Well, ain’t that a big kick in the female parts…
I know I owe you all reviews for the four episodes before this, but given the monumental impact of “Thirteen” sharing my thoughts just couldn’t wait. It was stunning. It was brilliant. It was so incredibly sad! Another tragic loss for Clarke, and this seems to hurt worst of all.
What can I say about this epic and emotionally powerful tale, this modern day Romeo and Juliet that played out in Shakespearian flair with a little sci-fi thrown in for fun? This is a brilliant script for co-executive producer and first time writing for The 100 Javier Grillo-Marxuach. I’m sure the comparisons are more to Game of Thrones, but I haven’t been able to back a love story like this on that show yet. I will definitely mourn Lexa, but by integrating the AI setup with the Grounder Commanders, just wow, who saw that coming?
I think that we haven’t seen the last of Lexa, but her loss will have a big impact. That’s little consolation for all that she brought to this universe. She was the leader, strong willed, calm, confident, but she was human too. She valued Clarke dearly and her opinions just because it appealed to her humanity and compassion, the qualities that no doubt got her chosen for leader. She was vulnerable too and ultimately fell in love. Despite her feelings she wasn’t afraid to make the hard choices to protect her people. She saw things differently through the eyes of Clarke and that in the end influenced her to be a better leader. “Blood will not have Blood” was for the preservation of her people even if many didn’t see it. She was willing to face criticism and rebellion to protect those values. She cared about her people that much.
Despite the tragic end at least Clarke and Lexa had that beautiful moment together, one that was a long time coming. Their love scenes were sweet, refreshing, and so genuine. The bittersweet of losing Lexa after she and Clarke finally made love made the death scene all that more crushing. Just like with Finn’s death, the greatest emotional impact was delivered at the perfect time…with a sledgehammer. It helps to have two amazing actresses who could run with an epic love story. Given their circumstances no happy ending could have been predicted, yet that didn’t make the scene any less hard to watch. Lexa was so calm and brave as she faced the end, absolutely killing us with her gentle, “My fight is over.” To see Clarke experience her most heartbreaking loss of all in a long line of heartbreaking losses, we felt every ounce of her devastation. We’ve grown so attached to these characters and their plights that we honestly bleed when they bleed.
But to think that moment only takes us to the real stunner. Lexa’s death wasn’t that shocking because we knew that we had borrowed time with the actress, who is a regular on Fear of the Walking Dead. If there was a candidate for a spectacular, moving-the-story forward-death, she was top of my list, as painful as it is to say goodbye. But if you’re going to send a beloved character off into the light, it’s best to do it with the maximum impact. I’ve been leery of this AI storyline so far and where they were going with it, but given that they were able to bridge the two distinct worlds together in one perfectly timed flashback sequence suddenly I’m signing their praises. It just goes to show with patience and trust, the payoff can be spectacular.
Ever since we were introduced to Lexa we learned that past commanders are able to live on through other commanders. It was so easy to dismiss all that as hokey mystical mumbo jumbo, and I confess that’s exactly what I did. Now it makes sense how Lexa was never afraid to die because she could live on. The multiple layers and plot threads has proven to be quite an advantage, giving the writer’s the ability to use backstory items like the long lost Station 13 to tie into the beginning of The Grounders. This is just awesome proof how superior The 100 is with its storytelling and plotting and how they can use everything they have to deliver maximum impact. That sort of leap cannot happen with one random jump. It has to be slow, hidden in plain sight, and then hits the audience when least expected. That is a rare coup in television these days and I’m ready to king Rothenberg and company masters in their field.
I really appreciate that they limited the entire story to Polis this week, for anything happening in Arkadia would have diminished what we learned and lost in what is one of the most significant episodes of the series. Who knew that having Octavia and of all people Murphy there made things that much better? Murphy showed a rare act of compassion, offering to take Clarke away after she lost Lexa. Murphy had an impact though, delivering the hard truth to Titus that their beloved leaders came from the same place they did, the sky. Polis was Polaris, and their first leader, Becca, was a Sky person. I do wonder what happens if that truth circulates among the grounders and the people of Arkadia. Will that make a difference?
The whole back story was very interesting, because we saw events that even Jaha and the others in Arkadia don’t know. No one knew the real truth, that Becca was continuing her AI research on Station 13 even though her first ALIE AI destroyed the world. The second one, the one ALIE was looking for last week, now suddenly makes sense. Again, WHO KNEW it was an implant in the Grounder commander? The truth seems to be carved on those cave walls. I hope Jaha at least gets to see them so he finds out what happened.
Then there’s the heart warming part that helped soften the sadness of Lexa’s death, Octavia and Indra. It was sad to see poor Indra diminished, weak, and without her spark to fight. It took Octavia to bring her around, but really was there anyone else that could? Those two have had a bond like none other, a mother and daughter type. Indra meeting Octavia and walking into battle hand in hand with her is the validation that both these characters sorely needed. I swear it got me as teary as Lexa and Clarke. I hope that Octavia and Indra remain side by side from this point forward. It’s easier now for Octavia to cut ties with Arkadia because of Bellamy’s betrayal. Her and Indra need each other and no doubt they will both kick a lot of ass together. Will Octavia end up killing her own kind though to protect the Grounders? I imagine she’ll be facing that choice very soon.
Grading this episode is a slam dunk. An A+. This sets up so much for the rest of the season. As much as the loss stings, I’m dying to see the process of how a leader is chosen, who it will be, and if that person will be loyal to Clan 13 as Lexa was. What sort of a connection will that person have with Clarke? There’s a lot left to happen folks. (Also coming soon, the review of the previous four weeks. This show has been messing with a lot of themes this season and they are so worth exploring).