Wheeeee The 100’s back, she sobs. As per usual, everything hurts and I’m dying. This ep was a lot, some of it good, some of it obvious and some of it…well. Overwhelming? Painful as all fuck? Tragic but kind of amazing? Hopefully I think of the words I’m looking for by the time I get to the end of this recap.
Here there be spoilers, you’ve been warned.
We return to Clarke and Murphy still stuck in Polis, locked in Clarke’s room because grounder hospitality is the best. It’s been 24 hours and I’ve decided they’ve been bonding because Murphy suddenly knows a lot about what Clarke’s been up to. Also because picturing them sitting together on the floor sharing secrets and playing with each other’s nasty hair makes me happy and I need something happy since the rest of this episode is decidedly not.
Titus shows up with a suggestion that they gtfo. He’s still alive and in charge because apparently being Flame Keeper is hella job security. Murphy agrees (I never thought I’d say this but why oh why won’t more people listen to Murphy?). Clarke, however, has decided to (finally) start doing stuff and says nah, not without ensuring the tiny child Lexa chose as her successor says our people are safe (I’m sorry y’all but I cannot take the nightblood kids seriously). Fortunately for Clarke, Lexa made all of the squidgets swear they’d protect the Skaikru.
Unfortunately for Skaikru, this is The 100 which means everything immediately goes to shit. Azegda shows up (HI ROAN, MISSED YOUR FACE, MISSED YOUR VOICE) with Ontari, their own feral, decidedly anti-Clarke/Skaikru Nightblood. GOSH I WONDER IF SHE’LL BE THE NEXT COMMANDER. Yes, obviously she will, and in a move many people saw coming, she decides fuck waiting for conclave, slaughters the children and sets herself on the throne. I know she’s, like, super evil and stuff but I kind of love Ontari. I’m fucked up, this isn’t news.
Meanwhile, back in Arkadia, everything is THE WORST. Lincoln starts the episode with screen time so you know everything’s going to go to shit for him (*cries forever*). Pike shows up and declares all of the prisoners will be killed for their part in the rebellion. Bellamy’s trying his newly rediscovered defiance on for size and points out that yo, that’s kind of super fucked up, we’ve got them locked up obvs they were going to try and run away when they got the chance . Pike’s all fine, just your favs then. Fuck you Pike. I’m glad you’re here so I have someone to uncomplicatedly hate.
Harper and Miller’s endless sass was the only good thing about this scene.
Bellamy and Monty head off to join Team Rebellion. Unfortunately, Harper and Miller are not having it. I totally get why they’re suspicious and unwilling to trust their ex-friends but it huuuuuuuuurts. Bellamy runs off to try and convince Octavia he’s a good guy again and it’s painful not having it round two, this time with tranquilizers. IT HUUUUUUUUUURTS.
The Blake sibling pain train gets going with Indra and Octavia standing guard over a chained up Bellamy in a cave. Octavia calls Bellamy out on having his head up his ass most of the season and tops it off by saying she doesn’t need him. OUCH. Sidebar, loling through my tears that the writers literally had to lock Bellamy out of the plot so he couldn’t fix it.
And the pain just keeps on a-coming. The good ship Briller hits an iceberg as Miller discovers the traitorous redshirt planted the bug on him (casually ignoring that he later switches to the good guy side for personal Minty reasons, leave me alone). Meanwhile Kane and Abby share an excruciating goodbye where Kane begs her to stay out of it and Abby says she can’t go through this again. Cue Meg ugly baby sobbing on the floor. @ GOD WHY CAN’T I FALL IN LOVE WITH NICE TV WHY AM I THE WAY I AM?
The plot kicks into high gear when Pike shows up to escort the Lincoln, Kane and Sinclair to their execution (just assume I’m crying from here on out). The delinquents have a plan and it’s pretty awesome. They stage a series of misdirects to get Pike and the guards away from the prisoners while OCTAVIA HIDES THEM UNDER THE FLOOR TO MY ENDLESS DELIGHT. Even better? ABBY’S IN ON THE PLAN. I’m so happy Abby finally decided to get out of medical and get involved. I understand that the writers were tying her into the CoL plot, but her absence in 3×08 was pretty glaring.
Meanwhile, in Polis, Clarke decides to steal the Commander Flame. Who saw that coming? Pretty sure everyone. Speaking of things tons of people saw coming, Luna’s the missing eighth Nightblood (is it just me or has this season been incredibly predictable? $20 says Clarke ends up inserting the chip into her neck to take down the City of Light and ends up having to destroy it along with the Commanders. Titus’ line about the chip killing any non-Nightblood to take the chip felt an awful lot like that brick of foreshadowing back again). Ontari busts up Clarke and Titus’ little infodump pow-wow and decides to keep Murphy. Titus decides that he actually has a less favorite person than Clarke, hands off the Commander chip and sends her on her way. Abrupt turnabout but okay. PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE LET CLARKE GO HOME NOW.
Jumping out of order for a second, the Polis arc wraps up with Titus killing himself (I guess he was jk when he said he’d get Murphy out) and Ontari sending Roan after Clarke and the Flame. In the meantime, she’s just going to lie and pretend she’s the Commander. Cool, whatever. Bye Polis, won’t miss you.
Back in Arkadia, the plan takes a turn for the worse as the guards block the prisoners’ escape route. Monty has a heroic moment and, in front of his mother, directs the guards in the wrong direction. I deeply hate to give Hannah credit for anything but it turns out she does have a heart buried underneath all the awful and she keeps her mouth shut to protect her son. The prisoners seem to make it out unscathed, though Abby demonstrates that apparently heroic self sacrifice is genetic and stays behind to take on Jaha.
OH YEAH AND THEN THIS HAPPENS
WE KNEW IT WAS COMING FROM THE TRAILER BUT STILL SCREAMING ABOUT IT.
If you’ve been keeping up, this is our cue that everything is about to go immediately awful. Sure enough, Pike radios in announcing he will kill the remaining grounder prisoners if someone doesn’t turn themselves in. Because Lincoln is a beautiful, precious, heroic person far too good for this world, he decides it will be him.
Alright, I know this is getting long but I have some shit to say about everything that comes next and it is maybe not the shit you think.
I thought Lincoln’s death was amazing and poetic and in a fucked up way, absolutely perfect for the character.
Yes, it was graphic and brutal and I completely understand anyone who is horrified and triggered by it (though personally, I found the hangings in season 1 and the bone marrow stuff in season 2 far more upsetting, but that’s because those are more my triggers). I also understand anyone who was horrified watching a peaceful black man get shot by an authority figure (I see the context being very different and key but I also get that this is not exactly the greatest of social climates to air that kind of imagery in). Basically, I get a lot of the outrage, I do.
That said, here’s how I see it: Lincoln chose his death. He chose it for very good reasons and died for what he believes in. He said his goodbyes and walked to his death with his head up knowing that he was doing the right thing and that the world did not turn him into a monster and that last part, more than anything, was what I wanted for the character. His last words to Octavia were I love you and his last words were for her in the language of his people, representing to the end his desire to mesh both cultures and find peace for both. As much as I hate that he’s gone, I do think the show at the very least tried to do right by his end.
His death was pretty thoroughly spoiled for people active in the fandom and going into this episode I had two major fears: that his death would be a plot driven side effect with no character agency, rushed and without the gravity this character deserves and/or that he would rage out and go down fighting and that his last acts would be those of violence, something he’s spent so much of the show trying to avoid. I am so, so glad that neither of those came true. I’m going to direct you to this post by Rosymamacita who far more eloquently breaks down all the things I want to say about Lincoln’s send off.
Octavia watching from afar was awful and heartbreaking and hurt so fucking much I can barely stand it but I’m not mad at the show for it. I don’t know about you but one of the reasons I love this show is because it breaks my heart. It isn’t a nice show, it is intentionally trying to hurt its characters and its audience, it has never pretended otherwise and I love that. I’m constantly confused by fan backlash when it’s centered around how dare you put these characters/the audience through so much horrible stuff. I’m not trying to be a dick but I have to ask, what did you think this show was about? It’s been pretty upfront about its brutality since 1×03. Furthermore, once you realized what it was about, if that wasn’t for you (and I totally get anyone who doesn’t want tv to repeatedly rip their heart out through their nose, like I said before, I’m fucked up), why do you continue to watch? I can’t believe I’m saying this (seeing as I am a person who takes entertainment way too seriously) but at the end of the day, it’s a tv show. If it’s fucking your head up, stop watching. Don’t do that to yourself unless you want to.
Anyway, good bye Lincoln. I was not initially sold on your kidnapping stalker self in season one but you quickly became one of my favorites. I love you. I’ll miss you. I cannot wait to watch Ricky Whittle kill it as Shadow on American Gods.
Things to note:
- Once more, Murphy’s sass saves a storyline. Sorry but I continue to be largely super bored with the Polis stuff.
- I SEE YOU ROAN. YOU TOTALLY WANT TO BE CLARKE’S BFF DON’T LIE. Real talk, I very much love his dynamic with Clarke and how they understand each other and where each other is coming from.
- Seriously, can we please keep Roan? I love Roan. I love Zach McGowan. MOAR ROAN.
- I really enjoyed Bellamy and Indra’s sidebar scene. They’re two characters that don’t get many scenes together and I’m glad we got to see them addressing some of their shit. I loved their fucked up non-bonding over Octavia.
- Octavia to Kane re: hiding under the floor: “try doing it for 16 years” BEST
- So bathtubs do exist in Polis. Why hasn’t Clarke washed her hair?
- I crackship the shit out of Murphy and Ontari. Sorry Emori.
- There was a lot of blood in the water this episode. It feels significant but I can’t figure out what it means. Thoughts?
- Love Ontari’s fake it til you make it attitude.
- Stg if Clarke isn’t on her way home, I will riot.
- Lol at Indra just leaving Bellamy chained up in a cave.
- My one complaint about Lincoln is that the gravity of his death and his presence in this episode really highlighted how absent he’s been from most of this season. Technically Ricky Whittle was main cast but lol, you couldn’t tell from his s3 screen time.
- I am so very incredibly not looking forward to next week and the Blake sibling showdown to come. Fair warning, if you come into my space talking about how you can’t wait and Bellamy deserves it we will have words.
- As always, Natalie Crown has thoughts and they are on point.
Alright guys, let me have it. What’d you think?