Opener: Clarke stands in the woods by Wells’ grave and then instantly pulls knife on Finn who, to be fair, sneaks up behind her. Good grounder instincts, Clarke – you’re learning. Also, was this some kind of foreshadowing?
Finn, ever attempting to woo the ladies, gives Clarke a pencil – from where? – for her artistic endeavors. It reminds Clarke that, “Wells was always giving me ink, charcoal. Just anything I could draw with really. I found out later that he was trading his own stuff to give it to me. … He let me hate him so that I wouldn’t hate my mother. … My mother killed my father.” Clarke is understandably angry and wants Abby to know how she feels, based on what she learned from Wells before his untimely murder.
On the Ark, Abby is asleep, and an alert sounds. Clarke’s wristband transmission is terminated. We can assume that’s Clarke’s way of telling her mom how she feels about Jake getting floated. And as any mom would, Abby freaks out, but ultimately she reasons that the lack of signal is “not conclusive,” presumably taking Raven’s cue about the kids removing their wristbands voluntarily.
Back at the dropship, we see that Monty has somehow removed Clarke’s wristband while it’s still operational. He tries to connect it to the dropship’s computer to maybe use for communication.
Things are really starting to pick up around the dropship camp. They’re building a fence, figuring out water storage. Things are moving along quickly, but possibly just because Murphy has been made the horrible taskmaster, and nobody wants to cross Murphy. Here’s an example of why: Murphy won’t let a guy stop just to get some water and just pees on the poor dude instead. Ick. Charlotte the tiny murderess is helping in the building efforts. No one knows yet. She has a little of the creepy demon child side-eye that we know from every horror film made in the 1970s.
Octavia is helping Jasper get around in the midst of his spear wound recovery. He’s scared of the woods. And really who wouldn’t be, what with all the flying projectiles? Octavia chides him for his fears and encourages him to get going, and lo and behold she gets grabbed and pulled behind a tree. Meanwhile, Jasper falls to the ground while running to go tell someone and sees some gross severed fingers. The potential abduction of Octavia turns out to be a prank by one of the dropship bros and not Lincoln, as I had hoped.
On the Ark, Abby sees Kane watching her. He points out that she’s been at mecha station nine times in the past few days. Abby invents some story about a mechanic being infected with strep. Clearly, Kane has been carefully tracking her movements. Because he is Head Security Jerk and seems pretty creepy on top of that.
Raven is still looking for parts to fix the space pod. Abby wants her to hurry up, informs Raven about Clarke’s wristband signal going out. Raven will need to get a pressure regulator, and apparently these are pretty hard to come by. Raven assures Abby she’ll get it, but when Abby asks how, our girl replies, “The less you know the better.” Pressure regulators, man.
Clarke, Bellamy, Jasper, Octavia discover that the knife used to stab Wells is made of dropship metal. Clarke concludes that one of the 100 killed Wells. Bellamy wants the camp to go on thinking it was a grounder so they will continue working hard on the wall. “Fear of the grounders is building that wall.” Bellamy’s dictatorship of fear continues despite the semi-understanding with Clarke that he reached last episode.
“JM” (for John Murphy) is on the knife. Clarke confronts Murphy about this, since he had threatened to kill Wells in the aforementioned knife fight. Octavia mentions that Murphy had also tried to kill the speared but recovering Jasper. We get some more Murphy vs. Bellamy, when Murphy claims, “I don’t have to answer to anyone.” Bellamy: “Come again?”
Clarke stands up for the cause of mercy, much as her mom has been doing on the Ark, bringing us back to one of the central questions of Season 1 – whether or not they will simply repeat the inhumane policies of the Ark and rebuild their society in the image of the one that wiped itself out from Earth in the first place. “Is this the kind of society that we want?”
Others disagree and say Murphy should be “floated.” Clarke says “revenge isn’t justice.” But the mob mentality wins out, and Murphy gets kicked down and beaten to a pulp. I’m not that sad for him. Clarke is a nice person, though, and tries to stop them. Charlotte looks on as they tie up Murphy and string him up in a tree. Clarke begs Bellamy to stop it. I’m like “Yes, get rid of Murphy!” He really does not bring out the angels of my better nature, though theoretically I am more on Clarke’s side.
They let the rope loose so Murphy will hang. Bellamy blames Clarke for telling everybody that the circumstantial evidence pointed heavily to Murphy. Charlotte finally confesses the to the crime when it looks like someone else will literally hang for it. Murphy gets cut down just in time to not die.
Back in space, Raven approaches a lady named Nigel about a pressure regulator. And here is one of my favorite exchanges in Season 1.
Nigel: “What do you want it for?”
Raven: “Regulating pressure.”
Nigel suggests Raven should sleep with the chief of electrical to get the pressure regulator. “Go float yourself, Nigel.” Nigel then makes an untoward comment to Raven about her mom. It’s a tough world for our poor Raven. But “Go float yourself” is one of my favorite sci-fi substitutes for the F-bomb ever. It rivals “frak” from Battlestar Galactica.
Clarke and Bellamy hastily drag the little girl into a tent to sort out what happened. She tells them that she did it because Bellamy told her to slay her demons. Bellamy nevertheless blames Clarke for the whole giant mess outside the tent because she told everybody about the knife evidence and the murder. To be fair, no one could’ve predicted that the kid would interpret Bellamy’s words in that way, but this shit is definitely not Clarke’s fault. In conclusion, Bellamy is still kind of a dick, though he’s got nothing on Murphy in the being-a-dick department.
To wit, we get a big confrontation between Bellamy and Murphy. Murphy calls for a vote on whether or not to hang Charlotte for her crime, since that’s what the mob had wanted to do to them. However, he really takes things over the top when calls Charlotte a “little bitch.” We know what kind of trauma she’s been through, however inexplicable her actions, so now Murphy just looks like even more of an a-hole. Bellamy tells him, “Murphy, it’s over.” Murphy’s response is to hit Bellamy with a log, like you do when someone disagrees with you. Clark, Charlotte, and Finn escape the tent to evade Murphy’s wrath and more possible mob justice.
In the sickbay on the Ark, we see people suffering from signs of oxygen deprivation. Raven comes in to fake being sick so she can report to Abby. Abby agrees to deal with the cantankerous Nigel, repeating Raven’s words from before, “The less you know, the better.” Abby’s brilliant plan? Trading Morphine for a pressure regulator. Predictably, Kane is lurking and knows what’s going on. Oops.
We come back to Finn, Clarke, Charlotte. Finn claims to have a plan for them to get away but points out to Charlotte: “Just because we saved you doesn’t mean you’re forgiven. […] You can’t just kill someone to make yourself feel better.” Echoes of something Clarke says to Lexa in Season 2, but lest I get ahead of myself…
Finn has found a bunker for them to hide in. It’s really dark. It has canned food and (yay!) art supplies in it. Presumably that’s where Finn found the romantic pencil he gave Clarke before, but Clarke is mad at him for keeping the place quiet, so that kinda backfired. Ha! Apparently the family never who built the place never made it there when the bombs fell. Finn: “All this preparation… what a waste?” Clarke suggests that maybe they were lucky. Jeez, girl. Gloomy much?
Charlotte appears to be asleep during Clarke and Finn’s discussion of what to do about her. Clarke blames herself for letting people know, but “There have to be consequences.” Charlotte has been awake for whole conversation. Uh oh.
Abby hands Raven pressure regulator and says she doesn’t have much time.
We meet Vera Kane, who is Kane’s mother. She’s the “Tender of the Tree,” which appears to be an Ark spiritual leadership role. The Tree is one tree left from the ground that someone presumably tends, and people visit it when they need strength and renewal. We see a historical marker type plaque labeled “The Grounders” with a list of names. Perhaps these are the original folks from the ground who brought the tree with them, but this is clearly where the term “grounders” comes from. Nigel shows up in this serene setting and rats out Abby and Raven to Kane. Amazingly, Kane doesn’t believe her until she shows him the morphine. He still claims not to believe her. And he has a nice mom. Is he human now? Holy character development!
Clarke and Finn have fallen asleep in the bunker. Clarke wakes up and finds Charlotte gone. Somewhere outside in the forest, Charlotte runs, but Bellamy grabs her. It’s dark, and Murphy’s crew is still looking for the girl, with torches like that mob in Frankenstein when they storm the windmill. Charlotte tells Bellamy to stop helping her because she plans to give herself up. Bellamy says he won’t leave her. The mob is on its way to them. Clarke and Finn find footprints then hear Charlotte screaming.
Raven and Abby are at the makeshift drop pod. Abby’s colleague Jackson says Kane is on his way. Raven tells Abby she won’t go without her and touches Abby in an affectionate manner: “Abby, they’ll float you.” There’s some hugging and some hand holding. Sad faces. “Tell Clarke I love her,” says Abby. And this, my friends, is the scene that launched a thousand Doctor / Mechanic fanfics. Sure, why not? All’s fair in love and shipping.
Murphy confronts Bellamy and Charlotte at a cliff’s edge. Clarke tries to stop him, and Murphy puts a knife to her throat. Murphy attempts to negotiate with Bellamy, wanting to trade Clarke for Charlotte. Instead, Charlotte throws herself off a cliff. Clarke devastated. Get to know devastated Clarke. She gets devastated a lot. It’s hard out there for the Sky Princess.
Bellamy goes after Murphy and proceeds to beat the crap out of him. For the first time in this series, I’m pro-Bellamy. Yes, Murphy is awful. Punch him. A lot! But Clarke is a better person than I am and tries to stop Bellamy. Why? “We don’t decide who lives and dies, not down here.” Harking back to Bellamy’s campaign slogan in the Wristband Rebellion, she goes on, “If we’re going to survive down here, we can’t just live by whatever the hell we want.” Clarke suggests instead that they should banish Murphy and let the forest and the grounders sort it out. Bellamy agrees and gives Murphy’s henchpersons the choice: come back to Camp with him or stay with Murphy and be left to probably die. Yay! Maybe we’re rid of Murphy now! Maybe?
Okay I’m just going to say again, why did they have to kill Wells, but Murphy gets semi-spared after being awful? Ugh. And Finn. We haven’t even gotten to Finn yet.
Raven is busy with her pressure regulator, attaching some stuff to some other stuff, but it appears to not work. Nigel gave them a bad part. Surprise. She was clearly reputable what with accepting Morphine for parts and all. Kane shows up, and Abby stalls him in a hallway by telling him about Clarke’s wristband. Kane wants Abby to give up the goods on Raven, who has put on a pressure suit, presumably a workaround since the pressure regulator was a fail. The suit and the capsule are both grubby in a very realistic way. I really like that this show doesn’t make space out to be some pristine office park type environment. It’s a bunch of 100-year-old used and reused parts, shit fails all the time, and everyone’s clothes look worn out. As it really would be.
Raven sets up to launch herself. Meanwhile, Abby tries to appeal to Kane, “You still don’t understand. I’m trying to save all of us.” Raven launches herself. The capsule appears to just hurtle towards the atmosphere in a really haphazard and dangerous manner. Abby gets arrested, which means they’ll probably float her.
Clarke tells the dropship camp about banishing Murphy. At this point Clarke and Bellamy are pretty much the co-leaders of the camp. Clarke is the brains and the heart, and Bellamy is the muscle.
Monty has continued working on radio such that they’ll be able to do Morse code with device. Monty allows Jasper to do the honors. All the remaining functional wristbands blow, and and on top of that the device didn’t even work.
Jasper performs a classic wall collapse in tears, and we get a touching exchange between him and Octavia. Jasper blames himself for device failure, and Octavia kisses him to make him feel better. Best friend Monty looks … jealous? But gives him Jasper a thumbs-up, so I guess not? But that jealous look launches the Monty / Jasper ship, and another thousand fanfics are instantly born.
Clarke and Finn end up back at the secret bunker, where Finn freaks out and gets all emotional about being alone. “You’re not alone,” says Clarke. Then, hello! Bunker kiss! With zero prelude, they instantly start ripping each other’s clothes off and do it on the conveniently located bunker couch. Oh Clarke, really? Whatever. It’s a hard life on the ground. I guess you just take the love where you find it.
The capsule still hurtles out of space. Raven looks at a shitty necklace similar to the one Finn gave Clarke in a previous episode. I predict a love triangle. Drama ahoy, y’all!
Bonus Questions: Why, Clarke, why?
Cleanliness: getting worse all around
Wet T-shirt: surprisingly no one in this episode, a first for the series so far
Best Hair: Clarke is doing okay for now. We’ll give it to her for looking pretty fresh despite the rigors of the ground.
Worst Hair: by far, Murphy, what with being a sweaty, bloody mess for much of the episode
Injuries: Murphy when he gets beaten up, strung up, then beaten up again.
Death/Dismemberment: Sadly, Charlotte and not Murphy.
Moral: You can’t get away with murder. But “justice” is A-okay.