The 100 – Season 1 Episode 12
Now that Raven has been cured of the influence of A.L.I.E., The 100 begins to focus on building up to the season finale but not before telling a broadly standalone story that plays around with a more horror based style.
This episode feels a lot like a slasher horror film in a lot of ways. A hooded figure is seen to be going after the characters and all of the stops are pulled out to make this as creepy as possible. The figure picks them off when they are at their most vulnerable such as when Octavia and Jasper are separated from each other or the attempt to capture Clarke and Bellamy by using a music box to lure them into a trap. It’s a really tense plot that rides the crest of the character deaths this season to create a sense that nobody is safe. I never really thought that Clarke or Bellamy were in any danger but aside from that I felt that anyone else was expendable. The fact that Sinclair meets his end here only makes the situation more urgent.
Sinclair is a significant loss to this show especially considering how far his character has come since the beginning. This season in particular was very strong for him as the father/daughteresque connection between him and Raven had a major focus. I think there was still plenty of mileage in this relationship so having it cut short with Sinclair’s death leaves that feeling unfinished. This was probably the intention since in real life many relationships simply stop when someone dies and leaves it one sided. Hopefully Raven will remember him fondly and his contribution to her life will continue to feel significant. The dual funeral for Sinclair and Lincoln was a nice moment filled with raw emotion as the loss of important people started to sink in. Octavia showed the first signs of moving on when she broke down crying over Lincoln’s body. It was powerful and reminds the audience how important these characters are.
There is a particularly great sequence that builds the terror of the situation perfectly. It’s a fast paced and frantic depiction of characters being stalked in a dark room as a killer armed with night vision slowly closes in on them. The sense of inevitability really comes through and the threat always felt real. The 100 has done horror well before in the season 2 episode “Fog of War” and I like that the time was taken to play around with it again as it shows the versatility this show has in juggling genres. It also provides a refreshing change of pace from the politics.
The killer turns out to be Emerson who wants revenge on Clarke for having him exiled instead of killed. He blames her for his continued suffering and wants to show her what that feels like so he kidnaps everyone she cares about and holds them hostage in an airlock so that Clarke can watch them die. Clarke beats him by activating A.L.I.E. 2.0 and using it to kill him since he doesn’t have Nightblood. Dealing with Emerson in this largely one off story ties up that loose end and allows the season to progress. The moment where Clarke activated A.L.I.E. 2.0 after being setup for it by being asked if she had any last words was really cheesy but I liked it. It was nicely badass for Clarke which is always good to see.
A.L.I.E. 2.0 is discussed heavily as everyone tries to figure out how it works. There’s a distinct science fiction edge to this story which I always appreciate as this show tends to gloss over this part of its DNA. I enjoyed the scene where everyone discussed how to make it work and Sinclair solved it by latching onto the Latin phrase that serves as the activation code. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the “Speak friend and enter” riddle from The Fellowship of the Ring but that isn’t a criticism at all. We don’t see teamwork like this all that often on this show and this was a great example of that as all of the characters play to their strengths. Clarke uses her knowledge of Grounder culture and of Lexa specifically to offer an important clue, Raven reads over the notes and gets her head around the actual science of the situation while Sinclair offers the benefit of his experience. Every character feels needed as well as useful so top marks for this. Now all that’s left is to find Luna, whoever she is!
Emori makes her return as she reunites with Murphy who is still on the arm of Ontari. The reunion is very passionate but it turns out that Emori was merely a plant by A.L.I.E. and Jaha to find out what the current situation is. It was really shocking to leave that reveal until the last possible second when Jaha shows up and calls Ontari out for being a false Commander. She is convinced to join her forces with theirs while swallowing a chip but I get the sense that she’s somewhat unwilling considering she was basically forced into this situation. We shall see how that develops but for now it makes sense for her to go along with it since she doesn’t want to seem weak in front of her people. Her acceptance of the chip far too quick considering how fierce and emotional Ontari has been so far. Based on her character so far she should have been more resistant before coming around.
A.L.I.E. being in charge of Ontari’s people has some really interesting implications as it grows her forces considerably and offers a much more difficult obstacle for Clarke and the others. There is also a lot of potential in Jaha and Murphy being around each other again as Murphy clearly still has no love for him. There’s lots to play with on this development and I look forward to seeing how the City of Light story continues to develop.
A great episode that makes strides to develop the main plot while taking an engaging diversion to play around with the horror genre. The horror scenes were tense and terrifying with a real sense of danger for the characters. Sinclair’s death shows how unsafe the characters in this show continue to be and his sendoff was touchingly appropriate. Now that A.L.I.E. has Ontari’s people on her side the threat level has been elevated significantly and this can only be a bad thing for Clarke and her allies.
- the tense and terrifying horror scenes
- each character playing to their strengths when trying to work out how A.L.I.E 2.0 works
- interesting implications of Ontari’s people being on the side of A.L.I.E.
- Ontari’s quick acceptance of Jaha’s proposal