In the fifth episode of the first season of The 100, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS SHOW. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100.
I am genuinely surprised. GENUINELY. And look, I have read and watched enough dystopias at this point to feel like I have a good grasp on the genre and what I should routinely expect from it. Obviously, it’s not like there’s some sort of guidebook that all writers borrow from, but there’s a reason tropes exist. Often, it’s to help communicate something without having to go into detail. Numerous times within this show, tropes pop up so that the show can directly address them or discard them. But as the people of the Ark considered their dire future, I was certain that there’d be a last-minute solution to the oxygen problem, and we’d have to avoid the horrible end of that situation.
I thought a lot of things about this episode, and I was pretty much wrong about all of them.
Let’s start with matters on Earth, since this episode starts off with a really nice scene that is VERY QUICKLY MADE A DISASTER. I mean, we all expected it. We all knew Raven would survive, she would be reunited with her boyfriend, and it would absolutely suck for Clarke. We knew this! I also expected that Bellamy would get to the drop ship first, and that Raven’s would be thwarted. That’s about the point where my expectations for this episode were trashed, as nothing went as I thought it would from here on out.
Let’s start first with the love triangle, because I am hoping that the way it was addressed here means that it won’t actually be happening. I made a comment in the video that Clarke is really good at communicating what she wants of others, and I’m hoping that’ll help us move past a very cheesy and (frankly) boring plot. Finn genuinely did not think he’d ever see Raven again, and her presence here is not some malevolent force. As hurt as Clarke is, I don’t think she’s ready to lash out against someone for something neither person could control. That doesn’t mean she’s fine or that everyone is happy. But I hope it means this show won’t tread familiar ground to stick to this trope, you know?
It’s a disastrous situation, but it also pales in comparison to Bellamy’s short-sighted selfishness. I’m glad that this show has no problem telling Bellamy he is a fool through the other characters. For every step forward he takes, he has to do something ridiculous and ruin it all. Destroying the chance for Raven to radio back to the Ark and save 320 lives? Yeah, that’s utterly reprehensible. He couldn’t even wait until Raven woke up and found out what she was there for. He might have figured out that he’s not wanted for murder, or that capturing him was the last thing on anyone’s agenda. But no, he impulsively does what he thinks is best for him, and in the process, he dooms hundreds of people to their death. It’s horrifying, but there is a silver lining: the 100 actually band together to help Raven shoot three rocket flares into the atmosphere! THEY ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE AND NO ONE ARGUES.
At least there’s some progress.
I was so certain I knew the ending of this episode. Too often, American television shows will refuse to commit to game-changing decisions this early in their run. Most shows avoid doing deeply upsetting things in the first month of their existence. And look, we’ve all seen episodes just like this. Someone has to make a difficult decision that’s super upsetting, it runs right down to the last second, and then BAM! Everything is saved and whew, that was a close one!
I’m still in shock. I did not think The 100 would commit to this, but in a tragic twist of irony, everything that Chancellor Jaha and Dr. Griffin did was unnecessary. Everything. I think there’s something to be said of the urgency and desperation that took place here because that’s part of the reason this happened in the first place. If Kane hadn’t pushed matters forward, and if Dr. Griffin hadn’t leaked her husband’s video, perhaps those people would be alive. But it’s all just speculation anyway. The truth is that I feel numb about all this. This is barely the fifth episode of The 100, and I felt myself tear up as I watched people willingly march into that room in order to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. I can’t imagine a more pure act, you know? These people gave up their lives to guarantee that others could live on. MY HEART CANNOT HANDLE THIS. That fucking little pink barrette is going to be the end of me, holy shit. I can’t. I CAN’T.
That shot of Jaha and Dr. Griffin watching the flares drift by? The rudest thing imaginable. I justâ€¦ how? How does this show go on? Jaha isn’t dead, as I thought he would be. They know that people survived on Earth. Does Kane live up to the promise we saw here? He actually becomes nice and reasonable in this episode. Was it all an act? What about Jaha? Does he understand how many lives he’s ruined over the years in order to maintain order? And now, Dr. Griffin has to contend with the fact that HER HUSBAND WAS RIGHT AND SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE SOLD HIM OUT.
I’m a mess. How is this show real? WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO OCTAVIA?
The video for “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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