This review contains spoilers.
2.9 Remember Me
Clarke has always been a funny little character in the sense that she started out as a leader. Most shows would have someone like her start off reluctant and somewhat incapable of leading a huge group of unstable teenagers, but from the very first scene we’ve been asked to believe that she would be the most suitable for the job.
That’s something that bugged me in the pilot – that Abby told the audience Clarke was a strong, moral leader before we had a chance to see it for ourselves.
But, much in the same way as it’s handled Finn, season two has made steps to change that slightly and, although there’s now little doubt that Abby had been right about Clarke, the cracks are beginning to show. These cracks are what makes her a real, human character, and the continual strife that these kids have faced just serves to exacerbate the problems that were already there.
Finn had to die, and everyone aside from Raven knows that, but it doesn’t stop Clarke from now shouldering the guilt of those events. Finn had been looking for her when he massacred the Grounder village, and it had been her who killed him despite the mercy of the deed. To make things worse, there are now parallels between what she did and what her mother had done – a thought she instantly rejected as soon as it was pointed out to her.
That initial scene was Clarke allowing herself to feel the pain for just a second, and the subsequent visions of Finn a result of her refusing to deal with the larger emotional repercussions. Throughout the episode we see her look to Lexa for an example of a good leader, pairing a post-Finn Clarke with the Grounders as much as she’s connected to the Sky People, and this could be a dangerous shift down the line.
It’s a little bit disappointing that the show would have its protagonist go down this route when any experienced television watcher knows that it won’t last beyond half a season at most, but it’s the application of the idea to a complex character like Clarke that makes it worthwhile. Though I enjoyed Finn’s turn to the dark side in season 2a, I’ll admit that the lack of previous characterisation for him was a problem there.
Clarke is refusing to be weak by Lexa’s definition, rather than relying on the emotional strength that allowed her to stab Finn in the first place.
This was also the episode that made Lexa into a very real counterpart to Clarke, with a lost love story and age range to match. As well as pointing out the show’s determination to portray young women who are capable, Abby’s comment about the Grounders being led “by a child” served to compare her skewed perspective with Kane’s. Kane has accepted the adults’ fault in the Ark’s demise, and is trusting in Clarke rather than pulling rank.
Though there was a lot of nasty stuff for Raven to deal with in this episode, we really didn’t get time to peek inside her psyche following Finn’s death. I assume this is coming, as well as how she feels about Clarke, but I can see Raven being a stand-in for the proper way to grieve in light of Clarke more or less swearing off emotions altogether.
But we didn’t just stay on the ground for the whole hour – Jasper, Monty et al are still in Mount Weather, waiting to be rescued. They make a decent stab at escaping by themselves, with Monty unjamming the frequency under the guise of a worker, but now he’s in the harvest room (or whatever we’re calling it) and there are 47 cages just like his.
I doubt the show will get rid of Monty after spending so much time developing him this season, but we better hope that Bellamy and Lincoln can make it to Mount Weather before the remaining 47 are rounded up.
This episode had a lot to do after the mid-season finale, and it was a strong note to return on. I love how we’re getting to know the Grounders as characters beyond the obligatory villains, and what Clarke’s going through just adds wonderful extra layers to her. If we didn’t already know, this show has gotten really, really good.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Spacewalker, here.
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