The 100 episode 4 review: Murphy's Law

Review Caroline Preece 11 Apr 2014 - 14:20

Things get even more Lord Of The Flies in this week's episode of The 100. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.4 Murphy's Law

A show like The 100 was never going to work without the guts to show us disturbing stuff, even on The CW, and this week’s episode finally delivered on that eventuality with the mandatory misguided lynch mob episode. The whole ‘live together, die alone’ motto hasn’t really factored into the group’s adopted morality since the first episode, of course, but now that the first unarguable murder has occurred from within the camp, things were always going to take a darker twist. This is only the fourth episode, but the hundred are wasting no time fulfilling our expectations of what a lawless society of teenagers might look like.

However, aside from that slightly worrying ending, teen angst was largely missing from Murphy’s Law and in its place was a competent look at some plausible consequences born from last week’s shocking events. When we open, the group are convinced that Wells’ death was the result of Earth’s existing inhabitants, vowing to erect more safety precautions so as to avoid any more unnecessary losses. But we know that it wasn’t some faceless monster/tribe that did away with Wells and, before long, people are pointing the finger at the most likely candidate for his murderer – Murphy.

With Bellamy obviously fulfilling the role of redeemable leader and – I’m calling it now – Clarke’s eventual love interest, it was always Murphy’s purpose to be that “obligatory psychotic jackass” present in every sensibly-crafted teen drama. This might not be high school, but that doesn’t mean the starting points of these characters aren’t taken directly from The CW handbook. Murphy has been slowly establishing himself as the disposable villain of the story, there to test the group before they have to face bigger and meaner adversaries, but Murphy’s Law was the episode in which he exceeded his assumed role in things.

It might have been censored to be at least YA-friendly, but the lynch mob that sprung up as soon as Clarke ignored Bellamy’s warnings and announced Murphy’s guilt was probably as brutal as The 100 could get away with. That bodes well for the future of the show because, as we know, things are only going to get worse and bloodier before long. Had they group killed Murphy before learning of his ultimate innocence, it would have become a completely different show but, with Charlotte admitting the truth before things could get that far (though things went pretty far regardless), it still managed to make its point.

For some reason, people are a little more squeamish about stringing a little girl up than they are a grown man, and the double standard brought up a lot of great questions that the show really needed to address. Charlotte’s ultimate suicide doesn’t really matter, because the legacy she leaves will no doubt be felt for the rest of the series’ duration, however long that might be. At least the show didn’t wimp out on showing the consequences of her actions and, now we will have to deal with the consequences of the rest of the group’s response to the knowledge that absolutely anyone, especially in this setting, could pose a threat.

Putting a group of disturbed and previously incarcerated teenagers on a planet together was never going to end well and, with the vast majority of the hundred still a mystery to the audience, it’s not unreasonable to think that there are at least a couple dozen more potential murderers hidden in the crowd. Bellamy and Clarke might have reached a truce for a time, but banishing the camps most undesirable residents is only going to create an additional army ready and willing to storm the castle, and it’s tempting to think they’d be somewhat justified in those actions.

Next week promises to spice up the developing love story between Clarke and Finn with Finn’s girlfriend, Raven, which means we’re getting our love triangle. I’ve reached my capacity for love triangles on these shows but, as I haven’t bonded with either Clarke or Finn yet, maybe we can just ignore it until it goes away? Much more interesting is the development of Bellamy as not just a dictator, but someone willing to learn from others how to be the best leader he can. His vow to protect Charlotte this week proved once and for all that there’s more going on with him below the surface, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops further.

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, Earth Kills, here.

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