Same, Raven. Same.
Right, so, I fucking loved last night’s episode.
The 100 has always been a show that’s been unafraid to go there and by there I mean dark. Really dark. One of the truly crafty things it’s always done is teed up these horrific scenarios, told us they’re going to happen, let us convince ourselves that there’s no way they’ll actually follow through and then sat back and laughed at our shock when they do. This episode was a brutal reminder of that.
How many of us thought the Ark would see the rockets at the last minute and call off the culling? How many of us thought for sure Clarke would at least refuse to abandon her people in TonDC before the missile hit? How many of us never imagined Clarke and Bellamy would actually commit what was basically genocide on the Mount Weather population? How many of us never imagined they would take a fan favorite with a beautifully done redemption arc and drive him to the point where he would, imo completely in characterly (shut up this is a word), slaughter an army and visibly force himself to commit to such a horrifying cause?
Obviously my heart breaks for these characters but I can’t help but love that the show has once again reminded us (in their usual most painful way possible) that there are no good guys here. Everyone has blood on their hands. No matter who your fav is, your fav is a murderer. None of them are innocent. I see Hakeldama as a re-commitment to this core premise of the show and personally, it was a harsh reminder that this is one of the things that enthralled me in the first place. I love dark storytelling. I love antiheroes. I love grey morality. I love when a thing can pull me in and force me to rationalize some truly horrible shit that I would never condone outside the context of this story and pummel me into emotional pulp while doing it. How often does a TV show make you feel such a visceral level of disgust? Yes, the pacing of this season has been all over the place but this episode reminded me that the things I love about this show are still there and reaffirmed that it’s worth it (to me) to wait this season out and see how it all comes together.
ANYWAY. A lot went down this week. Let’s talk about it.
Let me just get Jaha out of the way so I can focus on the things that matter. Weirdly enough, I actually had a lot of fun with Jaha in this ep? Possibly because I am so emotionally disengaged from him I was able to sit back and kind of enjoy his presence and laugh at the way he worked literally every conversation he had back around to his cult within three sentences or less and everyone was kind of like oooooooookay.
Jaha: Gather round everyone
Jaha: Let me tell you about my cult#The100
— meg (@megsaysthings) February 19, 2016
More or less Jaha, this entire episode.
We open with Clarke and Lexa on their way back to Arkadia with the Ice Queen’s body patting themselves on the back for wrapping up the conflict and bringing peace to the clans.
LOL. JOKE’S ON THEM. Back at Arkadia Pike is really leaning into the whole THE POLICE STATE IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD thing and wow does this guy fucking suck. Massive kudos to Michael Beach, as much as I hate Pike, he sells the fuck out of this character and brings a level of SCARY AS FUCK to the proceedings. I was already stressed beyond relief when this episode started and his whole ‘I will lock you up if you disagree/I don’t like your face’ speech’ pushed me over the edge into collapse.
Look at this face. This is the face of a man who says ‘Trust me, I have your best interests at heart and you know what? I don’t actually care, I’ll just throw you in jail if you dissent.’
I think that deciding to not depict the massacre was a really good move on the writers’ part. Not only do I think they would’ve traumatized a large their audience but it allowed the fallout and aftermath to take center stage. Here is the tension and emotional resonance that has been missing from the previous episodes. We don’t need to see the massacre, we know it was bad. By centering the episode around what happens after, we’re pulled immediately into the rising terror and hysteria sweeping Arkadia. This was the lacking character > plot from the previous episodes and it was glorious in the worst possible way. This was the real world state of fear political parallels the writers have said they’re trying to portray in full force and I don’t know about you, but I felt it on a visceral level. This is the powerful writing I love the show for. This is what I’ve been missing.
Speaking of actors that deserve the highest of fives, Adina Porter was absolutely amazing in this episode. I got goosebumps at her delivery of Pike’s message to the commander and sobbed at the disgust in her tone when she spat ‘you’re one of them’ at Clarke. I’m so fucked up over Indra you guys. She comes from a society that believes in a glorious death in battle and I can’t even wrap my head around what it must be like for her having to live after watching all of her people die, knowing there was nothing she could do to save them.
Anyone saying Bellamy showed no remorse for his actions is flat out fucking wrong and not paying attention. Yes, he has committed to Pike’s cause. Yes, he had multiple opportunities to break away when every non-Pike character threw in his face how ass-backwards and stupid he’s being. Yes, he rejected every opening. However, you cannot tell me that this is sitting easy with him. Bob Morley’s face was a character in its own right, depicting a visible struggle with every line he crossed before shuttering as he doubled down and committed to his current (CURRENT) course.
You cannot tell me this isn’t the face of a person who regrets pretty much every single one of his choices.
Bellamy absolutely knows that what he’s doing is wrong but, as evidenced in a line from his scene to Clarke that I will melt the fuck down over in a bit, he thinks that this horrible person who does horrible things is WHO HE ULTIMATELY IS and he is willing to sacrifice his goodness to protect his people because he thinks this is all he’s good for. Flashback to Day Trip and “all I do is hurt people” and Bellamy’s clearly decided that if that’s true he might as well do what needs to be done to achieve the ultimate greater good of keeping his people safe. Bellamy Blake will be the death of me, I swear.
Side note, I can’t actually talk about Bellamy and Lincoln’s “They?” “You know what I meant” “I used to” exchange (or any of their scenes in this episode) without crying so hard I choke so just know that I am in deep mourning for the brotp that could’ve been and also Lincoln because as much as it physically pains me to type these words, he is not long for this world.
Leave me here to die.
Really quick sidebar, SHOUT OUT TO MILLER FOR BEING TEAM GOOD GUYS. I AM SO HAPPY.
Okay, back to things that give me very real and physical pain, Raven’s arc is in motion and Lindsey Morgan is selling the fuck out of it. She depicts her pain and anguish so clearly it’s basically impossible not to feel it. Do not tell me it wasn’t a punch in the gut when Abby flat out tells her that her leg will never heal. I don’t have a lot to say about her stuff because this episode was a (brilliantly done) intro to what’s going to take off next episode. I’m not actually surprised she ultimately took Jaha’s cult cookie, Natalie Crown and I predicted weeks ago that this is where her story was going to go. For anyone who feels let down and thinks Raven is giving up or being sucked into Jaha’s story, never fear! We also predict that she will ultimately reject the illusion of the City of Light, own Jaha’s story and take him/the CoL down with it. We also think she is going to ultimately accept that just because she’s fucked up, that doesn’t mean she’s broken and will choose to live with who she’s become and HOW FUCKING POWERFUL IS THAT? WHAT KIND OF FLAWLESS REPRESENTATION OF A PERSON ACCEPTING AND LIVING WITH THEIR DISABILITIES. I think Raven’s storyline is one of the places it becomes absolutely apparent that the writers really are listening to feedback and working to do better.
Oh right, Murphy was in this episode. Again, not too much to say, this was also a lot of set up. Murphy and Emori’s entire storyline here can more or less be summed up with:
Murphy: WHOOOOO LIVING THE LIFE FREE OF THE MAIN PLOT
Emori: okay but I kind of want to go plot what if we did that?
Murphy: up until now you were the perfect woman
Emori: there will be sex in it for you if we plot
Murphy: I’m listening
Can we all just agree that everything Octavia did in this episode was fucking flawless and leave it at that? I could go into it more but it would basically be just me shouting YES OCTAVIA YES at you over and over. Special mention to her calling Clarke out for not knowing shit about what life has been like in Arkadia. Don’t get me wrong, I will go to the fucking wall for Clarke but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t earned being called out by the people she left behind.
Ditto Octavia calling Bellamy THE FUCK OUT. “What’s the matter? You’re not proud of massacring an army that was here to help us?” Kill me. It’s extra tragic that Bellamy is, in an incredibly twisted way, trying to protect her. It is not safe to be openly anti-Pike right now and Octavia’s never been good at keeping her feelings on the down low. And then add another layer of tragedy on top because we all know things are going to get much, much worse between the Blake siblings. I, for one, am fully expecting a rift that may not have started to heal by the season finale and add it to the list of things I’m already in mourning over.
I don’t have too much to say about Clarke and Lexa’s stuff this episode, mainly because it wasn’t really the focus. I will say that I absolutely did not expect Lexa to agree to stand down and leave the Sky People be. I really really REALLY love that she’s clearly trying on love is strength and please god please let this not go horribly wrong for her.
Shout out to how extremely unimpressed Lexa is with democracy.
I also love the parallels between Clarke successfully slytherin-ing Lexa (you KNOW she ABSOLUTELY intentionally played on Lexa’s feelings for her to save her people, this doesn’t mean Clarke doesn’t have feelings for Lexa but this was, arguably I suppose, her taking advantage of their personal relationship to accomplish her goal) and Clarke not only failing to slytherin Bellamy but being left completely speechless in the face of his anger. When is the last time we saw Clarke Griffin completely unable to handle another person? I mean really.
SPEAKING OF. HERE WE GO. THE SCENE. THE SCENE TO END ALL SCENES. TEAM BELLARKE YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. STRAP IN GUYS I’M GOING OFF THE RAILS.
This was, without a doubt, the most significant scene in terms of Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship development since Day Trip. Do not fucking tell me I’m wrong or being dramatic, I will come to your house and scream at you until you cave. Blah blah blah standard disclaimer that I mean relationship in a platonic sense because they are not canon romantic (YET).
Let’s look at how this started. Clarke walked in there fully expecting to be able to tell Bellamy what she needed him to do and for him to fall in line AND HE DIDN’T. This is so important guys, so, so important. I love the fuck out of their dynamic and I love that Bellamy has, up until 3×04, more or less completely supported every move she’s made since realizing she was more than the Ark’s perfect princess, BUT. You can’t deny that their relationship dynamic has been shifting over the course of season two away from partners to Clarke leads, Bellamy follows. This isn’t necessarily the worst thing but Bellamy has been putting aside a LOT of personal feelings about Clarke’s decisions for the sake of supporting her and I believe he has fully earned the right to say ENOUGH and get some shit off his chest.
And he did and it was literally every single thing I have wanted. Yes this fight, this scene, this episode left them in a bad place but it was also the first step in them regaining their equal footing in terms of each other and they needed that. You know what, fuck it, I’m just going to break this down by quote. Every single line here was so incredibly significant but I’ll stick to the highlights.
“We?” I’d say the disbelief in his voice broke me but the rest of the scene gave me a new definition of broken.
“We’ve been at war since we landed”
It’s very important to note, for anyone still not on board with where Bellamy is at, that as far as he’s concerned they haven’t stopped fighting since they hit the ground. When you think about it, how tragic does this make the three month break between seasons? We’ve seen so many signs that everyone’s been rebuilding and committing to peace and with this line Bellamy reveals that he hasn’t once in those three months been able to relax and hope for the future (personally I’ve thought that’s been pretty obvious but for anyone who doesn’t spend like 85% of their life analyzing the show, I hope this helped get some of that across).
“This isn’t who you are.”
“You’re wrong. This is who I’ve always been.”
He believes this guys. I’ve said it over and over and over that Bellamy was never able to accept the heroic version of himself that other people tried to tell him was real and I think that’s never been more apparent than it is here. It all goes back to Day Trip and him brokenly telling Clarke that all he does is hurt people and if that is all he is, than at least he’s taking control over who he hurts and directing it in a way that he believes will keep his people safe.
Maybe it’s because I’ve hit my own rock bottom and committed to being the worst version of myself because I believed I was no better than that, maybe it’s because I have what appears to be an unusually high tolerance for people’s bullshit, but I find myself generally on team forgiveness and understanding when it comes to the people and characters I love. I also do not believe for a second that this is who Bellamy is or who he’s going to continue to be in the long run. This is a clearly broken man making horrible decisions because he thinks this is what his people need from him.
Yes, we can call it a regression to season 1 Bellamy but I think it works when it’s an absolutely intentional character decision. He wanted to believe all of the things Clarke told him, that he was good, that he helped people, that she needed him. But this line, this scene, drove home that he never truly believed it and that breaks my heart.
“I need you. And we don’t have much time”
“You need me?”
“Yes. I do. I need the guy who wouldn’t let me pull that lever in Mt Weather by myself.”
“You left me. You left everyone.”
*rolls around on the ground* *wails* *rends garments* *tears out hair* WHY Did I WANT THIS WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME. HOW IS THIS SO PERFECT AND SO EXQUISITELY PAINFUL AT THE SAME TIME.
Oh god, guys, I lied, I can’t break this down by quite, there is so much in this scene to unpack. He called her out for TonDC, he called her out for trusting Lexa, he brought up the fact that there were people in the mountain that trusted him. Are all of these things fair to lay entirely at Clarke’s feet? No, absolutely not. But tell me, when you finally hit your breaking point and unload a bunch of pent up shit at another person after sitting on it for months, months, how fair are you? I know that I lash out like an untamed forest fire and burn down everything around me and regret the fuck out of it afterwards. It may not be fair, but you can’t tell me this scene wasn’t real.
And they’re both crying and Clarke is utterly deflated, sincerely apologizing for leaving (which, guys, I get that she had to leave but she also needed to apologize for that because her needs aren’t more important than everyone else’s. I love Clarke and I completely get it and why, but she broke so many people by taking care of herself and while that doesn’t mean she was wrong, it is something she needed to face) and THEN THE VIOLINS KICK IN AND SHE SAYS “BUT I KNEW I COULD. BECAUSE THEY HAD YOU.” and I utterly fucking lost it. I’m crying while I type this up. I cannot tell you how much everything said in this scene means to me. It is canon validation of so much meta and headcanoning and I’m not going to lie, I never expected it to every be laid out like this.
So anyway Clarke’s crying and Bellamy’s crying and I’m crying and everything is so beautiful and terrible and perfect (AND THE MUSIC THE FUCKING MUSIC THIS SCORE I’M JUST I CAN’T) and he sits down and holds her hand and tells her he’s sorry too and soaks in her smile and I should’ve known something horrible was about to happen because this show does not give us emotional catharsis like this without making us pay for it and sure enough, Bellamy braces himself and pulverized all of our hearts as he snaps the handcuffs on her wrist.
Related, I swear to god, Bob Morley should be illegal, he is just not fair, the layers he brought to this scene, hell, brings to every scene are astounding. Shout out to Eliza Taylor who brought her A game to match his and together they reminded us all why people have been going off on their chemistry since the beginning of the show.
Here just watch the fucking scene again and join me in this perfect hell.
To be clear, nonconsensual handcuffing? Not okay. I have fully embraced that dark Bellamy is back but one of my least favorite things about him was always the way he would shut down and act in what he thought was the people he loves best interests even if he was doing it against their will and refuse to listen to reason. It is not my favorite but it is absolutely in line with who we know he is. I think it’s also to reasonable to say that if Bellamy had let Clarke go do what she set out to do (ie bring Pike to Lexa), there’s a very good chance she would have failed. Pike has a significant portion of Arkadia on his side at this point and I think it’s fair to say that Bellamy realized if she had gone after him, there’s a preeeeetty decent chance the best case scenario would’ve landed Clarke in jail and the worst case would’ve have ended up with her dead. I truly believe he did think he was doing the best thing for her. Cut him some slack, it’s hard to see things clearly when your head is that far up your ass. Also, she tazed him, she wasn’t taking any of this lying down. Maybe I’m just fundamentally fucked up but honestly, I thought it was great.
I feel like I should say something about Octavia and Clarke off to have adventure times (OH HOW I HAVE WANTED THAT) and Clarke running to hug Abby (FINALLY) and Clarke, Abby, Kane and Octavia agreeing that democracy fucking sucks sometimes (FOR REAL THOUGH) but honestly I don’t have any feelings left over right now.
And that was the episode. I’m fucking dead. I’m hollowed out. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so many completely opposing emotions with this kind of intensity and I really do think I broke something.
How are you guys? Is anyone still alive? Who needs a hug?