Well, after all of this build up, season three went out with whimper and tons of angst as far as I am concerned. I called it right from the beginning that at least some point, Clarke would end up with the flame in her head, cause you know, Clarke's a total one woman saving the world machine with her extra special specialness.
This episode essentially was about free will and living with regret. As we know, Clarke's got a pretty big death count and is very much haunted by the deaths of the mountain people. There's also the fact that Lexa, the woman she loves died because of a bullet which was meant for her. Life on the ground has been hard. Bellamy who is back on team good guy, regrets his part in the slaughter of Indra's army; however, even after all he's seen, Pike is still very much playing the us versus them card, though he is willing to work together for now to stop A.L.I.E. This however doesn't mean that Octavia is willing to play the same game.
The first opportunity Octavia gets, she slices Pike's leg leaving him wounded to fight off the chipped. She stands back like she's eating popcorn and watching some sort of festival. Bellamy appears and is shocked by Octavia's decision. They manage to withdraw and Bellamy tells Octavia to get her head on right. Sure, there's such a thing as time and place but Bellamy is no position to be lecturing anyone right now.
The battle to protect Clarke occurs. As a last line of defense, Abbie stands next to her daughter willing to shoot anyone who gets to close. Everyone puts up a good fight but there are just too many chipped people. Kane is choking the life out of Bellamy and Octavia is down on her back fighting for her life. Pike sees what's going on and throws off his attacker in time to save Octavia. Octavia is clearly surprised by Pike's decision but this doesn't make them equal.
Inside the city of light, Clarke is starting to struggle because the rate of the blood transfusion has started to slow down. The people in the city have started to take notice of her. Luckily for Clarke, Lexa makes an appearance and takes out the people trying to hurt her. I was glad to see Lexa again especially given how she died. It's all bittersweet for Clarke but Lexa says that she knew her spirit would choose wisely. They make their way to the kill area which becomes visible thanks to the work of Raven. I suppose this at least partially redeems Raven for screwing up last week. Lexa sends Clarke on ahead and promises to keep the chipped people out. I love this moment even though it's very much a retcon of Lexa's death. I love the idea that Lexa got the warriors ending that she so richly deserved.
Clarke makes her way into the kill room where she is met by the first commander and A.L.L.I.E. Clarke moves quickly towards the kill switch but A.L.L.I.E has one more card to play. It seems that the nuclear plants on earth have started to degrade and she has projected that within six months, the majority of the planet will be inhabitable. A.L.L.I.E. suggests that the City of Life is the only way to save humanity and that by pulling her plug, Clarke will be killing everyone. Given the last time Clarke pulled a switch the death of the Mountain people occurred, A.L.L.I.E's argument is very effective at first. At the end of the day, Clarke decides that humanity will find a way to escape because we always have and that the most important thing about humanity is free will. Clarke pulls the switch and A.L.L.I.E completely shuts down.
Clarke awakes to find herself on the throne. Abbie is quick to remove the chip from Clarke. All of the chipped people are absolutely overwhelmed with emotions. I suppose that's what happens when you have your emotions turned off. Kane is overcome and so Abbie rushes to his side. Emori and Murphy reunite and embrace. Bellamy, Octavia and Clarke gather and they try to talk to Octavia about her goodness and letting things go, but Octavia is clearly not feeling this.
Jaha is in the fetal position on the floor. Why oh why couldn't they just find a way to kill of this character? Jaha has never really been relevant and if anything most of the story lines he has been given function as a distraction. Bellamy questions why Clarke isn't in victory mode and she simply says that they haven't won yet.
Pike actually has the nerve to approach Octavia, who promptly slides her sword into his midsection. Pike is stunningly surprised that Octavia killed him. This is a reaction that I don't understand given that she has already tried to let the chipped people kill him and has spent the last few episode with I'm gonna kill a bitch face. As Octavia walks out, Clarke and Bellamy actually have the nerve to shake their heads.
Back in Arkadia, after subduing Jasper by shooting him in the leg and A.L.L.I.E gone for good things are great. Monty apologises for shooting Jasper and all is good again. Japser however does excuse himself to have his weepy eyed moment. I actually don't resent his pain this time as it's clear that this is how all the chipped people feel now that A.L.L.I.E. is gone.
It very much irked me that Indra was benched for this episode. The last thing Indra did this season was to save Kane's life and her reward was to be hung on a cross. We don't even get to see Indra's reaction to the death of A.L.L.I.E. I suppose they will just keep her in the plot box until they can find some other white person for her to serve.
Things didn't end well for Pike but I don't think given the trajectory of his character that it could have ended any other way. I do however think that given how many times the characters of The 100 have jumped aboard the redemption train, that it's telling that Pike didn't take the same trip. Pike's character was set up for death and failure from minute one. If a Black man had to go, what I want to know is why it couldn't have been Jaha.?
So, we got the big set up for season four. It's actually quite plausible that the nuclear power plants would be falling apart given how long they have gone without being serviced. I hope that because this is going to be a problem science will need to solve that this isn't another set up to see Clarke save the world again. I know that shit always happens but for once, I really want to see a set up for some kind of significant character growth and or relationship between Arkadia and the Grounders that didn't involve murder, violence regret and of course Jasper's manpain.