This review contains spoilers.
2.15 Blood Must Have Blood
And that was just part one. All year, The 100 has been dodging expectations and quietly becoming its network’s biggest critical hit, so its second season finale was never going to be guilty of pulling punches. This episode was just as violent, just as emotionally complex and just as surprising as the rest of the season and it makes you wonder what the writers have in store for next week.
We begin where we started off, inside Mount Weather. Only, this time, rather than seeing the strange, sterile alternative to the wild, feral ground from Clarke’s perspective, we’re seeing Clarke and her newly-built army through the eyes of Cage, trying to keep things together despite the seemingly insurmountable forces he’s managed to tick off over the course of his week-long reign.
With the Arkers and Grounders outside, ready to storm the gates at any moment, Mount Weather is just as much a prison for its inhabitants as it is a safe haven away from the deadly radiation outside.
Lexa and Clarke’s plan to infiltrate Mount Weather is fittingly intricate, with each element of the scheme reliant on the rest succeeding at exactly the right moment. Bellamy is inside with Jasper, Octavia is with Indra and some more backup Grounders, Raven and Wick are shutting down the power supply and Clarke, Lexa and their warriors are poised to storm the castle as soon as the minute-long window in which to blow open the front door arrives.
All of this raises the tension pretty naturally and, while this is a show that regularly feels epic due to the impressive stakes it stacks up against its protagonists on a weekly basis, the episode really did take things to another level. People are going to die, people already have died, and it’s up to Clarke to take responsibility for a plan that involves hundreds of mostly innocent lives.
It’s a rescue mission, she reiterates at various times during the episode, and they’re not there to shed unnecessary blood. That sentiment, she later discovers, is something that Lexa takes to heart and, just when all of the chess pieces are in place, she reveals that her people were ultimately more important than the lives of Clarke and hers. Very few people were killed on the way to Lexa rescuing the imprisoned Grounders, but it came at the expense of a valuable alliance.
It’s a wonderful twist, not merely because of the romance the last string of episodes has worked hard to establish between the two. It’s not a betrayal in the sense that Lexa has been playing Clarke all along, which would have been a bad move on the show’s part, but more of a continuation of both women’s struggle with balancing their heads and their hearts.
When Finn died, Lexa told Clarke the story of how someone she had loved was also killed, encouraging her to turn off her emotions in order to be a better leader. But then they seemingly fell for each other, which complicated things for both of them. Lexa’s decision in this episode was in keeping with what she had originally told Clarke, but now the price to pay is just higher.
We leave Clarke quite literally alone, facing now impossible odds with Dante and Cage back in control of Mount Weather, Wick and Raven captured and Bellamy trapped inside with Jasper, Monty, Miller, Maya and the rest. Octavia is also now as alone and vulnerable as the rest of them, having put the safety of her brother ahead of her allegiance to the Grounders.
It’s an exciting place to be leading into the final episode, as battles where there’s apparently no chance of the heroes winning are always more fun than the opposite. This show has come a long way and, while Lexa’s betrayal stings, this is and always was Clarke’s battle to fight.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Bodyguard Of Lies, here.
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