In the woods
The woods are where it's at this week - much of the action is centred in and around them. First up are Anya and Clarke, who are still not getting along, but who are currently sharing a goal - to get away from the Mountain Men who are still chasing them. I'm puzzled as to why the Mountain Men are putting so much effort into finding these two. Are they afraid that Anya and Clarke will raise an army against them, or is there something about one of these two women that is special, and the Mountain Men want to own it? Perhaps it's just that the Mountain Men don't want the delicate balance between them, the reapers and the Grounders upset.
In another part of the woods, Finn, Bellamy, Murphy and the others come across an Ark landing site. Unlike the guys at Camp Jaha, these people from the Ark did not survive - there are bodies strewn across the floor. It seems everyone is dead, and there's an absolutely massive crater that also leads the gang to that view. Only just as they decide to leave, the group hear a voice.
Led to the cliff edge, they peer over to see a girl clinging precariously to a massive root. Turns out it's someone Sterling knows, and he wants to help her. Only Finn, who's had a personality transplant this series, doesn't want to. Where has his heart gone? I haven't really discussed it, but Finn this season is just a different person. I get that he loves Clarke and wants to rescue her, but I feel like even that motivation is not enough for him to be committing murder and leaving people to die. I feel like he's got some anger we haven't heard him talk about yet - does he feel guilty for not saving Clarke from he-doesn't-know-what?
Anyway, Bellamy, who is also a different person, just gives in to Finn and is ready to leave a girl to die. Thank goodness for Sterling, who has just decided he's going to carry out a rescue regardless. However, it doesn't go too well. Sterling manages to get to the girl, but the knot in the rope he's tied comes undone, and no one can grab it. Sterling falls to what is a pretty horrifying death, made worse by the fact that it probably could have been prevented if the gang had all worked as a team. Sterling's death seems to be the push Bellamy needs to get back to his usual self, and he proceeds to give a motivational speech to the troops. He's got his leadership mojo back, and even Murphy is listening.
The Mountain Men are still chasing Anya and Clarke, and neither woman can work out how they've not yet thrown the men off their tail. Then Clarke works out that one of the two women must have had a tracker implanted in them. Anya finds a suspicious lump in her arm, and when Clarke comes up short looking for a weapon to take the tracker out with, Anya just bites it out of her arm. It's disgusting, but also brave. Seems both Anya and Clarke are willing to hurt themselves to get the better of the Mountain Men.
At the edge of the woods, Finn and Bellamy have finally started working as a team to try and rescue the girl, with Bellamy heading down on a rope and the others at the top of the cliff waiting to pull the pair back up. Only again, the rope doesn't hold properly, and it takes everything Murphy, Finn and Monroe have to try and hold on to prevent Bellamy and the girl from meeting a similar fate to Sterling.
And then, to make things worse, arrows come flying out of the air. It seems that Grounders are attacking. And just when you don't think it could get any worse, the group hear the foghorn, which means just one thing - acid rain. A drop from a cliff is probably a nicer death than the acid rain. The group manage to get Bellamy and the girl up the cliff, and as they look for a place to hide, out steps Octavia. Turns out she blew the foghorn to help. Oh, the reunion between Bellamy and Octavia is just beautiful.
Notice how Octavia is now looking like a Grounder. She's got the weapons and the horn, but see how her hair is plaited back from her face in the style of some of the Grounder women. It's interesting that Octavia's mental transformation and her transformation from child to woman is also now manifesting itself physically.
Since Monroe was injured during the Grounder attack and the girl they rescued needs help, Bellamy and Finn decide to split up. Finn will continue on to find the other members of The 100, while Octavia and Bellamy will head back to Camp Jaha. In a real turning point, Bellamy hands Murphy a gun and tells him to protect Finn. We've almost come full circle - Murphy was Bellamy's right hand man at the start of season one, but then he was completely untrustworthy. I feel Bellamy is making him Finn's second-in-command now because Murphy has proved himself. I hope he doesn't abuse the trust placed in him.
Since they've lost the Mountain Men, Clarke takes the opportunity to attack Anya, knocking her unconscious and dragging her through the woods. Where is she heading? Ah, back to the drop ship. Only there's no one there, and once Clarke sees how destroyed the place is, she spends a few minutes mourning. It's a few minutes too long, since Anya wakes up and attacks Clarke. And then they have a knock down, drag out fight. This is no typical television girl fight - the two are pulling no punches. Clarke finally gets the better of Anya, and in a split second decision comes to the conclusion that she has to kill Anya, as there's no way that Anya will stop until Clarke is dead. Just as Clarke is about to bash Anya's head in, she looks up and spots a balloon. And realises that it must be a community from the Ark.
Clarke finds Camp Jaha, and pleads with Anya to help her. She says the only way to beat the Mountain Men is for the Grounders and the people from the Ark to work together. And Anya sees reason, agreeing to the alliance. And then, as Anya heads away from Camp Jaha, she's shot. Anya's survived a lot, but she can't survive a bullet wound, and she dies in Clarke's arms. Noooo!
In Camp Jaha Major Byrne (she seems to be here for the long haul so I looked up her name) is building fences, only instead of reaching out, they're literal fences - designed to keep the Grounders out. They're also electrified. So that's nice. And she gives orders that if anyone is seen approaching, her soldiers need to shoot first and ask questions later.
And yes! Here's Raven. I missed her last week, she's a great character and I think you can definitely feel her absence. She's clearly in pain, and also angry at herself for being in pain. Sinclair, who is just super lovely and observant, tells Raven he needs her help with establishing radio contact with the other parts of the Ark, to see if anyone else is alive. Raven leaps at the chance, she likes being useful, and she likes having her mind occupied.
I've found a new character on The 100 that I love, and it's Wick (who we briefly saw in season one). He's kind of sarcastic, and super clever, and I love the relationship between him and Raven. They've got masses of chemistry, and the snark between them is just brilliant. That Raven is so independent and unwilling to let anyone help her actually goes against her - she refuses to wear the leg brace Wick has made for her. More than that, she decides she can fix the antenna at Camp Jaha herself, and proceeds to try and climb a very high pole. She's obviously completely unsuccessful, and it hurts.
Raven finally shows some vulnerability when her and Wick are back inside, and she at last accepts help, donning the leg brace. And would you look at that, it works. She hovers her way over to Wick , and then has a brainwave. To get the radio working, they need to float a balloon above the antenna to get a better signal. (An aside: did you see the look Wick gave Raven? I think he loves her. They're my new ship.)
Surveying their handiwork, Wick and Raven get just a minute to revel in their success before Major Byrne shoots the balloon down. Her argument is that it's a signpost for their enemies, but I think she's being foolish - Kane is out trying to form a peace treaty, so it's not like they can stay hidden forever, and I'm pretty sure the electrified fence will take care of anyone who does know where they are and wants to get in.
We open this week's episode in a very yellow desert, and see someone pulling a cart-like contraption. I can't tell if it's a boy or a girl, they're covered up pretty comprehensively, including a balaclava-like piece of cloth across their face. I'm guessing this is where Jaha has landed, and sure enough the person, who looks quite young, finds a largely unconscious Jaha lying beneath a red tarpaulin.
The mysterious person, who looks like a child, manages to Jaha back to their tent, which is definitely modelled on a Bedouin tent. There, the child tries to help Jaha, but their parents burst in, with the mum attacking Jaha while the dad protects the child. Again, The 100 flips the gender roles around and shows the mother as fighter and the father as protector.
When Jaha wakes, the kid's mum tells him that the family is on its way to the City of Light. What is the City of Light? It sounds kind of mythological. And how come there seems to be anything like a city on earth? Sienna, as she is called, also mentions that currently they're in the Deadzone. Which sounds ominous. I like Sienna, who seems tough and fair, and not afraid to tell Jaha what's what.
The kid comes in to the tent, with nothing covering his face, and we see what someone with radiation poisoning looks like. Zoren startles Jaha, whose reaction is far from ideal, leaving Zoren to believe that Jaha is disgusted by him. When Jaha asks, Sienna explains about the radiation poisoning, and says that the rules lay down that she should have abandoned Zoren and left him to die. But she couldn't go against her maternal instincts, and instead chose a hard life of exile rather than give up her son.
Sienna's story strikes a chord with Jaha, because he did the exact opposite - he gave up his son because rules dictated it be so. I feel like Zoren is giving Jaha the chance to heal - the moment where he offers Zoren the chess piece and tells him he's not scared by his face is lovely. Jaha gets busy drawing a chess board for Zoren, but they don't get the chance to play. Zoren runs in to say that someone is approaching, and that Jaha must leave or he will be killed.
Turns out that Sienna has gone one step further to protect her son than even Jaha thought - she got her husband to go and give Jaha up to a group of people who give handsome rewards in return for "sky people". Giving Jaha up means the family can get a horse, enabling them to get Zoren to the City of Light quicker.
Credit to Jaha, he doesn't run, knowing that to do so is sentencing Zoren and his family to death. Instead, he willingly walks forward, and is knocked out by the guy with Zoren's father. It's a noble act from Jaha, but I feel like he's mostly atoning for giving Wells up so easily.
I'm really sad that we've lost Anya. She was a brilliant character, a brilliant counterpoint to Clarke - the pair were similar in many ways, but also brought different things to the table. I think if they'd had the chance to work together properly, the pair could have taken over the world. I wonder how her loss will impact Clarke - they might not have been friends, but they were allies, despite the fighting. And Anya has done more for Clarke than Kane, Byrne or even her own mum.
I adored the colour palettes in this episode. The golden yellow of the desert, the reds and golds of Zoren's family's camp, the lush greens of the forest, and the washed out sandstone palette of the Ark crash site are all gorgeous, and really differentiate between the different parts of the world we're now in. Obviously, they're an easy signpost for us, the viewer, and a way for the show to bring together a world's worth of culture into just one country, since our characters can't be scattered across the world.
And finally, I love Murphy. In the first series, I loved to hate him, and I didn't think he could be redeemed. But the clever writers of The 100 have developed him brilliantly, and have shown Murphy's slow change into a largely likeable character. I love it.