I doubt there is anything I can say that is unique and hasn’t been said a million times over since this week’s airing of The 100 4×03, The Four Horsemen. But like hell am I going to let that stop me from saying stuff anyway. My notes from last night began with, “WHAT CAN I EVEN SAY, WHAT IS LIFE?” and then just a bunch of fragmented thoughts that looking at them now might as well be gibberish.
Regardless, in no particular order here it is:
Murphy: The Anti-Hero We Hate To Love
Murphy has come a long way since season one. In terms of character development his arc has to be one of the best. In the infancy of the show he made it easy to hate him. And now? Now, he’s a character that we don’t want to hate even when he does things that are questionable. In regards to Murphy in this episode, there was a lot of callback to season one. When Luna and her sick crew showed up at the gates of Arkadia, Miller mentioned to Bellamy that it was reminiscent of when Murphy had showed back up at the dropship as a carrier of the grounder disease, a sickness that was meant to weaken them as a preface to an attack. Though this was fortunately not the case with Luna and company, it was nice to be reminded of just how much these characters have been through since the show’s pilot.
Though Murphy’s intentions were clearly less than pure in going back to Arkadia to steal from them, it was good to see him back and interacting with the rest. While Raven was less than pleased to see him (“Once a cockroach, always a cockroach, huh?”), it was his interactions with Abby that hit home. After accidentally overhearing Raven and Abby arguing about the good for the many versus the good for the few and thus learning of Apocalypse: The Sequel, Murphy steals the medicine that Abby needed to help Luna and the rest of her surviving clan. It was not lost on Jackson, Abby’s right hand man, nor the audience that he committed the very crime that his father had been floated for on the Ark. When Jackson questioned who would have thought the Murphy would have had it in him, Abby resolutely stated that she did. While this may seem like a throw-away line, it does force us to remember that while Clarke’s body was rejecting the flame in the City of Light, Abby had to rely on Murphy to pump a dead Ontari’s heart with his bare hands to keep her daughter alive. It will be interesting to see how their relationship will develop going forward as Murphy and Emori are back on their way to stay at Arkadia permanently, in the hopes of making themselves needed so they can be on the right side of the door when the apocalypse hits.
Speaking of Murphy, Emori, and Ontari: I am so happy that the show is touching on Murphy’s rape. While Emori was expressing an undertone of doubt and jealousy, I’m glad it was at least mentioned and I hope that we can explore this particular thread more deeply. The concept of trading sex for survival at its base root is rape. Period. End of story. While this is clearly not a new area on The 100 (hello, Aurora Blake), it is a little more uncommon for it to happen to men, at least on film. It’s an avenue that deserves to be explored.
It Ain’t Easy Being Queen
— Ƀэℓɡɍαdэσɧσℓiͼ (@Beogradoholik) February 17, 2017
Watching Raven these days is like watching a video of yourself on your worst possible day. She is working around the clock to ensure that her people are safe and she feels like she is alone in this quest. She blames Bellamy for choosing to bring back slaves instead of the tool they need to ensure that they can have clean water, and she is pressuring Clarke to make a list of the new 100 who will be lucky enough to be saved from their impending doom. Bellamy and Clarke are on the same side of hesitant hope that there is another way where everyone will be saved, while Raven is trying her damnedest to be all brain, no feelings.
However, those suckers can catch up to you quickly, especially when you’re directly facing the consequences of ‘the greater good’ dead in the face. It hits even harder when that face is that of a little girl dying in the arms of her sister. Though Raven starts the episode off hurtling insults at anyone that gets in her eyeline, she does seem to finally start to grasp just what it is she has taken on by becoming a third to Bellamy and Clarke in terms of leadership. She can’t only be focused on the end result, but also the people that are here and suffering now. At her core, Raven has a large heart and she reacts emotionally, hence all of her lashing out. Hopefully, now that she has a better understanding of just what it means to make those life or death decisions, it will make her an even more intricate and important part to the leadership team.
Luna: The Night-Blood To Rule Them All
Luna showed up at the gates of Arkadia more or less requesting sanctuary for what little was remaining of her clan who were suffering from Acute Radiation Sickness. For most of the episode, Luna tugged at the heart-strings. She clearly is a leader who puts her people first, pride aside. The fact that she was able to swallow hers to ask the Arkadians for help despite her refusing to help them in season three says a lot to her character. With her sister dying in her arms from the radiation positioning, she called back to their home as a source of comfort, “Listen to the waves lapping gently beneath us. Can you hear them?” It was a moment that melted even the coldest of hearts (I am not ashamed to admit that I cried in real life and maybe teared up again just now while writing.) It was a moment that made you grieve with her. Luna is now officially the last of her kind, not only as a night-blood but also of her band of merry peace lovers. Everyone that she had with her with the exception of Nyko had succumbed to the radiation poisoning and had passed. The final scene of the episode brought in the revelation that her night-blood saved her, letting her body fight off the radiation on her own. While she agreed to let Abby run tests on her, her face said everything that we needed to know. This is a woman who has just lost everyone and everything: her home, her family, her clan. She is a woman who loved the water and is now drowning in sorrow. With the fact that her blood may just be the key to their survival on the ground after all, if she will actually help them out in the long run remains to be seen. And what does this mean for Clarke, who in terms of the show, just had night-blood flowing through her veins mere days ago? Will the immunity also extend to her? (And just fyi, I am nowhere near this brilliant. This was pointed out to me by a friend who is a smartie tartie).
Friends Are The Family You Choose
Over in Polis, the action is just getting started. Roan, in all of his stealth, tracked down Octavia and Indra, admitting that he had lost the chip and requesting that they get it back for him by any means necessary. Let me interject here for one moment to say that Zach McGowan is an absolute chemistry magnet. He absolutely exudes it and to do date he seems to have it with everyone: Abby, Echo, Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia, Indra, all of the people, all of the time. I could probably ship all of it and have little to no regrets. When Octavia agrees to track down the elusive flame keeper who stole it from him, there is a brief moment where Roan praises Indra on training O to become the “SkaiRippa” that she is. In this moment, Indra looks troubled. Is it because she sees what Octavia’s own grief over losing Lincoln has caused her to become? Or is it because she knows that Octavia has turned into the new “killer from above” and is going to kill the person who stole the flame, who we later realize is her daughter? Upon this reveal, Octavia immediately backs down from her original murderous plans and turns to Indra on what she should do. She considers Indra a part of her family (never minding the brother she actually has); since Gaia is Indra’s daughter, Octavia doesn’t want to hurt her. Gaia, the flame keeper, clearly has a lot of feelings about the relationship between Octavia and Indra: jealousy and resentment being two of the most obvious ones. She chose the path that she thought she was supposed to be on while Indra whole heartedly believes that “her daughter was meant to lead armies.” While she clearly has this in Octavia, the brief scenes that we see between mother and daughter show a deep connection, despite all of the bad feelings between them.
Instead of killing Gaia and getting the Flame back for Roan, Octavia helps her keep it instead. When Iliann and the rest of the tech scavengers come to destroy the Flame for causing all of their pain via the City of Light, she devises a plan so that they destroy a worthless piece of jewelry instead of the actual Flame. This act alone seems to thaw out some of Gaia’s iciness towards Octavia. It will be interesting to see how their relationship unfolds: Indra’s two daughters, one by blood, the other by circumstance.
Our SkaiRippa almost made it an entire episode without murdering anyone! Alas, in her last scene with Roan where she returned the fake broken flame to him, she also gifted him with a severed head of her decoy thief. So close, yet so far away. Roan states that with the Flame now gone, it will be harder to keep him in power and that more people will have to die in order to make it so. “Though that means little to you….SkaiRippa.” Octavia’s response that people falling behind the Flame will now fall behind the sword is chilling and speaks to exactly where her headspace is right now.
THE BELLARKE OF IT ALL: From The Ashes We Will Rise
"If I'm on that list, you're on that list. Write it down or I will".
— Gin (@bell_army_blake) February 17, 2017
And why wouldn’t I save what I consider the best for last? Man, oh man. When the press got screeners (not me because I am but a beginning noob), the one word they kept using to describe Bellamy and Clarke was “United.” This has been made beyond obvious from the very beginning of season four. Clarke and Bellamy seem to have completely forgotten what the concept of personal space is in regards to each other and for every scene they are together in, they may as well be attached at the hip. Honestly, you two. If you were any closer, you’d literally be breathing the same air. I personally have no problem with that at all, you do you, kiss…I mean, kids.
The duo was in fine form this episode, remaining in each other’s orbits pretty much the entire time. Jaha and his cult obsessed self was convinced that he had found the answer to their problems with a possible bunker that he pulled up on a tablet(?!) with miraculous and portable WiFi(?!). They went over the river and through the woods to the land of Cultsville, whose main theme was “From the ashes we will rise.” The first time I heard it, I smiled. It was said two more times through the episode and it made me wonder exactly why I was being hit over the head with it. I’m sure there are reasons that will unfold over the next few episodes other than the obvious ones. Before our trio actually made their way in to the bunker that was essentially deemed useless, Jaha and Bellamy got to have a semi heart to heart. Jaha made notice of the connection that Bellamy and Clarke have, saying that he grounded her, which Bellamy opposed, stating it was the opposite. This was a clear call back to season three and what we will shall henceforth call the appearance of not!Bellamy. Bellamy, in his grief of losing not only his girlfriend Gina (she was real, guys), but also his essential person Clarke, was so angry and hurt that he made bad and dangerous choices . While essentially you can see all of the steps that led to his transformation into not!Bellamy, it all still has a significant fallout. With the return of his brain, his conscious, and his Clarke, Bellamy now is dealing with the weight of his guilt over the choices of not!Bellamy. Jaha asked Bellamy just how long he was going to torture himself and how many people was he going to have to save before he forgave himself. What I personally found interesting about this scene was that Bellamy never got the opportunity to answer it. Instead, immediately following the question, Clarke called out to them, drawing the attention back to her. Are we supposed to assume that he’ll consider his redemption complete, not if he saves everyone, but if he saves specifically her? The question lingers.
In that thread comes the list. The. List. I could wax poetic about how Clarke was channeling her inner Edward Cullen and watching Bellamy sleep, about how Bellamy actually allowed himself to relax enough to sleep in her presence, or about what the hell, do they share a room now? But let’s just dive right in to the meat of the matter. Neither Bellamy nor Clarke want to be on that list for reasons that are so different and yet intertwine so beautifully. They also believe the other one deserves to be on the list, the other one is deserving of salvation. “If I’m on that list, you’re on that list” sums up their relationship better than anything else that could be said. She will save him from his own self destructive and self loathing tendencies, and he won’t go without her. Whether they are saved or whether they’re on the outside choking on radiation, they’re all in. Together.
How We Did
— Bellarke News (@InfoBellarke) February 17, 2017
The 100 once again remains at an unchanged .04 in the demos which again, not bad, but could be better. Honestly, as long as it doesn’t go down, this fangirl is happy. Plus, in comparison to last week, total viewership went up. Unfortunately we did not place in the Nielsen Top Five this week, but there’s always next week. We did however, trend in the US at number one for several hours, both during and after showtime. Also that day, @InfoBellarke had scheduled a trend (BELLARKE TONIGHT) that trended world-wide, accumulating almost 10,000 tweets before the show aired. All in all, not a bad night to be a The 100 fan. (See our story about how to help The 100 get renewed for Season 5 here.)
For Your Viewing Pleasure
I am a huge fan of episode reaction videos, and these two? They’re my faves. Their reactions pretty much sum up every single thing I said above and they look damn good doing it too.
Finally, make sure to tune in next week for 4×04 “A Lie Guarded” that looks all types of intense. I might have screamed out, “Jasper, you psycho!” at the promo. Plus, the other lucky press peeps who got screeners this week have said bring tissues and maybe an inhaler, it’s that emotionally trying.
You can catch The 100 on The CW Wednesday 9/8c.
Like what you read? Heather will be writing more about The 100 regularly for Post Apocalyptic Media. Join our email list to stay updated by clicking here and be sure to follow us on Twitter. And while you’re waiting for the next article, stream some episodes of The 100 here.