We open with Jaha and Jasper. I love The 100, but there’s no way to annoy me more as a viewer than to open with a scene featuring my two least favorite characters. Jasper’s nihilism and Jaha’s faux stoic wise-man routine are just grating on the nerves.The 100, but there’s no way to annoy me more as a viewer than to open with a scene featuring my two least favorite characters. Jasper’s nihilism and Jaha’s faux stoic wise-man routine are just grating on the nerves.
Perhaps the show was just trying to get this stuff out of the way (which I’d argue means it shouldn’t be on the screen in the first place), but straight from there we move to Ilian, the Grounder out for revenge on the technology that his people had been using for a hundred years, the same tech that caused him to kill his own family. I know every show needs new faces to keep things fresh (and eventually kill when they need a convenient emotional note), but I can’t feel sorry for someone who is lashing out at others – and in his case likely costing many people their lives – because of his own guilt. It’s my least favorite character arc.
Obviously, the Arkadians are very unhappy with him and what do Arkadians do when they’re unhappy? They riot and kill. While I was kind of rooting for the mob here, I will never get enough of Marcus Kane shouting down a crowd. I’m a little concerned about where the bullet he shot up into the Ark’s ceiling went, but beyond that, his fury, followed by his controlled, “Good choice,” directed at the crazies was awesome.
We then travel over the hills and far away to Becca’s Lab which sometimes feels a little bit like The Island on Lost, where Raven is trying to figure out how to get the rocket up to and back down from space while Murphy very helpfully plays with a remote control car and snarks at her. Late in the episode, after she’s physically attacked him and Luna has somehow (magic?) calmed her (I’ll admit it, I ship it, what’s it called? Sea Mechanic? I’m so there), it’s Murphy who suggests that Raven land the ship in water (something that likely should have occurred to Raven as that’s how astronauts landed back on Earth for decades at the start of the space program, but I’ll allow it).
Clarke. Clarke and Niylah. I love this. I love how the show separates romantic love and physical love. I love how these two take care of each other as friends and as lovers. I loved Clarke’s drawing of Lexa on her wall, the speed at which the show operates making it almost a fond memory of a lost lover rather than a very recent tragedy. Clarke is still mourning, but she’s moving past it in a healthy way. And on a show that showcases unhealthy reactions and relationships all the time (it makes for some great TV) this feels great to see.
We move from that scene to Monty briefing what seems to be whatever resembles The Council these days on exactly how dire their situation has become. So, okay, I know we’ve moved on from The List, but I feel the need to say something. Monty wasn’t on the list for some ridiculous “Jaha is suddenly an engineer and you’re only an apprentice, sorry” reason and yet this whole season Monty has been infinitely more useful in solving actual problems than Jaha has and Clarke isn’t stupid or unobservant, she would have known that and that speaks to a larger problem with season four. To be fair, this episode is one of the rare exceptions, but on a whole, season four of The 100 has prioritized character decisions for plot convenience. Over and over again, characters choose one way over another in a way that moves the plot forward rather than a way that is consistent with his or her character. We Will Rise is a blessed reprieve from this trend and hopefully, it continues through the rest of the season.
Before we hit the first break, it’s decided that Adventure Squad 5.0 will be formed to bring the fuel Raven and Abby need to The Island and it may just be the best adventure squad yet: Roan, Clarke and Bellamy. And here we have a fantastic moment between Kane – who likely sees himself as the surrogate father to all of these delinquents – and Clarke, perhaps the one who needs a father the least, recognizes Kane’s need to be with Abby before she goes up into space and tells him no and tries to reassure him. It’s a sweet moment and it feels very much like a goodbye, so I’m wondering if Clarke and Kane will cross paths again this season?
Just prior to saddling up for the mission, Bellamy checks on Octavia, who very clearly still hasn’t forgiven him for the part he played in Lincoln’s death and since she was unable to stop Ilian from blowing up Alpha Station, has slipped into a sort of trance-like depressive state.
Octavia has been headed here for a long time now. First, she lashed out violently and now she’s figured out that her rage should be focused more internally. Skipping ahead in the episode a bit, this progression is a natural one and I for one am glad to see it. Her behavior earlier in the season while “badass” wasn’t healthy and the show hit us over the head with the Octavia/Pike parallels in this episode (while I don’t think her behavior is exactly the same, it’s close enough).
Octavia lost the moral high ground when she declared no one innocent a few episodes ago. It’s been a brutal journey for her, but one her character desperately needed. She was one of the few who’d never really been put in a morally gray situation before, never had to make one of the impossible choices that The 100 presents to the rest of the characters in almost every episode. It’s been a long time coming and the show has done a phenomenal job with her. And now that she’s run off – and Ilian with her – I can only imagine that she’s going to find another purpose soon.
Before Adventure Squad 5.0 sets off, we’re reminded twice that Raven needs “every last drop” of fuel to get the ship up to space and back again, which lets the audience know immediately that every last drop will most assuredly not make it to The Island. I for one don’t really care that the show telegraphs this kind of thing. The point of The 100 was never “will things go wrong?” Things always go wrong. The show is about what they do in the face of that adversity. The season is chugging along though, so perhaps it’s time for an actual workable solution – and it seems like the Nightblood solution may just be it since it’s the overarching idea that’s been slowly playing out, but I have a feeling there will be more than one way to survive the second coming of the apocalypse by the end of the season.
The intricacies of the road trip don’t matter as much as what we learned about the trio that took it. First, it emphasizes just how alike Clarke and Roan are. They are smart, intuitive and at the end of the day, dedicated to saving everyone from the coming radiation. Their journeys have mirrored each other since they introduced Roan last season (tragic that Charles Vane was killed off of Black Sails, and awesome for The 100 that Zach McGowan was available). McGowan is uniformly awesome in this role and it was great to see the show finally use him to his potential this season. His realization that it was his own guards that betrayed their mission and the subsequent battle on the back of the truck was exactly why they brought McGowan on board and it’s paid off tremendously.
And finally, the moment – almost – that so many of us have been waiting for, Bellamy’s almost confession of something to Clarke. I’m a little annoyed because I can’t get past the weirdly awkward line she delivers right before it, “She’ll realize how special you are” doesn’t feel quite right. Octavia knows everything there is to know about her brother, she has to stop blaming him entirely for something that’s only partly his fault, but I digress. It leads us to Bellamy – who has realized that perhaps he’s seeing Clarke for the last time to want to confess something to her – his feelings? DUH – but instead Clarke stops him. She doesn’t want to say goodbye. He’s resigned himself to at least the possibility that they’re going to fail. Clarke has not.
Either way, we’ve clearly moved past the “will they/won’t they” phase of this ship into the “will they before the world ends, again?” phase. I don’t feel like I’m going out on a limb too much when I say, we’ll probably get an almost. There’s a ton of speculation out there that they’ll be separated during the radiation fall-out and that there’ll be a five-year time jump between season four and season five. Speculation aside, I think the audience will get something more concrete on the Bellarke front before the season ends, but I doubt very much it’ll feel like a happily ever after scenario.
So where do we go from here? From the previews, it seems like we get death and destruction next week with the arrival of black rain. The clock is ticking and as always the question is who will survive? Tune in next Wednesday at 9 pm on The CW to find out.