The CW Conclave: Why Madi is season five’s best character


Ahead of The 100’s season five finale, here’s a look at why Madi is the best new character on The CW’s post-apocalyptic drama.

The six-year time jump between The 100’s fourth and fifth seasons on The CW promised major changes, and my god has it delivered. Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), because of Abby (Paige Turco), became the horrifying Blodreina.

But I have hope for Octavia. Bellamy (Bob Morley) grew a beard and also tried to kill his little sister. The arrival of new space invaders precipitated yet another war for the Earth.

But, most importantly, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) adopted a pretty incredible kid named Madi (Lola Flanery), who is now the commander of Wonkru. Ahead of Tuesday’s finale, here are three reasons why Madi has been season five’s best character.

1. She’s selfless.

On a show like The 100 — in which pretty much everyone has betrayed one another at some point, maybe even more than once, in order to survive — selflessness is a rather rare quality.

Of course, selflessness can also lead to betrayal as Clarke has demonstrated this season. The friends Clarke has put in danger, and even many fans, cannot understand why Clarke is so committed to putting one person ahead of everything.

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Madi has been frustrated by Clarke’s methods and was finally able, with Lexa’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) help, to get Clarke to see the error in her ways last week. But here’s the thing: the only reason that intervention worked is because Madi did understand where Clarke was coming from.

Madi has actually been just as committed to protecting Clarke as Clarke has been to protecting her. She’s just gone about it differently.

In episode three, Madi left the safety of her bunker to rescue Clarke from Diyoza (Ivana Milicevic). In episode six, Clarke told Madi they were defecting to Diyoza’s camp to prevent Madi from being outed as a Nightblood and executed by Octavia. However, Madi knew Diyoza would execute Clarke, so she risked her life to join Wonkru to keep Clarke safe.

In episode nine, Madi took the flame so that Octavia, if she lived, would no longer have the power to execute Clarke for treason. She didn’t want to be the commander at all. She was terrified. But she was more terrified of what would happen to Clarke if she didn’t take on the mantle.

Since becoming commander, Madi has actually taken to the role and even fought against Clarke to get back to Wonkru. I believe her sense of duty to them is somewhat tied to her love for Clarke, though.

She knows what sacrifices Clarke has made to protect her, and she knows that they weigh on Clarke. Madi, in part, pushed so hard to join her people’s fight because her people are also Clarke’s people. She didn’t want Clarke to have to live with the guilt of letting her friends die.

2. She’s a child.

Compounding Madi’s awesomeness is the fact that she’s so young. It’s one thing for a parent to protect their kid. It’s quite a difference for a kid to protect their parent. Granted, twelve years is not a typical mother-daughter age gap, but it’s not insignificant either.

There are plenty of examples, The 100 included, of teens or younger kids looking for each other, defying adults and saving the world.

When was the last time you watched a plotline about one kid looking out for one adult, defying that adult to then protect that adult while being in a position to save the world only because of what they did out of love for that adult? I don’t think I’ve watched any, aside from Madi’s arc on The 100.

I would also be remiss not to add that being 12 years old also makes Madi much more impressive as a warrior. She’s literally half the size of the people she’s fighting, and she still comes out on top. It’s a great representation for young girls as well as 22-year-olds like me who are still the size of twelve-year-olds.

Female action hero representation is always good a thing, but it’s also a reality that such representation often comes in the form of relatively tall (5’5”+), adult women. Kudos to Madi and Flanery for helping to change that.

3. She is Clexa’s child.

It’s rather universally agreed that Debnam-Carey’s departure from The 100 in season three was botched by the producers and writers, but I want to give them major props for having Lexa co-parent Madi from beyond the grave this season.

As was beautifully depicted last week in season-best performances for Taylor and Flanery, Lexa guided Madi via the flame to help remind Clarke that “life should be about more than just surviving” and that loving people also means letting them make their own choices.

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Lexa wasn’t just communicating with Madi to get through to Clarke, though. Lexa had also been telling Madi, as the tension in her relationship with Clarke was reaching its peak, that being a strong commander didn’t have to mean going at it alone.

On a final note, Madi’s newfound connection with Lexa is cementing a relationship that had already been established. Madi has always been the best parts of Clarke and Lexa. Plus, Flanery even kind of looks like a cross between Taylor and Debnam-Carey.

Be sure to watch the season finale of The 100 on The CW this week!