This The 100 review contains spoilers.
The 100 Season 3 Episode 11
Toward the end of this episode, Raven is finally freed from Alie’s dangerous mind control, prompting a relieved Octavia to remark, “Never thought I’d be so happy to see someone in pain.” Based solely on this episode’s title, “Nevermore,” I thought we were going to lose Raven tonight.
Instead, she was tortured for nearly the full hour. Her friends couldn’t bear to see her suffer, and I certainly didn’t enjoy seeing it either, especially given how much Raven has suffered throughout the entire series. Somehow she has become a go-to character for pain and suffering over the last few years. In “Nevermore,” however, her abuse reaches an all-time low. Must-watch television this wasn’t.
Normally, Raven is one of my favorite characters. She’s cocky, confident, and brave. She’s also incredibly intelligent, and has often engineered novel ways of pulling her friends’ collective fat from the fire. It’s these very qualities that made her such an appealing target for Jaha as he sought to bring more people into Alie’s City of Light. If someone as strong-willed and smart as Raven could be won over, more Arkadians would be likely to follow.
And one of the appeals of entering the City of Light was that by ingesting a small chip, one’s problems would immediately vanish. Anyone who has followed The 100 from the beginning will understand what a temptation this would be for Raven, who has suffered her share of mental and physical traumas. As far as motivations go, this is a pretty solid one. The writers did a great job of teeing this up not only for Raven, but for Jasper, too. But more on him in a bit.
As we saw last week in last week’s “Fallen,” Alie displayed an ability to manipulate her human hosts via mind control. As I said in my review of that episode, what may have sounded fine on paper didn’t work well in its execution. As you’ll recall, in “Fallen” Alie makes Raven slit her wrists as a way of making Abby ingest a chip.
In “Nevermore,” the writers double down on this idea by having Alie essentially possess Raven. In doing this, Raven spends nearly the entire episode doing her best impression of Linda Blair from The Exorcist. And if watching Lindsey Morgan thrash and howl for an entire episode weren’t enough, we must endure the psychological warfare Raven wages on her friends.
Yes, I understand that Raven isn’t responsible for what she’s saying, that Alie is using her like a big meat puppet. What was most damning about these revelations wasn’t the uncomfortable truths being revealed about Clarke or Jasper or Bellamy. Rather, the unintentional byproduct of this scene was how The 100’s recent shortcomings were so clearly spelled out for viewers.
Yes, Clarke has a martyr complex; her desire to protect “her people” (a phrase uttered numerous times tonight) ultimately gets a lot of innocent people killed. We already know this about her, even if Jasper hadn’t already said as much in the same episode. And yes, we already know Bellamy is a follower who acts out in anger to satisfy his own ever-changing moral code.
Which finally brings us to Jasper, who Raven/Alie calls out as a sensitive, brooding drunk. As much as I’ve loved Devon Bostick this season, he hasn’t really done much more than brood and pine for Maya. Bostick is a great actor, and he is very convincing in portraying Jasper’s mental anguish, but his character deserves better. If anything, I’d say spilling Finn’s ashes at the crash site should have been a bigger wake-up call for Jasper; clearly it wasn’t.
As for “Nevermore,” his biggest moment was calling Clarke out for killing hundreds of innocent people. Like so many other people on this show, Clarke is also in need of a serious reality check.
In the end, Raven is freed from Alie’s control, which is all well and good. But how long will it be before Raven will be made to suffer again in service of a storyline? Torturing her character should not be a plot device. Doing so is a disservice to her and to viewers.
Some closing thoughts:
I haven’t really enjoyed what’s been happening between Monty and his mom this season. What I liked about Pike is that he managed to turn friends and loved ones against one another. Monty and Hannah were no exception to this. Hannah was Team Pike, Monty wasn’t—which led her to eventually rat out her own son for aiding the resistance. Because of this, one could argue she was already dead to Monty before he was forced to kill her in “Nevermore.” Already we can see how this is going to affect him, especially given that he might have saved her from Alie’s mind control, the way Raven was saved. At this point, though, haven’t we witnessed enough suffering on this show?