On the D/L – The 100
Season 2 Episode 9 – “Remember Me”
The 100 finally returns after the powerful cliffhanger last year and directly picks up on the aftermath of Clarke performing a mercy kill on Finn.
I thought the handling of the consequences of this was fantastic. The opening shot of the episode showing Clarke pretty much in shock staring at her hand that is stained with Finn’s blood was a really powerful image. Eliza Taylor did a great job of showing the anguish in Clarke as she processed what she had done. Her grief and guilt formed the core of this episode in many ways and proved to be an important step for Clarke’s development as a leader.
Parallels were drawn between Clarke and Lexa as it seems that Lexa has been through a similar experience that pushed her to become a more hardened leader. Parts of the episode suggest that Clarke is headed down that path but it is clear that her compassion for others is one of her greatest strengths so hopefully part of her development will be finding a balance between the two aspects of leadership.
There’s a sense of exhaustion to Clarke after all that she’s experienced over the course of the 1 and a half seasons so far. She’s had a lot on her plate with trying to hold the group together, the constant threat of death and the new problems that exist as a result of the discovery of Mount Weather so it makes sense that this would start to take a toll on her. It seems that killing Finn is significant in making her feel overwhelmed as shown by her being inconsolable at the start of the episode.
I think her being haunted by a hallucination of Finn was a little overdone. I get that it was supposed to represent a manifestation of her guilt but his “ghost” cropped up a little too frequently to be truly effective. I found it a little too cheesy that her hallucination points her in the direction of a significant clue as well.
The alliance between The Grounders and the kids is really nicely done. I like how fragile it seems to be so that anything can tear it apart. I also appreciated that not all of them are blindly following Lexa’s lead. Gustus’ betrayal was actually a surprise to me though in retrospect it seemed obvious since the episode went out of its way to give him a name and something of a personality. Individual Grounders being given more to do than bark threats or stand around looking menacing is rare in this show so I really should have seen some kind of significance to Gustus coming.
Lexa seems to be a fairly atypical leader who has different ways of thinking than her predecessors so the fact that not everyone agrees to her adds some nice complexity to their society. If Gustus doesn’t follow her then how many will follow his example and defy her? The severity of his punishment should keep an insurrection from happening for a while but I can’t imagine it happening forever. It already seems like more than one of them oppose their alliance with the “sky people” so I’m excited to see how far this internal conflict will go.
This was an important episode for Raven who rightly felt hostile towards Clarke following her decision to kill Finn. Losing her first love has clearly had a profound effect on her that won’t be easy to come to terms with. I liked how openly resentful she was towards Clarke and how different a form her grief took. Framing her for poisoning Gustus’ is a smart choice given how angry she was after Finn’s death. Lindsey Morgan did a great job playing Raven’s grief with a level of vulnerability not traditionally associated with her character. There’s been a lot more of it lately but it’s still a refreshing change for her. Seeing her go through the awful Grounder punishment that was supposed to be for Finn in the previous episode was a really grim sight. It’s great that this show doesn’t hold back when it comes to painful compromises for the characters. I found that scene difficult to watch on several levels.
Another interesting development comes from Abby and Kane defer to Clarke in this issue. It’s interesting how they voluntarily take a back seat to the younger generation as they seem to understand that Clarke has a better chance of sorting this out than they ever did. There seem to be some kind of recognition that their generation and generations before it screwed things up royally so it might be time to let someone else have a go. Clarke is already in charge despite who they name as Chancellor so it’s good to see that her authority is being recognised by those much older than she is.
Less effective is the Mount Weather story. Each episode seems to move that plot forward ever so slightly which makes it feel like this part of the story is dragging its heels somewhat. This episode probably gave the most movement on this story in a while and none of it was especially bad but it paled in comparison to the rest of the episode. Monty’s plan didn’t come across as terribly original either.
The 100 returns from the midseason break with a really strong outing that moves the plot forward expertly.
Clarke’s decision weighs heavily on her throughout the episode as well as the weight of responsibility that is now beginning to crush her. Eliza Taylor plays this grief really well with lots of subtlety to her performance conveying a realistic sense of grief.
Raven is experiencing the same grief but it is manifesting differently for her. Lindsey Morgan manages to convey a sense of anger coupled with vulnerability expertly. Raven’s armour has cracked a lot this season and it’s interesting to see how this is manifesting.
Seeing an extra layer to Grounder society in a lack of confidence with their leadership is a really interesting development. Lexa is clearly an atypical leader as far as they’re concerned and she’s trying things that were previously unheard of so a little unrest is not unexpected.
I find the Mount Weather story to be a little lacking in this episode. There is movement but it is so slight that it’s barely worth mentioning. None of it is bad but it’s just not as dramatically strong as everything else.