The 100 – Season 3 Episode 7
The 100 expands the overall mythology of the show and develops the complicated relationship between Clarke and Lexa with a sprinkling of the political situation thrown in for good measure.
Clarke and Lexa’s relationship is the central focus of the episode and rightly so considering this is -presumably- the last time Lexa will be seen. Unfortunately this episode marks her death and it’s hard to say that I didn’t see it coming. Alicia Debnam-Carey is a series regular on Fear the Walking Dead and the two shows aren’t filmed anywhere near each other so from a logistical point of view it just makes sense for her to leave one of the shows. Selfishly I’d rather she stayed here as there is much more opportunity for her to play more powerful drama on The 100.
With this being her final episode the real question is; did her death do the character justice? The answer is; yes it did though the mechanics of it were questionable. Having her accidentally take a bullet meant for someone else was a little lacking as it has been seen so many other places so the impact it can have is lessened. An example that comes immediately to mind is Tara’s death in Buffy the Vampire Slayer playing out almost exactly the same way.
There’s also the fact that her death was entirely predictable as soon as she and Clarke slept together. Clarke is a character who isn’t allowed to hold onto happiness for long and the fact that she has been dancing around this possibility with Lexa shows that the intention was to delay it as long as possible. Now that they have slept together there is almost nowhere their relationship can go that will be interesting other than something tearing it apart and putting the whole thing in an endless cycle of frustration. The sexual tension is gone from their interactions after this point so having closure on that with Lexa’s death is perhaps the best thing for it. It has been great watching them conflict as well as work together since last season and that will be missed. Better to miss something than wish it would go away.
At least the gunshot didn’t kill her instantly and she had enough time to have a moving goodbye. The whole thing was wonderfully played by Eliza Taylor and Alicia Debnam-Carey. Having Lexa repeat words that Clarke had told her in the past was a really powerful way of showing him much of an effect Clarke has had on her and acts as a final indication of how strong a bond exists between the two of them. I found myself in something of a quiet awe as the scene played out simply due to the raw emotional performances on display.
It looks like her loss will have the impact that it deserves as evidenced by Titus’ vow to never try to harm Clarke ever again. Neil Sandilands really sells the sincerity of this pledge that would otherwise seem to lack credibility considering her just got done trying to frame Murphy and kill Clarke. Clearly his loyalty to Lexa transcends his desire to have the Skaicrew removed from the political landscape and now that loyalty will extend to Clarke. Whoever the new commander is will also have to accept that Clarke is a vital cog in this new political alliance. “Blood Must Not Have Blood” is a philosophy that needs to be maintained with Clarke and Titus being ambassadors for that. Perhaps Clarke not taking revenge on Titus for Lexa’s death will be a powerful example of that philosophy in action.
Pike and Bellamy thankfully don’t appear in this episode to bring it down with their underdeveloped motivations so the political situation is largely seen from an outside perspective which works really well. Clarke points out that Pike is a dangerous man but as a leader he wasn’t elected and there will be more than a few people unhappy with his leadership. The peaceful and diplomatic solution is to blockade Arkadia until Kane and his followers are able to bring Pike down and restore some normality to the whole thing. It’s a solid plan that shows how much Clarke believes in her people as well as proving there are alternatives to violence. It’s going to be a hard philosophy to sell but living it is definitely the best way to do it. Seeing the reaction to this plan has still to come but I’m sure that it won’t take long and having Octavia lead the charge with Indra is a great start.
We get some insight into the past of the world The 100 inhabits by showing the creation of Alie 97 years prior. Erica Cerra plays Alie’s creator Becca and the flashbacks chronicle the cause of Earth being nuked and the birth of the whole premise of the show.
Becca’s story is a tragic one as it follows the model of a scientist who reaches too far and ends up getting more than they bargained for. Alie going rogue and nuking humanity reminds me a bit of Skynet but the surrounding story where Becca has to choose between joining the other 12 stations to make the Ark or continuing with her research and eventually saving humanity works really well. She is convinced that Alie 2 is a significant improvement on the first model simply because it understands humanity rather than thinking itself above them. In many ways her decisions mirror the ones Clarke and Lexa have to make as they are all faced with difficult choices that could benefit people in the long run but also fail if handled poorly. The thematic link makes these flashbacks feel worthwhile as well as fleshing out the world this show inhabits.
The reveal that Lexa has had Alie 2 inside her body the entire time poses a number of questions. Is Alie 2 active? The visual effects seem to suggest that it is. If that’s the case then was Lexa influenced by it in any way or was Alie 2 essentially possessing Lexa? I really hope not as that will downplay the character significantly. I know that answers will be coming soon but this is science fiction and we sci fi fans love to speculate about what these things mean. I also look forward to seeing the two Alie’s conflict with one another.
Tying the spiritual nature of the Grounders to the science associated with AI was a really nice touch. All legends have a basis in fact and this all ties together really well. Having the AI be considered the Commander’s “spirit” that will be transferred to the next one is a seamless blend of spiritual and scientific.
Becca landing on Earth to give Alie 2 to the Grounders of the time was a great scene that showed the birth of Grounder culture as we know it with the “Commander” label stitched into her suit. I wonder how the Grounders will react when they find out that their society was started by SkaiCrew.
A really powerful episode that provides effective closure on the Clarke/Lexa relationship through her death. The circumstances surrounding her death could have been handled better but her final moments were appropriately moving. The flashbacks showing the creation of Alie and the reveal of the location of the second AI sets things up nicely for the coming episodes.
- Lexa’s moving final moments
- the fleshing out of the mythology of the world the show inhabits
- a seamless blend of scientific and spiritual
- the cause of Lexa’s death being a little lacking