Guys. Guuuuuuys. Guys guys guys guys.
Has there ever been a more perfect hour of television? Idk, objectively, possibly but fuck that noise because HOLY SHIT DID Y’ALL SEE THAT??? This episode was a gift. If I felt like doing anything other than rewatching this episode frame by frame for the rest of forever, I’d go back through my twitter and pull out every tweet where I’ve ever wished for something from the show just to drive home for you guys how this episode was literally everything I’ve wanted.
I honestly don’t know how the fuck to talk about this without going more or less immediately incoherent but whatever, I’ll try anyway. There is SO MUCH to break down here, guys. This episode was packed with so much catharsis, subtle detailing, unsubtle parallels and set up for even more catharsis down the road. I can’t wait.
We open with Clarke and Jasper on a road trip, Raven napping in the back. Clarke’s like so how was your summer? And Jasper’s all fuck you mom I’m still mad at you. Harsh, but fair.
Meanwhile at the cave, Octavia is once again rocking her dropship hair (an awesome little piece of costume storytelling). Octavia’s conflict this season, hell the whole show, has been figuring out who she is and where she belongs. Without Lincoln she no longer feels she belongs anywhere, Trikru,Skaikru or inbetween, and she’s packing up to head out and make her own way in the world. Where’s she going to go? She doesn’t know as long as it’s away from here. Classic Octavia, I’m going to act on my feelings and figure out the details later (a trait she shares with her brother and so what if I’m crying about it).
Bellamy tries to stop her by pointing out her lack of plan and Octavia’s like yo you’re not exactly one to talk about good decisions right now. Then they argue about his 3A choices and whether or not his logic behind them was sound. If I’m being entirely honest, I thought the dialogue here was a weeeeee bit DO YALL GET IT NOW? IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE HERE LET US MAKE IT EXPLICITLY CLEAR heavy but fuck it, whatever. Cut to Sinclair in Monty in the corner watching like aaaaaaawkward.
Bellamy follows Octavia out of the cave and before they can continue, Clarke and Jasper arrive. I’ll spare you a 10k word essay on my feelings over the way Bellamy tenses when he sees Clarke striding through the trees and the way she comes to a halt and the moonlight falls on her stunned face as she blinks and takes him in so you’re welcome.
They get Raven inside and Clarke immediately starts calling the shots, just like old times, right? Not exactly. She hasn’t been there and they’ve been stumbling along in the dark without her. Jasper shuts her down and lays out the Alie situation because while everyone’s been dealing with their own shit, he’s the one who’s been following the 3b plot. (Sidebar to note how Bellamy deflects his aggression away from Clarke by making him explain because even when Clarke and Bellamy are mad as fuck at each other they still instinctively have each other’s backs, I’m fine.)
Raven/Alie wakes up, clocks the Alie 2.0 chip Clarke’s waving around and makes a break for it. I loved how the Raven/Alie connection is depicted. Alie processes a situation and then Raven reacts, kind of like the command in a computer program. It’s a neat way of showing that even though Alie is calling the shots, they’re all filtered through Raven’s brain and the results of Alie’s cool and calculated commands are colored by Raven’s personality and temperament. Alie says get out, Raven fights like an angry, feral cat. I love it.
Clarke tells the delinquents they need to take Raven to Niylah’s because she’s got the missing wristband they need to put together the Alie cure Raven figured out before going full possession. Gosh, who saw that coming. Again, don’t care about the slightly clunky reveal because YAY! NIYLAH! I like Niylah.
When the adventure squad arrives at Niylah’s outpost (and Bellamy follows Clarke out of the rover to watch her back and omg how much do I love that they immediately fall back into their old patterns without even talking about it? So fucking much), and Niylah’s not exactly happy to see them. Unsurprising seeing as her dad was one of the soldiers massacred by Arkadia. Clarke fibs a little about the massacre involvement of everyone in their crew and I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt anyone at all.
Raven wakes up as the delinquents strap her to Niylah’s bed and goes full exorcist, screaming and fighting as hard as she can. We’re 8 minutes in and already this episode is the fucking best. I mean really, it has EVERYTHING. Delinquents falling back into their old patterns with a broken, world-weary twist, full scifi horror movie themes, Lindsey Morgan giving it her fucking all in a super intense performance including like, every vocal pitch a human can hit. I’m so happy and we haven’t even gotten to my favorite stuff yet.
Clarke, Bellamy, Monty and Sinclair have a mini Raven is the smartest most brilliant star in the sky check in where they figure out how to make her plan to knock Alie out of her brain with the wristband work (and please do not think for a minute I wasn’t having a total meltdown over Clarke and Bellamy standing side by side in full Mom and Dad what are we going to do mode). They need an electromagnet but those aren’t exactly lying around the woods. Oh wait, they kind of are. Monty and Octavia take off to retrieve one from the drop ship because this episode is determined to give us all our favorite things including beloved set cameos.
yeah, that’s not creepy at aaaaaall
In the other room, Alie/Raven rips her wrist stitches out with her teeth and smiles like a creepy robot, intoning “there is no pain in the city of light.” Possession is fun. The gang tries to get Alie to stop trying to murder Raven but Alie’s not having it. Raven goes full Alie mode (and Lindsey Morgan NAILS Erica Cerra’s vocal patterns) and demands the Alie 2.0 chip. Clarke takes the whole Raven is Alie thing totally in stride and immediately starts negotiating for Raven’s life. Classic Clarke. Alie backs down. Love it. Say what you will about Clarke’s tendency to walk into a room and take charge of it (and ps I would point out that a huge part of Clarke’s arc this episode is realizing how fucked up that approach can be), girl gets shit done.
And then hahahahahahahahaha cut to Jasper asking Bellamy how he feels about Clarke being back. Sidebar I would be so totally down for an entire episode of characters asking Bellamy and Clarke how they feel about each other and then Octavia finally just loses it and smushes their faces together because you know she ships it and whoops tangent.
Ahem. The camera keeps a steady shot of Bellamy’s facial reactions (definitely not a cue that we’re supposed to Pay Attention) as he pauses and goes all stoic and points out she’s trying to save Raven. Jasper’s like oh, she’s trying to save someone? How nice for Raven because Jasper is a champion grudge holder. Bellamy advises Jasper to keep his shit together and Jasper’s like omg seriously? You’re going to tell me to keep my shit together Mr. I Deal With My Feelings Through Murder? Have I mentioned yet how much I love that this is the call out ep? I really fucking love that this is the call out ep. We’ve been in dire need of a call out ep. Then Jasper goes outside to cry. I am not used to having so many sympathetic feelings about Jasper, I need a moment to adjust.
Meanwhile, Clarke tends to Raven’s wounds to the tune of some wistful violins and I have a brief princess mechanic crisis. Alie/Raven breaks the moment by bringing up a laundry list of loved one Clarke has massive guilt over. Ngl, I about fell out of my chair when that list included Charlotte, Wells and Jake. This episode occasionally felt a lot like the writers going HAHAHA DID YOU THINK WE FORGOT ABOUT THIS STUFF? WE VERY MUCH DID NOT. I apologize for doubting you writers.
Anyway, the theme of this episode is Someone Says All the Things that Need to Be Said. Raven calls Clarke out on getting people killed and the selfless martyr thing she does and calls her poison. Here’s the thing guys, I love Clarke to pieces but one of the things I love so much about her is that she isn’t perfect. Her flaws make her real, they give her something to work on and grow from. This episode was all about calling the characters out on their flaws and that’s important because that’s the catalyst for character growth. Clarke very much does have a tendency to walk into a room and take over before listening. It’s one of the things that makes her so effective but it’s also led to some pretty catastrophic consequences. One of the things Clarke needs to learn is how to listen and work with other people (besides Bellamy but their dynamic has its own set of issues we’ll get to in a minute).
Clarke snaps because even when it comes from a sociopathic AI, the truth hurts. Unfortunately, she gives away juuuuust enough of their plan that Alie’s able to use Raven’s brain figure out what the adventure squad is trying to do and where they’re going to get the parts to accomplish it. Gosh, I wonder if Alie will send a zombie to intercept Monty and Octavia (I’m going to warn y’all right now that I’m about to be unbearably smug about the Monty situation because I fucking called every aspect of it) (I’m not happy I was right because OH MY GOD MONTY but also *high fives self*).
Before I get into that, Monty and Octavia have a moment where Octavia lays out her displacement issues for anyone who hasn’t kept up (seriously, this episode was like one big AND THAT’S WHAT YOU MISSED ON THE 100). Monty delivers what is maybe my favorite line ever with poignant simplicity: You’re one of the hundred.
this shot is infinitely more emotions inducing when you realize it’s framed as a direct opposite (in terms of lighting and orientation) as the last time they held hands like this
SO ANYWAY BACK AT NIYLAH’S, BELLAMY BANDAGES CLARKE’S ARM AND I’M FINE. CLARKE IS ALL I LET HER GET TO ME AND BELLAMY’S ALL DRY AND SARCASTIC AND YEAH I AM TOTALLY FINE. BELLAMY VOLUNTEERS FOR RAVEN SITTING SO CLARKE CAN TAKE A BREAK BECAUSE EVEN WHEN THEY’RE FIGHTING AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE AROUND EACH OTHER THEY STILL LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER’S WELL BEING AND I TOLD YOU I’M FINE DON’T LOOK AT ME.
Clarke and Jasper have a really fucking emotional scene where Jasper tries to call Clarke out some more, clearly expecting her to shake it off and keep going, as that’s been her consistent MO up until this point as far as he can tell, and she stops and apologizes to him for Mt. Weather and how she hurt him. Guys, can we take a moment to talk about how fucking tragic it is that Jasper was completely caught off guard when Clarke says she’s sorry about Maya? I can’t decide which interpretation is worse, that he’s so used to everyone being all Jasper get the fuck over yourself that someone actually taking the time to acknowledge how fucked up and wrecked he is catches him completely off guard or that he views Clarke as so up on her high and righteous horse that he genuinely never expected her to apologize? Tbh, I think it’s a combination of both and I’m fucked up about it. Obviously I understand that what happened in Mt Weather was desperately necessary, but part of Clarke’s consistent problem has been hiding behind the necessity of her actions and refusing to acknowledge how those actions affect the people around her (or, at least assuring herself that the greater good makes up for it).
Anyway, Jasper isn’t ready to forgive Clarke and storms away. Pause for me to acknowledge that there’s an element of hypocrisy to the defense of Jasper I’m about to lay down as I have been fairly relentlessly shitting on him since season 2 but hey, people change their minds and Devon Bostwick’s portrayal of Jasper’s raw and relentless anguish has totally won me over. Jasper is stubbornly putting all of his pain on Clarke’s shoulder but I think the real reason he’s tormented by Maya’s death (aside from the fact that he loved her…..after what like a week? But okay rolling with it) is that he’s tormented by the fact that he genuinely doesn’t know if he actually could’ve saved her. He’s clinging to the idea that he could have fixed everything because the alternative is to accept that there was nothing he could’ve done and and the what if of it all is tearing him apart. I feel this you guys. Without getting too personal, I fucking feel the what if I could’ve saved her of it all on a level I don’t have words to express. I never thought I’d relate to Jasper like I am but being tortured by what ifs can make it damn near impossible to look at a tragedy objectively. So yeah, Jasper. I feel you on a level I never thought I would.
Moving on, Monty is back at the dropship and has successfully harvested the missing piece of the save Raven puzzle. Octavia is apparently taking a poorly timed nap in the woods or something because she’s nowhere to be found. Before we have time to dwell on how weird that is, Monty’s mom shows up. Monty figured out pretty quickly that something’s not right about his mom when she insists she would never turn him in (sorry Hannah, even your son knows you’re the fucking worst), he confirms his worst suspicions by quizzing her on his dad and oh look, she can’t remember him. Who saw this coming? (Me. I did. I called all of this and dammit I’m going to pat myself on the back for it.)
Hannah tries to force Monty to take the chip and Octavia makes a super convenient entrance and fights her off. Hannah gains the upper hand and Monty is forced to choose between his blood and his family and he chooses his family and I don’t think I’ll ever be over it. Sidebar to gush about how fucking happy I am with what the show is doing with Monty this season. It hurts so godamn much to see him put through the things he’s being put through, but at the same time I can’t help be overjoyed that they’ve given him his own massive storyline this season. Once again, I have say, I don’t think the fandom gives the writers enough credit for how much they actually are absorbing fan feedback and criticism and trying to do better. Between Raven and Monty’s arc and all the things brought up in this episode, I think they’re doing a really good job demonstrating that they are listening. Of course they aren’t perfect, but they’re trying. They’ve taken a lot of (totally valid) heat for some of their choices this season, but remember this was all written and shot before 3×01 even aired and I’m cutting them some slack and waiting to see how they respond to everything in season 4.
Back at Niylah’s, Raven takes a crack at Jasper! Just because I’ve recently come around to sympathizing with Jasper doesn’t mean I don’t think he hasn’t earned being called out for his self-centered, tantrums are the best way to deal with grief attitude. Grief is selfish and that’s legit but that doesn’t mean it’s fun for the people around you and Jasper’s been pretty much The Worst to his friends. Raven lays into him so hard for being a useless little shit, even Alie raises an eyebrow. Jasper loses it and Bellamy shoos him out of the room. That’s two down, one to go.
I swear to god y’all, this episode trolled tumblr SO. HARD. It’s like someone made a list of every in-show issue the fandom feels like has been forgotten or ignored and brought them up one by one. Raven mocks her and Bellamy’s tragedy sex, asks him if he resents the fact that his part in Mt Weather has been largely ignored in favor of glorifying Clarke, calls him out for the culling, asks him if it bothers him that he killed his own mother and caps it all off by bringing up his role as the knight to Clarke’s queen.
Bellamy: oh cool, now my internal monologue’s gone external
I’m going to pause for a second and dwell on that last bit. I’ve seen a handful of people shouting about them bringing back the princess and the knight dynamic and how it’s bullshit and guys, the show knows. That’s the whole point behind bringing it up. Let’s work through how that moment played out. The camera’s been focused on Raven and Bellamy and Bellamy squirming as he tries to let everything Raven’s saying roll off of him. But then, when Raven brings up how Clarke comes back and Bellamy immediately falls in line behind her, we cut to the other room and see that Clarke can hear everything they’re saying. The camera focuses on her tormented expression. She may as well have a thought bubble floating over her head reading ‘wait is this how everyone sees it? Is this how Bellamy sees it?’ We cut back to Bellamy’s face and he’s totally shut down. No more jaw ticks, weight shifting and dramatic swallowing. The hit Raven just landed HURT. The show isn’t bringing back the princess/knight dynamic in a positive way, the show is taking great pains to depict that it’s bullshit, that Clarke doesn’t want that and that one of Bellamy’s deepest fears is that Clarke sees him as a disposable soldier, there only to support her.
AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN RAVEN SAYS IF ONLY YOU WERE THAT DEVOTED TO GINA AND OH MY FUCKING GOD Y’ALL THE BELLARKE IS SO FUCKING REAL. WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY MEAN THAT RAVEN IS COMPARING BELLAMY’S FEELINGS ABOUT CLARKE TO HIS FEELINGS ABOUT HIS CANON ROMANTIC GIRLFRIEND AND POINTING OUT THAT BELLAMY SURE AS HELL CAME OFF AS FAR MORE DEVOTED TO CLARKE?
*coughs* Anyway. So, hey, remember how I mentioned that the people in the other room can hear what Raven’s saying (and oh hey super cannot wait for Clarke and Bellamy to talk about everything Raven just said)? Niylah overhears Bellamy’s part in the army massacre and shockingly enough is not fucking happy about it. She storms into the room (letting Alie know where the delinquents are hiding, whoops), punches Bellamy and everyone storms out.
Bellamy heads outside to kick some shit around and have a good cry because for as unaffected as he tried to appear, the shit Raven said definitely got to him. Niylah follows him out and they hash it out. Bellamy tells her he’s sorry and Niylah responds ‘people like you always are.’ For anyone not keeping up, this is the show’s way of saying that they aren’t condoning what Bellamy did on a philosophical level and letting us know that I’m sorry isn’t enough when the thing you’re apologizing for is a massive fucking issue (like, you know, a massacre).
The thing about this show is that it’s not about which character is in the right and which character is in the wrong, it’s about the hows and whys of what they’re doing. Just because a character does something horrible and is later forgiven by the people around them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that what they did was ultimately okay. The show plays in some very deep waters when it comes to morality and takes great pains to depict as many different perspectives as possible. To me, they aren’t ever trying to say one thing is definitively one way, but to bring up as many different perspectives as possible and then leaves it on the audience to decide how they feel about it and I fucking LOVE this approach. The show demands that we all think for ourselves on some pretty heavy topics and come to our own conclusions about how we feel about them. Obviously, the narrative ultimately excuses some character’s actions while condemning others because the show must go on, but rarely is anything depicted in black and white. That’s the whole point.
Before Bellamy can respond, Octavia and Monty return with the electromagnet. Alie realizes their device may actually work and because Raven knows too much, she goes back to trying to kill Raven (via Raven trying to bash her own skull in). Clarke offers up the Alie 1.0 chip to get her to stop and Alie slacks off a little. A little battery troubleshooting later and they zap Raven.
Unfortunately it turns out a power surge wasn’t enough and Raven powers down entirely. Jasper wants revenge by way of smashing the Alie 2.0 chip. Clarke has a panic attack and reveals that Lexa’s on the chip. Ngl, I loled a lot at the ooooooooookay reaction shots of all the delinquents. Remembering Titus pulling the chip out of Lexa inspires Clarke to connect the AI -human interface dots and she performs some on the fly spinal surgery on Raven with what is probably an unsterilized scalpel (did the radiation, like, fry all the bacteria on the planet? Whatever, moving on). She cuts open the back of Raven’s neck and Alie goo oozes out because science.
“And you and you and you…and you were there.”
It works! Raven’s back! The delinquents have a moment, Jasper gives Clarke the Alie 2.0 chip acknowledging either that he couldn’t hurt her the way she hurt him or that he can’t make hard choices on a Clarke scale (I’m going with a combo of both), and Monty realizes he could’ve saved his mom. Ouch. No time to dwell on all of this, Alie’s zombies know where they are and are on the way. The delinquents saddle up and roll out.
Guys. I legit did not expect this episode to end with the delinquents committing to stay together and adventure squad it up as a group and I am a massive fucking pile of emotions about it. The horrifically painful fracturing of the core group is over and the show we all know and love is BACK. I know I have been passionately defending 3A and the incredibly risky choices the writers have made (because at the end of the day I really do appreciate that The 100 pushes boundaries and kicks off the conversations it kicks off), but that doesn’t mean that it was what I’ve wanted. THIS is what I’m here for. Clarke and Bellamy and Octavia and Raven and Jasper and Monty and Harper and Miller teaming up to take on the Big Bad is the be all, end all of what I love about this show and IT’S BACK. Shout out to whoever posted “so how’d you guys like the season premiere of The 100?” because FOR REAL. THE SHOW IS REPAIRING ITS HEART AND IT’S EVERYTHING.
I CANNOT FUCKING WAIT FOR WHAT COMES NEXT.
- CLARKE ASKING BELLAMY IF HE’S OKAY. PLEASE NOTE THAT UP UNTIL THIS POINT BELLAMY HAS BEEN THE ONE THAT ASKS EVERYONE IF THEY’RE OKAY WHILE HE JUST SWALLOWS HIS SHIT AND GETS ON WITH THINGS. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I HAVE ASKED NUMEROUS TIMES HOW COME NO ONE EVER ASKS BELLAMY IF HE’S OKAY AND MAYBE IF SOMEONE PRIORITIZED HIS EMOTIONAL WELL BEING THE WAY HE TRIES TO PRIORITIZE OTHER PEOPLE’S HE WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN IN SUCH A FUCKED UP PLACE AND SO SUSCEPTIBLE TO PIKE’S INFLUENCE. NATURALLY, WHEN SOMEONE FINALLY DOES ASK IF HE’S OKAY, IT’S CLARKE. I’M FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE.
- Sinclair kind of lurking around the edges trying to take care of Raven and do science while a bunch of traumatized teenagers go totally emo all around him was an awesome comedic juxtaposition.
- Sinclair saying Raven is all he has gave me ALL THE FEELINGS.
- Octavia realizing that she does have a family and a place in the world and it’s the delinquents is going to make me cry for like, ever.
- Do you guys think that pointed shot of Octavia holding up an Alie 1.0 chip will come into play later on? I do.
- Do you think that the reason Bellamy was the only person who didn’t snap in the face of Alie/Raven’s let’s bring up all of your fears and insecurities and horrible memories game is because all of the shit she brought up is shit that he beats himself up for constantly so this was just like, another day that ends in y for him? I do.
- I loled a lot when the solution to the EMP power issue was to hook Raven up to a car battery.
- Remember back when the show would at least give a (shitty, half-assed) nod to sterilization before doing medical stuff?
- Super interesting that the show has been tripping over itself to keep Clarke/Lexa and the Clarke/Bellamy as separate as possible and then throws in some wound bandaging eerily reminiscent of the Polis scene in 3×04. I try my damndest to avoid commenting on Clarke and Lexa because I don’t want to deal with the wrath of a certain portion of the fandom but like, guys, the show is making a point here. They didn’t accidentally set up a scene so visually similar to a previous scene. I think it’s SUPER INTERESTING that 3×04 shows Clarke tending to Lexa’s wounds and then this episode shows Bellamy tending to Clarke’s and then later Clarke tending to Bellamy’s. I’ll let y’all interpret that however you wish.
- If I have oooooooone little issue with Clarke and Bellamy’s last scene, it’s how the writers more or less copy/pasted the dialogue from previous episodes. Like, I love me some parallels but I love them the most when they’re subtle and this was kind of like being hit in the face with a brick like GET IT? GET IT? GET IT?
- But also Clarke and Bellamy had an emotional moment so worth it and all of that.
- MAN CAN I NOT WAIT FOR THEM TO TALK ABOUT ALL THAT STUFF CLARKE OVERHEARD.
- WE SURVIVE TOGETHEEEEEEEEEEEER.
- Oh look Jaha’s still the worst.
- Natalie has thoughts, read them.