Wednesday, December 17, 2014

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Clarke and Raven Desperately Try to Find a Way to Save Finn's Life in 'Spacewalker'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 2.08 "Spacewalker"

Clarke returns to Camp Jaha with devastating news. Finn struggles with the aftermath of his actions. Abby gathers information from an unlikely source and prepares for a fight. Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal Finn and Raven's relationship on the Ark.

"Spacewalker" is the show's midseason finale and it perfectly encapsulates what made this show so memorable this year. The 100 is brutal and it shows a willingness to follow-through on consequences. Finn's dark arc this season has never been about redeeming him following his massacre at the Grounder camp in search of Clarke. It is about Finn dealing with the fatal consequences of that action and Clarke being forced to come to terms with that. Yes, you could float the possibility of Finn deciding to give himself up being an action of character redemption. Or his non-desire to shoot the Grounder once Clarke is attacked as a demonstration that the massacre really wasn't who Finn is on a core level. But all of that is practically meaningless in the grand scope of things.

The second season has been about surviving the harshness of physical war. The Sky People and the Grounders are trying to survive. They have a common enemy in the people at Mount Weather. And yet, there's a deep tension of past actions that has kept the two civilizations from finding peace. Now, the possibility presents itself and the only catch is to hand Finn over to die in a slow, brutalizing fashion. That seems like a rather easy decision to make for the various extras throughout Camp Jaha - and likely for some viewers too. And yet, the weight of the decision on the main cast runs emotionally deep. Finn is their friend. They have fought together in order to survive. They spend the majority of the episode trying to come up with an eleventh-hour deal that will save Finn's live.

And yet, it's inevitable that Finn is going to be captured by the Grounders and executed. There simply is no way to outrun that. I love that the show isn't shying away from that either. The massacre demanded strong consequences. I was ultimately surprised that the consequence was death. And yet, it also proves just how uncompromising the narrative of The 100 actually is. Finn did all of this in search for Clarke. And now, it's on Clarke to give him the best death he could have. There is no way to get out of this situation. She embraces him one final time professing her love before stabbing him in the chest. It's an emotional decision that will resonate with Clarke for a long time - possibly her entire life. The romantic intrigue has never been the strongest part of the narrative. And yet, I completely felt the immense love these two characters had in that final moment. It was brutal and Eliza Taylor and Thomas McDonnell did a fantastic job in playing the devastating act.

This action was necessary for the survival of both civilizations. And yet, Finn's memory will not soon be forgotten by Clarke, Raven and their people. Just because they have peace with the Grounders now, doesn't mean there will no longer be struggles between the two groups. This is a big sacrifice for the Sky People. Now, the focus needs to shift to rescuing the people trapped in Mount Weather from both groups of people. These people will need to move forward. But the emotional ramifications of Finn's death should provide great context for several character interactions in the next few episodes. It was Clarke's decision to show mercy on Finn. He was never redeemed in her eyes. She just wanted more time with him in order to see if redemption was possible. And now, that option is gone. She will need to forge ahead but it could be quite difficult.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Spacewalker" was written by Bruce Miller and directed by John F. Showalker.
  • Finn's arc did fail slightly because the Sky People didn't judge him as severely for his actions. They only saw a trial as something to propose to the Grounders as an option. It's not something they were willing to do themselves.
  • Lindsey Morgan also did a fantastic job this week. She's trying the hardest of anyone to find a way to save Finn. They may no longer be together but they will always be family. That bond just works and is justly devastating in the end too as we see her crying out for him.
  • The flashbacks show that Finn was never really a criminal. He just has a history of doing selfless acts in order to protect the people he loves. Though it is interesting that he also has a history of recklessness that later leads to a need of a selfless act.
  • Kane got to know Lexa a little bit as a leader. That story didn't really seem to go anywhere. What did he do in terms of finding peace or getting her to think about things differently?
  • No updates on the people in Mount Weather. I can only assume things are only getting worse there.