The new season of The 100 found itself having to reintroduce the core relationship back into our lives and theirs.
With Bellamy and Clarke spending so much time apart, there were some expectations when it came to their reunion. In fact, over the past five seasons, it has become a tradition to see how those two would manage to top their previous reunion and their platonic hug fest.
This time around they didn't disappoint, but both of their reunions also established the way that their relationship will be explored further on in the season.
It is clear from multiple interviews that things won't exactly be perfect for these two down the road, their new normal shifts the way that they will now approach threatening situations and their definition of their people no longer lines up exactly the same.
Nevertheless, the bond that they share makes The 100 what it is, and there is nothing more exciting than getting to see these two find a way back to how things were, if not with a few adjustments.
Clarke and Bellamy may not be exactly the same as they were when they last saw each other but Sleeping Giants and Pandora's Box made one thing very clear.
No matter how much time may have passed, these two care for one another even if the world ends around them.
In the context of the show especially, the bond that they share is unlike any other.
Bellamy and Clarke have a fascinating, well developed, and a constantly evolving relationship. They have transcended from enemies to best friends to partners in a way that continues to grow with each new season.
Their relationship is almost its own arc in the story that The 100 is telling and it never manages to disappoint.
So the scenes that these two share are electric and bring out so much depth in both characters. These two mean so much to each other, they count on each other for almost everything and this season has only continued to establish that.
There is a reason that Bellamy and Clarke are referred to as soulmates, with the narrative affirming that through a look, a touch, a line of dialogue, or even a transition between ground and space.
Yeah, these two somehow manage to make the ultimate form of separation seem like they are still in the same place. And in a way, they are because neither of them ever allows the memory of the other to go away.
In fact, these two continue to allow the other's existence to drive them in heavy moments which is only further explored in both of their reunions this season on The 100.
The Emotional Reunion
During Sleeping Giants, Bellamy and Clarke were always standing just close enough to the edge to find out about the other but not close enough.
Bellamy was listening to the radio on the Eliguis ship as they talked about catching someone down on the ground. In his mind, it could have been his sister, or it could have been someone from the bunker whose life matters.
And if Charmaine or McCreary mentioned some defining feature about her, then maybe he would realize at that moment who she really was.
But they didn't.
The same goes for Clarke, who was caught by Charmaine and spent the entire episode trying to make sure they wouldn't get to Madi. In her mind her people had to be alive, she couldn't live with the thought that they weren't. Yet they didn't make it down, so she can't imagine them coming down to save her.
So when Clarke is accused of hiding other people, that is the moment when she should realize that it is her people there but even then she isn't clued in.
Sleeping Giants is all about building up that anticipation for us but also for Bellamy and Clarke.
They both are waiting with no actual idea what it is that they are waiting for.
So when Bellamy finds out about Clarke through Madi, we could dwell on the fact that it could have been better if he saw Clarke first but I'd say we got lucky with this reveal.
First things first, this gave us a wonderful moment between this new person in Clarke's life and another important person that she has been waiting for six years.
But the second way that this works more is the direct parallel that it shares with The 100 Season 3 Episode 2 when Bellamy was all heart, and he saw Clarke and nothing else existed.
Bellamy risked his life and even got stabbed in the leg because he wasn't going to sit around brainstorming ideas of how to get her back. All he knew was that she was alive and in danger, from there, his instinct kicked in that got him hurt and Clarke taken away from him anyway.
This time around though Bellamy had a plan that he thought through and allowed him enough of an upper hand to guarantee that he would free Clarke.
This build up was a great way to lead into a scene that was Clarke's more than it was anyone else's. The emotional impact was all her, she was at her lowest state, and she had the world on her shoulders.
It feels strange to say that Clarke was alone for six years when she had Madi, but she was alone when you think about it from a guardian's perspective. As much as Clarke and Madi counted on each other, Clarke was still the adult who was trying to keep Madi safe and because of that had a lot that she still held within herself.
With these new threats appearing on the ground, it was up to Clarke to keep Madi safe, so she didn't have anyone else on whom she could rely. Her one goal was to keep Madi out of harm's way, and if something happened to her, then it was all over for Madi too.
This is where you have the scene appear, Clarke is in pain and worried about what this all means for the one person she had with her right now when suddenly the rover appears.
Clarke may be struggling even to breathe right now, but she knows that she can't give up now because this has to be Madi behind the wheel trying to save her.
Then Bellamy appears, and with him, the music and the lighting connects back to Clarke's reaction.
She can't make out who it is, but it can't be Madi because she has to be the one driving the rover which means she brought someone else with her.
This someone else appears out of the only light in that forest, it is an angelic outline, and the music doesn't exactly help with the hope that vibrates through the view that we get.
Again this is a view that is meant to represent Clarke's line of sight and how slowly Bellamy appears into focus.
Of course first, we only hear his voice. But his voice is the only thing Clarke needs to sink down because she can't believe that this is happening.
It is silly to pretend that Clarke didn't imagine the ways that her people would come down to join her after five years.
Only now it is happening, and this is all about Clarke's face and her expressions. She comes out of it as if this is all a dream and in a way it is.
Here is Clarke probably reasoning with herself that this hostage situation may very well go the other way, and suddenly Bellamy is here just like she couldn't even imagine hoping.
Although he is there, Charmaine and her people still have them outnumbered which we can see Clarke realizing when she starts to tear up again. Bellamy may have come back but this could still be the end for all of them, and Madi is in the rover which means all the people she loves are in danger.
But Bellamy has a plan because this is Bellamy and of course he isn't just here carelessly hoping to get them out of here. Bellamy is using his head, and hope somehow manages to become tangible when he appears.
Now as we follow Clarke's emotional journey, this is where the Bellamy and Madi aspect kicks it into high gear. Only we got to see that these two have managed to build trust around a person that means so much to both of them.
To Clarke though, Madi is still in the rover and danger is right at her window. So with Bellamy watching out for Madi's safety before anything else is decided is the final detail that makes his presence so real for Clarke.
Bellamy is not only here, but he is also keeping Madi safe and suddenly no time has passed, and they are partners again.
They are on the same page about everything, and that is when the weigh drops off her shoulders. Clarke isn't alone anymore because her partner has come back and he has got it covered.
Even comparing this scene to The 100 Season 3 Episode 2, Bellamy is calm and collected, but there is no doubt here about how far he would go to save Clarke. Suddenly killing almost 300 people isn't a question that he has to consider in his mind, he will have Raven pull that lever.
Clarke's emotional side though is very new, although a case could be made that it resurfaced for Bellamy even before this time jump.
The stark difference is clear though, and it is beautiful to see her express to us her emotions so freely.
That is why this scene is so emotional, it all comes from Clarke and her utter disbelief at the sheer chance that she might get the chance to breathe now.
It is a wonderful reminder of how much trust these two have for one another, even after six years Clarke only needs a few sentences and one rover drives off to know that this is still her person. She doesn't have to worry about what her next step will be because Bellamy has it handled like she knew he would.
Now the dialogue that sparked hundreds of tweets and plenty of gifs does serve as a great reminder to us about where Bellamy's feelings stand for Clarke.
But we almost don't need them considering how many times Bellamy has mentioned her so far and how his entire being is him trying to be the man that he promised Clarke he would be.
This emphasis on the fact that Clarke is important enough to kill 300 people is for her more than anyone. Her vulnerability is exposed for all of us to see because him confirming her worth to him caused a physical reaction within Clarke.
It didn't have to be on her mind all the time, but there is no doubt in mine that Clarke had her moments when she wondered if her people were in fact still hers.
Bellamy is the main one of course because in a way he truly became her other half, so there is no question in my mind that she was preparing herself just in case of a stranger.
But this strong guy who just landed and is already making sure she will be safe is all she remembers him to be and more.
So this scene anchors with the emotional impact for which we have all been waiting. Nothing on The 100 is ever handed to us directly; it is all in the writing and acting and directing.
This moment in time was so perfectly Bellarke because through it all the one thing neither of them questioned is the trust they have in one another.
Sleeping Giants thrust them into a position where that was once again tested, and it felt like no time had changed, which has to be exactly the feeling that Clarke has rushing through her mind.
It is safe to say that she could have even though that she was dreaming this with the way that Pandora's Box was set up, but what a game-changing thought to consider Clarke thinking it made perfect sense that this is the scenario that was playing out in her mind.
The Physical Reunion
Now Bellamy and Clarke aren't strangers to being tactical, how could anyone forget their scenes in The 100 Season 4 Episode 13? It was as if they knew they wouldn't see each other for a while because they could not stop with the touching.
Not that anyone complained, but that was indeed the definition of two gummy bears on a hot summer day.
This is why, for me, their second reunion set the bar regarding their need never to let each other go. The words that they shared with one another had significant value, and yet my attention continued to stray to the physical contact that kept being highlighted.
It starts right when those doors open, Clarke is still in a state of not being able to grasp that Bellamy is here in front of her.
Bellamy is the one who runs over and supports her, like the only way she could have been closer to him was if she actually sat in his lap.
And this bleeds into the entire scene. Pulling each other into the first hug when Clarke is finally allowing herself to come to terms with the fact that she is hugging Bellamy again.
It is soft, and it filled with a happiness that we haven't seen in them since we met these new versions of them. That doesn't disqualify the happiness that both characters displayed with their people, but Bellamy and Clarke are each other's person, and you could feel that absence in both of them.
This doesn't exactly settle down when you have Bellamy stroking Clarke's back, a shot that was focused long enough that it couldn't be subtle.
And the way that Bellamy tried almost to reassure them both that everything was okay again made me wonder about Clarke's state of mind.
Clarke wasn't alone this whole time, and yet again there was that ache that we saw in her when she thought about the other people that they were both waiting to return.
Having Bellamy back and holding her has to have sparked that sense of comfort that she hasn't had. It is different because it is a sense of safety that I believe Bellamy and Clarke only feel when they have the other to count on again.
And this trickles throughout because they can't extract themselves from each other.
You see it in the way that Clarke only pulls back to check if everyone else is okay and then folds herself into another hug.
It continues with the way that Clarke pulls away again, almost not knowing how to find her footing now that Bellamy is solid and in front of her again.
She asks about Charmaine and that hallway shot, that frankly iconic hallway shot still fixates on how their hands don't stray too far.
It becomes almost a reassurance for the two, with Bellamy touching Clarke's shoulder to emphasize that they don't have much time to talk to Raven and Murphy.
Then suddenly they don't have the time to focus on anything but saving the bunker, yet that doesn't stop them from settling back into their old pattern.
They aren't touching, but they are constantly aware of the other, with Clarke checking in on Bellamy because as much as she knows he loves Octavia she also knows just how worried he will be.
This carried on throughout the rest of Pandora's Box, framing exactly how easy it was for these two to become a team again.
Much like we as the audience wait for Bellamy and Clarke to be in the same place again because it feels like everything will be okay again, the characters are just as aware of it as we are.
It isn't until Bellamy and Clarke reunited that things started actually to move, the narrative pushing forward with the force of this partnership making everything work once more.
The Head and Heart Switch (and Where We Go From Here)
Six years have given both Bellamy and Clarke time to fit into these new places that they have carved out for themselves.
But what does that mean for them going forward?
I mentioned previously in another analysis of Bellamy and Clarke's relationship that they could manage to go through these six years without one another if they lean more into the aspect that they have been missing.
The true core part of their relationship comes from them needing each other purely because they make the other happier. Clarke and Bellamy survived without the other, but there was a clear gap in both of their lives where the other one should have been.
Not knowing much about where this season is going, it is clear though that Bellamy has submerged himself in his head and Clarke is very tuned into her heart.
That doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing in any way, but there seem to struggle to find a balance between the two which always seems to work when they are together.
Going by convention quotes and predictions, Clarke will let her heart call the shots especially when it comes to Madi. As for Bellamy, he will look at decisions in a less impulse way which will force them to end up in a place they don't usually find themselves.
This switch will not make things easy, but through it all there has to be the belief that they indeed are soulmates who will figure out how to be the other half of the puzzle to one another.
Bellamy and Clarke are who they are because of the other, they only make each other better, and that is clear from the hints that we got during Pandora's Box.
Things may have shifted yet this season, yet they haven't yet.
We know what to expect and prepare for but if we watched the season without outside input The 100 Season 5 Episode 4 was a walk down memory lane. There was no time to explore their differences, and it was like there were no differences in the way that they seamlessly slipped back into one another's life.
Just as quickly as they separated, they were one again.
It is quite clear that if there is one thing that hasn't changed, it is the way that Bellamy and Clarke find themselves at each other's side.
That doesn't mean that angst isn't headed their way and while I am preparing for scenes that could rival the confrontation in The 100 Season 3 Episode 5, there is potential there that hasn't been discussed yet.
Clarke's emotional side is a new addition to the show, she has felt things, and we have seen it but never at this magnitude. So can you imagine seeing these feelings kicked up a notch about the relationship between her and Bellamy?
Them not seeing eye to eye will be tough, but it will be realistic. In fact, the way that Bellamy and Murphy and Raven have continued to speak of what Clarke would have wanted over the past six years has been a huge sign of that.
So much time has passed, and yet their choices still use the Clarke litmus test. What would Clarke Griffin do is practically their motto and while that has never changed Clarke has.
The same goes for Clarke remembering them all and their priorities and not factoring in that in space things shifted around enough for it not to be second nature anymore for her to know their next step.
And this all is fascinating to me in the way that they come back together. What we are about to witness now is a pretty big adjustment period, but this is Bellamy and Clarke we are talking about here.
However long they take to align themselves together again, there shouldn't be doubt in anyone's mind that they will find that balance.
This time around though it could very well become Clarke and Bellamy finding their equilibrium together.
But first, things have to fall apart, and just like the reunion felt like it was coming off of Clarke's end, we could predict the same for this season.
This time around we are following Clarke's journey in her relationship with Bellamy, very much like the way that Pandora's Box revolved around her always watching him.
Different issues may cloud Bellamy's return to the ground, but Clarke seems to see things more clearly than she ever had before, and she isn't sweeping it away now.
And that is why I am cautious. A relationship can't always work and be happy because that doesn't mirror the way that things work in real life.
But what it can do is have bumps along the way that push the bond in a more clear direction, so Bellamy and Clarke may not get to pick up where they left off, but they can pave the way for something much better.
These two can adjust accordingly, and it could take them a second to get there, but no one understands the other like each of them does.
Their definition of "home" may have changed in the last six years, but there is nothing these two can't figure out now that they are together again.
It must be the platonic soulmate effect.
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
Stick around TV Fanatic for more episode previews and reviews of this upcoming season, and watch The 100 online if you need to catch up on the adventure.
Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.