Friday, April 25, 2014

The 100: Season One, Episode Six: His Sister's Keeper

In a flashback to 17 years ago, a panicked young Bellamy watches his mother in labor.  He is desperate to call a doctor and cannot understand why it's wrong to have more than one baby. His mother makes him promise not to tell because she will get floated and explains that the Arc could not survive if everyone did this.  It is Bellamy who names Octavia.  His mother starts to feel weak and she tells Bellamy that his sister is his responsibility before passing out  Bellamy offers the baby his finger when she starts to cry.

In the present, Bellamy is looking through camp for Octavia. He approaches Clarke, who says that knowing 100's of people could be dying on the Arc, makes it hard to sleep.  Bellamy assures Clarke that Raven's flairs will work. Bellamy asks about Octavia and Clarke dismisses his concern at first saying that Octavia is probably chasing butterflies.  When Bellamy asserts that he has checked the whole camp, they decide to split up and search.

Octavia regains consciousness but when she tries to stand, her leg won't hold her wait.  A Grounder enters, grabs her by the leg and cauterizes the wound, as Octavia begs.

Bellamy begins to round up the castaways to search for Octavia.  Clarke tells Jasper that he doesn't have to do this and points out that Jasper hasn't left camp since they got back.  Jasper asserts that he needs to do this and Bellamy adds that they need all of the people they can get.  Bellamy then calls to Finn, having determined that they need a tracker.  Raven and Finn are in his tent and she is cutting his hair. Finn tells Raven to get some sleep and meets up with Clarke.  Finn suggests that he and Clarke should talk about what happened but Clarke points out that Finn has a girlfriend.  Finn reminds Clarke that they started something but Clarke points out that it's nothing they cannot stop.  Finn however believes it's not something he can stop. I wonder if he realises that consent takes two people?

The crowd pauses and looks up at what appears to be a meteor shower.  Clarke declares that the people on the Arc didn't see the flare.  When Bellamy questions how she could possibly know that, Clarke says that what they are viewing is the funeral - hundreds of bodies returning to the earth and this is what it looks like from earth.  Raven gets angry and tells Bellamy that this is all his fault because he took the radio and trashed it.  Finn is forced to hold Raven back and Clarke says that Bellamy knows all of this and now he has to live with it.  Bellamy redirects the conversation to Octavia and orders everyone to move out.  Clarke says that they have to find a way to communicate because the oxygen level is going to keep dropping, which means more dead people.  Jasper interrupts to say that they should go and Finn tells Raven and Clarke to stay behind and fix the radio.  Raven points out that the radio is smashed and adds that unless there is a part supply store nearby, it cannot be fixed.  Clarke suggests the art supply store and tells Raven she knows a place where they might find a transmitter.  The group goes their separate ways.

Octavia wakes up and and calls out.  She checks her leg to find the wound cauterized.  This time, Octavia is able to make it to her feet and she starts to move around in the cave, brandishing a stick a a weapon. Octavia finds an entrance but it is barred, blocking her escape.

The group is in the jungle and find something belonging to Octavia. Bellamy goes down the same hill that Octavia fell down and the rest of the group follows.  At the bottom, Bellamy finds a rock covered in blood. They find tracks leading away from he site and wonder who is carrying her.  They decide to follow the tracks..

Octavia continues to look for a way out of the cave. She finds loose rocks and tries tunneling her way out.

The group comes to a clearing and find skeletons hanging from spears.  Some of the group start to talk about leaving but Bellamy says that it is his responsibility to find Octavia.

Back on the Arc in another flashback,  Bellamy plays with Octavia. When an alarm goes off, Bellamy opens a hole in the floor for Octavia to hide.  Bellamy reminds Octavia of what will happen if she is found. Octavia says that sometimes she wishes she wasn't born and her mother encourages her to be strong.  Octavia says that she is not afraid and climbs into the hole.  The inspectors enter the pod and Bellamy notices a few threads from one of Octavia's toys sticking out of a crack.  Bellamy quickly puts his foot over it and sits at the table. It seems that Ms. Blake has been trading sexual favors for small privileges. Ms. Blake asks about a letter of recommendation for Bellamy and Bellamy is asked to stand up.  Bellamy says that he is good and does not stand because it would reveal Octavia's location. Finally after being pressured, Bellamy stands, knocking things off the table to hide the string sticking out from the floor.

On earth, Octavia tells herself repeatedly that she is not afraid, as she climbs through the dark cavern.   Octavia makes it outside and starts running.

Clarke and Raven march through the woods and when Raven stops to look at some flowers, Clarke makes it clear that they don't have time for this.  Raven then compares Clarke to Abigail but Clarke says that she is nothing like her mom.  Raven assures Clarke that the comparison is a compliment and adds that the pod was Abigail's idea, though it broke her heart to be unable to return to earth.  Octavia snarks about  Abigail being the mother of the year.  Raven replies that her mother was absent most of her life and that she is sure her mother gave birth to trade her rations for moonshine.  They finally made it to the pod, as Raven says that she only survived because Finn shared his rations.

The survivors continue to look for Octavia but believe that they have now lost the trail.  Suddenly, a grounder drops out of a tree and grabs John.  The survivors notice that John is absent and plan to spread out and look for him but before they can get far, John is dropped to the ground with his throat slit. The survivors realise that the grounders use the trees. In the distance, they see a grounder and the decide to run.  the grounder runs after them.

Inside the pod, Clarke and Raven look through the pod.  Clarke finds a battery operated toy and  Raven adds that all they need is a the controller.  Raven finds a carving that Finn made and says that Finn finds the beauty in the unexpected.  Clarke finds the controller and they decide to leave..

It's clear that the survivors are being herded.  Bellamy stops saying that he sick of running and that they know where Octavia is.  One survivors runs into a trap which impales him and Roma continues to run screaming. Octavia is recaptured by a grounder and watches as Roma is impaled. The grounder picks Octavia up and takes off running.

In another flashback, Bellamy returns in his uniform to find Octavia.  It seems that there is going to be a masquerade gathering and Bellamy thinks that he can use the occasion to sneak Octavia out of the pod.  Octavia puts on a mask and asks about their mother.  Bellamy assures Octavia that they will be back before their mother notices that she is missing.  Octavia hesitates at the threshold of the pod and Bellamy assures her that everything is okay.  Octavia is astounded by the Arc and gets to see earth from space for the first time. Octavia heads into the party and Bellamy follows. Octavia gets the attention of Jasper right away and she starts to dance awkwardly at first with the other kids .

In the present, Octavia is following the grounder and pauses saying that she needs to rest because of her leg. The grounder picks Octavia up and continues walking. Octavia thanks the grounder for saving her life and adds that she knows the girl who died out there.  Octavia says that if the girl is there, then so is her brother and begs to be released. The grounder continues to walk without saying a word.  He takes Octavia back to the cave and puts her back inside and Octavia asks why he is taking care of her.  The grounder does not answer and chains Octavia up as she screams.

The survivors come across Roma's body impaled to the tree and Finn say that the Grounders are playing with them and that they can kill them whenever they want. Jasper starts to yell that they should get it over with and that they know the grounders are out there.  In a panic, Bellamy tries to silence Jasper, as a grounder comes out of the woods.The survivors realise that they are about to be surrounded.  Suddenly, a horn goes off and the grounders leave.  Bellamy realises that this is the signal that the fog is coming.

In a flashback, Octavia is dancing and the music stops and the lights go up.  An announcement says that all citizen must report and show their I.D. chips.  Bellamy grabs Octavia and tells her to head home while he creates a distraction, the only problem is that Octavia doesn't know her way home.  They are interrupted by Commander Shumway. Shumway takes off Octavia's mask and Bellamy lies and says that he has already ID'd Octavia.  Bellamy begs for Octavia to be let go and adds that he will do anything Shumway wants. Shumway again asks for Octavia's ID, so she takes off running but is quickly caught.

The survivor are hiding underneath some sort of canvas.  When they get tired of waiting, they pop their heads out to see a single grounder making his way through the woods.  Bellamy decides that they are going to catch the grounder and make him reveal Octavia's location before killing him. Jasper questions how they can be sure they are not being lead into another trap.

Raven works on the communicator and Clarke asks if she is okay because she has hardly spoken since she returned from the bunker. Raven holds up the carving and asks if Finn made this for Clarke while she was risking her life to come to earth.  Clarke does not deny it and Raven informs Clarke that Finn made a carving for her as well, just in case she thought she was special. Clarke replies that she didn't know about Raven and that as far as Finn was concerned, Raven was dead, or soon would be, along with everyone they ever knew. Raven cries that Finn could have waited for more than ten days and asks Clarke if she loves Finn.  Clarke replies that she hardly knows Finn.  Clarke leaves and Raven gets back to work.

The grounder goes to see Octavia and she uses a weapon to knock him out.  Octavia takes the key away and starts working feverishly on her shackles.  Before she can finish, Bellamy and the rest make their way into the cave.  Bellamy sets Octavia free and the two hug.  The grounder opens his eyes.

In another flashback, Bellamy who is no longer a guard, returns to the pod and finds it empty.  There is a knock on the door and it's Shumway. Bellamy feels that Shumway has a lot of nerve showing up there because Shumway pushed the button which got his mother floated.   Shumway tells Bellamy that he was a hell of a guardsman and brings up Bellamy's promise that he would do anything to protect Octavia. Shumway tells Bellamy about the pod launch and promises to get Bellamy a seat on the jump ship.  Shumway hands Bellamy a gun and says that all he has to do is kill the Chancellor.  Bellamy grabs the gun and questions why he shouldn't just kill Shumway. Shumway makes it clear that if Bellamy shoots him, Bellamy will get floated like his mother and Octavia will go to earth alone.  Shumway adds that the ship launches in 20 minutes.

Octavia says that they should leave now before the grounder wake up. Bellamy says that he isn't going to wake up and Octavia points out that the grounder didn't hurt her.  Finn who is kneeling in front of the grounder finds the fog horn. The grounder jumps up, knocking Finn out and puts a knife to Bellamy, as Octavia screams for him to stop.  Jasper hits the grounder from behind before he can harm Bellamy.

The crew makes their way back to camp carrying an unconscious Finn.  Clarke rushes over and declares Finn alive.  Clarke orders that Finn be taken to the drop ship.  Raven rushes forward asking if Clarke can save Finn and Clarke replies that she needs to talk to her mother  A frantic Raven replies that there is still no radio, so Clarke demands that she fix it.  Clarke goes rushing off to the pod.

Bellamy confronts Octavia about why she was protecting the grounder and Octavia explains that the grounder saved her life.  Bellamy rejects this and says that he saved her life and that for all Octavia knows, the grounder was using her as bait to lay a trap. Octavia rejects this but Bellamy points out that the grounders killed three of their people today and that if he had been allowed to kill the grounder, Finn wouldn't be in jeopardy right now. Octavia screams that Bellamy needs to stop blaming her for his mistakes and that what happened to Finn is not her fault. Octavia says that everything which has gone wrong is because of Bellamy. Octavia blames Bellamy for getting her locked up on the Arc, taking her to the masquerade party and getting their mother killed.  Bellamy tells Octavia that their mother was floated for having her and that she is dead because Octavia is alive. Bellamy adds that he didn't have a choice and that his life ended the day Octavia was born. Octavia goes to leave and Bellamy gabs her arm. Octavia tells Bellamy that he cannot keep her locked up forever before pulling her arm away and leaving.  Bellamy orders the rest of the group inside and notes that a storm is coming.

This episode is rather disappointing given the mass sacrifice in last week's episode. Yes, angst, angst and more angst - silly me for expecting more from the CW.  Let's start with Raven/Clarke/ Finn.  Does anyone give a shit about this love triangle? The only thing I took from it is that it's another example of the devaluing of a WOC.  Finn and Raven have known each other almost their entire lives yet, 10 days on earth has him rushing into the arms of the ever so White Clarke.  This situation elevates White womanhood at the expense of a WOC.  Of course supposed story reason justify the drama but when we look at the racial element, it's problematic as hell.

Is anyone else annoyed by the seeming perfection of Clarke?  She comes across as so entitled and oblivious to her privileges relative to the other survivors.  I rather think Bellamy was right to refer to her as "princess." Clarke as an idealized character and they have given her no nuance whatsoever.  Just about every time she is on screen, I want to gag.

Then we have the death of John who was given a name and then promptly killed.  While The 100 does have a number of characters of colour, they are all in secondary roles or exist as cheap fodder to be killed off. Thus far, in terms of racial inclusion, I am not impressed.

This week we got Bellamy's back story.  I suppose this was a way to humanize him.  The fact is Bellamy chose to shoot Jaha and he chose to let the people on the Arc die.  Thus far he is responsible for several 100 deaths.  Bellamy also considers it his job to police Octavia's vagina all in the name of her being his responsibility.  I think there was some truth to Bellamy saying that he felt his life ended when Octavia was born but that does not justify or explain the decisions he made - particularly those that led to the death of hundreds.  He may have felt trapped, pressured and alone but so did many of the other survivors given that they were in prison before coming to earth.  Yes, his society was harsh but the bottom line is that Bellamy still had choices to make and Octavia cannot be blamed for them.

Finally, we are six episodes in and I have given up of GLBT character on this show. I wonder if the writers plan to wait for years? How do they not see the heterosexuality of the Arc and survivors as completely statistically wrong.  At the start of The 100 we are told there were 4000 people living on the Arc.  GLBT people make up about 10% of the population so that should make at least 400 people a part of the GLBT community and yet we have another all straight/cis show.  I cannot say that I'm disappointed given that this is the CW and the media (especially in this genre) has a habit of erasure.