Friday, May 19, 2017

The 100, Season Four, Episode Twelve: The Chosen

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The Chosen is the penultimate episode of season four. The death wave is on the way and it's time to position people to see who will live and who will die. I think that on any other show, this would be compelling; however, on The 100 it has really just become routine.  It's not the first time we've seen a culling to serve the greater good.  The world falling apart and people dying is also par for the course on The 100.  The only way that this could be surprising is if the writers finally decided to give these characters a respite and maybe allow them five minutes happiness among all this grim and darkness they seem to love so much.

Octavia is all out of fucks and makes it clear that Skaikru had better choose the 100 people they are going to save because all of the other clans have made their selection. Skaikru are pulled out of their warm beds and herded just outside of the protective bunker.  Abby decides that all the kids under 16 will live and their essential personal which leaves only 80 spots available for the over 300 people left over. 

Naturally, Clarke and Bellamy have spots but instead of staying, they decide to try and save Raven. That's right, you go and get my girl. Time is short so they are going to have to get moving if they are going to make it back to Polis.  Along for the ride are Emori and Murphy. Abby promises to make sure that Murphy's name is included in the lottery but makes no promises about Emori. Abby is worried about Clarke leaving but Clarke is confidant that her nightblood will protect her. 

Once outside, Bellamy questions why Murphy would agree to join them given that selflessness is not part of his character. Murphy admits that he's not actually going to help Raven but because there's a bunker there. It's enough for them to be able to survive the initial wave, though it isn't stocked with enough food for them to survive for very long. What no one realises is that Echo has been listening in. That woman is like a human cockroach - there's nothing she cannot survive.

With Clarke, Bellamy, Emori and Murphy out on their expedition, it's now time to tell the people about the lottery.  As you might well imagine, this does not go down well. The people decide to take their rage out on Niylah, who they feel shouldn't be allowed to take up one of their few spots.  Luckily for Niylah, Octavia decides to intervene and simply hands her one of Skaikru's spots. Jaha decides to appeal to Octavia by reminding her that she's part of Skaikru but this predictably backfires. If anyone were to make that appeal it shouldn't have been Jaha. Octavia asks if she was one of them when she was forced to hide under the floor or when they floated her mother. Octavia announces that she's one of them now. 
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With nothing left to do, one by one Skaikru enters the room with Cane to write their name on a ballet.  David decides to write Nathan's name down instead of his own in order to give his son a better shot at survival.  David isn't the only one willing to make sacrifices either.  Abby decides that they should draw 81 names instead of 80 because she's giving away her spot. Abby is convinced that her life isn't more valuable than anyone else's and she's feeling a bit of guilt for the medical experimentation she did to create nightblood. Look, I get where Abby is going here but since she's the only doctor, she kind of falls under the category of necessary person.  It's not like the Grounders have anyone with near the same amount of skill among their group. 

Despite Octavia throwing around her queen of the grounders weight, not everyone is content to simply be cast out.  Jeff, one of the members of Skaikru, asks Jaha to watch over his son Ethan, if he doesn't get selected to live.  Jeff's angry and doesn't see the sense of saving Grounders when they don't have the same technical skills as Skaikru. Together Jeff and Jaha devise a plan to resist. Kane begins reading of the names and David is selected, though he quickly promises his dad that if he doesn't get chosen as well, he will give up his spot in the bunker. The pissed off Jeff makes eye contact with Jaha, who then disappears. Jaha's actions don't go unnoticed and Kane hands off the task of selecting people to Jackson, so that he can make sure that Jaha isn't up to anything sneaky. 

With Kane now occupied chasing after Jaha, Jeff takes over the podium and starts to rant about saving Grounders, arguing that they wouldn't survive down here without Skaikru and that Skaikru should have priority.  The people start chanting, "fight fight fight".  I really can see the point and their desperation in this moment.  Jaha's big plan is to gas the grounders and then secure the food supply. Jaha wants to threaten to destroy the food, if they are forced to evict their people.  Kane is quick to suggest that this is not a good idea.

As planned, all the noise that Skaikru is making does indeed catch the attention of the Grounders.  Indra orders all the guns gathered up and is encouraging Octavia to deal with Skaikru. Octavia is hesitant but realises that this must be done. By the time Octavia and the rest of the grounders make it into the holding area, they see that only Cane and Jaha are awake because they decided to gas their own people instead.  While the people sleep, using Clark's original list, they carry out those who were not selected to survive. This means that Jeff is taken out while his son Ethan is allowed to survive. Kane decides not to respect Abby's decision and selects her to stay.

Okay, time to check in with the road trip. Clarke and Bellamy make peace about her almost shooting him. Bellamy can afford to be magnanimous given that he was in need of forgiveness not to long ago himself. Somehow, they manage to run over someone who runs into the rovers path.  When Bellamy gets out to see how bad things are, they are attacked. Things don't go well for the road trip crew and Emori is about to be choked to death when Echo shows up.  Echo turns into a one woman wrecking crew and takes care of business.

With the immediate threat past, it becomes clear quickly that Emori is in trouble because her suit has been damaged.  Murphy's response is to demand that Echo give up her newly acquired suit. Clarke, who is in the same self sacrificing mood as her mother, hands over her helmet instead, trusting her nightblood to protect her. In the meantime, they reach out to Monty who's on his way to Polis.  Monty being the good sort decides to go and help them out. 

When the roadtrip crew left, Abby warned them about not having time to fuck around and as it turns out, they've past the point of no return. Clarke suggests that if her Nightblood does indeed work, they could get to Polis make more and then try to grab Raven again.  That plan is shot down almost immediately because Clarke starts to cough up blood. Fortunately, Monty and Harper arrive.  Clarke is given the suit that Monty put aside for Jasper.

Raven is watching a countdown clock of the wave passing through. She's absolutely shocked when the road trip crew arrives. They are out of time and cannot escape now. Clarke informs Raven that they aren't returning to Polis and instead are going back to the Arc.  Raven points out that they have no way to land but Clarke is nonplussed because they five years to figure out a way to land safely. They think that there's enough food and water aboard the ark and Monty suggests taking the oxygenator from the island bunker so that they can breathe. Raven points out that a million things could go wrong with this plan but what other choice do they have.

Okay, next week is the season finale and will hopefully lead to something I've been waiting for, for four years - the death of Jaha.  We know that Isaiah Washington won't be back for season five and so all that remains is his exit from the show.  I am so ready to see this character disappear. 

In someways, this primefiyah situation is a little bit of a reboot for the series. Once again, we are going to have people trapped in space who are going to need to return safely to earth to be able to survive. It will also come with the requisite questioning of whether or not the earth will even be habitable. I just hope that the writers can make this back step interesting and not a repeat of what we've already seen.

Sharing the bunker could have two effects. It could bring people together for the first time ever because they are forced to rely on each other, or it could highlight the differences between Skaikru and the Grounders.  One thing is certain, the grounders are going to be dependent upon Skaikru to run all of the tech stuff.  It certainly could recreate the hierarchical society which existed on the arc, with the Grounders getting the short stick. I guess it's a wait and see type situation. 

I have to say that a huge part of me loved seeing Octavia as Grounder Queen, particularly because it came with pointing out all of Jaha's sins.  There is however the problem of an outsider coming in and ruling the natives or even being better at it than the originators - think Avatar. At the end of the day, I would much rather see this position being filled by someone like Indra, who would be a better fit.