The 100 – Season 3 Episode 6
The 100 expands on the shifting loyalties within the various groups as things settle down for a very brief moment.
One thing is for sure, nobody on The 100 will have a quiet life for long. A massive conflict between the Grounders and Arkadia is inevitable and stopping that from happening doesn’t seem to be possible. The reason for that is Pike who sees his people as being superior and having some kind of claim over the Earth that the Grounders don’t have. He is a very flawed man and comes across as foolish most of the time so I’m left questioning why people follow him so blindly.
His current project is to expand Arkadia into areas with fertile soil that can be farmed to sustain their people. The problem with that is a Grounder village is in the way and has to be destroyed to get at the soil. This is a really bad idea as the Grounders are proud of their territory and won’t give that up without a fight. Pike’s idea is horribly misguided especially since a fragile peace has finally been reached and a better idea would be to negotiate.
Pike’s motivation isn’t a flaw in the story as he could easily be a misguided leader who doesn’t see the Grounders as being human. If that’s the case then his actions are completely justified -at least to him- as he doesn’t see them as worth treating with any kind of respect. They are an infestation that needs to be wiped out so that he can move in. It’s insane but a consistent kind of insane that makes him an engaging threat that has to be stopped.
The real problem is that the show hasn’t really given enough justification for people following him. Bellamy is the case study here as he remains by Pike’s side and largely supports his decisions. He does voice a protest at the plan but doesn’t do anything to prevent it from happening. Pike tells Bellamy what to do and he follows orders even if he doesn’t initially agree with him. Considering he has come to respect Lincoln and accept Octavia’s changed identity as one of the Grounders he should be more sympathetic to the lives he is ending.
Bellamy has been developed since the show began as someone who is rough around the edges but genuinely has his heart in the right place. He trusts the Grounders, knows that his people are far from perfect and conducts himself fairly. This development has been completely undone by the way he is acting at the moment and I can’t see how the show can have him recover from that.
The City of Light story manages to be really compelling and this episode introduces some negative consequences to the enlightenment that Jaha promises those who take the chip. These manifest through Jaha forgetting about his son and generally seeming like he is sleepwalking through life. I wonder what Allie’s endgame is and what she will accomplish by having more followers doing what she wants them to.
So far Jaha has been preying on the vulnerabilities of people to convince them that taking the chip will take away their pain. Would I be out of line mentioning that Sybok in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier had a similar plan? Perhaps that is a hilariously bad example but the idea of offering people a quick fix in dealing with physical or emotional issues is a strong temptation that few people can resist.
Raven has already succumbed to this and the change in her is eerie. Recently she has been emotionally distraught and visibly in pain but now she is more upbeat and seems a lot calmer than she ever has been. It’s unnerving to see because Raven has always been so fiercely independent which makes it resonate more when her individuality appears to be in the process of being stripped away.
Jasper almost takes the chip because he is tired of feeling like he does all of the time. He wants to forgive himself as well as be forgiven by others so the only way out seems to be embracing the City of Light. Abbie stops him from taking the chip as she wants to know the science behind it which Jaha is all too happy to explain with Allie’s permission. Having her be an unseen voice in his head reminds me of Gaius Baltar in the reboot Battlestar Galactica series. The major difference is that Allie’s intentions are incredibly well disguised which builds up the sense of mystery around this story.
This is aided by the mention of the 13th station known as Polaris that houses a second AI code. I’m unsure what recovering it means but I’m sure that it won’t be good. Allie seems very interested in retrieving it but is held back by her lack of data on the subject. The reveal of the 13th station being shortened to Polis because of some faded text was a great reveal. It reminded me of Star Trek: The Motion Picture since the antagonist in that film was called V’Ger due to faded letters in the word “Voyager”. That’s two different Star Trek comparisons this week, it had to happen sometime.
Clarke is given a moral dilemma to chew on when Emerson is delivered to her and she has to decide what to do with him. Her initial idea is to have him killed which causes Lexa to question the hypocrisy of convincing her not to kill when Clarke is more than willing to do so. According to Clarke the decision is made as punishment for a war that has already happened rather than trying to stop another one. Lexa doesn’t really see the difference and neither do I but it gives Clarke something to wrestle with throughout the episode.
Her decision is to spare his life while Lexa banishes him from her land. The episode paints it as letting him live being worse than death. He has to live with his decisions and Clarke really sticks the metaphorical knife in by telling him that she hopes he lives forever. Being consumed by guilt and hunted for the rest of your life is a less than ideal existence but it’s what Emerson deserves as far as Clarke is concerned.
Clarke’s decision really deepens her character by expanding the scope of her leadership skills. She used to put the Sky People first but now her decisions concern a much wider audience. Now that she is working with Lexa and has the other clans to consider her decisions mean a lot more. Emerson’s death would solve nothing and would compromise the “blood must not have blood” message that Lexa is sending. The only way to make people live that philosophy is to practice it without exception.
A great episode that shows a conflict starting to build again between the Grounders and the Sky People. Pike’s motivations work fairly well but the willingness of Bellamy and others to blindly follow him makes no sense especially with everything we know about Bellamy’s character. Clarke’s moral dilemma did a great job of showing the scope of her responsibilities as a leader now that she has the entirety of the clans to worry about.
• the fascinating City of Light story
• Clarke’s moral dilemma
• the reveal of the 13th station
• Bellamy’s decision to follow Pike still making no sense