WARNING: Scenes of explicit violence, drug use, suicide, sex, and/or abuse occur regularly. Not intended for children or sensitive viewers.
The reason for the trigger warning is that in the third season, episode 10, there’s self-harm, serious threats of physical violence, and rape.
100 attractive teenagers are sent into outerspace after a nuclear apocalypse made Earth uninhabitable 97 years ago. They’re all sentenced to die with the space station is running out of air, so they’re dropped back down on Earth to see if it is still livable.
Not only is it survivable, but they discover people still living there!
The show eventually became swallowed by its own mythology in the worst ways. Main character, Clarke Griffin, is a bisexual 17-year-old girl. She had a relationship with a Grounder (someone who’d been born on the ground), a Commander named Lexa. After a season of build-up and a culmination of their relationship with a sex scene, Lexa was promptly killed immediately afterward.
It was the worst ‘Bury Your Queers’ moment since Tara was killed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and started the modern Queer Fans Deserve Better movement.
The showrunner spent most of a year boasting about his treatment of LGBT characters and creating a TV world where sexuality and race didn’t matter. In reality, the show had the White Savior Trope, with every character of color mistreated (including cast members). They cast Isiah Washington (famous for bullying to an openly gay actor on Greys’ Anatomy) and killed off a beloved lesbian character.
The show only got worse in subsequent episodes, including the execution of a black man on his knees, beaten, in chains.
As much as this was an enjoyable romp in a clean post-apocalyptic world, it became a show that hurt a generation of queer fans in the worst way.
Queer Plotline Timeline
Season Two introduced us to Lexa and she and Clarke kissed. In season three, Clarke had a random hookup with a woman, and then the woman was beaten and Clarke was kidnapped. Eventually, Clarke and Lexa got together, but Lexa was shot by a bullet meant for Clarke in the very next scene.
Notable Queer-Centric Episodes
- Season 2, episode 9 “Remember Me” – Lexa talks about her murdered girlfriend, Costia
- Season 2, episode 14 “Bodyguard of Lies” – Lexa and Clarke kiss
- Season 3, episode 1 “Wanheda (part 1)” – Clarke has sex with Niylah
- Season 3, episode 7 “Thirteen” – Clarke and Lexa have sex, and minutes later Lexa is killed.
- Season 7, Episode 16 “The Last War” – Clarke fails the test and cannot transcend, but a “version” of Lexa (and many of her friends) remain with her.