“You don’t ease pain. You overcome it.” And that’s just what I’m about to do. As you can tell, I’m posting this review epically late because I was dreading the fact that my Thursday nights will be void of my dirty faced delinquents and their world saving missions for a solid 8 months and quite frankly I’m still in denial. Yes, The 100 is being held for midseason (in 2017!), again, and I’m just like… this is why we can’t have nice things! I think it’ll be good to give everyone a breather after this emotionally charged season. The fact that it has come and gone so quickly despite that shit storm we endured for the latter half of Season 3, is quite extraordinary. The show suffered a giant blow from the fandom and critics after abruptly ending Lexa’s journey on the post apocalyptic series and I was worried for a hot second that it might not bounce back enough to see another season. Which would have sucked the big red dildo. The good news is that we do get a season 4! But fandom alone has been a massive problem in itself surrounding this show, but let’s not get into that right now. We’re here to talk about the finale! “Perverse Instantiation Part Two” and thanks to ALIE, I now know what the heck perverse instantiation means. Don’t judge me, you all know you googled that shit when you saw the title reveal.
Overall it was a pretty solid episode, although I did feel a bit underwhelmed. I know that my fellow fans and friends within the industry will talk until they’re blue in the face that they don’t understand WHY people were saying they were so underwhelmed by the finale. Let me tell you my reasoning behind initially feeling this way… I thought that the stakes would be much higher, like run to the edge of a cliff with knives wearing soapy slippers and plummet to your death, higher. Considering the season we’ve had, the fact that no one in the main group met their untimely fate (I’m not counting Pike, because we all saw THAT coming) was a bit shocking, and disappointing. I anticipated that after coming back from the City of Light, Jasper would take matters into his own hands. I mean, I don’t know about the rest of the audience, but that was definitely the vibe I was getting… he seemed so let down after being disconnected from ALIE’s warped version of ‘happiness’. Not to mention there were rumors swirling around that two finales were shot, and perhaps in the alternate one Jasper just couldn’t deal with his feelings flooding back, no chance of peace ever again, and perhaps decided to end his life. Following his behavior throughout the season, it would have made complete sense, and really rocked the group to their already shaky core. I anticipated that the City of Light wouldn’t be completely destroyed, and frankly, I’m not quite sure that it has been…. Did Clarke’s decision to pull the kill switch just disconnect everyone’s consciousness from ALIE’s programming, and push her into some AI limbo? Maybe the breach between worlds has been fried, but it still exists… somewhere. Is ALIE/Becca, dare I say Lexa still a thing on some other plane? I don’t know, man. I just don’t know!
Ultimately, the finale didn’t feel much like a finale, but more so a tidy series finale. There was so much closure, and even though Clarke and co. are tasked with yet another impossible quest to save the world from another nuclear apocalypse in 6 months, I just felt like it was the end. Like, the real end. I prepared myself for emotional annihilation and the only feels I had were from heartbreaking mother/daughter moments, Clarke and Lexa’s teary-eyed reunion, and JONTY! I can tell you what I wanted from the episode for this entire review, but that won’t change the reality that I am not the show’s creator. I do not have a say in how the story unfolds, and I really don’t want that power. I’m not entitled to that, and fans who think they are, are seriously misinformed. I’m the consumer, and I intend to consume a product someone else has put long hours, elbow grease, their own tears and such hard work into. So how about we move on for now, and talk about what Jason Rothenberg did get right during this final installment of the season: Clarke’s character development.
Eliza Taylor’s character arc might have seen a few detours along the way, but from the beginning of season 3 Clarke, to the end of season 3 Clarke I really felt like she had made some serious strides. Her decision to pump braindead Ontari’s black blood into her and take the flame like a champ was expected, but welcomed. So was her decision to pull the lever, yet again, came from a place of self-realization. When we left Clarke last season, she was through being the leader, she wanted to run as fast and as far away as possible from her feelings, from everything that she had done to protect her people. She is just a teenager, after all. Let’s not forget that. The idea of facing her demons was just too great at one point and she spent a good portion of the season on the run from confronting those fears. I admired Clarke so much this episode because here you have this teenager, who just lost the love of her life, has suffered such turmoil and now while she’s trying to not only mourn all of those deaths, but save the world from an emotionally stunted AI she has to make this huge decision. Sure, she could have let ALIE 2.0 merge with 1.0 and then she would have been unstoppable. She could have gotten rid of those feelings once and for all, and lived forever without the guilt to haunt her. I mean, if Lexa survived that battle in the City of Light, she could have stayed with her, been happy for once. Who wouldn’t consider that? I know I would. I know that people took issue with Clarke taking SO LONG to pull that lever. But, I thought quite the opposite. It gave me a sense of the struggle she was having. She really didn’t want to carry this title anymore and would have loved for ALIE to unburden her. But, she didn’t take the easy way out. Not to mention dealing with seeing Lexa again… that effed me up, it had to have effed her up too. I am so impressed by Eliza Taylor’s acting chops. We knew she was a talented woman the moment we saw her doodling in the Ark’s Sky Box and lockup. But man, that girl deserves a Teen Choice Award, an Emmy, an Oscar, just all the things. I feel more from once glance from that woman, than I probably ever have in my entire life! The lack of relief on Clarke’s face when she returns from the City of Light after defeating ALIE and telling Bellamy that hey, we didn’t just save the world, was priceless.
Another character that went through tremendous development is without a doubt Murphy. I mean, Murphy for the win, y’all! He pumped that heart, and man, he done good. Who knew that a-hole Murphy from season 1, the one who tried to kill Wells, amongst many other members of the hundred and beyond, would be the one to single-handedly (literally) help keep Clarke alive, and save everybody. I probably would have spit out my hot tea and laughed in your face at that notion. Richard Harmon has been such a delight to watch, and I cannot wait to see what Season 4 has in store for Murphy/Emori. Murphy deserves to still be standing, and that’s a testament to Harmon’s acting skills and portrayal of such a layered character.
I briefly touched upon this during my raving of Clarke, but Lexa’s return, although spoiled months before the finale ever even aired, was one of the highlights of the episode for me. These two share such tender moments whenever they’re on screen together… the care they have for each other is something I’m not sure we’ll see quite like this on the show again. Just when Clarke is down, being bludgeoned by ALIE’s City of Light minions on the verge of rejecting the flame, Lexa swoops in and completely destroys those d-bags. The line (which I believe was written by my talented friend Layne Morgan) “our fight is not over” was pretty fricken symbolic, don’t ya think? These two working together to get out of trouble was definitely a nice addition to the episode, even though it didn’t make up for the circumstances of her death or that they most likely ADR’d that ‘I love you’ in there for the benefit of the still distraught Clexa fans. The positive from this reunion is that Clarke got some closure, and Lexa got to go out in a blaze of glory– like she should have from the beginning. I’d like to believe that Lexa isn’t dead… for the second time. But if she did die in the City of Light with ALIE then at least she got to say a final goodbye to Clarke, and she “died” in a more suitable manner for her iconic character.
Let’s give a mention to Bellamy, because his fans have been quite pleasant (can you sense the sarcasm in my words) to me as of late… Bellamy finally has an epiphany when it comes to his alliance with Pike, but this realization that perhaps he went about things the wrong way was too little and certainly too late. I’m glad he finally came to this self-awareness, but at what cost? His sister almost let Pike die on numerous occasions during this episode and even after Pike saved her during their final battle, she still plunged a sword into him without even blinking. She nonchalantly walked out of the tower (hopefully to go let Indra down from that cross! The Grounder strip mall needs her!) and she legit didn’t even look fazed. Octavia is not the person we first met, she’s not the person we knew last season… and this change, good or bad (but most likely bad), has a lot to do with Bellamy’s missteps. Calm down, I’m not blaming Bellamy for Octavia’s shift, but she’s his responsibility after all. *evil smirk*
“Perverse Instantiation: Part Two” went back to The 100’s season two roots and man, it was glorious. We’re back to tough choices, conflict that seems more relevant than there for the sake of it, and complex storytelling that I fell in love with from the earlier seasons. The narrative is nothing to scoff at, and this finale definitely propelled the show forward from here on out. I just wish we didn’t have to wait so damn long for the next installment! Damn you CW, I mean, I love you… shit. Overall, I don’t think anything or anyone is going to be the same in season 4. I’m looking forward to next season, how/if they can save the world… again, and what happens to the grounders now that there’s no Commander… or is there. Dun dun dun. Will Erica Cerra be back for season 4? And if so, will she come back as ALIE or Becca? I need answers. I need answers badly! Well, it’s been a crazy ride, kids. May we meet again… in 2017. UGH! Someone pass me the COL ice cream…
- Two-Part finales are the worst. Can we just get an extra episode and that be two hours? No? OK… dick!
- CLEAN CLARKE! Did anyone notice how clean Wanheda looks in the City of Light… let’s not get used to Slarke sailing… mmmkay.
- I ship Jasper and his ice cream cone.
- Honorable mention to Raven, who coding a door and that badass Raven to aid Clarke/Lexa in their journey to the killswitch. You go girl!
- I hope that Luna returns next season, since Mr. Washington tweeted a ‘welcome to season 4’ prematurely, I’m thinking the Boat clan will be present next season.
- Paige Turco broke my damn heart. Her coming out of her ALIE stupor and realizing she had tortured her daughter, was just– so moving. In a twisted way.
- RIP Ontari. I don’t think you can come back from being brain dead and having your chest cavity cut open. Might be a bit hard to find shirts that cover THAT up.
- Will anyone trust Jaha again? Probs not. Way to go Chancellor. Way to go.
- RIP Pike, I was just starting to like you… a lil bit.
- Kane crying broke something inside of me. This man is so aware of all the shit he’s done, and he hates himself for it. Such remorse, such emotion.
- That Kabby hug though!
- Mama Griffin giving Clarke back the flame now knowing what it means to her was everything to me.
- Don’t let me start bitching about the fact that Clarke implanted and removed the flame all willy nilly without, ya know, dying and perhaps Lexa could have lived once the flame was removed from her head… UGH. Plotholes.
- My headcanon is that the series finale (which could very well be season 4) ends with the Sky People and some select grounders going back up to space. I don’t know how or if that’s possible, but who would’ve thunk they’d be floating once again…
- What am I going to do on Thursday nights? Should I live-tweet the void of The 100 every week? Or just bury myself in other things… like, Clexa fanvids, arm knitting and sangria tasting. Maybe all of the above.