The 100: 04×11, The Other Side (Review/Recap)

Image result for the 100 the other side

After Octavia managed to defeat all of her opponents in the conclave and won the deciding rights to the bunker, she hoped to use it as a token of unity to show evolution amongst the population. Unfortunately, all of Octavia’s hard work was met with a decision that trumped the Blake siblings’ hopes and proved Clarke and Jaha are self proclaimed leaders who don’t take others into consideration…

“The Other Side” Recap

With Clarke having come up with a plan to overtake the bunker, Jaha and the rest of the former Skaikru make themselves comfortable despite utterly shocking everyone else with the rash decision. By the time Bellamy regains consciousness, he begins to clash with Clarke, finally calling her out for making choices she shouldn’t be deciding on her own. Abby realizes the same thing Bellamy has, and the evil duo of Clarke and Jaha allow them to at least radio their goodbyes to Kane and Octavia. Octavia fills her brother in on her victory so he takes an opportunity to say he will do whatever he can to get her inside the bunker and safe with the others. Jaha (who wasn’t so pleased about the radio contact) has guards shock-baton him to take him as a temporary prisoner with concern over what he will do next.

As he is dragged away, Abby and Clarke aren’t too thrilled by Jaha’s orders (which Clarke is equally a part of, in my honest opinion), but Clarke finds Murphy to keep an eye on Bellamy. Murphy notices Bellamy bleeding from the chains (that tends to happen when one is held captive against one’s will), so Abby is sent to tend to his wounds. Bellamy had hoped this would happen, taking the opportunity to tell Abby he will do whatever is necessary to save his sister and Kane — Abby’s love interest, in case you need a refresh for the lack of Kane/Abby scenes. Abby frees him from his chains, and, although she isn’t sure he will succeed, she feels better trying than just allowing madness to ensue like her daughter repeatedly allows.

Above ground, Octavia is surrounded by the other clans, who grow anxious over the looming sense of danger, with Azgeda becoming an issue due to Echo “dishonoring” her people. Octavia shows her true leadership attributes and explains that, even though she may not have played fairly, it shouldn’t reflect her entire clan — a round of applause for her sheer brilliance and forward thinking, right? Abby approaches Jaha for one last shot at persuasion, but he refers to Kane as if he has died already, so, in response to the shade from her former ally, she injects him with a sedative and aids Bellamy to the hatch, both working toward the same goal of opening the bunker.

Just as he comes close to gaining access to the hatch, Clarke appears toting a gun aimed at her “friend.” She receives the talk she needs from him, pointing out that, if she allows this to happen, she’s completely responsible for allowing many others to die. Bellamy stands strong and says she will have to kill him if she doesn’t want him to open the door and Clarke realizes at least one horrible act she can’t commit — lowering the gun. Now the Blake siblings have a chance to reunite, and Octavia proclaims unity for all … just not Echo, which is totally understandable given all the treachery she has sparked. Octavia explains that, as long as she and her brother are given a spot, the remaining slots for the bunker can be determined by the powers that be (Clarke, Kane and Jaha).

Elsewhere, Raven is realizing her time on earth is coming to an end and begins to see visions of Becca and her close friend Sinclair, with the new knowledge that she could (possibly) survive if she were to “reboot” her brain. How does one do this? Well, with the mix of an ice bath and defibrillator, of course! Shockingly (and semi-strangely) enough, her plan works, and Raven Reyes is back in the game. Monty does his best to convince a group of The 100 to join him in the rover and make their way to (semi) safety. The group (including Jasper, Harper and a few others) decide to follow Riley’s direction and agree that, with the correct amount of a dosage, they can end the suffering that very night. A surprising change of character shows Harper later tell Monty that he isn’t enough for her to want to survive and gives a pretty cruel breakup on account of the suicide pact — but the truly heavy moment comes from Monty and Jasper.

Monty next finds Jasper staring outside of a window into the deep red moon, knowing that the end is coming for them eventually. Jasper asks his childhood best friend to tell him he loves him, triggering Monty to realize that Jasper has overdosed. He tries to stick his fingers in his throat to make him regurgitate the drugs; however, Jasper stops him and makes a joke out of the situation as only Jasper could. He kisses Monty’s hand with one final bit of life he has remaining and tells him he will “see you on the other side.” Overcome by emotion (Monty … and me), he repeatedly states his love for Jasper to make his feelings for his best friend known even though he had passed on moments before he could muster the words. After everything they had been through, it was apparent that Jasper was heading down this path after losing the potential love of his life, he was now a fractured person who wasn’t willing to fight on any longer. There have been several deaths in The 100 during its four seasons, but this one was an emotional punch to the gut.

The only silver lining of the situation was that Harper didn’t actually go through with it, telling Monty she loves him (but I must admit I’m not to pleased with her after this episode). Now only two episodes remain, and plenty of characters are in danger of radiation, so any bets on who can survive the upcoming danger?

Overall Grade: 8/10

Rest In Peace, Jasper. Your sarcasm, goofiness, scorned attitude and words of wisdom will be missed. After four seasons, he rightfully became a fan favorite who reflected some of the darkest moments of grief the series included. His story’s conclusion was one that could have been predicted by watching the slow deterioration of who he once was and his lack of interest in what the world around him had become — it’s just a shame he didn’t want to stick around to reshape what it could eventually become.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts
  • Giving Jasper and Monty a scene for his send off was the most appropriate choice by far.
  • Still waiting on that afterlife reunion for Jasper and Maya.
  • Raven’s plan of survival seemed slightly insane, but, if it kept my favorite brainiac around, I am all for it.
  • Clarke can try to do the right thing all she likes, but she will never make amends for the choices she has made at this point.

Why ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ Is Still Essential To Pop Culture 20 Years Later

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
20th Century Fox

20 years ago today, Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar graced our televisions and lives with what many consider to be the best, most essential contribution to pop culture of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series that originally aired in March of 1997, began as a mid-season series for the WB that introduced us to the hellish world of high school with a twist: Sunnydale High was quite literally over the mouth of hell. The series protagonist? A young blonde girl with a destiny that required her to combat the forces of darkness while still making time for school and a social life – and when you’re that age, it already feels impossible to juggle those transitional stages. The premise of ‘Buffy’ was enough to instantly resonate with a specific age group through multiple generations, but Buffy didn’t stop with teenage tales. The series soon delved into much more mature and universal life lessons that every person could connect to at one point or another. 

What set ‘Buffy’ apart from other series and characters was that it signified that a girl who didn’t view herself as all important could take on life’s trials with the inner strength she wasn’t aware she had. Her grades weren’t the greatest but it didn’t detract from her true brilliance, she wasn’t the popular girl but people saw her for the compassionate savior she was, not to mention she had a wit and cleverness about her that only complimented her physical strength. Buffy became a pillar of inner and outer fortitude, not only for me at such a young age, but to anyone who gave the show a chance. You may be asking yourself what else makes this different than other series with morality and growing up as the focus, or maybe even those led by strong women – but before Buffy, a character like her was the helpless damsel who needed saving from the horror genre. Buffy redefined how a young woman could be portrayed in the media, a way that we need to see crafted more often. This (at the time) new inspiration extended far past young women, giving men and women of all ages courage to face their own demons (figuratively and literally if you’re a slayer.)

As the series came out of the High School setting it had been contained to, the larger changes began to take place and pushed both Buffy and the viewers out of their comfort zone. We weren’t facing the traditional nasties we had become accustomed to, it was now time to enter college and that first true spark of independence that one goes through at that age. Buffy began to feel overwhelmed by the balancing act of school, slayage and navigating through a new dating world as well as learning that being too trusting can be one’s downfall. In other ways the series tackled this real life growth, the supporting character Willow (resident witch and member of the ‘scooby gang’) escaped the overbearing family oriented life she lived and was able to explore her sexuality when she found herself falling in love with another woman (and fellow witch.) This was a major development for television, not usually allowing much to be revealed about same sex relationships – let alone their eventual kiss that is still talked about to this day. What made this feel natural was the connection they developed with the pair; it wasn’t placed in the story to turn heads, it was a pure unfiltered love at its greatest and that’s a gift that will stay with people for years to come.

As Buffy progressed to the later seasons, a return to family became focus – which is something life always comes back to. Buffy had to focus on watching over her younger sister (one of the supernatural/mystical inclusions of BTVS) that also was a rare shock to viewers of the series, given only slight indication via the show’s notorious and unrivaled foreshadowing. It took a darker turn when Buffy’s mother became ill, something completely unrelated to supernatural doings and entirely real – death and the trauma that immediately follows. The loss of her mother delivered possibly the most authentic essence of human emotion from the shock and devastation that triggers everyone to some capacity. The episode featured no music, no real supernatural plot, just 42 minutes of raw emotion that to this day hasn’t been surpassed by any other series on television – there is simply no way to recreate such a profound moment with an impact as heavy and brutal as “The Body.” That season featured another loss, the choice Buffy made to sacrifice herself to not only save her sister, but to save the world. For the first time in her experience as the slayer, Buffy felt that her ending her existence could be for the greater good and she made a sacrifice that blew viewers and critics away, but also fit the beautiful spirit of Buffy.

By the time the series had concluded on WB, BTVS had been picked up by UPN for additional seasons, having recognized the cultural phenomenon it had transpired into. Buffy not only came back to life as a series and character but it/she came back with some of the most distressing moments the series had to offer. Ultimately, the next path solidified that regardless of network or number of seasons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was far from concluding the momentous series that held plenty more lessons on humanity and how to navigate through the darkness that it can spew. In season 6, Buffy was brought back to life by Willow and the scoobies, but not without serious consequences. To begin, Buffy was ripped from heaven and spent the entire season trying to find her new purpose after feeling like she had completed her life mission. That empty feeling that followed was explored through Buffy trying to be an adult on top of feeling aimless. She returned to taking care of her sister, slinging burgers at a fast-food restaurant and beginning a destructive sexual relationship with former big-bad Spike as a shell of her former self. Buffy spent a long while trying to rediscover herself and become someone new, because that young bubbly slayer was now in a position where life changed on her and she either needed to adapt and grow or give up.

As the series once again importantly reminded us, even the strongest people have to regroup and reevaluate their lives and there is no shame in discovering who you are. This season focused a large part on self punishment, accepting what you feel you deserve and even began to explore the severity of addiction through the scope of Willow. In the early days of the show, Willow was the meek geek who wouldn’t harm a fly, but she evolved as much as the series protagonist (and every character truly) becoming a powerful witch whose love for magic began to deteriorate into a full blown addiction. Many people became angered by Willow, however, like addiction goes you begin to realize that having control over something so powerful isn’t a simple fix and occasionally asking for help is the most mature thing you can do (via Buffy/Willow in season 6.) That came to a tipping point when the climax of the season saw a seemingly average guy (who poorly hid his misogynistic outlook) with no enhanced abilities murdered Willow’s soulmate Tara and nearly killed Buffy in the process. It was unexpected, tragic and incomprehensible initially, which is exactly how life can go – but this instance was intensified by the mystical influences of Willow’s power. Willow lost herself, completely succumbing to the darkest magic in a grief stricken rage that shattered her world. The solution? There wasn’t one, which is another lesson from Buffy that stands the test of time; sometimes the only way to bounce back from loss and instability is to survive and rebuild with what you’ve experienced, helping you progress towards a more knowledgeable and hopefully self aware future.

Going into the final season of the series before tackling the comic expansion of the Buffyverse, Buffy has gone through hell and back, coming out the most levelheaded version of herself she could possibly be. Luckily for her, it was just in time to lead an army of potential slayers being threatened with extinction from the first – as in the first evil known to mankind. A foe this large put Buffy and company to the test, forging Willow’s mystical progress when she felt she couldn’t gain control again, Buffy’s ability to lead dozens of women who were where she was years prior and Spike’s ensouled conflict with accepting what he had done as a demon for two centuries. Buffy and Spike were both utterly perfect characters to use for this final chance at change, as Spike finally earned his soul on his own accord (the attempted rape scene in season 6 was his lowest moment that indicated he needed to find that spark of humanity he believed he had remaining.) Buffy on the other hand had finally found a new sense of adulthood that didn’t require her to rely on others ever again. Together, the two took television’s most tumultuous relationship and began down a path with redemption and mutual understanding. Towards the series end, Buffy and Spike share a heartwarming moment (one of multiple) that purely centers on the two proclaiming their fears and adoration in regards to one another and it captured the beauty of true love without requiring an explanation – it just told their story through their actions and proved that even the darkest moments can have a dazzling light at the end of the tunnel. 

By the end of Buffy’s seven year run, the future was unwritten and Buffy’s life was forever changed because she went from being the only chosen one to sharing her power with women around the world, encouraging them to embrace who they are and not feel alone as she had from the beginning. Buffy truly evolved from a young woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders to the strongest person television has ever seen. The heroine saved the world, her family, her friends and managed to learn countless facets about herself in the process. There may be several television shows that replicate life lessons and strong characters, but none have proven to be as timeless and inspiring as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After 20 years since the show originally aired, new fans are finding their way to the series, old fans continue to discuss and rewatch and even new stories continue to be told courtesy of the mastermind behind this television juggernaut, Joss Whedon. Anyone who has given, or will give Buffy a chance will learn that masterful, methodical storytelling is a rarity and when we find a story worth being told, it can spend an eternity impacting people of all ages and all walks of life.  From comedy, to drama, action and even horror, the series modeled life effortlessly and transcended television with superb talent from everyone involved. I sincerely know that Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be a part of my heart and a guidebook for myself and countless others for the rest of our lives.

“Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?”

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Gets New Merchandise For Its 20th Anniversary

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – for those of you who don’t know the name, you are either a pop-culture recluse or in desperate need of some supernatural goodness in your existence. The cult classic series (helmed by Joss Whedon and starring the talented Sarah Michelle Gellar) will come up on it’s 20th anniversary on March 10, so Fox has decided to grace the dedicated fan base with new exclusive merchandise ranging from new clothing, comic books, books, stationary, board games and even more! BTVS rightfully earns the special treatment after showcasing the struggles of growing up, transitioning to adulthood and all the curveballs life can throw our way – with a supernatural twist.  Though the series has been off the air for years (she was slaying before any pop-star used the word) it has lived on through the collector’s DVD sets, streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, or even the comic book continuation that takes place shortly after the series concluded. Buffy has been and always will be around, so what better way to celebrate than to enjoy some new Buffy goodies to excite our inner-Scooby?

buffy the vampire slayer

Hot Topic / Fox

Fox Consumer Products launched a partnership with various companies to sweeten the deal and expand the exclusives, some of which include new Buffy the Vampire Slayer clothes. Hot Topic has designed a special line of Buffy-inspired items, beginning with Buffy’s “Graduation Day” blood-red trench coat, Willow’s “Dopplegangland” frilly sweater and even Faith’s recurring black leather jacket to channel your rebel slayer persona. Ripple Junction has provided their own line of Buffy tees for men and women, with a limited sale on the items up until March 10. The store Box Lunch will additionally sell items centered around Buffy (shirts, jewelry, etc.) that launch on the 10th itself.

buffy the vampire slayer

Dark Horse / Fox

On the other end of the spectrum, a large amount of Buffy comics will be available through Dark Horse Comics which is the company behind seasons 8-11 (season 11 is currently being published.) Dark Horse will release an omnibus version of season 8 that includes several volumes in one bundle to ease the reading process or join your BTVS collection. The series is produced by Joss himself, another reason to catch up and find out where your favorites are now –  I can personally promise it’s a major treat to all BTVS lovers. The publishing company will include two new adult coloring books to embrace your inner Giles art (hardcore fans will catch that one) with scenes inspired by the series and comics.

A few different publishers (Simon & Schuster, Insight Editions and Harper Design) have a few Buffy related books down the pipeline, from a collection of Buffy handbooks with spells and mystical focus – to an encyclopedia to the Buffyverse (and that is simply a few of several in the works.)  If you are looking for more action, look no further! Jasco has released a Buffy board game that uses a multiplayer function for people to battle major villains of the franchise (here on Amazon) and Legendary will be releasing a deck-building card game where teamwork is key (available August 2017.)

Fox will be revealing more items as they are released throughout the year, but with this much focus on the Buffyverse, this 20th anniversary (still utterly shocked it’s been 20 years) will be a glorious one – Buffy the Vampire Slayer only gets better with age!

Make sure to share your thoughts on the  marvelous anniversary as well as your favorite Buffy moments with the hashtag #BuffySlays20 on social media.