Wednesday, October 29, 2014

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Clarke Stumbles Upon a Horrific Sight While Kane Tries to Establish a Community in 'Inclement Weather'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 2.02 "Inclement Weather"

A suspicious Clarke confronts President Dante Wallace and demands answers. Kane interrogates one of The 100, and Abby performs emergency surgery. Meanwhile, Octavia resorts to violence to find Lincoln.

At the start of season two, all of the 100 are in positions where they are not in control. Clarke, Jasper, Monty and Miller are living in Mount Weather where they are allowed to be comfortable for the first time since coming down to Earth. And yet, as the episode's final minute shows, there is danger in this place and President Wallace isn't being completely truthful to Clarke. Bellamy and Finn were the male leaders of the 100 last season. And now, both are being sidelined by Kane as he asserts his authority but has no real understanding of the ecosystem he and his people have walked into. Octavia's life is saved but she also finds herself dealing with the grounders several times in order to negotiate the release of Lincoln. Raven doesn't even have control over her own body now. Even Jaha - who isn't a member of the 100 but is an isolated part of the show - goes through a journey of self realization throughout this hour. All of this is very strong thematic material for the show to be delving into at the start of its second season. There are many isolated parts of the show right now. They are not effecting each other yet but they are percolating in a way that never wants the audience to feel safe.

If Clarke wasn't acting out at Mount Weather, there wouldn't seem to be a lot of plot or tension in that area of the narrative. But she is because she wants to know what's happening in the outside world. Everything she hears from these people only makes her more curious. That is a great quality for a leader but could be potentially very dangerous for her. She stumbles upon the horrific sight of the Mountain Men siphoning blood out of grounders in order to cure their people. It's quite effective too. The soldier with radiation burns was almost like new the second time Clarke saw him. She's able to put all the pieces together and be proactive about them. She will do anything in order to uncover the truth. She needs to know what type of people she's dealing with. There's a blind trust to everyone else in the group being assimilated into the people of Mount Weather. Clarke still has her own identity. She is a fighter and a leader. She wants to protect her people. That's what's fueling all of her actions. And yet, it's a very isolated quality right now because not even her friends are willing to go along with all of her suspicions. Now, at least she knows these people aren't all that they appear to be.

Elsewhere, it's obvious right away that Kane is a very different leader than Clarke or Bellamy. He needs to be diplomatic. He has more resources at his disposal. He has a trained guard and a system of structure to uphold. And yet, he's in uncharted territory. He needs to find his footing on Earth before acting. And yet, Bellamy, Finn and Abby don't want to wait and establish this community. They need to be out there finding their friends. That quality makes them feel like outlaws in this new community. Bellamy and Murphy are imprisoned while Abby and Finn have to deal with saving Raven's life with a very risky and painful surgery. They escape by episode's end with Abby and Miller's dad's help. But that only means there are severe consequences awaiting them once Kane realizes what happened.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Inclement Weather" was written by Michael Angeli and directed by John F. Showalter.
  • I just love how powerful Octavia has become. She is confident walking into the Grounders' camp with a prisoner. She's lucky he happened to be their only healer. But she too ends the hour defeated because she is given the prospect of reuniting with Lincoln only to have him vanish once the Reapers attack.
  • I figured Jaha's discovery of a baby aboard the Ark was all a hallucination due to oxygen deprivation. It still was a powerful moment when he got the strength to continue to live - from a vision of his son. Wells was never a strong character at the start of the series. But his legacy is a powerful motivator for Jaha. Now, he is on the ground as well - except in a desert which could potential be far away from everyone else.
  • Jaha being flung into space to make it to the rocket was very cool.
  • They may be forcing a Jasper and Maya relationship a bit too hard.
  • I strongly support Adina Porter as Indra, the new leader of the grounders. Although Anya is not quite out of the picture yet. She's just in a cage in Mount Weather.
  • Abby keeps saying it's a miracle that Raven is still alive. After awhile, that will seem just too incredulous - at least it's at the expense of a character who's actually really interesting. It was really powerful when she told Finn to go rescue their friends.
  • The 100 also has an actual title sequence now. I support any show that is willing to still do this nowadays. The actual design of it does a great job of evoking the series.