The 100 – Season 3 Episode 14
“Red Sky at Morning”
The 100 explores Luna’s people and with it an alternative way of life that hasn’t been seen before while Raven discovers a potential way to defeat A.L.I.E. for good.
Luna’s introduction last week was great. Her soft spoken yet confident nature left an impression and her flat refusal to accept the second A.I. and claim her birthright as the new Commander was an unexpected complication. This episode really took the opportunity to explore the reasons why Luna won’t take on the responsibility of leading the Grounders.
Essentially she won’t do it because they are very warlike and she is all about peace. The community she has built is very tranquil because everyone there has made the decision to find a better way around problems than fighting and killing. The scene where she teaches some kids how to fish shows what the priorities are in her way of life and clearly show that this community has learned to work together.
Her reasons for being peaceful are really complicated. War is something she knows a lot about but she isn’t afraid of it. The lack of desire to find a better way to settle differences was what caused her to leave in the first place. She mentions that she would have been in a fight to the death with Lexa had she not left and it was courage not cowardice that made her do so. Her decision was that she couldn’t be a part of that and didn’t see any way that the people she would have to rule would come around to that. She demonstrates how skilled she is when reacting to Clarke’s attempt to force the A.I. on her and basically tells her that true bravery is running away from a fight that you know you’ll win.
Luna’s conversations with both Clarke and Octavia highlight how different she is to what they have become used to since arriving on Earth. She tells Octavia that only people who have stopped fighting will be accepted into her society and repeatedly calls Clarke out on her really confused ideals.
These interactions provide a real shift in perspective for the viewer to contemplate. What if Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and all of the other Skaicrew don’t realise that their actions do more harm than good? Violence and death is so much of a way of life for them that they don’t see any other way. It’s mentioned in this episode that their lives are essentially preparing for the next attack even if one isn’t imminent. Expecting an attack often leads to creating reasons for one to happen. Luna’s people represent another way that might be better. It isn’t that they are incapable of defending themselves as it is clearly the opposite. They just choose not to provoke others into causing them harm. The better way of life is left up to the viewer but Clark, Bellamy and Octavia are shown in a less than flattering light when compared to Luna and her people.
Clarke pretty much proves Luna’s point when she tries to force the A.I. on her. As I’ve said Luna proves that she can defend herself and takes this opportunity to pretty much say “I told you so” to Clarke. It is well established that Clarke will do whatever she deems necessary to protect her people even if that action has questionable morality attached to it. Her attempt to force the A.I. on Luna is a clear example of that and Luna’s response is to call Clarke out on the hypocrisy of doing this while claiming that her people are living by a different set of rules now. She sees no difference between this and the “blood must have blood” mantra as both are used to justify horrible actions.
As far as I’m concerned Clarke is in the wrong by trying to do this and she is justifiably punished for her actions. She is basically trying to force Luna to cooperate which is not really any different to Pike installing himself as a dictator. If someone doesn’t agree then they are forced to agree because Clarke apparently knows best. According to Luna she really doesn’t and all she does is invite death everywhere she goes. It isn’t the first time Clarke has been identified as some kind of portent of Doom and I think that it has happened enough to more than call it a theme by now.
A.L.I.E. orchestrating an invasion of Luna’s people as she starts to convert people to the City of Light slowly but surely. Luna is forced to use violence to remove this evil from her community and it’s clearly something she deeply regrets as shown by her killing someone she clearly cared deeply for. She exhibits all the signs of a true leader as she is willing to make the tough calls to protect her people. In this case she had to sacrifice a small number so that the majority could be saved. Arguably that is a betrayal of her peaceful existence but I don’t think it is as there is no real way to save that many people and her situation didn’t lend itself to very many options. She was either going to be killed or forced into the City of Light but the only way she can protect her people is to survive and keep her own mind. As a leader she makes a tough decision and I get the feeling that it will haunt her but she is willing to take up arms when necessary.
This infiltration also ties into Clarke inviting death wherever she goes. Octavia puts it best when she points out that this place was safe until they arrived. If they hadn’t come looking for Luna then it’s likely that she and her people would still be living a peaceful existence unburdened by the goings on in the world around her.
The fact that Luna drugged Clarke, Bellamy and Octavia before sending them back to where they started was a really nice touch as it showed that she hasn’t went back to a wholly violent existence and further reinforces that it was entirely necessary for her to kill those under the control of A.L.I.E. Getting her help will be very difficult, if not impossible and so far I like the way that Luna’s people counter everything else we have seen on this show. It’s a solid exploration of another way of life that we haven’t seen on this show before.
Raven is completely on point this week as she tries to hack into the City of Light to find out if there’s a way to shut it down. Despite the fact that this is essentially consists of a lot of scenes where Raven sits at a keyboard typing while things apparently happen the whole thing managed to be tense and exciting. Cutting between Raven and the visualisation of the City of Light helped to do this but it was Lindsey Morgan’s performance that managed to sell it. Despite the fact that she was doing nothing but typing there was a real urgency to her voice that made it seem like she was in a really dangerous fight. It’s impressive how the whole thing came together and felt like an action sequence.
The stakes were raised appropriately when A.L.I.E. used the consciousness of Monty’s mother to put a barrier in the way of Raven’s plan. Hearing her voice coming from the speakers was appropriately haunting and I like that Raven showed Monty respect by stopping her cyber-assault to let him say goodbye to his mother and make the final call over whether she dies or not. He executes the final command to delete her which marks the second time that he has had to kill his mother and Christopher Larkin conveys the pain perfectly.
I thought that these scenes were really well done but having Raven be an expert hacker feels like a bit of a stretch. Her mechanical abilities are well established and make sense but it has never really been properly established that she is capable of this level of coding. It’s entirely possible that she picked up a few tricks when she was under A.L.I.E’s control but I’m still not really convinced by the whole thing.
The references to The Matrix made sense but were somewhat laughable as well. Monty mentioning that Raven doesn’t see code, she sees the City of Light was incredibly cheesy and didn’t quite fit the tone of the episode. It did amuse me though, I’ll give it that.
This narrative does manage to move things along and proves that A.L.I.E. does have some vulnerabilities. She is forces to completely disconnect from the City of Light and uploads herself into what is left of the Ark presumably to regroup in some way. Her next steps are unclear but she has definitely suffered a significant blow thanks to Raven. At least that’s what I think has happened because it was pretty unclear. At one point the backpack was the only source of her power but as far as I can tell she is now safe on the Ark so no longer needs it. Whether she has been slowed down in some way or not is pretty unclear but next week will hopefully clear that up.
Pike, Indra and Murphy certainly make for a very unlikely team but it actually worked fairly well. There wasn’t a lot going on here as such but what we saw was really good. Indra’s brutal attack using a spike followed by a near instant knife throw was an impressive moment.
Their mission to destroy the aforementioned backpack worked well enough but as I said not a lot was going on. Having Emori around to distract them long enough and create doubt was a nice touch but it felt like killing time a bit.
I’m not sure what I think of the business casual way everyone dresses in the City of Light. It must be a quirk of the programming that exists because people dressed like that when Becca created A.L.I.E. in the first place. It’s the only thing that makes sense because there’s no way that the Grounders would choose to dress like that or even know that it was a fashion style that exists. Emori pointing out that she didn’t fix her hand because she doesn’t consider it a defect was great though.
A great episode that explores Luna and her people in a really interesting way. Their way of life is used as a contrast to what we’re used to seeing and suggests that there is a better way. The suggestion that Clarke and the rest of the Skaicrew are so desensitised to death that they can’t think of another way works really well and it’s a brave choice to see the main characters in a less than flattering light. Raven’s hacker plot was really cheesy but was actually effective in creating tension. Having Monty kill his mother for a second time was handled with an appropriate amount of depth and Christopher Larkin’s performance really sold. it. Indra, Pike and Murphy make for a surprisingly engaging team and A.L.I.E. having to move onto another phase of her plan sets things up nicely for next week.
- Luna and the exploration of her people as well as their way of life
- a hacker plot that works
- Monty providing a really powerful emotional moment
- what happened to A.L.I.E. been somewhat unclear
- the logic leap required to accept Raven as an expert hacker