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.

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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.

The 100: 03×12, “Demons” (Review/Recap)

Demons
fangirlish

On last week’s episode of The 100, we saw the first steps of progress towards overthrowing ALIE’s influence and the stakes seem to increase with the AI hoping to annihilate all signs of life in opposition of her. The 12th episode titled “Demons” begins with the small band of likable Arkadia residents Miller, Harper and Brian on the outskirts hidden in a cave sharing stories of eerie urban legends. When Miller lets out an unsettling gasp, Brian additionally disappears to find his boyfriend, leaving Harper to be attacked by a masked figure. In Polis, Murphy has managed to get by surviving (as always) running into Emori and just enough time to share his general whereabouts while tied to the new Heda Ontari. The crew consisting of Clarke, Octavia, Bellamy, Monty, Jasper and Raven compare notes with the discovery that the remaining Natblida Luna is the best shot at stopping ALIE 2.0.

When they arrive to Arkadia there are virtually no signs of life, concerning the small group of non-brainwashed individuals. They collectively decide that they will gather what they need and escape the former safe haven, but Raven suggests ALIE’s followers have moved on to conquer the AI’s other missions. With things in constant motion for the characters in The 100, Octavia takes a moment to actually react to the loss of her love – heartbroken in the midst of his only belongings. Unfortunately for her, a grounder has to bring things back to the life and death perspective when attacking Jasper and choking Octavia soon after. Back in Polis, Murphy secretly meets with Emori in room of the flamekeeper marked with the tales of Becca. She seems moved by the paintings but it isn’t discussed any further, on account of their spontaneous act of passion that they were both focused on.

Raven attempts to crack the code for the AI chip, trying to come up with any phrase or word that could have been used as a command. Ultimately Sinclair is able to utilize the latin book from Becca, now knowing what needs to be done to equip the AI to Luna when/if they find her. Monty and Clarke find themselves together in a darkened hallway of the camp when a spooky version of rockabye baby slowly fades out from a windup carousel. Monty is smart enough to determine this isn’t an ideal situation to be in – and a smoke bomb is thrown in to take them out. Clarke struggles to fight back and rips off the mask of the fake grounder who is actually a vengeful Emerson (the last survivor of Mt. Weather.) Clarke locates Bellamy and they both go back in to stop him, but they discover that everyone else is missing other than Raven and Sinclair. He goes into lockdown mode and the lights are cut leaving Raven and Sinclair incapable of seeing their attacker. By the time Raven opens the door to the outside, Sinclair is seen bloodied and quickly approaching death. Raven (who was in a momentary safe place) leaves the Rover to be with him in his final moments – an emotional scene between two people with a genuine familial connection until Raven is also attacked.

Clarke and Bellamy find Sinclair’s body but no Raven, meaning he has taken their remaining friends captive. In an attempt to find more information she establishes connection with him via radio and finds out they are tied up in the airlock. Clarke offers herself in place of them so he agrees to accept her idea so she can yet again face him after their conflicted relationship for two seasons.

Murphy explains the current situation and circumstances surrounding him to Emori,  and the legitimacy of their beliefs which provides her with a lot of insight on information everyone isn’t quite privy to. When Murphy later arrives to the throne room, Jaha makes his presence known and shares the knowledge he has gathered from Emori (bummer Murphy, better luck next time.) Jaha convinces Ontari he can aid her quest for power, convincing her to imprison Murphy and potentially take the chip that will unite her with ALIE.

Clarke makes her way to the airlock and to show his animosity, Emerson injures Octavia at knifepoint to persuading a hidden Bellamy to join them all as well. The Blake sibling offers himself and is tied up with the others – but Emerson leaves them locked inside and begins the process that will soon drain them of oxygen. He keeps Clarke at a distance to watch the death of her friends, but after a scuffle she succeeds in placing the AI chip inside him, ultimately causing him to bleed out from his eyes and neck for not having the specified blood infusion. Clarke makes her way to the lock system, opens the airlock, and the others just barely escape death by oxygen deprivation. Later into the evening Bellamy tries to provide Octavia with a chance to grieve over Lincoln after their separation – so he returns Lincoln’s body to her to receive a proper grounder send off. Octavia weeps over the man she loved unlike anyone else and they begin the ceremony of fire for Sinclair/Lincoln. Octavia is quick to suggest they leave, not wanting to focus on the hole in her heart anymore so they pack up what is needed to find Luna. Raven admits that since she is no longer invincible and dealing with her ailments, she’ll stay behind with Harper, Monty, Miller and Brian to keep Arkadia their own. With only a handful of episodes left, these separate factions are going to be hitting a rough(er) patch to stop whatever the world-ending AI is plotting.

Overall Grade: 8.5/10

There were plenty of moments that gave characters opportunities to address their “demons” with Octavia’s grief being the strongest focal point of the story. It did feel like perhaps this was an attempt to repair the friendship between Clarke and company, but time will tell if they can become a completely cohesive unit. The horror/suspense elements were a nice addition to the science fiction drama and this was probably the last remaining episode that won’t be entirely connected to the major plot of season 3.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

-No preview was shown for next week which could just be a coincidence… or is it a sign of a major mysterious battle between The 100 and ALIE.

-It’s good to see some of The original 100 group together again – and I’ve enjoyed the addition of Brian, Miller and Harper.

-I stand by my suggestion that Becca could have a spinoff series of her own.