On the D/L – The 100

Nov 13, 2014 | Posted by in TV
The 100

Season 2 Episode 4 – “Many Happy Returns”

Another excellent episode of The 100 with every story being pretty much equally exciting. This season has so far been pretty much non stop win for this show and it’s genuinely a pleasure to watch week on week.

After an absence last week we discover what happens to Jaha after touching down in the desert. It was a good move to have it that he doesn’t spend this time alone as I think we’ve had enough of Jaha talking to hallucinations created by his subconscious for one season. I have to say that I was really impressed by the desert environment, I’m not sure how they managed to create this on what must be a fairly modest budged but it looked really good.

The 100

Jaha tries to adjust to his new surroundings

The scenes with the Grounder family are really well done; I liked that Jaha was in a really vulnerable position so had absolutely no choice but to trust his captors. Emotionally these scenes were great. I liked that Jaha understood when Sienna betrayed him to those who were willing to pay. He observes that this clearly have problems and had no real choice but to accept an opportunity when it is presented to them. His altruism shines through even when the risk to himself is huge. I also loved the moments where Jaha bonded with the deformed child. The chess piece was well used to establish this relationship while reminding the viewer of the symbolism associated with Jaha’s fond memories.

This episode featured two significant tense action sequences. Bellamy and his group come across a dangling survivor from The Ark in the form of Mel. Her situation is precarious to say the least as she is very much at risk from going splat after falling from a very high height. This section of the story is the perfect example of the concept of rising action. Everything just got progressively worse as it went on. First Sterling fell to his death then the makeshift rope snapped followed by Grounders firing arrows at them. Every moment was more tense than the last, it was truly riveting.

It wasn’t all empty action either as there were some great character moments. Bellamy being so insistent to save one person’s life as he doesn’t know if anyone else is alive be he does know that a difference can be made here. There have been lots of allusions so far this season to Bellamy’s sense of morality and this is further explored through his decision to let Murphy go following his profound moment of continuing to hold on despite the arrows getting dangerously close. According to Bellamy he earned this so it remains consistent with his principles. It was really exciting stuff in general and probably among the best sequences ever done on this show. The reunion between Octavia and Bellamy at the end of this was unexpected but great to see a rare happy moment in this normally morbid show.

The 100

Bellamy saves Mel from certain death

The other action scenes came from Clarke and Anya’s reluctant partnership. This was handled brilliantly with the roles constantly reversing in organic ways. Clarke starts out as Anya’s prisoner before seizing a chance to flip this her way. The two characters feel evenly matched in terms of strength and wits throughout which makes the urgency of their rivalry very believable. It was very appropriate that Anya finally started to respect her once Clarke beat her. Given her history of believing in honour through combat it makes perfect sense for her character. An unexpected ending robs this story of any future potential but it was powerfully done and Anya goes out as a strong character. It’s just a shame that the dynamic between her and Clarke won’t be further explored.

Raven’s parts of the episode weren’t quite as intense as the rest but formed the real heart of the story. I really like how far in denial she is about her injuries and how desperate she is to function normally despite that being impossible. Pairing her with Wick to work on a project was an inspired choice as it forces her to directly address her shortcomings. Her character arc involved her accepting help from others which is exemplified by her not understanding some of the engineering principles that Wick does. This acts as a clear metaphor for her needing to ask for help with her injuries when she needs it. Lindsey Morgan did a fantastic job of portraying Raven as someone who is completely vulnerable but trying his best to act strong and put a brave face on things. The scene where she tries to climb the latter was especially powerful.

  • 9/10
    Many Happy Returns - 9/10


A fantastic episode of this with three strong main stories featuring some really dynamic and tense action scenes.

Bellamy’s group attempting to save Mel was a really exciting sequence that ramped up the tension organically as it progressed. I was figuratively on the edge of my seat as everything kept getting progressively worse. This sequence allowed for some fascinating character beats for Bellamy and a great redemption moment for Murphy.

Clarke and Anya’s pairing was great as well. The two characters are evenly matched and the arc that Anya goes through by finally respecting Clarke after being beaten by her was great. There were plenty of surprises here and like the scenes with Bellamy’s group, the urgency kept rising as the tables constantly turned on their uneasy partnership.

Jaha’s stint in the desert gets off to a good start with a great visual environment to be explored and some interesting interactions between him and the family of Grounders he finds there. His bond with the young deformed child is really touching and his understanding of the desperation of this family is a very noble mindset for this character to be in.

Raven makes up the emotional core of this episode as she tries to come to terms with her injuries as well as learning that she needs to accept help from other people in order to function effectively. Raven goes through a defined arc where she has to overcome her own stubbornness and accept that she can’t do everything herself.

The emotional core of the episode comes from Raven and her journey to recognise that she needs to accept help from others in order to function. It’s a predictable character arc but an effective one.

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