Saturday, April 16, 2016

The 100, Season Three, Episode Eleven: Nevermore

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Nevermore, is quite the accurate title for this episode.  It's a play upon Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem The Raven.  The Raven in this case is reified by the character Raven as she lays horrors upon those who seek to save her by taunting them with their own horrendous actions.  

When we last left The 100, Jasper had managed to knock Raven unconscious and sneak her out of Arcadia, only to run into the arriving Clark.  Clark jumps into the vehicle and joins him as the people of Arcadia storm towards them.  Clark is horrified to see that her mother is one of those who has been over taken by ALIE's chip.

Back at the cave, Octavia has packed up her shit and wants to leave, feeling that she doesn't quite fit in.  Bellamy tires to explain his actions by claiming that the Grounder force outside of Arkadia was trying to starve them out. Bellamy does his best to stop his sister, citing what is going on in Arkadia and adding that they are going to need her help to deal with this.   Octavia is not immediately convinced, saying that the message Japser sent makes absolutely no sense.  Bellamy very much wants the forgiveness of his sister and points out his role in handing over Pike but an unsatisfied Octavia wants Lincoln back. Octavia then twists the knife and tells Bellamy that turning in Pike does not make him "one of the good guys."  Octavia not only lays Lincoln's death at Bellamy's feet but Monroe as well, adding that he lashed out because he was hurt. 

The fun begins the moment Jasper carries Raven into the cave and they start to try and figure out how to remove the chip from her.  Nevermore, not only hearkens to Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven but also to The Exorcist.  Possessed by ALIE, Raven is determined to break free and is willing to use whatever tools are at her disposal to do so. When Clarke pulls out the commander chip, questioning if the City of Light chip looks like it, ALIE reaslies that this is what she has been looking for.  After Raven escaping once, trying to figure out where she is so that ALIE can send in the cavalry, Jasper gives Raven the last dose of the drug which knocks her unconscious again. 

They decide that they need to get moving and head to Niylah's outpost.  Yes, Niylah, the same woman Clarke had a one night stand with.  Unsurprisingly, Niylah is not at all pleased to see Clarke, given that she holds Skaikru responsible for the death of her father.  Clarke lies and claims that the group had nothing to do with it.  The conversation is cut short when Raven wakes and Bellamy decides to just solve the issue of resistance by putting a gun in Niylah's face.  Is Bellamy ever going to be anything other than a blunt instrument?

Now that it's clear that Raven cannot be left alone, Clarke declares that they should all take a shift watching over Raven.  This does not please Jasper at all because he doesn't want Clarke in charge after what happened in Mount Weather. It's Raven who suggests that Jasper has still not forgiven Clarke for Maya dying.  It's episode eleven and I am more than tired of Jasper's manpain at this point.  On ALIE's suggestion, Raven dislocates her shoulder and begins to bite through the bandaging on her arm.  In desperation, Clarke warns ALIE that if she lets Raven die that she will never hand over the chip. That's enough for ALIE to instruct Raven to allow herself to be helped. 

They figure out what Raven was trying to do with the wristbands but realise that they don't have a big enough charge to make it work.  Monty and Octavia head to the drop ship to get the equipment they need.  This is when Raven begins to work on Clarke.  Raven asks if Clarke sees the faces of the people that she has killed.  Yes, what happened at Mount Weather is still very much a sore spot for Clarke. Clarke, having spent so much time self flagellating knows exactly what ALIE is up to and does not take the bait. Raven then suggests that Clarke is guilty for the death of Wells and Finn. When this doesn't get the reaction she wants, Raven turns to Clarke's father, saying that she knows all about this because Abbie is in there with them.  Raven then suggests that though Clarke wants to save everyone, the people around her always seem to die.  Clarke finally breaks when Raven suggests that she probably killed Lexa to.  Bellamy is forced to rush into the room to get Clarke away from Raven but not before Clarke threatens to fry ALIE, which is the information that ALIE has been waiting for. Raven informs ALIE that they have sent people to the drop ship. 

On the way to the drop ship, Monty decides to question Octavia about leaving the group, but Octavia who is still full of grief answers that she only felt at home with Lincoln.  Monty tries again and reminds Octavia that she is one of The 100.  This really struck a nerve with me because they have been through so much and wouldn't have survived without solidarity; however, it's not enough to reach Octavia. 

When they arrive at the drop ship, Hannah thanks to ALIE is there waiting for them.  When Monty confront her about turning him in, Hannah tries to protest her innocence.  Monty however will not be fooled and so questions his mother about his father's favourite colour.  When Hannah cannot answer because her memories have been erased, Monty realises that the person he is talking to is not his mother.  The struggle begins and Hannah and Monty fight because ALIE is desperate for Monty to take the City of Light chip. Octavia is forced to intervene but Hannah quickly gets the upper hand and holds a knife to Octavia's throat.  Monty picks up a gun and calls out to Hannah, begging her to stop. Finally, feeling as though he has no choice, Monty shoots his mother twice, killing her in the process.

Realising that the electromagnet needed to fry the chip is on it's way to Raven, ALIE encourages Raven to finish this quickly.  Bellamy decides that it's his turn to sit with Raven, thus giving Clarke a much needed break. Clarke heads outside and speaks with Jasper, saying that she is sorry about Maya. Jasper, still in the grip of manpain is not interested in hearing anything Clarke has to say and decides he'd rather be with Raven and her evil taunting.

Raven is quick to question why it is that Jasper is giving Bellamy a pass on Maya's death.  This is an apt question because Bellamy had as much to do with it as Clarke, given that they both pulled the lever together.  Raven begins to taunt Jasper about his manpain. Yeah, I know Raven is evil right now but someone had to do it. Raven isn't done with Jasper yet and calls him selfish for stealing other people's medicine on the ARK.  

It's Bellamy's turn and Raven's knife is just as sharp.  She questions why Bellamy doesn't take responsibility for the massacres that he's been involved in: Mt. Weather, the culling on the Ark, Gina, and the Grounder army. An angry Niylah overhears Raven's taunting and bursts into the room to slap Bellamy, realising that he is responsible for the death of her father. When ALIE sees Niylah, she learns where Raven is and promises that help is coming. 

An angry and clearly guilty Bellamy heads outside and starts punching anything near him.  Niylah follows and asks him if he is feeling better now. Bellamy tries to explain his actions again and offers an apology but Niylah responds, "people like you are always sorry."  There's not time to hash this out because Monty and Octavia have returned. 

ALIE realises that she has run out of time and tells Raven that she won't be able to get anyone there in time. Raven begins to bang her head against the headboard attempting to kill herself because ALIE believes that she knows too much. A desperate Clarke pulls out her chip and promises ALIE that if she doesn't make Raven stop, she'll hand over the chip.  ALIE stops Raven, making me wonder how a creation so intelligent could be so easily duped. After failing at the first attempt, they use the Rover battery and this time, Raven screams and promptly passes out. 

Jasper wants to smash Clarke's chip but she screams no because it's Lexa. This is enough for Clarke to figure out that they need to remove ALIE from Raven the way that Titus removed the chip from Lexa. Clarke slices open Raven's neck and silver sludge (the remnants of the chip) pour out. Raven regains consciousness and says, "ow".  The pain is back which means that Raven is back. 

A horrified Monty realises that he didn't have to kill Hannah and rushes outside in pain. Jasper concedes that he couldn't have  done what Clarke did and hands back the chip.  Bellamy, ever the realist decides that it's time for the group to go.  Clarke takes the time to apologise to Niylah for lying about Bellamy, explaining that she didn't think that Niylah would help if she knew the truth. Niylah points out that they didn't give her or Bellamy the chance.  Clarke then warns Niylah that she should disappear for awhile because ALIE will come looking. 

Clarke then shares a moment with a clearly thoughtful Bellamy who wonders, "“What do you do when you realize you might not be the good guy?” She replies, “Maybe there are no good guys.”

Raven hops into the rover with Sinclair's help and reveals that ALIE wants the chip because it's the only thing which can stop her. Octavia declares that they will stop her together.   It looks like having weathered the storm, the gang is back together again. 

The episode ends with Jaha (why isn't he dead?), in the City of Light with ALIE.  Jaha is certain that they will get Raven back. ALIE however is only interested in killing Raven and the people she is with because Raven having been to the City of Light, is smart enough to figure out how she can be stopped.

This was a very intense episode though I could have done without Jasper and his manpain.  The conversation between Clarke and Bellamy reflects back to season 2 and Clarke's conversation with her mother about tactics. It's a valid  and complex question to ask when one feels that they are engaged in a war.  It's very easy to get self righteous which Bellamy so clearly is.  He hasn't even really begun to deal with the things that he has done.  I've yet to see him suffer an attack of guilt in the same manner as Clarke.  Bellamy on his own without a suitably moral leader is destructive and violent.  It's only when he is following the leader of another that he is capable of making a nuanced decision.  He turned to Pike because of his anger and the fact that Pike was the loudest voice.  I know that there are people who feel that Bellamy's behaviour was out of character and not really explained but when you think about it, despite his bravery, Bellamy is the eternal Beta, following the loudest voice in the pack regardless of the tactics.  What I want to see is Bellamy come into his own and have a better sense of self.

Nevermore, was a great episode.  I loved seeing Raven through the horrors they have inflicted right back in their faces.  It's very difficult to run from the truth.  No one really wants to hold a mirror up and look at the darker side of their nature.

We have to talk about Hannah.  I know that many hated her but at the same time, I don't think that her character ever got the treatment she deserved.  What was Hannah despite the angry tiger mom?  For her to die at the hands of her son, suggests that she didn't care about him and was just so angry that there was no nuance to her. Yes, Monty and Hannah had that tearful goodbye but it was followed up with her betrayal of him.  I think it's easily one of the most racist portrayals on The 100 to date.

One of my biggest problems with this season is that once again, it feels like The 100 is running two different storylines in one season.  For much of the season, ALIE felt like a distraction and sure, they put it all together at last but at the same time it feels like I'm watching a new season of The 100.  It had broken up the continuity of the show for me.  I really want things to be over with ALIE and I want to see Jaha dead.  They come coming up for reasons for his character to be relevant and it all feels so damn forced.  Just kill Jaha already.