The 100: Earth Kills Review

It's still called The 100, but it really is the "94" after tonight's harrowing adventures on the Ark, which show Clarke at her best.

And then there were 96 left. We kick off tonight’s episode of The 100, “Earth Kills,” with the Earth….killing two wayward lovebirds with what may or may not be a sentient acid cloud. By the way, why must young lovers always perish—in the woods, no less! It’s nice to know such tropes (and luminescent butterflies and mutant deer) will ultimately outlive humanity.

Anyway, did I say 96? With Jasper at death’s door, we might be splitting rations 95 ways sooner rather than later. Grim times, indeed, for our merry band of juvenile delinquents. But who’s the bigger threat? Is it the mysterious Grounders (who were absent in tonight’s episode)? Is it starvation?  Is it that aforementioned toxic cloud?  Which reminds me—that acid cloud was awfully similar to the toxic cloud from Catching Fire’s Quarter Quell. Was The 100’s cloud an homage (or “tribute”, if you will) to Catching Fire’s flesh-eating fog? Probably not.

Anyway, the biggest threat to our remaining prisoners may be Bellamy with his tough-love approach to crowd management. Though, to be fair, we do get to see a more vulnerable side to Bellamy in tonight’s episode. But more on this Softer Side of Sears in a bit—especially since Bellamy has publicly decreed that Jasper has two days to recover from his many wounds—or he’ll kill the goggled one himself. Like I said, tough love. (And in Octavia’s case, Bellamy is literally behaving like Big Brother—cue the Orwellian music!)

We’re introduced to a new character tonight, a troubled little psychopath named Charlotte (played unevenly by Izabela Vidovic). She suffers from recurring nightmares and has a knack for turning up unexpectedly in all the wrong places. To me, she functions better as a plot device by allowing us to see a different side to characters—like Clarke, for example.

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Clarke tells Charlotte she believes being on the ground represents a second chance for everyone—to get over whatever may have happened to them back on the Ark. It’s a very grounded approach even if it’s hypocritical too. Certainly, Clarke still feels betrayed by Wells for narc-ing on her dad, who wants to go public about the failure of the Ark’s oxygen filters. Father Jake believes the people have a right to know. But the council and the Chancellor? Not so much. We get to see this drama unfold in a series of flashbacks. It’s worth noting that I’m a sucker for a good flashback, and they’re deployed in tonight’s episode to good effect. It’s important for us as viewers not only to understand what makes Clarke tick, but to also understand her resentment toward Wells. And, as it turns out, she has every reason to hate the poor guy—even if he was only trying to help.

Charlotte also allows us to see a more nurturing side of Bellamy. (Is there anything more touching than teaching a little kid how to defend herself with a knife?) But it turns out the tough guy act is just that, an act, something made abundantly clear when Atom (Rhys Ward), heinously burned by the acid fog, begs Bellamy to put him out of his misery. Charlotte hands her mentor the knife and tells him to be strong. (Kids these days, amirite??) But Bellamy, the Chancellor’s would-be assassin, can’t bring himself to end Atom’s obvious suffering. Enter Clarke, who quietly sings a lullaby as she does the deed.

And then there were 95—for real this time, since Jasper receives homemade antibiotics and pulls through in the end (I guess you could say he was spared, not speared). And it looks like Clarke and Wells’ friendship will survive too with the revelation that it was actually Clarke’s mom who went to the Chancellor. Wells was merely trying to protect Clarke by not telling her the truth about her mom. But you know what they say: nice guys finish last, and Wells is no exception. The poor guy gets a shiv to the neck, courtesy of Charlotte, who in the course of slaying her demons, decided Wells was the closest she’d ever get to killing the Chancellor.

And then there were 94. At least until next week.

Some closing thoughts:

The crux of this series is the continued survival of what’s left of humanity—and yet there don’t seem to be all that many people actually residing on the Ark.

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The makeshift chess set we see Wells and Clarke using is a nice touch. People aboard the Ark (at least the few we’ve seen so far) are making do with what little they have.

So, what were Devon Bostick’s (Jasper’s) script pages like for this episode?  Was it just 30-40 pages of JASPER MOANS UNCONTROLLABLY?

What was up with the purple lips in Charlotte’s knife-training scene with Bellamy?

I thought Atom’s acid burns were suitably gross and disgusting, especially for a CW show. But why did the acid fog leave his hair and clothing intact? That’s a very fickle fog, if you ask me.

And speaking of Bellamy, I still think it was someone else who botched the Chancellor’s assassination attempt.

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3.5 out of 5