This The 100 review contains spoilers.
The 100 Season 4 Episode 2
The 100 Season 4 continues to serve up reminders of season one, from that electric blue butterfly to the realization that the Ark will only save 100 of them. We also started to learn a few more details about the facts on the ground while Bellamy faced down an OG The 100 moral quandary, Raven pressed Clarke to tell the truth, and Octavia added “political assassin” to her resume.
Bellamy definitely isn’t off the hook for his foray into genocide, certainly not with Raven, and least of all with himself. That certainly tipped the scales in favor of saving the lives staring him in the face rather than the disaster a few months down the line. While the choice between is definitely the kind that The 100 prides itself on, it never really felt like Skaikru was going to leave the slaves behind. And, much like Bellamy, it’s still easy for us viewers to feel like the end of the world is far away, or at least that our faves will come out unscathed, which takes the emotional heft out of the paradox.
The most emotionally intense moment of this storyline revolved around Monty. Even the brief, casual conversation about who the kill belonged to was a reminder of how far these characters have come. Monty and Jasper were two of our sweetest cinnamon rolls, the purest who took the longest to be darkened by the violence and trauma, but it happened nonetheless. Still, I loved Monty’s refusal to conform to the two options offered to him. He is not a killer, and he doesn’t want to be. He is still responsible for that death, which was more brutal than if he had done it swiftly himself, and he knows it. It will eat him up inside, and the horror in his face as he walked away was clear. But at least he made his own choice rather than falling in line with what was offered to him. He chose the best bad option available at the time, which is the best anyone on this show can do.
It was great to see Miller and Brian get more screen time, even if it’s heartbreaking to watch them fight after they managed to survive everything else. The realization that Brian turning against Pike was purely to save Miller, rather than due to a philosophical change of heart, was gutting. It’s interesting to see someone like Brian who stood by Pike, who murdered innocent people, but favored saving innocent people from Ice Nation in the present. On The 100 it’s about loyalty, not morality, and everything comes down to who you define as “your people.”
Octavia has turned a corner, and not in a good way. This may be the first time we’ve seen her kill when she didn’t expressly need to. The Trishankru Ambassador posed a political threat, a theoretical threat for the future, but not an immediate physical one. Without Lincoln to keep her grounded (no pun intended), or the rest of the 100 family to check in on her, Octavia could easily go off the rails in her grief. Kane, how about one of your patented heart to hearts? In other Polis news, Roan finally told Echo about the end of the world and promised she can one day go to Arkadia to spy on Clarke. I honestly can’t wait to see Raven and Echo interact, as long as Echo checks her weapons at the gate.
Abby gets two well-earned developments in this episode. Kane’s reaction to Abby still wearing her deceased husband’s wedding ring on a chain around her neck was pitch-perfect. Abby and Kane have always been a strong presence on the show and in one another’s lives, and this seems to signal to each other and the viewers that their coupling will not diminish the power or screen time of either of them. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if Abby wore the ring to remind herself of her role in her husband’s untimely demise and Clarke’s imprisonment as much as their old life. In that way, taking off the necklace is more about forgiving herself for past since than making room for a new love.
In either case, Abby setting off toward Arkadia and Clarke, her neck bare, felt right. She’s letting the past go and going to be with her daughter who needs her in the present, but Kane is still in her heart. It was brutal to see Abby and Clarke separated again in the premier, especially after their bittersweet moment together while Clarke mourned Lexa, so soon after Clarke watched Abby nearly kill herself while chipped during the finale. Now that the adults seem to accept the 100 as rightful peers and Abby and Clarke have resolved their prior tension, it will be interesting to see them move forward as equals.
Unfortunately, Clarke hasn’t learned all of her lessons just yet. She adopted Bellamy’s new motto to “save who you can save today,” which apparently involved lying to her people outright. Raven spent much of the episode chafing under her dual role as a person who is in the know yet has relatively little decision-making power. I’m worried about Raven’s disenfranchisement lately, which reminds me of the mindset that made her interested in taking the chip in the first place, plus ALIE’s effect on her mind. As a result, she’s throwing Clarke’s father in her face and seems to be pretty isolated.
This episode brought together a lot of great elements that reminded me why I love this show, even if some of them were a little light on emotional intensity. It also tackled fewer storylines than the pilot, which made a huge difference.
A few stray thoughts and great moments:
– No one has forgiven Jaha yet, although Clarke seems the least mad.
– Black rain sounds terrible.
– It sounds like there’s 500 Skaikru, plus grounders. Yikes.
– Jasper singing “I don’t like Mondays” is morose yet delightful, just like the song, which is perfect for Jasper in more ways than one.
– Word does not get around ice nation very fast – The 100 needs a pony express or something.
– Raven misses Sinclair.