The 100 – “Bitter Harvest” Review and Analysis

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When you watched “Bitter Harvest,” did your mind blow out the side of your head violently, or did it slowly leak out of your ears as you freaked the fuck out over the revelations we received throughout the episode? Because my mind was completely blown out the side of my head. Like, y’all, this episode started slow but then the turbo spooled up and “Bitter Harvest” jettisoned forward with zero regard for protecting our fragile squishy brains. Pretty much like how I drive my WRX. Product placement! Where my check at, Subaru?! That’s how this stuff works, right? BUSINESS!

A ton of awesome stuff happened in “Bitter Harvest.” So many revelations to pick over, analyze, and process. Pieces are slowly falling into place and the world-building has never been more vibrant or complex. The speculation has started in full swing over on Reddit about what it all means. Like, holy shit, y’all, this episode was chock full of goodies.

All that AND we get Carl Emerson, Mount Weather Security Detail.

I’m in full swoon…I need a fainting couch.

Trigger warning: if you’re as in love with sexy beardy Rebel Leader Kane like the rest of all humanity, I have a merchandise idea later on in this piece that may cause you to tremble and drool uncontrollably and open and close your hands greedily while you whimper “me want!” You have been aptly warned.

Let’s get into it!

I Had Doubts About The Scifi Stuff And I Was Absolutely, Positively Wrong

Prior to the season, the writers talked about introducing a lot more scifi elements this year. Quite frankly, I didn’t know how it would fit or if I would like it, especially considering that I found Jaha’s City of Light pilgrimage a bit out of place. Grounders + Skaikru + scifi? It seemed thematically and tonally dissonant.

Turns out, I’m an idiot. I’m the wrongest wrong that has ever been wrong. This scifi direction they’re taking the show in isn’t just good, it’s fucking fascinating and mind blowing. A.L.I.E. and her creator, Becca, tie into EVERYTHING, including the origins of Polis, the Commanders, the 13th station, and Grounder lore.

I am so appreciative of how they’re not making scifi a separate or discrete element that suddenly forces its way into the other story lines like a drunk party crasher. This story goes back 97 years…and even before that, to Becca and the creation of A.L.I.E. They’ve sunk the tendrils of this narrative deep into the show’s history and are now slowly revealing it to us.

I’m freaking the fuck out over how good this is – to me this is a game-changing episode. It’s become clear that everything from this season, and previous seasons, is becoming richly entangled as A.L.I.E., Becca, and the 13th station are explained to us. I could honestly not be more excited for the direction this show is moving in.

If I were the writers, I would be getting my celebratory swag dance on because hot damn, when they dropped the 13th station knowledge on us, boom went the dynamite.

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“And we’ve only just started to blow your mind.” – the writers

My brain is still trying to process information, because there’s so much! The implications of what we learned in this episode are astounding. And it’s leading to tons of theories about how this narrative is going to move forward. Let’s go through what we know, what I think is likely true, and some crazy wild ass speculation (note, not all of this is from my brain alone, there are a lot of theories floating around that I’m fully on board with and include below):

Stuff we know for sure:

  • A.L.I.E. is an AI created by Becca, and A.L.I.E. shares her likeness
  • A.L.I.E.’s prime directive is to “make life better,” and does so by solving the root problem, which just so happens to be “too many people”
  • A.L.I.E. got loose – let out according to found footage in the lighthouse bunker – and set off the nukes that destroyed most of the earth 97 years prior to the current timeline
  • A.L.I.E. used the nuke that Jaha rode to earth as a power source – probably for the backpack that makes her mobile, maybe also to create and power those City of Light wafers
  • A.L.I.E. wants to populate the City of Light with more humans, but we don’t know if this is in service to her prime directive or some other motive
  • The City of Light takes away pain, both physical and psychological, but destroys memories along the way
  • At least one pod from the 13th station (Polaris) fell to earth with likely one survivor contained inside
  • Polis gets its name from Polaris, as two letters were worn off of the pod, and NOT Annapolis – the Annapolis thing had be already debunked by the writers, but since Tondc was named after Washington DC, people still had their minds made up (Polis is likely where Baltimore used to be)

What I think is pretty likely:

  • Becca was on the 13th space station working on v2.0 of A.L.I.E. when the bombs dropped
  • The 13th station was a corporation’s or organization’s station, and not associated with a country, unlike the other 12
  • That corporation/organization was named Polaris and its logo was the infinity symbol
  • Becca escaped the 13th station in a pod and made it back to earth as the only survivor of the 13th station

Wild ass speculation time!:

  • The 12 stations destroyed the 13th station to protect themselves from A.L.I.E., who could have spread to their systems if they allowed Polaris to join the rest
  • More of the 13th station could have crashed to earth, and the Grounders may have salvaged some of it since we see what looks like tech in Titus’s sex dungeon
  • If ingesting a wafer can manifest A.L.I.E. and the City of Light to humans, then v2.0 of Becca’s AI can be carried in much the same way
  • Becca was the first “carrier” of AI v2.0 within her body – nano-tech most likely
  • Becca fell to earth with AI 2.0 inside of her and somehow became the first Commander – in Titus’s sex dungeon, there is a drawing of a woman who seems to be a sacred figure, and that has to be the last survivor of the Polaris station
  • The nano-tech in AI v2.0 turns the blood black, it is not a mutation caused by earth’s radiation
  • The AI v2.0 is passed down through the Nightbloods, including Lexa, who “hears” previous Commanders in her dreams – the experience of these Commanders may be available to those who share the AI
  • The AI v2.0 is much more passive than A.L.I.E. v1.0 and can exert no control over the human host – Becca learned her lesson with her first version, which destroyed the world, and created an AI that is no where near as dangerous, probably intending to upgrade A.L.I.E. to this new version and therefore pacify her

All of this leads to a ton of questions:

  • Why did they let A.L.I.E. get out?
  • Why did the 13th station get destroyed? Jaha says it was the only way to get the other 12 stations to unite, but there’s still the question as to the veracity of that version, how it exactly went down, and why isn’t the story well known.
  • Since this show loves its parallels, will the 13th clan share the 13th station’s fate?
  • Did the rest of the stations know the real cause behind the nukes?
  • How is the AI passed down? Are the Nightbloods Becca’s descendants?
  • Do all Nightbloods experience what Lexa is experiencing, or is she special because she’s the chosen Commander?
  • What exactly is left of previous Commanders in v2.0 of the AI? Just their past data, or does a part of the consciousness live on? Is that how they’re able to warn Lexa, or is she re-contextualizing their data based on her current situation?
  • How does the AI v2.0 share its data with its other host bodies? Wifi? Human contact?
  • Does the nano-tech lie dormant in the Nightbloods until they are elevated to Commander, and that Commander “downloads” the previous Commanders?
  • Does A.L.I.E. know anything about v2.0 other than its existence? Does she view v2.0 as a threat? What does she want with it?
  • Can A.L.I.E. control people, even passively, either in this world or the City of Light?

So many interesting and amazing questions that we need answers to before we lose our damn minds. Just when you thought the show couldn’t turn everything upside down yet again, it puts its crazypants on and dances lustily on our front lawn. At the end of the episode, I just stared at my TV, dumbfounded.

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“Bitter Harvest” threw all of my expectations of The 100 out of whack I’m loving every second of it, because not only have the writers greatly expanded the world, they’ve also created a tie that binds all of it together in wholly unexpected ways. Everything is connected by some sort of association with Becca’s creation(s) and as the season moves forward, we’ll start seeing the ramifications of the choices made over a century ago.

I still contend that A.L.I.E. is up to no good, but there are those who think she could be benevolently following her prime directive. But if she has no problem with stripping away vital parts of the human condition to “make life better,” then she’s more dangerous than a straight up evil antagonist because she earnestly believes she’s doing good. Erica Cerra is going a great job playing A.L.I.E. because it’s impossible to figure out her motivations. She gives nothing away.

News Flash: The Pikadians Are Still Shit Birds

If you were betting that Pike was suddenly going to see the error of his ways, you’d be wrong. You also probably shouldn’t take up sports wagering as a hobby. He sends his little cadre of absolutely awful human beings out to take soil and water samples. A Grounder child stumbles upon them, and they decide the kid has to die or he’ll tell his people what Skaikru is up to. BECAUSE GROUNDER KIDS KNOW WHAT SOIL AND WATER SAMPLES ARE FOR.

Seriously, fuck these guys. Monty’s mom is the worst. The absolute worst.

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But Action Hero Octavia is there to save the day, and helps hide the kid from the ghouls looking for him. Octavia is working with Kane to try and figure out what Pike and his people are up to, and it’s fairly simple: Pike is looking for land to farm, because now that Mount Weather is gone, they need a new food source or Arkadia will starve within a year. And a Grounder village sits on the land where Pike wants to plant his corn and soybeans and hate. I bet he wants to also grow kale, because he’s the worst and kale is the worst.

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Kane, with the help of Miller, who is the absolute bestest ever, plants a bug in Pike’s office to find out what he’s planning. They find out that Pike wants to “clear” (read as: kill) the Grounder village and take the land. Octavia, who is working with Kane, which I will get to in one sec, hears this and goes to warn the village. The Grounders are skeptical because Octavia is Skaikru, but we know her heart lies with the Grounders. They start to make like they’re going to leave to avoid getting slaughtered, but they have something else in mind.

When Bellamy et al. come to the village, the Grounders set it on fire…only they’ve covered everything in acidic tree sap, which turns into deadly gas when aflame. Octavia tries to warn her brother and the other colonialists…errr…Skaikru raiders, but the gas claims Monroe. RIP Monroe. We learned this episode that your first name is Zoe, so we should have known you’d be biting it. You lasted far longer than most red shirts. And we lose another of the original 100. They should consider renaming the show to The Fortyish, We Guess, Shrug.

Monty proved himself to be a darling cupcake, yet again, by risking his life and going into the acid fog after Monroe. It’s hard to watch Monty get thrust into this situation simply because he’s the son of the Worst Human Being In Existence and I guess he’s trying to help but doesn’t really know the depth of depravity these people are willing to stoop to. I demand a DNA test to make sure that Monty is indeed her son, with the results revealed on the Maury Show. I just refuse to believe that these two are related.

Octavia is captured by the Grounders who plan to take her back to Lexa in Polis, which excites me to no end because there’s going to be so much kick ass girl power in Polis, what with Clarke and Lexa and Indra and Octavia – I may just explode. Octavia is safe, at least, but Bellamy’s actions have got to be absolutely killing her. And with even more violence between the Grounders and Skaikru, she and Clarke are basically without a people. Grounders don’t trust them and Skaikru don’t trust them. At this point, they might as well declare independence and form Clarkatvialand, population of 2. I would so buy a postcard from there.

I badly want some sort of reconciliation between Clarke and Octavia, because it’s imperative that they start working together again to rectify what’s happening in Arkadia. It pains me to see these two at odds, but Clarke was in another impossible situation – let girl Blake die to save boy Blake plus all of their friends. I know it’s hard to stomach, but at this point, who hasn’t Clarke put in danger in order to – say it with me kids – protect her people.

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This. I love this. More than you can know.

Now, let’s talk about Kane and Octavia working together. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH YOU GUYS. Sexy beardy Rebel Leader Kane is the most perfect being in the whole universe. Octavia, of course, knows this and is more than happy to help Kane out if it means saving Grounders and maybe saving the few sane Skaikru that are left. These two are bona fide heroes.

Speaking Of Sane Skaikru And Heroes, Hello Hero Abby, I Love You

Can we have a frank discussion about Abby, because I feel she’s been shit on by fans in the past. She’s held the position of Chancellor, doctor, and mother and she always hasn’t been very good at balancing all three. She’s been…gasp…fallible!

Here’s the deal. We place a great burden of expectations on the characters in our escapist entertainment, and when they fall short of those expectations and show weakness or make mistakes or display real human feelings, we tend to be pulled out of that unreality and back into our world. I liken it to the rough treatment that Skyler White got on Breaking Bad.

When Skyler had some very realistic, very logical, very human reactions to Walter White’s journey into darkness, the fans shit on her relentlessly. Walter White is a badass! She’s a harpy that’s raining on his meth parade! How dare she question our anti-hero!

Walter White was a meth cook, a drug dealer, a murderer, and in the end, left his family destitute, ostracized, and utterly decimated by his actions.

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Skyler displayed very real emotions and reactions in regards to her husband; any sane person would react in the same way. But in the world of Breaking Bad, where fans were living vicariously through Heisenberg, she was the ultimate Debbie Downer. She pulled the audience out of Walter White’s fantasy realm into the reality of there being some very dangerous consequences for his actions. By the end of Breaking Bad, Walter White had become the full-on bad guy, consumed by his hubris and resentment, and Skyler’s fears were completely realized. But I don’t know if the fans ever gave her a break for being the voice of reason.

Abby Griffin has had a hard road of not living up to expectations in a world inhabited by larger-than-life women like Clarke, Lexa, Indra, and Octavia. She caused her husband’s death. She is often the harsh voice of reason, judgment, and conscience in direct opposition to Clarke. She struggles with the mantle of leadership. She struggles being the mother of the Commander of Death.

But in “Bitter Harvest,” she steps up big time when she questions the effects of the City of Light and prevents Jasper from ingesting the wafer. And she has one stunningly heartbreaking realization.

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Did your jaw drop and did you let out a little whimper when you realized what was going on here? Because I did. I was just utterly shocked and saddened.

JAHA CAN’T REMEMBER HIS DEAD SON. The City of Light is not only eliminating physical pain, but emotional pain as well by destroying the memories associated with that pain. Holy. Fucking. Shitballs. I told y’all that this City of Light is some evil bullshit! It’s removing the things that make life worth living.

Wouldn’t Jaha prefer to remember Wells? Even if the memory of his death is painful? Because memories are more than just pain, they’re chock full of emotions, including lots of good ones, like love, joy, and hope. Removing memories because one aspect is painful is destructive and a desecration of the human experience, and I don’t know if A.L.I.E. has the capacity to recognize this horror. Or care.

Eventually, Raven will forget Finn. She barely had a response to Jasper spilling all of Finn’s ashes. And if Jasper takes the pill, he will forget Maya. If all the good goes away with the bad, what’s left after that? It’s an existence without authenticity.

Abby recognizes that there’s more to the City of Light than even Jaha is aware of, and takes the wafers from him, making an excuse of studying the side effects. Only now we know her trusty medical sidekick, Jackson, has ingested a wafer and will look to stop her. Noooooo Jackson! Just another evil twist from the writers!

Let’s give it up for Abby. She’s often the conscience of the people around her, especially during season 1 when tough decisions had to be made, and most of them pretty awful. Remember the culling? It was one of the many early moments in this show that let you know it wasn’t playing around and wasn’t going to give us any 11th hour saves. Abby is always trying to do the right thing or appeal to the goodness in those around her. She tries to stop awful things from happening because there has to be a better way. It is often a thankless job.

It’s moments like these that show you what she’s made of, and displays many of the same traits we love in Clarke and that make Clarke such a great character. Abby taught her daughter well, and we need to forgive Abby for not keeping up with Clarke’s evolution into a force of nature.

While We’re On The Topic Of The Adults, Let Me Blather On About My Love For Sexy Beardy Rebel Leader Kane

Yes, I’ve already gushed about Kane thus far, but he deserves more gushing. Hey The 100 merch creators, can y’all make a full-size body pillow with sexy beardy Kane on it so I can cry into it after feeling all the feels while watching this show? Just for crying, I swear. No funny business.

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Okay, maybe a little funny business.

Kane’s character arc has been a pure joy to watch. Early on, he was set up to be the power-hungry antagonist. He tried to float Abby. He pushed for the culling on the Ark. But those decisions changed him. And when his mother died on Unity Day because of a terrorist attack, it changed him even more.

In season 2 he had Abby electro-whipped for gun trafficking. And I think that’s the moment he flipped a switch and turned his back on the old Marcus Kane. He could no longer be a leader who hurt his own people in order to keep them in line under the guise of protecting them. So he gave up the Chancellorship and set out to make contact with the Grounders to seek peace. There he met Lexa and recognized she was different – a progressive and visionary Commander, someone Skaikru could work with. Someone who he impressed enough to start the ball rolling on a treaty. Later on, he became a sounding board for Abby and Clarke, doling out advice as they progressed as leaders.

In season 3, he’s become affectionately known as Dad Kane, affirming Clarke’s decision to bow to Lexa to become the 13th clan. He’s tried to guide Bellamy into making the right choices. This new Kane, the one who had given up power to become a better person, is suddenly so ready to be a real leader because his experiences have changed him and allowed him to grow into a caring, compassionate, and fair man.

But Kane as Chancellor  wasn’t to be with the election of Pike. When things went sideways and Pike got elected, one of his first actions as the new Chancellor was the cowardly massacre of 300 Grounders. With this, Kane had to take on a new role and became Rebel Leader Kane. His main priority now is to do what is right and stop Pike’s madness from completely engulfing both the Arkadians and the Grounders.

Sexy beardy Rebel Leader Kane is the best Kane we could ever ask for, and I am completely enamored with what the writers have done with him. Henry Ian Cusick is doing such a good job with the role and has made his character’s evolution feel right, and now I want nothing but good things for him. Like more than just a kiss on the cheek from Abby.

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The Griffin women are good with the cheek kisses, no?

Kabby’s going to happen, and the writers teased it in this episode, which I adore. Don’t give away all the good stuff at once. There are times when the story moves too fast and leaps over parts that I feel need more room to maneuver, but then there are times when their pacing is just oh so right. Kabby is one of those examples. When these two do eventually kiss, the roar you hear on that Thursday night will be the collective cheers of The 100 fans who love these two and want a little happiness for them both. They’ve been through so much together, don’t they deserve it?

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(just imagine if “YAS QUEEN!” had been Lexa’s answer to Clarke’s question of “don’t we deserve better than that?” right before the Clexa kiss…it would have been GLORIOUS and you damn well know it)

Dick In A Box

Roan, a most thoughtful gift giver (second only to Leslie Knope), sends Clarke a present.

Wait, I should stop and rewind and acknowledge the Clexa scene. Yes, Clarke is sketching Lexa, who apparently drifted off while reading. This is a very rare peaceful moment for the two of them, and when Lexa sees the sketch, Clarke is self-conscious about it not being done, and Lexa’s all like “this is the best drawring ever Clarke, you are the best, my candles are the best, I love lamp, will you make out with me?” but fuck all that for right now.

Can we take a moment and talk about Lexa reading a book? Did we know she can read? Do most Grounders read? This hasn’t really been discussed. I guess we assume they can read because someone had to name Tondc after Washington DC, but I just want to fill this knowledge gap. I’m now obsessed with Grounder literacy rates, thanks Hundy writers.

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Literally Lexa right now

Anyway, back to the box. Turns out Roan has sent Clarke the root cause of the destruction of Mount Weather and the 49 Skaikru deaths:

Carl Emerson Mount Weather Security Detail. Literally the last Mountain Man.

Since Emerson is a “gift” to Clarke, she has to decide what to do with him. Lexa gives her two choices: banish him from Lexaland or death by 49 cuts. Clarke immediately is all like “kill him, that’s the ticket!” which pisses off Lexa who has determined that blood must not have blood, establishing a cease fire with Arkadia in hopes of forging a peace. Clarke wanting Emerson to die makes Clarke a hypocrite, which Lexa is quick to point out: “So blood must not have blood applies only when it is my people who bleed.”

Lexa is disappoint.

Lexa gives Clarke until nightfall to reconsider her Emerson decision. So Clarke goes to have a lovely afternoon chat with the ol’ chap, which consists of finger sandwiches, a calming chamomile tea, and a final tally of Clarke’s kill count at Mount Weather.

381 people: 182 men, 173 women, and 26 children

Two of those children were Emerson’s. Which sort of rocked my world and by Clarke’s reaction, hers as well. I actually felt bad for him for a moment before I remembered he’s a raging douchenozzle. But then I felt bad again. We love to hate to love Emerson.

Clarke comes face-to-face with the mountain’s last ghost, who hates Clarke with every fiber of his being. I believe, in Clarke’s mind, this confrontation was meant to solidify her choice of killing him, but her accusations were met with fury and a recounting of the sins she’s been running from since she pulled that lever in Mount Weather and became Wanheda.

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Her actions took the lives of 381 people, and Emerson is just one more pebble that she can try and toss into a deep ocean of pain, guilt, and regret, but he will barely make a ripple. He would be just another demon to add to her fairly large collection of demons. She flees from Emerson as her emotions spiral out of her control. Emerson continues to howl after her: “I don’t want mercy. I want revenge. I want you to suffer the same way that I’ve suffered. You can kill me, Clarke, but you can never escape what you did. My pain ends today, but yours has just begun!”

After this confrontation, Shady Ass Titus shows up in Clarke’s room and re-arranges her Precious Moments figurine collection. He’s there to get her to talk Lexa out of following “blood must not have blood,” as he fears it will get Lexa killed. Clarke refuses and Titus probably slinks away to his sex dungeon to play with his new toy, Murphy. Titus keeps getting shadier and shadier, and while he seemed to have Lexa’s best interests at heart earlier in the season, it’s obvious now he only cares about her as the Commander, not her as a person. Lexa as a person is a threat to whatever Titus’s agenda is, and this conflict has to come to a head soon.

Ponder this: do you put it past Titus to be the one who handed Costia over to Queen Nia to be killed? I don’t. He’ll certainly make a play to take Clarke out. She is a distraction Titus cannot afford. More over, her influence and support for Lexa’s decision to pursue peace is something he cannot abide.

By the time night falls and Clarke is handed Lexa’s dagger to begin Emerson’s slow death, Clarke has changed her mind. She’s not going to give in to her desire to see Emerson die, but instead have him banished. And honestly, this is a worse fate for the last Mountain Man because he is alone in the world and has to live with the pain of losing everyone he has ever known or loved.

Clarke puts aside her need for vengeance, but also realizes that destroying the last of the mountain would just be her trying to erase the one last living reminder of her actions in Mount Weather.

Clarke: “I don’t know if your death would bring me peace, I just know that I don’t deserve it.”
Emerson: “What the hell is this?”
Clarke: “I wouldn’t be killing you for what you’ve done. I’d be killing you for what I’ve done. Ai ron disha hef em sonraun op (I give this man his life). Jus nou drein jus daun (blood must not have blood).”

This decision doesn’t please Titus (oh, surprise, surprise, surprise…I am so giving Titus some mean side-eye right now), and the others in the throne room start rumbling about this turn of events. They were expecting dinner and an execution. Lexa is quick to shut them down, showing that her commitment to peace is both very real and very much her decision:

Hosh op (silence)! Emo kripon kom Maun nou na ge gada in kom won hef (the crimes of the Mountain cannot be answered by one man). Wanheda knows this. Her actions show us a promise for a new future. A world in which violence does not always answer violence. A world in which our children can flourish. Without the shadow of death. This prisoner is banished from my land. He will live but he will live with the ghosts of those he has lost. Haunted until the end of his days by the knowledge that he is the last of his kind.”

And Clarke has one last thing to say to Emerson: “May you live forever.”

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Yes, Dark Clarke makes an appearance! I knew you still had it in you, girl. High five!

(If y’all think Emerson is going to go gently into that good night, think again. No good deed goes unpunished. He’ll be back. Don’t know when or where, but this guy will be gunning for Clarke)

Side note: Toby Levins, the actor who plays Carl Emerson Mount Weather Security Detail, absolutely killed it this episode. He made me feel both hate and empathy and maybe (just a little) a desire for a full-size body pillow of Emerson. Get on it, merch people!

And Now An Aside: Let’s Talk About Lexa For A Moment Because I Have A Tough Time Articulating My Thoughts About Rocket Raccoon

I my review of the previous episode, it came across that I consider Lexa weak and under Clarke’s influence when she chose peace over retribution for Arkadia’s massacre of 300 of her people. I was fresh off the episode and wanting retribution myself, so I think I communicated my opinion of her poorly. There’s also been some wonderful debate, both in the comments and on Reddit that have made me reconsider my opinions and how to better articulate them. See what adult conversation can do? Offer different perspectives and change minds.

So let me clearly (hopefully) articulate my view of Lexa.

Lexa is one of the strongest, most formidable female characters in entertainment right now, sharing that honor with Jessica Jones, Michonne, Rey, Root, Shaw, Furiosa, and most of women on The 100. I love her character. I would gladly cower behind her for protection if we got into a weird musical fight with the Sharks and/or Jets. I wish I could just take that last sentence and assign it to someone to write fanfic, complete with a whole new musical score done in the same style as “West Side Story.”

Lexa has added a unique dimension to this show and is character I can’t imagine not existing.

The thing I think is important to consider is that she can be both strong and weak. And her strength can greatly outweigh any weakness. If I had $100 in poker chips, I’d put $5 into the “Weakness Pile” and $95 in the “Strength Pile.” Just to make it clear in terms people (and degenerate gamblers like myself) will understand. That’s how I tip the scales for Lexa right now. So let’s not paint Lexa as either strong or weak. This show is not about absolutes.

But also remember, it only takes one chink in the armor for a blade to slip through and do its damage.

Put your desires for what you want Lexa to be aside, and realize she’s human, just like you and me. I know. We hate when our entertainment pulls too much of the real human condition in and makes characters, especially the heroes, fallible. See also: my previous comments on Abby

Now let’s address Clarke. Does Clarke influence Lexa? Of course she does, but they’ve been influencing one another since they entered each other’s orbit. Clarke offers a different perspective on leadership, and the two of them spent a great deal of season 2 arguing for their different view points. Their discussions created some of last season’s best scenes, and allowed them to develop their incredible tension and chemistry. The added immeasurably to one another as people.

Does Clarke make Lexa weaker? Yes. Absolutely. By making her more vulnerable.

Does Clarke also make Lexa immensely stronger? Fuck yes. By providing friendship, understanding, honesty, and compassion.

I think Clarke adds far more to Lexa as a person than detracts, and that’s the important realization that I’ve finally come to that allows me to have a clearer perspective on Lexa’s motivations.

So, I hope I was better able to express how I truly feel about Lexa. Lexa is awesome. Lexa is life. Lexa will kick you off the Polis tower and not give two shits. I. LOVE. LEXA. More than Oprah loves bread, and that’s barely even humanly possible, y’all.


Miscellany

  • My ship, Slarke (soap + Clarke) sails gloriously on.
  • I also have a new ship, but it doesn’t have a cute shipping name: Raven’s leg brace + WD40. Thing’s a little squeaky.
  • “That’s the weirdest candle I’ve ever seen.” – Lexa, when Emerson popped out of her Amazon Prime delivery box. OBLIGATORY CANDLE REFERENCE. Because candles were a thing this week.
  • Will #StopHurtingJohnMurphy2016 become the new #StopHurtingRavenReyes2016?
  • Even after everything, I still want Clarke and Emerson to put aside their differences and become besties and go on wacky panther-killing adventures. I have issues.
  • Will Clarke stumble upon Titus’s sex dungeon and discover Murphy? More importantly, will she also discover the Polaris escape pod and the drawings of the infinity symbol and the woman (Becca?). More more importantly, will Clarke and Titus bond over their love of art and suddenly become best friends forever?
  • Speaking of Shady McShaderson, Titus fires a gun at Clarke next week! Will she do some hardcore parkour to disarm him? Yes please.
  • I wonder where Clarke got that fabulous jacket she wore this episode. I also wonder if Nina Garcia would like it. Doesn’t matter, I love it. But really, would Nina like it?
  • Calling it now: assassination attempt next week, not just on Clarke, but on Lexa. Calling it now, Indra will save the fucking day.
  • Do we meet a new player in the game next week? Who is Clarke shaking hands with? Could it be Luna kom Floukru? That’s boat clan, if you’re not up on your Trigedasleng. Peasants. (confession: I had to look it up)
  • Raven calling A.L.I.E. “Red” is so Raven.
  • It’s great to see Raven smiling and happy again. And it’s terrifying.
  • No, I didn’t address Bellamy’s continued downward spiral into becoming a full-on Sith Lord. Every time he shows signs of having a conscious, Pike shuts it down. Octavia is his last hope, and I think we know from the season 3 trailer that things go from bad to really, horribly bad between these two.
  • I’m going to have to write a separate piece on Bellamy alone. I’ve determined he’s Brian Hoyer. This will make more sense when I write the piece, give me a break.
  • Who else is ready for Batman and Robin Nightwing next week? Because I am so ready I’m giddy at the thought! These two need some theme music while they get their swiggidy swag on strollin’ through the streets of Polis:
    giphy27
  • If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with a very long review/analysis. I do this for the love of the game and I’m just here so I don’t get fined.

FINAL VERDICT!

“Bitter Harvest”: 9 out of 10 Emersons in a box


There are some The 100 bloggers you should absolutely be reading, and I offer them up for your enjoyment; I have no affiliation with any of them, save for being a fan:

  • Jo Garfein – doing some great intellectual lifting when analyzing the show, and check out her The 100 podcast with AJ Mass, also found on Scifi Mafia at this link.
  • Erin Brown – unfairly beautiful writing. Like seriously, stop being so good.
  • Toni_watches – piss your goddamn pants funny photo recaps.

If you’re a fan of the show, join us on Reddit for deep discussions, wacky shenanigans, Trigedasleng lessons, and our weekly Breadheda-watch. Bread drein, bread daun.

giphy12

I think Breadheda has officially left us, as we haven’t seen her for weeks. Bread nou drein bread daun.

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32 Responses to The 100 – “Bitter Harvest” Review and Analysis

  1. Your shameless Reditkru self-promotion gives me life.
    How many adjectives can we add to a name before it’s too much? THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST!
    Sexy beardy rebel leader dad Kane has stolen all our hearts. Please don’t die 🙂
    I’m glad we can all agree that Kabby is the greatest thing EVER. I also like your Skyler/Abby comparison. I hadn’t considered that but the fandom’s treatment of her character does kinda remind me of the way Skyler was received by some of the more vocal Breaking Bad fans.
    I would gladly read a separate piece on your thoughts about Kylo Bell and his downward spiral.

    I’m gonna disagree on the rating for once and go 8/10. The Polaris revelations blew my mind, but I’m still having too many issues with Pike’s Arkadia and the pacing to give it a 9.

  2. Jennifer says:

    The 13th station reveal and ALIE elevated my score from an 8 to a 9 because I’m SOOOO excited to see where they go from here and the writers really wove the scifi stuff in masterfully. I was just blown away by how it all ties together. The world building this season as been nothing short of breath taking. So yes, the Pikadia stuff is still troubling, but I’m going to give it a pass because the other stuff is so wonderful.

  3. qkuc says:

    You hit the theory processor in my mind. What if the black blood itself the AI? And it uses humans as platform, not any computer hardware? The inverse system, CoL lives within the black bloods, instead of they living in CoL? The most distributed system would be, using ALIE v1.0-s “wifi” connection capabilities.

    The 12 stations destroyed the 13th station to protect themselves from A.L.I.E., who could have spread to their systems if they allowed Polaris to join the rest – This really depends on BEcca’s intentions and goals. I don’t see the reason to kdestroy the 13th if Becca wanted to fix the core problem (LoL) of ALIE.

    A.L.I.E. used the nuke that Jaha rode to earth as a power source – probably for the backpack that makes her mobile, maybe also to create and power those City of Light wafers – I have problem with the 2nd part. If CoL wasn’t ready, how on Earth it could have been settled as a strong myth around at least the abandoned people/desert clan?

    The 13th station was a corporation’s or organization’s station, and not associated with a country, unlike the other 12 – Or military …

    At least one pod from the 13th station (Polaris) fell to earth with likely one survivor contained insideAt least one pod from the 13th station (Polaris) fell to earth with likely one survivor contained inside . One lonely person among survivors … I think more of them reached Earth from 13th station. Just counting the panels holding monitors (if they are working, we have the mysterious byuer, but I still don’t understand how TItus could run any technology, computer systems.), it should be from the station itself.

    Anyway good theories, :).

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m thinking the nano bots are in the blood, but the AI being the blood itself? I LOVE THIS THEORY.

      I have a feeling that Becca didn’t know exactly what she was unleashing on the world when she created ALIE.

      Regarding the CoL…I think she spread the word using her drones and had limited reach and limited capability to transport the CoL, but now with the backpack, she can jack anyone in with the wafers. I think that nuke was the key to her spreading throughout the world. Right now, we’ve only seen Grounders on the outskirts talk about the CoL, but I’ve not heard Trikru or anyone in Polis mention it. Maybe that’s to come?

      • qkuc says:

        Hm, so as always with the 13th station/Becca/ALIE story line, there are always at least 2 options, bu I believe Becca was enough clever to realise at the exact moment when ALIE told the core (and hidden solution) of the problem, that she made a HUGE mistake. If she was so naive, that she didn’t leave any backdoor or she didn’t revoked “admin” privileges or ALIE grabbed root rights and locked ou Becca, she must have realised, that it will have no positive result, if ALIE takes her core command serioulsy (and yes, the problem is that the command was done on the core level of source, naive, naive Becca).

        So I really believe Becca wanted o fix the issue and shut down ALIE v1 to hell, but as she was the trigger of the apocalypse I can imagine this was enough to Ark to not welcome, or kick out the station when they realised that Becca wants an ALIE v2 to release (using their blood).

        My problem is with the CoL legend, that 1 person is so no enough to let this “myth” spread. You know I believe if I see it is our core command in most cases, :D.

      • Sam says:

        AI being the blood itself … i just had the weirdest of thoughts… could Clarke have ingested it when Nia cut Ontari’s hand and her blood dripped all over Clarkes face and EYES … ???

      • Jennifer says:

        That’s what I’m wondering…it got in her eyes and mouth. What if the AI slowly replicates and turns her blood black? The implications …. oh man, I get excited just thinking about the possibility of Commander Clarke.

      • Sam says:

        Exactly! The implications … Commander Clarke … or Co-Commander ? 😉 wow. I need some time to let that sink in. Time to go horizontal as well… maybe sleep will help organize thoughts …

  4. Miss L Delba says:

    I swear fealty to you, Jennifer Kom Redditkru. I vow to read every word you write because I wish I could express them this well. Your theories are my theories, your Kane pillow is… well, yours, because I love him to death but no hairy pillow for me thanks. Off to dream I will be Indraktavia when I’m big.

    • Jennifer says:

      To be clear: I merely want Kane’s visage on the pillow, not any real hair. That would be weird. So weird

      Thanks for swearing fealty! I won’t betray you, I swear. Unless I have to save my people.

  5. Sam says:

    Not only did i read til the end but did actually tremendiously enjoy every single word of it. Loved the episode with so many twists and turns and new input (Polaris…) and everything falling into it s place, expertly woven … just like a puzzle that it s become. Extremely entertaining review, thanks!
    Can t wait for next week and Titus/Clarke + other assassination attempts. [next time i ll have a glass of Cragganmore handy right away]. Cheers.

    • Jennifer says:

      Next week I’ll probably go with a blend like Monkey Shoulder…something that won’t be completely ruined by my salty tears. Or maybe Old Pulteney 12…that’s got a bit of a maritime salt tinge going.

      • Sam says:

        Old Pulteney 12, there you go … excellent choice and very fitting for the occasion.

      • Jennifer says:

        Old Pulteney surprised the shit out of me when I first tasted it…smoother than I anticipated. A very tasty whisky for the price point!

      • Sam says:

        It does, doesn’t it .. i first got to know Old Pulteney in a tasting and was as surprised apparently as you. Wondering if they do have such strong spirits in the 100 … Kane offered some to Lexa in S2 which “should qualify” but which they did not drink due to the poisoning/Gustus trick. Anyhoo stuff looked transparent … not anything scotch/single malt like…. *sigh*

      • Jennifer says:

        I think what Kane offered to Lexa was pure hooch, probably Jasper’s handiwork.

        I may buy a bottle of Lagavulin 16 for this Thursday. It may be a huge waste of money…I don’t know if I will be able to handle liquid campfire.

      • Sam says:

        Ha! Liquid campfire!?! that s a description of Lagavullin 16j that would be up for discussion in my opinion! Insert grin. It s NEVER be a waste of money, believe me.
        If i may be so bold to suggest another: OBAN, one of my fav favs so to speak. Such a nice topic to dwell … almost as nice as Clarke s hairdo. Are we missing the red streaks ? Personally not so much. Cheers to back to almost all blond.

      • Jennifer says:

        I honestly have no idea what to expect with Lagavulin. I will have to check out Oban as well. I keep thinking I’ll pick it up at Costco, but I never do.

  6. A.Rob says:

    Emerson’s reveal of having 2 children who died in Mt Weather certainly brought a different nuance to his character. Since this show is all about perspective and how no one is really wrong in why they chose their path, lets examine Emerson’s path then as a father. I myself am a parent of 2 children so I can completely empathize with this driving desire to fiercely protect my children and also yearn to make the world better for them. It is something so deeply seeded within me that it can make me emotionally compromised, every decision is filtered through my role as a parent. Emerson choices stem heavily from his role as a father. The people of Mt Weather were surviving on grounder blood, it was the only thing keeping them alive, but they were still confined to only the deep caverns underground in a mountain for generations. They were all doing whatever it took to save their people. But also trying to find some way out of the darkness and a better future for their children. That was their drive. We can call him a douchenozzle for his compliance in their methods because that is easy on the outside looking in but again, this show is a test of human empathy. What would you do for your children? What moral quandaries would you face to survive? and What choices would you make to ensure your children’s and your people’s survival? Would you take the moral high ground and sacrifice yourself and your children, or would you fight for your and their right to live in a cruel world? It’s funny how few fans (not our dear blogger but what i’ve seen in the twitterverse) barely bat an eye at the innocent people killed at tondc (a village, not a military base) that also would have surely contained children or the 26 children in Mt Weather and concentrate their ire at other needless deaths that they feel deserve punishment, but those incidents somehow get absolved because…reasons. How is Emerson any more or less guilty than Clarke, they both were doing whatever it takes to save their people. If “saving their people” can give certain characters a moral pass, why not for Emerson? Innocent blood is on all hands. Just food for thought. I was just getting sick of seeing fans calling for the wipeout of an entire group of people, because of the pedestal they have put other people on. Which is ironic considering everything, but also a complete misrepresentation of the show and its themes.

    Jennifer, I love your desire for Clarke and soap to form a bond. I keep thinking to myself “Clearly Lexa has a hairdresser/washer, surely she can recommend that to Clarke” Hopefully Clarke plays nice with soap before she jumps in bed with Lexa, those sheets look clean.

    I love the Scifi elements starting to take center stage, as a HUGE Battlestar Galactica fan I couldn’t be more pleased. Nightbloods are the new Cylons…*shrug*

    Sign me up for Kane merchandise…his beard really took him to the next level. Giving a whole new meaning to the “growing the beard” trope.

    • Jennifer says:

      You bring up some really good points about Emerson, which is why I feel back for him. But he was also gunning for Clarke in S2, so he’s going to be a little on my bad side. He’s going to be the new version of Chekhov’s gun sometime this season or next season, turning up at the worst possible time. It would be too obvious for him to kill someone Clarke loves, but it would be the ultimate turning point.

      I think Clarke has an okay relationship with soap right now, it’s the shampoo and conditioner that’s troubling me now. Maybe she’s just deeply into Phish or something. Do Phish fans have dreads? I imagine that they do, I don’t know why.

      • qkuc says:

        Let’s be clear, I never ever planned to do any art related to Emerson, as I really disliked the character, but his background story, that this man, the last of his kind lost his entire universe (kids, family, friends, everything) just moved my heart.

        So, now I’m making an Emerson picture, and I give a score from Wolf’s Rain.

        I think this is the game of changing perspective …?

        PS: I will be surprised that this “change” will happen related to wolverine Pike, but if yes, then I will I wear sackcloth and ashes.

      • A.Rob says:

        Curious question, Jennifer…but how long does it take you to organize and write your reviews? They are so organized and detailed I feel like someone should be paying you for your hard work.

        And yes Phish fans have dreads, you are not wrong on that. Great now my head canon has Clarke attending drum circles. Her hair indeed troubles me deeply. And the makeup, it seems a little much recently.

      • Jennifer says:

        I actually start thinking about possible review structure the week before the new episode if I think I generally know some main plots. It’s gotten harder since we know less and less as the season goes on due to lack of screeners and spoilers. I usually start my review Thursday night and write for a couple hours. Then on the way to work, I do some more headspace organization of the main plot points or thoughts I want to cover. Then I spend all of Friday night writing more, doing some editing, reading aloud, doing more editing, more tweaking. Then Saturday, I wake up and try to read with fresh eyes, do more tweaking and editing. Then publish.

        It takes a lot of hours and of course staying on top of Reddit and Twitter and any promos…it’s turning into a really enjoyable part time job that pays $0.00 per hour. And I don’t mind it one bit. But when the season ends, I’m going to be lost. It’ll be like when the NFL season ends…I get sad and depressed and wonder if the Texans are EVER going to draft a decent QB.

  7. Giu Santos says:

    It’s only Saturday and I already had enough with theories, and discussions about it. But just let me say How amazing this review is!! I was so happy it was this long. You talked about EVERYTHING. So, now I have two things to look forward to. The actual episode and this brilliant piece of work of yours. Keep it up!!! And thank you. I agreed on every level. Oh, and my mind was completely blown out the side of my head too.

  8. Giu Santos says:

    It’s only Saturday and I already had enough with theories, and discussions about it. But just let me say How amazing this review is!! I was so happy it was this long. You talked about EVERYTHING. So, now I have two things to look forward to. The actual episode and this brilliant piece of work of yours. Keep it up!!! And thank you. I agreed on every level. Oh, and my mind was completely blown out the side of my head too

  9. dbjean@dbjean22 says:

    You are SOOOO talented! I wait for these reviews like I used to wait for Santa Claus…*It’s never going to get here!… JOY! JOY! JOY! IT’S HERE!…, Oh, no, it’s over 😭*
    My one request is for you to convince the powers that be, (because clearly you have their attention) to keep Lexa alive! She doesn’t have to be the Commander, or clean, or owner of Bath and Body Works…just ALIVE! See what you can do on that front, and I’ll pledge fealty to YOU!
    Seriously though, thanks for your dedication to the fans. You’re the BEST!

    • Jennifer says:

      If only I had power over anything. My first order of business would be that body pillow, natch. Second order would to keep Lexa alive. But I’m just lil’ ol’ me. I barely have power over myself.

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  11. Marysue says:

    Ok, I don’t want to be a mean or anything…..
    But isn’t part of supporting a minority group understanding their opinions and thought. Even if you don’t neccesaryly agree with them because you’ve never had their experiences or been in their shoes.

    So many people say they support LGBT people but they when we get collectively outraged or mad they decide that in ‘their personal opinion’ we are bing over dramatic in playing the victim. ‘In their personal opinion’ as a straight person it wasn’t homophobic.

    But part of supporting a movement it giving us support even if you can’t identify with our emotions because you never experienced them.

    I’m not a a person of color but I will always defer to a person of color if they think something racist/Xeno-phobic/etc…… Even if I don’t see something as racist I support they community who does because that is their life and they understand it

    I’m tired of straight people saying that they support us but actually go against what the majority of a community feels. The straight white male show runner doesn’t think he was being cruel to the lgbt community because in his opinion as a straight white male he wasn’t.

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