by Billie Doux
Abby: "Maybe there are no good guys."
What an incredibly heavy finale.
Even though there was a lot of foreshadowing -- Jaha and Kane culling the Ark, Finn's massacre of the village and his subsequent execution, Lexa and Clarke allowing the Coventry-like bombing of TonDC -- I was still shocked. They really went there. Honestly, when I started watching The 100, I wasn't expecting a whole lot. Especially after sampling the first few teen angst episodes of season one.
Cage Wallace wanted his people to live on the ground so badly that he continually sacrificed innocents to do it. In the end, that was the only way Clarke had to fight back. She had to kill all of the people of Mount Weather, or lose her mother, her friends, her own people. What was so horrible about it was that Cage backed Clarke into a corner; she really had no choice. It didn't have to happen. Bone marrow could have been donated. There could have been peaceful co-existence of a sort. But no.
Like everyone else, Cage underestimated Clarke. He was so used to having the upper hand and making everyone do what he wanted that he just didn't think Clarke would follow through on her threat to irradiate level five. This is what greedy, selfish, cruel and shortsighted leaders will get you: a mountain full of dead people. If Wallace had still been president instead of Cage, he almost certainly would have made a deal with Clarke.
Bellamy closed out his rather amazing superhero arc by doing with Clarke what she was supposed to have done with Lexa: he put his hand over hers and pulled the switch with her, taking joint responsibility for the Mount Weather massacre. The two of them went together to the last supper in the dining hall of flags and paintings, and looked at the devastation they had caused. And when Clarke couldn't bear to remain at Camp Jaha, Bellamy understood and gave her his support. Bellamy became my second favorite character this season, after Clarke. What a surprise.
It wasn't just Bellamy, either. A lot of the cast had some wonderful moments in this episode:
-- Indra let Lincoln make his choice between the Tree people and the Sky people by leaving that knife within his reach. And Lincoln got his "so you made me a reaper, did you?" revenge on Cage with a very Darth Vader dismemberment. "The first dose is the worst."
-- I hate torture scenes, and Cage had both Abby and Raven drilled. Raven managed to act like she was too exhausted to fight, and then she lunged for the guy's neck and bit him. Pretty darned cool, Raven.
-- Octavia's fight in the hall was also exceptional. Octavia has gotten scary. Love her now.
-- Kane, chained to a wall, did his absolute diplomatic best to get Cage to listen. He also showed that he cared about Abby. Doesn't quite make up for that lash thing, but still.
I was less happy with Jasper, mostly because he kept putting Maya's life first when virtually everyone from the Ark was in terrible danger. I was especially pissed when Jasper was kissing Maya goodbye while Abby was getting drilled, and when he ran out with Octavia's knife instead of taking down Cage. I guess it made sense from Jasper's viewpoint, but it was so obvious that Maya would die. I don't know why I never cared much for her as a character. Probably because she was a walking plot device.
The moment when the original team of friends were all together was nice, though. Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper, Monty. It emphasized how much they have all changed.
And then... there was obvious and annoying set-up for season three
I absolutely couldn't believe that Jaha sacrificed the rest of the redshirts to that sea monster. (Yes, the same monster that chased Octavia in the pilot episode, but sharks would have been more believable.) All so that Jaha could discover the A.I. (Erica Cerra from Eureka) has scary nuke stuff from the Ark. Seriously? Any sympathy I might have ever had for Jaha is completely gone now, and I would like to put in a request for his character to be painfully written out.
The only thing that made the entire Jaha journey bearable was Murphy, because Richard Harmon rocks. (He rocked on Continuum, too.) Murphy discovered a vid in his new and incredibly luxurious metal lighthouse digs of a guy saying "she got the launch codes" before killing himself. So now we know what caused the nuclear apocalypse on Earth, and honestly, it felt a bit like a cheat.
The second time through, I found the Jaha/Murphy section nearly unbearable because it detracted from the heaviness of what Clarke did on Mount Weather. This is a series about children at war, three tribes of humans fighting each other for survival. An A.I. story doesn't quite belong in there. But I didn't think this series would grab me back in season one, and I was wrong. I'll give it a chance.
Bits and pieces:
-- The video about the A.I. getting the launch codes was dated 5/10/2052.
-- The A.I. asked Jaha if he was a king or a farmer, because of the two meanings of his name. He's not a good king. Maybe there's hope if Jaha starts tilling the soil.
-- I really liked that Miller and his son Nate lived and were reunited.
-- The Grounder plot was unresolved, and Alycia Debnam-Carey, who plays Lexa, got another series. It will be interesting to see where they go with the Grounders. Maybe Indra should take command.
-- The incredibly awful Emerson is still alive, too, and the only survivor of Mount Weather. I bet he'll turn up next season to wreak havoc, too.
-- "Werewolves of London." That was random but fun, although considering what the Mount Weather people were, a song about vampires would have been more appropriate. I did love the use of the song "Knocking on Heaven's Door" in that last scene where Clarke and Bellamy said goodbye.
-- Now that Jaha has been revealed as a total jerk, I think they should rename the settlement Camp Clarke.
Lincoln: "How could you do this?"
Indra: "I swore loyalty to this commander."
Lincoln: "She left our allies to be slaughtered. She dishonors us all."
Murphy: "Your promised land sucks!"
Bellamy: "My sister. My responsibility."
Jasper: "She was innocent."
Maya: "None of us is innocent."
Maya was right. How many Grounders died to keep Maya alive?
I should take a point off for the Jaha plot, but the rest of this finale deserves four out of four sea monsters,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.