The 100: Twilight's Last Gleaming

Jaha: "You have a strength that is not weakened by sentiment and that is exactly what it is going to take for us to survive."

This show improves with each episode. Sure there are plot holes you could drive a truck through. Sure it's a bit contrived and teenage 'dramay' but it is beginning to do what most of the shows I love do - show us our own humanity, flaws and all.

The Ark is not a very nice place. There are divisions between the workers and the rulers. The rulers can, and often do, decide who lives and who dies. It's not very clean, the air is bad and if you are a teenager and rebel, you end up in prison. You also end up in prison or dead for many other reasons. However, up until now it has been the only game in town and the rulers have comforted themselves that they are operating in humanity's best interests (they often do this). This episode makes it clear that all that is going to change.

You have to wonder about a society that imprisons its children. You really have to wonder about a society that is willing to send its children to almost certain death. I'm sure being cooped up in a tin can in space can make a person a little crazy and having the fate of humanity on your shoulders when resources are running low and the end is near would only worsen that craziness. I really liked this episode because it was ordinary people who showed the best way to deal with this crisis. While the rulers have been, for the most part, showing us the worst of humanity, they showed us the best. Too bad it was all for naught.

On the ground the delinquents have been doing a pretty good job. They are still alive. They have created some sort of structure and living arrangements. They aren't paragons of virtue or anything but they seem to be doing better than the adults above them. There's been violence and more than a little sex but they seem to be settling in. As in many sci-fi shows/movies/books, our misfits seem to be our best bet in a crisis. Of course, the ground is also where the teen drama comes in. Raven assumes that Finn is happy to see her and Clarke, though obviously hurt, steps out of the way. I'm sure this triangle will develop in the future hopefully in surprising ways.

Generally, the characters are starting to fill out. Evil Kane is not actually evil, just desperate to do what he thinks is right. The self-sacrifice of the volunteers for section 17 obviously has an effect on him. Jaha is a good leader but he is also a man who is tired of living with the decisions he has had to make and far too ready to die. Abby is willing to risk her own life as she realizes she should have let her husband send out his message. Bellamy tried to kill the president in order to protect his sister and in trying to save her and himself has failed to prevent the death of 320 people. And that leads to what I really like about this episode. The reality is that we often make mistakes sometimes with horrible consequences and things don't always turn out rosy. We also have to find some way to continue with the knowledge that things could have been different and how exactly do we do that?

Bits and Pieces

The volunteers for section 17 left their shoes at the door - not sure why but perhaps it was intended to remind us of the German gas chambers for the Jews - it certainly reminded me of that.

Now when people go ballistic it is called 'pulling a Murphy'.

I love the joy on people's faces when they first step on to Earth. It reminds me to be grateful that I do that all the time.

The dad saying good-bye to his daughter was heartbreaking. It made me angry to know that it didn't need to happen.

Octavia is face to face with a grounder. I don't think her brother is going to be happy about that.

Quotes

Sign on the control panel: "Kiss your ass goodbye."

Clarke: "But it's just a rock burning up in the atmosphere, why would that make your wish come true?"

One of Bellamy's babes: "Please tell me they brought down some shampoo."

Clarke: "I screwed up. I let myself get distracted."

Jaha: "Jake Griffin inspired them and I killed him. I killed my friend."
Kane: "One decision does not define a man. Jake Griffin is gone. You're still here. Our survival depends on having a leader who can inspire people to self-sacrifice. You're that man, not me." (in other words someone who is 'weakened' by sentiment).

Abby: "Did you see that?"

7 comments:

Corona Zschusschen said...

I remember being very shocked at this episode and it definitely raised the show to another level for me. It also made me finally realize that 'hard choices' are what this series is all about, no matter the consequences.

Billie Doux said...

I was a bit shocked, too, although I didn't feel that I was invested enough in the story yet to be moved by so many deaths, or by the kids below trying so hard to save the people above. And I dislike Kane so much that I kept coming up with selfish reasons for him to convince Jaha to stay alive and in office. It also seems incomprehensible to me that Abby is the only person on the Ark who thinks what is going on down on Earth is important.

I was also infuriated with Bellamy. Any ground he'd gained with me because of his sympathy for Charlotte was lost again. Oh, well.

Thank you for a thoughtful, well-written review, Doc.

Greg Boyd said...

This is really the first episode of the show that convinced me it could be something truly special. Very BSG-esque in terms of the moral dilemma faced by Kane, Abby, and Jaha, and resists any sort of last-minute save, which is something I always admire.

Unfortunately, it's also probably the last episode until episode 11 that's quite this good. There's still solid stuff upcoming, but also some weird material that doesn't quite work. So to anyone watching for the first time... be patient. It will get there (and season two is basically incredible from start to finish). But it'll take a few more episodes before it finally finds that next level.

Billie Doux said...

Elfie, I'm sorry, but I had to delete your comment because it contained a spoiler. Even though I'm part of the review team for this show, I actually haven't seen the episodes after this one yet.

Lamounier said...

The end of this episode is pretty good, but yeah, they haven’t layered enough ground for that moment to be as impactful as it could.

One thing I find interesting is that I’ve read many people refer to the death of all those people as a very dark moment for the show. Is it wrong that I find it quite hopeful, actually? I mean, I was not expecting that many people to offer themselves as sacrifice. Yes, it’s sad because we, the audience, know it’s unnecessary, but from the Ark perspective, the was an incredible act of courage and selflessness. Those people should enter the fictional history of The 100 as heroes.

Jess Lynde said...

So I’ve started watching this one now --- Netflix lured me in (I hope Season 2 is available sooner rather than later) --- and have to agree that it has been getting steadily better, despite some teen drama things that continue to bug. This episode was particularly strong, and I found myself quite moved by the noble sacrifices made by those in Sec. 17 (which --- unless they had drop ships for that many people ready to go --- were probably were still necessary given the speed at which everyone on the Ark was deteriorating from oxygen deprivation).

What I really liked about the last pair of episodes was the way it flipped the perspectives a bit for Abby and Clarke. In the last episode, Clarke learned a hard lesson about why sometimes it may be better to withhold information about dangerous situations from the wider masses, perhaps gaining some perspective on why Abby would have wanted to stop Jake from getting his message out. But then they had Abby come around to her husband’s perspective in this episode, accepting that in this particular instance it was better to get the information out there. It will certainly be interesting to see how Abby and Clarke deal with each other down the line (if that ever happens) given all the changes in perspective they are gaining along the way.

I really adore Raven. The assorted others are starting to grow on me, too, five episodes in, but she instantly popped, and I hope she doesn't end up overly tied down in tired triangle angst going forward.

Patryk said...

Greg thanks for the warning that the next 5 episodes are more like the beginning then this ep. At leasdt i know I'll keep my epxectations lower till the season finale. :)