The Uncanny Valley

Elizabeth Bridges - Writer, Professor, Reviewer

The Rollercoaster Descends – Season 3, Episode 5, “Hakeldama”

What this episode lacks in death duels and cute nightgown repartee, it makes up for in important plot advancement. We need that sometimes – like working out or taking gross medicine or eating kale – as much as we don’t actually want it. I’ll do my best to keep things light, despite the less-than-hilarious nature of this episode. I mean, it’s The 100. It’s gonna be dark sometimes.

3x05clexa5Despite having said that, we do open with Clarke and Lexa on a cute horseback riding date. I mean yes they’re flanked by Trikru warriors, and sure they’ve got the Ice Queen’s corpse in tow so they can bring it back to Arkadia and deliver some justice. So okay, sorry, folks, but that’s what passes for a cute date in the postapocalypse.

It went something like this.

3x05clexa2Lexa: You left a hero to your people, and you return one. You bring them justice.

Clarke: No you bring them justice.

Lexa: Fine. We bring them peace. But you’re so amazing.

Clarke: No. For real though. You’re amazing.

Lexa: Girl, we’re amazing, just the way we are. Just two attractive young women being adorable and delivering peace and justice in a sad, violent world.

Clarke: **hearteyes**

Lexa: **more hearteyes**

Me: Get a room, ladies! Seriously.

Back in Arkadia, Bellamy, Pike, and the rest of the Gun Crew return from bloodthirstily slaughtering all the Grounders they could find. You know, the Grounder army Lexa sent from nearby villages to protect the Arkers from Ice Nation raids? Yeah, those Grounders. Pike forms an instant political rally and gives another mansplanation of his actions, still covered in Grounder blood. He delivers some more soundbytes containing phrases like, “Self-sustaining, prosperous, and free” and “This land is ours.” This is what our lives will be like when Donald Trump gets elected, by the way. We’ll just hear speeches like this all day. Only they’ll contain even more juvenile formulations and will be peppered with insults towards his enemies such as “loser” and “third-rate” and “moron” on a loop.

3x05PikeEveryone’s so super excited about the wholesale slaughter, except for Lincoln, Octavia, Abby and Kane. Abby notices an important fact, though: “No wounded? How is that possible?” Uhhh because there weren’t any. Um yeah.

3x05clexaThe horseback riding date comes to a screeching halt when Clarke and Lexa come upon the field covered with the corpses of all the slaughtered Grounders. They look on in pure shock and disbelief, unable to comprehend the scene of death in before them. Someone calls out from the distance. They’ve found Indra. She’s injured but alive. Clarke starts to help, and Indra resists Clarke’s assistance because “she’s one of them.” Lexa insists, saying “Let her help.”

Indra informs us of the gory details. And they are gory. Basically, the 10 gun-totin’ red-blooded Americans attacked the Trikru while they slept. Starting with the archers watching to the north for Ice Nation invaders, they shot everybody and executed the wounded. Clarke finds out that Pike is the leader now. Apparently Bellamy convinced Pike to let Indra live so she could deliver a message, which is: “Skaikru rejects the Coalition. […] We can leave or we can die.” Sadly, I saw this coming because it’s been telegraphed in trailers and stills and the episodes themselves for weeks now. I think this gave me time to prepare for the devastation. Otherwise I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it through this scene without some tears.

So, here we go I guess. More slaughter / borderline genocide. Why do I love this show so much again? I’m really wondering that right about now.

And we really can’t blame Lexa when she orders her men to go to Polis and get an army to come lay waste to Arkadia. I love how dramatic and awesome Lexa is, even when she’s being scary. “Lay waste” – who even says that?

But of course Clarke delivers another famous, “Wait.” She says she wants to fix things, as per usual, but this time Lexa won’t let her. It’s not safe for Clarke to return to Arkadia under the circumstances. And okay so now she’s gonna have to imprison Clarke again so she doesn’t go get herself killed. I mean, I know Lexa means well, but really the would-be booty-call / nightgown ploy was a much better bet. But Clarke gets a better plan, anyway – I mean, always, right? – and asks Indra to signal Kane back in Arkadia.

3x05KaneOctaviaBack in Arkadia, we find Kane sending Octavia to Indra. He shows her a handy escape route inside a wall. I guess being Chief Guard has its advantages. Octavia is 100% on board for adventure. She parts by saying, “I was born for this.” That’s my girl! And yes, you were. Go kick some ass!

3x05BellamyPike

We learn that Pike’s goal is to secure passage to water and arable land and to create a 15k perimeter around camp. But oopsies, this will involve taking out another village in the area. Pike offers Bellamy his Guard jacket back, but then Bellamy dares suggest maybe they’ve taken things too far. Pike justifies leaving no survivors because they didn’t have the medical supplies to care for them. However, he fails to mention the part where he is just a sadistic, xenophobic ass. He tells Bellamy to basically buck up little camper, we all do things we regret. Such is life. Sometimes we slaughter random people. Stop whining. Here take your Guard jacket back, no really.

Good Earth Dad and Lincoln see Bellamy on his way back from the scolding from Pike. Kane confronts him, and Bellamy says “We did what we had to do.” Anytime anyone on this show does something awful, that’s the go-to excuse. It’s the new, “But I was just following orders.” Kane reminds him of how he already couldn’t live with himself after Mt. Weather, well what about now? Bellamy just uses his fave new excuse and claims that Trikru started the war by killing 37 of the 100, so therefore slaughtering 299 Grounders was just totes okay.

Back in Medical, Abby cares for a very sick Grounder named Danae. We also find that she hasn’t cleared Raven medically to work. Since Mt. Weather was blown up so rudely by the Ice Nation, they no longer have the facilities to give Raven the surgery she needs. They can only focus on pain management now. But… but… “You can still be useful.” Just what every disabled person does not want to hear, and which probably means she’ll get some kind of shit job that is way below her training as a zero-g mechanic. Poor Raven. Will her suffering ever end? Dear The 100, please for the love of God stop making our poor girl suffer.

Oh no. No. I can’t. Not this again. Jaha, ALIE, and Emori’s brother Otan approach Arkadia. Some Guards hold guns on Otan at first because “No Grounders through the gates. Chancellor’s orders.” One of the Guards, Gillmer, is the guy who threw the rock at Lincoln last week, so we automatically know he’s a douche.

Otan gets shot in a scuffle because he won’t give up the weird fiberglass, ALIE-generating backpack. Jaha gets down on the ground with him and creepily tells him to go to the City of Light. Abby comes out to treat Otan, but he’s gone. But that’s just fine, says Jaha, because “Death is not the end.” Oh no – where have we heard that before? From Lexa. Last season when she was about to get eaten by that errant gorilla. Yeah, that happened. Remember? I don’t care. That was a great episode despite how ridiculous that scenario.

In the forest, a hippie guy in a silly hat pulls a wagon of goods, perhaps meant to sell, Little House on the Prairie tinker style. Murphy lies on the road, shirtless, apparently wounded, looking nasty again. The guy examines him and decides to take his boots. Emori shows up and holds this guy at knife point. You see, she and Murphy are running a scam. Murphy plays dead/wounded, and Emori pops out of the brush and beats up the person, and the kids abscond with their stuff. Cute post-apocalypse Bonnie and Clyde style.

These two get flirty again and kiss after bagging the loot, and then they take off with the cartload of stuff. Admittedly, I find this kind of cute.

Now for the Kane / Jaha reunion that was bound to happen. We find out Pike has relieved Kane of his command of the Guard, his other job besides sometimes Chancelling. So he’s just like unemployed now? What do you do in Arkadia when you’re unemployed anyway? It’s not like they host regular Job Fairs or something.

3x05JahaAnyway, Jaha starts talking about the City of Light again. And Kane just looks at him like he’s koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs – because he sure is – and is just like, “Okay, then. That’s… great. Yeah, bro.” Jaha babbles some more cultish nonsense. Hannah Green (Monty’s mom) shows up requesting Jaha’s presence in Pike’s headquarters.

So Jaha just keeps talking about the City of Light some more, now to Pike. He wants to free everybody by “freeing their minds from the bonds of spiritual and physical pain.” Pike is over it and is just like, “Sure, weirdo. As long as you stay out of my way, you can save whoever wants saving. Lord knows there’s enough pain here to go around.” Alright! Jaha can go offer everyone creepy techno-drugs now. Great.

Back on the Field of Bloody Death and Devastation, Octavia arrives and sees all the slaughtered Grounders. She stares in utter disbelief as she makes her way across. Clarke is treating Indra in Lexa’s war tent when Octavia enters. The bleeding has stopped. Octavia explains to Lexa about Pike winning the election. Lexa to Clarke: “Your people elected that asshole?” (Okay actually you can’t say “asshole” on network TV for some reason. But you know she thought it.)

Octavia tells Clarke that Bellamy was involved in the killing. It’s not safe for Clarke to return because they consider her a traitor, but she says she can get Clarke in unnoticed. Clarke thinks if she can get through to Bellamy, she can get to Pike. Uhh… have you heard about Pike lately? This seems improbable. But Lexa is like, “Okay, fine. I guess. You’re just going to do what you want anyway.”

Murphy and Emori hang out in their robber cave with all their booty **snicker**. Emori wants to go to Arkadia after her brother (Otan) so she can get him back from the City of Light nonsense. She wants Murphy to come with her, but he is not amenable.

Much as I figured, the sick Grounders in medical get booted out. I assumed he would just kick them outside the gates, but instead they are to be interned. Okay, so now we’ve got warmongering, wholesale slaughter, internment. Any other atrocities you want to add there, man? Meanwhile, Bellamy is getting douchier, if that’s possible: “Lincoln, you don’t want to be here right now.

Abby rightly objects to denying people medical care, but Pike claims they can’t spare the supplies. Danae the very sick Grounder is too sick to move, and Lincoln tries to stop them from dragging her out of her bed. He moves to help her, and Gillmer the rock-thrower attacks him. Lincoln responds in kind – I mean, he’s a good dude, not a saint, after all – and Pike orders them to take him into internment too. Poor Lincoln just can’t win. And Bellamy is basically his brother-in-law, so extra douche points there.

Outside Jaha preaches to several people who are bored enough to listen to his nonsense. The sermon goes something like, “Kids, y’all want some drugs?”

He talks about how people want to get rid of their pain. “What if I told you there were a simple way to eliminate pain?” Raven, in full sass mode, walks up and responds, “I’d say you’re full of crap.” But ALIE – and, by the way, no one but Jaha can see her so he looks extra crazy when he talks to her – says Raven is the key, that if they get her others will come. Jaha offers Raven a chip, but she doesn’t believe him. He’s just like, it’s okay, I got the drugs when you want them. I know you’ll be back.

Back to our sick Grounders being hauled into internment cells, Octavia tries to stop them from taking Lincoln. She confronts Bellamy about massacring the people and being a dick to her bae. They gonna have it out soon, another scene that’s been alluded to in previews.

Octavia brings Bellamy to Clarke. On the way, he tells her to “stop playing Grounder.” She responds, “I’m not playing. This is who I am.” As I’ve mentioned before, it’s completely understandable why Octavia would feel more at home among the Trikru than her supposed people. I really feel for her, but I’m glad she gets to work with Indra again. So suck it, Bellz. Girl gonna do what she wants!

Octavia leaves Bellamy with Clarke. He immediately gets all bitchy and sarcastic, like, “The mighty Wanheda who chose the Grounders over her own people.” Resentful much? She tries to tell him that justice has been served because the Ice Queen was killed, but he’s not having it.

Clarke: We did our part.

Bellamy: We?

Clarke: Lexa and I.

LEXA AND I – BECAUSE THEY ARE FULLY A TEAM AGAIN! In addition to going on cute politically themed dates carting around the dead Ice Queen.

Clarke goes on to state her plea that they try to make things right with Trikru or Lexa and her army will wipe them out. He, of course, refuses.

Clarke: This isn’t who you are.

Bellamy: Wrong. This is who I’ve always been, and I let you and Octavia and Kane convince me that we can trust these people. … People die when you’re in charge.

“This is who I’ve always been.” People are all about asserting their identity today. Octavia the Grounder, Bellamy the ultra-dick, and Clarke being gay for Lexa. But when he goes there about Clarke letting people die, she breaks down, begins to cry even. She apologizes for – well whatever has made him be such a dick I guess – even though that wasn’t even her fault. She also apologizes for leaving.

3x05clarke3Alright, you jerk. I am officially anti-Bellamy now until further notice. He’s making my little Clarke cry and dragging her traumas back into the open for the sole purpose of making her feel like crap. And just when she was starting to heal. I should add here that the showrunner Jason Rothenberg had alluded in an interview earlier in the week that there would be a significant Bellamy / Clarke scene and I think even maybe suggested some kind of reconciliation. Fans speculated about a kiss or something. And admittedly the scene had me going for a while.

Clarke: But I knew I could because they had you.

Bellamy softens. He gets down next to Clarke and grabs her hands, seemingly almost a kneel – which is really trending right now on this show. They seem to reach some kind of understanding. I brace for a stupid incongruous kiss that will not fit this context at all because that’s what shows always do to queers. They bait us with a cute relationship and then slam us with the most convenient hetero pairing available, however improbable. Believe me, this shit happens all the time. There’s even a name for it: Queerbaiting.

Bellamy: I’m sorry too.

And then –  hold it, what? – he handcuffs her to the bed. The bed. Can we say very unsavory connotations of violation here? And who’s really imprisoning Clarke? Not Lexa, as it turns out.

Also all the fans who felt entitled to their Blarke kiss – psyche! You’ve got canonically rickrolled. Sorry, but there has been a lot of bitchiness bordering on homophobia about this topic lately. Just give me 30 seconds of Schadenfreude and I promise I’ll be good again.

Jaha, who just won’t take no for an answer, approaches Raven while she sorts scrap metal for ammo. He questions her self-worth to try to get her to take the drugs. He’s a real manipulator, this guy. But after all he was a politician before, so… He just leaves a chip on the table with a depressing, “What have you got to lose?” Please, God, don’t make me have to care about this ALIE storyline by roping our poor dear Raven into it! No. I can’t.

Meanwhile, Bellamy drags Clarke to Pike. “I am doing this for your own good.” Holy hell, did he really just say that? Could he be any more the abusive jilted would-be ex-boyfriend who never was? Luckily, my girl Octavia attacks him.

Bellamy: You can’t just hit a Guard.

Octavia: Yes, I can.

Then Clarke tazes him with a shock stick prod thingie, and our girls run. They find Abby and Kane in a corridor. The security breach gets announced. Kane gives Octavia a radio. Abby and Clarke moment have a moment that drags on too long and makes me incredibly nervous, what with the Guards coming. It ends with an ominous, “May we meet again” from Abby. Why they gotta keep saying that?

Back in the woods, Murphy amateurishly smears animal blood on his face to do his wounded routine by himself. But then Emori suddenly shows up, having decided not to go after her brother yet. They wait for another target. Murphy lies down in the road, and three Grounders approach. It sounds like they have been looking for him because he’s been robbing people “in the Commander’s woods.” They’re about to kill him when they find the chip in his stuff, calling it “The sacred symbol.” He won’t tell him why he has it, so they decide to take Murphy… to Polis? To see the Commander?

Crap. Now I really have to care about this ALIE business because now it involves Lexa too. Just great.

Miller, still part of the Guard, approaches Lincoln’s cell talking shit to him, and we’re like, “Miller. Don’t disappoint us and be a bad gay.” But then he slips Lincoln some medicine for Danae, and he reports that Octavia got out with Clarke. Whew – Nathan Miller didn’t let us down. Thank goodness for small favors.

And oh look, we’re back at Lexa’s war tent, home of much sexual tension in Season 2. Lexa paces, apparently waiting for Clarke. She looks pained. The Commander is really good at hiding her emotions, unless it’s about Clarke. Then you can read it all over her face. Someone reports Clarke’s arrival, and our favorite feisty blonde enters the tent, much to Lexa’s relief.

Lexa (also exasperated because she kinda wanted to lay waste to Arkadia, to be honest): So tell us Clarke, how does this end?

Clarke tries to talk her down from the laying of waste, appealing to her history of visionary leadership and her desire for peace.

Clarke: [Y]ou can change the way you do things. […] What kind of leader do you want to be? The kind who kills every chance she gets […] or the kind who shows the world a better way? […] Someone has to take the first step. Let it be you.

Indra: Commander, you can’t seriously be considering this.

Lexa: I’m not considering it. I’m doing it.

What? Just like that? Clarke’s powers of persuasion are that good. But there’s more to her seeming snap decision than that. But I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty much in love with Clarke.

3x05IndraSideeyeIndra tries to convince her otherwise, suggesting that Titus will object.

Lexa: Titus is my subject. They’re all my subjects. Are you saying you’ll defy me? Will you defy me?

Indra: No, Heda. I will not.

Lexa: Then let it be known BLOOD MUST NOT HAVE BLOOD.

Okay, so here is Lexa, completely changing the way the Trikru / Grounder Coalition will be handling  a situation that would normally be answered with all kinds of bloodshed. There are those fans who suggest that Lexa is “whipped” by Clarke. First of all, I don’t like the gendered connotations of Clarke as nagging wife. And that terminology is pretty reductionist in general, besides being sexist as all get-out.

Second, it’s not a matter of being whipped or whatever anyway. Lexa swore fealty to Clarke (Fair warning: I will never be over that scene y’all), and we know she values Clarke’s judgment. She let Clarke plan a big part of the strategy for the battle of Mt. Weather. She has seen Clarke act as a visionary herself on many occasions, and peace is as a huge part of Lexa’s agenda too. That’s why the Coalition even exists. So it is not out of character for her to change her mind this way. Clarke has merely reminded Lexa of her previous goals, and pointed her back to the fact that answering blood with blood has never resulted in anything but more blood.

So how they’ll respond instead of laying waste, I’m not sure yet. But I’m very interested to find out.

Clarke and Lexa, meanwhile, are tighter than ever, at least politically. And there appeared to be some rekindling of their old romantic tension over these three episodes. So here’s my prediction for E6, “Bitter Harvest:” They gonna kiss. And at the very least there will be significant cuteness of a consequential nature. You heard it here first.

I mean hey, it’s a hard life on the ground. You have to find happiness wherever it is. If these two gals can be happy and in love and still cooperate politically in the midst of a possible war, I say why not? They’ve got layers, yo.

3x05ravenSo we end up back with Raven, walking outdoors in obvious pain with her brace. It squeaks with every step. She sits down and looks forlorn. And sure enough, she takes the chip. Almost immediately it starts to take effect. As she makes her way back inside, her gait gets smoother. She notices less pain. She looks up and sees ALIE. “Time to get back to work, Raven.”

And now I officially, for sure have to care about this story arc that I have managed to not give a crap about for more than a season. Bye-bye complacency. It was nice knowing you.

This episode featured no appearances by Jasper and his Special Manpain. All we got was Mansplain from Pike instead, and some allusion to his Manpain when he was talking to Jaha. Manpain ruins everything on this show. I tell you.

Next on The 100: A shitton of gay-ass candles. I will talk about candles a lot next week. Just prepare yourselves. Candles, yo.


Best Line: “Let it be known that blood must not have blood.”

Best Hair: Probably Raven. She always looks great though, even when she’s all sad and dejected.

Worst hair: Murphy again. You were doing so well for a while, bro.

Injured: Lincoln (scar from rock-throwing still visible), Indra, also still Raven

Death: 299 Grounders just trying to do their job

Wet t-shirts: Nope. Just shirtless, dirt-covered Murphy.

Queerness Quotient: Lexa proving her Fealty / the cute horseback ride. Miller not being evil or a stereotype. Yay, The 100!

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2 Comments

  1. Good lord, I love your recaps.

    Murphy’s hair looked a bit douchey.

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