Every time I’m certain I’m safe and not going to melt into a puddle of feels induced tears, The 100 proves me wrong.
“Fallen” reached down and stripped me of the little composure I had after Lincoln’s death and replaced it with fear for EVERYONE! And I mean all of them, Grounders and Skaikru alike. Loss, pain, fear, and anger are powerful motivators in this world. They seduce the naive, force those in pain, and destroy the people we once were. It makes us shadows of our former selves, our reflections barely recognisable, when we finally take pause to see what we’ve become. Each of the characters have let their pain shape them. Raven to resist, Octavia to fight, and Bellamy to change.
Let’s talk about it!
The Good: Everyone’s Got Their Own Journey
For the longest time everything was about Clarke. How she was going to lead her people, the hard choices she had to make to survive, and what relationships were important to her. Sure they gave others screen time but it was mainly about the Wanheda. And as her story progressed, I’m not going to lie, I got a little bored. The 100 is an ensemble cast and I wanted more stories that didn’t have anything to do with Clarke. For me, this episode finally showcased that minor characters are branching out and having their own trials and tribulations the lead being involved. (Well except Lincoln. But he’s off to bigger and better things and if we start on him we’ll be here for hours.)
First example in this expansion of ensemble coverage and pain, is the duo Jasper and Monty. Since the beginning they’ve been the comedic relief and we never explored the kind of people they were, what they feared, and what they loved. Now Jasper is working through PTSD, losing his best friend, and an alcohol program. It’s destroyed him and he’s been drowning for the last couple weeks in the misery he felt. In “Fallen” he got a chance to refocus all that he was feeling into something useful. He saw that while he was lost in pain, his friend (talking about Raven here) was falling apart too. Kidnapping Raven was as much about himself as it was about the mechanic. It’s an opportunity for him to crack open the shell of denial around him, work through his PTSD, and get back his best friend Monty.
Now onto the other half of this duo, Monty. Since the beginning he’s been on the sidelines as everyone else got in on the angst train. He was the companion, the sidekick. This season he’s had to deal with being alone and watching his friend self destruct. Eventually Monty came to the conclusion that he couldn’t carry Jasper’s anger anymore. The comedic duo broke up. Now there’s a war raging inside of him that can’t pick between his mother (the family he thought he lost) and his friends (the family he made for himself.) His mother’s betrayal, to protect him in the long run, will tear at him for the next couple episodes.
These are only two examples on how The 100 is enriching their world. They’re showing us that that major plot points ripple out and affect those we don’t see on screen as often. My hope is that they continue this trend by exploring:
- The insecurity that Miller must feel after Bryan’s betrayal.
- Murphy living under the rule of the vicious leader as a means of survival.
- And even, why Ontari has allowed herself to be vulnerable around Murphy.
The more layers The 100 peels back on characters laying low in the background, as war begins to bloom around them, the more I’ll care to stick around for when my favs die. It won’t be the end of it all if someone like Clarke dies because her journey isn’t the only one I want to see or care about. There’s Jasper, Monty, Raven, and even Octavia. I’m invested in their future.
The Bad: Siblings Torn Apart
As soon as Octavia returned to Bellamy, there was something different in the air. She was cold and restrained. Octavia lost her control when Bellamy, the man who sided with the leader who killed Lincoln, spoke up. Suddenly we were watching a severe wave of turmoil and anger as it hit Bellamy, over and over. And Bellamy never raised a hand to her. He took her beating and pushed, any that tried to stop her, away.
Why did he do that? Why did he let her take all her agony with her fists upon his face? Guilt. In that moment he had failed his sister. Instead of protecting her, like he’d always promised, he’d let her love die. Of course he didn’t do it physically, but he followed and assisted a man who DID kill Lincoln. In a way he was responsible and deserved all that Octavia was serving up. He let himself be beat as penance and as the start of earning her back.
Octavia and Bellamy Blake will be fine. I know, big statement. Remember that time heals all wounds, even the ones inflicted my family. Bellamy will stay by Octavia’s side and do whatever he must to keep her alive. It’s not the most healthy way of coping with Lincoln’s death and all the betrayal, but it’s a start. He’s going to show her that his actions speak louder than his words, and that he’d follow her to the ends of the Earth because she’s his family. As for Octavia, she’ll keep fighting Bellamy and pushing him away. For a while she won’t let her guard down because she knows that she’ll eventually start forgiving him if she does. She fears that forgiving Bellamy would mean admitting her anger was partially misplaced and that she was betraying Lincoln’s memory.
The journey in front of them is not for the faint hearted. The Blake’s will shed blood, lose themselves, and lash out before one of them finally cracks and they tries to fix this. You just wait and see.
On a side note, I saw a lot of comments on social media about how Bellamy deserved this beating. And how Octavia was right in acting cold and disconnected because there is no forgiving him now. I find it really hypocritical that Bellamy is put into such an unforgiving and sharp focus when the lead of the show has killed hundreds of people. You can argue all day about what their motivations were or how they got to the point where killing was the only solution…but they did it. And far as I can see, plenty of people have moved on from the Mount Weather massacre. With time he will make atonement for what he has done.
The Ugly: Taking over Arkadia
The most disturbing part of “Fallen” goes to the ‘City of Light’ takeover in Arkadia. A.L.I.E. and Jaha went too far in their pursuit of recruiting subjects. They tricked, manipulated, and hurt their way into people’s minds and bodies. It was a violation the Arkadians didn’t agree too.
Jaha is a weak willed man who will blindly follow anything in his pursuit for a solution to the pain they all feel day to day. He’s always been the one to look for a quick fix when things got tough. Well I’ve got news for you Jaha, things don’t come easy in this world. You have to fight for it, arm in arm, with the people you claim to love. Right now you’re just a scared old man who can’t face his loss of power, influence, and son. Own up to it.
We can’t forget A.L.I.E. in this. She doesn’t want to save the world or it’s people. She doesn’t care for the Grounders or Arkadians. What A.L.I.E. is after, is a way out of the digital landscape she lives in with an option to not be alone when she returns to it. The City of Light was just a fancy creation, a tempting promise, to open up people’s minds to her influence. It was her construct to get out. She has found her escape with the residents of Arkadia. (Please refer to creepy pod person scene below and Raven when she rose from that bed.)
What A.L.I.E. did to Raven was disturbing and utterly horrifying. The A.I. holds no value for human life. All she cared for at that moment was convincing Abby to give in. And it worked. A.L.I.E. wants to end her own suffering. All others don’t matter as long as she gets what she wants. And that’s where our lovely mechanic comes in again. There’s something about Raven that calls to A.L.I.E.. She’s the strongest of followers and has been fighting the A.I.’s hold with every fiber of her being. Raven is the perfect host for A.L.I.E. when the time comes. Nothing, not even distance, will stop her from getting what she wants. Next episode, she’ll have an entire army out to catch the people who are hers.
- Murphy stayed with Ontari because he knows the value of befriending the faux Commander. He can’t escape Polis yet so why not cozy up to someone that’ll keep him safe? I do have to admit that the final scene between them was off putting. It was a power move for both of them. Murphy so he could stay alive. And Ontari so she could show him the power she could exert if she wanted to.
- When Clarke appeared and started demanding answers in the middle of an escape scene, I became one with Jasper. (There might have been screaming and pointing at the TV.) I found Jasper’s words refreshing and on point. Don’t stop and ask questions in the middle of an escape sequence. Can’t you see how freaked out Jasper is? Get in the car and shut up Clarke! We’ll deal with your issues later.
- My Kabby (Kane/Abby) heart broke when I realised that Kane was sending his kids back to Arkadia without realising that Abby was already lost to the City of Light. And yes I said ‘kids’. Kane is more than a leader to these teens. He’s a father figure.
MVP of “Fallen”: Raven Reyes
This woman endures all that is thrown at her. Despite falling into the arms of the City of Light, she is not broken or defeated. She’s forged of iron and will destroy A.L.I.E.
So what’s next?
- Jasper, Clarke, and Raven are going to run into Bellamy, Octavia, and the rest of the gang, not long after their escape from Arkadia. As expected the reunion won’t go well. The biggest issue they’ll have to deal with will be removing A.L.I.E. from Raven’s body before the A.I. kills her.
- Kane will arrive in Polis with Pike. The only reason that Ontari won’t strike Kane down is because Murphy will convince her to give the 13th clan a chance. War will only destabilize the fragile hold she has on Polis.
- Jaha and A.L.I.E. will wait patiently for Raven to wake up. She’s the strongest of them all and A.L.I.E. won’t let her go. She’d rather kill her first than do that.
Next Week’s Trailer – ‘Nevermore’
The 100 airs Thursdays on The CW @ 9/8c.