THE 100: 2.16 “Blood Must Have Blood, Part 2”
I have been thinking nonstop about last night’s finale of The 100. I had no idea where this episode would take us, where they’d draw the line. And for a show that’s been said to have never held back, last night was definitely a harsh example of that.
I’m constantly impressed with this show. Just looking at how much these characters have developed since the beginning — hell, since the beginning of season two — shows how much depth and complexity the show has. It doesn’t sugar-coat things. It doesn’t hide real life-and-death choices behind sappy melodrama. It’s tough, it’s brutal. I could go on for quite some time about how this show has exceeded expectations, how it’s so well-written, and how it’s become the show I’ve really been amped about watching week to week. All of that’s true, but I should probably focus on what actually happened in this finale.
I was crying for about 15 minutes during this finale. I’m a natural sap, so that shouldn’t surprise you. But I wasn’t crying over losing someone we’ve loved as a character for a while (ok, yes, perhaps some sentimentality over Maya did slip in there). And I wasn’t crying for some character I knew less well but was forced to have a reaction to because of the crescendoing music to give me sad feelings. I was crying because I was watching a tough, impossible situation. I was screaming at the TV through fat tears because I knew that what was about to happen was wrong, and I didn’t want to see it happen. I was crying because I saw Clarke do something that could never be changed, had so many shades of gray behind it, and ultimately, was something no one would be able to accept again.
I saw Clarke feel the weight of her people on her shoulders, the minute she put her hand on that lever. She felt the weight of family and friendships. And she knew she had to do it even though she knew what it meant she was doing. I saw Bellamy flash back to his days on the Ark, where his one responsibility was to watch out for his sister, no matter the cost. The characters we knew and love were changing before our very eyes, doing something they may never recover from.
But it wasn’t just the 100 I was thinking about. I was thinking about those kids we saw filing into a classroom a few episodes ago, and the kid playing with a soccer ball on Level 5. All the people dining, enjoying themselves, smiling, living life. They were all going to suffer because of this war and these actions.
The writers behind the show could’ve made all of Mount Weather’s people into greedy monsters. But they weren’t. And in the end, innocent people became casualties of war.
It was ugly, and it hurt. And here I am, more than 12 hours later, still thinking about it. Analyzing it. That’s the sign of an effective episode. Kudos.
I didn’t think they’d go there. Sure, I suspected Dante would die in some way, maybe Cage, maybe even Clarke’s mother. Jasper or Maya, for sure (by the way, I think it was IGN who commented that it was brilliant to kill off Maya in this way, illustrating explicitly how Clarke and Bellamy’s actions would hurt the ones who helped them). But the lines that were crossed. Just wow. They didn’t hold back.
But let’s talk about some of the other stuff in the episode — or maybe what’s to come. I fully expected that Clarke would no longer stay at Camp Jaha. She didn’t belong there. With all the actions that she’s done, she just didn’t fit. We thought she’d done enough by killing Finn, by letting the missile hit the Grounders’ camp. But no, there was further to go. Even with Bellamy helping to shoulder the blame, she just couldn’t face what she had done every day — even if she was facing happy, living people.
The good-bye with Bellamy was perfect. I feared we’d cross that line into a good-bye kiss to get the shippers out there, but that’s not what it was about. He gave Clarke forgiveness; he wanted her to stay, of course. But Clarke’s explanation, using Dante’s own words: “I bear it, so they don’t have to.” This isn’t just Clarke’s acknowledgement of her guilt and how she won’t recover, but a revelation that there really aren’t any good guys — something her own mother said. Clarke made the same choice Dante did: to sacrifice one group of people to save his own. So like Dante, sitting alone with his art in a cell, Clarke will now go off on her own to live with what she’s done.
Moments before this good-bye, though, we had Jasper. It’s funny. Since we’ve spent so much time with everyone both inside Mount Weather and outside, we forget that they don’t know all that’s happened. Jasper’s never seen Camp Jaha. Hell, Jasper doesn’t even know Finn is dead. But Jasper’s not the same Jasper anymore either. When Raven hands him back his goggles, he just looks at them. He’s not that kid anymore. None of them are.
Moving on from this land to the city of lights, we finally have Jaha and Murphy making progress — and making their own discoveries. We should’ve known this was going to be a brutal episode when two characters were killed before the credits even ran, one of which we saw eaten by a water monster (perhaps the same one from the pilot? or at least the same species…) While I’m not sure what to do with Jaha’s interaction with Allie, the digital gal, we clearly should have some hesitations. For one thing, she wants his freakin’ missile. For another, Murphy just discovered a video of someone killing himself after confessing a woman he knew had the drop codes. It’s impossible to not make the connection that the two are one and the same.
Now we just have to wonder what her plan is next. And what did the original bomb explode? Could she have been behind the nuclear winter that destroyed the earth 97 years ago? The time stamp said 2023 on the video, if I remember correctly. That’s only seven years away, and clearly after the explosion. Of course, that’s just a theory. If it’s true, I don’t think Jaha’s in the best of company, even if she isn’t carbon-based.
While I loved the episode, I do have two mild complaints. The first is with that last scene. I would’ve much preferred to just see Jaha’s reaction, without seeing what this woman had taken from him. Imagine how much we’d be itching to see the season premiere if we were just left to see his startled face. The second is with Cage’s death.
Don’t get me wrong. Cage deserved what he got. And Lincoln was just the best guy to do it. The writers did a fantastic job of reminding us that Cage was the one to change Lincoln into a Reaper all those episodes ago, by showing Cage holding that serum again. And I did wonder if we were about to see Lincoln’s own ending when he pressed the blue light thingy. But the reaction when his arm was chopped off seemed a wee bit horror-movie-esque, and I just wish we could’ve gotten a little better revenge. It seemed a little too easy, even if it was satisfying. (If only we could get the same ending for Emerson, though; I fully expect he and Clarke to run into each other alone next season. I wonder what that will look like.)
Overall, an fantastic ending to the season. I’m itching to see more — in fact, I’m almost eager to watch the episode again, if I think I can handle seeing Clarke’s choices again. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m constantly impressed with this series. The world that’s been created, the development of characters, the harsh choices and consequences of life-and-death situations, and knowing that they won’t hold back — it’s painful to watch. It’s exciting to watch. And it’s fun to watch.
*Photo by The CW