Wednesday, March 11, 2015

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Clarke Must Make One Brutal Decision In Order to Save Her People in 'Blood Must Have Blood, Part Two'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 2.16 "Blood Must Have Blood, Part Two"

The journey to the City of Light continues, and Jaha makes a move that shocks Murphy. Clarke receives help from an unexpected source. A visitor surprises Octavia. Lincoln gets his revenge. Cage moves forward with his mission. Bellamy and the group struggle to break free.

The Sky People have been at war with the people within Mount Weather all season long. The overarching theme of the season has been "How far are you willing to go in times of war?" The season began with Clarke and her friends being captured by the mountain men and being promised a better and safer life than the world outside the facility. Clarke was given the opportunity to pull a lever and escape. She chose not to because it meant killing everyone within the facility. A full season later, the harshness of this war was worn Clarke down. She is a changed person. She had to rise up and be a leader for her people. She had to fight to protect them and rescue the people still trapped in Mount Weather. She had the plan and the army to launch a full on assault on the mountain but Lexa's betrayal left her alone to take on this daunting enemy. She is now literally fighting by herself to save her people. She will do anything to protect the people she loves. In the end, she has to pull another lever in order to put an end to this war and she does it. Clarke decides to kill every single person in Mount Weather. It's a chilling twist. It's the only option Clarke has left to make. Bellamy does guide her through it but, in the end, this was her decision.

The finale's scope is much more intimate than the episode preceding it. Clarke, Octavia, Bellamy, Jasper and Monty have to fight against Mount Weather. They can no longer rely on the massive Grounder army to storm the facility. They have to be the ones to safe their friends. They want to do so without harming the innocents - the people in Mount Weather who helped Jasper and company survive as well as the children who have no standing in this war. That's the dream that they wish to achieve but is eventually impossible to carry out. It's one group's survival against the other. Dante Wallace hates the way his son, Cage, has led their people. He brought about this destruction in such strong severity. But Dante was still willing to help because of his loyalty to his people and the ideals he has lived by for his entire life. It carries a weight when Clarke points a gun at Dante with the threat of killing him if Cage doesn't release their friends. She goes through with it as well - which is usually the darkest most shows would be willing to go in this type of situation. The 100 isn't most shows though and that's what makes it stand out even more.

In times of war, maybe no one is innocent. No one is completely good or completely bad. After the bombing of Tondc, Abby had to remind Clarke that they are suppose to be the good guys. Clarke has been trying desperately to hold onto that ideal while facing increasingly insurmountable odds. Yes, she is able to enter Mount Weather and get to the control room a little too easily. However, that doesn't diminish the choices she has to face in order to secure the safety of her people. Cage won't stop until all of his people can return to the ground. He is a visionary to his people. To everyone else though, he is a monster with no humanity as he watches his doctors extract the bone marrow from the Sky People. It's a brutal procedure and one that the main characters fight against as much as they can. When Raven is put on that table, she fights until she bites a piece of the guard's neck off. That is passion. Kane and Wick both volunteer to be the one to die in order to safe the people that they love. That is valiant in an admirable way. However, Cage is playing a much larger game. He needs Abby to be the next procedure because Clarke had just taken away his father. It's only fair to have her watch the same thing happen to her mother. That's the decision that pushes Clarke over the edge.

Killing everyone in Mount Weather is going to be a decision Clarke will have to deal with for the rest of her life. She barely kept things together when she killed Finn. And now, she has much more blood on her hands because of this war. And now, the war is over. Everyone returns home to the Ark safely. Abby and Raven need to be carried back but they are alive. Cage escaped the facility but had the unfortunate luck of running into Lincoln who promptly sliced him apart. Things will now have the opportunity to be normal. The Sky People can now actually begin to form a real society on the ground. It's all because of Clarke that they have a future. But that means facing what she did in order to ensure its protection. Clarke loves her people and is happy that they are all safe. Some may be angry at her - namely Jasper because she let Maya die in the grand killing of the mountain men. And yet, she can not bear looking at them and knowing what she did. She couldn't bring herself to enter Camp Jaha again. It's been awhile since she's been there but so much has changed. She doesn't know how to be a leader now that there is no war. She doesn't even know if she deserves happiness after all the things she was forced to do because of the war. She has had to make tough decision after tough decision ever since landing on the ground. Now, she needs time for herself to discover if there's a person within who's worthy of surviving. Bellamy is willing to give her forgiveness. But her internal struggle is so much more complex than that. It's not something that could be easily dealt with like that. Just because he was there and helped her, doesn't mean he knows what is going on in her head. I'm sure this exile won't last that long but it could be very beneficial for the character and help remind her of her humanity.

While all of this action is coming to its climax, Jaha and Murphy finally reach the end of their journey towards the City of Light. What they find is more mysteriously cryptic than anything else. Jaha is a character who has struggled to be relevant this season. His character arc has always felt tangential to the core narrative of the season. Unlike Abby and Kane, he didn't fit in naturally with the society on the ground. He still needed to be a leader and wanted to survive on the principle of "one dying so the majority can live." It's a motivation that he needs to make in order to justify his actions. He and Murphy are the only people on his crew to survive this journey because he throws the other guy overboard as bait to the sea creature tormenting them. That's a brutal choice that Jaha made instantly but pushes Murphy away from him. Jaha needs there to be a reason for this journey and for his continued existence. He is rewarded in the end. He happens upon a mansion inhabited with an artificial intelligence in the form of a human named Allie. She knows all about him and is happy that he brought the nuclear missile back down to Earth with him. That's a daunting final tease and I'm hoping Jaha has much more weight as a character in Season 3. But overall this was a very good finale that delivered on everything that the season built up while still offering teases to the future.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Blood Must Have Blood, Part Two" was written by Jason Rothenberg and directed by Dean White.
  • Jasper got himself captured just so he could get close enough to Cage and kill him so Clarke didn't have to kill everyone in Mount Weather. But she didn't know that and went through with the plan anyway - which had devastating consequences for Jasper and Maya.
  • But on the bright side, Jasper was reunited with his goggles - if that's something you cared about.
  • Warrior Octavia is just amazing. She took on those guards like it was nothing and made it look immensely cool and badass in the process.
  • Indra allowed Lincoln to have a choice on which side of this alliance he would fight for. That was admirable of her to do. He ran to be with Octavia and now that means he'll no longer be welcomed amongst his people.
  • I cared way more about the possibility of Raven dying than Abby. Although, I'm happy both are still alive.
  • In a very dramatic finale, it was just nice to see Murphy enjoy the bunker he finds on the island.