In a season premiere that was packed with action, emotion, and heartache, there is one moment from The 100 "Echoes" that stood out among them all when it comes to addressing sexuality: “I know.” Okay, okay. We know that you’re rolling your eyes right now and probably muttering something along the lines of “how does someone saying ‘I know’ stand out?” Well, just hear us out.
It’s a scene that lasts no more than 40 seconds that takes place 32 minutes into the episode, but it spoke volumes. The members of Skaikru who have remained in Polis are chained and locked in a cell, awaiting an unknown fate, and it finally gives Clarke a moment to rest, although her mind is doing anything but resting. Her attention is focused on the Flame resting in her palm, and, in a moment of vulnerability that we rarely see in Clarke, she breaks and feels the full extent of her pain.
“I know that look.” – Abby Griffin
“I loved her, mom.” – Clarke Griffin
“I know.” – Abby Griffin
The importance of those three sentences is overwhelming, and, while it may have been overlooked at first, the significance cannot be undermined. Just a little less than a year ago, The 100 fandom was shaken to its core when “Thirteen” aired and we saw the tragic departure of Lexa. Hers was a death that was inarguably one of the most controversial deaths on TV in 2016, as it played into the all too common and harmful Bury Your Gays trope -- a trope in which one half of a queer relationship dies. In this case, Lexa’s death occurred only minutes after she consummated her relationship with Clarke. And, while the short moment between mother and daughter doesn’t lessen the blow or heal the wounds that were caused when the BYG trope was put to use, it does address something that is just as important and something that fans needed to see: In the world of The 100, a character’s sexuality is just another part of who they are. A girl bringing a girl home to meet her parents isn’t a big deal. In this universe that’s been created, love is love.
We’ve seen this put into example time and time again on The 100. Clarke Griffin, the lead character, is bisexual. (Might we also add that Clarke Griffin is the first bisexual lead on network television?) She has been seen in relationships with both men (Finn) and women (Lexa); her sexuality has not been put into a set box. We’ve seen Clarke’s bisexuality. We’ve seen Lexa’s lesbianism. And last season gave witness to the relationship between Miller and Bryan, a relationship that is still standing. The 100 shows these relationships and that they matter, and the other characters don’t make a big deal that somebody is dating someone of the same gender. Coming out isn’t a thing because you aren’t expected to be straight. The characters are allowed to be who they are without judgement.
The scene that takes place between Abby and Clarke is a perfect example of this. It’s their relationship being recognized by somebody other than Titus, who is at fault for Lexa’s death, and Murphy, who was the only other person in the room to witness the heartbreaking goodbyes Clarke and Lexa exchanged. Abby acknowledging the relationship gives weight to Clexa. It wasn’t just a relationship that was hidden between the two or one that had to be hidden out of fear of others finding out, but it was one that the other characters took notice of and one that Abby, by way of acknowledging it, supported. Abby’s “I know” is her supporting her daughter’s bisexuality, in turn, giving voice to all characters on The 100 and their view on sexuality, and it is a scene that fans have been craving -- an emotional connection between Abby and Clarke. Abby knows the feeling of losing the one that you love, and now she is watching her daughter experience that pain again.
I'M GOING TO BURST INTO TEARS ABBY GRIFFIN LOVES HER BISEXUAL DAUGHTER SO MUCH #the100— ?Skaiplana? (@kaneandgriffin) February 2, 2017
CLARKE AND ABBY. CLARKE AND ABBY TALKING ABOUT LEXA. ABBY LOVING HER SWEET SAD LITTLE GIRL. #the100— samantha ? (@samcaseys) February 2, 2017
It was heartbreaking. It was tragic. It had us shedding a tear or two (admittedly, we were sobbing). But it was so important and healing, and it’s exactly the scene that not only the show and the characters needed but also the fans. In the span of two words, The 100 addressed sexuality in such a poignant and significant way. Because, after all, sexuality shouldn’t be an issue, and The 100 gives us hope that someday (hopefully not in a post-apocalyptic future), it can be.