A Meta For The Goggle Boy
“See you on the other side.”
The same words he’d said to the squad at the end of season 1, episode 1. Going over the river. So innocent. So happy. Full of hope, adventure and expectancy. The words he’d “stolen” from Finn; the spacewalker with the rich hair and the golden heart whom he tried so hard to copy.
It’s been a while since the show ended, it’s been an even longer while since Jasper Jordan died. But I’ve only found the show recently and watched 4 seasons in quarantine. I may be continuing beyond 5x1, but in all honesty, from the stuff people have been saying about the last 2 seasons, I’d rather pretend it ended at the s4 finale and not tarnish any of my impressions of the show or its characters. I considered stopping after the deaths of both Lexa and Luna, but still continued because of Jasper and Monty. Their relationship was the definition of my friendship goals and when Jasper died, I couldn’t really muster the energy to continue. Jasper has always stuck out to me since the beginning of the show and after watching his raw and brutal arc for four seasons, I wanted to write something in memory of the kid who seemed to see everything through his goggles (even though it’s literally years after his death.) The kid who wanted and deserved a life that he never had.
Jasper has always been a likeable character for me, despite his flaws. He was the innocent one, the funny one, the kid, yet the guy with enough crazy courage to try to save everyone. But after more and more traumatizing incidents, Jasper became a changed kid. A scarred kid. A broken kid.
Jasper had been the first to be attacked and almost killed the day he landed on the ground. Jasper found Wells' fingers next to his body and the knife who murdered him, right after Octavia had just persuaded Jasper to go out beyond the fence after he'd recovered from his spearing. He had practically face-planted next to the crime scene; suddenly an integral part of a conflict he never wanted to be in. When they were running from camp in 1x13, Jasper was mere inches away from Drew, the kid who got an axe in the head.
The kid who could’ve easily been Jasper, if he had kept the same talkative party-boy attitude he had in 1x1.
His efforts to save his friends and be brave were his only goals. What Jasper saw was often in very hard focus and it blocked everything else out.
He put a lot of pressure on himself whenever he couldn't do the “right thing.” Monty told him to do the honors (connect the wires of the wristband radio) and when Jasper tried, he shorted out everything and destroyed their only hope of communication with the Ark. This shook him up pretty bad and he spent the next days believing himself to be a curse and blaming himself for the failure of the radio even though his friend may have botched the connections first.
When Octavia was abducted, he volunteered to help search for her and when things started getting ugly, he was undoubtedly reminded of his own time with the grounders who speared him and started screaming at the trees around them to "GET IT OVER WITH!" It was likely a PTSD episode because of how little he was seeing in that instant. Jasper tried to face his spearing by joining the hunting party for Octavia even though he had every reason to be terrified of the woods beyond the fence. And perhaps because he felt responsible for it. She kissed him when he warned her to stay away, and a day later she was abducted. Jasper blamed himself for what Octavia went through, associating himself with the misfortune of his friends.
Many thought he crushed on Octavia because of her popularity and her looks, which wasn’t necessarily true. Octavia gave him a lot of attention when they were swinging over the river and comforted him when he was recovering from the spearing, insisting on staying with him when Bellamy told her to come down. She encouraged Jasper to try new things, guiding him when they were going out the gates after his spearing and trying to comfort him when he fell for that random jerk’s prank on them. When Murphy directed his anger at Octavia after almost being hanged, Jasper instinctively ran in front of her and took the blow because he wanted to save her.
After the Mount Weather genocide, Octavia was actively comforting him, hugging him, understanding, but he couldn’t take any of it in. He couldn’t see beyond his goggles. But perhaps Jasper’s unique and concentrated perception of his experiences gave him much more insight into the grief and emotions of others. Because when Octavia was on the verge of tears for a moment in the ghost town of Arkadia in Lincoln’s room, Jasper had stood by and watched. And Jasper had understood.
“Remember when you told me that… it gets better?”
“This is not the same thing.”
“You know, it’s okay to fall apart a little, Octavia. You loved him.”
When Jasper followed Clarke to the meeting on the bridge, he was the only one who saw the grounders in the trees and it again triggered his impulses. In his state he had no idea what to do except the grounders were aiming at her and he had a gun - Jasper had a gun to protect the surrogate mother of the delinquents. He ran out and opened fire because he wanted to save her. It explained why he was so confused when everyone was mad at him and Octavia told him he “ruined everything,” because he thought he'd saved their lives.
After that, many people treated him like a folk legend and Monty enjoyed it too. Because of their status, they got a bigger tent. But Jasper still didn't realize the mistake he made because of the mixed reactions, and he kicked Monty out of his tent and avoided Octavia because they said things he didn't want to hear. Jasper's sight in this sense was limited because of the new way people looked at him.
When Jasper and Raven were under the dropship trying to hack open the door, he abandoned all caution in his stressed mental state and all he could think of was Bellamy being killed above them, so he tried to shout through the floor and bang things. He couldn't see how his actions, however well meaning, could have serious consequences. I believe Jasper was also experiencing a guilt complex as Bellamy volunteered to replace Jasper and endure Murphy‘s vengeance. So if Bellamy had died, Jasper would’ve blamed himself for that too.
When Raven fainted on the dropship floor, everyone turned to Jasper to finish the bomb even though he was just a kid whose only skill was chemistry. His most notable moments to "shine" were because the “real” MVPs weren’t available. Bellamy was sick, so Jasper had to shoot the bomb. Raven fainted, so he had to activate the hydrazine. Jasper had fumbled and screwed up both times in a certain sense; barely making the shot and barely connecting the wires correctly, but still managed to pull everything together last-minute. This would also explain why he was so convinced that he was going to “save everyone” and kill Cage in season 2, because he’d gone through with crazy plans before. If they’d worked before, why wouldn’t it this time? He couldn’t see why it was unreasonable.
Jasper didn’t understand why Clarke was so hostile to Mount Weather. He told her she was sounding like a crazy person, as he was so relieved he could feel safe he abandoned all other caution. When he told her that “right now, the biggest threat to our safety is you,” Jasper didn’t seem to enjoy it. He looked positively disgusted at himself for speaking like that to Clarke yet he did, because it’s what he believed was the truth.
“Clarke, for the first time in our lives we’re not hungry.” Even on the Ark, none of the kids could get their fill. “No one’s hunting us here.” Jasper and Monty found fun in their lives for a short while. The way they fought over chocolate cake was an example of them acting like the teenagers they never got a chance to be.
“Did someone threaten you?”
“No.” Jasper’s expression here leads me to believe he was grateful for how Clarke had no chill in season 1; how much it helped the delinquents survive. But he didn’t see why it was necessary anymore. She continued to have no chill, and Jasper understood why. But he had smiled, trying to get her to relax. “We’re safe here.” The thing many people dismissed in the Jasper-Clarke conflict during the first few episodes when they were both in Mount Weather was that both kids could’ve been right. The mountain could’ve been a horrid bloodsucking society or it could’ve been a nation of kind people who wanted to help the delinquents have a happy life. There was evidence to support both of their beliefs - but Clarke was the one who happened to be right. Immediately after Jasper realized he was wrong, he defended his friends to rise up and fight against the mountain men.
Jasper got attracted to Maya, and when there was a containment breach he impulsively offered to volunteer his own blood, even though Monty told him not to because he wanted to save her. Jasper had wanted more than ever to stay in the mountain even after Clarke went missing. He wanted to be where it was familiar, where it was safe, and he hated himself for it, calling himself a coward.
“This is your home now, Jasper.”
When things got more serious at Mount Weather, Monty told Jasper they should leave and escape quietly the way Clarke did. But Jasper with his courageous goggles refused to take the safer but more ruthless way out. He wanted to get all the delinquents out of the mountain no matter what it took because he wanted to save his friends. Jasper trusted Maya to help his friends escape the mountain, telling her about his plans and defending her when Miller kept getting suspicious. Maya had proved to be a bit of a badass; checking the harvest chamber daily, risking her life to spy and relay information and leading the team to restricted rooms—even small things like telling Miller to wait five seconds so he could go at the wall with his hammer during the alarm. Maya’s knowledge of the mountain and its ways turned out to be crucial later on, and it’s no wonder Jasper loved and trusted her so easily.
When there was a revolution in Mount Weather, Jasper showed his strength by standing by what his goggles focused on, which was to keep his friends safe. Jasper was never a person to dismiss the value of others. He came up with the idea of linking arms, hiding pipes in the delinquents’ clothing between each round. Jasper was the one who brought them together and rallied them to fight. When he realized that his fellow delinquents were being taken—even one at a time—it shook him up. Fox told him she was scared, and he promised her he’d keep her safe. Literally five minutes later, Fox was taken to the drilling chamber. Jasper had to be held back from chasing after her as he realized with horror that he had failed. That he couldn’t save everyone, even though he wanted to save Fox. His reckless run after her was futile and dangerous and may have gotten him killed, but he wanted to keep her safe. And he didn’t.
“I promised her,” he continued to say, long after Fox was taken.
Had Jasper fully recognized the situation they were in, it would have seemed foolish to promise Fox he’d keep her safe when at the time, no one was sure if any of the 47 would make it out alive. But Jasper was a kid, a kid with a good heart and good intentions, a kid who looked through the lenses of his goggles.
Even though Bellamy smuggled him a gun, Jasper botched it when the guards were taking Monty and shot the only round at the guard with a bulletproof vest. His automatic reaction messed everything up and the gun was confiscated because he wanted to save Monty.
Every teen in that room was precious and valued. That situation, instead of the worst, brought out the best in them. How they stuck together through thick and thin was beautiful and painful. Monty and Jasper, now leaders, shone. Their friendship didn’t break. It grew stronger.
“They aren’t taking anyone else out of this room, without a fight!”
In the next scene with them we see beautiful chaos. Red lights, all the teens out of the dorms and running. Helmets, guns, weapons. Jasper had directed and led them all.
“I hope you know that you are very special to us,” Jasper had said coldly as he watched Tsing die. Jasper feels no pain in killing Tsing, unlike when he shot the guard. Even then he didn’t want to kill anyone. It’s horrible what life can do to a kid. Later, Jasper and the others took it upon themselves to gather weapons and food. Barricade the rooms. Jasper’s leadership style made us remember they used to be delinquents.
When Bellamy and Maya broke them out of level five, Jasper's immediate reaction was to accompany Bellamy to assassinate Cage even though it was completely illogical despite his good intentions. It related to a lot of his behavior in season 1 after Bellamy started to become a better leader. Jasper had started to look up to and idolize Bellamy, especially after he'd volunteered himself in place of Jasper for Murphy to take his revenge out on. Afterwards, Jasper became obliged to lead the delinquents to safety when Bellamy wasn't there to protect them. Later, Jasper had hugged Bellamy in gratitude, the man who had saved his life twice.
Jasper’s team consisted of Miller, Harper and Monty, which shows how strong he was. Miller, the loyal Slytherin gunner, had more relations with Bellamy and was more skilled in terms of fighting. Monty was adept at hotwiring, code and communications, which would be crucial in their mission against Mount Weather. Yet Jasper was the one who stepped up to take the leadership role. His time at Mount Weather, and maybe a bit of season 1 after he shot the bomb on the bridge, grew his character and what he believed were the qualities of a "hero."
“Monty’s great with computers… Miller’s a thief… and I’m the mastermind.”
Though this must’ve sounded a little silly, it turned out to be true. Jasper stepped up and took on the goal of saving his friends. His people. He might as well have been the delinquents’ “only hope,” and compare that to the way the delinquents were thrown onto Earth in season 1, considered expendable.
“And they said we wouldn’t amount to anything…”
Jasper was strong. Mature. Starting to care more than he thought he would. People looked up to him. He was their leader in that dorm, and he helped them find safe places when they got out of that room. Bellamy was proud. Jasper was brilliant, despite his shaky character through the beginning of the season.
Jasper wanted to be the one to kill Cage, so he went inside the drilling chamber with Lee. Before he had the chance to do what his goggles focused on, Clarke had already committed genocide and then his goggles switched back to another objective, which was Maya. He sprinted away even though Harper was screaming his name because of how pinfocused he was. His goggles, blocking everything out.
Jasper tried his best, but soon the world he was fighting to preserve had suddenly melted and crumbled before his eyes. A comment on a YouTube video also mentioned that Clarke and Bellamy pulled the lever to save the people they loved; Octavia and Raven and Abby. But the mountain girl Jasper had fallen for, the girl who started a revolution, who went to breakfast with him, who sacrificed so much, wasn’t their consideration. He could have easily seen Clarke’s actions as selfish or cold hearted, because he loved Maya. Maya was Jasper’s people just as much as Octavia and Raven and Abby were Clarke’s people.
After that, all he could see was that three of his best friends were mass murderers and they never even had to become mass murderers if they'd waited "just one more second" so he could kill Cage. This was his own belief and painfully untrue. If they'd waited, he probably would have gotten killed. Just because Cage was dead didn't mean all the other soldiers would surrender.
Jasper was extremely alienated from Monty and felt he'd also lost his best friend. Monty wasn't sinking into depression or alcoholism like he was, even though Monty was also responsible for the genocide and Monty was acting like he was "just fine."
“You and Clarke and Bellamy are all mass murderers, as far as I’m concerned. How is it that you wiped out an entire civilization and yet I’m the one who can’t sleep at night?”
He was being human. He was having feelings.
Jasper might’ve been bitter not only from Clarke’s sudden appearance in the mountain and pulling the lever, but also from how she left in the beginning of season 2. In his eyes, Clarke had virtually left the delinquents behind to fend for themselves. Jasper had told Dante quietly, “with all due respect… Clarke wouldn’t just abandon us.” Yet in the end, that was what she did. That was what his goggles saw. Jasper wasn’t there when Clarke was fleeing in the tunnels, didn’t see the pain she endured when she had to kill Finn to strengthen the alliance. Clarke left her friends in the dangerous mountain to then come back and kill the people whom Jasper had grown to care about.
“It’s a little too late for a Mount Weather memorial, don’t you think?”
Everyone started to leave him alone, even his best friend. Jasper kept to himself during the second grounder war while people were getting executed and Monty turned into a spy for Pike. Jasper changed, he was grieving, he was going through something completely normal for a sixteen year-old who had gone through more trauma needed for three lifetimes. It accurately depicted how his actions were influenced by PTSD and gradual mental illness: suicidal ideation, self harm, alcohol and drug abuse, anger management, difficulties with hygiene, Survivor’s Guilt, dissociation, increased risk taking, social isolation, and difficulties vocalizing/articulating feelings. It was what filled up his goggles day and night.
The anti-Jasper comments during season 3 honestly annoyed me more than I thought they would. Going on a rant here. Not everyone's the same. People respond to trauma in different ways, and it affected Jasper more obviously than it did the rest. Is there anything wrong with having feelings that are justified and you’re a human being so you say and do things and blame others for what you’ve been through? To classify them like they’re nothing but a prop just because they’ve been through too much, more than they could and should handle, is messed up. Obviously, there are others. The fighters, the survivors, the ones who push through. Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Murphy, Miller… Monty. Look at how they overcame it. Look at how they never break. How they kept fighting, meeting each obstacle head-on, saving their people, making decisions to try their best; to do the right thing. “We do better today than we did yesterday.” They kept going. They kept fighting. But there were people who compare. “Clarke’s been through more than Jasper but she’s not crying about it. Why is Jasper making such a big deal about it?” I respect Clarke (at least s1-s4 Clarke.) I respect the characters who relentlessly kept fighting to survive and save people, because they were strong and wanted to live. Trauma never cancels, but it’s something they look back on, something to fuel them, something to take out of the box sometimes. But it’s not something they lived in. People deal with PTSD in different ways. Jasper was hurting so much inside. Everyone else was too, but does that mean it’s somehow wrong to undergo psychological damage after serious trauma? Damage that shows? Damage that can destroy a person? It’s realistic. Not everyone can stomp down their PTSD and their nightmares and keep pushing. I respect it, I admire it, how hard they try. But this show was basically telling people there were others who simply aren’t at that level. People like Jasper, Harper, and Riley. People dismissed and belittled these people and boxed them into stereotypes and labeled them and that was quite simply f-ed up. This can apply to other characters too.
But Jasper’s actions in season 3 hurt other people, not only by pushing away Monty but spreading Finn’s ashes without Raven’s consent. Because she was under the influence of ALIE, we never got to see how she truly felt about it.
Even though these irrational actions can come simply out of his clouded grief and pain, many forget he was on drugs and alcohol to an extreme when he was doing those things. Because later, Jasper found Raven when he was sober and confessed, however shamefully, that he’d spread Finn’s ashes.
“Easing” his pain through different medications was his go-to, yet it never worked. It made him reckless and irrational, even more so than his already broken feelings, shown clearly by his impulsive fistfight with Macallan over the piano. The very same piano he’d played in Mount Weather as he flirted with Maya. “Those clothes belonged to people,” he says, and he seemed to be the only person who cared. Because Jasper couldn’t stop seeing the ghosts of the innocent people the Sky People had killed. He couldn’t stop seeing the horrible ways the Arkadians had gotten those clothes—those resources—from the mountain in the first place.
When he got back to Mount Weather as part of the team to heal Nyko, the first thing he did was go to the basement. For Maya’s favorite painting.
He had become angry, snappish, arguable, dull, everything Jasper never was. It was only after alcohol had been banned and only used for medicinal purposes that he actually showed signs of overcoming pain.
Back when I was watching him start to help Raven, I’d thought Jasper had woken up, seeing his friend fall apart, and being confided in. But he really woke up in a literal sense because now there were no more meds to escape into. It allowed him time to uncloud his goggles to try to help again. The fact that Raven only counted on him and Abby to share her secrets and efforts in Arkadia would’ve boosted the idea that he was valuable to the mission, and gave him a purpose. Jasper realized something was wrong, and he realized that he still cared. He fueled this throughout the latter episodes of the season, going on trips to find Luna, trying to help everyone break through the City (until he got captured) and trying to hug Monty before they left for the first time. This was the only time he actually seemed to naturally heal.
After he was stopped from taking the chip the first time, he realized the danger they were in and once again realized that he needed to live, and that he was needed as he drove Raven out of Arkadia.
He impulsively got Raven and drove out with the only rover because he wanted to save her. Jasper took one look at the gathering of people on the main floor and ran for Raven. Immediately when she started talking he knew she wasn't herself, and knocked her out. Even when he almost ran over Clarke, he screamed at her to get inside even though he had many reasons to leave her to ALIE’s zombies. His goggles told him to rescue Clarke, and that’s what he did. Jasper seemed to know what Raven was going through, and instead of trying to calm down Raven like the others, spoke directly to ALIE herself in Niylah’s hut in a different attempt to save his friend.
Raven called him out when she was being controlled by ALIE, telling him he thought he was special and he had to be protected because he'd lost someone. That he was “weak, pathetic.” But Jasper had thought that to himself on multiple occasions already. He was hyper-aware of how he looked to others, and Raven’s twisted words only made it worse. As he’d casually dropped to Raven episodes before, “just a drunken idiot. I know.”
The fact that natural recovery was the right way for Jasper to heal was actually revealed early on, in season 2. In his first days at Mount Weather, Jasper had shown positive signs of happiness in the safety of the mountain and overcoming his previous trauma. But Jasper was never able to fully recover.
He was able to find some brief moments of peace in Luna’s rig, when for a single episode they were seemingly safe. He was the only person in the team who seemed to appreciate the Flokru way of life; Clarke, Bellamy and Octavia were pin focused on getting Luna to take the Flame. His sense of safety was again shattered when the rig was attacked and Shay was killed, the girl he’d seemed to bond with during his time there. Later he told Octavia, “it’s what we do.” Jasper had seen, over and over again, that their efforts and paths would only lead to more misery and more innocents being killed. This wasn’t a mindset he’d adapted because of Maya’s death. It was something he had developed during many of his traumatizing experiences on the ground.
“I was going to save everyone!”
Many people thought the cause for his breakdowns later was “only” the loss of his girlfriend Maya, but it may have been the entire incident at Mount Weather. Three of his best friends killed off an entire civilization; the only place that cared for his needs, however briefly, the way no other place could. Maya’s death was one of hundreds who had called the mountain their home. That he had helped his friends do this horrible thing by fighting the mountain men from the inside. Putting it one way, even if Jasper had been able to get Maya out of the mountain, perhaps with some leftover marrow, and ALIE and Praimfaya never existed, humans are humans. Maya still would have eventually died, from sickness or old age, if it comes to it. Jasper knew that. But what was different was the horrible way Maya had died, and the cause of her death: his friends.
His sudden explosion may have been a buildup from all the trauma he was going through from the day the delinquents landed. Maya’s death was the straw that broke the camel’s back. There was a comment on a YouTube video a while ago saying he was “suddenly becoming so die-hard and suicidal over a girl he’s only known for two weeks.” But Jasper was traumatized over much more than the loss of his girlfriend.
Jasper’s character had a perfectly valid reason to be so attracted and then broken to people he’s known for “only a short while.” He was often juxtaposed with Monty, falling in love faster, taking bigger risks, latching onto people who made him feel safe and happy and seen and wanted and needed just because he was who he was, because he was Jasper. First from his instant attraction to Octavia, and then suddenly willing to jump into a snake-infested river to save her after only a few hours of interaction with her because he wanted to save her.
Jasper wouldn’t have taken the chip had he not been forced to. He was already at the end of his rope, and that was the easy way out. The only way he could cope—or rather, the only way to cope that was offered to him. No one was actively giving him any help that made sense. Jasper’s worldview became tragic and twisted from his experiences, and he believed dying was the better option. No one exactly gave him a reason to believe anything different.
When he heard the news, Jasper seemed relieved that the world was ending, laughing before setting his gun down and going to watch the sunrise. It was the fact that soon everything would be over that gave Jasper reassurance, because after everything he’d endured, he believed it was the only way to “break the cycle.” He didn’t actively try ending his own life again, instead deciding on living his life to the fullest before it would eventually be ended by the death wave.
“I’m fine. I’m having fun,” he’d replied in supposed reassurance to Monty’s concern. “Not gonna kill myself. What’s the point?” Jasper didn’t see the point in staying alive if there would always be constant misery and destruction. Perhaps if they’d made him see that life could be more, Jasper could have chosen to live. But at that point Jasper wanted to go out with a choice; he was tired of fighting. The one thing Jasper thought he had control over was when and how his life would end. The death wave and the Jobi tea was his answer.
Meanwhile, he could spend every day in bliss. “The end is the same, but who says the journey has to suck?”
Bellamy had tried giving him “something to do” in season 3, but that only made it worse. Monty tried the best he could, but simply couldn’t reach Jasper the way he always felt he could when they were still best friends. Monty was also suffering losses and conflicts of his own; the best line he’d said to Jasper that might’ve motivated his friend to live was “we will be happy together. I promise.” But later in season 4, that seemed to be pushed to the side. His friends tried their best, but couldn’t reach him—and quite frankly, they were too busy to deal with his mental state.
His goggles weren't damaged by the death wave, which must have meant something.
Jasper was really young; a lot younger than a lot of the main protagonists. This show was all about moving past these measures, doing whatever it takes to keep on surviving. But for everyone to always do that…? For the innocent to stay innocent, or better yet, lose their innocence but keep going like it’s okay, it’s normal, “we did what we had to.” The show did that a lot, but as I said, everyone is different. Not everyone agrees. Not Jasper.
“I don’t want us to survive. I want us to live.”
Jasper had apologized wholeheartedly to Monty right after waking up from ALIE. He realized what he had done; what he almost did, and he was sorry. Jasper loved the City of Light, but he never wanted to hurt his friends. He never wanted to hate his friends. Later, the fact that he found out the world was ending right when he tried to commit suicide just adds to the fact that he might’ve taken it personally, because that’s what his goggles saw. Jasper’s last actions in season 3 were actively fighting against Clarke and his own friends, stabbing Monty and attacking Harper. He would’ve felt horrible once again; that he was nothing but bad luck—a burden—a curse.
I wouldn’t say he didn’t care “enough,” like Harper, to live. In season 4, despite all he’s been through, his attitude somehow gave the same energy to me as the Jasper Jordan I knew back in season 1. The chill, the humor, the smile blurred from Jobi tea. Jasper would’ve been against Bellamy’s catchphrase back in season 1. But in season 4, Jasper saw its appeal. He agreed with it.
“The way I see it is, we can spend our last days wallowing in our reasons or we can do... we can do whatever the hell we want!”
Alcoholism and suicide took it far. I can’t say he made the right choice by overdosing, but I can’t say he made the wrong one either. “You sent them down to die. The difference is, now they have a choice.” Jasper wanted to make his own choice, and he wanted to give others the same freedom. The DNR party was being treated like a suicide cult, but the difference was Jasper made it clear he would not judge those who wanted to leave them behind; who wanted to go to the bunker. In his opinion, those who wanted to survive were neither right nor wrong and he respected their decision regardless. Bellamy had told him, “May we meet again,” and Jasper had replied, not unkindly, “we won’t.” He gathered the people who wanted to die and let them slip away peacefully, from the overdose. The people outside the door were telling the teens it was their duty to survive and if not they were wasting everything.
“This is the future of the human race, Jasper Jordan. Participation isn’t an option.”
They were forcing people to “survive” when they didn’t want to. And since the world was ending, how long would it be before these extra teens began to use too many resources and become expendable again? Jasper never treated the 100 like they were expendable. He fought tooth and nail for every single one of the delinquents at Mount Weather. Since many of the teens must’ve been with Jasper in the mountain, it would've been easy for them to follow him because he proved himself to be a strong leader when Bellamy and Clarke weren’t there, one who still valued their choices. In the end, Jasper didn’t want Monty to find out what he did. He didn’t want Monty to take off his helmet; didn’t want his best friend to try so hard to convince Jasper out of a decision he’d already made. Jasper had begged Monty to “let us go” and save himself as the drugs started to take its toll. Jasper wanted Monty to live. Jasper still cared.
If he’d chosen to go with Monty to the bunker and had lived, would it have made a difference? Would he have healed, slowly, after everything? Been able to put it all behind, maybe really become happy again?
The answer is, no one knows. I’m not defending suicide. It’s the same with Charlotte. Maybe Finn as well. Charlotte and Finn had been expressing their condition and it was the way others—the people they cared about— responded that triggered their ultimate decision. They had a choice. Every one of those kids, those teens, had a choice to either die or live. And they chose to die.
But touching on Jasper’s PTSD storyline, I understand and appreciate that it was realistic and some people do commit suicide in the end. At the same time, I feel like they should’ve taken a break from the dark world they created and gave Jasper a more hopeful storyline. The people who empathized with Jasper were genuinely crushed by his death and Jasper’s overdose just contributed even more to the negative stigma of mentally ill people, especially teenagers. Yes, Jasper’s storyline overall was brutal and realistic, but Jasper was the only character that had a special arc based on his PTSD. All the others had their fair share of scarring experiences, but Jasper was the one who showed severe, lasting effects through the rest of his life. It was realistic to kill of Jasper in the way he wanted to go, but the world is already full of “realistic” and sometimes people just need a hopeful character with a hopeful storyline for some light in the dark.
Even though I know the 100 wasn’t planned all the way when they started, there’s somehow still some pretty interesting foreshadowing. His first line to Clarke was “Have they got a bar in this town? I’ll buy you a beer.” This was how he was as a funny guy, a party boy, trying to make friends and flirt before his abrupt trauma. I always had a vision of pre-suicidal Jasper simply being a nervous Goggle Boy who wanted to do good. Yet this was never the Jasper we actually knew until after his traumatizing spearing. Happy Jasper. Reckless, cheerful, stoned party-boy Jasper. It was shown in more depth, however briefly, in the Earth Skills flashback when he cheekily called out to Pike about “which plants we can smoke?” The very beginning.
But the stuff he said there coincided with his attitude in season 4. Inviting people to the party. Telling him to have a drink, that it was okay right now.
In fact, many of his actions in season 4 were actions of forgiving, and finally letting go. He pulled the float prank on Jaha, covered Clarke in foam, dragged Bellamy out into the woods for Jobi nuts because he knew Bellamy always felt he had to be everyone’s big brother. Pretended he was dying in the “black rain,” terrifying Monty, the one person who tried to go back out into the rain and “save” him. It might’ve been symbolic and also pretty cruel in its own little way, because Jasper had lost Maya and his ill-lived friends at Mount Weather from radiation.
Jaha, Clarke, Bellamy, and Monty were all people who hurt Jasper in different ways. I think he was trying to forgive them, show them that despite his attitude he ultimately understood why they did what they did. That deep down he respected them for it, but that didn’t change what he now wanted to do. He’d told Bellamy there was no point in beating himself up for his choices. This was coming from someone who lost his girlfriend because of something Bellamy was a part of. “It’s not gonna bring anyone back.” Jasper understood this. Jasper was always more a lover than a fighter.
The pattern made me feel he was trying to be nice. Many others thought so as well during those episodes, I believe. Maybe that’s exactly what he was doing. But doing this while he was half-high and wasted might’ve confused people and had them take his actions differently.
“One day,” he had said to Clarke, “when this is all over, you’ll realize the foam bit was funny.”
There was at least one person in camp who kept his sense of humor, though Jasper’s humor had become darker. Jasper wanted to get Clarke to relax again. To chill. He wished that one day she’d look back on this incident and remember not the argument over the List or the yelling, but Jasper Jordan, the kid who gave her a surprise facial; that was worth a laugh. In those situations, it’s amazing if one could even smile anymore.
Another piece of foreshadowing was Jasper’s skill in chemistry. He mentioned this to Raven as she was making bullets in season 1 for her to relax and maybe let him help, and was later crucial in the s1 finale. But this was actually used again in season 4 when he concocted just the right solution of sedatives, medicine, and Jobi tea so he and those who wanted to die could peacefully slip away before the death wave.
Even after all he’d been through, Jasper constantly praised Earth, in his last days calling it a "terrible beautiful planet" and has always seen its beauty. And in these times, Jasper’s mindset opened my eyes and helped me still see the good in the world, as strange as that may sound. Jasper recognized that they had been living on borrowed time since the moment they came down, and that the least they could do was to enjoy what the Earth had left to offer before it was all gone.
The fact that he wore an Earth Day 2052 T-shirt on his first and last days on the ground implied how much he really did love the planet he’d been thrown into. That’s incredibly optimistic coming from someone who’s had to live through hell. And Jasper has remained to be the only one who actively admired its beauty, no matter how horrible the people were, or what they did to him.
“For all its flaws, Earth is really beautiful.”