully others online, or threaten them. Does not matter what your argument is. Atop being hypocrites, always playing the victims but then finding some justification to attack others. That is wrong. Period.

    Also, trying to get people out of their jobs, like the actors? Seriously? That’s really pathetic.

    • Leigh says:

      “,,, you do not have the right to bully others online, or threaten them.”

      You are right about this point, but what you need to understand is that the target demographic of this show is towards teenagers and the young adults. They are mostly kids that got hurt and want to lash out. And that lashing out was mostly done during the first week of that tragic episode. Once other members of the LGBT community asked them to stop, they did. Again, they’re just mostly kids, they got hurt, make mistakes and now they are learning.

      “Atop being hypocrites, always playing the victims but then finding some justification to attack others”

      If you read the article THOROUGHLY, you might have read the part where this “hypocrites” who are “playing the victims” are raising money to help other “hypocrites” have a better and more stable life.

    • neurotransmitter17 says:

      Wow Nancy, even Mo acknowledged that a very small minority lashed out at the showrunner, and almost no one has lashed out to the actors. It’s evident that you didn’t read the article.

      “Atop being hypocrites, always playing the victims,” – so you’re saying that the LGBT community has no reason to be upset, despite the months and months of baiting? Great job at concealing that homophobia!

  48. Worldreacher says:

    Everyone talks about Jason tricking people in believing and putting hope onto this relationship. Woke everything I read from him said for us NOT to watch the show for the relationships or we would be disappointed…. As well as that their sexuality was not the driving force for their character. So I truly truly do not see where people were “played” I mean he is NOT going to come out and say well of course we are going to kill Lexa and this is how we are going to do it. And for me… No matter the show or character they are not promised or deserve a certain death… Bc that is life….sometimes it’s heroic… Sometimes it’s tragic… And sometimes it happens thru a seeming meaningless way. It doesn’t negate who that character is!!! In February Jason tweeted “As you take this ride, remember: no one is safe.” Abandon hope all ye who enter here” Our job is to move you, not to pander to you.” He also at one pointed tweeted that anyone could die seeing that the chancellors son had died. I firmly believe that he did not maliciously trick or use a people group. But holding on to this hurt and anger is only hurting the ones that won’t let it go! We all have a group… A way of life… Values that we hold dear to… I personally do not feel that I ever see people represent “my worldview” on the screen and if it is then it’s not done accurately and it’s made fun of. But u know what… My identity and self worth and values are not found thru characters or that screen they are found elsewhere!!! :)

    • J says:

      I disagree wholeheartedly he knew he was stringing people along. He assured the worried fans that he know about the trope and they shouldn’t worry about it, at that point in time they had already decided that they were going to kill the character. When someone asked him in fear if there was hope, he said yes, they had shot the death 2 months before that. Finally he asked fans to come watch them shoot the finale with Lexa running around, when asked about the rumor she was dead he told them they read to much into things. He knew the effects these answers had, most of which he could have easily dodged on social media (the hope question was over tumblr).

      See a showrunner doesn’t have to give assurances, spoilers and promises however they should be fair to their fans and don’t use them for ratings. Especially when you know their fear and how vulnerable they are.

      I’m happy you are able to find yourself worth outside of fiction but it can be extremely hard for LGBT youth to do so. They have a much higher rate of depression and anxiety disorders directly caused by bullying and being disenfranchised. There is a significant amount of people that need it and they are vulnerable, when you take to representing them you have power over them and because of that a responsibility to them.

  49. Ron says:

    The crying over this bit of fiction (FICTION!) is crazy! You people are nuts.

    “OH MY FICTIONAL HERO IS GAY AND GOT KILLED ON THE SHOW! THEY HATE TEH GAYZ!!!1

    Shut. Up. Damn!

    • Leigh says:

      This right here is an example of why we need better representations on TV. And I also want to point out that, again, that they are not mad because a queer character has died, they are mad because that character will be another name to be added to the long list of characters that are already in the Bury Your Gay Trope.

      You should really try reading articles about this, and also read this whole article first, before leaving a comment.

    • Kel says:

      “straight people die all the time on shows, you were just being treated equally”
      analogies work best with dumbasses so let me use yet another one
      you got two people
      one of them has a plate and it’s filled with so many cookies you can’t even count how many there are on it, there’s so many of them they’re falling off the plate
      another one who has exactly one cookie on their plate
      you take one cookie away from each plate, to treat them equally, right? meaning equality to you is that one of them has absolutely no cookies left whereas the other one can still stuff his fucking face of cookies for the next 35 years to come
      this is the simplest way i can explain to someone with less ability to think than a 5th grader what’s the difference between formal equality and substantive equality if at this point you don’t understand you need to go back to the basics of critical thinking

      Saw this post and thought I’d c/p. It’s a bit more aggressive than I’d like it to be and I’m too lazy to change it. But it really simplifies it for those of you who just don’t see it.

      • lauren says:

        thank you so much for publishing this article. i hope it gets through to some people who do not understand why this is impacting the lgbt+ community

      • lauren says:

        bless for trying to educate straight people who will never fully understand nor do they try to

    • Rowan says:

      If only one of our gay fictional heroes had been killed, yeah, it would be nuts for people to be making such an outcry. But it’s not ONE character.. Also, it’s a gay WOMAN, which is double whammy.

      There’s an article someone made on autostraddle.com, “All 142 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died.” This includes only female characters.

      ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO.

      and how many characters have actually been made who are queer? When lesbians and bi women are killed off for shock value, and not treated as real people, that rubs off on us in real life. They may not consciously “HATE TEH GAYZ” and I recognize that, but when they do things like this, it hurts. We’ve been hurt before and we’re tired of it.

      I’d like to have a conversation with you and attempt to change your mind.

  50. Nick says:

    I totally disagree. First of all, Clarke being bi-sexual, I don’t think people have much to be mad about. Lexa had to die. There was no way Clarke’s story would continue otherwise. Lexa alive = Story stalled. Now, the accidental death? I could see why people are upset, but not THIS upset. If The 100 didn’t do things like this, no one would be watching it.

    Also, it’s just a TV show. I love it, but I also thought Lexa’s death was perfectly in line with everything else I’ve seen on the show. People are WAY too attached to characters these days.

    • Leigh says:

      “Lexa had to die” – I promise you, she didn’t have to. Lots of theories and plot changes are going around that shows that she didn’t need to, and the story will not be STALLED as you say. If the writers are creative enough, the story will not be stalled even if that character is still alive. And if she really did have to die, there are better ways to die than to be shot by a stray bullet, in the most out of character way. AND to be shot minutes from the scene where she was most vulnerable and happy.

      But enough of that, if you’ve read articles about this that are circling around, you might have read that over and over again. Let’s just go to this “IT’S JUST A TV SHOW”

      Okay. can you please have an open mind about this? Imagine: A 14 year old girl, who just figured out that she’s different, that she’s queer. Now this 14 year old lives in an environment where being queer is not really accepted, her friends can’t understand and her family won’t. What does she do? Find another medium, a way for her to see herself as someone happy and comfortable in their own skin, and so she turns to TV shows. So one day, she finds one where she sees herself as, she finds a representation of what she truly feels and who she truly is.

      Imagine how she felt when that character got together with the woman she loves. After being intimate with her. Imagine how that 14 year old felt when she saw this character, who she sees herself in, be finally happy. She might feel hope. She might feel like maybe someday there will be someone that will love her, too. That she’ll be happy. That maybe someday, she’ll be finally accepted.

      Now, imagine how she felt when she saw that character suddenly die. Maybe by a stray bullet, or by an incurable disease, or was left behind for a man. Imagine how devastated that 14 year old is. Imagine what she’s thinking. There might be a lot, there might be a few, but the ultimate thought in her mind will be: There’s no happy ending for me.

      Imagine if this happens to her over and over again as she grows up. Different TV shows, different queer characters, but every on of them has the same result: happy endings are not really for us.

      Now tell me, is it really just a TV show?

    • Sheryl says:

      Believe it or not, people argue Lexa could have remained alive. That she could have been banished or something like that because the actress who portrays her claimed she coulf have possibly returned season 4. These people wpuld rather stall and ruin the story for everyone else so they can have their character. Same people who defend the character and say she is the best of the whole show and if you disagree you are wrong. They attack the people who prefer the other characters, such as Lincoln or Bellamy. All the FICTIONAL characters have blood on their hands.

      There is no arguing with people that have this type of victim mindset. They don’t take responsibility for their own happiness, always blaming others. They keep saying try to understand our opinion but they don’t give the time of day to anyone else.

      • J says:

        While I value your opinion I do think you are underestimating the problem. We do take responsibility for our happiness, we put walls around our hearts the moment we see ourselves on screen because we know the character will die. Yet we allowed ourselves to hope for something better this time, we had cause to believe it (see article) and dropped it, that isn’t wrong that is finally trying to trust others with our happiness.

        I have never nor will I ever attack other characters (believe it or not I like the Clarke, Bellamy dynamic). To be honest if they would have handled her death differently I may have accepted it, may. Also having different story lines I don’t think it would have stalled all the rest of the show had she (for example) been banished.

        Finally I don’t see myself as a victim and pointing out facts don’t make me a victim. When auto straddle puts out two lists one with dead lesbian and bisexual women and the other with ones that have a happy ending, it is not unreasonable to expect there to be more happy endings than deaths I think. The lists are 142 to 29 right now, I think we can agree that it is out of proportion when for every happy ending there are over 4 deaths.

More TV News from Variety

Loading