Tonight’s episode, “Fog of War,” can be summed up in one word: choices. Good storytelling relies primarily on character and conflict, and The 100 paints almost everyone into corners. The only way out is by making some gut-wrenching decisions. Indeed, no one is safe from the demons they’re forced to confront, whether within, as in Finn’s case, or without, as poor Octavia must do. But let’s talk about Finn first.
Two days have passed since Human Trials, and all is not well at Camp Jaha. Despite being pardoned for massacring an entire village of innocent Grounders, tensions are running high between Clarke and Finn. She can barely look at him, much less share a table with him, and Finn knows it. Never mind that he firmly believes his actions were justified (both Bellamy and Abby back him up on this)—Clarke is never one to so easily forgive and forget. But in Finn’s case, Clarke seems unwilling to forgive or forget.
Bellamy understands how duress can impair judgment, causing people to take big risks and even bigger leaps of faith. In his heart, Finn believed only he could rescue Clarke, until the very idea of finding her consumed him. The fact that the survivors are ostensibly at war with the Grounders (who are themselves also survivors) magnifies every choice, every decision, into matters of life and death. But is the idea of ‘extreme times, extreme measures’ a valid justification for committing heinous acts?
It’s a question The 100 grapples with often; now, it’s simply Finn’s turn to dance along the razor’s edge. Yes, one could argue that Finn’s transformation might be a bit sudden—even disingenuous—but morality is a malleable thing, shaped by society’s constant need not only to survive against impossible odds, but to thrive, too.
By all outward appearances, Mount Weather seems to be succeeding on both counts. Fortunately, President Dante Wallace does not subscribe to the idea of survival by any means necessary. Of course, having shelter and relative stability certainly helps maintain the higher ground (in Mount Weather’s case, the fortified bunker is quite literally on higher ground). But as we’ve already seen, heinous acts of a different kind are being committed.
The worst part is that these inhumane experiments are the worst-kept secrets. For Wallace, the experiments are a necessary evil to ensure humanity’s continued survival—preferably aboveground. But to do that, Mount Weather’s survivors must find a way to metabolize the radiation poisoning the planet’s surface. While he does not subscribe to Dr. Tsing’s methods, he understands the need for tests. If the human trials must continue, he would rather the 47 prisoners participate willingly. Wallace makes it clear he will not brook dissent in this regard, even if it means killing any would-be saboteurs, his son, Cage, included. Their confrontation was my favorite scene of the night—it spoke volumes about Wallace’s commitment to keeping their humanity intact.
Which brings me to Cage, whose own experiments are turning Grounders into Reapers. Last week, we saw Lincoln transformed into a feral beast, attacking his own kind for a quick fix. And now, the Lincoln Octavia once knew seems to be no more, reduced to a slavering cannibal who doesn’t even recognize her. These scenes in the parking garage were nerve-wracking, conjuring up disturbing images of Reapers feasting on fresh kills. The point where Octavia and Bellamy take refuge in a car from Lincoln was especially effective. In the end, they manage to bring Lincoln down without killing him, which suggests Linctavia may still have a chance to be together.
As for Kane and Jaha (Kaha? Jane?), they are faced with perhaps the most difficult decision: which one of them must die in order to broker peace with the Grounders? Kane sees the bigger picture—he understands what’s truly at stake and is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Jaha wants peace as well, but he has already sacrificed so much for his people’s salvation and he has nothing left to give. He wants to live. But as we already know, on The 100, survival often comes at a steep price.
Overall, this was another strong episode. The show is allowing its characters to breathe and its storylines to expand. Now that all of the survivors are on the ground, The 100 has really flourished. The acting, too, has been strong, with great performances from Eliza Taylor and Thomas McDonell. Raymond J. Barry, who plays the president, is really starting to win me over, too. Let’s hope the show can continue to maintain this level of quality (and intrigue) for the rest of the season.
Some closing thoughts:
Clarke and Finn return to the bunker where they shared a romantic night. The tension between them only underscores how much they—and the show—have changed. Finn has a guilty conscience but a big heart; it still beats for Clarke.
So it turns out that Mount Weather controls the acid fog!
I’m glad Maya has finally come to her senses. Jasper, Monty, and the rest need a true ally in Mount Weather. Plus Jasper deserves to be with someone who has his back (which is only fair, as she also has a lot of his blood).