As I said in my previous review, I feel behind a bit with The 100 because of vacation and season finales from other shows, so I was able to sit down for a couple of nights and catch up via DVR. Those were two very exciting nights. I’m still amazed how engrossed I get in these episodes every week, despite the fact that there are some glaring weak spots. The entertainment value is high as well as the emotional engagment, and isn’t that all that a good TV show should be? It’s keeping me happy.
“The Calm,” episode 1.11, was alright setup for the excitement to come,. What happened is certainly relevant for the remaining episodes, but overall there wasn’t much to say about the hour. The food all burned up for stupid reasons (I still say it was Murphy), but that meant everyone went hunting. That also meant that The Grounders could capture a specific target, and how convenient that Clarke and Finn had expendable extra #3 covering their back. Can you say “captured?” The motive was because Lincoln, their healer, had bailed and Clarke was the next best thing. Unfortunately, she couldn’t save Anya’s protege, a young girl injured in the bridge explosion that wouldn’t be in battle in most cultures, so Finn had to die. Clarke was spared because they still need a healer. The most memorable part of the hour was Clarke’s daring escape, which involved her taking a scalpel and slitting the throat of her guard. It was long, brutal, and Clarke could only stand there and watch the light go out in his eyes. She’s doing what it takes to survive, but by dragging out the scene it highlights how far she’s sinking morally. It makes you wonder if this is how The Grounders started.
My favorite part of “The Calm” came from The Ark, where we finally found out the fates of those on board. A lot of stations were lost, about 1500 people, leaving 1000 left. Kane didn’t let that stop him from saving everyone he could though, no matter what the cost. Who is that guy he was bonding with after rescuing him? Can we see more of this guy? He had the perfect attitude given the fact they were all likely toast. He did everything he could to help Kane, even giving him everything he needed to go up the very hot maintenance tube to save people that were ejected from the Exodus by Diana (people not loyal). They were stuck in the docking bay. Does this mean, oh yes. Abby is alive! I suspend disbelief that I can’t imagine anyone would survive a rocket engine blast during take off in a docking bay because I’m too happy to see Abby. I guess they didn’t need a doctor after all. The visual of a very hot Kane holding a weak Abby is exactly why we find ourselves rooting for these characters every week. Kane was ready to execute her in the pilot. He really has come a long way in a short time.
Bellamy still has a lot to learn, like sleeping with Raven. He knew that she was coming onto him just for revenge against Finn and that she was having one of those “woman scored” fits. He even warned her that he wasn’t going to solve her problem, but they did it anyway because she insisted. At the end he asked if that made her feel better. Her reply of “no” was really the only answer. The question is, should Bellamy as leader have let that happen? He was granting her wish, but at what price? Will this come back to bite him, or her, or both? Was what he did a respectable act or a selfish one? These questions alone accent where this show is excelling above others; rich, complex character development.
As predictable as the plot was though, a couple cool reveals came out of this adventure. Finn raised the first question to Lincoln, why is he doing this? It had to be for more than Octavia. That remains a mystery and dammit, I want answers. The other reveal is the existence of “The Reapers,” the savage band of mutant cannibals that prefer eating humans alive. They have struck so much fear into The Grounders that they have their own reaper signal. I’m curious what makes these savages so invisible and fearsome where The Grounders couldn’t wipe them out like they’re trying with The 100 84 ish or so (I’ve lost track).
Speaking of The Grounders, it looks like Anya’s tribe is just one in a chain of command. So how many groups are out there? How deep does this hierarchy go? Is there’s this faction of warriors, we must assume they have rivals. Is most of the earth now inhabited by various war tribes? That ties into Monty’s disappearance. I have this feeling his story is going to introduce yet another human faction to this mix. Just how many are out there? Seasons two through ten can probably answer that question.
The ground action ends with Bellamy giving a rousing speech about fighting after Murphy inexplicably escapes by exploding a hole in the drop ship with gunpowder and didn’t blow up himself (see my science gripe in a minute), and Clarke backing up that speech by agreeing with the fighting part, just not there. They need to bail. Bellamy questioned her choice, but backed her call when she was firm in her choice. So, that takes them away from their makeshift home, along with a wounded Raven who probably can’t move. Unless she dies, probably in Finn’s arms, making him feel like crap.
Meanwhile, up in the air, everyone’s resigned themselves to the fact that there are 51 hours left and they are dead. The remaining 1,000 have been given that time to make peace with themselves before moving onto the great beyond. Chancellor Jaha may be perceived as a weak leader, but he knows how to give a rousing speech. Kind of a nice parallel to Bellamy and Clarke’s speech, huh? Isiah Washington has been a perfect choice for this role and I’m so pleased that he’s on the roster for season two. Kane decided to run simulations in his final hours on how to save everyone, while Jaha decided to drink 97 year old scotch and watch videos of his son and Clarke as children. It’s when he was answering their technical questions about the ship. Suddenly…the light bulb switches on.
Viewers have grown more savvy with the technical aspects of science fiction. When the science portion of a story is presented to us, many of us aren’t jet fuel geniuses, but we know almost every technical detail of the Starship Enterprise. The 100 needs some trekkie science advisors. Heck, find a band of kids that have studied this stuff like in Galaxy Quest. It doesn’t have to be too expensive. Thrusters have been keeping them in space for 100 years right? There’s a reason why those thrusters haven’t allowed the Ark to fall to earth. Because it will crash and burn up, therefore killing everyone on board! Couldn’t they have come up with something better than having the thrusters push the Ark to earth? Like using the thrusters and scrap from the recent explosion to MacGyver a lifeboat or something? On a side note, Raven cannot die or they are totally screwed technically. She’s the only one that seems to get it. She would have been able to build that lifeboat and it would have been awesome too.
Finales are usually the time where the death pool gets full, so who will it be? Will it be people of signifigance, or will it be all the red shirts with all our main characters left behind with survivor’s guilt? Do you see The 100 standing a chance? Will the Ark land on earth in pieces far away from the others? Will the rest of the series be them trying to reunite? We’ll find out in a few days, but given the fact this show hasn’t been afraid to go to dark places, I have knots in my stomach over where this is going.
Who would you like to see live or die? What are your guesses for the finale? Share your thoughts. It’ll help with all that anxious waiting.