The 100 writers sure do love their parallels. As do I. I thoroughly enjoy that throughout the course of the series, we often found different characters facing similar challenges (sure, sometimes it can be a bit boring and not well-thought out)– but often times the outcome from these decisions aren’t always the same, which makes for a compelling storyline. I must say, I genuinely admire the fact that the show mirrors situations from the past, you know, those characters who have come before our unsung heroes in hopes of making better choices but came up a bit flat– well, we wanted some tough choices, this episode sure did deliver… in making the wrong ones (I’m looking at you Bellamy Blake).
In “Heavy Lies the Crown,” written by my personal fave Justine Juel Gillmer, we are catapulted back to the core of The 100, a well-balanced look between Arkadia and Polis (unlike that mess of a premiere that offered us no true direction). A show that presents the audience with intricately woven storytelling and brilliant foreshadowing… and just like that nostalgia hits– we’re back where it all started with Papa Griffin’s ghost haunting us all. The real moral compass of this whacky new world order revisited and reality finally hitting us like a cloud of nuclear smoke, that hey, history is about to repeat itself and we alllll ‘bout to die.
Alright, let’s really get into it now: Roan has been a King for a hot second, and members of the grounders are already trying to off him. Am I watching The 100 Season 4 or the results from America’s 2016 Presidential Election? Beats me. The harsh reality is that being a leader kind of sucks the BRD (big red dildo)– and despite the adults thinking they’ve been in charge one time or another, the fact is Clarke, Bellamy, and Roan, are at the the helm of this ship and ooooh are we at odds with what should and shouldn’t happen in order to save humanity. Seriously, get on the same page people– and by same page, I mean Clarke’s. She has the only book I’m reading… okerrrr.
Now for my wants… I really hope that the show can make the Sky People’s dilemma a bit more important than Polis this year, we have had issues with the audience being more attached to that of grounder politics than Sky Politics, and hopefully that’s addressed (and fixed) in this new season. I do believe that with this episode the two plots worked seamlessly, and offered a cohesive experience for the viewers. Which was a welcomed change, THANK YOU JUSTIN(E).
How you doin’ Polis?
We’ll show you some love first and foremost– I dug the fact that we were stationary this episode, everything wasn’t sprawled out like a toddler during tummy time, but focused on introducing us to a new character named Ilian. I know that we shouldn’t like this dude, who is clearly going to be bad news for the Sky People, but– I liked him. A whole lot. His backstory was horrifying, and his reason for vengeance is plausible. The young grounder from the Glowing Forest has beef with Jaha and his City of Light BS, and who could blame him. I’d bet several bags of hot Cheetos that this young man is going to be a prominent figure going forward. Friend or foe? That remains to be seen. Considering his history with the Sky People, it would be a far fetch to say that he would ultimately join them in their quest to save humanity. But who knows. I’m open for a surprise.
In the beginning of this episode, nine days prior to present day, we are introduced to a chipped Ilian brutally murdering his family under ALIE’s influence. Have we forgotten that ALIE made people do horrible things in order to get them on her side? Nope. Still aware of the bitch in the red dress… Ilian’s guilt is deafening, and his disdain for tech is blatant. What he’ll do with that? Well… we shall see. It’s probably not a good sign that under the influence of Rafael, the commander of Trishanakru, Ilian’s anger is only fueled further under the newly-appointed leader of the clan. They’re ready to fight King Roan to the death, and who can blame him? Not gonna happen though bro, but you get an A for effort anyways.
I may not think Roan looks sexy in his crown, but at least Roan is trying to save his people, Rafael is just a power-hungry asshat, who is clearly manipulating vulnerable Ilian to his advantage. Something this show is no stranger to. More of Ilian please, less of leaders who don’t know what the eff it is to be in charge.
OCTAVIA IS SAVAGE.
I was so pleased to see Octavia embracing her assassin ways. Knowing that the throne couldn’t be challenged (again), she used her stealthy skills to kill Rafael so that there would be no one in a position of power to question the new King’s rule. Can we just acknowledge how far Octavia has come? She has faced a great deal of pain, and although she has channelled that into something– not so wholesome, she’s getting shit done and taking names and you can appreciate that. GIRL POWER. It’s about damn time Octavia got a character arc worth talking about. Many fans have been divided by her actions, pre and post Lincoln’s death, and I have to say that I like where this is going. You’ve got to hit rock bottom before rising up again, right? And Octavia is on the road to her deepest, most darkest point, and it’s intriguing to see.
I also picked up on the fact that everyone seemed to know that Octavia had killed Rafael, but of course, 97 years in the future we don’t do autopsies, or have access to DNA tests and all that– so naturally, although many, especially Kane were uncomfortable with this revelation, there’s not much they can do about it without catching her red-handed… na na na na na na!
Segwaying this review in the worst way possible to…
I know this is a teen show, but despite all the love triangle, angsty drama we saw in season one, and in some ways continue to see throughout the series, the writers still take the time to show their “older” characters a bit of lovin’. And by lovin’ I mean HOT KABBY SEX. That’s for you Oldkru, I know you’ve been wanting this! From the moment these two were bickering up in space in season one about doing the right thing you could tell that these two would find themselves in bed together. Speaking of bed, was that Lexa’s bed? If so, how rude! Anyways, I love Kabby. And getting to see a well-developed storyline (that didn’t involved Jaha, who so needs to be shot) was refreshing. The significance of her taking off her necklace with her wedding ring was monumental for this relationship. Could there be a Kabby baby in the oven for some added drama come the end of the season? I hope so! It really did break my heart though when Abby had to leave Kane behind to return to Arkadia, but it made sense. At least she didn’t take a bullet to the gut after sweet, steamy coitus — still too soon? Oh well. They’re official, and no one’s dead… yet.
The one thing I will say I’m not loving is that Kane has lost his touch a bit, he used to be a decent leader to the Sky People– when they were trying to overthrow Pike and make peace with the grounders, but he wasn’t even able to negotiate properly with Rafael before Octavia took it into her own hands… I think a teenage member of the high school debate team could have done a better job than Kane did trying to win them over. It was really a train-wreck and uncomfortable to watch him fail at.
Side note: I know the show isn’t about couples, keep your SHIP WARS to yourselves, peeps… but a little happiness here and there would be phenomenal for morale. I know we have MARPER, and now KABBY, but the world is ending, maybe some other characters can do the nasty to blow off some impending doom steam? ::cough:: Clarke and Roan ::cough:: Clarke and Raven ::cough:: Clarke and anyone but Bellamy ::cough:: Please and thank you.
Let’s talk about Jasper…
Apparently he doesn’t like Mondays. We see him in this episode singing The Boomtown Rats song “I Don’t Like Monday’s” and let me tell you– it’s an earworm! I find myself humming it now on the regular. Damn you, Jasper and your adorable little shower cap. But for real, the significance of this song has been overlooked by the audience and I just wanted to take a few short moments to talk about it…
For starters, I googled the lyrics the moment I heard it and holy shitballs. This is way too fitting for The 100. Aside from the fact that the song is about a school shooting, and that Jasper is singing the lines “the silicon chip inside her head gets switched to overload,” I want you to do some homework, read/listen the lyrics for yourself and tell me you don’t correlate it to ALIE, the City of Light, and Clarke’s quest to save the world when her mother, and other adults can’t seem to find a solution for… erm, anything. In addition to those parallels, we have that overwhelming sense of irony (and slight discomfort) that Jasper is the one singing it. He not only was planning on killing himself, but how many Monday’s does he really have left before radiation strikes, or he decides to put that gun to his head again. HOW MANY MONDAY’S DOES THE WHOLE GANGE HAVE LEFT? Five, seven, eleven??? It’s both bittersweet, catchy and disturbing all at once…
I applaud the writers, and whomever chose this song– because damn. That was just a little too perfect for the premise of your little post apocalyptic series. I see you, and I preciate chu.
ROAN, WHAT THE EFF…
WHY DID YOU TELL ECHO ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD. She’s totally going to use this to her advantage… I don’t know how yet, but she will do something to CAUSE A PANIC amongst the clans and totally screw everything up. Why am I using caps? I don’t know, it seemed fitting. Don’t judge me. Okay, now that Roan has blabbed to Echo about the real reason why he’s helping Skaikru, she’s off to Arkadia to find proof that Clarke isn’t pulling his chain. Because people have nothing better to do than to make up that you have 6 months to live– alllll the time. Mhmmm. I mean, who is she to even to determine whether or not Clarke is lying or not? How did she even get into this position? Gah. She’s becoming a problem in my book. I feel like they’re setting this new Clarke/Roan alliance up for failure, and I’m not a happy camper about that. The two could really do some good together, but this is The 100, and anything that can go wrong, WILL go wrong. Hopefully they won’t go the predictable route, and Roan will remain a good ruler, with reliable washboard abs.
Which brings me to Arkadia…
The situation at home is a bit more complex, and it’s not getting any better with each passing day. Raven basically told the group that there’s no way to stop the nuclear meltdown and they’re all basically screwed. The only plan? To find some type of shelter to rider out the (radiation soaked) storm. Sure, that seems EASY. Monty chimes in with a “brilliant” idea to use the Ark as their shelter. Meaning repairing it and housing their 500 Sky People until it’s safe again… hmmm… no grounders seem to be making it on this Ark. This will not bode well with e’eryone else.
What’s the catch though? Well, they need a hydrogenerator– in order to provide all of their people with water for the unforeseeable future– but it’s back at Farm Station, which yes, you guessed it: is back in Ice Nation territory. Bryan, Bellamy, Miller, Monty and Harper are on a mission to retrieve the machine, and just like that they find it. But, of course this is The 100 and nothing is easy– there, they are faced with another moral dilemma, stumbling upon a group of Farm Station people who weren’t massacred by Ice Nation warriors, instead, they are being kept as slaves.
So, here’s the time-sensitive choice: do we take the machine and save 500 of their people? Or do they blow the machine up to save the two dozen Farm Station peeps and say “screw the other 500.” Well, not to my surprise, Bellamy (along with Harper and Bryan) voted in favor of saving the slaves and wasting their only solid solution for surviving in the ark (and 500 of their people) come doomsday. I’m sorry, but this was the wrong call.
With no alternative solution in sight, this was the only plausible solution and Bellamy, no doubt ridden with guilt and wanting to make things right for his past sins, totally botched this, obliterated in one quick swoop. What irks me, is that Bellamy didn’t stop to think about another way. Even with them moving the remaining Farm Station people after being exposed, Bellamy and co. could have returned the hydrogenerator safely to Arkadia, informed Clarke of what was going on and perhaps use their alliance with Roan to, I don’t know, get their people released. Sure, it’s a long shot but it’s better than damning their entire camp to death. SMH. Have we learned nothing? Sacrifice a few to save many… and since Monty and Miller were against releasing the slaves, a stand that I was shocked Monty had taken, even he knew that this might be their only chance to save everyone.
Is Bellamy putting too much faith in Raven and Clarke?
The odds of them finding another solution to an already unsolvable problem is slim to none. I don’t know if I would have gambled with 500 lives like that… but, maybe I would have. Who knows. I’m calling it now, they will NOT find a way to save EVERYONE. It’s just not happening. It can’t be that easy, nope. Bellamy, the deciding vote, took it upon himself to seek salvation by playing with the lives of the rest of his people, which was bad timing and just bad. And I stick by that!
Raven and Clarke are sharing some friction…
…and no, not the good Princess Mechanic kind we are all waiting for! These strong women are at a crossroads, more moral conflict– yay! Raven wants to tell their people about the problem at hand, crowdsourcing the solution and possibly saving them all. Clarke, on the other hand, doesn’t want them to panic– she’s always been the one to make the tough decisions and this one is no different. We are faced with the same moral dilemma as the beginning of the series, the one that got Clarke’s dad floated and her locked up and sentenced to death on a radiation soaked planet. Now, that’s some full circle shit right there. Clarke’s faced with the same burden, and ultimately makes a completely different decision than I’m sure she initially concluded. Hot damn, gotta love this show!
I mean, is it contradictory that now Clarke is faced with the same situation as her father did and she’s not making the same choice she supported way back when? Perhaps. But, these characters aren’t the same as they were when we first met them, and that just contributes to their journeys, their evolution, and how they think both as leaders, and as a race determined to survive.
This season has felt so much like a rebirth, a reimagining of where it all started, and so far I think it works. Whether or not Clarke’s little white lie will be exposed and they’ll have a riot on their hands remains to be seen… I mean, can she really ensure that EVERYONE will survive? Surely not. There will be people who are pissed when they find out, people who will die, people who will stand by their leader… and ultimately, the clock is ticking and the group needs to work together whether they agree on Clarke’s decision or not to find a large scale solution… and fast.
- I don’t like Monday’s either…
- Since Bryan and Miller found themselves on opposite ends of the discussion, it looks like our lone LGBT couple is on the outs… let’s hope that the end of the world can bring these two together because I really do love BRILLER!
- Jasper should have died last season. Sorry, but it’s true.
- Dafuq is Murphy. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
- Monty is life. Legit, can I date him? Sorry Harper– dibs.
- Jaha might have been an annoying cockroach in the realm of The 100, but his conversation with Clarke was thought-provoking. She still seems to harbor bad feelings towards him for floating her father… and he simple says “And now you understand why. No leader starts out wanting to lie or imprison or execute their people. The decisions you face just whittle you down, piece by piece.” He adds “we make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have. Then hope that there’s a forgiving god.” I can appreciate this redemption arc he’s got going on… but, I’m still on the fence whether I want him to live or die. #LifeCrisis
- KABBY SEX IS THE BEST SEX.
- Isn’t Justine the best writer in the whole entire universe? Well, duh.
Former tech nerd and Producer at a literary publicity firm. A college grad with a B.S. in Journalism, who loves covering the Entertainment world. In my spare time, I enjoy watching and reviewing my favorite T.V. shows, staying textually active on social media, as well as interviewing some of my favorite talents in the industry.