Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The 100, Season Five, Episode Three: Sleeping Giants

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Oh my how the roles have all reversed. If you recall, when Skaikru first landed on earth, to the grounders they were an invading force and so the grounders attacked.  The little patch of earth that Clarke has appropriated from the slaughtered clan seems to be all that is habitable on earth now and she is determined to protect it at all cost and teach her adopted daughter how colonisers are to be treated.  Clarke isn't about to ask any questions from the invaders and she continues on with attack mode, setting up one of the prisoners as bait so that she can take a shot at the rest of his comrades. Because they are only two of them and they don't have the fire power to take on the invading prisoners, they are forced to split up. Clarke warns Madi to run and hide while she leads the prisoners of the Eligius away from her.  

Up in space, the rest of the crew are getting the fuel needed from the Eligius to be able to return back to earth.  It's not long before Monty discovers the cryochamber and the almost three hundred people still in stasis.  In another area of the ship, Bellamy learns that the people sleeping and those on the ground are all murderers. Things become urgent when they learn through radio communications that someone on the ground has been captured.  Because Bellamy assumes that Clarke is dead, he believes that the person in danger could be Octavia. Messing with the system of Eligius doesn't go unnoticed and Charmaine gives the the order to awaken one of the prisoners to deal with the invaders.  It takes several members of the crew to take the prisoner out. 

On earth, it's time for interrogation for Clarke.  Clarke takes a page out of Lincoln's captivity and not only remains silent, she actively tries to convey the idea that she doesn't speak English.  Charmaine however is one step ahead of Clarke and has noticed from Clarke's body language that she understands the radio transmissions between her and her crew.  Charmaine explains that they didn't know that the little oasis was occupied when they arrived and were only looking for a safe space to live.  It sounds quite reasonable but given that everything that Clarke has been through, she's not about to put her trust in Charmaine.

Now that the prisoners in cryogenic sleep have been found, the crew must decide what to do with them. Murphy is quick to suggest that they should kill everyone now because they are sleeping army who will do nothing but cause damage or kill Skaikru when they awaken.  Monty of course is not down with this idea at all. It's Bellamy who decides that a compromise is more in order. Bellamy asks Raven to cut off communications with the ground and set it up so that they can rig the stasis machines to go down permanently remotely if necessary - why waste good leverage. Bellamy does however check in with Murphy for his opinion on the plan and while Murphy doesn't exactly co-sign it, he clearly doesn't have a loud objection.  

Back on the ground, the prisoners are about to catch up with Madi. A panicked Clarke will not risk her adopted daughter being captured and so she speaks for the first time, begging Charmaine to let Maddie live because Maddie is only a child. It's only when Clarke volunteers that Maddie is leading their forces into a trap that Charmaine finally calls her men back.  Charmaine promises Clarke that if she deals honestly her, that she will be honest in return.  Charmaine's first question is how the earth got destroyed, causing Clarke to question what time Charmaine is talking about. 

Back aboard the ship, the residents of the Arc prepare to depart for what they hope to be the last time.  There's one problem though, there's no way to remotely detonate the cryogenic chambers, meaning that someone is going to have to stay on board.  Bellamy offers to be the one to stay, not wanting to be responsible for leaving someone he cares about behind again.  Unfortunately, because the process of killing the chamber is so complicated, Raven explains that it would take several days to teach Bellamy and how to do it.  Raven explains that there are two escape pods on the Eligus and that if necessary she will use one of those to return to earth. Raven also points out that if they can get on good relations with the prisoners, she can hitch a ride back to earth with them, seeing as how they have a ship. Bellamy is reluctant but at this point feels as though he is out of options. 

It's time to go and for Bellamy to break the bad news about Raven. Monty is quick to volunteer to stay behind in her stead but is stopped by Harper.  It's actually Murphy who decides to be the hero and stay with Raven in case she needs back up. Emori is clearly stunned by his decision but Murphy blows off her surprise at him stepping up with a sarcastic comment about Emori's ability to fly. It's only as the crew is making their way back to earth that Murphy learns the truth - there's no escape hatch and he is now officially stuck with Raven on what remains of the arc.

The ship lands safely but quickly gets the attention of the prisoners.  Charmaine responds by ordering a collar put on Clarke so that she can be punished through electrocution for failing to speak the truth about who is on earth with her.  Bellamy isn't on earth five minutes before he and the crew are surrounded by Charmaine's men. Bellamy begins by trying to reason with them but given that Clarke has already killed four of Charmaine's people, she orders that four of Skaikru be killed in revenge. Fortunately for Bellamy, Madi comes to the rescue, killing off Charmaine's men, calling Bellamy by name.  Bellamy is shocked to not only see Madi, but to learn that Clarke is alive.

The crew hop in the rover and head to where Charmaine is holding Clarke prisoner.  Bellamy hops out by himself unarmed and once again makes a plea to talk. When Charmaine asks for a reason not to kill him where he stands, Bellamy shows her the cup he took from their ship and explains that if Clarke is harmed that he will order the death of everyone in stasis on the ship.  This is enough for Charmaine to realise that Clarke must be very important to him. 

Given Madi's response to seeing Bellamy surrounded, it's clear that she has learned the lessons Clarke tried so desperately to teach her after the prisoners arrived.  The fact that Bellamy countered Clarke's imprisonment by threatening to kill hundreds of people I am sure will not go unnoticed by her. Peace and tranquility is over. I will however say that bringing Bellamy and Clarke together again is an absolute good thing. The show works much better when these two characters are playing off of each other.  

I'm not really surprised that Murphy chose to stay behind. Thus far, Murphy has not only proved adept at staying alive, he can always be counted on for doing the unpredictable. What is curious is what caused him to revert to his sullen state once he returned to space. There is also the fact that despite being the pain in the ass of the group, Murphy does have a sense of morality and guilt. I believe Murphy could not stand to leave a disabled Raven behind because of his guilt in how she became that way. With Murphy on the outs with Emori, staying behind also meant that he didn't have to deal with his complex emotions. 

As I have said in earlier posts, though we are dealing with a new element with the prisoners, thus far season five has basically been a reboot. I'm not really sure how long The 100 can continue with small variations on a theme and still be interesting. We have a group of humans who survived in space landing on earth looking to build a life. Just as the original 100 knew nothing about the Grounders, the prisoners don't know anything of earth's recent history or why only a little patch of land is habitable. With resources being as limited as they are, this is not going to be resolved easily, particularly if people manage to leave the bunker.