Tuesday, 22 July 2014

TV recap: The 100 episode three - Earth Kills

Last time on The 100, the teens on the ground discovered they have an enemy who managed to survive the nuclear war, but that didn't stop them turning on each other. Bellamy and Clarke are locked in a battle for control of the group, and Finn's (thanks @Chapter5Books for pointing out he looks like Ben Barnes' Prince Caspian) getting his flirt on with Clarke. Up in space, the people of the Ark have been given a 10-day reprieve from death, leading Abby to employ the services of engineer Raven to fix a ship that will take the two of them to earth.

Earth-bound
Let's start at the end, because woah, did that actually happen? I know I said Wells was kind of boring, but that doesn't mean I wanted to see him stabbed in the throat by a clearly post-traumatic adolescent girl. Sheesh. This might not be Westeros, but The 100 is clearly taking cues from Game of Thrones - no character is safe.

So let's rewind and figure out how we got to that twist of a final scene. A screaming girl, aged around 12 or 13, wakes up and is comforted by Clarke. Charlotte is scared and haunted by the killing of her parents, who were floated on the Ark. Clarke empathises, and Charlotte tells her that she was jailed for apparently assaulting a guard, although it seems she can't quite remember carrying out the deed. Clarke tells Charlotte that being on the ground gives them a second chance, and that they can all try and move past the bad parts of their lives on the Ark, and Charlotte seems to believe her.

Two random kids from the spaceship are lost in the woods when a yellow mist comes out at them. It burns them and leaves them for dead.

The rescued Jasper is still suffering (a spear was thrown at his chest), and there are calls from other members of The 100 to kill him. In good news, Bellamy has let Adam down from the tree he tied him to (and since Adam's not a glutton for punishment he's now ignoring Octavia), but in bad news, Murphy is trying to persuade Bellamy to end Jasper's suffering. He's not being altruistic though, Jasper's pained noises are simply paining Murphy.

Octavia calls Bellamy out for power tripping, but Bellamy points out that The 100 need to know who's in charge. They're both distracted by Jasper's screams - Bellamy believes Jasper will die and says he'll kill him if he doesn't get better within 24 hours, Clarke is determined to fight to save him. Clarke is relying on hope, Bellamy is saying he has the guts to make the hard choices. Their situation is echoing that of Abby and Kane up on the ship - hope vs tough decisions. Who wins? And which is right? I love the setting up of Bellamy and Clarke as two very different kind of leaders, and right now, it's difficult to see who's right. 

Controversially, on the decision of Jasper's future, Prince Caspian, sorry, Finn, sides with Bellamy - could this be a chink in the early Finn/Clarke flirtation? Clarke's not giving up, and realises that the paste on Jasper's wound must be an antibiotic. Finn identifies the plant, and along with Clarke and Wells, heads off to find more to try and save Jasper. Mostly, Finn's doing it to keep Clarke on side, while Wells is continuing in his bid to get Clarke to stop hating him. On their travels, the trio discover an old car buried in the forest. Moving on, they find the plant they need, only for all the birds in the forest to start going crazy, and a horn to start sounding. And then the yellow mist (some kind of acid fog) appears...

Clarke, Finn and Wells take shelter in the abandoned car (this should be good), while Bellamy, who found Charlotte following him while he was out hunting, finds a cave for the pair to hide in. Finn finds alcohol, and when Wells disapproves, Clarke promptly decides to indulge. Turns out, she's kind of a dour drunk, and the alcohol gives her the courage to confront Wells about dobbing her father in. Clarke may be brave and honourable, but she's also a classic perfectionist, hiding her pain and bottling up any extreme feelings she has until they explode (in this case ending with her telling Wells he should kill himself). How will this personality trait serve her on earth?

Chalotte wakes up screaming, and is this time comforted by Bellamy, who tells her she needs to confront her fear. He tells her to "slay her demons" while she's awake, and tells her that weakness and fear are death. I'm not sure these are wise lessons to be teaching a girl as unstable as Charlotte, especially when you've given her a knife.

At the ship, the kids are going stir crazy, not helped by Jasper's screams of pain. Murphy decides to solve the problem by trying to kill him. Luckily, he fails.

The fog clears, and Clarke, Finn and Wells head back to camp. Finn picks Wells' brain, asking why he would betray his best friend's confidence. Wells refuses to be drawn, saying simply that he made a choice, and if the consequences of that are Clarke's hatred, so be it. I'm guessing there's more to Wells' story than we initially thought. And since he's so good, I'm guessing he's really, really honourable. Finn plants a seed of doubt in Clarke's mind about Wells' betrayal, asking if Wells was really the only one who knew about her dad's plan to tell the Ark they were running out of oxygen.

Clarke and Finn hear Charlotte screaming, and find her and Bellamy. They've found Adam, who didn't make it to a cave on time, and is now dying from whatever the acid rain did to him. In an intriguing role reversal, Clarke comforts Adam and then gently stabs in the neck to relieve him of the pain of living, realising there's no way she can keep him alive. Her actions, so in contrast to her need to save Jasper, show she is a realist and can make tough decisions. And they also earn her the respect of Bellamy, who was unable to kill his friend. It's the first time Bellamy really sees Clarke. Unfortunately, she's also witnessed stabbing Adam by Charlotte.

Everyone finally makes it back to camp, in time to save Jasper. What might not be saved is Bellamy's relationship with his sister, who clearly blames him for Adam's death, as well as Bellamy's control on the group, which may start to erode after he has a confrontation with Murphy. 

Clarke, remembering back to her time on the Ark, connects the dots and realises her mum told Jaha about Jake's plan. She asks Wells to tell her the truth. Turns out, he's been protecting her all this time, which is very, very sweet.

And then Wells, reflecting in the jungle for a moment, is joined by Charlotte, who tells him that she's had a nightmare, but that she's found a way to make them stop. AND THEN SHE STABS HIM IN THE NECK! Looks like she took Bellamy's advice to slay her demons instead of Clarke's about moving on.

On the Ark
A flashback reveals that Clarke and Wells' families are great friends. Clarke's dad Jake, gets called away, and it's clear he's up to something. Turns out, he's realised the Ark is running out of oxygen faster than previously thought.

Jake tells Abby the Ark only has a year or two of oxygen left. He's already told Jaha, and now wants to tell the entire population of the Ark. Abby is against that, saying the Ark's people will panic. She's in favour of peace, even if it means lying, Jake's in favour of truth, because he thinks it will save his family in the long run.

Clarke's dad has told her what's up, and she confides in Wells, telling him her dad is planning to go public with the truth. She makes him promise not to tell anyone what she's revealed.

Jake records a video telling the Ark it is running out of oxygen, and Clarke says she wants to help him. The two hug, but Jake is then arrested, and just before he is floated Abby tells him that the people on the Ark do have an option - earth. Clarke turns up to say goodbye to her dad, accompanied by Wells.

Solid ground
A great third episode of The 100, although events on the ground were clearly far more interesting than the flashbacks on the Ark. We've got plenty of complex characters battling various demons, and it seems that nothing is black and white, which is brilliant, as layered characters prove much better viewing.

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