The 100: 04×05, Tinder Box (Review/r

the 100

The 100’s fifth episode of the fourth season faced a potential war and a risky concept that could save humanity or cause a fan favorite their life – so let’s jump right in to an episode filled with multiple breakthroughs.

“Tinder Box” Review / Recap

The episode “Tinder Box” begins by taking us back to Octavia post battle with Azgeda who is now barely clinging to her horse – until she actually ends up falling off and passing out from the fight and falls to the ground. It is then that Illian (the grounder whose life changed due to ALIE) finds Octavia and helps her make her way to Arkadia, where Clarke performs CPR on the Blake sibling. Octavia takes a breath and has enough energy to warn Clarke and the others that war with Azgeda is approaching, their people will come for them. This notion is enough to engulf everyone with turmoil and the preparations to withstand Azgeda must become a reality. In this chaos, they try to reach Kane via radio to no response, a reminder to viewers that there is a lot going on for Skaikru.

Because Monty can’t get ahold of Kane and Bellamy’s rover is found by Jaha, concern is initiated causing Miller’s father to crave a battle without any regard for their safety or land. Clarke (being the diplomat she is) offers up an idea to open a line of communication between herself and Roan, only being backed by Monty. The idea isn’t received well, but it’s better than immediate bloodshed so Clarke goes horse bound to meet their warriors and speak with the king himself. Clarke finally gets to their location somewhere between Polis and Arkadia, but she’s greeted by archers ready to end her existence. She asks to speak to Roan for a few minutes max but he’s not as interested in talking. Fortunately for Clarke, her people cover Roan in sniper lasers and they both know there is going to be a brief standstill.

Shortly after, Roan tells his people to bring Kane and Bellamy (hostages of a new war) to the forefront in an attempt to show them what is at stake. The meeting between both leaders gives them some privacy in a nearby cave just after Monty convinced Riley to hold off on revenge-killing Roan for his own suffering. Clarke wants to know what could have made him go back on their truce to which he says is credited to his new knowledge of the ship. Clarke reinforces that it is only a backup plan capable of saving 100 people, but the nightblood could be the key to everyone’s survival somehow. She promises she isn’t trying to overthrow him with a new leader because the chip is gone (imagine how much trust he’ll lose when Octavia shares the truth.) Roan tells Clarke a harsh truth regarding the woman she loved, saying that Lexa knew how to put loyalty over clan – and that she needs to figure that out for herself too.

The words resonate with Clarke apparently, because she offers up 50 spots to Azgeda and the other 50 to Skaikru, a split divide to appease both and avoid bloodshed. Even though they take an oath that should stop fighting, Riley has disappeared and Monty is forced to tell Echo about his plan to kill their current king. Bellamy uses the opportunity to get out of being a prisoner and give his aid to Echo in the search for Riley. When they find the young man, he is prepping to kill Roan and Echo readies herself to kill him. Bellamy begs that she doesn’t become a murderer from war but Riley eases the decision by putting his gun down and keeping his own hand clean (for the time being.)

Elsewhere, queen Octavia (nickname from me, not an official title) awakens to find Niylah taking care of her injuries and asks how she ended up back at the ship. When Niylah tells her about Illian, Octavia instantly worries about what the others should have worried about before fleeing and leaving him alone in their tech-heavy ship. By the time they find him, he is just about ready to burn down the ship and he succeeds at annihilating their only current option to withstand the radiation storm sweeping their way. Everyone comes back after postponing war to see their ship torched to the ground, so the nightblood option becomes their only option to stay alive.

In the lab that ALIE/Becca has created, Abby works had to find an alternative way to fuse nightblood with their own and recreate it, but Raven gets caught up enjoying some flight time. In reality, Raven has a seizure that Abby helps her through, yet Raven is convinced she actually just was given a brilliant idea. Raven shares that because they used an EMP to remove ALIE from her brain, fragments remain and because of the constant thought process she seized (as a normal human couldn’t handle that much brain activity) but the solution: Becca needed to go to space (I won’t pretend to have Raven’s brain) in zero gravity to bond the blood. Luckily, Becca had a small ship with functionality to return to space so Raven volunteers to set out for space with Abby. Jackson stops them both and says Raven is showing signs of a stroke and a CT scan proves she has black spotting beginning to cover her brain. Raven insists she will give her life to save the others if needed, so Jackson reminds Abby she received the EMP too. Abby says she’ll watch for symptoms, but the moment she’s alone she sees a blistered Clarke adding pressure to finding a cure for what’s to come. Better work quickly people, the clock is ticking!

Overall Grade: 8.5/10

Raven seems to be evolving and crumbling simultaneously which makes for a fascinating line to tow as one of the series best characters, who also happens to be the brains behind the operation. Clarke made (another) decision to avoid conflict, but in doing so she has ignited a spark that could cause Arkadia to crumble as a unit -I just hope to see Clarke finally realize that she isn’t the single person capable of leading Arkadia . Five episodes in and The 100 remains one of television’s most consistently impressive series.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– Raven for new leader of Arkadia

-RIP to the Ark portion of Ark-adia, but kudos to the scene where we watch it go out in a blaze. 

– Octavia surviving and being the only person to have suspicions about Illian is another reason to praise the relentlessness of the youngest Blake sibling.

– A (short) return to space could be a nice change of pace after focusing solely on Earth for awhile.

– I’m happy that Niylah has been able to stick around, she’s a pleasant surprise when she appears.

 

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The 100: 04×02, Heavy Lies The Crown

Heavy Lies the Crown
CW

The 100 continues its fourth season with chaos and conflict, but what else would we expect from the high-stakes series? Now let’s dive straight in to this week’s episode that introduced the difficulties of accepting leadership in the midst of relentless danger.

“Heavy Lies the Crown” Recap

The episode begins with a flashback, nine days prior to present day where we see a young grounder under ALIE’s influence as he prepares to kill the rest of his family to prove a point in her name. Just before he can finish himself off, ALIE is summoned away to stop Clarke from destroying the City of Light (unsuccessfully of course.) It follows Illian (the young man) back to Polis where he is next seen listening in as an ambassador plans to fight King Roan and overtake the throne. Luckily for him, Octavia overhears and her and Kane warn him, but even though he isn’t willing to back down to recover from his wounds he gives them a chance to at least try another solution.

In preparation, he and Echo try sparring but he isn’t able to best her in battle. Echo questions Roan as to why he is so willing to forgive Skaikru so he explains they are going to try and help keep them all alive. Her next idea? Becoming a spy and infiltrating Skaikru. Now that Octavia and Kane have decided to stop the ambassador from battling Roan, he and Ilian aren’t keen on the concept and are ready end Roan – and Skaikru. Octavia challenges the ambassador one-on-one, but he declines and acts as if she couldn’t take him. Octavia (being the badass she is) takes the blade and stabs him through the ear – yes, the ear, she’s a brute savage and I’m all for it. Octavia covers up the evidence that she was behind the crime, muttering “long live the king.” More like long live the queen!

The other ambassadors come in the next day to inform Roan of his demise and it seems like nobody is fooled by Octavia – as Ilian asks if he will meet his end next. Instead she offers her condolences and it seems like they have a mutual agreement to let bygones be bygones (at least in the world of ‘The 100.’) Life at Arkadia isn’t exactly in the greatest place, with Jasper becoming someone so ready for death I can’t help but feel it’s actually inevitable in a bittersweet situation. Raven continues to look for alternatives, hoping there’s another Mt. Weather on the horizon, but the others stop her from telling anyone (which she compares to Clarke’s father.) Raven is a bit aggressive with her words and actions, but in all honesty there’s a major point she has about who they are quickly becoming.

It’s then that they discover that Alpha station may be an obvious solution – it managed to survive temperatures at extremes and radiation from space, so Raven begins preparation to salvage it as long as they can obtain a very special component. Bellamy, Miller, Monty and Brian form a small unit to find this important hydro-generator that’s in ship remnants of Farm Station, now in Ice Nation. The mission doesn’t go as planned when they are taken as prisoners eventually, but Azgeda warriors reluctantly agree when they know they have a deal with Roan. Things get complicated as they see one of their own being held captive with others and discover their chance of saving them is narrowed down to that small window of opportunity.

It comes down to a split decision as to if they should take the hydro-generator and leave people, or use it as a weapon against the Ice Nation soldiers and free the people who were turned into slaves. Bellamy makes the executive decision to save the captive individuals and essentially detonate their live-saving equipment that wipes out nearly all of the Azgeda warriors. Before they can separately kill their leader, Monty learns that his father’s death was at his hands – and Monty lets the former prisoners finish the job instead of making another tough call.

Back at Arkadia, Raven convinces a small pool of people to help maintain the ship she wants to repair (under a guise because of Clarke) and she is practically forced to accept Jaha’s help also at the request of Clarke. I truly feel like Raven’s feelings and perceptions are actually the most level-headed and fair after what betrayals and life-threatening choices have hurt them. When Bellamy finds his way back to Arkadia without what they needed – he makes it known he doesn’t want to be a part of anyone else dying, so Clarke naturally guilts him for sealing everyone else’s fate (which she has no room to judge.)

Clarke’s next step consists of her owning up to telling her people the truth (after Jasper accused her of hiding their fate and acting like the former council who banished them to Earth.) Clarke tries to share her knowledge, but backpedals and acts like they will all survive if the ship is repaired. Clarke made a bold choice to hide something that will certainly come back to make her pay but as usual she doesn’t seem to take other’s views into consideration. Is Clarke trying to save them? Absolutely. However lying to the people they are making help them can’t be acceptable for too long if she wants to hold on to any trust with those she swears to protect.

Overall Grade: 8/10

For the second week in a row, The 100 has earned a solid ‘8’ for using a build-up of leadership tension in Arkadia, Polis/Azgeda and the ramifications of failed leadership. Making each choice have a trickle effect for others has been a strong suit for The 100 and the coping (or lack of) mechanisms are a crucial sign that everyone has come so far from the people they were in the beginning – which can be good or bad, but perfect for storytelling.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– Let’s take a minute to appreciate the romance that is Abby and Kane.

– Part of me wants to feel for Clarke, but as usual I feel like I would be tempted to challenge her choices as now forcing herself into a role that she shouldn’t necessarily be responsible for after the events of the past three seasons.

– I understand Jasper’s views on the 6 month expiration date, but he either needs to be a part of the solution or possibly remove himself entirely from Arkadia because it doesn’t look like he’ll ever find any semblance of happiness with people he seems to despise.

The 100: 04×01, Echoes (Review/Recap)

Echoes
Inverse

After what felt like a long hiatus, television’s best current sci-fi series The 100 is back for the premiere of its fourth season (yes, can you believe we are four seasons in?)!

“Echoes” Recap / Review

The season picks up with “Echoes” after the destruction of Season 3, and there’s still plenty of chaos to deal with. On one hand, Octavia helps an injured Indra and informs her she took care of Pike (which every viewer was glad to watch), and Clarke begins to face instant backlash from the people of Polis who hold her responsible for the destruction and downfall of their community. As Clarke tells those closest to her that departing the city is probably the safest bet, she is informed that the king (Roan) survived being shot, but the bullet remains lodged in his body. Kane and Abby hope to do their best to aid him, but Echo insists their own people will look out for the dying king.

Echo appears to be prepared to fight for power, showing his disdain for Skaikru, and states that Azgeda (Ice Nation) now rules over Polis — which is immediately questioned by an ambassador who states the group of ambassadors will reign until a new commander ascends through their traditional methods. Echo resorts to violence (the way her people seem to know best) and slices the woman’s throat to ensure Azgeda holds the throne for the time being. Echo asks (actually, it’s more of an order) that no members of Skaikru are allowed to exit the city, but, thanks to the Flamekeeper’s secret tunnel, Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia, Kane, Abby and Indra have their exit strategy. Octavia and Indra are more than ready to wage a war between Azgeda and the pre-existing Grounders, but Clarke knows more than she’s letting on — finally sharing the purpose of the City of Light. With the news that the world they know will cease to exist in six months, they have Raven look into the claims despite Clarke’s certainty of ALIE’s legitimacy when it comes to the expiration date of the world.

Echo is later informed by a soldier that Skaikru plans to surrender to Azgeda, taking Jaha with her to discuss the details. During this time, she says she will only speak with Bellamy because of their former bond, presumably, and Octavia (with Jaha’s aid) uses the time as a distraction to free Abby and Clarke, who then begin to work on saving Roan’s life by removing the bullet. Though they successfully remove the bullet, he doesn’t wake up in time, and Echo realizes something is amiss, sending several guards to surround Octavia, Clarke and Abby with the order ushered to kill Wanheda. Luckily for her, Roan regains consciousness, and Clarke tries to use the treaty as reason to keep them alive. For the time being, he has them all locked away while Echo tries to convince him that the death of Wanheda will unite his people to fall in line as the king.

Things at Arkadia consist of the group trying their best to return to normal life (or as close to normal as they can get); Raven repairs their mainframe after the ALIE debacle and Jasper tries to right his wrongs after being persuaded by the ALIE chip. He returns to his room, where he glances at a painting from Maya and prepares to shoot himself in his living quarters, but Monty accidentally (and thankfully) interrupts his attempt with news that Raven has come across. Raven divulges that, after the second Fukushima mishap, a reactor was made to combat the radiation — lasting for 100 years. The problem now: their time is nearly up, and the six month warning courtesy of ALIE and Clarke seems to be in play. With their world close to coming to an end (again), Jasper’s suicidal thoughts are thwarted, and he seems to be ready to wait out the end of times.

Back at Polis, Roan meets with Clarke, and, while he insinuates he doesn’t want to kill her, it may be his best option to appease those he is now leading. Clarke believes they need science (something his people don’t do best in, but, hey, it’s not my forte either!). The compromise they reach? Clarke offers up the chip (flame) to him so people are forced to follow him until he can help the next Nightblood ascend as the new Flamekeeper. With the agreement in place, Echo gives Bellamy and the others an item to show they are protected from harm, and everyone (with the exception of Kane and Abby) head back to Arkadia to reunite with their people and hopefully find a way to survive what’s to come. The last shot shows they will need to work fast when a woman wandering the dead zone is turned into ash from the increasing radiation that threatens to wipe out an entire planet and the remaining groups of civilization.

Overall Grade: 8/10

The 100 has a marvelous way of diving back into the world they’ve created, throwing new stories and tying up ones with loose ends. The new threat of radiation wiping out the planet could make the most dangerously uncontrollable opponent yet and is something that they won’t easily be able to solve. This may not have had every adrenaline-pumping moment other premieres have had, but it’s off to a strong start, and The 100 reminds viewers that, even four seasons in, there are no signs of slowing down — and I have no complaints.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– Clarke taking some backlash is always needed to push her to be a more well-rounded figure — if she can actually take the critiques into consideration.

– Octavia looks like she will continue to be molded into a warrior queen with aspects of all of the factions she’s encountered. Octavia > Clarke.

– Abby and Kane staying behind makes me nervous for the pair, but I suppose I am always cautious about the safety of those two.