This review contains spoilers for part one of “Blood Must Have Blood.”
It’s safe to say that The 100 is not messing around as it draws its second season to a close. Indeed, events have slowly been building to this full-scale attack on Mount Weather. What began with Finn’s sacrifice has finally led Clarke and the coalition of the willing to the fortified bunker’s door. One could easily argue, were it not for Lexa’s careful tutelage of Clarke’s burgeoning leadership, this odds-defying plan would have no chance of success. But, as it turns out, “success” is a relative term.
Like Clarke, many viewers (myself included) were lulled into a false sense of security by watching the Grounders and the Sky People forge powerful bonds as they sought not only to take down a common enemy, but to free their people from the Mountain Men’s clutches. Clarke placed her trust in Lexa, Octavia placed her trust in Indra, and Bellamy placed his trust in Lincoln. None of this happened in a vacuum, of course. Kane blessed this alliance even as Abby vocally opposed it. In the end, who knew Abby would be right?
Lexa’s unexpected betrayal casts a whole new light on last week’s kiss. While she may harbor genuine feelings for Clarke, it’s easy to take a step back and view her advances as manipulation to further gain Clarke’s trust. Or maybe this is just me being cynical. And maybe I’m being cynical when I say that in light of Lexa’s treachery, hundreds of innocent people died in vain in the missile strike on tondc. It doesn’t matter if a bargain was struck in the heat of the moment, as Lexa assures Clarke. The end result is the same: Lexa got what she came for, and leaves Clarke, and her friends, in the lurch.
But theirs was not the only shifting alliance. Octavia has undergone a pretty major transformation this season as she struggled to find herself. Becoming Indra’s second did wonders for her confidence and her resolve. No longer is she the quiet, sheltered girl who spent much of her adolescence aboard the Ark in hiding. She has taken control of her life, demanding to be noticed for her courage in this brave new world. She has certainly won Indra’s respect, who finally calls her, “Octavia of the Tree People.” But that’s not good enough for Octavia. She craves validation, insisting that Indra tell her what she’s been waiting to hear: “You’re one of us now.”
Octavia’s reverie is short-lived, though. When she refuses to retreat or leave Bellamy behind, her status as Indra’s second is immediately revoked. The Grounders are loyal to a fault; they look out for their own, no more, no less. Like Lincoln before, Octavia has no home.
But let’s talk about Lincoln for a moment. He believes in their common goal: the rescue mission. He is willing to die for this cause, no matter who is leading the charge. He is loyal to the idea of freedom. I was glad to see Lincoln given a chance to go beyond redemption, to prove why he is worthy of his people’s trust. He isn’t a typical Grounder—he is a survivor raging against the machine, plain and simple.
Meanwhile, inside the mountain, things are going from bad to worse—at least for the insurgency. Any advantage they gained when Raven and Wick took down the turbines at the dam was forsaken when they lost their would-be Grounder army in Lexa’s bargain with Cage.
Overall, this was an excellent episode, proving once again why The 100 is must watch sci-fi in the tradition of Battlestar Galactica. A lot of credit goes to great performances and solid writing all around. I would have been quite satisfied if tonight was the season-ender, rather than just the first half of the finale.Some closing thoughts:
Cage’s impassioned speech to the residents of Mount Weather raises an important question: who are the real terrorists? I guess it depends on which side of the main door you find yourself. The Mountain Men want to take back the ground by any means necessary. Clarke wants to free her friends. Either way, innocent lives are lost on both sides of that door—including Maya’s dad, Vincent.At one point Lexa mentions to Clarke a place called “polis.” I assume she’s referring to Annapolis. But who knows, maybe she was talking about Indianapolis? In any case, I wonder what’s so special about this place. And, really, why would Clarke trust anything Lexa has to say anymore?
As for trust, I have no idea how to feel about Dante Wallace. He knew better than to underestimate Clarke, and it was his idea to broker the deal for Lexa’s people. But does he have a bigger plan in mind that will redeem him? After all, it was his morality that led to his ouster as president.
Tonight’s episode had a great score, especially in the opening montage in which Clarke details their plan for taking Mount Weather. Hats off to Marc Dauer and Evan Frankfort for setting the tone for an intense episode.