In the thirteenth episode of the second season of The 100, everything continues to hurt, but there is a light at the bottom of the cave-in. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100.
This episode is ridiculous in the best way.
I think that the introduction of the resistance force within Mount Weather is a very refreshing turn from the seemingly endless cat and mouse games that the 47 are playing with Cage. To the show’s credit, the major battle sequence within “Resurrection” is one of the most cathartic and brutal things we’ve seen (which says a lot). But the inevitable hung over the surviving members of the 47. They could not keep resisting the attacks without some other way out of level five. But before we got to that solution, this was UNREAL. Unreal! If this is always a show about survival, then getting to see those kids figure out a way to survive is the purest form of a story that The 100 could tell.
And goddamn, do those kids survive. The plan to dunk the gas canisters in water? Brilliant. To pretend to be unconscious? Even more brilliant. The absolute slaughter of the same guards who have been stealing life time and time again? Seriously, “catharsis” is the best word possible for this scenario. After watching so much terror wrought on these people, it felt rewarding to see these monsters fail. That doesn’t mean the sequence isn’t disturbing; it’s a bloodbath of epic proportions, and the severity of it is what shocked me. It was filmed with an eye towards chaos, and I spent the entire scene wondering how it ever aired on television.
Yet catharsis isn’t the only thing that fueled my continuing interest in this show. One of the coolest things we now have in this seasons is the resistance force, who we meet initially through Maya’s father. We’ve focused so much time in Mount Weather on the 47 and the ruling class that we’ve missed out on the day-to-day life of the place. Maya’s father is a reminder that Mount Weather was built. It did not simply exist as it does now. People fought to make it work, and that means that not everyone agreed with the decision to use the Grounders to survive. What were those resistance days like? Was there a public conversation about what to do, or did people like Dante Wallace secretly sanction it, only to have it discovered later?
Granted, those questions are not answered here, but we get a taste of what it might have been like. I didn’t know how the 47 could escape Cage yet again. The solution? Oh, it makes this so much more interested. It’s no longer about Cage fighting the 47 in secret. If he wants to find the 47, he’ll have to get through his own people. Are they worth killing, too?
THIS PLOT GOT SO MUCH BETTER, Y’ALL.
I don’t even know how to talk about everything that happened in the aftermath of the missile strike. It’s some of the most philosophically complicated material this season, especially since so much of it concerns the worth of human life amidst a war. Survival and adaptation are constant themes of the show, and I’ve spoken about both concepts at length over the course of my reviews. Most dystopian works don’t maintain the relentless pace that we see here, but what value is there if the characters constantly race forward without any reflection on the actions that propel them so rapidly into the future? One of the reasons I find The 100 to be so well-suited to my tastes is the willingness the writers have in exploring what their twists and turns mean. It’s not enough that there’s a shocking experience here; I don’t find that kind of storytelling compelling all on its own.
I’ll give an example. I liked “Blink” from Doctor Who, but on repeated watches, it lost its steam to me. It seems a little bit too much for me, and the story isn’t not quite up to the caliber of some of the other episodes I love a lot. Knowing all the creepy twists and turns deflates the narrative for me. So, can The 100 stand up to the same standard? Granted, I haven’t rewatched this yet, but does the show rely on shocks just to entertain us?
I would argue that it doesn’t, and the prime evidence of that lies in both Clarke’s moral examination of herself and the stunning scene beneath the rubble between Kane and Abby. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of what happened on the Ark before all these people came to Earth. Truly, a ton of shit has happened since then, so even I admit that I’m focusing on the present more than anything else. But this episode asks the audience to consider an awfully uncomfortable question: Do the adults of the Ark deserve to live after what they did to survive aboard that station? What sort of legacy or knowledge did they pass on to their children? Obviously, now that these characters are at a literal distance to their pasts, it’s easier for them to examine what they’ve done. But I found it fitting that, while so close to death, they asked themselves whether they should live. Abby was quick to condemn her daughter for keeping the missile strike a secret, but Kane offers up an alternative view: Did they not make the same sort of difficult and destructive decisions on the Ark?
It’s a fair question, and I’m glad that this script is as straightforward as it is. Kane vocalizes exactly what he’s done: send countless people to their deaths just for trying desperately to survive or to save those that they love. He led 300 adults to their death when they didn’t need to die. And Abby helped kill her husband because she thought it was right. Is Clarke such a condemnable monster because she was placed in a situation with such a horrific set of choices to make?
For what it’s worth, Clarke certainly believes that she hasn’t made a good choice. Maybe a practical one, and perhaps she’ll discover that valuing Bellamy over those killed in the blast will pay off. But, again, what cost must she pay for that? How long will it be before others learn the truth? It can’t be forever! Kane knows, Abby knows, and how long until other people figure it all out? Of course, there’s Clarke’s own conscience. Killing the spotter didn’t make her feel any better, and I don’t imagine much ever will. So where does she go from here? How can she lead if people start to doubt her?
EVERYTHING STILL HURTS. Will it stop? Of course not.
The video for “Resurrection” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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