"The 100" delivered a heartbreaking twist on Thursday night.
(Spoiler warning: If you haven't watched the episode, bookmark this link to come back to later.)
After Clarke found Murphy chained up, Lexa's right hand man, Titus, pulled a gun on her. Instead of killing Clarke, his bullet hit the Commander, taking her life.
Access Hollywood spoke with Executive Producer Jason Rothenberg about what went into the decision to kill off the character, played by "Fear the Walking Dead" actress Alycia Debnam-Carey, and what's next for Clarke (Eliza Taylor).
AccessHollywood.com: Obviously, the decision had to be a
tough one. Let's talk about the reality of the situation,
which is that Alycia Debnam-Carey has a job on another show. Is that of
part of why that story line happened, or were you
always planning to do that?
Jason Rothenberg: Well, at the beginning of the season, lots of things were swirling around in my head and in the heads of our writers when we were breaking the story of the season, one of which was we only had her – because she did book a series regular job on a relatively well-known franchise, that we certainly knew was going to be around for a long time – that we didn't have access to her, so I had to negotiate with the network – AMC – to let her work with us, and all I could get, and I tried to get more, was six episodes, and we could only use her until a certain day, which happened to coincide with the end of Episode 7. So that was a huge, huge part of the planning of the season, and around the same time, I struck on this notion of technological reincarnation, you know I [had] these two big stories – I [had] the Grounder/12 clan political story, I had the AI story, but there was nothing that connected them and I really wanted it all to connect and make sense and be… one giant puzzle. We'd already talked about reincarnation in terms of Commanders being selected via reincarnation, and I didn't want to throw that out as nonsense, but I also didn't want to say it was actual reincarnation, and then this idea of technological reincarnation struck and I knew that that was either the most insane thing ever, and I had totally lost my mind or it was brilliant and it was going to be something to organize the season around -- and I'm hoping that it's the latter, and the writers seem to agree. And then ultimately, the reality of a situation when you're telling a story about reincarnation -- to be reincarnated, you have to die first. And so all of these things sort of are in the ether when the decision is made ultimately.
No brightcove id
Access: What does Lexa's death do to Clarke? What kind of
things are we going to see going forward, other than the grief that she's
obviously going to be dealing with. Although Titus made a pledge, can we count
on him that he's going to protect her? I'm very worried, obviously.
Jason: Let's take those questions sort of one at a time -- Titus is not obviously somebody who Clarke is going to trust after what he did. We'll see whether or not he keeps his word to her in her dying breath, to keep Clarke safe or not. I think one of the things Clarke's going to have to do the way that we all do in the wake of a tragedy like the loss of somebody in a sudden, horrible way, is can she compartmentalize and go on and be the hero of her own life, the way that we all have to do. Can she move forward and be the hero of this world, of this show? I think we know the answer to that, she's Clarke and she's amazing and she will figure out a way to suck down her heartbreak and loss and mourning and grief and all of it and move forward. I think on a personal level, she'll probably have a very difficult time getting close to people emotionally like that again. It seems that every time she opens her heart something horrible happens. Maybe she'll be able to do that again. It certainly won't be soon, because she did love Lexa and it is going to haunt her for a while. And so, I think that that's ultimately – I hope that answers the question. ... It'll be very hard for her, but she's going to have to figure out a way to still move on the way that, in the world, we all have to do that.
"The 100" continues Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash