Often times when we’re caught up in a twisty plot, sometimes the attempts at character building are lost in the translation. After all, there’s too much action, too many reveals, and too many plot twists to share in a short amount of time. The 100 is one of the shows that hasn’t fallen into that trap. They aren’t afraid to slow down the action at appropriate times to get the most out of a character struggle, and “Reapercussions” managed to highlight some very painful struggles while pushing the story forward adequately.
The biggest lesson out of “Reapercussions” is there are consequences for actions and each of these characters have to face them. Kane realized he couldn’t stomach making the hard choices of Chancellor, Abby learned that her act of defiance ended up throwing her in a very delicate situation she might not be able to handle, Clarke found that her actions against the Grounders are coming back to haunt her and Bellamy is still working out his struggles with Murphy and now Finn. Only Octavia seems to be earning positive results from facing her fears.
The past few weeks, there were hints that Kane was struggling with playing the tough leader role, and in this episode those hints were revealed to be true blue fact. He’s definitely being torn apart by his new role as Chancellor. He wants to be sympathetic, he wants to be understanding, he wants to be fair, but the “mob rules” mentality among the anxious Ark contingent means that he has to punish those crimes don’t seem worthy of harsh brutality. He must establish order. He’s forced to deliver the message, it doesn’t matter who you are, you aren’t above the law. That’s why Abby had to accept punishment, that’s why Abby suffered the painful shocks while strapped in the town square. It ended up being Kane’s resolve that was broken in that heart gripping scene, not Abby’s.
Henry Ian Cusick sells private anguish oh so well and I loved seeing this true side of Kane again. This is the divided Kane that we got to see so much last season. The one that did what he knew had to be done, but it crushed his soul in the process. When the Grounder was captured and the normal brutal interrogation didn’t work (remind me never to cross Kane’s security chief), Kane decided there was another way. One that didn’t mean violence. One that meant a civil prisoner exchange. His people for theirs. Kane was ready to face the Grounders with the prisoner alone, and he knew that the odds were against him. It was enough for him to choose his successor, the very woman he had thrashed in front of the camp. Abby was the only one he deemed worthy. She took her punishment despite the agony. She has everything a Chancellor should be. Her stunned expression as he headed off out of the camp said it all, being in the Chancellor shoes is the scariest job in the world. Lots of luck with that Abby.
On the other side, Finn is falling apart. He’s about to learn the lesson that Bellamy has already had to painfully experience, once you kill, once you become that person, there’s no going back. Finn has killed before, but out of defense. This time, it’s a Grounder that told them what they wanted to know. A prisoner that was vulnerable and defenseless. Bellamy wasn’t willing to kill him, the two red shirts didn’t want to cross that line either. Only Murphy was cool with it, and we already know about his skewed moral compass. It was shocking to see Finn cross that line and put a bullet in the Grounder’s head, although it wasn’t too surprising. He cares a lot about Clarke and she’s the one who’s made that choice before, choosing to be that person for the greater purpose. In ways he thinks he’s doing the same, getting them before they get him. I imagine he’ll eventually learn where he must draw that line, but I’m curious what the ramifications will be from his act. Choices seem to come back to haunt these characters. I wonder if like Kane, when it’ll start eating him apart.
Then there’s the parallel between Clarke and Octavia. Clarke still doesn’t have these grounders figured out. She doesn’t realize she has to do more than save someone’s life, like she did with Anya. Grounders have a code, they all look out for each other and Anya was more worried about the others than saving herself. It’s a warrior’s code. Another part of a warrior’s code is one that Clarke should understand given her loyalty to her own people. You have to earn trust and prove your worthiness. Slaughtering a bunch of Grounders and then trying to save one of them isn’t going to do much in terms of relationship building, even though Anya did help her get away from the Mountain Men out of reciprocation. Clarke is still going to have to answer for her crimes, so perhaps her escape is a case out of the frying pan into the fire. Clarke has a lot to answer for in her decisions.
On the other hand, Octavia needs the Grounders to get what she wants, which is Lincoln. The Grounders are ready to rescue their people from the Reapers, but Octavia isn’t invited. They try to take her out, but she isn’t giving up that easily. She escapes when Indra orders her men to kill her, and then follows anyway. It’s her willingness to play the bait and then fight along side the Grounders to take out the Reapers that earns her favor. In the end Grounders are saved, but Lincoln isn’t among them. He’s gone. In her devastation the Grounders show mercy, Octavia may live. She has earned this act of mercy from them (That scene between her and Ty Olsson’s character was beautiful). This just goes to show, Grounders and “Sky People” can work together. Perhaps between Octavia and Kane, there will be a new alliance between these enemies.
Character dynamics aside, it was a very interesting reveal that once the Grounders were drained of blood they were delivered down a chute barely alive to bins for the Reapers to have them as meals. It seems that the Mountain Men have made allies. The Reapers are delivering captured Grounders to the Mountain Men first, which just happens to be good news for Lincoln! Turns out he wasn’t eaten by Reapers and he wasn’t chosen by the Mountain Men for cages and blood draining. He’s suitable for being a servant. Intriguing! I’m dying to see what happens when Jasper and Lincoln meet again.
So, checking the scorecard, Kane is on his way to the Grounder camp, Finn, Bellamy, Murphy and the red shirts are headed to a Grounder camp (is it the same one?), if Anya gets her way Clarke is headed to the Grounder camp (I would guess the prison camp), Octavia is in the woods alone sad that Lincoln is dead, so maybe she’ll head to a Grounder camp, Jasper and Monte are still happily hanging with the Mountain Men even though they’re so going to be learning the truth sooner than later, and Jaha’s journey gets time next week because sadly there was none for him this week. It looks like from the previews he’s going to run into yet another group. Can’t wait to see what happens there!
All in all, another great week. Not as good as last week, but there were enough nuggets to keep me going with excitement. What did you think of “Reapercussions?”