The 100 – Season 3 Episode 8
“Terms and Conditions”
The 100 returns the focus to Arkadia as loyalties are divided over the Grounder blockade as ordered by Lexa.
As the episode begins the blockade has been fully established and some soldiers have already been killed because they tried to push the Grounders back. The ultimatum given is to hand over Pike and the blockade ends which conjures memories of Finn last season. I wonder what the Grounder population intends to do with Pike once they get him as they are bound by the philosophy of “Blood Must Not Have Blood” so killing him isn’t really an option for them at this point. It’s a question for another time but it’s interesting to bear in mind nonetheless.
As you might expect, Pike turns the offer down and instead decides to wage war because that’s apparently the only thing he can suggest. Bellamy continues to have his character assassinated by going along with what Pike says and even kills two Grounders to prove his loyalty to Pike. Nothing about Bellamy following Pike feels believable and having him kill two Grounders in cold blood doesn’t fit with his character at all. Being opposed to Kane and his way of doing things is fine but Bellamy would be smart about it even if Kane’s point of view was a seductive one. There’s so much missing from this story which makes the character motivations feel completely unearned.
Kane acts as the oppositional force to Pike which makes sense as they are essentially two different sides of the same coin. Both have leadership qualities but when it comes to loyalty it’s a simple choice of one or the other. I like that the show makes it easy to identify the two sides and pick one as a result. It could have been over-complicated so easily but the shorthand works well without being too simplistic.
What follows is a cat and mouse scenario with lots of twists to keep things interesting. Sinclair’s arrest by Bellamy makes it appear as if Kane’s plan to overthrow Pike dies in its infancy but the arrest being Sinclair’s plan all along was clever and totally in keeping with his character. He’s a smart guy and is able to sell the fact that he tried to be stealthy but wasn’t very good at it. His arrest is part of a larger plan to get Lincoln and the other prisoners to start a riot to distract as many of the guards as possible while Kane goes after Pike.
It seems to go pretty well as Kane brings Pike down and is almost ready to deliver him to the Grounders before Bellamy gets in the way. He chooses not to kill Bellamy to achieve his goal because killing is the opposite of what Kane wants to do so couldn’t be the leader he wants to be if he was shown to be killing someone who gets in his way. He shows faith in Bellamy’s good nature by trying to make an appeal to be let past. By doing this he proves to be better than Bellamy or Pike by using words as a more powerful tool than violence. He gets branded a traitor and arrested for his trouble but the fact that he shows faith in other people suggests that he is a strong leader who can misjudge a situation from time to time. The Bellamy of old would have listened to reason at this point so it was an acceptable risk to take I’d say.
The whole sequence was well put together and appropriately tense. Pike and his followers always seemed to be on the losing side but their belief that they were doing the right thing was enough to temporarily give them the upper hand. It managed to include underused characters like Miller and Harper and have them be an organic part of the action helping to move the story along. I wonder where Abby was during all of this as up to this point her support for Kane has been unconditional so I find it hard to believe that she sat so far on the sidelines that she wasn’t involved at all. The sequence was visually impressive as well with the close quarters for combat and the clear indication of a coordinated effort. I continue to be impressed with the way The 100 handles action sequences.
Kane’s conversation with Pike after he is captured is a good summary of their differing ideologies. Pike is still living as if he was on the Ark and seems completely incapable of accepting the world he now lives in having different laws to what he is used to. He has to consider the Grounders and how they are affected by his actions because they have much greater numbers and their own culture. Arguably they have a greater claim on the planet than the Skaicrew do considering they have lived on Earth a lot longer. Henry Ian Cusick’s performance as he tries to get Pike to recognise how short sighted he is being is really powerful and Pike’s stubborn attitude is played well by Michael Beach.
Pike sentencing Kane to death is apparently enough to make Bellamy doubt his loyalty to him. This makes absolutely no sense when you consider Bellamy’s actions over the course of the season so far. Apparently killing one of their “own people” is intolerable but killing hundreds of Grounders is a completely different story. Having Bellamy see sense is all well and good as it gets him back on the side that he needs to be on but it doesn’t fit with the way he been acting this season. Also, how is the show going to handle the consequences of what he has done? Surely the Grounders will want some form of retribution for the deaths he has caused. I doubt they would see it as simply following Pike’s orders as Bellamy did make a choice and physically carried out the horrific acts. It remains to be seen how this will all play out but I fear that Bellamy has been irreparably damaged as a character after all of this.
Outside of this conflict is the City of Light story which has Raven continuing the search for Alie-2. There’s a really fun scene as Raven and Jasper try to figure out Monty’s combination. It’s an effective reminder of the strong friendship that Jasper and Monty shared as well as bringing some levity to an otherwise really intense episode.
The idea of Alie causing people to forget significant details of their own lives is continued here as Raven is unable to remember Finn. She can’t remember his death, what he was like or important moments such as their first kiss. Finn is just a name that carries no meaning for her personally. Lindsey Morgan plays the horror associated with that realism perfectly. It’s a complex situation as Raven is horrified that she can’t remember Finn but only anecdotally knows that it’s a bad thing.
It’s more the absence of information that she used to know rather than the details of the information itself. In effect, losing her memories of something important to her is a violation that can’t be tolerated. It’s strong enough to provide a reality check for Raven as she questions the benefits of Alie considering what her promises cost. Jaha promises Alie that he will bring Raven back around to her way of thinking.
The implications of Raven’s realisation are fascinating to contemplate. Is the memory loss temporary or will her choice force her to live without a significant piece of herself for the rest of her life? What will it take to get other people to realise the truth and what will happen once Alie-2 is inevitably found? I love the way the City of Light story is building as each development brings new questions and adds significant depth to the whole thing.
An entertaining episode that still suffers with the problem of Bellamy’s motivation being clumsily handled. The Kane vs. Pike conflict was handled really well and their differing ideologies were simplified without losing the essence of what they stand for. Raven’s realisation that Alie isn’t all she seems brings some new developments to the City of Light story that are fascinating to contemplate.
No more The 100 until March 31st so join me for more reviews when it returns.
- the well put together cat and mouse scenario as Kane moved against Pike
- a strong focus on the differing ideologies of Kane and Pike
- Lindsey Morgan’s powerful performance as Raven realises what she has lost
- the added depth to the City of Light story
- Bellamy’s clumsily handled motivations
- the absence of Abby as a supporter for Kane