In the fourteenth episode of the second season of The 100, HOW DID ALL OF THIS HAPPEN IN ONE EPISODE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The 100.
Trigger Warning: For brief discussion of queerbaiting, but only in the context of THE FACT THAT THIS SHOW DIDN’T ACTUALLY DO IT, OH MY GOD. Still, if talk of it might trigger you, I’d rather warn than not.
There’s so much to discuss. THERE IS SO MUCH THAT HAS HAPPENED.
The City of Light
You know, I am thrilled that a show like this exists, because that means I can view Jaha’s plot of destiny with a critical eye because I was supposed to. In one sense, it’s very typical of this story to unfold as it does. I’ve lost count of how many plots I’ve seen like this on television (LOST had a few, as did The X-Files, and I’ll stop there because it’s very common in genre shows), and to a point, Jaha’s story doesn’t break much from the mold. But it’s not supposed to because the narrative toys with Jaha’s expectations. After surviving so many impossible things – life on the Arc, the rocket to Earth, the journey across the Dead Zone, the imprisonment in the Grounder camp – Jaha sees his life as some sort of mythic journey. There has to be a higher power working through him, or else why would things have turned out as they did?
It’s fascinating, then, that Jaha is paired with Murphy, one of the most unlikable characters in the whole show, who also exists as the person with the least faith in others. He’s the polar opposite of Jaha’s archetype within this trope, and it makes me wonder if this will end as most people might expect. The reveal of the City of Light as a field of solar panels was pretty ridiculous and shocking, but what if that really isn’t the City of Light? The small details here are what make me question the future of this story. Why put a sign warning of mines for people leaving the panels? Wouldn’t turning it around and placing it on the opposite side of the space make more sense? So what made the mine field necessary?
Obviously, there’s someone out there who is watching over the solar panels. They didn’t respond to Murphy’s destruction with violence, and by all appearances, they truly are being led to something. But why? Why all the production to it all? What’s out on the water???
As if a LITERAL FIELD OF MINES was not tense enough for us, the show gives us a nightmare in Bellamy’s attempt to stop the Mountain Men from using the veil of acid fog against the armies assembled outside Mount Weather. It’s bad enough to know that at any given time, Bellamy might be found. With so many cameras within the facility, and with Cage overseeing everything with a hawkish eye, we know that Bellamy is on thin ice. It’s astounding to me that within this, we get an example of the kind of hypocritical logic that many Mountain Men truly believe. It’s unbearable to watch Bellamy bolt around the facility, seconds away from being captured. We also know that Cage is willing to do anything to maintain the oppressive order of his society, which includes bombing a camp and now, poisoning thousands and thousands of people trying to rescue their friends and family. The things the Mountain Men have done are frightening and savage.
And yet? His concern is over the 10 soldiers killed by the 47. That’s what offends him. It’s all relative, isn’t it? To him, his actions are necessary to guarantee a new form of survival. Not current survival, for what it’s worth. They could all still survive on the whole Grounders/Reapers arrangement. No, they want to leave the mountain and go colonize the wilderness, because it’s their right to do so! Nevermind that they literally can’t and that scores of clans have done so without the Mountain Men this whole time. I think that you could easily draw a parallel between Jaha and Cage here, since both of them are pursuing a destiny, though one of them is destructive in doing so.
I admit that while I adore Raven and am very interested in her character, her developments in this episode were overshadowed by OTHER ROMANTIC DEVELOPMENTS. But here’s what I’m happy to see explored: Raven trying to explore sex after Finn. A visibly disabled person having sex with someone and it not being about her disability. Raven being allowed to be EMOTIONALLY DISTRAUGHT AFTER SEX. Sex is not always a wonderful thing! It’s not always the right decision to be made, and I’m glad that the show allows her to be so visibly conflicted about it!
But let’s be real. The best part of this episode is every scene with Clarke and Lexa, and I can hardly deal with this. Look, the evidence of a long history with shows queerbaiting me is in the videos for this very show. How many times have I seen Clarke and Lexa together, asked for them to kiss, and then immediately followed it up with, “Well, that will never happen?” because IT NEVER HAPPENS? There’s one of these IN THE VERY VIDEO FOR THIS EPISODE. I’m so used to the bait and switch, and this episode seemed to be setting up the exact same nonsense. There was the flirting, the looks, the intense gazing, and then…
THEY ACTUALLY KISSED.
My gods, it’s such a good story choice, y’all. So much of this episode is a chance for Clarke to reflect on the actions she took in “Rubicon” and to reject Lexa’s insistence that she is weak for having emotions. Leaders in stories like this are often praised for being ruthless and difficult, and hell, Indra is a good example of someone who supports that style of leadership. For what it’s worth, it’s certainly gotten the Grounders to where they are; I’m not interested in questioning Lexa’s accomplishments.
But Clarke is a different leader. She uses emotion to her advantage, and this is her chance to prove that to Lexa. It’s her closeness to both Bellamy and Octavia that allows her to have faith without the risk. It’s why her people are loyal to her. And there are greater moral issues at hand, too! Claiming that you don’t care about the lives sacrificed for the good of all doesn’t really help anything at all, and Clarke knew that Lexa was just as disturbed by her decision as Clarke was. She knew it!
Oh my god, I just… holy shit, y’all. The fanfiction to be written. The potential for this show. TWO LEADERS WHO ARE INTO EACH OTHER AND ALSO WOMEN AND BISEXUAL CLARKE IS NOW CANON. What a time to be alive! What a world to be a part of! While I don’t expect there to be much Clarke/Lexa in these last two episodes (they’ve got a war to win!), I think this is an amazing set-up for future storylines about love, romance, and war.
IT REALLY HAPPENED.
The video for “Bodyguard of Lies” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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