We’re one more hero down in The 100 season 3, episode 12, as Miller’s ghost story came to life.
Well gang, another one bit the dust this week. And I was so busy steeling myself to lose Harper, I did not see this one coming.
It makes sense, of course. Sinclair having the delinquents’ back was too good to be true — this show is all about these kids realizing that they have only each other to rely on. And Sinclair died protecting Raven, which I’m pretty sure would be the way he’d want to go out.
But I’m sick of seeing Alessandro Juliani die on my TV. His presence on the show will be missed, for several reason (see my notes at the end).
The rest of the episode was pretty awesome though, terrifying in one breath and grippingly emotional in another — pretty much everything we’ve come to expect from The 100. We’re at a point now where it’s not so much about picking a side, but about weighing up which side sucks less. And, spoiler alert, when Jaha showed up in Polis, I cheered. Jaha’s crazy >>>>> Ontari’s crazy.
Storytime with my new OT3
Let’s compartmentalize our terrible loss for a second. Because that opening scene was amazing. Give me more Miller, Harper and Bryan telling ghost stories and less of them fighting off actual ghosts, please.
I’ve said before that I really admire this show’s confidence in the fact that its secondary characters are enough to pull in viewers from the very first scene. Back in season 1, who’d have thought these background-ish characters would ever have evolved to become fan-favorites? (And that never would have happened if they’d been killed for shock value, just saying.)
And despite the fact that our delinquents once again split up at the end (boooo!), I’m just glad these three are sticking together. In the final scene, when Miller vowed to take care of everyone and Harper then vowed to take care of him and Bryan? I’m in love. #HarBriller forever. ?
Home, sweet… painful, bloody death? It’s so on brand
UGH. Emerson. Why you gotta ruin a perfectly happy homecoming? I’m so glad he died a horrible death.
But before that sweet, sweet moment of vindication, let’s look at how he overpowered each group of delinquents.
Octavia and Jasper go to Lincoln’s old room, where we see the beginning of her breakdown. It’s a very moving scene, in which Jasper tells Octavia, “It’s okay to fall apart a little, Octavia. You loved him.” And Octavia responds, “A warrior doesn’t mourn the dead until the war is over.”
She also finds Lincoln’s sketchbook, which includes a map that’ll lead them to Luna — only in time for Jasper to be bludgeoned over the head, as Octavia is suffocated.
Meanwhile in the hangar bay, aka. the home of all my pain and sorrow, Raven figures out how to activate ALIE 2 without a host body. They try to think of a phrase Lexa would have said often, but it’s Sinclair who works it out with the power of knowledge.
ALIE 2 opens at the close, with the magic spell “Ascende Superius.” Which checks out since, let’s face it, the AI is pretty much a Horcrux.
Think about it: It’s a piece of ALIE’s soul embedded in a host body, it “wakes up” with a Latin phrase, corrupts the mind of the one who carries it, and is even shaped like Slytherin’s locket!
And I can’t wait for Raven to kill it with fire in the season 3 finale. It has to be her, right?
Because of course tragedy finds her, again. They barely managed to build up Sinclair as a father figure before taking him out, which leaves Raven, once again, with no one.
It was very telling how Raven and Octavia stood together by the burial fire at the end: As much as Clarke and the others have suffered, these two arguably have nothing left to lose now. (And, yes, Octavia has Bellamy… but does she really? That shot of her looking at him through the flames didn’t look much like forgiveness to me.)
Emerson now has everyone tied up in the airlock, and Clarke is so quick to sacrifice herself for her friends, burdened by more guilt than anyone should have to carry. And Emerson knows that the only thing that could make Bellamy back down from protecting Clarke is to put Octavia’s life on the line.
So Bellamy goes into the airlock as well, and Emerson’s plan becomes clear: Make Clarke watch as he kills everyone she loves, a perfect (if psychotic) revenge for what she did to him.
And I was just waiting for someone to come save them, but no one did. A stark reminder that these kids have no one but each other to rely on now — but luckily, Clarke is more than capable of saving everyone, and injects Emerson with ALIE 2. He dies horribly, blood pouring from his eyes “I Am Become Death” style. Good f***ing riddance.
We have to stop meeting (and parting) like this
In a surprising attack of feels, the delinquents bring out Lincoln’s body, and give both him and Sinclair a proper burial. I loved this scene, this short moment where the characters had time to breathe. Octavia’s breakdown was particularly heartwrenching.
But then, damn it, the dream team splits up again. Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and Jasper set out to find Luna while Raven, Monty, Miller, Bryan and Harper (who’s gonna save them all one day, mark my words) stay behind.
I’m super bummed my favorite band split up again, but pretty happy with the new character constellations. I hope the show won’t neglect Camp Raven now that pretty much all my faves are gathered in one place.
Jasper and Monty do not hug goodbye before parting though, a fact that’s most definitely gonna come back to bite them. You gotta say your goodbyes on this show, you’d think they’d have learned that by now.
From the frying pan into The Flame
I was so, so stoked when Emori came back for Murphy. I was thrilled by their little conversation in the ALIE shrine, and very relieved by Murphy’s attitude towards Ontari and the fact that he’s, canonically, an unwilling sex slave.
Aaaaand then it turns out to be a big fat lie. I was actually very impressed with the reveal that Emori has an ALIE chip, and as I said — Jaha in Polis is a nice change of pace!
That’s one of the things the show does so well — build a character up as a main antagonist, and then introduce someone even worse, so we’re forced to take the side of the previously irredeemable characters. Don’t forget that both Murphy and Jaha have done terrible, terrible things. But next to Ontari? I’m definitely missing the days when those two were just blowing up redshirts in the desert.
Ontari takes the chip, of course, and ALIE takes the throne. Now, the City of Light can be filled with Grounders, too. I really hope we get to see inside this city soon, because the idea of Grounders and Arkadians living together in peace (even forced peace) is actually pretty intriguing. And unless the show does something crazy like kill off everyone in the CoL (which could totally happen), surely that shared experience will have consequences IRL? I guess time will tell.
I also like to think we saw a glimmer of genuine concern for Murphy on Jaha’s face. It may very well be ALIE wanting to keep him alive, but I doubt it. Jaha considers Murphy his friend — his only friend — and I hope that’ll come into play later.
A final note on Sinclair, and the abundance of character deaths
So there we have it. Sinclair is dead.
It’s no secret that he was pretty high up on my List of People Who Can’t Die But Probably Will (if anyone’s keeping score my current Top 5 is Raven, Monty, Harper, Miller, and Kane), and if I have one major concern about The 100, it’s that it’s falling into the trap of killing secondary characters for shock value.
I really enjoyed that in season 1 and (to a lesser extent) season 2, the show really didn’t overplay the death card. We had losses, yes — and obviously it’d be ridiculous is no one died in a TV show set in a terrifying apocalyptic world. And yet, until this season, it hasn’t felt like death was the go-to plot device to upset/motivate the lead characters. In season 3, that’s been a pretty consistent pattern.
In the past, I’ve praised The 100 for choosing not to kill characters even when their deaths seemed like logical solutions to an arc. Abby, Jaha, Kane, Murphy, Monty, Miller, Harper, all these people could have died a million times over and they didn’t, leading to very satisfying storylines we wouldn’t have had if the show had just disposed of them for shock value.
The biggest strength of The 100 is its characters. At its core, the show is about this rag-tag group of broken souls struggling to stay good as the world around them turns more and more cruel. Everyone — not just the leads — gets to battle their own demons, and people we never thought to pay attention to suddenly become integral to the story. That’s what brings the story to life for me, and every reminder that these people are ultimately disposable just takes me out of the universe a little bit.
The show has done such a good job of fleshing out the background characters and making them come to life. The world of The 100 is so much richer, and so much more engaging, because of characters like Sinclair, Jackson, Miller and Bryan, Indra and Harper. But we also need to feel like these people’s lives matter, or else what’s the point?
And hey, you all know I don’t mind the darker tone the show has adopted. I’m all for raising the emotional stakes. I love the increasingly blurred lines of morality, and I don’t mind seeing the characters go through hell (especially when it leads to awesome emotional payoffs like we got last week). I know a lot of fans are very upset about certain character deaths and I understand that, but the thing is that I’m not upset, exactly — in fact, I have the opposite problem. The more characters die, the less I care about any of them. Why should I, if they’re disposable anyway?
So, just to be clear: This isn’t me protesting this particular death — Sinclair was great and I’m sad to lose Alessandro Juliani (fun/sad fact: He was a major reason I started watching The 100, because I knew him from BSG), but obviously both Lincoln and Lexa’s deaths were more traumatic. All I’m saying is that the more people die, the less each death affects me.
The 100 is a fantastic show and doesn’t need to resort to the whole ‘anyone can die’ schtick. I say it’s okay that some characters are off-limits. You don’t have to make us fear for their lives at every turn to make us care about them. In fact, at this point I’m pretty sure it’s having the opposite effect. Now I’m watching Miller, Harper, Monty, all of these ‘disposable’ people, and I’m not gonna let myself get as invested in their stories. They could die at any time, and that uncertainty is what most shows thrive on, but in my opinion, an abundance of deaths actually lowers the emotional stakes.
RIP Sinclair. The 100 won’t be the same without you.
For your consideration
- So Kane’s still on his way to Polis, right? I stg, show…
- In the Rover of Happiness, the gang discussed the finer details of what it in fact means to be “alive.” What do you think, guys? Are minds uploaded to ALIE 2.0 alive? Because I very solidly think not, but I see why people like Monty and Clarke need to believe it.
- I hate to be That Guy, but how did Emerson even know the delinquents were in the cave and Arkadia?! Did he have some Revenge Homing Beacon we were unaware of?
- Damn it Clarke. I just want to shake her and tell her “Stop blaming yourself for not being omniscient!” She needs to dump some of that guilt, or it’s gonna destroy her.
Next week on ‘The 100’ season 3, episode 13 ‘Join or Die’
…More flashbacks? Or, since Octavia is in a classroom with Pike (which she wouldn’t have been on the Ark), it might be some kind of dream sequence? Very intriguing.
Check out the promo: