REVIEW | The 100 - Episode 3.09 - "Stealing Fire"
Across the land, far and wide, death rests like a great storm cloud upon the earth: clouds heavy with misery and cruelty, ready to rain down upon the innocent and the guilty alike. Their fate sealed by a tyrannical Chancellor determined to stamp out any insurgence, Kane, Sinclair and Lincoln sit in captivity waiting for execution in a matter of hours. But - as we come to this: Episode Nine of Season Three of The 100, entitled 'Stealing Fire' - even at such a hopeless hour, the group of rebels within the walls – now joined by Bellamy and Monty – has not given up hope on saving all of them by smuggling them out of the camp at the eleventh hour.
But Bellamy in particular knows that it will take more than their efforts if they are to succeed. They will need allies on the outside, to receive and hide the escapees given that they won’t have Pike captive to hand over and in turn escape the kill order still on their Skaikru heads. And so it is – after all this time – Bellamy goes to the one Grounder he believes can help: his sister Octavia, who stands aided by her former mentor and now fellow warrior, Indra. And as expected, it is a reunion that was never going to go well.
But it is not the only fraught reunion occurring in these deadly hours. Clarke finds herself face to face again with Ontari, who arrives in Polis – accompanied by the new Ice Nation king, Roan – with clear and brutal intent to become the next Commander over all the other Nightbloods. And it is an arrival that forces more than one person to make a seismic shift in their plans. Titus finds himself presented with the very real possibility of crowning a leader he knows is far from worthy to succeed Lexa. Clarke finds herself actively putting herself back in harm’s way in order to secure the Flame – also known as ALIE 2, and coincidentally the last, remaining tangible link she has to Lexa. And Murphy? Well. He finds himself in quick need of switching allegiances to someone even more manipulative than he is.
The brutal clock of life is ticking coldly, ever edging towards more than one crisis point.
So. People. Let’s get into it, shall we?
THE ROAD BACK
The second Kane was sentenced to die, you could see the penny dropping with about as much subtlety as the Hindenburg, for Bellamy, Monty and Bryan, in regards to just how great their betrayal has been of their friends, and in Bryan's case the man he loves. There’s going to be a lot of people saying too little, too late of course: about Monty and Bryan, yes, but particularly about Bellamy in his going to Octavia for assistance in rescuing the condemned prisoners. They likewise will have said the same about Monty’s mother, who after everything she’s done herself, ultimately chose not rat out her own son to Pike for his betrayal of the new Chancellor.
It’s Bellamy though, that I want to concentrate here, because it would appear this is the beginning of a redemption arc for a character that many fans believe cannot be redeemed, and I’m kind of fascinated by that entire dynamic. It’s true that Bellamy has done a horrific thing – more than one horrific thing – and it’s entirely plausible and natural that both Indra and Octavia should capture him and treat as the most hostile of prisoners. Bellamy deserves exactly as much. Deserves to have his ass handed to him for being such an idiot in so many ways.
Yet at the same time it is impossible to go past the fact that Bellamy is not the only one to have done such appalling things. It not like what he's done - terrible as it was - puts him in some kind of total other category on his own. Far from it. Most every character we love – save a bare few – has done many a monstrous deed, a number of them with no better reason than the flimsy excuses used by Bellamy to justify what he did in ‘Hakeldama’. And yet for the most part, whether we say it out loud or not, we’ve been able to look past those things in other characters and move on to the rest of the story. And yet not for Bellamy. He is not afforded the same treatment.
So I have to wonder. Why is that? Why is he different, or any more or less deserving than any other character, of an audience’s willingness to find a way to begin to move on from a past that can’t be changed? Is it because he’s less liked? Is it because some fans don’t want him with Clarke? Honestly, I don’t know what it is about him that seems to make him so much less worthy than any other character for a shot at redemption. Can’t quite put my finger on the reasoning.
Either way, for better or worse – and whether those fans like it or not – Bellamy appears now to have begun on the road back to the right side, and how he navigates that road from here on in intrigues me no end. Because if he is to be redeemed in any way, just what will he have to do to make anyone believe his redemption is true? How far will he have to go and what price will he have to pay before people are satisfied?
One of the really fascinating elements of this season of The 100 has been the way it’s been weaving a very definite commentary regarding the concepts of religious institution and tradition versus the concept of faith, into the narrative. Moreover, this conflict of belief has been woven into both the processes of hierarchy and government (e.g. the use of a conclave to determine a new Commander; the need for Ontari to recite specific information to the leaders of the clans in acknowledgement of previous Commanders, as a rite of leadership passage), and the most personal of human situations and interactions (e.g. the consistent and hopeful use of the words May we meet again in farewelling the living as much as the dead; the concept of the spirit of the last Commander, choosing the next).
Unlike the previous two seasons which by and large were situationally driven (e.g. the failing Ark and the subsequent missions to get to earth; Raven fire-bombing the Dropship camp in order to eliminate the host of Grounders trying to kill them; Clarke needing to irradiate the Mountain and the population within as the only means of saving her people from Dante harvesting their marrow, etc.) much of Season Three has been driven by characters who have each been driven to either large scale or game changing action by their own belief systems as to how they believe the world should be changed, saved, judged or ruled.
We could examine any number of characters in that context. A religion of sorts, of fear and paranoia, such as that seen in Pike and ALIE (don’t forget, her programming is still part human): in their zealously upheld and bloodily defended belief that for society to function, the ‘lesser’ must be dominated, then subjugated; moreover, that there can only be one set of rules – their rules – for everybody, which must be abided by basically on pain of death.
We could look at the kind of religion that promotes spiritual peace and equality but actually practices personal elitism and a war on all that it is to be human, as demonstrated by Jaha, who for all intents and purposes acts like he is ALIE’s chosen one (seriously – think about it: above all others, he is the one who has retained the most of his personality and attitude, despite being taken over by ALIE through the chip: presumably because he’s every bit as egotistical as she is).
You could look at Kane, and his deeply held faith in the ability of humankind to learn from its mistakes, no matter how big, and do better. To let go of the past and move forward for the better. You see it in the way that despite everything, even now he still has not given up on guys like Bellamy, who at this point pretty much everybody is wanting to give up on if they haven’t already.
There’s any number of ways this discussion could go.
But there’s one character that I really want to focus in on here – Titus – to whom we said a bloody farewell this week, as he sacrificed his life rather than perform the sacred ceremony of crowning a new commander, on one who did not deserve to be known in Lexa’s company of leaders. As we know, Titus to date has acted as the equivalent of a high priest within the religious construct and faith that surrounds the position of Commander and the ‘Flame’ they carry, as passed on by their predecessor. What I’ve really enjoyed about Titus’s character is that they have struck a tight but fraught balance between the two halves of who he is when it comes to his beliefs.
The first half centres on his absolute dedication to the role he plays in both serving and advising a leader he believes – as all believe in this new world – has been chosen by the spirit of the last. The need to keep up the traditions that honour the power of that spirit is fundamental to almost every action this man undertakes. In that, he provides structure and consistency in a political environment that is constantly unsettled by talk of war and political ambitions. To Titus, the role and actions of a Flamekeeper are not simply what he does: they are who he is. And yet by the same token, like every other character he is unable to fully escape his human nature and adhere exactly to the religious construct he has devoted his life to. Titus’s entire experience with Lexa – particularly as she’s fallen in love with Clarke – was a stark reminder to him that while rules and traditions might matter, it would be his own, flawed heart and his faith as a human being, in something greater than himself, that would make the real difference in the end.
Now make no mistake. That human nature, on a bad day, is him waiting in Clarke’s bedroom with a gun ready – and attempting – to kill her. That human nature, on a bad day, is him beating the daylights out of Murphy in a basement almost to death. Titus was as vastly imperfect as it is possible to be. Indeed, it is the outplaying of his imperfection that means Lexa now lies dead when ultimately she deserved to be living her life, leading her united people, and getting the chance to pursue her love for Clarke.
And yet. It was that same imperfect but faithful heart – and not the unyielding ramparts of a religion – that saw Titus devote his life to caring for Lexa as much as a father for a daughter in many ways. His belief not his traditions confirmed to him who Lexa is and who she was born to be; even saw him defend her to the point of taking another person’s life. It was faith not religion that caused him to be humble enough to hand over the Flame/ALIE 2 to Clarke for her safe keeping and handover to Luna. It was his faith in the greater purpose of the flame and the role of Commander – not a devotion to the regulations set forth by his role – that gave him the courage to keep it away from Ontari, even at the cost of his own life.
As someone who has a faith and a lifelong one at that, I have been so thankful for this story line because it’s challenged me on quite a personal level. It’s caused me to look at my own life and ask that hard question: how much of what I do in the name of my faith is me adhering to traditions that make me feel comfortable, and how much is me living out my faith with enough authenticity to stand up for what’s right: be it against people who reject me, or people who form the community of which I am a part? How well am I treading that line and do I need to learn how to tread it better?
And look I get it: the whole crisis of faith arc is not going to be for everyone and not everyone is going to relate to it. Here I speak only from personal experience and my own understanding. But regardless of that, like I said, I’m very grateful for the self-examination this particular arc has inspired in me as a viewer. It was cleverly and incisively done.
I AM THE CAPTAIN NOW
Ontari from the very first time we met her made no secret of her contempt for Lexa and everything she stood for. Indeed, weirdly – despite her youth – there seems to be an element of the ‘old guard’ to Ontari’s hatred of the the Sky People. A spite and a contempt for all that Skaikru represents in the context of the Grounder world. Indeed, she's the Grounder equivalent to Pike, and as with him, it is equally horrific to watch.
As for the woman herself, let’s not kid ourselves. Ontari is a veritable a scorpion trapped in a corner: built to strike, desperate to strike. Desperate to defend and primed to kill. You see as much when she goes straight for Clarke’s jugular the second the claps eyes on her. You see it as she lounges back in the Commander’s throne, covered in death, holding a bag full of the heads of Nightblood potentials – the children Lexa loved and who loved her – after she’d slaughtered them. Make no mistake: Ontari is barbaric down to her bones.
And yet. So many times with Murphy – as she scrambled to look strong and in control after so messily usurping Lexa’s throne under the premise of a very big lie – Ontari seemed like she was just as much a frightened human being as anything else. I mean here she is, with Murphy, one moment threatening to kill him, the next looking to him for advice and support in the biggest time of her life. She can’t make up her own mind. She's clearly put out by the man before her who is just not as intimidated as he should be by all her sharp blades and bluster. Doubly bewildered, too: either out to murder anything that moves, or faltering and hiding, eyes bright with a stark vulnerability. Indeed, as much as her bloodthirst and hatred showed this week, there were also glimpses of a vulnerability that at times cut with absolute clarity into moments and conversations, sweeping through them like a cold draft coming in from a door that hasn’t been shut properly.
For my own part, while Ontari piques my interest from storytelling perspective, as a person in and of herself I loathe her. She's too much like Pike, and the idea that there is a version of him either side of the fence - when so many good people are still caught in the middle - is a scary but also ugly thought. More than that, there is a technical conflict to Ontari's arrival that makes me doubly frustrated by her.
So far the characters we love are already battling ALIE on a number of fronts. as well as dealing with Pike and his deadly power trip inside Arkadia's walls. Everybody is literally already trying to kill everybody. And as I've said many, many times in my reviews, by nature the world of this show is a brutal, cruel, unjust and unkind one. Just like ours. In which case the killing and pain is to be expected.
But by the same token, what I perhaps don't say enough is that for the show to be the best and most nuanced reflection of our world, and our society, in there amongst all the trauma there needs to be some good news too. Some happiness to experience. Else what are they all really fighting for in the end? Else how is the show really living up to that idea that 'maybe life is about more than surviving'?
I'm not saying there should always be a happy ending - by no means do I say that at all: it's in the conflict and the imperfections that often the best stories are found. But still, if I were going to criticise one thing about the show at this point, it's that there needs to be a few more little victories along the way. A few strokes of good luck and fortune. The existence of Ontari and all that she stands for - all the hate and malice and now power she has to throw at the Sky people - on top of the existence of ALIE and Pike, plus the death of Lexa and now Lincoln, within such a short space of time, speaks to the opposite of that concept. It makes me wonder if the season at times has become too sadness heavy, especially of late.
Don't get me wrong - the sadness and loss element is almost always done extraordinarily well, and always serves to enrich the greater narrative, pushing it forward with that same blistering pace for which The 100 as a show has become known. But it's pushing a lot of story and a lot of heartache into a very small space, and I think a few more meaningful gains - a few more moments of goodness, or relief, or genuine happiness along the way - would go some way to alleviating the tension caused by that pressure.
By the same token I knew what the show was like when I came into this season. I knew it would be difficult, but in the end it would still be worth it. To that end I remain as hooked on this story as I have ever been.
As for Ontari though, regardless of what she is a plot device, she is ultimately – and quite simply – still a very deadly girl on an even deadlier power trip. And given her position – not to mention her skill set and unstable temperament – one can only assume that there’s going to be chaos in the days to come.
TIS A FAR, FAR BETTER THING I DO
One of the things I have loved most about this season ironically has been borne out of one of the things I've found hardest to watch. For me this has without question been the darkest and most brutal season yet of The 100. I mean, remember that time back in Season One where we thought that Raven blowing out the base of the Dropship and killing hundreds of Grounders, not to mention some of their own in the process, was the darkest thing ever? Remember when we thought our hearts couldn't break any more than they did when all those people on the Ark gave up their lives to conserve air for their fellow Arkers? Do we even remember the name of the man who died in the airlock with his little girl’s hair pin still clutched in his hand?
When I think of the horrors these characters have experienced up until now, sometimes – particularly as I sit back and remember going through every one of those incidents with a fine tooth written comb – I feel a bit overwhelmed, because the body count is not only high: it’s brutal. The Unity Day bombing. The people on the ground seeing what looks like a meteor shower falling, only it’s not: it’s the bodies of Sky people burning up in the atmosphere as they fall dead from the heavens. The people that were drilled to death in the Mountain. Gina with a torso full of stab wounds, her last tear still falling, hot with the warmth of a body that has no time to go cold before the Mountain is bombed. Maya’s irradiated remains in Jasper’s arms. Finn slumped dead over the ropes tying him to a death post on a mountain side, knifed in the heart by one girl he loved as another who loved him, watched on. Lexa, shot to death after finally consummating her relationship with the woman she loved. And yet as violent and bloody and weighted as that list is, it’s still only a handful of the darkness that spreads over this land.
And yet in amidst all that darkness, light – bright, captivating and true – still continually seems to find a way somewhere, somehow, to ignite and burn, in the form of so many of the characters we have come to care about. This is my favourite thing about season three: that even in the midst of horror - and the abundant sadness I mentioned earlier - hope still exists and can be found, if only people have the courage to pursue it. But then as we came to ‘Stealing Fire’ we also found ourselves having to come to grips with the fact that one or more of those lights was about to be snuffed out, in a very brutal fashion, by a tyrant who seems almost impossible to stand against.
If you've been reading any of my other reviews – particularly from this season – you'll know just how much I love present day Kane. I've loved his growth, his wisdom, his humility, his nerve and his tenaciously undaunted spirit to keep going and fight the right fight, even when all hope seems lost. I love, too, how he has been unpretentious enough to adapt his world view to include all humanity in his hope for a better world. I love that he’s not simply relied on the experience of others to inform his attitude towards the Grounders; he’s actually taken the time to try and understand them, with a view to learning and growing in himself, that he might be a better person and leader. In this sense then, it was unsurprising that he and Lincoln especially should one day find themselves in alliance under the banner of a good and just cause. I've really enjoyed the anchoring and linking role Octavia has played between them too; it gave so much of their whole rebellious group a genuine sense of family. The kind of family, as the old saying goes, that you choose for yourself.
In the case of Kane, I was so glad he and Abby finally got their moments in this episode - first when Pike lets her see him for a brief few minutes to say what they think are their goodbyes, and later when Kane kissed her goodbye as he escaped while she chose to stay behind - because truly it’s been a long time coming. Where once upon a time, Kane represented everything Abby hated, and Abby represented the exact type of rebellious attitude Kane did not want to contend with in his early days on the Ark when he was vying for the Chancellor’s role, the pair of them seem now – here on the ground, amidst all this pain and chaos – to have found within themselves the person they’ve both wanted to be for so long. They’ve spent a long time treading the painful and rocky paths of self-forgiveness for the many dark things they’ve done up until now; spent a long time coming to terms with their own emotional scar tissue. And now finally, both of them have been able to let go of pasts they cannot change and are brave enough to be the people they know they can be. That kiss was so beautiful. Passionate, heated, vital, real. That kiss was hope. It reminded me so much of the first kiss we saw all those many episodes ago between Lincoln and Octavia, in a lot of ways. Because to be sure, in the new world, they were the first to demonstrate that there was hope that the people of the Sky and the Grounders could find connection, if only they took the time to understand each other first, and honour first the humanity that they both possessed.
That such a reminder should come at the very moment that Lincoln chooses to give up his life for his people – that by his death, they would be spared by Pike and his mercenaries – was more heartbreaking than I can express. It was a full circle that stung us all, I think, in one way or another. As he walked out into the rain, and went resolutely to his knees to wait for the bullet that would end his life, I was utterly overcome with the amount of extraordinary things that would come to an end as soon as his life did.
Leading up to his death, the example Lincoln set to his fellow Grounders was one of courage, compassion and honour. He was a leader unlike any other Grounder leader they would have known. He demonstrated what it was to accept, trust and work alongside people on the basis of who they were as human beings, rather than to mistreat, judge or kill them just because they came from a different tribe. Truly. He was their Lexa, their light, when all other lights seemed to have gone out. And now he was giving up his light, that theirs might not be extinguished.
As he placed Octavia unconscious into Kane’s arms and made him take her away to safety, I couldn’t help but remember when it was Lincoln’s arms into which Bellamy had placed her that night at the drop ship, charging Lincoln with the same task Lincoln was now giving Kane. And I got so angry and emotional at just how messed up everything has gotten since that moment; at how the brotherhood that came to exist between Lincoln and Bellamy was never restored in the end, because the world is simply that broken and irrational now.
As Lincoln kissed Octavia goodbye – as he farewelled the phenomenal woman who had accepted him just as he was, for who he was – everything that these two had become felt like it flashed before our eyes. She had not only given him her heart, or loved him with an intimacy and commitment so fierce it could set fire to snow, but she had fought for him, too, when he had utterly given up on himself after what Dante did to him in the mountain. Moreover she had fought alongside him: sometimes as his comrade, sometimes as his champion, but always as his equal. So much breathtaking loveliness; so much hard work and hard won trust; so much bravery and dignity. Only for all of it to end with a bullet in the rain: Lincoln shot dead and left in the mud by the man leading the people Lincoln has tried so hard to make his own, for her sake. I can’t help but think now what Octavia’s grieving process will be like as she tries, somehow, to navigate the dark and treacherous waters of her anger and sorrow. I can see her lashing out, particularly at her brother. But what I will be interested to know is whether or not this experience – of seeing the person they love die in an almost identical way, with neither woman able to step in and save that person from that fate – will bring Octavia and Clarke back on to the same page. I truly hope it does. They’d make a formidable team, I think.
REMEMBER THE TITAN
Given everything that has being going on around Ricky Whittle’s departure from the show – and the fact that he is now going on to star in the TV adaptation of American Gods – the real magnitude of Lincoln’s death perhaps ran the risk of being lost in amidst that controversy. But whatever happened there – none of which is for us to know, or our business – two simple, equal and important things remain very clear, particularly as both the showrunner and the actor look back on all this.
The first is that regardless of how the creative relationship ended, there is no denying that this role brought out something extraordinary in Ricky Whittle as an actor. Something that stole our breath for the last two seasons, and it's been a marvellous thing to watch.
Lincoln – as he was first wrought and formed in the writers’ room and by the showrunner – was an outcast who wanted nothing more to belong somewhere and to someone. A man stripped of his identity and community, who, when we met him seemed to have given up on any hope of finding either. There was pain and vulnerability and yet great, great love and loyalty within him: the kind most all of us desire to know at least once, at least a little bit, in our lifetime.
And in showing those things, in experiencing those things, Lincoln – despite some arguments to the contrary over time – never once lost his warrior’s heart, or his spine. He was never loud in defending the things and the people he cared about. He also never used his care for them as an excuse to treat his enemy cruelly. Instead he was something far better. He had a quietness, a profound dignity and a strength of character that ultimately made him so much more than just a person to care about. In life, Lincoln – like Kane, like Octavia – came to symbolise hope itself, in a world where hope had long since become a rare commodity.
Whittle gave soul, breath, and guts to this man in a way that made me ever more thankful for him as the story continued to unfold. But even the greatest actor cannot do such a thing if he does not first have great material to work with. And by and large, here in this show, he got that. There is no denying that, and it’s something here that cannot go without acknowledgement by all involved.
Which brings us to the second fact. As with Alycia Debnam Carey, to me it feels only right here, and only fitting that I address the man himself, whether he reads it or not. Because the truth is that even with the greatest material at an actor’s disposal, if that actor is not up to the creative task, it shows almost immediately and in a way that stings to watch.
Watching you though week to week, Ricky Whittle, was the polar opposite of that.
You consistently met courageous and compelling storytelling with a courageous and compelling performance. But you also continued to visibly grow in your craft, and you took Lincoln along on that journey with you which I think took the character to a whole other level too. You gave flesh and marrow and heart to Lincoln, and I think you were able to do that so well because on some level, the role seemed to change you too as you played it. Time after time, you – as this warrior – gave me chills of the very best and most heart rending kind. And it was not, for the record, by the loudness of your performance. Nor through constantly watching you cut a blistering swathe through enemy lines with a sword, even though Lincoln easily could have done or been created as that.
Instead it was in Lincoln’s quiet dignity; in his extraordinary love of Octavia and his relationship with her; in his capacity to show grace and forgiveness; and in his selfless capacity to be loyal, even to a people who hated him – that was where you got me as a fan. That was where you kept me coming back every week, for three seasons. That was why even when Lincoln wasn’t on screen – and I know he hasn’t been there much in Season Three, but then we have to remember that this is a much, much bigger story than one man – his absence was still keenly felt: because of that gravitas. It’s why long after he has gone, his example will continue to be a light in a dark place for those he gave his life for.
From the beginning, this role needed something bigger than your ‘A’ game. And you brought it. For that – not just as a writer or a reviewer, but as someone who just genuinely loves this story – I cannot thank you enough. Because here’s the truth: it was great words that gave Lincoln the gift of his amazing fictional bones, and it was your creative skill and beautiful emotional connection with Lincoln that brought those bones to life, and made that life so extraordinary to watch unfold. You created this wonderful character together. Please never forget that.
In the situation that’s passed, people may have done or said things that could have been done or said much, much better. That's how life works. People screw up. But Lincoln deserves to be remembered separately from those screw ups; looked back on with nothing but a thankful attitude that he existed. What he doesn't deserve is to be lost in a sea of angry tweets and public statements about things that nobody can go back and change. That helps nobody.
You know saying all this might seem incredibly silly, and naive. After all. Lincoln’s a fictional character, and the people I guess I'm writing to here are so far removed from my life, here at my office desk with my dog sitting at the back door and my day job to think of tomorrow. But at this point, after every crazy, mean and horrible thing that has happened surrounding this show over the last two months, I just want to come across here as at least trying to say something positive, but as honest as I can be. In truth I'm just really tired of watching bitterness and anger overshadow a story that I love.
So here I am. Here's my piece, my friend. You can take it or leave it. Lincoln’s emotional and practical trademark as a human being was to show courage and let go of the past in order to create a better future for the people around him. Even for those who had wronged him. That kind of grace has the power to change everything as long as people have the bravery and humility within them to show it and care for something more than their own lives above all else. So for such a character’s own sake, let that – not anger and controversy – be the lasting, tangible legacy that’s left behind here. It’s worth it. Lincoln was worth it. And this show is worth it, too.
I think fans owe a large debt of gratitude to the screen writer this week – Heidi Cole McAdams – who did a wonderful job with what was inevitably a difficult portion of the greater story to tell, particularly the death of Lincoln. To be sure there were some important disclosures in this episode. The revelation that Luna was the missing Nightblood from the bloody conclave where Lexa was made Commander. Clarke being named as the new Flamekeeper by Titus, and charged with getting the Flame to Luna. But I thought McAdams’ dialogue in particular was beautiful. There were so many moments in this script that made for startling echoes of past events and conversations, and in doing that it made a number of moments hit home doubly hard. In any case, I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Returning to the director’s chair this week for the first time since her sterling efforts on last season’s ‘Bodyguard of Lies’ was Uta Briesewitz, who did a similarly great job. Because there were so many intimately emotional moments in this episode, the direction this episode really needed a strong but still sensitive touch, and I think Briesewitz really delivered in that sense. There were some really quite iconic visual moments too, that needed to be captured well and with great intensity – namely the sight of Titus bleeding out in the bathtub; Clarke's moments where you can tell her heart is being shadowed brutally by the loss of Lexa; Ontari blinding the Grounder ambassador who keeps demanding that she appear before the Council and undertake the required rituals; and especially the sight of Lincoln tumbling dead into the mud in the rain as Pike executed him. Again I think this was an area where the director really succeeded in her task.
All in all though, this was an episode that took more than one character to an entirely new personal level: many of those levels drenched in compromise and darkness. Particularly Octavia’s face as she watched the man she loved die…the way it shifted from pain to fury and vengeance in the self-same breath as Kane held on to her in the forest. It killed me as a viewer and I imagine it did the same to many of you. And yet. Some – like Clarke, as she rides away with the last, tangible echo of the woman she loved held tightly in her hand – have found a new and hopeful purpose to chase. One that may yet save them all from the horrific plans of ALIE.
Even as hope is extinguished, it seems, hope has also been kindled.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS
Roan is back, and it’s not even my birthday yet. You writers. You give me the best presents.
Neil Sandilands, you were so wonderful in your role as Titus. You will be missed.
ALL BOW BEFORE HARPER, KWEEN OF EVERYTHING. Seriously though, I love this human. She is wonderful and gets more wonderful every week.
Octavia Blake, you are everything. SOMEBODY MAKE HER COMMANDER ALREADY PLS.