As we head into “The 100” Season 4, there’s one question that seems to be on everyone’s mind — and it’s not an easy one to answer.

What’s the deal with Bellarke, anyway?

Fans have long hoped the relationship between Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Clarke (Eliza Taylor) would take a romantic turn — but so far, they’ve only shown signs of deep affection and a healthy respect for each other, and built an unshakeable partnership that’s almost better than a romance. Meanwhile, they’ve both had romances flame and fizzle with a few fallen characters: Finn (Thomas McDonell), Gina (Leah Gibson), Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey)…

Side note, maybe it’s better they haven’t hooked up, seeing as all their kissing partners tend to end up dead? Needless to say, now that we’re entering the fourth season of The CW’s post-apocalyptic drama — with a possible fifth hanging in the air — we’ve got to wonder if Clarke and Bellamy will figure out a way to sneak a confession of love in between one nuclear apocalypse and the next.

And more importantly, should they?

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There’s no doubting the chemistry between these two characters — you don’t build a crazed and devoted fandom without that — and in the right set of circumstances, a romantic relationship between them would make a lot of sense.

In the upcoming season, Clarke and her friends will face the end of the world (again), and this time their ability to survive won’t be fought with guns, technology or even pure grit. They’ve got to find a way to survive rising radiation levels, meaning they’ve got to science the hell out of this problem. With mere months to figure out a work-around that will keep them all alive, we’re presented with an interesting change in the team dynamic that might lend itself to deeper bonds and burgeoning feelings.

For the first time, our heroes aren’t facing an immediate, deadly threat. Sure, death is coming for them on a pale horse, but he’s taking his time. They’ve got a few months to work this problem out, which is a change of pace from the usual problems. There are no Grounder armies at their door, no mountain full of people drilling into their bones, and no AI hunting them down, intent on mass brainwashing.

For the first time, the threat that Clarke and Bellamy are facing is not coming at them full speed, forcing them to make life or death decisions in the blink of an eye. If ever there was a time for feelings to slowly grow into something more, this would probably be it, in the relative calm before the radiation storm.

Still, we hope if this is the direction “The 100” decides to take its two leading characters, they handle it with the grace and delicacy the situation deserves, and they let that slow burn simmer a little longer.

There is no way Clarke is over Lexa’s death — frankly, neither are we — and it hasn’t been so long since Bellamy lost Gina either. While we never love losing interesting characters (or watching our faves lose them), the grieving process can be a beautiful journey to watch when it honors the relationship that came before. It will be hard for Clarke and Bellamy to walk away with a meaningful appreciation of their respective lost loves if they don’t go through that journey. Hopping right into another romance is a big no-no.

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We doubt this is a mistake “The 100” would make, since they’re well versed in killing off characters and depicting the devastation of that aftermath. Just look at Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), whose grief over Lincoln has turned her into a killing machine, hellbent on taking revenge wherever she can. It’s not a particularly pretty journey to watch, but sometimes those are the best ones.

On top of their mutual trauma, Bellamy and Clarke have got to find a way to be on the same page. These two are leaders before everything else, and they’ll need to tackle this radiation problem together — so no butting heads, kids! Play nice! Luckily, everything we’ve seen and heard about this season so far seems to indicate that Bellamy and Clarke will be a united front on this new issue. Here’s hoping they stay that way.

Ultimately, we’re still pulling for “The 100” to get a Season 5 (and a Season 6 and 7 and 8 and…), so we wouldn’t be devastated if Bellarke wasn’t on the agenda this year. Whenever these two characters share the screen, we get an electrifying result, kissing or no kissing.

Just keep giving us excellent stories and angst-ridden space teens fighting for their lives, and we’ll be blissfully happy with the result.

“The 100” premieres Feb. 1, 2017 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

Posted by:Lindsay MacDonald

Lindsay MacDonald is a Los Angeles based entertainment reporter with an affinity for CW superheroes. She graduated from Pepperdine University with a major in Media Studies and a borderline unhealthy obsession with TV in 2012. She would much rather spend the day binge-watching ‘The Flash’ or sorting ‘Game of Thrones’ characters into Hogwarts houses than venturing outdoors. TV words to live by: “Never ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.”