In the eleventh episode of the second season of The 100, THIS IS TOO MUCH. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100.
Trigger Warning: For torture, nonconsensual medical procedures
THIS SHOW DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT. IT’S SO EXCITING.
There are two major plots unfolding within Mount Weather, and it’s only a matter of time before they collide. For what it’s worth, I think both sets of stories – Jasper’s attempt to find his friends, and Bellamy’s rescue – are amongst the most stressful and thrilling in the entire show’s run. That’s a huge credit to the acting, the tight plotting, and the brilliant use of the Mount Weather set. The scenes there are claustrophobic because we know there’s really no easy way in and out. We know there are cameras everywhere, and that in nearly every sense, the Mountain Men have the advantage.
So how do these people succeed in such an environment? Through ingenuity and through allies. In Bellamy’s case, Maya ends up being the biggest source of help, and without her, I imagine that he’d still be strung up in that facility. Why? Well, it’s important to note that even when it came to a random stranger, Bellamy chose to save someone else’s life. He made a fuss so that he’d be chosen. And when Maya realized that one of the Ark citizens must have been captured, she risks her own life and status within Mount Weather to help Bellamy. I don’t doubt her alliance at all, and she’s done so much to assist these people.
I think it must be acknowledged that without Maya, Bellamy most certainly would have been caught. She’s the one who guides him through the facility; she’s the one who comes up with the fake quarantine procedure. She’s the one who guides Bellamy to the radio line so he can contact the Ark. I think that’s why Bellamy speaks for her in the end when Clarke asks whether or not it’s possible to free the Grounders trapped within Mount Weather. He trusts her, and he believes in her ability to help.
However, I could already see the collision course set up by the writers. As Bellamy was plotting to sabotage Mount Weather and visit his friends, his friends were busy getting FREED BY PRESIDENT WALLACE. Look, Jasper is undeniably foolish here, and threatening the President with his own sword was never truly going to work. However, Jasper had no idea of the power struggle playing out behind the scenes, and it coincidentally worked in his favor. I don’t particularly like Wallace, but I recognize that he’s trying his hardest to avoid any more destruction of human life than what he sees as acceptable and necessary. It doesn’t absolve him of the horrors he’s overseen with the whole Reaper program, and I’m sure that both Dr. Tsing and his son see him as a hypocrite. He was always willing to exploit those seen as “lesser” than the Mount Weather people for gain. Why stop now? Why discard the option?
So I’m wondering, then, if President Wallace can do anything. There’s an irony to the fact that he’s now imprisoned with the very same quarantine ward where he kept Monty, Clarke, and the others. But is he still a variable? Can he stop Cage from using the 47? What of the 47’s current state??? THEY’RE LOCKED IN THEIR ROOM.
This show’s complicated moral landscape never fails to entertain me. Even if “Coup de Grace” does not feature the first time people have struggled with torture or revenge, the events involving Emerson still feel refreshing to me. It’s not just about whether to torture Emerson or not. This felt much more like an unfolding power struggle than anything else. As Clarke’s actions win over the Grounders more and more, it puts her at odds with the political organization within the Ark community. Abby is the chancellor, but she has no standing with the Grounders. Clarke’s been on Earth far longer than her mother, and Abby’s biased in regards to this. I don’t think her reaction is necessarily irrational either. Abby wants to protect her daughter, and she also wants to guarantee the safety of her people. Because she’s spent so little time on the ground, Abby views this world as one giant unknown, and that justifiably frightens her. It’s not an easy thing to deal with, you know?
And yet, Clarke has proven herself time and time again. That’s not uncomplicated for Abby, obviously, and it’s a challenge for her to accept that her daughter can lead people and can make difficult decisions. At the same time, I appreciated that brief scene between Raven and Clarke because it showed us that even if Clarke presents a confident front, there’s still fear coursing through her. She still has uncertainties! That gives her character depth instead of portraying her as some sort of one-note archetype. That’s honestly why I find so many of these struggles so fascinating. A new development can appear instantly because these characters are so willing to change and adapt. For example, seeing Kane openly admit that he has no interest in becoming Chancellor? OH, HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED. That’s not something I would have believed last season, but it’s absolutely true here. He’s become such a different person over the course of this show! And that’s what I want to see from a story like this. How do these people choose to survive? What do they cling to? What do they let go of? So it feels more powerful to me to have Kane, of all people, recommend trusting the judgment of someone else when he used to be so unwilling to trust anyone but himself.
I just adore that Clarke got to stand up for herself and to Mount Weather at the same time. That final scene is simply incredible, and I love that we are getting to watch this transformation happen before our eyes.
The video for “Coup de Grace” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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