Friends, though the promo for this most recent episode of the 100 featured a kiss between Clarke and Lexa, I avoided posting about it for two reasons: first, the writers of the show were upset that the CW used the kiss for shock value, when it means a lot to the story and to their work. Second, I wasn’t entirely sure that Lexa was going to make it through the episode. I didn’t want to lavish praise only to have Lexa become another tragic queer woman.
But Lexa is alive. The kiss happened. And praise shall be given in full.
Lexa had been confirmed as queer in an earlier episode, where she said that because the Ice Kingdom killed her girlfriend, she was able to understand that love is weakness.
Now, normally, when someone says ‘love is weakness’ it usually means they’re about to meet someone that proves that love is actually strength. I hoped it would be Clarke, but doubted it.
But the signals were there. Lexa and Clarke maintained Korrasami levels of eye contact. When Clarke wasn’t looking, Lexa would stare at her with an expression that can only be described as ‘heart eyes.’ And tonight, their relationship came to a head.
Clarke finally confronted Lexa about her emotions, reminding Lexa that she does actually feel, and that she can fool herself but she can’t fool Clarke. The camera zoomed in to the lack of distance between their faces. Lexa told Clarke she cares about her, and Clarke asks why she can’t be trusted. Clarke left in a huff, and we were treated to dramatic shots of each woman in EMOTIONAL TURMOIL.
Then, later, Clarke comes in again, only for Lexa to apologize. She says that perhaps life doesn’t only have to be about sacrifice, puts her hand in Clarke’s hair, and pulls the other woman in for a kiss.
And guess what? Clarke kisses her back. In full. She puts her hand on Lexa’s back, she closes her eyes. It’s a real, emotional, TV kiss. It’s not for the male gaze. It’s not an experimental phase. It’s an actual kiss.
Clarke does break away from the kiss, of course, saying “I’m not ready to be with anyone. Not yet.” This is not an “I’m not interested in girls,” or an “I’m not interested in you.” It’s not a sudden sexual awakening. Clarke doesn’t need to say anything about being bisexual because she always has been. And as show writer Jason Rothenberg tweeted:
The 100 writers have successfully created a place without homophobia that doesn’t queerbait. They followed through. They said “sexual orientations of all kind are completely normal,” and then they proved it. It’s a breakthrough, and it’s refreshing because once again, Clarke isn’t going to have a bisexual awakening episode. She is a bisexual girl in a world of queer characters, and that is one of the most hopeful things I’ve typed out in a long time.
Now, the cynicist in me worries that Lexa will still die before the season is over, but I also want to, for once in my life, give the writers the benefit of the doubt. The writers of The 100 have always created smart, well-written TV. And this is one of their finest moments to date.
Remember, 2015 is the year of the bisexual! And we’re going strong.