The Uncanny Valley

Elizabeth Bridges - Writer, Professor, Reviewer

Candles and Sin – Season 3, Episode 6, “Bitter Harvest”

lexacandlesThe fandom this week had absolutely zero chill. Things quickly went from zero to a million hilarious memes about Lexa’s candle collection, to off-the-charts speculation about potential smut on the show (and beyond), which degenerated into Sin Day, which we shall never speak of again. And generally there was a lot of speculation about a possible kiss between Clarke and Lexa because the night episode 6 aired was the one-year anniversary since the fateful kiss that launched a million gifs. Turns out no kiss, but we did get the drawing scene. And apparently there was a lot of ugly hate on twitter, but I don’t venture on there often. My knowledge of happenings there is largely second-hand.

clexa2We open again on Polis tower, a tranquil domestic scene between Clarke and Lexa. A metric crapton of candles adorn the room, giving it a romantic, soft glow although it’s broad daylight outside. Clarke is drawing Lexa, when Lexa wakes up from a sudden nightmare. Clarke comforts her and Lexa mentions that the previous Commanders speak to her in her sleep. It’s a warning that she’s betraying their legacy. Clarke is all “what, sure Lexa.”

Clarke: What you did on that battlefield stopped a war. Your Legacy will be peace.

lexadrawingLexa sees the drawing Clarke was working on, and the look on her face is guileless and adorable. Clarke tries to be all nonchalant about it, like “oh it’s not… uhh… finished… and…” And thanks to Alycia Debnam Carey’s superb acting skills, we see the exact moment Lexa realizes that Clarke may have actual feelings for her.

bitanic2Also, this scene is what Eliza Taylor (Clarke) meant a few months ago when she tweeted about her and Alycia in a new off-broadway version of Titanic, called Bitanic. This was the “Draw me like on of your French girls” scene. She actually spoiled the scene months ago, but none of us realized what she was talking about. But suffice it to say this was the most talked-about scene of the week when it was released as a sneak peek.

Luke Skywalker: Obi-Wan, what’s wrong?

Obi-Wan: There is a great disturbance in the Gay. It’s as though millions of voices screamed and were suddenly silent. Because they all died of excessive gayness.

Like literally this scene could’ve been taken out of the pages of a hundred fanfic romances about Clarke and Lexa. It was almost as though the show’s creator had… but nah. Surely not… Anyway, so a knock at the door. Of course it’s Titus coming to disturb the gay tranquility.

Titus: Pardon me, Heda. I didn’t realize you were busy.

Lexa: Heh heh. Not as “busy” as we could’ve been. Don’t come knocking next episode, ya tattooed Cueball.

He’ll be doing that a lot, I’m afraid – interrupting the gay tranquility, that is. He comes in with a gift from Roan of the Ice Nation, a gift for Clarke. Oh great. “What’s in the booooxxx?” There was a lot of speculation about this, but I guessed correctly that it’s Emerson, the last remaining Mt. Weather survivor, the only one who received the full treatment so he could survive in the radiated environment outside the Mountain. He’s the one that offered Lexa the deal she had to take. He’s the one who forced Clarke’s hand  when she (and Bellamy) pulled the lever to irradiate Level 5 of the Mountain, killing lots of people. He’s also the one who gave the assassin the code to blow up Mt. Weather a couple of weeks ago. So he is basically The Worst and the cause of all of Clarke’s and Lexa’s problems. This is going to be a real test of the new “Blood must not have blood” policy.

He comes roaring out of the box – yes, actually roaring – after Clarke, and Lexa rushes in to protect her, but Titus pulls Lexa off of Clarke. She orders her guards to stop Emerson, because Titus wasn’t gonna? Wtf, Titus? I’m not liking that.

Cut to credits.

Hannah Green collecting water samples along with Gillmer (the rock throwing ahole who hurt my boy Lincoln). They’re being watched over with armed Guard members. Octavia observes them from afar and is reporting to Kane via a headset. A Grounder child walks into view. Hannah first talks to him like she’s going to be friendly, but then that jerk Gillmer says they can’t let him get away and starts to shoot.

octaviaOctavia, who is turning into a real MVP and I love it, rushes in to save the kid as the other Arkadians chase after him. She grabs the kid and pulls him behind a tree, does her best to keep him quiet. She keeps quiet even when some acid goop drips off a tree onto her forehead because she’s a badass like that. Octavia tells Kane to find out what Pike is up to because they’re willing to kill kids to keep it quiet. I find this in no way surprising, to be honest.

Back in Arkadia we find Abby and Raven in Medical. As you recall, Raven took Jaha’s City of Drugs drug and is now literally feeling no pain, as in the CoL drug apparently stimulates brain chemistry in such a way as to kill physical pain, like through dopamine receptors or somesuch. Raven’s leg still doesn’t work properly, but at least she’s not in pain. Abby is rightfully suspicious about this development.

Dear The 100, when I said “less suffering for Raven Reyes 2k16,” this is not what I meant. I did not mean for her to turn to drug use.

Raven: Jaha gave me the key to the City of Light, Abby, not drugs.

Abby says Raven can go back to work as an engineer, but “you’re benched again if I find anything abnormal in those tests.”

As we saw last week, Nathan Miller is a Good Gay and not a pop culture stereotype, so he’s now working with Kane to find out what Pike and his minions are up to. Their plan? To put a bug / transmitter thingie in Pike’s office so they can hear whatever he’s doing in there. But uh oh, Pike shows up very inopportunely, so Kane stalls him while Miller installs the bug, and despite how nervous this scene made me, it actually worked. Kane basically picks on Pike about all the evil stuff like killing the Grounders and “interning” them instead of letting them go. Oh yeah and Bellamy is standing there being a lackey the whole time. Finally, Kane gets in a nice little jab at Pike.

Pike: My job is to keep us safe, not to be liked.

Kane: Then keep up the good work. LOL

Back in the Arkadia cantina, Jaha gives out City of Light drugs like they’re communion wafers. Abby approaches Mainpain Jasper because he’s clearly interested. “Don’t do drugs, Jasper. Drugs are bad.”

We find a meeting going on in Pike’s office, and we learn what his further plans are. Monty and Monroe (first name: Zoe, incidentally) are there for some reason. Octavia can also hear it in her earpiece along with Kane and Miller, thanks to the planted bug. They’ve found some really awesome soil and plan on clearing some trees and planting soybeans and corn. Monty points out that there’s a village where they want to do the planting. Even Bellamy agrees the people there are not a threat.

octavia wtf face

Octavia delivers a classic WTF face.

Pike: Every field must be cleared of stones before it’s tilled. […] What would you prefer? Die fighting for your home, or starve to death? Will you do what needs to be done for your people to survive, or not?

Bellamy: We’ll do what needs to be done, Evil Earth Dad Pike.

Octavia hears this, stops mid-stride, and is just like “WTF?” Like she makes the most classic WTF face. It is absolute perfection, I tell you.

Back in Polis, Titus accuses Lexa of letting Clarke cloud her judgment. “You are too personally in… Oh hey look here she is now. My bad.” Lexa wants to know what Clarke will decide re: Emerson’s fate. Titus butts in and is all like “I believe he deserves death.” And Lexa, ever the gentleman, shuts him down and says, “She can speak for herself, Titus.” Yeah! Suck it, Titus! But Lexa, despite being nonstop heart-eyes for Clarke, nevertheless still calls her out on her shit when necessary.

Lexa: So blood must not have blood applies only when it is my people who bleed.

Clarke leans towards vengeance, and Titus suddenly thinks he might like Clarke again because he loves Vengeance. But here’s the thing: the decision is between banishment from Coalition lands forever, or death by 49 cuts from Clarke’s hand.  Clarke aint’ gonna do that, and we all know it. No worries, Lexa.

clarkelextitusBut P.S. Lexa is using her whispery bedroom voice in this scene, even though Titus is right there. Oh man this is so transparent, even though Clarke calls her “Commander” when other people are around. P.P.S. Clarke calling Lexa “Commander” is starting to feel vaguely kinky. But anyway, Lexa gives her until sundown to decide.

Cut to Octavia, sharpening her sword in a cave. Yes! Octavia wielding a sword is my favorite Octavia by far. Too bad she’s not wearing war paint. Miller finds her and is a little bitchy, tbh. Apparently he lost her horse and it took a long time to find her again. We learn that Octavia’s going to try to go reason with the Grounders and see if they’ll leave the village without ambushing the Arkadians. Ummmm….

Miller: Maybe if you could just talk to your brother.

Octavia: My brother is on the wrong side.

Oh it’s gonna go down between Octavia and Bellamy. The question now is just when? Octavia fully realizes that stopping the attack will stop a war from happening, so she has to try. You go, girl!

Raven is so happy in engineering and not in pain anymore, there are tears in her eyes. It’s creepy. I’m happy for her, but it’s really really creepy. And sure enough, creepiness ensues. Jaha and ALIE show up and give Raven a little job of finding “version two of my code.” So there’s an ALIE 2.0. Raven is still coherent enough to ask why there needed to be a second version, but “don’t you worry about that little lady, nothing to see here,” says Jaha. All ALIE needs is “access to the mainframe.” Oh joy. It seems like she wants to eradicate this second version. So which one is good and which one is evil? Oh lord I think shit just got real. Or unreal maybe? I don’t even know anymore, and I think it will only get worse from here.

Turns out they are asking Raven to “find and upgrade to a program that ended the world.” And they didn’t tell her that part. Hold it, what?

The Arkadian Raiders are loading up the rover to go destroy another village. Kane shows up and remarks on how much firepower they’re bringing, asks Bellamy what they’re up to.

Bellamy: Planning for our future.

Kane: You know, that looks a lot like our past.

millerbryanSick burn, Kane – you full of sass this episode! We see a goodbye between Miller and his boyfriend Bryan. They hug. It’s cute. This would’ve been a good opportunity for a homo-kiss on network TV, and the fandom has discussed the lack of it a lot this week. I’m just going to chalk it up to them having had about 30 seconds total screen time together so far this whole season, being semi-minor characters, and the fact that maybe they’re not into PDA. So the raiders include Bellamy, Monty, Hannah Green, Bryan, Monroe, and (I guess?) someone driving.

Octavia approaches the village on horseback, rides in with her hands up. The villagers are unsurprisingly not happy to see her. Semet, who appears to be the village leader starts beating the crap out of her until Gavriel, the little kid she saved, shows up and says she’s the one who helped him. Only after she gets kicked in the face though. They appear to be more open to her after that and seem to be packing up to leave, even. That seems like it was way too easy. Because it was.

Abby and Jackson talk about the CoL drug and can’t figure out how it works, other than the fact that it elevates serotonin and dopamine. So it’s like super strong Prozac? Jackson seems pretty pro-Jaha now. Hmmm…

Kane shows up to report that Octavia should be warning the village by now. He is all mad at himself because he feels he has let this disaster happen by demanding an election. And well, I’ll just say it. He kinda did. And he’s sad about “sending kids into harm’s way.” OMG this is so the United States for the last 15 years, it hurts. Complete with Mt. Weather destruction as their version of 9/11 giving the carte blanche to just go wiping out villages. Egad.

Kane: [Pike] really believes he’s doing the right thing.

Abby: Everybody always does.

That is seriously the truest thing you can say about this show and life in general. Everybody always thinks what effed up thing they’re doing is right, or at least will benefit them somehow. That explains basically all the badness in the world.

And then she kisses Kane on the cheek! So it looks like that ship might sail after all.

Back in the village it looks like something is happening, but I’m not sure what exactly. Octavia is about to congratulate them for packing up and leaving, but it turns out they have a bunch of that acid wood and they’re going to burn it and poison the Skaikru? Then someone klonks Octavia and knocks her out. She just can’t win.

And oh look here’s Raven attaching the ALIE backpack to a bunch of important-looking servers. Great. Raven asks why the AI would need to be in space. I’m wondering that too.

ALIE: My creator thought she needed a more secure work environment.

Raven: So did you go too?

ALIE: No, I was the reason she wanted a more secure environment.

And Raven just goes on about her business, hooking this crazy virtual hoe to the mainframe of her home. La-di-da, no big deal. Wow these drugs really work.

Oh and then Jasper shows up to ask Raven about how she’s doing now that her brain is on drugs. Apparently quite well, because when Jasper apologizes for stealing Finn’s ashes, she appears 100% unfazed and even pretty cool with it. Jasper decides he’s ready to be over his Special Manpain and get high. Well, at least maybe that plot arc will be over. Because I’m sure over it since like episode 1.

Back in Polis, Clarke has to decide what to do about Emerson. Will she kill him by her own hand with 49 cuts? Please. We know Clarke. She’s ruthless when she has to be, but she’ll always come down on the side of mercy as much as she is able to. But she has to let Emerson taunt her for a while first and remind her of how many people she killed, albeit thanks to him, mostly. Unlike the same conversation with Bellamy, she doesn’t cry.

Emerson: I didn’t destroy Mt. Weather. You did.

Clarke: No, you did.

Emerson: Nope. It was you.

Clarke: Listen, ahole, it was you…

And so forth. Yawn. Trivia fact: 381 people died at Mt. Weather. Emerson is in Special Manpain too, and he says to Clarke, “My pain ends today. Yours has just begun.” Really, dude? ManPain ruins everything on this show, I tell you. Just cry and process it like a normal person, and then let that shit go, Emerson. And Pike, I’m talking to you too.

Meanwhile, Titus is skulking around in Clarke’s room being super shady. And Clarke just dismisses it. Huh? Anyway he wants to have the “What are your intentions with my daughter?” talk with Clarke. They discuss her dilemma of convincing Lexa to enact a cease fire after the village got slaughtered but wanting to take revenge herself. He’s of the opinion that vengeance is natural, and that peace can only come after vengeance has been sated. WTF, man? That makes literally no sense.

Clarke: Justify justify. This has nothing to do with your situation or me and Lexa and how gay we are for each other, okay?

Titus: Listen girlie, Lexa listens to you because she totes wants in your leather pants. Tell her we want a war against the sky people.

Clarke: Look, I can’t help you, man. I’m not gonna convince her to kill my people. Plus she is my bae so just stop it alright?

Titus: Then we’re at an impasse and I don’t approve of you dating my daughter.

In Arkadia Jaha is trying to convince Jasper to take the CoL chip and ALIE is feeding him lines to convince Jasper. Abby shows up just in time to keep him from ending his ManPain. Dammit, Abby! She takes the chip and starts talking to Jaha about it. Abby says, “Give me the science.” Turns out that the chip attaches via filaments to the brainstem and keeps certain neural pathways from firing.

wtfjahaAbby: Would you have given it to Wells?

Jaha: Wells? Who tf is Wells?

ALIE: Your son. You had a son.

Jaha: Oh yes, my son, Wilkes. No wait, Wilson. No, wait…

Abby realizes that it’s wiping people’s traumatic memories and basically making them not themselves anymore. Yikes. So she snags the bag of chips and makes off with them because they’re “eliminating more than just pain.” Jaha is pissed she took the chips, but we found out that Jackson is on the drugs too. So he’ll get them back and start drugging more people, so everybody can still get high.

RIP our little Monroe. Your sass didn't get near enough screen time.

RIP our little Monroe. Your sass didn’t get near enough screen time.

Back at the village, Octavia is tied up. Apparently they’re keeping her alive to cart her to the Commander. The rover shows up. Octavia runs off to her horse to try to warn Skaikru. She actually says, “It’s a trap!” The villagers shoot fire arrows at the acid logs, a fire breaks out even though it’s raining, and then the fumes start choking the Skaikru. Monty runs back into the fumes to try to save Monroe. But alas she’s a goner. RIP Zoe Monroe. Sweetie, you were the cutest little baby dyke on this show, and I really hoped you’d be dating Harper by now. So sad.

Now everyone’s mad at Octavia because she warned the villagers, which helped them figure out that there are traitors in Arkadia. But then it’s moot because the villagers grab Octavia again. They’re mad at her too for being a sky person and going to warn the other sky people. She’s hosed from both sides, basically.

We get another ceremony in the throne room again. No Grounder Adele this time, just drums. Lexa says some ceremonial stuff, and then hands Clarke her knife: “Vengeance is yours.”

Clarke: No.

Everybody: WTF?

Clarke: I don’t know if your death would bring me peace. I just know I don’t deserve it.

Titus: If the Skaikru won’t take this man’s life, Heda will.

Lexa: Heda will speak for herself! STFU, Titus!

Clarke decides not to kill, and Lexa steps in and gives a rousing speech that says things like, “a world in which violence does not always answer violence. A world in which our children can flourish without the shadow of death.”

Our Children. You know she means hers and Clarke’s right? Especially Aden.

Lexa banishes Emerson from her lands and declares that he’ll be “haunted until the end of his days with the knowledge that he is the last of his kind.”

Clarke: May you live forever.

Back with Pike, Bellamy approaches him and says they might possibly have gone too far.

Pike: We need to talk about your sister. Two of our people died today because of her. Not to mention, the ash poisoned the soil, making the land useless.

Hah! But Octavia is also seriously effed now. Pike charges Bellamy with figuring out how Kane found out about the raid and finding proof.

Wait, Murphy? Oh yeah, they carted him to Polis last week. Titus is questioning him about the chip with the sacred symbol.

Meanwhile, Jaha, ALIE and Raven realize that the second ALIE program was not on the Ark. Doh!

A conversation between Jaha and ALIE tells us that the ark was made up of 12 stations, but huh, wait a minute there were supposed to be 13.  Apparently the 13th station, Polaris, was shot out of the sky for some reason. This is all happening via voiceover while we watch Titus try to beat the truth out of Murphy. The camera pans to a space pod like the one Raven landed in back in Season 1. It says “Polaris” on it, but the A and the R are obscured. Polis. That’s how Polis got its name.

OMG. Boom. Out.

Best Line: Heda will speak for herself.

Best Hair: Semet’s two-tone Metal Hair was pretty on point this episode.

Worst hair: Murphy and Emerson, both matted with blood. Gross. But that’s a common look on this show. It practically goes without saying anymore.

Injured: Still Raven but not feeling it, still probably Lincoln, though we didn’t see him, Clarke gets cut on the head when Emerson attacks her,

Death: RIP my little Zoe Monroe, and just when we learned your first name

Wet t-shirts: None, but Lexa’s casual look is, um, pretty form fitting.

Queerness Quotient: Clarke drawing Lexa: aka the second gayest thing ever to happen on this show. Also Miller hugs his boyfriend.

Episode Index



  1. I waited for this recap like forever. Now it’s finally here, I’m not feeling it because I’ve already seen episode 7 and I’m heartbroken.

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