Why Raven Reyes Deserves Happiness on 'The 100'
If suffering was an Olympic sport, The 100’s Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan) would take the gold.
Yes, everyone on the sci-fi hit has endured tragedy. They’ve lost love interests, lost family members, lost their home planet and even lost themselves. But Raven’s the rare unfortunate character who’s lost all three, some several times over — most recently in the Season 6 premiere, when her boyfriend Miles "Zeke" Shaw (Jordan Bolger) met his untimely end.
The CW star opened up about Raven's relationship with Shaw and what her character is thinking as she heads to a new planet for the second time.
For Raven fans, there’s something frustrating about seeing her constantly reach happiness, clutch it for a few seconds, then have it slip through her fingers again… not to mention the amount of times Raven’s storylines have seen her physically or emotionally tortured. Here’s why we think Raven deserves some peace — however short-lived — in the show’s sixth season.
A Painful History
Perhaps more so than other characters on the show, Raven’s storylines have involved her being tortured or losing herself. In Season 2, Raven endured a painful medical procedure, lost the use of her leg and was tortured by the Grounders. In Season 3, she was possessed by ALIE. In Season 4, the complications of getting ALIE out of her head led to brain damage. In Season 5, she spent time being tortured for information.
Granted, nearly every character on the show has spent time being tortured — it’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, after all. But more so than most other characters, Raven’s storylines have led her to great physical and emotional pain with little relief. While she’s undoubtedly a powerful part of the show and it has taken great care to show her as a multidimensional, brilliant woman of color, it’s a little tiring to see her in pain season after season.
How Many Love Interests Can She Lose?
Seriously. Shaw was love interest number three, with the first two being Finn and Wick. Finn fell in love with Clarke and cheated on Raven and, thus, Raven’s relationship with him ended. Wick was written off-screen between seasons. It seemed Shaw had staying power, but since the actor who played him was cast on another show, Shaw fell victim to Sanctum’s radiation shield.
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Of all the characters on The 100, Raven’s lost the most when it comes to love. Others have lost multiples (Clarke lost Lexa and Finn), but not three. It’s heartbreaking to see her fall in love only to lose the person she cares about, over and over and over again.
At this point in the show, should Raven have another romantic attachment? She could — the show has been renewed for a seventh season — but it’s not likely it’d happen in Season 6. Since most of the characters she’s already known are in established relationships, that could mean another fall-in-love-quick romance similar to how she fell for Shaw, which was sweet, but felt abrupt.
A Complicated Family
All of the characters on The 100 have some kind of sadness in their family history, but Raven faces a unique kind of tragedy. She was hurt by her real mother, feels betrayed by her “adoptive” mom, was heartbroken by the loss of Monty and Harper and, after Shaw’s death, she has few people to turn to for comfort who have such an inherent understanding of who she is.
One of the reasons it was so nice to see her with Bellamy, Echo, Emori, Murphy, Monty and Harper was because it seemed Raven had finally found a family that brought her joy. Two of those family members are gone now, and her relationships with the rest of her former friends who weren’t in space, like Clarke and Octavia, are understandably strained.
At WonderCon 2019, showrunner Jason Rothenberg hinted that there might be something in the works.
In the wake of another tragic loss for her, it’d be nice to see Raven being able to talk to the people she spent six years in space with and for those bonds to be emphasized moving forward.
For the rest of Season 6, it’d be great to see Raven playing a central role in the unfolding storylines of Sanctum vs. The Children of Gabriel. The Eligius story last season didn’t showcase her as well as it could have, since she had very little to do and was mostly away from the unfolding action.
In earlier seasons, Raven and her knack for saving everyone at the last minute was a major part of the show — certainly she could do it again without being put in immense pain or losing someone else she loves. As far as her relationships, it’s clear she has bad blood to work through with Clarke and Abby, which could make for a good storyline.
Raven deserves a story that’s every bit as awesome as she is, and hopefully the next nine episodes will provide that for her. She’s certainly earned it.
The 100, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW