Mark Watches ‘The 100’: S02E04 – Many Happy Returns

In the fourth episode of the second season of The 100, EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING ALL OF THE TIME. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100. 

Trigger Warning: For talk of disability/ableism, blood/gore.

How is this show so relentless? I DON’T GET IT.


There’s only so much I can comment here without getting into awful territory where I start speaking over those who have physical disabilities. I’ve only got mental disabilities myself, so I can address this plot in a general sense only. I think it’s important to portray disability in a way that doesn’t ignore the logistical reality of life for someone who is not able-bodied, especially since that helps to craft a story that doesn’t seem to exist just to make able-bodied people feel better about themselves. I think that the writers are at least trying to depict the emotionally frustrating experience that Raven’s going through. This new life on the ground requires different skills from her, and she knows that anything that might slow her down or hinder could mean death.

But life is also different now that she’s in Camp Jaha. It’s not precisely the same as the existence she was used to at the drop ship. That’s not to invalidate her intense feelings on the issue, and I’m thankful that Raven gets to be angry. I really don’t have much interest in sanitized stories that present obstacles like this as easy things to overcome and full of that obnoxious swelling music that is supposed to be inspiring but truly feels insulting instead. What I hope we get out of Raven’s story is more of what we see here. I want introspection and emotion. I want to honesty from Raven, and I want her to get a plot that is just as important and entertaining as everything else in this show.

So far, I think it’s succeeding.


HOLY WORLDBUILDING!!! So, there’s a place somewhere in North America called the Dead Zone? And it’s basically a desert and PRACTICALLY NO ONE LIVES THERE? Well, some people live there, but as I understood it, you only live there out of desperation. We learn all of this through the kindness of Zoran, a boy whose face is disfigured due to radiation-caused birth defects. Zoran is a curious and excitable kid, and he is responsible for his parents taking Jaha in when the man could have died of thirst in the desert. But it’s through the tragic parallels between Jaha and Zoran’s mother – Sienna – that The 100 explores the ramifications of the choices that people make while trying to survive.

It’s revealed that Sienna refused to cull her child because he was born disabled, and so she moved her family to the Dead Zone to escape retribution. It’s ironic for Jaha to be here for two reasons. One, it highlights the choice that he made months earlier when he sent Wells down to Earth to give the people of the Ark a chance to survive. The contrast is glaring. Understandable, perhaps, given the context of each situation, but The 100 is not really interested in portraying such acts as independent events that are not connected to a greater story. No, Jaha’s decision to send his son away will always be a part of who he is, and this was just another reminder of that.

And it’s in the end that he learns how dedicated Sienna is to her family. Once again, she chooses Zoran and her husband over Jaha. In order to make it to the fabled City of Light, they hand Jaha over to… someone. A bounty hunter, I presume, who can make a profit on the Sky People who plunged to Earth. (I feel a little uncomfortable about the unintended racial implications of such an act. Did no one think about how selling a black man would look?) You can tell that Jaha doesn’t even resent what Sienna has done. He understands.



Seriously, what’s going on with Finn? His determination to save the others might be admirable if he wasn’t so willing to cast aside literally anyone else. I think that Bellamy’s logic is sound here, and I say that while putting aside the knowledge that they’re not going to the right place. They don’t know that. All they know is that they come upon a survivor of one of the Ark crash sites, and it’s someone they can definitively save, you know? They can do something meaningful for someone!

The whole sequence is ridiculously tense, and it’s only made worse after Sterling dies. At that point, I was worried that any of those people might die. AND THEN THE GROUNDERS ATTACKED, AND THEN THE FOG HORN WAS SOUNDED AND THIS WAS LITERALLY TOO MUCH. But Mel survives! And Bellamy and Octavia are reunited!!! A NICE THING HAPPENED.

We all know what that means.

Anya / Clarke

I mentioned earlier when discussing Raven that I wanted, above all else, honesty from this show. It’s what makes it so refreshing to me. As many tropes as it might shuffle through, as many times as dramatic scenes might be dragged out just for the sake of it, I find that The 100 is most compelling when it puts people into horrific moral situations, lets them unfold, and then asks the characters to be honest about it. While Clarke might indeed be correct in asserting that the best way to combat the Mountain Men is through a Grounder/Sky alliance, there’s still far too much that Anya and Clarke need to work out.

At no point did I ever feel that Anya was portrayed as being irrational in her behavior. It’s understandable why she won’t trust Clarke! I don’t blame her, and I think that given the circumstances, Anya was trying to make the best of a disaster. At the very least, Clarke could provide corroboration of what Anya had witnessed, and she could give the Grounders far more detail on what the Mountain Men were up to. But these two people had drastically different ideas of what they wanted, and that means they were going to fight. AND WHAT A FUCKING FIGHT THAT WAS. Holy shit, it was one of the most brutal scuffles in the entire show, and it had the unintended consequence of Clarke earning Anya’s respect for fighting well.

Which makes me so upset because of the end to this episode. I knew that Major Byrne’s terrible leadership was going to backfire, and I was so worried about both Anya and Clarke when they got to the other camp. BUT PLEASE DON’T LET THIS BE A DEATH SENTENCE. I’m assuming it is because… shit. How does she survive a gunshot wound to the chest? Oh my god, I HOPE BYRNE IS FIRED OR SOMETHING. I don’t even think she can be fired, but still. STILL.

The video for “Many Happy Returns” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be seasons 1 & 2 of The 100, Death Note, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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