This episode begins with Bellamy’s “we were born in space” intro again, so that seems to be a staple for this season. This time I noticed he says, “Our leaders believe that to survive we need to make peace with the Grounders, but peace is a foreign concept here.” This is largely opinion on Bellamy’s part, and I feel like he’s almost definitely speaking based on Pike’s influence on him, which we begin to see this episode. More on that below.
When we left Monty, Kane, Indra, and Bellamy, they were trapped in the rover because of two deliberately felled tree trunks, and now they’re basically waiting for captors to show themselves. They finally decide they can’t outwait them, so Bellamy agrees he can make a run for it. But sure enough, the second he sticks his head out the sunroof of the rover, he gets nabbed by people who look like they could be Ice Nation. That is Bellamy’s story this episode: however good his intentions, acting rashly and going off half-cocked and having it blow up in his face. I have to ask if that’s a big arc for him this season generally.
But, surprise! It turns out the supposed Ice Nation bandits are actually sky people from Farm Station. We meet Pike, whom we first saw in the season 3 trailer released late last year. We kind of already know from that imagery he’s going to be a dick. Plus, I mean, if he was Bellamy’s Earth Skills teacher, why doesn’t he immediately recognize him and maybe not throw him on the ground? Paranoid much? Or does Pike just enjoy throwing people around and wielding power? I suspect this brief sequence already tells us a lot about Pike.
Only when Monty realizes his mom is among them, do we, the audience, even know that these are not Ice Nation warriors. This does make for a nice teaser sequence because we get Monty saying “Mom?” and then it cuts to the opening credits.
Aaaaand… we’re back to Jaha and his City of Light (CoL) nonsense. You know, how in the CoL, “Mankind will finally be free of pain, hate, and disease. Here there will be no more suffering.” Could he please sound like more of a cult member? No, actually he couldn’t. This is what cults always promise, a way to some la-la land where everything is perfect. All you have to do is completely buy into my bogus ideology and do whatever I say…
Jaha: “I’ll fill this place, starting with my people. You have my word.”
ALIE: “Together we will save the human race.”
Did she say “save” or “enslave”?
We also learn in this sequence that Jaha can switch between the CoL and regular reality, apparently at will. He just zones out and there he is. We can assume this has to do with the chip thing he swallowed and tried to convince Murphy to swallow. In the last episode we just saw him sitting in some kind of beatific New Agey meditation pose, but now we know what goes on behind his eyes while he’s doing this. It’s way creepy.
Emori, Murphy, and mutant guy appear to be preparing for a journey on Capt. Emori’s tugboat. She flirts with Murphy. I have decided I think this is okay because we know already from last season she can hold her own with him.
Back with Pike and company, we find Monty and his mom hugging. We find out his dad didn’t make it. Poor Monty and Monty’s mom. Pike orders a standdown, but he has to order it twice. I really don’t understand their paranoia when it’s already been established that these are fellow Ark folks.
Despite being a probable dick, Pike does inform us of a few important things. For instance, there are 63 survivors from Farm Station, they consider themselves “Grounder killers, one and all,” and Clarke was a giant nerd in her Earth Skills class. Shocker.
In a touching exchange while they’re trying to roll the tree trunks away, Bellamy asks Monty, “You okay?” Monty’s reply: “I have to be.” Truer words have never been spoken, not only of Monty but for almost everyone from the sky crew. They are so busy trying to survive, they don’t have time to grieve or take care of their inner lives. They just have to go on anyway. You hear that, Jasper? I’m talking to you and your drunken Manpain.
Oh and we also learn that Pike is distrustful of the truce between Skaikru and Trikru. He considers all Grounders the same. So basically he is a giant Grounder-phobe. And oh great, Farm Station people are moving to Arkadia. This should turn out well. I see a Pike/Kane power struggle in the near future.
Meanwhile, what happened to poor Clarke after she finished banging the very considerate Grounder Niylah? Well, as we know, she got kidnapped by the bounty hunter from the trading post after she got finished loving-and-leaving our friendly neighborhood shop girl. So now Clarke is being pulled along by Roan. She fakes being exhausted and keels over. We know she’s faking because she’s Clarke, and Clarke always has a plan. Roan may or may not know she’s faking. Either he’s talking to himself or taunting her, or maybe both: “Looks like the great Wanheda is human after all.”
Naturally, as soon as he goes to refill his water container, Clarke attacks him and they roll around in the river. She attempts to choke him with her handcuff / leash rig, but he fakes her out and pretends to drown. Then (thank you, Jesus) she gets a something resembling a bath in the river when Roan tries to drown her.
And the entire fandom cheers – not because of the near-drowning, mind you, but because Clarke’s hygiene was a major issue. The Clexa side of the fandom was particularly upset by Clarke’s lack of hygiene and general surliness in the sex scene with Niylah. Let me repeat that. No one was bothered in the least by Clarke’s F/F sex scene being with someone other than Lexa. No, all the Clexbians were all resentful that Clarke’s pick up line was basically “You can shut up now,” and yet she still managed to get laid even though she was covered in approximately three inches of grime and likely smelled like “100 pounds of cow shit,” as one blogger put it. As a sidenote, we’re back to blonde Clarke now. The makeshift berry dye washed out of her hair rather quickly.
Oh, and Roan is Ice Nation. We find that out because he has this gnarly brand on the side of his face. That and white face paint are Ice Nation Things. File away this info.
Awww… and we get a sweet scene with my favorite heteros on this show, Lincoln and Octavia. He pets her head and stuff, being all sweet and affectionate. She sasses at him, “Smart move leaving that guard jacket inside.” So maybe there’s no love lost between them. I sure hope not. They are the only stable couple in this whole series. If these kids can’t make it, is there any hope for the rest of us?
Some Grounder is approaching, and we are reminded, “The kill order – we have to get you inside the wall.” Our baby Lincoln is in danger! Get him back into Arkadia now! But it turns out the grounder in question is Nyko, who has been injured by the Ice Nation. He requests medical attention from Abby and then keels over.
I really like how it’s established that Nyko and Abby have some kind of mutual respect for each other as medical professionals, like they’ve maybe compared notes. It speaks of the cooperation between Trikru and Skaikru and suggests their ability to integrate methods and practices, maybe even traditions.
We find Abby treating Jasper’s neck wound, plus the added fighting scars from getting punched by Shawn Mendes. She tries to talk to him, but there‘s no reasoning with Manpain. She refers to Finn’s post-traumatic stress and going off shooting people in that village and how she hopes Jasper can deal with his Manpain better than that. But Jasper just throws it back in her face, “Your daughter killed him too.”
They haul in Nyko and quickly realize that they need blood from the Mountain. The Maunon were all about blood, after all. Of course, it’s politically risky to the truce if they go over there any more frequently. Jackson tries to appeal to her healer side. We get some more indication that she’s going to have to stop being Chancellor and go back to her real calling. Abby: “I am not just a doctor.” Jackson: “Maybe you should be.” Lincoln (Grounder Consultant) agrees with Jackson and says they should do it to save Nyko. And they’re taking Jasper. You know, Jasper of the Wallowing Manpain whose girlfriend got killed at the Mountain. Why? Y’all are dumb.
Our dear, sweet Niylah is getting beat up something awful by a bounty hunter looking for Clarke. I’d like to mention here a point I came across on social media this week: sexual violence is not a factor in this culture. Apparently, as douchey as some of the men can be, they don’t use the threat of sexual violence to get what they want from female characters. Sure, he is beating the shit out of Niylah, but he’s treating her as an equal in that sense. He’s treating her the same as if she were male. Sure it sucks, but it’s beyond the men in this world to ever resort to something as lowlife as the threat of rape. They’ve evolved beyond thinking that is even an option. As rough as life on the ground is, they’re still doing a lot better than we are regarding matters of gender and sexuality. I’M LOOKING AT YOU, GAME OF THRONES!
Skaikru busts in just in time to shoot the bounty hunter before he’s about to cut Niylah’s arm off. Indra starts to question her in Trigedasleng, and Pike yells, “English!” And here we are: Pike is the pure embodiment of the xenophobic, racist (clan-ist?) American. I’ve heard some compare him to Donald Trump. It’s pretty apt, truthfully. We’ll see how this plays out. I expect him to become a bigger dick in the next several episodes.
Bellamy asks Niylah about Clarke when they find out she can speak English. Niylah: “She was here last night. She was here when I fell asleep, gone when I woke up.” I wish she had just said, “We banged. She was a really hot lay.” Bellamy really has no clue. He thanks Niylah, and they head off to look for Clarke.
Clarke gets dragged along by Roan some more, and they see some Ice Nation scouts. Clarke raises a ruckus, and then Roan has to go and kill them. “Their deaths are on you.” (Ouch, dude. Clarke is really sensitive about that, don’t you know?)
A few cultural tidbits of note: Roan shows his facial branding, which works like an Ice Nation ID card apparently. They also speak Trigedasleng, so that seems to be a universal Grounder language. Roan is also a deadly fighter and kills all three like it’s really no big deal. Clarke runs. Interestingly, Roan saves her by killing one of the dudes, and Clarke snags a knife from the dead guy before Roan gets to her. Clarke is super crafty like that.
At this point we realize the same as Clarke that if Roan were going to kill her, he already would have. His response is, “There’s still time.” This guy is sassy. I like it. To be fair, Clarke is being kind of a pain.
When our medical crew hauls Nyko into Mt. Weather, Octavia says to Jasper: “Don’t do anything stupid.” As if. He is very clearly going to do something very stupid.
Monty’s mom is cagey about telling Monty the full story about his dad. It’s probably going to be super tragic.
Pike, who’s rekindling some previous bond he seems to have had with Bellamy, asks about the fight with Grounders against the Mountain. Bellamy: “Turns out we had a common enemy.” Pike: “What happened?” Bellamy: “We won.” Pike seems really suspicious of this outcome and the resulting truce. Yeah, we know. You hate all Grounders, Pike. Got it.
They find the dead Ice Nation dudes dispatched by Roan and have to get them off the field. Bellamy sees Clarke through the scope on his gun, but the Ice Nation is advancing so there’s no time to go after her. Everybody’s like, “Bellamy, take it down a notch, okay. This is not a good plan just to run off after her.” Instead they find a lucky cave. Indra has to take off and go tell the Commander that the Ice Nation is marching. She also gives us an ominous warning about Clarke’s fate. “If the Ice Queen gets her first, she’ll be dead, and we’ll be at war.”
Roan drags Clarke into a DC subway station. Is it the Yellow Line? I wonder which stop. Oh well.
Back at the Jaha Nonsense Cult, Emori calls his City of Light spiel “skrish.” (Trigedasleng for “shit!”) I love sci-fi fake cuss words. This show is doing a really good job of getting around censor nonsense by using them.
We find out that Emori and her bro Otan were recruited to help ALIE. They “collect tech” to earn a living and survive. But Emori is also a double agent of some sort? She steals the tech from the people she’s stealing for because they have “other buyers” too. Who? I actually want to know. This is, in fact, the only thing I want to know about this part of the story. Anyone who is ALIE tech competition is cool with me.
Emori creeps up to steal the weird fiberglass backpack they’re transporting. Jaha’s mutant guy friend grabs her and starts to choke her, so Murphy has to kill him. Unfortunately, nothing hurts him because, “there is no pain in the city of light.” So Murphy has to stab him in the neck. That is a fave killing method on this show apparently. People are always stabbing people in the neck. Then Murphy has to run off with Emori. I approve of this move for various reasons.
Back at the DC subway station, we hear faint drums in the background. Roan is injured but not dead from Clarke attempting to shank him. He’s all covered in dirt just like Clarke. How does no one get infected on this show, what with all the dirt and stab wounds? He taunts Clarke for being a shabby Commander of Death because she didn’t manage to kill him. Oh here’s my answer on the infection question: he cauterizes his wound with a red hot knife. Like no big deal, right? I had it on Closed Caption so I wouldn’t lose any dialogue when taking my notes for this post, and the description of the wound cauterizing sound is “sizzling.” No one ever flinches on this show. They are just that tough. Except Jasper. He isn’t.
Clarke smartly realizes he’s hiding from his own people and that he’s not taking her to the Ice Nation, as it turns out. We learn that Roan was banished rather than running away like Clarke did. And that there’s some kind of deal he has with someone so that he can maybe get un-banished: “I can’t take you home to your people, because you’re the way back home to mine.”
Back in Convenience Cave, Bellamy wants to go after Clarke without a definite plan. This is a moment of the old “whatever the hell we want” Bellamy showing up. He needs Clarke to help him make rational decisions, but since she’s not there, he’s just going to pop off and do whatever.
We finally find out that Monty’s dad died saving some kids who were playing in the snow when Ice Nation warriors attacked. This gives us some backstory for the xenophobia they feel towards the Ice Nation, since those are the only Grounders they know. It certainly doesn’t justify it, but it does explain it somewhat. Turns out Monty’s dad saved four of the kids. Pike: “Your father died a hero, Monty. We’ve been fighting Grounders ever since.” Oh, Pike. We get it. You hate all Grounders. This is now 100% established fact about this character.
Kane, now the liberal nice guy (hello, character development!) “Not all Grounders are the same.” Pike: “They are to me.” Yes. WE GET IT.
Back to Emori and Murphy again, we find that Murphy feels remorse about killing the mutant guy. Since when does John Murphy feel remorse for killing people? He randomly killed or almost killed several of the 100 in Season 1. What changed? Oh yeah, character development. I am starting to accept that maybe Murphy has become less awful. Also he and Emori have cute chemistry, so there’s that.
The two find some tech gadgetry inside the backpack, and it has the infinity symbol that’s also on the chip / City of Light Pill. Otan is apparently in league with the CoL crew and wants the fancy backpack back because apparently he took the red pill and entered the Matrix. Jaha says some more culty stuff about ALIE again as Murphy threatens to dunk the backpack. “I can unburden you, John.” They’re holding poor Emori at knife point, but John says they’ll have to let her go or he’ll “drown the bitch in the red dress.” DROWN HER! YES! Apparently the ALIE-generating mechanism is in the backpack. That seems like poor forethought on her part. Don’t smart, super-advanced AIs always build in redundancy to keep from getting dunked in a river? But I’ll say it again – I suddenly like Murphy more than ever, because anybody who thinks Jaha is full of shit is a friend of mine. He cleverly tosses the pack so he and Emori can get on SS Emori and leave the scene. Good move. I think?
And instantly Jaha in the City of Drugs. Otan suddenly looks good, and here’s the kicker of all: Mutant guy’s not dead and suddenly looks unmutated. Here is my theory of what this means. Check me on this later. I believe that if you are still alive, you can pass back and forth between the normal world and the City of Light. It somehow contains a copy of your consciousness, probably uploaded wirelessly somehow by taking the pill chip, which probably attaches to your brain or something because it’s made of nanobots or something. And when you’re dead, your consciousness just stays there (or a cyber copy of your consciousness – which begs the question – are we just a conglomeration of information just like ALIE – oh shit! Philosophy! Baudrillard, take me away!)
Meanwhile, Abby tells Lincoln that Nyko is waking up. Nyko realizes he’s in the Mountain but understands that this was the only way to save him. Because Nyko is cool like that. He thanks Abby and suggests the possibility of using the Mountain for good, perhaps as a hospital? He tells Lincoln, “Places are not evil, brother. People are.” Nyko wants to change people’s minds about the Mountain. Sounds like a great idea, and Abby and Jackson appear to be on board with using the Mountain as a medical facility. Naturally, this paves the way for Abby to do more doctoring and less Chancellor-ing.
Oh, Jasper and his Manpain are now destroying great works of western art in the Mountain basement that is chockful of all kinds of masterpieces. Awesome. Thanks, man. He’s apparently mad because he was looking to find one painting, Maya’s favorite. It appears to be a trippy William Blake illustration of Dante, but I’m not sure. Octavia tries to comfort him. He breaks down. “It’ll get better.” “When?” he asks. We’re all asking that too, Jasper. Seriously, man. Handle your shit like everybody else.
Monty tells the story of the Mountain to Pike and company. We catch the tail end. Kane and Pike argue about the best use of the Mountain. Pike seems to like the idea of using it as a fortress against the Grounders. Cue the snappy 80s sitcom intro music for the new The 100 spinoff called “Back to the Mountain.”
So yeah, I see a conflict brewing. Leave the Mountain alone, create a new Fortress of Solitude for xenophobic Arkers, or make it a hospital? Tune in. I think we’ll probably find out.
They were so into their argument, the fail to realize Bellamy has swiped some Ice Nation clothes from one of the dead guys to sneak through the Ice Nation army and find Clarke. Jeez. That’s a fantastic plan.
Sure enough, Bellamy sees some blood on an old lamp post and goes down into the subway station. He finds Clarke and goes right to her without even really looking around. There is a sweet moment where they’re so glad to see each other, and Bellamy touches her face and stuff. I’m sure some this really fueled some fan fantasies about Clarke and Bellamy being something other than a brother-sister type relationship. But we Clexbians all know where that is headed.
Anyway, thanks for his failure to plan, Bellamy has planned to fail. He gets jumped by Roan immediately. Clarke is something other than surly for about 3 seconds and is about to cry when he threatens Bellamy. Roan looks like he’ll relent and not kill Bellamy, but instead he stabs our man in the leg.
Now Bellamy is limping around in Ice Nation clothes, stabbed in the leg, and no Clarke. So Skaikru has to haul his ass back to Arkadia, or at least to the rover, which is probably really far, and they’re on foot. Bellamy pretty much blew it because Roan knows he’s being followed now. Unshockingly, Bellamy wants to keep going and find Clarke, but he can’t walk. He’s very emotional about it: “We can’t lose Clarke.” This was probably a pro-Bellarke gif on Tumblr three seconds later.
Oh yeah, and we were promised Heda in this episode! Where’s the Commander? We want our Lexa screentime, y’all!
Luckily, about 90 seconds before the episode is over, we finally get Clexa fireworks. But not the kind anyone wanted.
The scene opens with shot through burlap, Clarke’s point of view, muffled talking. Someone removes the bag on her head, and all we see are bright lights. Backlit behind her throne, the Commander stands up, her face coming into focus. It’s Lexa! Yay! We have waited so long for her to say “Clarke” in her very special, bedroomy way. Sure enough, her first line us “Hello, Clarke.”
And thousands of Clexbians across the land melt.
But oh, Heda is mad at Roan. “The deal was for you to bring her to me unharmed.” She looks down (adoringly?) at Clarke.
Roan: “She didn’t come easy.”
Niylah: “She sure did last night!”
Oh wait, that only happened in my head, not in the actual dialogue. Sorry.
Heda looks down, seemingly proud of Clarke’s defiance, “I expect not.”
She has Roan hauled off to be locked up. Apparently he is the Ice Queen’s son, Prince Roan of Azgeda. Oh… ooohhhhh… Oh no. He’s the son of the lady who had Lexa’s old girlfriend Costia beheaded, thus plunging our poor Commander into oceans of pain that she can never express because she’s the Commander.
The bald tattoo-headed advisor guy Titus asks, “What of Wanheda?”
And then what has become my favorite Lexa dialogue, maybe ever: LEAVE US.
Titus hesitates, and Lexa goes, “Did I stutter?”
There’s some Indra side eye to Titus, and we know there’s just this unspoken, “I know” between them. But they are smart and don’t say it.
Lexa approaches Clarke, and speaks to her in a soft almost-whisper: “I’m sorry. It had to be this way. I had to ensure that you didn’t fall into the hands of the ice queen. War is brewing, Clarke. I need you.”
In other words, “I lost Costia to the Ice Bitch. You think I’d let her get you too? No way!”
Clarke doesn’t see it that way though. Her response is the spit take heard around the world. She spits on poor Heda who was just trying to help. Lexa takes it. She could dodge, but she doesn’t, because it’s Clarke. Poor Lexa. She can’t catch a break. I hope they can work things out soon.
But maybe they can’t, because Clarke clean flips the hell out. “You bitch! You wanted the commander of death. You’ve got her. I’ll kill you.” Woah, okay. That “messy reunion” referred to in press junket interviews was far more literal than any of us thought. Imagine having to act that scene. Yikes. They’re friends in real life, so that must’ve been really awkward.
But our girl Lexa? She stands there as Clarke gets dragged out literally kicking and screaming. We see her chest heave, and she’s obviously fighting to keep her emotions in check. But being our ever stoic Heda, she just wipes her face, goes out on to the balcony, looks out over the city she rules. And looks really sad.
Pan out from the balcony to show she’s been at the top of a tower, a really freaking tall tower, and Polis is huge. We really had no idea exactly what Lexa reigned over, but now we see.
She is a Big Freaking Deal. And just got spit on by Clarke. And she let it happen. Woah. Crazy things are afoot.
Best Line: The Spit™ – so much fiery passion our little Clarke has!
Best hair: Lexa. Duh.
Worst hair: Kinda still Clarke even though it got semi-washed.
Injured: Bellamy, Roan, countless masterworks of western art
Death: Three Azgeda dudes
Wet t-shirts: Clarke, dunked in the river (but hey, semi-bath)
Queer Quotient: This is the low-key gayest show on television, just so you know.