This review contains spoilers.
Having one of your main characters kill 18 people in a single scene is something a show like The 100 can’t really come back from. Murphy was one thing (though the show doesn’t let us forget), smothering a couple of sickly redshirts after being captured and tortured by the Grounders, but what Finn did was painted as a much more loaded act from the moment it happened.
He killed a bunch of the ‘opposition’ in the middle of a war that didn’t need to begin in the first place, and his panicked response to Clarke possibly being in danger is what led everyone to the precarious, dangerous place they occupy in this mid-season finale.
And so, as signposted by the episode title and the general focus on his character across season two (as is the case on The Walking Dead, if your favourite character is given a significant arc, start worrying), Finn was always going to die in this episode. It was more of a case of how and when, and the how and the when chosen by The 100’s writers was, simply put, rather magnificent.
The way the show has treated Finn and his apparent personality transplant between seasons one and two hasn’t been universally popular with fans but, for me, it has worked beautifully. It’s one of those plots that’s more of a means to an end than something great in itself, as it’s now Finn’s death and, more importantly, the circumstances surrounding his death, that are going to carry on through the rest of the show.
For Clarke, especially, this is going to have a significant impact on what kind of leader she is from this point. The show’s apparent forgiveness of Finn for the massacre just a few days earlier was indicative of the abundant denial among the group – if Finn was guilty and they punished him accordingly, then what separated them from the adults that had killed many of their parents and sent them to the ground to die?
So it’s fitting that, while the kids don’t really know how to deal with the situation, Abby and Kane both have very definite ideas about what should be done. They’re opposing ideas, of course, but it’s Kane who predicts the eventual outcome, preferable to the painful torture the Grounders will subject him to if they get their way.
There have been a lot of call backs to the actions of Jaha, Abby and Kane since they joined the younger characters on the ground, and it’s interesting to see them debate the fate of one kid when similarly desperate circumstances on the ark had them not just send the hundred down the earth, but also float 300 volunteers in order to preserve resources.
These are the kind of issues and complications that other shows wouldn’t even go near, but here’s The 100, brazenly tackling them on the way to killing off a main character and, crucial given that this airs on The CW, one part of a pretty popular love triangle.
The decision to have flashbacks focus on Finn and Raven’s relationship was a good one in that it both filled in some gaps about Finn’s personality and also reintroduced the idea that Raven would grieve his loss possibly more than anyone else. Something tells me she and Clarke aren’t going to be on speaking terms for a while.
So, once again, the series shows what’s it’s made of, proving that it’s the real deal and maybe one of the best sci-fi shows currently on the air. Finn wasn’t the most beloved character nor was he the most interesting, but he was a vital part of the show’s DNA, and his loss will be keenly felt when we return for the second half of the season. RIP Spacewalker.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Long Into The Abyss, here.
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