'The 100': Can Bellamy and Echo's New Romance Last on the Ground?

'The 100': Can Bellamy and Echo's New Romance Last on the Ground?

A lot happened in the time jump between The 100 season 4 and season 5, on the ground and in space. The long-awaited season 5 premiere let us know how Clarke survived and how she became a "mother." Yet it also clued us into what is going on in what was left of the Ark with Bellamy and crew. It didn't come as much a surprise that Murphy was exiled from the group while in space, breaking up his love affair with Emori. Yet another bit of news on the romantic front did come as a shocker. In the six years since we last saw them, Bellamy and Echo have gotten together.

A Lot Can Happen in 6 Years

The romance didn't come completely out of nowhere. Since her introduction in season 2, Echo has long been associated with Bellamy. More than her connection to the now defunct Ice Nation, Echo's relationship with Bellamy has been her tie into the story. Yet for most of their history, Bellamy and Echo have been very antagonistic. Echo was one of the most violent Grounders, and most of her murderous rage was directed at Bellamy.

Echo has attempted to murder Bellamy's sister, Octavia, several times. She killed Bellamy's previous girlfriend in an explosion and Echo has betrayed Bellamy, personally, more times than can be counted. It's a pairing that doesn't work too much on paper but that might be why fans should be excited, instead of repulsed, about the pairing. 

There is no getting around the fact that Bellamy and Echo's pairing was introduced for shock value, especially in the manner it was revealed. Most of The 100 season 5 premiere was full of expected moments that filled in the gaps of season 4's big cliffhanger. Bellamy and Echo's kiss and relationship reveal was the big twist. It was done in the last moments of the episode to really drive home to the audience how much has changed. However, the romance is something that both Bellamy and Echo's characters could really use. 

Echo needs some development, or at least proof that she's changed in the big time jump. Echo was a very unlikable character, in season 4 especially, but throughout the series. Echo has been rather one-note up until this point, being hopelessly devoted to the militaristic Ice Nation. Echo has done nothing to endear herself to the audience or the other characters. Echo has been all hard edges. Yet the mere fact that she's in a romance with Bellamy shows there's more softness and dimension to Echo than previously expected. Echo isn't just a personification of rage and darkness. 

It's also important to remember that Bellamy has his own darkness. He's a lot more like Echo than many The 100 fans may be willing to admit. It wasn't a particularly well told story, but during season 3 Bellamy was as bloodthirsty and murderous as Echo, under Pike's tutelage. Bellamy fought against that darkness and redeemed himself. So if there's anyone who can bring Echo to a more emotionally complex and likable place, which is something the character needs, it is Bellamy.

The Literal Testing Ground

Yet that still doesn't mean that Bellamy and Echo will or even should last as a couple. Unless The 100 completely changes up its structure and starts instituting flashbacks, the audience's emotional investment in the Bellamy and Echo relationship is going to be low. Fans are never going to find out exactly how they got together, even if the existence of their relationship does fix a lot problems with Echo's character. 

The second that Echo and Bellamy hit the ground, they're probably going to start to fall apart. Their relationship, which worked in the peacefulness and confines of space, is going to crumble on the chaotic ground. Bellamy and Echo haven't really been challenged in the Ark but they will be on the ground. 

There's not only going to be Octavia to deal with, who seems like the exact opposite of a reasonable and measured person. Bellamy doesn't even know Clarke's alive. Even though Bellamy and Clarke have never been together romantically, it was heavily implied towards the end of season 4 that Bellamy was developing feelings for his best friend. Bellamy's feelings for Echo are going to be put into a whole new light when he realizes Clarke is alive. 

Even if the second episode of The 100 season 5 is the beginning of the end for Echo and Bellamy, there's still reason to be interested in their relationship, if not invested. By being challenged on the ground and, inevitably, breaking apart The 100 can show how much Echo (and Bellamy) have changed as people in the time jump. 

The ground won't just be a test for their connection but for The 100 It can, and likely will, prove that the idea to bring them together was a smart one and that the romance has made Echo a more emotionally mature, stable and likable person. 

But what do you think? Are you against Bellamy and Echo altogether? What do you think of the pairing -- does it make sense or is it just a huge mistake? How long will Bellamy and Echo stay together on the ground? 

The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Tags: The 100

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