The 100: Perverse Instantiation, Part One Review

The 100 does a lot of damage to its characters and itself in its penultimate episode of the season.

This The 100 review contains spoilers.

The 100: Season 3, Episode 14

Well, with only one episode left to go this season, the good news is the City of Light storyline will (hopefully) be laid to rest. That’s not to say Alie and her mind-controlled minions haven’t wreaked havoc with The 100, because they surely have. Arkadia is all but abandoned. The streets of Polis run red with the blood of innocents. And most of the characters we’ve grown to care about, like Kane and Abby and Jaha, are nothing more than pawns in Alie’s master plan to become an all-powerful A.I. As for Clarke, Bellamy, Raven, and the rest who are not under Alie’s control, they’re not really faring much better, are they? Left to their own devices, Clarke and her crew are running into one setback after another. This is all well and good, as conflict drives any story forward, but there’s a kind of futility to their machinations that doesn’t just smack of desperation, it makes these seasoned survivors look like amateurs. But this is more the fault of the writing this season than it is Alie being an unbeatable foe.

Which brings us to another unbeatable foe, Wanheda herself. When it comes to the Flame, Clarke positions herself as trying to do what’s right for the greater good, but clearly this is more personal for her. The Flame isn’t just some sort of master chip, it also contains Lexa. Which brings me to a point I’ve brought up in other reviews, namely that when Clarke is all in on an idea, everyone else is supposed to follow suit, seduced by the single-minded purity of her intentions. I can understand how she might be able to persuade those who know her, though this happens less and less frequently. Her friends have learned through hard-won experience that following Clarke Griffin comes with its own set of risks. Jasper, who is now chipped, is kind enough to remind Raven and Monty of this, reciting a litany of people who have died over the years, many of them because of Clarke. I’ve compiled a list, too, of those who were injured in “Perverse Instantiation.” Bear in mind, all of this occurred within a single hour (roughly 42 minutes, minus the commercials).

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In no particular order:

Ontari, the remaining Nightblood (aside from Luna), is bludgeoned by Jaha which leaves her brain-dead. It also means the only way to take down Alie is by hacking directly into her code.

Jaha is shot by Bellamy but the former chancellor still manages to escape with the Flame.

Indra is possibly killed trying to rescue Kane from the explosion that destroys the elevator.

Abby hangs herself. This is pretty dark stuff, which is saying something considering Kane was crucified a couple of episodes back. Does this convince Clarke to give up the all-important passphrase that activates the Flame? No, no it does not. But fear not, Abby is cut down before she asphyxiates.

Clarke suffers two puncture wounds by her mother’s own hand. Lovely. More torture in a season already brimming with it. Didn’t we already get our fill of this when Raven slit her own wrists, or when Alie possessed her for an entire episode?

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Pike and Nathan are both shot by Kane, at Alie’s behest. But they’re still able to operate the elevator without bleeding out from their wounds.

Monty is stabbed in the gut by Jasper, but it’s okay since no vital organs are touched. Even Monty mentions the sheer luck of this. So why have Jasper stab him at all?

Harper is attacked by Jasper and quickly goes down for the count. So much for her guard training. Considering that she and Monty recently slept together, I have to think Harper’s not making it out of this season alive—which reduces her to being nothing more than a plot device, and just as her character was getting interesting. The same could be said for Nathan and Bryan, who daydream of a time after the fighting has ended, when they can settle in a cabin by a lake, or some such. Whatever the case may be, all of this death and destruction is tiresome, just as Nathan himself says at one point. Sure, it’s very tiresome, the constant killing. The Alie storyline is likewise boring and reductive and soul-crushing to behold.

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Some closing thoughts:

Clarke’s Polis jaunt to give the Flame to Ontari is moot if Raven is going to crack Alie’s code by herself anyway. And didn’t we already see her come thisclose to doing that already?

The most interesting parts of this episode revolved around Pike, who’s still taking no prisoners, and Octavia, who essentially wants his head on a platter. She doesn’t care about Alie—she cares about Lincoln. And I care way more about that storyline than I do about the City of Light.

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2 out of 5