This review contains spoilers.
1.6 His Sister’s Keeper
Last week’s harrowing instalment of The 100 was the best the show has ever been, so the follow-up was always going to be a slight let down. The fact that this episode, His Sister’s Keeper, was completely focused on the hundred and their relationships both helped and hindered the hour in that, while the move away from the Ark allowed last week’s events to fester a little, awkward courtships and jealous girlfriends feel like small fry when compared with 300 people volunteering for death. It’s possible that even the teens realised this, however, when the mass funeral for the fallen was witnessed from the ground.
As the episode title suggests, the bulk of His Sister’s Keeper was focused on Bellamy and Octavia, whose sad backstory was finally revealed via flashback. We already knew that Octavia’s very existence on the Ark had been illegal, and that their mother had been floated once she was discovered, but the exact circumstances of both were unclear until now. What’s important about the story, of course, is what the experience did to the relationship between the brother and sister and, quite understandably, theirs in a complicated form of sibling rivalry. A mixture of protectiveness and resentment, Bellamy’s world has always revolved around his sister.
As one of the more interesting characters on the show, especially among the young cast, an hour’s exploration of Bellamy was very welcome, and his relationship with Octavia is also completely unique to The 100. It’s a love story that doesn’t rely on third wheels and manufactured drama to be compelling, and that sort of thing is like gold dust on a CW teen drama. The time spent with Raven, Clarke and Finn, in contrast, is completely tired and familiar, with only Raven’s general competency and badass-ness saving it from being entirely worthless. While there will be viewers invested in these three, I’m certainly not one of them.
As said, time spent away from the Ark this week was a bold choice that will hopefully pay off whenever we do check back in with the grown-ups. By staying on the ground, the audience become as clueless about what those up above do and do not know, or how they’ve reacted to the knowledge that someone might have survived after all, and that automatically ups the stakes. And they need to be upped, as the mysterious Grounders don’t feel like a big enough threat right now. Octavia’s kidnapping was a bit of a red herring, revealing only that there might be more than one faction of Grounders hanging around.
They have killed people, of course, and that does an adequate job of reminding us of the life and death nature of the hundred’s situation, but when those people are passengers we neither know nor care about, the impact is always going to be a little muted. Wells’ death mattered a lot not just because of who was doing the killing, but because it made the statement that The 100 is willing to kill off main characters, and more fleshed out personalities would automatically create handy cannon fodder for the Grounders to pick off in future episodes.
His Sister’s Keeper did a good job of filling in some blanks for certain characters and the flashbacks served to humanise go-to villain Bellamy even further but, with the sense of danger between the Ark and the ground still at completely different levels, an all-Earth hour is sadly less gripping than one focused on the politics and sacrifices being made up above. We’ll be returning there in the next episode, thankfully, while Finn’s injury will likely bring the love triangle to the fore following Raven’s discovery back on Earth. If this means resolution for The 100’s weakest storyline, then that’s only going to be a good thing. See you next week!
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, here.
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