On the D/L – The 100
Season 2 Episode 16 – “Blood Must Have Blood Part 2”
The 100 brings its remarkable second season to a close and looks ahead to what promises to be a really exciting third season when it returns.
At the end of the last episode things looked really bleak for Clarke after being abandoned by the army that she was leading. She went from having lots of support to absolutely none in a really short time and it obviously complicates things greatly. Not one to run away from a problem she rushes into Mount Weather ready to see what she can do.
It’s nicely in keeping with her character to not let a little thing like being alone stop her from trying to help her friends. She shows great leadership in not wanting to leave anyone behind as well as lots of courage as usual. I loved the scene where she ran into Octavia who was not at all pleased to see her. Various things have caused Octavia to strongly dislike Clarke over the course of the season and it’s interesting to see that play out in such a claustrophobic episode.
I’m glad that Octavia didn’t let her personal resentment get in the way of the situation. Octavia has grown enough as a person to suck it up and deal with what is important. She’s a far cry from the young girl chasing butterflies last season and it’s a fascinating change to witness. She had such a great moment in the episode when she attacked the Mount Weather residents so quickly and skillfully. It could be argued that she’s learned to be a killer a little too quickly but I’m inclined to let that slide -not unlike Octavia- because it gives her some amazing things to do. She can join the ranks of badass women on this show for sure now.
This episode gives us plenty of satisfying emotional beats such as Octavia’s reunion with Monty and Jasper. It meant a lot as this is the first time they’ve shared any screen time this season. I really believed that they hadn’t seen each other for quite some time and that they were happy to be reunited.
I liked the sense of desperation throughout the episode. It was a little convenient that everyone would come together so early in the episode but it worked in the context of the story. It’s rightly noted that their only chance is to use Dante as a bargaining chip in order to try and negotiate for their survival after Dante refuses to help them willingly. Pretty much any scene in the control room was fantastic with a real sense of frantic urgency.
To say it was unexpected that Clarke would be forced to kill Dante to prove that she was serious would be sort of a lie. I always expect this show to push that boundary but I am never disappointed when it does. As far as I could see it Clarke killing Dante was pretty much the only thing that could happen. Cage isn’t the sort of character to let compassion prevent him from achieving his goals so Clarke really had nothing on him. On the same token if she hadn’t killed Dante then it would have been proven to Cage that she couldn’t be taken seriously. It was a bit of a catch 22 situation and the weight of that decision is not understated.
Cage’s focus is on getting his people acclimated to the surface conditions at any cost. Basically it boils down to him being incapable of seeing the prisoners are people any more. All they are to him is a means to an end and he has every intention of harvesting them as quickly as he can. Clarke’s threats only strengthen his resolve to get the job done quicker. Part of what I like about Cage is his upfront honesty and his lack of complexity in terms of how he sees the world.
After killing Dante and losing any power she thought she had Clarke is left with a couple of less than desirable options. She can either wait and see if Jasper can get close enough to kill Cage without being killed himself or she can let the outside air in and irradiate everyone in Mount Weather. Her people will survive due to their immunity but everyone else will suffer a gruesome and horrible death. The major issue with this is that this action will also kill plenty of innocent men, women and children who just happen to live there.
It’s not a decision anyone wants to make and I’m not understating things when I say I was on the edge of my seat as Clarke had her hand on the lever. One simple motion and she could be responsible for a lot of deaths. It was a well presented scene to build tension.
I will say that I found Bellamy’s impassioned speech about them doing this together and making it the responsibility of both of them was really cheesy. It very slightly undermines the moment but I suppose a reminder that Bellamy was at one point jointly in charge of that group was required but the writers could have gone with something that was a lot less on the nose than this.
The decision to irradiate the Mount Weather people was played with an appropriate sense of weight. Using Maya’s death as a representation of the innocent deaths happening all over was a nice touch as it ties the whole thing to Jasper who was so sure that he was capable of killing Cage and putting an end to it. Bellamy reminds him that it’s not quite as simple as all that and that Cage’s death wouldn’t put a stop to the conflict. It can be argued from now until doomsday whether Clarke and Bellamy made the right decision but their reasons for doing it made complete sense.
It also explores the main theme of the season as well as the episode. There have been lots of references to making tough decisions and exploring a really complex morality that isn’t as simple as good and bad. As this episode states, nobody is a good guy and nobody is free from the consequences of making tough choices. It’s an idea that has been explored wonderfully throughout the season and really hasn’t pulled any punches in showing how dirty hands need to get metaphorically speaking
Maya’s death was a really powerful moment as the show has spent the last 16 episodes building her up as a significant presence and her relationship with Jasper gives her sufficient connection to the other characters to make her important. Not to mention her natural friendship with Bellamy giving her solid interaction with other characters. She will be missed and her death is a painful example of the innocence that was sacrificed with Clarke and Bellamy’s decision. I doubt Jasper won’t be able to easily forgive them for what they’ve done.
In one swift stroke the sky people are free of the threat that Mount Weather represents and can return to their own camp to continue living their life. It’s not going to be all that easy for Clarke who just can’t face her people. Bellamy tries to reassure her by offering her the forgiveness he thinks she needs but she has been changed by this experience and doesn’t feel that she belongs anywhere. It’s quite a heartbreaking scene to see Clarke walk away from those who care about her but it makes sense for her at this point. She is a very broken person and really needs to sort herself out. I wonder where she’ll find herself at the start of next season.
Having the Grounders being absent -aside from Lincoln and Indra- and having the adults be imprisoned was a great choice as it brought the show back to how it all started. It was all about the survival of the kids and them using their resourcefulness to make life work on Earth for them. Keeping the focus firmly on them was great and it was well needed as it can be easy to forget that with how the storyline has evolved all season.
This was primarily Clarke’s episode but other characters in Mount Weather had a little opportunity to share some of the spotlight. Raven was pretty horribly victimised in this episode with some pretty invasive torture going on but I loved seeing her fight back in the only way she could. That bite looked damn painful.
I also really liked Henry Ian Cusick playing Kane so subtly here. His looks of horror at how the Mount Weather people were acting provided something of an avatar for the audience reaction to the whole thing.
Lincoln didn’t disappoint here in showing his loyalty to Octavia and the rest of the sky people. Indra leaving the knife for him so that he could escape shows that she doesn’t necessarily agree with the decisions that Lexa has made. Indra has always been sort of at odds with her so it’s good to see that pay off in a really subtle way. Seeing Lincoln killing Cage after was great. It was a satisfying conflict that had been building for a while. Lincoln took his revenge for Mount Weather’s treatment of the Grounders by subjecting Cage to the same horrors that they had endured. It was definitely a long time coming and was great to watch.
Elsewhere the storyline with Jaha and Murphy was picked up as they row a boat after the drone they spotted two episodes ago. There were things I liked about this and things I didn’t. It seemed like Jaha sacrificing the -basically- nameless redshirt so that he and Murphy could carry on was written to be a badass sacrificial moment but it generally came across as out of character for him. Maybe it’s supposed to indicate that he’s been pushed over the edge by his obsession in finding this City of Light but more work needed to be done to make it believable. I’m not just bitter because the expendable was also called Craig and was sacrificed.
I really liked the attack in the fragile boat from some sort of mutant sea creature. It was wonderfully tense and the darkness only helped to reinforce the hopelessness of the situation. For a show set on a post apocalyptic irradiated Earth there are surprisingly few of these mutated creature attacks. I think that’s great because it makes them all the better when they finally do happen.
Murphy’s discovery of the weirdly decorated room full of food and booze was really cool but is it just me that thought of the hatch on Lost? It was a little too close to that for my liking. Still, seeing him choose to enjoy this brief moment of relative luxury was well earned given the onslaught of challenges that keep facing all of the characters. There was some intrigue when he found the video talking about a mysterious “she” causing something bad before the guy making it killed himself. It was pretty shocking and definitely got my attention.
It seems that Jaha has encountered the mysterious “she” who lives in a mansion and is a hologram of some kind. What makes it more interesting is that she’s a sentient hologram who knows a lot about Jaha. I can’t wait to see what this amounts to.
My only real criticism of this story other than Jaha seeming to break character is that it felt less climatic than the cliffhanger of Clarke leaving her people. I think if the two stories had been reversed it would have been more effective. I also feel that some of this story should have been done in the last episode to make this feel a little less rushed. Other than that it was compelling and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
A really strong finale that pulls together the story threads lingering throughout the season wonderfully to deliver a satisfying conclusion as well as set things up for the next season.
Clarke had to make a lot of tough decisions in this episode and the significance of them wasn’t glossed over. I really liked her stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of her decision to kill Dante. Cage completely called her bluff and to show mercy would have made her look weak. It wasn’t something she wanted to do but I see why she felt that she had to.
Similarly her decision to irradiate everyone inside Mount Weather was definitely a tough decision. It had become clear that Jasper wasn’t up to the task of killing Cage so the only course of action was to kill everyone not immune to the radiation. The fact that lots of innocents live in Mount Weather isn’t glossed over at all and the death of Maya represents that. She has a connection to most of the characters in some way so seeing her die like that is very powerful.
Clarke’s decision to leave her people and go off on her own was an interesting development. It highlights how profoundly broken she is as a person and how detached she feels from her own people. It’s a really heartbreaking scene to watch and will be interesting to see how she fares next season.
Lincoln got the pleasure of killing Cage which made absolute sense given the treatment his people have had to endure just to grant him the ability to walk on the surface. Lincoln makes Cage suffer the same way that he was made to suffer and it makes real poetic sense for him to be dealt with this way.
Jaha and Murphy’s story proved to be interesting as they both discovered some relics of civilisation. Murphy got to enjoy food and booze before learning that something catastrophic happened and Jaha gets to meet a cryptic seemingly sentient hologram who seems to know a lot about him. It sets things up nicely for season 3 and provides plenty of intrigue.
I do think that this story should have been given some time last week as some of the plot movements feel a little quick when all is considered. It is still full of intrigue and I can’t wait to see more but perhaps some of the story could have been handled in the previous episode.