The 100 Season 4 Episode 5 Review: The Tinder Box
Skaikru loses its best hope for survival in another great episode of The 100.
Octavia is alive, of course, although she almost dies again before this story-packed episode is over. Azgeda marches on Arkadia, but O was able to warn them, so Skaikru has the element of surprise. Both forces meet in a small pass, the titular tinder box, while Abby, Jackson and Raven try to figure out how to save everyone in the longterm.
Raven’s beautiful mind might save them all… and kill her.
Raven once again shows her willingness to put everything, body and mind, on the line for her people. This time, she’s risking brain damage and death (and ignoring a stroke!) in order to keep taking advantage of the remaining ALIE code that’s in her brain. That’s much more interesting to me than the rest of the explanation, which is that Raven’s using a larger percentage of her brain (that old chestnut!), something that has been soundly refuted. Call me crazy, but I like my scifi to be based in a little more sci.
Abby made me nervous a couple of times this episode, first when she was confirming Luna’s fears from last episode and behaving like a scientist from Mount Weather, wanting to take more blood than Luna’s body could handle. Luckily, Abby realized that was heartless (not to mention shortsighted from a scientific perspective – you can’t get fresh blood from a corpse) and changed her tune. But Jackson pointed out that if the EMP was the cause of Raven’s symptoms, Abby should be checked too, and there was more than a little of that ALIE edge to her voice when Abby shot him down. Of course, that vision of Clarke covered in boils only confirms it.
Clarke and Roan stave off war.
I loved how the main storyline for this episode actually had a ton of moving pieces. First, I just need to give Monty a shout-out. He had one of my favorite quotes this episode, “Remember, no one fires unless fired upon. The radiation’s our enemy, not Ice Nation.” He has consistently been one of the most mature and level-headed characters, which is impressive considering it’s not like he hasn’t had his own share of trauma and pain recently. He has really developed into a true leader. I hope that is recognized soon by other characters on the show, whether with a formal position or in some other way.
Bellamy and Echoe’s continued dynamic was a great way to see how different the two cultures still are, especially how they view violence. Bellamy was able to use his experience of committing horrible war crimes to get through to Riley in a way that no other character could, and it felt like Riley and Echo both understood how much damage Bellamy’s damage have done to him emotionally.
Clarke and Roan’s parley was a rare moment to see both of them be straightforward with one another. Roan had a great point that Clarke has really never risen above her clan affiliation, unlike Lexa. Using Lexas’ name was a bit of a low blow, but it’s a good point. If they really want to save everyone, they’re going to have to heed Bellamy’s words: “Prima Fiya doesn’t give a damn about which clan you’re from.”
Elian blows it all to hell.
No sooner do Clarke and Roan negotiate a 50/50 split of the Ark, than Elian blows it all to hell. I love that this plot point not only brings Elian more centrally to the plot, it also forces Arkadia and the Grounders to work together and on a tighter timeline, since they have no alternative. Elian’s backstory as someone who really has had nothing to do with Skaikru up until the City of Light makes him an intriguing character, and he adds to the count of Grounders we know after Lincoln and Nyko’s deaths. He’s also one of the few people who has witnessed Octavia’s recent violence up close.
There are no trainings wheels now, people. No safety net. Time to get down to the business of saving everyone.
A few stray thoughts and great moments…
I’m glad to see Nala from the trading post is back.
“You’re citing Pike?” “As awful as that sounds, yes.”
Raven’s space walking hallucination was a nice nod to her and Finn’s origin story in Season 2’s “Spacewalker,” as well as her career as a 0G mechanic on board the Ark.
I should have known as soon as they found a new spaceship that the Ark wasn’t long for this world.
“War makes murderers of us all.” — Echo