Thursday, May 4, 2017

The 100, Season Four, Episode Ten: Die All, Die Merrily

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“May the odds be ever in your favor!” 

Die all, die merrily is essentially The 100's version of The Hunger Games. Because no peace was able to be negotiated and Clarke failed in her bid to become commander, it's been decided that a battle to death will happen in Polis, with each tribe being represented by one person.  It's a lot less bloody than an all out war but really doesn't feel reasonable given that prime fiyah is about to descend upon the earth, making it unlivable for the next five years at least. 

Clarke tries one last time to negotiate with Roan but he wants no part of it.  Roan believes that the time for alliances is past and besides, given Clarke's attempt to become commander and in the process disrespecting their religious beliefs, he no longer thinks kindly of her or Skaikru. Clarke asserts that her goal unlike Roan, is for humanity to survive what's coming.  I really like that Roan didn't let up on this. Since landing on earth, Skaikru has used their superior technology to their advantage while at the same time looking down upon the Grounders as savage. It's not necessary for Skaikru to believe the same things as the others but that doesn't excuse the many ways in which they have sought infantalise the Grounders and their belief system.  Skaikru are colonisers at best. 

Unsurprisingly, it's Octavia who is chosen to be the representative of Skaikru. Unlike the others, Octavia has taken the time to learn about the Grounders and actually has a healthy respect for their culture and their belief system.  Clarke encourages Bellamy to go and speak with Octavia, to help prepare her for the battle while she and Abby prepare the bunker for whoever is going to occupy it at the end of the battle. Bellamy isn't sure what to say to his sister and he's afraid that he'll say the wrong thing. In a callback to season one, Bellamy reminds his sister how she survived by spending her early years in space hiding beneath the floorboards.  Octavia is resistant to hiding away until Bellamy points out that she needs to survive and to do that, she must increase her odds. There's really no need to fight everyone, Octavia only needs to fight the last warrior left standing.

Having to defeat so many warrior is a tough task for everyone, particularly given that Luna has shown up to represent her tribe.  Luna, being a nightblood, has been trained in this kind of combat from a very early age and so has a unique advantage.  The threat of Luna victory also includes the end of humanity altogether because she's decided that humanity doesn't deserve to survive prime fiya. I suppose this time we cannot blame it on crying Jasper. 

The next person to see Octavia is Indra.  These two have a really close bond, in part because Indra is the person who trained Octavia how to fight.  Indra offers Octavia the sword her daughter refused.  It's a symbol of just how much Octavia means to her but it's a problem in so many ways. The idea that a white girl is the replacement for a black daughter because she's better at living the Grounder way is rife with problematic elements.  

The battle begins and the Trikru representative is amongst the first to fall. Bellamy and Marcus watch the fight and notice that someone is using a bow and arrow from a distance to kill people. It doesn't take long for Bellamy to figure out that Echo has entered the battle zone in order to aid Roan in his effort to win the grand champion title. Bellamy wants to barge right in and deal with Echo but Marcus convinces him to wait until nightfall so that he won't get caught.  Getting caught in Polis would be a death sentence for Octavia and it would eliminate Skaikru from the competition altogether. 

Illian, who entered the competition on behalf of his people, seeks out Octavia in the hopes of making an alliance. From his position, there aren't many people left and he feels that if they work together that they both have a better chance of surviving until the end.  Octavia is resistant to this and tells Illian that she's not the girl he believes her to be.  Octavia then promises that the next time she sees Illian that she will kill him.  Octavia makes her escape, only to be confronted by another warrior. Luckily for Octavia, Illian steps in and they are able to emerge victorious. They don't get to celebrate their victory because Echo takes the opportunity to shoot Illian through the throat. Octavia drags Illian out of harms way and he asks her to keep her promise and kill him.  It's a touching moment and a great reminder of Octavia's reverence for Grounder culture. 

The sun has set and it's finally safe for Bellamy to make his way into the ring.  It doesn't take long for Bellamy to track down Echo.  The fight is on and Bellamy easily gets the upper hand but before he can kill Echo, Roan intervenes.  Echo explains that she entered the battle to give Roan a better chance and that she believes that she is doing the right thing for their people. Roan stays true to his principals and orders Echo to leave the field, as well as banishes her from Agzeda. As far as Roan is concerned, Echo has dishounoured their people and if he wins, she won't have a place in the bunker.  When Echo leaves, Roan and Bellamy have a back and forth about Octavia, neither aware that Octavia is actually listening in.  With Echo out of the way, there's no longer a reason for Bellamy to be in Polis, so he makes his way out of the area.  Before Bellamy can get out, he is grabbed from behind and knocked unconscious by gas.

With few warriors left, Roan finally runs into Octavia who's been doing a smash up job of running and hiding.  Roan suggests a temporary alliance to kill Luna, who he believes, neither can kill on their own.  Octavia agrees to this with the proviso that when Luna is dead, it's each person for themselves. Right on cue, Luna shows up and Roan and Octavia go on the attack.  Even two skilled warriors aren't much of a challenge to Luna and she holds her own well.  When it begins to pour black rain, Octavia screams for Roan to get out of the rain but he cannot because Luna isn't giving him any leeway.  Roan and Luna continue to fight until she manages to drown him in a fountain. Noooooooooooooo! Why is Zach McGowan always dying? Nooooooo! I'm not happy with this at all. 

With Roan dead, that only leaves Luna and Octavia.  Octavia remembers Bellamy's advice and chooses to hide, as Luna drones on about just how horrible humanity is and that Skaikru drove that lesson home to her with their cruelty. Luna follows a trail of blood to what she believes is Octavia's hiding place, only for Octavia to sneak up behind her and kill her.  Octavia declares that good people deserve to survive and that Luna isn't just one of them. 

Having secured her victory, Octavia makes her way out to the chamber, where Indra's daughter declares her the victor.  The decision about who goes into the bunker is now Octavia's to make.  Octavia explains that at first she thought that she was fighting for herself but as time passed, she realised that she was fighting for everyone.  Octavia declares that Skaikru will share the bunker with everyone. All of the clans start to chant everyone. Indra is clearly proud of her protege. Marcus pulls Octavia aside and points out that there isn't room in the bunker for everyone and Octavia encourages him to enjoy the moment for now. 

Octavia looks around for Bellamy and quickly notices that he is nowhere to be found. Bellamy wakes up and finds himself in the bunker.  While everyone was busy with their little battle royal, Clarke, with the help of Jaha, managed to get Skaikru safely installed and ready to survive Prime Fiya. Bellamy is horrified when he discovers what Clarke has done.  

Octavia, Marcus and the others rush into the bunker room, only to find that all of the people left there to guard the entrance have been gassed.  Marcus bangs on the door to find that it has been closed and bared.  Indra declares that Skaikru has betrayed everyone as a shocked Octavia looks on. 

I'm not surprised that Clarke had a plan all along.  There was never any change that she would allow a battle royal to decide the future of humanity.  Clarke talks a bit game about wanting humanity to survive but at the end of the day, her only real concern is for Skaikru.  This is something that Clarke is in denial about for sure.

There's no way that the Grounders are going to let Skaikru ride out Prime Fiya in the bunker while they all passively die.  Clarke had to know that they would see what Skaikru did as a betrayal and that is something that Grounders don't deal well with. Instead of securing the future of humanity, Clarke may well have damned it because there's nothing that Indra won't do for the sake of justice.  I'm quite certain that she'd be willing to find a way to destroy the bunker rather than let Skaikru have it. 

I don't agree at all with Octavia's assessment that Luna is a bad person.  Luna killed her own brother because that's what she was raised to do. It's something that she clearly regrets and that is why she left rather than become a commander. I think that speaks loudly about who Luna is. Luna is someone who rejected power because she realised that the cost was too dear.  When everything seemed like it was over, Luna tried to help and allowed herself to be Abby's guineapig until she saw that once again the cost was too high.  I think that Luna deserves a better ending than being described as someone who is not good and therefore didn't deserve to live.

I'm really going to miss Zach McGowan as Roan.  It helps that he's not hard on the eyes at all.  In these last few episodes what really stood out about Roan was his sense of honour and his willingness to tell Clarke the truth about her colonising attitudes. It something that's needed to be said for quite some time and he was the perfect character to do so.  I'm going to miss his interactions with both Clarke and Octavia.