Skip to main content

The 100’s New Fridge

Gina_3x01_crop

Dear writers of The 100: you’re better than this.

When Bellamy’s new girlfriend appeared out of nowhere in the first episode of the new season of The 100, it was fairly obvious that she’d come to an unfortunate end.

I hoped that she wouldn’t, but a new female character that a male protagonist is suddenly in love with? One with no introduction or characteristics of her own? The tropes are pretty clear.

But it was still incredibly disappointing to watch when it happened this week. The show usually has such well developed and interesting female characters, and its conflicts usually have a lot of moral complexity. Creating a female character just to shove her in the murder fridge doesn’t seem like the show’s style.

But The 100‘s treatment of Gina was basically a checklist from Lazy, Misogynstic Writing 101: Fridging Females and Maintaining Manpain.

First, she was introduced not as a character in her own right, but as “Bellamy’s Girlfriend.” She didn’t exist in any of the previous two seasons, despite the fact that we’re working with a fairly limited population here, and then was thrown among the protagonists after a three-month time jump with no time for us to really get to know her.

Then the show made an effort to give her a little personality, by allowing her to banter with familiar characters, but didn’t actually fill in any information about who she is, what she wants, or what her life has been like, meaning she left such a small impression outside of her role as “Bellamy’s Girlfriend” that I literally had to look up her name to write this.

After only two episodes of existence, she’s killed off, and, unlike the other Red Shirts on the show, her tie to Bellamy means that we now get to see his angst over losing her. We don’t get to share in his angst, because that would be good writing and we had no idea who this character was. But we get to see it, and know he feels super bad about how his girlfriend is dead.

And to add insult to injury, she’s not just killed; she’s Red Wedding-ed. She’s stabbed in the stomach and left to bleed out on the floor, like Talisa’s death on Game of Thrones, including the fact that she only died to create more shock-value drama but missing the pregnancy part (we think). It’s not good to invoke that sort of misogynistic violence on your otherwise generally progressive show. It really underlines how messed up the whole plotline is.

Because really, what have they achieved? They haven’t shocked the audience in any meaningful way, because we had no connection to her. We can’t even be invested in Bellamy’s pain, because we haven’t seen any foundation for his feelings. It’s problematic writing, but it doesn’t even achieve fridging’s usual goal of shocking the audience and providing emotional motivation for the male protagonist. She only existed to die, and that’s all her character achieved.

Not cool, The 100. Really not cool.

Rhiannon

Rhiannon Thomas is the author of A WICKED THING and KINGDOM OF ASHES. She lives in York, England.

4 thoughts on “The 100’s New Fridge

  1. Thank you! Basically my exact feelings when watching that scene. Though I wouldn’t call her Talisa’d–with the lack of shock-value pregnancy and the fact she didn’t die in front of Bellamy for maximum manpain. Tbh, while I think it would’ve been a bit detrimental to Raven’s recovery-arc, I would rather have had the papa engineer be killed off. We’ve seen him since season 1, and actually care about him. Much more effective ‘shit-got-serious’ death. But, no, instead we get a flimsy character who was only created as a justification for Bellamy becoming more militaristic/aggressive. Wouldn’t the 36 innocent people murdered be enough for that? Honestly…

    1. That’s true about Talisa. The moment when she got stabbed felt so similar to me, though — at least, that’s the first thing that popped into my head.

      It actually feels like the opposite of a “shit-got-serious” death to me, too. If they start adding new characters just to kill them off, then the existing cast feel a lot safer — if they want drama, they’ll just invent someone new to die instead.

  2. All of this. I was disappointed with that most recent episode. As you say, this show has a history of gut wrenching decisions and moral quandaries and moments that make you FEEL something. Instead we have this character who they didn’t bother to do anything with but kill. That whole explosion fell flat b/c of that and the lack of clarity of who was killed. I was more confused than anything. I hope that was a one off sort of mistake; we know they can do better!

  3. That was a pain to watch. The moment what’s-her-name (*looks up… Gina… ah ok*) appears, I had a bad feeling. She comes out of nowhere, and we know nothing about where she came from, what she was doing before, what she wants. Suddenly she’s in a relationship with Bellamy, and we have no idea how that came about, why he likes her, or why she likes him. It’s tricky to introduce brand new characters that late since the Ark is a small community and we should have presumably already met everyone more or less important. If new characters appear, their backstory needs to be explained very well, and that wasn’t the case at all. She’s just Bellamy’s girlfriend, for some reason, and that’s all.

    I have to admit something – I didn’t know Gina’s name. I so much didn’t know Gina’s name, that when I opened this article and quickly looked through the text, I saw Talisa’s name and I thought “Whaaat? Please tell me they didn’t name her Talisa!” It was a huge relief to read the context, but still, this says something about how little I knew about her.

    They should have just sacrificed an established character. Or they should have tried to introduce her as a character in her own right. Introducing a new character so late in the game just to kill them is never a sign of good writing, but they did it in the worst way possible.

    And now her death is used to fuel Bellamy’s ridiculous arc, that throws away all of his character development from previous seasons. The sad thing is, this kind of fridging is happening everywhere in all kinds of media, but I expected better from The 100.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *