Mark Watches ‘The 100’: S02E08 – Spacewalker

In the eighth episode of the second season of The 100, I am genuinely surprised and impressed. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100. 

It is so rewarding to be wrong.

After this episode ended, my boyfriend and I had a conversation about our willingness to see this situation through an “objective” light. It seemed so frustrating to us that these people were all willing to put a huge potential truce at risk just to save someone who had done something undeniably terrible. Finn was not either of our favorite characters, even more so for my BF. I thought that most of the other characters got better stories, and I’m also a bit tired of Finn’s archetype getting to be the center of show after show. It’s why I believed he was untouchable. He’s the white straight lead, and he’s the protagonist’s love interest.

Thus, it seemed grating to me that the language surrounding Finn’s massacre was upsetting. It minimized what he did, and it transferred responsibility. He was just trying to “survive.” It wasn’t Finn who did the shooting. They killed some of our people. There might have been some tiny truth in each of these statements, but they all ignored what actually happened: Finn killed multiple unarmed people who had nothing to do with Clarke’s disappearance. Was his punishment going to be over-the-top and brutal? Yes. But does this absolve him of what he’s done? No.

The problem, then, is whether or not these people can put aside their emotional affinity for Finn in order to progress And despite that I might have been frustrated by these people doing everything they could to avoid the obvious, I think my harshness is due to my lack of bias in favor of Finn. These people knew him, loved him, and cherished him. They’ve fought alongside this entire time, and I get why they’d be defensive of him. In another sense, though, I imagine that this was an issue of pride. They had to protect one of their own, regardless of what he’d done. They’d spent so much time turning on one another and pursuing justice in any way possible that they’re now hesitant to do it again. Honestly, they’re so close to peace, and it had to hurt to know that one last act of violence would bring it to life. It’s tragic and ironic.

But The 100 is about these kind of morality plays. We move from one to the next, and I think it was smart of the writers to focus entirely on this specific plot instead of dividing time with Mount Weather. We needed to see these people try to defend Finn’s actions; we needed to see them try to come up with an alternative to Lexa’s demand. They do so desperately. They fight for Finn because he represents… what? Their freedom? Their need for peace? The hope that both groups can move forward without dragging up the past? I think an entire essay could be devoted to that topic because it’s clear the writers threw a lot of subtext into this.

I admit now that, knowing the ending, “Spacewalker” would be a much different experience for me. I spent the entirety of this episode until the final few minutes convinced that Finn would be spared. My worst fear is that Lexa’s offer would be discarded or, even worse, someone would ignite an even worse war in response. But in hindsight, that never really was an option. The flashbacks that explained Finn’s nickname demonstrated that, at one point, he was interested in sacrifice and goodness. Despite that this was derailed by his actions in the Grounder camp, he returns to the same point in the end. He gave up his freedom to give Raven a chance at life. Thus, he gives up his own life to give all these people a chance at peace.

I don’t know that his behavior should be painted as “admirable” in these final moments; he’s still a murderer. But I thought that was truly the path we were on. Finn’s character was hitting every single mark on the path to Redeemed Anti-Hero, and I was just waiting for the inevitable. I find it to be bold, refreshing, and disturbing that the writers avoided this. It was a genuine shock, but I think that they found a solution that was somehow even more upsetting than the alternative. Baize and I figured out what Clarke was going to do right after she asked permission from Lexa to say goodbye to Finn, but it didn’t make it less impactful. Y’all, I honestly didn’t expect this to happen, and let the numerous reviews and videos stand as evidence of that.

So why doesn’t Lexa allow her people to attack Clarke for killing Finn? My guess is that Clarke won Lexa’s respect by doing something that proved she wasn’t weak. I mean, look, Finn was not my favorite character, and I wanted him to be held accountable for his actions. At the same time, I was struck with an intense wave of sadness watching him die. I did not feel good at all, and I truthfully did not want it to happen. (Too late, of course.) It’s agonizing to watch, and I think that’s the point. Finn’s death contained more pain than Lexa’s people could have devised, and thus, the massacre was avenged.

I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

The video for “Spacewalker” 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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