Saturday, March 12, 2016

The 100, Season Three, Episode Eight: Terms and Conditions

Arkadia finds itself surrounded and when Grounders arrive to demand Pike be handed over, Bellamy responds by shooting them both. It's clear he's not willing to have another version of what happened to Finn.  Though both Finn and Pike are guilty of a massacre, at least Finn was a frightened boy whereas; Pike is a grown, educated man.  Arkadia is in an untenable situation because  they only have enough food and water to last for two weeks, as well as limited ammunition.  They are now in the midst of the war which Pike instigated and still, he cannot see that this is his own doing and he absolutely refuses to listen to Cain, who suggests that he has no understanding of the world they are living in. It's Cain who correctly labels Pike a fascist.

From the moment his girlfriend died, Bellamy lost all touch with reality.  To his credit, Cain kept trying to reach out to Bellamy in the hope that Bellamy would see reason.  I know that Bellamy is young but having experienced dictatorship on the Ark, I fail to comprehend how it is that he didn't see right through Pike from the start. Part of the problem with this story is that the writers haven't really bothered to give us an understandable reason for Bellamy turning into an automaton.   Several times in this episode, Bellamy claims that he chooses his people everyday and yet his actions seem more about revenge than the survival of Arkadia. Even when Pike orders surveillance on his own people Bellamy barely bats an eye.

For all of Pike's plans to work he needs the aid of Bellamy and Monty. Monty does follow orders but is expression relays doubt.  His personal questions however don't stop him from turning in Sinclair when he determines that Sinclair is working with Cain.

Cain is determined that Pike will not escalate the war and when he learns about surveillance, he immediately changes his tactics.  Monty explains to Hannah that Sinclair is his mentor and taught him everything he knows about engineering but Hannah is squarely team Pike and encourages Monty to continue to take orders. Hannah can see that Monty is upset by the role he played in Sinclair's arrest but she doesn't take the time to acknowledge it and instead congratulates her son.  Yes, Hannah is Monty's mother but he seems to lack the ability to question when he is around her.  Speaking of Hannah, they are portraying her like a complete dragon lady with absolutely no nuance to her character.  It is without doubt one of the most problematic characterisations on The 100.

Cain decides that the only way to end the blockade is to turn Pike over to the Grounders.  To that end, he goes to see Pike and in the jail area, Lincoln and Sinclair initiate a riot as a distraction. Cain uses the punishment stick to knock out Pike and loads him into a vehicle.  Monty sees what's going on and desperately gets a hold of Bellamy, who rushes to the front gate.  Cain is forced to either run over Bellamy or stop the vehicle and turn himself in.  Bellamy has been so brainless this season, I actually wanted Cain to put his foot on the gas.  Bellamy is as responsible as Pike for the situation Arkadia finds itself in, (if not more) because he knows more about the Grounder ways.

Cain is arrested and pleads once again with Pike to see reason.  Pike claims that if he thought that he could guarantee the safety of Arkadia by turning himself in, he would do so.  Pike cannot see himself as the bad person in this situation and is in complete denial about what his actions have wrought. It's interesting to see Cain on the other side of this.  On the Ark, it would have been Cain meting out justice, leaning on the law to defend his position.  Pike reminds Cain that he is the counsellor now and sentences Cain to death.  Bellamy is completely surprised by Pike's position and questions if they are going to start killing their own people now. Pike however explains that he is cutting off the head of a snake.

Later Bellamy meets with Monty to discuss this situation and it's clear that their support of Pike is over.  Hannah approaches to find out if they know anything about other conspirators and Bellamy says no too quickly which causes Hannah to be suspicious.  Hannah once again justifies Pike's actions, claiming that it's important that everyone act in the best interest of their people, as she looks directly at Bellamy.

Along with the drama regarding Pike this episode, Allie encourages Raven to do her bidding. Raven enlists the help of the drunken Jasper.  Once they break into Pike's office, Jasper starts to talk about how Pike's situation very much resembles what happened with Finn.  Raven realises that she doesn't remember Finn at all.  Jasper thinks it's wonderful to have your bad memories removed; however, he doesn't realise that it isn't just the bad memories that go away.  When Jasper mentions Raven's first kiss, she realises just how much she has lost.  Raven is quick to put the tech back that ALLIE wanted and ushers Jasper out of Pike's office.  ALLIE is absolutely stunned when her attempts to get Raven to do her bidding fails.

Later, ALLIE meets with Jaha to say that Raven refused to obey and that she has never had anything like this happen. It seems that despite all of her power, ALLIE cannot overcome free will.  Jaha recognizes that Raven is strong but suggests that Raven be left up to him.

I see that The 100 has connected what happened at POLIS last week with what ALLIE is planning but it is still the least interesting plot this season. I always feel like we are being pulled away from the story and that ALLIE, and Jaha are a complete and utter distraction.  Yeah, I'm biased because I wanted to see the end of Jaha in the first season.

In terms of Pike and the Grounders I understand that what we are seeing is how colonization works. To Pike, the Grounders are savages who are stumbling block to that which he feels that he is entitled to.  Pike refuses to see them as people with different cultures, languages and beliefs.  It's easier for him to dehumanize them than do the work. I do however think that The 100 is being very heavy handed with how they are treating this story.