In The 100‘s bravest episode so far, one of our heroes took a very dark turn. Where do we go from here?
You know what makes The 100 more than “just” another sci-fi show? Episodes like this one.
In The 100 season 2, episode 5, the character whom many fans have considered the most uninteresting turned around, raised his gun, and became the most messed up, complex person on the show.
I’m not going to lie, this was my favourite episode of the entire series. Let’s discuss.
When Jasper likes someone, he goes all in
Jasper and Monty returned this week, and we’re beginning to realise how much trouble The 47 (that’s not a super catchy nickname, but run with it) are in.
When they prepare to go after Clarke, there’s a sudden radiation breach which almost kills Maya. Doctor Singh suggests they use Jasper’s blood to save her, and the other shoe drops: the Mountain Men are going to use the Ark survivors’ blood to save their people.
Luckily Monty is wonderfully skeptical of everything, which is nice. It’s always good to have a character who asks the right questions. Not that it’ll get him very far though. Yeah… they’re screwed.
In a neat little scene, President Wallace reveals that he didn’t want the kids to be experimented on, and that Doctor Singh went behind his back to complete the first human trial.
This could mean that he’s a super nice guy, but let’s face it: this is The 100. He probably wants to feed them to his pet snakes.
Me Grounder. Me thuuump.
Kane’s adventure doesn’t quite go as planned, because as we’re quickly beginning to realise, Grounders are not fans of peace, or people who seek it.
Trying to be all noble, Kane leaves his guards to follow the Grounder alone. He drops the knife and sets the man free, like the sucker he is, and is then knocked out. If Anya was still alive, she’d be laughing her ass off. (Too soon?)
Kane is dropped into a prison cell, and surprise! It’s his BFF Thelonius! Nothing could possibly go wrong now.
TROOOLLL in the dungeon!
Poor Lincoln. Some random (but kinda handsome?) dude we’ll just call Doctor Frankenstein is holding him captive in the mountain dungeon, and he’s given some weird serum.
(Frankenstein is later revealed to be Wallace’s son. Not important now, but it’s an example of absolutely brilliant casting, as the pair look and sound exactly the same.)
Phase one of their experiment is teaching Lincoln to associate a noise with pain, and get him hooked on the serum. In Phase two, another Grounder is brought in, and they are being made to fight each other for another dose.
In a fight worthy of Game of Thrones, Lincoln emerges victorious. We dread to imagine Phase three.
Two for the road
Amid all the torturing and massacring, we did have some wonderful, much-deserved reunions.
First, Clarke is taken into Camp Jaha, where she’s reunited with her mother. Abby even gets a badass “she’s my daughter!” moment, in honour of moms everywhere.
When she’s taken to the tent and Abby reassures her that Bellamy and Finn are alive, Clarke breaks down. An incredibly touching, very well-acted scene, which should not be overlooked.
The next day, an epic reunion happens, and THAT HUG! You guys. The #Clarktavia ship is sailing strong.
…What? Oh, that’s not the hug everyone’s been squeeing about?
No, but seriously, this moment, with all the hugging that occurred, really showed how far the characters have come.
Clarke running into Bellamy’s arms, clinging on for dear life even before he hugged her back, was such a Clarke-like thing to do, reminding us just how impulsive and full of love she is.
And the way they’ve all missed each other shows that their time together on the ground really has bound them for life – in a way the adults just can’t understand.
Proving this fact, Abby decides that they can’t send rescue missions to both Mount Weather and Finn and Murphy.
Bellamy suggests that they go themselves, and they confer with Raven. With Wick’s help, they manage to leave undetected. Raven calls Octavia “Pocahontas.” Good times.
After they’ve gone, Abby confronts Raven about their escape. Then slaps her, which is just rude.
“She thinks that because of what she’s been through she’s changed. She’s still just a kid,” Abby insists. But, “You’re wrong, Abby. She stopped being a kid the day you sent her down here to die.”
Let’s call a spade a spade. You’d be hard-pressed to find a The 100 fan who doesn’t ship Bellarke (or maybe that’s just because their shippers are the most vocal?).
But full disclosure: to the extent that I root for any particular pairing (this is serious business journalism!), I’ve so far been leaning more towards Finn/Clarke than Clarke/Bellamy. Honestly I’m weary of getting too invested in any character, friendship or relationship on this show, although I guess Bellamy and Clarke are probably the least likely to die? But still, I remain cautious.
But this relationship, romantic or otherwise, is beautifully acted and written. Their shared moment by the fire was full of emotion. It was nice. Just as seeing Bellamy acknowledge Octavia as a useful member of the team – this guy has really grown over the past season.
Where the war appears to have destroyed Finn, it has strengthened Bellamy. It’s an interesting, well done role-reversal.
Make like the Grounders and “chillah”
While the big reunion is happening, poor Finn and Murphy are literally left outside in the rain (it’d be funny if it wasn’t so sad).
They’ve found a friendly Grounder camp full of women and children, and Finn’s sensible plan is to attack them. But you know what? I’m going to stick up for this character until it is absolutely impossible.
Finn’s actions were despicable, yes. But his crimes are acts of desperation, made out of fear and heartbreak.
Ordering someone to die or be beaten in cold blood is evil. (Kane, I’m still judging you.) Desperately searching for your loved ones, seeing obvious evidence that they’ve been harmed and acting in panicked self-defense… no, it’s NOT okay. But it’s not evil. Personally, I pity Finn. He’s broken, and probably beyond recovery.
Finn and Murphy capture all the Grounders, and Finn runs around like a crazy person looking for prisoners that aren’t there. Murphy is not amused… and you know you’re losing it when Murphy is trying to calm you down.
Unfortunately for the Grounders, Finn finds the 100’s jackets. And you gotta admit, the evidence is pretty damning.
Finn is prepared to shoot an innocent woman… but he can’t do it, not in cold blood. (And can we just all remember that Octavia was willing to do the same thing, to find Lincoln?)
But just as they’re about to leave, a Grounder runs out, and Finn shoots him. The Grounder kid runs at them, and Finn shoots him, too. And another. And another. Until…
This scene was perfect. The Grounders lie dead or dying on the ground, the heroic kid is dead in his father’s (?) arms, and Finn moves towards Clarke as if in a trance.
“I found you,” he breathes, and he’s even kind of smiling… Poor Finn. He’s lost it. Clarke is, understandably, horrified.
Now, I’ve been a fan of Finn’s character from the beginning. Not only because I tend to root for the underdog, but also because there’s something reassuring about having a character with such a solid moral compass be the voice of reason whenever things get too grey.
But you know what? Seeing characters shift on an axis like Finn, Bellamy and Murphy have done makes for excellent television. The transformation of Finn (while arguably a tad rushed) is so dynamic, so heart-wrenching, and brings a whole new purpose to his character.
A+++ to The 100 team. Writers, director, actors, DOPs, makeup artists… you’re killing it. Literally.
Very important questions
– Can and should Clarke ever forgive Finn?
– Is Finn in for a long redemption ark, or is he headed for a tragic death?
– Do you think Maya is now immune to radiation? Or was it only a temporary fix?
– Are the adults from the Ark less immune than the kids? Probably not. But they have been in space for a whole generation less…
– Anyone else just waiting for Lincoln to grow an extra head, Cerberus-style?