Everyone’s (well, my) favorite banana pants murder teen apocalypse show is back and so are my banana pants shouty recaps! I’m sure you’re all very excited, I know I am.
WHAT AN EPISODE AMMIRITE? The plot was tight and managed to recap and establish in equal measure, the pacing was excellent, the balance between high and low key moments was everything I want and the characters were on point.
Last season was a rough one for both on and off screen reasons and it was super hard to watch our beloved characters schism and fall apart (though, I gotta say, overall I think the good outweighed the bad by a lot but whatever, season 3 is over onward to season 4). Everyone came back together for the latter half of the season and I’m HUGELY PLEASED that this season picks right up where that left off and continues with the theme of we’re stronger together.
Pause to note that I call these recaps for a reason and everything after this point is a spoiler, cool? Cool.
We open pretty much moments from where the season 3 finale ended but down in the Polis market instead of up in the tower. Sidebar, how’d they get down? Did they ninja down the side of the building like Octavia? Who knows? Not anyone watching! A key trick with The 100 is to let some of the fiddly details slide.
I love that aside from the sweeping, tone-setting horror that is the blood drenched Polis filled with screaming people, the first moments of the show are spent on quiet, relationship establishing things: Octavia running to Indra and making sure she’s okay, Clarke and Bellamy trying to figure out how/when to tell people the world is ending, Clarke thanking him for keeping her alive, me and my pillow as I scream into it.
Remember in season one how Bellamy and Clarke used to have all of their conversations with their faces unreasonably close together? I’m super glad we’re doing that again.
Same goes for back in Arkadia. Monty and Harper dance, Jasper and Raven check in with each other and it’s established that Alie gave Raven a super brain. That’s probably going to come in handy. She’s also back to having what looks like some fairly major problems with her leg. My partner in crime, Natalie Crown, has spoken a lot about how important Raven’s pain and the lack of a magical cure is to her and I’m glad the show didn’t take an excuse to handwave that away.
Unfortunately, not everything is sunshine and roses and after Team Adults make their own magical ascent, it becomes clear that not only do the grounders eschew modern medicine (because reasons?) but they’re pretty comfortable blaming the sky people for the traumatized mess that is Polis. Personally, I can’t say that’s entirely unreasonable since the Arkadians literally brought the City of Light to their doorstep but it’d be nice if they would’ve let Clarke and Abby help Roan with his gaping chest wound before kicking them out (HI ROAN SO GLAD YOU’RE NOT DEAD).
“Your hair is shit and your shirt is stupid.” – Echo, probably
Meanwhile, Murphy and Emori have a heart to heart as Emori loots bodies and prepares to bounce (god I love her). Murphy wants her to stick around and claims his people will protect her. It’s super nice to see how far Murphy’s come in regards to the sky people and his faith in them (or at least his faith in what he thinks they owe him because he’s still Murphy) is touching. Gosh I hope that lasts.
Abby and Kane have a lovely tender moment where she checks his wrist wounds and tries to apologize while Clarke looks on smiling softly and my heart does all the things. Seriously, I love how front and center character relationships are this episode, I adore the reestablishing of the Griffin women as a family unit, I LOVE EVERYONE IN THIS BAR.
KANE AND INDRA HUGGING GIVES ME LIFE
Team Adults plus Octavia are all ready to tackle the political sitch by unifying the clans to knock Azgeda out of their hastily claimed power. Unfortunately for them, Clarke and Bellamy have some not so good news. They lay out the looming apocalypse and Clarke assures everyone she’s got a plan. What could it be?
Disguising Octavia as a dead body and using her to get to Roan, apparently. Oh Clarke, I love your brain. I also love Octavia’s ninja skills (but like seriously where and when did she learn them she trained with Indra for like five minutes whatever it’s fine). She slices her way out of a shroud, kills all the guards and lets Clarke and Abby in to do their super doctor thing (YAY MOTHER DAUGHTER SCIENCE TEAM THIS EPISODE HAS ALL OF MY FAVORITE THINGS).
Elsewhere, B team (or are they the A team? How do you determine team letters?) prepare to deal with their end of the plan: distracting Echo and the rest of Ice Nation. Echo will only deal with Bellamy (the s2 Clarke/Lexa parallels are strong with this one) and Indra’s giving him a hasty Azgeda 101 in prep. Murphy offers to help (yay Murphy!) and Bellamy gives him his gun so he can watch his back. Murphy takes one look at the crowd Bellamy’s facing down and bails (dammit Murphy).
Bellamy and Echo have a tense showdown where Echo attempts to explain herself for the Mt Weather debacle and how war works, Bellamy’s aware and not having it and demands recognition for the 13th clan (the sky people, for anyone not keeping up). Echo says no for massacre shaped reasons and everything goes pretty quickly downhill. Clarke, Abby and Octavia get caught, things are very tense and Roan wakes up just in time to throw them all in jail instead of killing them outright. It’s the little things, I guess.
All hail King Roan of the Abdominals
Back in Arkadia, Harper and Monty establish that they want to bone on the regular (or date as the less juvenile call it) and it’s very sweet. Not so sweet is Jasper preparing to commit suicide down the hall. I have some intense and complicated emotions about this trajectory for his storyline and I’m still trying to parse them all out. I get that it makes sense with his trauma and depression and I am very, very aware that this reflects real life. But, perhaps because I am so aware of how real this is, I can’t say that I’m remotely pleased to find out that the writers didn’t so much scrap this from the s3 finale as table it for later. Monty unknowingly interrupts him before things can get fatal but I doubt we’ve seen the last of this and….ehhhhhhh. Emphatically not a fan of the potential future, to put it as flippantly as possible. Fingers crossed he remembers and embraces his choice to believe that it can get better from the s3 finale (a moment that meant A LOT to me).
Cut to Raven the super brain explaining how fucked they all are. Bellamy and Clarke had radioed in to her earlier to look into Alie’s nuclear claims and unfortunately for everyone, the AI didn’t lie. Monty and Harper react with shock and horror while Jasper laughs and decides to watch the sun rise. Ngl, in that moment I’d be Jasper.
Up in the Polis tower (seriously how is everyone getting up and down? Is the elevator reenabled?) Echo and Roan plot Azgeda domination. Echo’s a fan of ruling through murder but Roan seems open to a more diplomatic approach. I knew I liked Roan.
In a jail cell, Clarke and Abby take a moment and Clarke tells her mom she loved Lexa while Abby comforts her. I’m going to take a moment to dwell on this scene because it’s really, really important to me. First off, it has been SO LONG since Clarke and Abby have had a chance to bond and I’m super glad that was included (seriously, if I haven’t harped on it enough, this episode was THE BEST for character relationships). Secondly, I’m glad the show isn’t sweeping Clarke’s feelings for Lexa under the rug for the sake of moving on from the entire debacle surrounding her death. Clarke loved Lexa, it was an important relationship and it’s going to have an effect on Clarke moving forward.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, I cannot tell you how incredibly important it is to show positive interactions between parents and their queer children with the parents being supportive of their children’s relationships on screen. The 100 sometimes gets flack for their “it’s the future, no one cares who you love” approach to sexuality. The argument being that on screen explicitly stated labels are important for the world we currently live in and while that’s true, I’m a fan of sometimes writing for the world you want to live in and constant looming death aside, that’s what this scene is about for me. So thank you show for taking the time to depict (again) not only is it true that no one cares about the gender of who you love, but making sure everyone knows Abby supports and validates Clarke’s feelings and that everyone in the room (Kane, Octavia and Bellamy) is also aware of it. By keeping Clarke and Lexa’s relationship so separate from the rest of the Arkadians for plot reasons, it did come with a whiff of closeting and this scene undermines that and that’s important.
Sidebar, I love that cut shot to Bellamy’s face. I’ve seen a couple of people attributing his reaction to jealousy but I’m taking it as recognition that they’ve both lost someone incredibly important to them (GINAWASREEEEEAAAAAAAL) and am lighting candles to every deity I can that this is teeing up a conversation where they comfort each other over those losses because shared healing is a bonding experience, don’t judge me.
After Echo comes down and drags Clarke up to the tower, Clarke and Roan negotiate for the sky people’s future. I have missed their grudging, reluctant partnership. I love how clearly Roan sees who Clarke is and what she’s about. His wry “it’s always something with you” made me snort laugh. Clarke lets him in on the oncoming apocalypse situation and when that’s not enough to convince him (in his defense he has a point, his angry people would kill him long before a radiation wave), Clarke offers up the flame as a political power solidifier in a moment all the more poignant for the conversation she’d just had with Abby.
Clarke’s desperate pitch works and Roan officially declares/reinforces the sky people’s 13th clan status in a rousing speech. Afterwards, Kane and Abby say goodbye to Bellamy and Clarke (KANE GIVING BELLAMY A SOLIDARITY JUST KEEP GOING AND TRY TO BE BETTER PEP TALK IS EVERYTHING TO ME JUST FYI). Kane, Abby, Octavia and apparently Jaha (lurking awkwardly a little ways away) are staying in Polis for diplomatic reasons while Clarke and Bellamy head back to Arkadia to rally team science. The stage is set, the clock is ticking, doom is approaching, classic The 100.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. The episode ends with a shot of the desert and an oncoming wave obliterating everything in its way.
- So, Miller and Jackson are just stuck at the top of the tower? That’s cool. Glad Kane left them snacks and a blanket. What do you think they’re doing? Is Bryan up there? Has he succumbed to his infected wound yet? I guess probably not if Jackson is there.
- SPEAKING OF WOUND INFECTION CAN SOMEONE PLEASE PUT A BANDAID ON CLARKE’S CHEST WOUNDS THEY DO NOT LOOK SO GOOD
- You know what else was great about this episode? How married some people were. Like kabby. And bellarke.
- (Kane and Abby/Bellamy and Clarke for anyone who watches this show from under a rock and has managed to not pick up the shipper lingo)
- Speaking of ships, DO NOT THINK I DIDNT NOTICE RAVEN WAS THE FIRST PERSON CLARKE AND BELLAMY TOLD ABOUT THE IMMINENT APOCALYPSE. BRAVENLARKE RISES
- God it was nice to hear Raven call Clarke her friend. I went into this season with absolutely no idea how Raven felt about her and that was a massive bummer but I’m better now.
- I also love tf out of Clarke thanking her friends for helping her, nice reminder that Clarke doesn’t (and can’t) do all of this alone.
- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA BELLAMY GETTING ALL FRANTIC ABOUT THE SWORD TO CLARKE’S THROAT AND CLARKE FALLING INTO HIS ARMS HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I’M FINE
- Have I mentioned how into multi-dimensional villain!Echo I am? I’m super into multi-dimensional villain!Echo
- HURRAY ECHO BROUGHT UP GINA (well, “the girl”). GINA WAS REAL Y’ALL, NEVER FORGET
- Man, Bellamy does not like it when Echo comes near Clarke. I wonder why that is.
- Did you guys see Indra’s face when the hooded girl interrupted Roan’s speech? I REALLY HOPE THE SHE’S INDRA’S DAUGHTER THEORISTS ARE RIGHT
- I have mixed feelings on the “okay princess, what now?” line at the end. On the one hand, while I loved the wry delivery (they aren’t the princess and the knight anymore as this episode drove home time and time again) and Clarke’s little answering smirk and I loved the season 1 callback, overall that nickname kind of died with Finn for me, so, shrug.
- ON THE OTHER HAND everyone spent the episode referring to Clarke as Wanheda (well, everyone being the grounders and Kane) and then Bellamy closes out the episode calling her princess and if I take that as a ‘hey, I remember who you were before all of this wanheda garbage’ reminder, IT GIVES ME SO MANY FEELINGS WHERE’S MY PILLOW I NEED TO SCREAM.
- Guys, I CANNOT with Roan’s crown.
Idk about you but that was basically a perfect season opener for me. What’d you guys think?