Has your pulse returned normal after “Fallen,” an absolutely batshit crazy wild adrenaline ride of an episode? Guys, we may have just seen the best episode of season 3 so far and it was INSANE. And fucking great. But unrelentingly insane. Oh my god, it was so good.
You know what else is good? Scotch! And this review is fueled by: Glenfarclas 12. I’ve started writing this on a Friday morning, having taken a PTO day because I deserve one, dammit, so I’m day drinking. SURPRISE. I’ve hit the liquor store for some scotch (at 10 am no less, so I am shame personified), stopped by McDonalds for some egg mcmuffins, and have the Masters on the TV in the background. Folks, I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me. Then the thug life shook it’s head, sighed, and murmured “our standards are so pitifully low now.”
Hey, when you were a little kid, did you ever ride your bike down a scarily steep hill? The kind of hill where you thought you had a pretty good chance of wiping out and dying? And as you were careening down that hill, barely in control, did you feel a mix of mind-bending exhilaration and absolute butt-clenching fear? Were you on that knife’s edge of being vibrantly alive and a smear on the pavement?
That’s what “Fallen” was this week. I was white knuckling it throughout most of the episode, barely able to breathe at certain points and yelling at my TV screen at other points. In many ways, this episode felt the MOST like what we’ve come to expect from The 100, and I think it marks a return to the core of what we love about the show, especially with Adventure Squad ASSEMBLE! coming next episode. Clarke + the Delinquents has always been the most compelling part of this show. This episode set everything up quite wonderfully for what’s to come the rest of the season.
Let’s get into it!
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
“Fallen” gives us a little more insight to Ontari, while additionally making her a rather problematic character given her actions at the end of the episode. It becomes clear that she’s uncertain of how to proceed as the Commander without Roan and the flame.
When faced with adversity, Ontari’s first instinct is violence. That’s so adorably Ice Nation of her. She’s ready to kill all the ambassadors if they call her on not being able to recite the lineage of the Commanders, info seemingly only contained within the flame, and necessary to complete her ascension.
Murphy, on the other hand, preaches restraint. Why try to kill your way out of a bad situation when you can lie your way out? Murphy is cunning and pragmatic, traits that Ontari obviously lacks. And he’s preparing for the eventuality of Roan never returning with the flame. If Ontari fails to convince the ambassadors she is the Commander, his life is likely in danger as well, so he proposes an alternative. Ontari should put her foot down, refuse to recite the lineage, and assert her power as Commander.
Throughout her interaction with Murphy, we get a little bit of Ontari’s backstory. Hey guys, turns out that Queen Nia was NOT a great surrogate mother or role model. Go figure! Ontari was taken from her parents and raised by Nia, suffering her cruelty. It seems along the way that Nia never gave her the skills to be a leader who could rule through anything other than intimation. And why would she? The Ice Queen likely viewed Ontari as someone to merely be a figurehead, and planned to be around to pull on Ontari’s puppet strings. Lexa’s spear interfered with those plans, and Ontari is without guidance. Instead of using her brain and looking for another way to convince everyone she’s really the Commander, she gets stabby.
This is not a Commander that is long for the world if she continues on this track. Lucky for her, Murphy is now her fake Flamekeeper – a Flakekeeper if you will (there is no off position on the genius switch, folks!).
I found the attempt to humanize Ontari somewhat effective. She’s uncertain of herself and vulnerable, but quickly goes into Murder Princess mode when questioned in any way. She’s almost child-like when practicing what to tell the ambassadors over and over again so she gets it right when she has to face the them, but then is quick to gouge a guy’s eyes out when he’s like “yeah, sure you’re over 21, but I’m still gonna need to see your driver’s license before you can buy that bottle of Boone’s Farm.”
And Here Comes Another Troublesome Moment That The Show May Not Acquit Itself Of In The Future
Where this Ontari story line stumbles all over itself is the very problematic last scene between Ontari and Murphy. She basically coerces him into sex, eliminating choice for him by using her position as Commander to threaten him with death should he displease her. This is rape. Were the genders switched, there would be no doubt about it. Going along with it is not willful consent, it’s coercion.
I don’t know if this scene was written intentionally to be a rape or meant to be some sort of kinky scene that we’d think Murphy was into. Unless and until the term “rape” is used to describe this moment aloud, I can only assume extreme tone deafness in relation to the understanding of how this would read.
I’m not a particularly PC person. I don’t get triggered. I don’t believe in censorship. I pretty much scoff at the need to baby-proof everything in order to not offend. I like my entertainment to be mentally and emotionally challenging and don’t shy away from difficult subjects or visuals. I don’t believe every sex act needs a signed, counter-signed, and notarized contract in order to proceed. So I’m not calling this scene out due to heightened sensibilities. And judging by the discussions about this scene on Reddit, it’s problematic for many people, not just me.
This was an episode all about coercion, and I hope this scene will be touched on again in the future and given the proper gravity it deserves. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t draw a parallel between Murphy and the other characters getting backed into a corner that only gave them one way out. This was not kinky foreplay, and shouldn’t be treated as such moving forward.
If this is brought up again as sexual assault, I will stand up and applaud the show for acknowledging it for what it is. This would be a bold thing to do on a show that has shied away from any sexual malfeasance in the past, especially considering female on male rape is hardly ever acknowledged and addressed in society, let alone on TV. It would be gutsy.
Wherein Jaha Becomes The REAL Danger This Season
I made the silly mistake of thinking that ALIE v1.0 was this season’s greatest threat. Turns out it’s Thelonious Jaha.
Raven turning on ALIE represents the danger of doubt. What if others start questioning ALIE’s intentions and the effects of the key? As ALIE remarks, Raven is stronger than the rest of the Arkadians (YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT SHE IS!). ALIE wants her back in line, but knows she can’t force Raven to do anything.
Remember ALIE’s core programming – she can’t override free will and consent. Well, this silly little restraint won’t deter Jaha. Jaha suggests that once a person has taken ALIE’s key, they’ve given her their consent and are then tools to be used by her, much like the nukes she launched 97 years ago. Basically, hack the humans that have taken the key and take control. And to get around Raven rejecting ALIE and reneging her consent? Jaha tells ALIE to give her the pain back. All of it, at once. Make Raven submit to ALIE again, and Raven’s free will is no longer an issue.
Goddamn. That’s some dark shit, Jaha. This dude finds a way around her programming to make her even more powerful. Now she can’t just merely make suggestions, she can control the people who have taken the key and given their consent to become a part of her network. ALIE may be the architect of the City of Light in an attempt to “Make Life Better Part Deux,” but Jaha is the one doing the heavy lifting to populate the CoL with humans.
It’s unclear what Jaha believes the City of Light’s endgame to be at this time. Is it a higher plane of existence for humankind? Is it the next giant step in our evolution? Why does he believe in it so much that he’s willing to let ALIE subjugate people to her will? What is that thing on his face? Does he know that it violates the laws of nature and good taste? Has he learned nothing from sexy beardy Kane?
By the end of the episode, ALIE controls all of the Arkadians, and will go after Raven and her friends once she can discern where they are. This declaration and the sight of all of Skaikru as ALIE’s zombies is fucking frightening. But what really got my attention was Abby mentioning they’re ready to move on to Stage 2. I’m guessing Stage 2 is increasing their numbers exponentially. And that means converting Grounders. Who just happens to have a jail full of Grounders? Arkadia.
Let that one sink in. Convert those Grounders, and they return to their villages with ALIE keys, and convert those Grounders, and then just spread out like a virus to convert even more people.
Wherein The Blake Siblings Break Your Goddamn Heart Into A Million Pieces
When Kane’s Rebel Rabble returns to the Rebel Cave, Bellamy watches them all walk in, save for one glaring absence.
Bellamy: “Where’s Lincoln?”
Octavia: “Pike put a bullet in his brain.”
Octavia then proceeds to beat the everlovin’ shit out of Bellamy. Kane and Miller try to intercede, but Bellamy stops them, and allows Octavia to keep bloodying him up, understanding that this is between the two of them, and perhaps knowing he deserves it for the events he helped set in motion. Then comes the moment we’ve been dreading since first seeing the season 3 trailer:
This isn’t an easy thing to watch, as we’ve all been through some ups and downs with these two, but dang, this was heart-wrenching. Bellamy backed Pike, got him weapons, and was complicit in Pike’s actions. Pike’s in power largely because Bellamy, and his wonky rushed heel turn, helped put him there. Am I saying Bellamy deserved this beat down? Yes. His decisions have been horrible and Lincoln paid the price for Bellamy’s trust in Pike.
I don’t know how Bellamy is redeemed for his actions this season, especially in the eyes of his sister, who has no reason to forgive him for anything that’s happened. She’s turned her sorrow over Lincoln’s death into rage, and I don’t see that abating any time soon. The Blakes are emotionally-driven people, and as we’ve seen before in the past, those emotions can often cloud their ability to make sound decisions. Octavia is now fully living by the “blood must have blood” credo.
I understand the feeling of betrayal and the loss of trust between siblings, for my own older (much older) brother tried killing me when I was younger. He was pushing me on a tire swing and I fell off into a ravine and scrapped my knee and now 35+ years later, I still hold onto that moment. He swears it was an accident. Sure it was. An obvious sibling-cide attempt, right? I’m the youngest in the family, and the best at everything, so of course I was a target. I think I got to eat corn on the cob that night, so I consider myself not only a survivor, but a victor. Corn on the cob is yummy.
EDIT: I found a pic of the scene of the crime at our weekend campground. And yes, that’s me. STYLIN’ AND PROFILIN’! Rockin’ that white belt like a beast.
What I hope doesn’t happen is Bellamy getting the nod of approval from Clarke, now that she’s back in their neck of the woods. Clarke serves as Bellamy’s moral compass at times, even when her own is a bit sketchy, and he needs her to balance him out. And you know what, I’m kinda sick of that crap. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness simply because Clarke is around and that seems to be their standard operating procedure with one another. Do something horrible? Seek out the other one for forgiveness and it’s all good! You’re redeemed! It’s morality magic!
No. If everyone else is suffering this season, including me (because this is all about me, obvs), then Bellamy is going to suffer. Quid pro quo, dude. You don’t get out of this with a smile and a hug from Clarke. And if he does, I will drink my scotch very angrily then very write angrily about their wiping the slate clean because of reasons.
Nooooo Pike, I’m Totally Not Playing You, The Cave Is SO Totally This Way!
Everyone and their brother and their babysitter and their weird neighbor is angry at Bellamy. Especially sexy beardy Rebel Leader Kane, who now considers Bellamy the enemy.
Damn fuckin’ straight. Dad!Kane isn’t about to let Bellamy off easy, and his disappointment is as glorious as his beard. Kane tried to mentor Bellamy and show him the right way to go about things, and Bellamy was all like “you’re not my real dad!” and went off with Pike to kill 300 Grounders. You know, typical rebellious son stuff.
A call comes over the radio from Monty, who has escaped from Arkadia and in grave danger because Pike knows he commit treason by helping Kane and the others escape. Suspecting a trap, Octavia suggests taking Bellamy along to trade for Monty if they need to. GIRL. She’s not playing. Bellamy really is dead to her.
Well, it IS a trap. Pike followed Monty to the dropship thanks to…you guessed it…Monty’s mom, who TURNED MONTY IN TO PIKE.
Let me repeat that: HANNAH TURNED HER OWN SON IN TO PIKE.
And because one simply isn’t enough, P.S. Momty:
I just can’t with this woman. I need to go lay down and think about happy things, like kittens and rainbows and Momty getting run over by a truck.
Sexy beady Rebel Leader Kane, Bellamy, and Octavia go to the dropship to meet Monty, and yup, it’s a trap. Pike holds Monty at gunpoint, and he has backup, because Pike doesn’t travel without his Douchecanoe Squad. Kane has to give up or get someone killed, and Bellamy “proves” he’s still with Pike by promising to lead Pike back to the Rebel Cave.
Yeah, when Bellamy turned on Kane and Octavia, I swore up a storm at my TV. My TV takes a lot of verbal abuse and we’re looking to go into therapy together to work out my issues. But I also said to my TV, “Bellamy has got to have a plan. He’s not this big of an asshole, right?” To which my TV said nothing because my TV is rather shy and doesn’t talk a lot.
Turns out, Bellamy DOES have a plan. HEY PIKE, think this could be a set up?
Pike and the Douchecanoe Squad, being gullible as all fuck, fall for the double-cross for the 78th time in the past three episodes. Really guys, Pike is the most incompetent leader I have ever seen. Instead of taking Pike to the Rebel Cave, Bellamy leads them towards the Grounder blockade, and when they get close, the Grounders sound their Grounder horn (I would prefer hip hop horns here, but I don’t get a say in the sound design of the show, go figure) and they descend on the group.
Bellamy turns Pike over to the Grounders, as they demanded in the past, and in a satisfying sequence, Pike gets an arrow to the shoulder and a punch to the face. Octavia tries to kill him, but Kane stops her, recalling that the Grounders didn’t get the justice they demanded for Finn’s actions, and they won’t put up with the same shit this time. Dead Finn seems to be more important now than he was when alive. Pike will be taken to Polis to answer to the new Commander for his crimes. Kane, ever the responsible leader, reveals his 13th clan marking, and asks to go back to represent Skaikru.
UGH. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo Kane.
Rapey Murder Princess is back in Polis and has sworn to wipe out Skaikru because Clarke made her mad and stuff. I know the power of The Beard is legendary, but this is Ontari we’re talking about. But now I have a theory that Indra, who lit out for Polis when the new Pope was announced throughout the land, will heroically rescue her bestie Kane from any harm that Ontari throws his way. Oh god please.
Okay, crazy theory time. Some folks think that Farm Station made some sort of deal with Azgeda in order to survive. This is really no crazier than the completely wacky idea that Farm Station resorted to cannibalism to survive. What happens if Pike arrives in Polis, and we’re all expecting death by a billion cuts, only Ontari and Pike bro fist it up and reveal they’re in cahoots? This would be off the charts crazy, and most of these crazy theories don’t actually pan out, but if they were in league with one another, wouldn’t you slap my ass and call me Sally? Because I certainly would.
I have a really bad feeling that Kane could die this season. That’s been somewhat abated by Abby being chipped and now I have a really bad feeling that she could die this season instead. But what am I saying? It doesn’t have to be either/or. This is the season where everyone suffers and dies and doesn’t get a happy ending, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the finale ends with everyone dead and the camera panning to that two-headed deer we saw in season 1. That’s now your main character for season 4. Fade to black.
Before he leaves for Murder Princess’s Eye-Gouging HappyfuntimesLand, Kane asks Bellamy if he turned Pike in for his sister or because it was the right thing. Thank the fucking lord that Kane reminded everyone that there’s still a concept known as the Right Thing, and Bellamy needs to think long and hard about what that means. Because Bellamy, throughout this whole ordeal, looks a bit put out that anyone trusts the Grounders about anything. So he’s still got that Grounder-hate stink on him, and believe me, it’s not an attractive scent. Smells like patchouli. Yeah Bell, you smell like a stoner. Or what I imagine Clarke’s dreads to smell like right about now. God, I hate having to say that about Clarke, but girl, you’re not following Phish around on a concert tour, you dirty hippy.
(Please don’t even get me started on my irrational hate of jam bands)
Tell Me—Tell Me, I Implore! Quoth The Raven “Nevermore”
The most compelling story line of the week is everything that happens with Raven. And man, did EVERYTHING happen with Raven.
She’s fighting ALIE, but having a tough go at it. She’s trying to overload her senses to drive ALIE out, but it only works for a moment. ALIE’s right…the effort it takes to get ALIE out of her head is unsustainable. When Abby and Jasper finally come to help, Raven looks rode hard and put up wet.
Raven thinks she can use the wristbands first seen on all the delinquents in season 1 to disconnect from ALIE, and ALIE is confused by why Raven would want to leave Happy Funland. For Raven, it’s quite simple.
Raven: “Because you stole my memories, you crazy bitch!”
ALIE, now unfettered by her pesky core programming, goes HAM on Raven.
ALIE: “…I’m sorry for this. You wanted your memories back. Here they are.”
ALIE unblocks Raven’s memories and her physical pain, and everything comes flooding back all at once. The torture at Mount Weather, drilling into her leg, the surgery without anesthesia, Finn’s death. Raven screams and thrashes and it’s horrible to watch. Jaha’s suggestion of giving Raven back her pain is working perfectly to plan. Raven’s at her breaking point.
ALIE: “I can make it stop. I can lead you back to the City of Light. All you have to do is submit.”
And Raven, completely broken down and in tremendous pain, submits fully to ALIE. And in a fantastically creeptastic moment, Raven becomes still and and sits up, completely possessed by the ALIE.
Good god, was this sequence of events so good and so scary and so fucked up. ALIE broke the strongest person left at Arkadia and broke our hearts as well, as Raven is often the person who figures out how to win the day, using her wits and force of will. She’s saved Skaikru’s butts on numerous occasions and seeing her like this, unable to resist ALIE any further because the pain is too much is crushing.
With Raven broken and no longer the agent of doubt that could put a serious crimp in their plans to maintain control, Jaha and ALIE go after Abby, who has blocked the distribution of the ALIE key. She is the last domino they need to fall to get everyone chipped up and part of ALIE’s network.
Abby thinks that they’ll try to coerce her to take the CoL key through torture, but their plan is much more sinister than that. Jackson hands a scalpel to Raven, who, under ALIE’s control, slits her own wrists.
I didn’t see that coming. Fuck Jaha, fuck ALIE, fuck Jackson. This is so fucked up. Raven falls to the ground and will bleed out unless Abby helps her, but the only way to do that is to concede and take the key. Abby gives in and I’m all like:
You guys. Not only does ALIE control Raven, she now controls Abby. Our fucking dear Abby, the only one to stand up to Jaha’s craziness to protect the Arkadians. A key factor in the plan that broke Kane and his rebels out of Arkadia. The only light left in that fucking place, she’s now under ALIE’s control.
Arkadia has indeed fallen.
What I find interesting is that ALIE knows she can use Abby’s love for Raven, and her instincts as a doctor, to manipulate Abby into taking the key. But ALIE cannot completely understand why love is a driver, or why so much of our love leads to our pain. ALIE is unable to completely comprehend why love is important, but she sure as hell has realized it’s a weapon she can use to create favorable situations for herself as an end to her means. Now that Abby is hers, consider what havoc she’ll wreak to try and control Clarke. And since everyone in Arkadia is now under her control, how will she use Momty or Miller’s dad to try and convert the delinquents?
Y’all, the implications are fucking scary. Lexa realized love isn’t weakness, it is a strength and our greatest asset. But ALIE has realized it is her most dangerous weapon.
Give All The Awards To Lindsey Morgan Right Now. ALL OF THEM.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to call out how fantastic Lindsey Morgan was this episode. Frenzied, tortured, desperate, chilling, predatory. Her transformation into ALIE was incredible, to the point where I didn’t know if Eric Cerra was dubbed over Raven’s dialog because I couldn’t tell the difference between their voices.
Lindsey nailed ALIE’s mannerisms. The head tilt, the voice, how she stands, her vocal cadence. Not only did this episode task Lindsey with plumbing some deep emotional depths and express untold physical and mental pain, she had to turn on a dime and become someone completely different. And not just anyone, but an emotionless AI, already played beautifully by Erica Cerra, who has made some very conscious choices of her own to express the character of ALIE, such as not breathing during her scenes in order to nail the fact that she’s not real, merely a computer image.
This was a tour de force by Lindsey Morgan, and I would throw every single award at her, including and perhaps most importantly, Lord Stanley’s Cup. Because of all the awards, that cup is the most boss award of them all and comes with its own security detail.
LOOK AT THIS IMAGE I STOLE OFF OF SOMEONE’S TWITTER OF RAVEN/ALIE PERFECTION!
I mean, come the fuck on. How often do we get so much high-quality acting from this show that it almost clique to talk about it every single week? Apart from the adults, I had no idea who any of these actors were going into my viewing of the show, and now if The 100 hasn’t put these actors on the map, it’s a damn shame.
Jasper, The Hero We Both Need And Deserve
I will admit to not being the biggest Jasper fan throughout seasons 1 and 2. I felt he was a goofy nerdy stereotype, and although he had a big role in the narrative of Mount Weather, I still didn’t feel a connection to him.
Season 3 has changed all of that. He’s a darker character now, greatly troubled by losing Maya in Mount Weather and the things he had to do to survive in there. The delinquents were forced to stand their ground to save themselves, and kill Mount Weather guards to do so. He came out of that mountain broken emotionally, and much of that pain he lays at Clarke’s doorstep. He blames Monty as well, and we’ve seen their fractured relationship this season.
But in “Fallen,” and in the preceding episodes, when needed to step up, namely to help Raven, he came up huge, first helping Raven realize how damaging ALIE is and then getting her out of Arkadia. After Jasper sees Abby distributing the key to the rest of the Arkadians, he has no choice but to grab his friend, steal a rover, and get the hell out of there. He doesn’t think about where to go, simply that he has to save himself and Raven.
In the course of escaping, he busts through the front gate and comes to a screeching halt as Clarke appears in the middle of the road. Clarke is back, y’all! He screams at her to get in the rover, as the CoL acolytes want Raven back, and Clarke gets in, tells Jasper that she needs Lincoln, and he informs her that Lincoln’s dead. Clarke, being kinda myopic and in her own darling Clarke-centric way, begins to talk about how she needs to find Luna and Jasper has. had. enough. of. her. shit.
Normally, I’d be pissed about anyone dismissing Clarke like this, but the situation and Clarke’s ignorance about how they need to get gone NOW demands Jasper bring the hammer down. The field in which he grows his fucks lays fallow. Remember, Jasper has zero love for Clarke right now, but still instinctively gets her in the rover to protect her and save her life. But Jasper being Jasper, he calls her “the angel of death” once she’s in the vehicle. Yet another title for the Mother of
It seems to me that before Jasper was sent to earth, the only real family that he ever had was Monty. But with the 100 (now…uh…close to 40?), he was able to carve out a place for himself among them, and not just in the background, but part of the core group – our beloved Adventure Squad. For Jasper, his friends became his “found family,” a concept that often exists in groups of friends that either don’t have family or have estranged relationships. And Jasper has demonstrated again and again, despite whatever doubts he may have about himself and his abilities, he will do whatever it takes to protect that family.
In many ways, he’s like Clarke, but hasn’t been put in the positions that she has, in which she’s had to make decisions that affect large groups of people and their fates. His decisions have been more personal and have a smaller-scale effect. He’s demonstrated his loyalty in crucial situations, his capacity to cut through the crap and get things done, and I have been really enjoying his journey this season.
Clarke Knows How To Make An Entrance
We get very little of Clarke this episode, but man, does she come back at just the right moment. That she shows up at Arkadia’s gate gives me pause, because certainly she has to know that Pike will not welcome her with open arms, but Jasper and his rover circumvent these considerations by interrupting her mission to find Lincoln (and Luna) in the most dramatic way possible.
What Clarke knows of the ALIE danger back in Arkadia is unknown right now. She and Murphy had 24 hours alone to debrief on what’s been going on in both of their worlds, but we can’t assume very much right now. And Murphy has no idea the extent of the danger of ALIE now that Jaha has shown her how to control everyone.
I think we can assume from Clarke’s reaction at seeing her mom in the ALIE zombie mob that she’s at least aware that her mom isn’t quite right.
From next week’s preview, we know that this “bottle” episode will be the fight for Raven, but how much Clarke shares with her friends about Lexa, the flame, Luna, and Ontari remains to be seen. We also don’t know which danger Clarke will prioritize, especially since her mom is now under ALIE’s control. Go after Luna or go after ALIE? Will she take a moment to find some shampoo and a brush?
Next week looks contained to (maybe) the Rebel Cave and the sex panther trading post (hello again Niylah!), with hopefully no shenanigans in Polis. Bottle episodes usually are limited to one or two set pieces in order to contain costs. I really want to see a couple things happen:
- Clarke opens up to SOMEONE about Lexa – as of right now, no one knows about this relationship.
- Octavia needs to be set straight – Clarke didn’t ditch Skaikru, she just was unable to leave Polis, being locked in her room with Murphy and all.
- Clarke doesn’t take anyone’s shit – I don’t want to see Bellamy or Jasper or anyone else guilt trip her about her past actions; I want Clarke in control and with agency and willing to spill the tea to these guys – and this includes cutting off the manpain blamed on Clarke at the quick.
- Niylah’s wristband used to save Raven – this thing has been a Chekhov’s gun all season long, and despite writer Kim Shumway’s insistence that it wasn’t important, it’s obviously important. NICE TRY KIM.
- Bellamy owning up to his actions – your sister, your responsibility? How about taking responsibility for your horrible choices, dude?
- Raven saved by Sinclair using her idea about the wristbands – I don’t want to see the flame placed in Raven’s neck. Right now, I think it’s a bit of a misdirect…they may have to access her neck to fry ALIE v1.0…Clarke knows the flame kills non-Nightbloods, so putting it in Raven is too risky
- Clarke seems angry in 3×11 – yes, let the anger flow through you…I can’t wait to see ALIE talking trash to Clarke about her mom through Raven.
- I’d love to see an awkward conversation between Clarke and Niylah.
At last, the Adventure Squad back together again! This crew, working together towards a common goal and protecting one another, is the fucking heart of this show.
I cannot tell you how happy I am to see everyone back together. It not only brings the core of the show back, but signifies the story lines merging, and characters learning what’s going on outside of their own limited scope. Hopefully all will be made clear to everyone next episode and people start moving in the same direction towards a common goal.
Like getting Clarke some goddamn shampoo.
Free Will Has Fallen
The theme this episode revolves around free will, coercion, and consent. We see it play out with Raven, Abby, and Murphy. I will leave Murphy out of this conversation because I simply don’t know if the writers intended to portray rape or thought it was kinky foreplay. Therefore, I’ll omit it from of my analysis here. But for the record, I have a flair bet on Reddit that this rape will not be addressed as such on the show and my adversary Danni believes it will be. Danni, you know not what you have done.
I think “Fallen” means more than just Arkadia falling to ALIE, but Raven and Abby conceding to ALIE. In both instances, ALIE achieved their complicity through coercion. Raven is driven to comply through mental and emotional pain, and Abby through her concern for Raven’s life. ALIE hasn’t removed free will, but has pushed both women so far into a corner that it’s hard to imagine not giving in to her in either case.
I love that ALIE isn’t able to work out how to maneuver around free will. Becca tried to hard wire limitations into ALIE. ALIE is free to interpret and apply her core programming how she sees fit within her guidelines, but it’s obvious folly to believe that humans can think like computers and computers can think like humans. There is a huge disconnect between the two. The fundamental differences between machine logic and human consciousness is fully in play on The 100.
Leave it up to a human to propose a simple solution around a core human trait: once consent is given, they are yours, ALIE. Do with them as you want. Free will is no longer a consideration.
It is humans who are damning humanity through their own creations. It is humans who are pointing out the ways around the traits we hold so dear. It is humans who are looking to help enslave humanity in an inauthentic “reality.” It is humans who will recruit other humans through coercion and lies.
ALIE is simply a means to an end. She destroyed the world and created a new one for humanity to inhabit. She’s always looking for a better solution that will “make life better.” And if it means stripping humanity of the things that make life worth living, then that’s merely a side effect of her mission. Why wouldn’t people want an end to their pain? As ALIE states, all human behavior revolves around the avoidance of pain. It’s not logical to resist the City of Light.
I have a horribly bad feeling that anyone in the City of Light is lost from this point on. Can anyone be saved from ALIE’s grasp, especially considering the lengths we’ve seen her go through to control Raven and Abby? If Clarke shuts the City of Light down from within, will the people trapped inside be saved? The way this season is going, the answer is probably: “No. And we plan to make you weep like a baby once you realize all the people have been destroyed along with the CoL.”
Really, do we have any reason to be optimistic at this point in time after we’ve heard the writers and cast say that the show just continues to get darker and darker? Why wouldn’t mass extinction event be on the table for the finale?
And Now, A Word On The Current State Of The Fandom
Oh lord, I’m about to get scrappy, aren’t I?
Maybe, maybe not. I’m not quite sure.
Look. If you are finding The 100 a hard watch or are triggered by the content or find the darkness of the show too much for you, then change the channel. Opt out. Please. Do not subject yourself to something that might be harmful to your well-being.
But, if you’ve claimed to have sworn off the show and are not longer a fan, and yet KEEP coming back to get a hit off of The 100 crack pipe to complain some more, I have one thing to say to you: child, please. Go fuck right the fuck off.
Goddamn it, I’m gettin’ scrappy, aren’t I?
Trigger warning: I’m an unrepentant jerk and I’ve had just about enough of the toxic parts of this fandom. So if you don’t like jerks with strong opinions, turn back now, for the night is dark and full of saltiness.
I have a hard time working up any sort of sympathy for people who won’t make responsible decisions for their own well-being or who actively advocate the cancellation of the show because they cannot separate advocacy from avarice. There’s a huge difference between the LGBT community rightfully demanding respect and proper treatment, and those who keep bashing everything the show does out of lingering anger.
For instance, there are people who believe this episode should have had a trigger warning for self-harm due to Raven slitting her wrists. Yet, when Kane self-harmed in 2×06 or Clarke did in 2×02, no one seemed to take issue. But since the show killed off Lexa in the manner that it did, everything past that point is up for derision, regardless of the show’s obvious penchant for graphic violence and dark themes and boundary-pushing since season 1.
“Fallen” had a rating of TV-14. So did this week’s Scandal, which featured Olivia Pope beating a disabled man to death with a chair. But people cite the “viewer discretion” warning as the factor that lets that show off the hook. But Scandal had no specific warning about the scene itself. So, The 100 requires trigger warnings, yet Scandal is fine, because of its vague “viewer discretion” warning, despite being far a more graphic depiction of physical violence. Which could trigger victims of such violence.
This is criticism driven by an agenda to tear down the show, is intellectually dishonest, and it bugs the crap out of me. There are many people merely upset that their ship or stan is dead, and are trying to jump onto the “Lexa deserved better” bandwagon, but honestly couldn’t give a FUCK about LGBT representation. If you are unhappy with Lexa’s treatment and how it’s affected the LGBT community, then donate to the Trevor Project. If the show is causing you mental or emotional distress, stop watching. Do the right thing for your own mental health.
But if you are merely directing your anger at the cast, crew, writers, and fans because you feel entitled to do so, then go float yourself. These are actual people you are unloading on, not faceless social media accounts. Oh, and don’t think I’m forgetting about you if you’re an infantile Bellarker who revels in Lexa’s death because you now think the door is open for your ship. I’ve read some absolutely crazy pants insane stuff that makes me question the mental stability of some of you folks. But guess what, toxic haters! The internet has a long memory.
The 100 has never been a show that pulls its punches. It is violent. It is graphic. It is harsh in its depiction post-apocalyptic life. It kills people off at record pace. This is NOT a show for children or those who are susceptible to be adversely affected by its subject matter. And no, the CW is no longer the teen network of years past, so stop using that as your excuse to criticize the show – especially when other scenes and situations didn’t warrant a mention until now. I can run down a list of disturbing things that have happened on this show…it set its tone and direction years ago. But now you have a problem with the subject matter? Now the network it’s on matters?
Stop being a hypocrite and come correct.
CW is in the midst of a rebranding effort, expanding their audience and focusing on a larger demographic aside from young adults and females. In fact, in direct reference to The 100, CW network president Mark Pedowitz weighs in on its direction in a great article about his vision for the CW on Variety:
“Jason and I had a long discussion early on, and I said, ‘If you make what is perceived to be the CW version of this, you will not succeed,’ ” Pedowitz says. “Jason took that to heart, and he made a darker, grittier, much more morally ambiguous show.” Rothenberg recalls getting a call from Pedowitz after the exec watched a cut of a particularly dark episode, telling him he could go even darker. “I remember laughing: ‘Even darker than killing 300 innocent people?’ That one essentially set the bar.”
The 100 isn’t for everyone. I have been having a difficult time getting my love for the show back after Lexa was killed. I’ve change my mind about how that death was handled quite a bit since I originally wrote my review of “Thirteen.” I feel let down by that moment and how the LGBT community was lead to believe things would be handled differently in respect to the Clexa relationship. What I will not do, however, is throw the baby out with the bath water and swing my fists wildly, hoping to make contact and inflict pain.
I will not forget that this show still has a rare bi-sexual main character, or tons of PoC representation, or kick ass female characters, or challenging, thought-provoking subject matter. I will continue to hope that the writers can learn from their mistakes, even if it takes awhile to drill it into their brains. I will not demonize Jason Rothenberg because it’s somehow in fashion now to deride straight white men (as an old school “everyone should be equal” feminist, I find this misandry trend despicable). I will continue to support the show because it has given us greatness in the past and can do so again. And I will continue to call it out on bullshit decisions, because that’s what criticism should be – a rational and balanced analysis of art.
So, that’s my rant. Take it for what it is. Agree, disagree, shrug your shoulders and say “I liked you better when you did the funny .gifs thing.” I’m planting my flag in support of the show, in support of the fans who can criticize it respectfully without wishing ill on its creators and artists, in support of those who can peace out on the show without waging war, and in support of the those who still watch and want to do so without getting abused.
Because I don’t want to leave this review on an angry note, here’s a cute .gif of a chimp and a French bulldog:
- My ship, Slarke (soap + Clarke) is off the rails this week. Clarke’s face is filthy when she jumps in the rover. Girl, what are you DOING out there to get so dirty? You are embarrassing me, boo.
- Emerson watch: he’s still out there somewhere, lying in wait. Hopefully shirtless.
- You guys, do you love the relationship between Abby and Raven? It’s obvious that in Clarke’s absence, Abby has taken Raven under her wing (ah, reverse pun!) and is very protective of her. ALIE using Raven to convert Abby was heartbreaking.
- I can’t stop calling the show “The One Hundred.” I’ve turned into your mom. “Are you playing The Nintendo?”
- Would you watch an alternative version of 3×04 titled “Watch Da Trombones”? Spoiler alert, it involves trombones.
- French bulldog kisses are the best kisses. FACT.
- Hey people who like sounds entering your ear holes! I have a Spotify playlist, which is music from and inspired by The 100. You can find it right here and marvel at my musical tastes. I keep it up to date with anything featured on the show.
- Thanks for sticking around and reading this review folks. I’m doing this for the love of the game, I’m just here so I don’t get fined, I’m just trying to be the best teammate I can be, I’m giving 110%, defense wins championships, and I have a lot of hustle out there on the field.
“No Way Out”: 9.5 out of 10 creepy ALIE / Raven head tilts
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 clan flair! It’s the least toxic place you can find right now for The 100 fandom. Mods got that shit on lockdown.
Great review Jen! I came to read especially and to say… that flair bet is *mine for the taking* 😛
Also thank you for laying it out about the state of the fandom. I hope the folks behind the show get to read this and will know that there are SO MANY of us in the fandom who fully support the show and those behind it, are able to keep our criticisms constructive and sensible, and are LOVING this brilliant episode they just gave us. And long may it continue!
No one in the City of Light is going to be lost forever, do you hear me?? Raven will be freed next week and then ABBY AND JACKSON WILL ALSO GET OUT LALALALALALALALALA
Other than that, great review as usual, and thanks for taking the time to talk about the current state of the fandom!
No one in the City of Light is going to be lost forever, do you hear me?? Raven will be freed next week and then ABBY AND JACKSON WILL ALSO GET OUT LALALALALALALALALA
Other than that, great review as usual, and thanks for taking the time to talk about the current state of the fandom!
(had some trouble posting, hope this doesn’t show up twice)
So nice you commented twice.
I agree with your LALALALALALA take. I don’t want them to be trapped in the CoL. I will be dead if these guys are lost. DEAD.
Dammit! My browser did shenanigans and I had to enable stuff for it to work properly, I was certain the first comment didn’t get through. Pleaaaaase delete it? :p
Completely denying everything is a very good way of (not?) coping with what might happen. But it won’t happen LALALALALALA. And me too, Jen, me too – Jackson is the most special snowflake of all and Abby is THE MOST SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE OF ALL, there’s no way we’ll lose them! Oh, who are we kidding, this is The 100. We’ll be drowning in our tears before this is all over.
About that flair bet: I’m fairly certain the show won’t acknowledge it as rape either. We’ll see! :p
Awesome review! Not as funny as they used to be, but still very good, smart and amusing. I especially liked your “rant” at the end, because I, too, am sick on the witchhunt on Jason Rothenberg (who created all these wonderfully complex characters and dark storylines). The hate of this internet mobmind is despicable. The haters demand he should have more empathy while they show no empathy at all. I’m eagerly waiting for your review next week. 🙂 P.S. Yes, the Murphy / Ontari scence was rather disturbing. I do hope, too, the show calls this at least abuse and Murphy gets some revenge on Ontari.
I don’t know who you are, but clearly you’ve been living in my head….
Seriously though, being gay myself, and a huge huge fan of Lexa, I feel like my fandom has been telling me I can’t love the show anymore. And it’s very annoying because, I kind of don’t really like being told what to do…. It’s good to see that I’m not alone in thinking you can support LGBT rights and aknowledge that the writers/Jason fucked up some (they admitted it, they apologised), without necessarily thinking they deserve to be burned to the stake, or that the show needs to be cancelled. You can aknowledge that something went wrong but still feel like this wonderful gem is worth watching/loving. And I do, watch and love this smart, well written and so wonderfully dark show.
So, thanks for the support ma’am!
x2 I have nothing more to really add. Everything u said is exactly how I feel. Just letting you know you’re not the only one feeling this way.
Cool review. I’m pleasantly surprised that you called out the bogus manpain stories, the way Clarke is somehow beholden to Bellamy to ensure that he doesn’t make bad decisions and therefore he’s good with dumping his emotional problems on her when she fails to follow through with her end of the deal. I’m very wary about the coming episodes because comments from the writers haven’t suggested that Bellamy’s mass murder will be treated any different than Clarke’s mountain genocide, when the truth is that the only similarities between the two are the number of deaths.
I will comment on your fandom thoughts though. I think people’s anger isn’t so much with the story decisions as it is with the fandom that the writers endeavored to create. This show has built itself up on a reputation of great LGBT+ rep, great POC rep, great treatment of women, and it has failed on all of those counts in the past 3 episodes alone. People who were so invested in this show FOR THOSE REASONS are left feeling betrayed and exploited, and are angry with the show for the fact that they would falsely promote themselves as good at something. It makes it seem like the writers like the accolades in name, but not in execution. It’s not the story decisions alone: you don’t see Game of Thrones being hate-watched and continually attacked on this level for its misery and torture porn, because it never presented itself as progressive or positive. But this show is a different story and fans who may have glossed over issues in the past want to send the message that promotion of minority issues comes with responsibility, and if you don’t live up to that responsibility, you’re going to get called out. Sure, personal anger over Lexa and Lincoln’s deaths are a fueling factor, but fans’ concerns are overall larger than that. To write it off as angry fans mad about a ship and who now want to drag down the show is a bit of unnecessary invalidation.
Thank you for getting it. I just hope society doesn’t see another 16 years go by and see this issue come around again full circle. The minorities will always have to fight for justice and there will be bumps and mistakes made along the way but real change never comes easy, nor does it come from simply forgiving and forgetting.
Literally look forward to reading your reviews almost more than watching the show anymore haha! Great review (let’s all nominate Lindsey for any and every award available, amirite?), and absolutely LOVE what you said about the fandom. I’ve been disgusted by some of what I’ve read/seen/heard/smoke signaled, so THANK YOU for voicing that.
Keep those reviews coming, I love them!
I’m sorry if fans of “The 100” have been to rude to casts members, Jason Rothenberg, or you in the past. I don’t think you should dismiss our struggle though, by simply calling us children. It is still a show with it’s target audience being teenagers, so do not dismiss us only because we are young. The anger that is aimed towards the CW is not only because Lexa was killed of, it is because we feel betrayed. The show runners promised us something different, and when that didn’t happen so yes, we are upset. “The 100” isn’t Game of Thrones, its still a show for teenagers.
I think you need to re-read my statement because I’m not calling LGBT fans who believe the show betrayed their trust children. This is strictly for the toxic fans who keep directing anger at the show, cast, crew, creators, and other fans. I would not include a link to the Trevor Project if I didn’t think it was important. My view on Thirteen and how Lexa was handled has changed significantly in the past couple of weeks, and it’s BECAUSE of the LGBT fans and critics like Mo Ryan opening my eyes to just how things went down.
Please visit; http://lgbtviewersdeservebetter.com if you want to know more.
Continuing to call out the show on its bullshit (and likewise for many other shows theirs) will change absolutely nothing if it doesn’t have financial ramifications. As an adult who made the decisions you’ve described above the first time I was shattered by the lesbian death trope on Buffy (and that’s without the social media queerbaiting that went on with the100) I can tell you that it would be all to easy to still see the same crap happening in 14 years time if we don’t all ensure there are consequences for shows that do it. There was a big outcry of people calling Whedon on his lies and bs after Tara died, and here it is still happening however many dead TV gays later. It has to stop.
The show will get the outrage it deserves and nothing less. The actors and tv crew should only get criticism if they attempt to dismiss the cause. (Which some of them do). The writers and Jason Rothenburg are fair game until at least the season 3 finale. Because thats how long they wanted us to stay interested when they leaked, baited and mislead us into believing their only lesbian character was still alive.
Also, if a large part of the general audience has decided to stop watching a show- theres usually a reason. Not ‘toxic fans’ but a because the show’s storylines have gone to shit.
Thank you. Just. Thank you.
If you wouldn’t mind, could you please explain to me why the concept of providing some kind of content warning at the start of an episode is so outrageous and offensive? I genuinely do not understand how anyone can be so against something that takes such minimal effort but can make a real difference to people who have known-triggers – it is literally taking a few seconds to provide information so that they can then make an informed choice over whether to watch at that time/at all. Is it a magic solution? No, but it is a tiny, low-cost provision by a show that is considerate of its audience and a network that understand its responsibilities as a broadcaster.
Yes this show has always been dark, but the scenes in this episode were particularly graphic and especially triggering to those with a history of self-harm in a way that is very different to other forms of violence typically on this show. A simple content warning that the show contains graphic scenes of self-harm would have allowed those viewers to make an informed choice over whether to watch. And though you may like to assert that The CW is not the teen network of old, a significant share of its audience is still very much the teen market it has cultivated heavily up until recently, and which this show has very much sought out in its marketing and fan-interactions. The CW has a responsibility to recognize that in how it handles the transitions to its aim of being a more adult-oriented network.
The heavy criticism of recent episodes comes not from hating on the show but from a community fanbase that is stretched to breaking point each week trying to rally and support and care for those being triggered and hurting, dealing with messages from people who are desperately trying not to relapse into self-harm and passing the appropriate helplines/website detail posts round because the network fails to do so. And this criticism is directly towards the writers and network who bear this responsibility, not at any of the cast and crew who have worked so hard on this show and are largely adored by these same fans (see the recent trends for Eliza, Lindsey, Ricky and more).
As someone who has watched this show from the start, the difference in recent episodes for me is that the very graphic nature of violence and coercion shown is lacking the narrative justification which it had brilliantly shown in prior seasons and become merely violence for the sake of it. It is unrelentingly dark at this point, and that takes a toll on its audience who have loved this show and want it to be better.
“As someone who has watched this show from the start, the difference in recent episodes for me is that the very graphic nature of violence and coercion shown is lacking the narrative justification which it had brilliantly shown in prior seasons and become merely violence for the sake of it.”
I came here pretty much for the express purpose of making this exact statement. I’m gonna piggyback on it and add my tuppence.
Let me start off by saying that I’ve always been a casual fan, brought into the fold by a friend. I’ve mainly kept up with this whole debacle because she has been keeping me updated. My investment in the show and the ship are minimal. I liked The 100. I did. I thought it was a surprisingly strong series about moral ambiguity, forcing “good” people into making hard choices. It defied tropes and did not take the easy way out and it deserved a lot of respect for that.
This season, it has deteriorated into exactly as described above. Before they were telling a violent story; now they are using violence as a story. Setting aside the social complaints for just a moment, it’s bad storytelling, plain and simple. That’s sort of en vogue nowadays, substituting “grimdark” for any kind of real quality. Now, people are free to like these things. I like things that are terrible all the time and I’ve got no shame about that. But to act like there is no difference between the quality, context, and nature of the violence this season compared to the previous is, at best, kind of naïve.
Besides that, saying “there wasn’t a warning then why are you saying there should be a warning now” is, again, skirting the main issue. Note that the “viewer discretion is advised” IS a trigger warning. Perhaps people are holding The 100 to different standards as other shows or even itself in the past, but if it cannot manage even that much, then no, there is no room to give it a pass and try to jam it into the same boat as another show that bothered to do the barest bare minimum, even if Scandal’s scene was worse. This isn’t a discussion about Scandal and what it did or did not do. It’s a discussion about The 100 and what it did and did not do. Saying that if people aren’t fighting every single battle on all fronts to the fullest it invalidates the ones they do fight is, idk, unreasonable?
In the first two seasons of the show, there were highs and lows, good moments and bad, moments when things were terrible and moments when there was hope. The good guys won and lost, the bad guys won and lost. In contrast, this season has been lows, lows, more lows, lower lows, and hello China, I appear to have dug all the way through the earth to you. Maybe the showrunners are planning to change that eventually, I don’t know, nor do I particularly care, to be honest, but the fact that they feel the need to predicate any future optimism on darkest darky dark grim gritty dark blah is not quality writing. It’s not quality storytelling. It’s lazy. It’s creatively bankrupt. It’s depressing both because of the content and because this apparently is what passes for entertainment now. You’re right, I have to look after myself by stepping away, which I did. Other people who need to do the same, well, need to do the same. The show is still terrible.
And because this is still important: I can’t deny that to me sometimes it does feel like people are reacting this way because of a ship, and that if this had not involved a ship, the backlash would have been less severe. Maybe, I don’t know. People did allow for second and third chances after Wells’ and Anya’s deaths despite them being similarly pointless, offensive, and enraging. Here’s the thing: that’s beside the point, at least for the sake of this particular argument (tho it is important for another). People’s motives don’t really matter. What they did or did not do previously doesn’t matter. The point stands that this was a gross, lazy, tired, offensive move made by a show that should have known and done better. The phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” exists for a reason. People have been getting angry about this for years. It’s not a new phenomenon that eventually a breaking point would be reached after prolonged strained semi-tolerance. Maybe it “shouldn’t” have been this, maybe it “should” have been something else, but it wasn’t. The 100 fandom is not the first fandom to be this upset and disappointed, merely the first to be relentlessly vocal about it and say they will not tolerate it any more. In fact, it probably would have happened sooner had social media been a bigger thing back in 2002 when this exact same episode aired except the characters were called Tara and Willow instead of Lexa and Clarke. The main difference between then and now is that queer fans feel more empowered to speak up and they have the platforms on which to do so.
In the end, while you do make some points that are fair and accurate, you’re using them to dismiss the issue at large and simultaneously sweep aside further criticisms as being invalid, false, and motivated solely by ship bitterness. There are fans attacking writers and actors, I guess, I only really see it directed at JRoth personally, but either way, that’s not cool. And yet the show is still not good anymore. The show was always flawed, but it has lost its redeeming qualities. That’s the crux of that argument, and it’s valid. Maybe people are admitting it because they’re mad about a ship, I don’t know, I haven’t got the latest “are you fangirling correctly” data in front of me. Either way that doesn’t make it untrue.
By the by, some of this post was off-the-charts insulting. It’s incredibly gross to dismiss anyone as “crazy pants insane” and “question [their] mental stability” because you don’t agree with their thinking. Like, it’s honestly hilarious that you would see fit to go on a tirade about “respectful criticism” and how you’re disgusted by the trend of “misandry” (lmao) saying it’s “in fashion now to deride straight white men,” and then you drop a bomb like that. It doesn’t negate everything else you said, but it does undermine your credibility a bit and also maybe people in glass houses shouldn’t etc etc? Like it’s cool, everybody has moments of hypocrisy and double standards, we’re all human here, pobody’s nerfect, but maybe try not to do it so blatantly when you’re dragging other people for it, as a protip. Like, the true things you said are still true, but if you want to make this a discussion about respect, cards on the table, you haven’t got mine.
I love everything about this review. Everything.
Thank you for this review. As someone who’s part of the LGBT Fans Deserve Better movement, I agree with a lot of what you’ve written. Even before Lexa’s death, a lot of the scenes have been absolutely brutal. That they’re getting picked apart one by one now is disingenuous, I agree. Our ultimate goal should be to raise awareness so that future showrunners will more likely do their research before deciding to include representation of any kind. It’s been a oft-stated sentiment among a lot of minority fans I follow that bad representation can be even more hurtful than no representation.
That being said, the rash of lesbian deaths on TV so far in 2016 absolutely is a problem – I think, out of the total number of WLW on TV at the end of 2015, more than 30% or 40% have already been killed off. And that disturbing percentage is made even more daunting by the fact that for a lot of lesbian and bisexual girls in homophobic communities, fiction is an escape. To a lot of people, Lexa represented hope.
There’s a trend especially among male writers and showrunners of coming up with lesbian storylines that end “beautifully and tragically”. Like an insensitive and overtold joke, it has become annoyingly predictable, and it hurts every single time. Add in the fact that Jason Rothenberg and Shawna Benson went out of their way to draw in a vulnerable audience, and, well, it’s not hard to imagine why some fans are trying to make examples of them, especially since Rothenberg’s apology read as calculated and insincere. (YMMV, I know. Dany Roth of Blastr explains the reasoning behind my view on the apology better than I ever could: http://www.blastr.com/2016-3-27/why-jason-rothenbergs-apology-fell-flat-100s-fans-and-real-lessons-learn)
Anyway, from the sounds of your post you’ve already read up on the issue, so I’m probably repeating to you what you already know. But that anger and vitriol, that lashing out at the show, and all that hullabaloo about getting it cancelled? I don’t think it should be nearly as big of a thing as it is, but I get it. I do. A lot of fans had expressed their fears of the trope and articulated how much it hurts them before the season even aired, and yet they still assuaged, still teased, and still baited. And when words seem to fall on deaf ears, well, that’s when we tend to ask “well then what WILL they respond to?”.
As for the movement itself, my perspective is that it’s already a success. We’ve donated more than 110K to the Trevor Project, and with all the media focus that it’s garnered, it has raised awareness. Now the question becomes whether it’s as much awareness as we’d like, and how much we trust showrunners to 1) be well informed on social issues pertaining to media representation, and 2) want to do the right thing even when there is little professional repercussion in doing the horribly wrong thing.
“For instance, there are people who believe this episode should have had a trigger warning for self-harm due to Raven slitting her wrists. Yet, when Kane self-harmed in 2×06 or Clarke did in 2×02, no one seemed to take issue. “
frankly if you’re going to complain about hypocrisy I think you should pay more attention to what you’re comparing. Graphic depiction of a literal suicide attempt (and one that is framed in a way that will resonate VISCERALLY with victims of abuse whose attempts have been spurred on by their abusers when you look at the CONTEXT of the ALIE plot) should Abso-fucking-lutely come with a Damn trigger warning because survivors deserve that warning, ESPECIALLY from a show about to exploit *their* experiences for drama ESPECIALLY for a show that is exploiting that story in a scene where the victim, Raven, isn’t even the person whose reaction the scene is About since that scene is about Abby. Maybe YOU need to think more deeply about the hypocrisy at work here and Frankly perhaps you should consider that there likely were people upset by the earlier triggering scenes, whose voices were not listened to prior to the larger platform of More Fans with that background
(IE: as you should be Made Aware: the LGBTQ community is at much higher risk of both abuse and suicide)
SO. More of those fans came to this show when the 100 actively solicited the viewership of gay fans.
THAT is the hypocrisy that I see here. That and the willful, kneejerk dismissal of criticisms based on the identities of who is doing the criticizing, without addressing the real substance of that criticism. After all. Scandal DID include warnings about violence, including a viewer discretion warning at the commercial break prior to the scene of the murder.
Personally, after Lexa’s death I had been under the impression I would finish the rest of the season. That was before I realized that the 2 characters I wanted to continue to watch would have storylines dealing so very personally with their agency being ripped from them and horrific violence enacted on their bodies without their getting even the opportunity to fight back. So yes. I AM upset about how raven’s body has been treated in the ongoing narrative. I am still invested in her character and her treatment is exactly part of why I refuse to watch and I’m DAMN WELL going to protest about it. Dont give me this silencing, dismissive bullshit just because I had never heard of this show back in early s2.
I’m a recovering alcoholic. Do I get a trigger warning every time someone on tv picks up a beer? No. A show like The 100 IS its own trigger warning. Anyone watching it should know that everything is fair game, and take some Goddamn responsibility for what you watch. If I drink over something I saw on tv, then I shouldn’t be watching television. Or leaving the house. Life is full of triggers, and they don’t all come with warnings. Again, take responsibility for what you watch.
The 100 is an amazing show, unapologetic for addressing the hard issues that most shows shy away from, and I applaud the creators, writers, producers, and actors.
I don’t want to get into criticizing your review too much. My main goal is to inform you about some events that have taken place but I do have to say something. Clarke Griffin who I love and adore is not good bisexual representation. 2/3 lovers she had are dead. The other badly beaten. She’s constantly tortured by the narrative. It seems to be acceptable for every single character to blame her for everything. And every time one of her “friends” yells at her she just takes the verbal abuse? The tortured bisexual trope exists. Lets pretend there aren’t these problems for a second. She was barely in the first ep and has barely been in the last 3 episodes. Thats 4 out of 11 eps that she’s essentially missed. Did u know Eliza Taylor isn’t even listed on the 3×12 press release? Even without that information our rare lead bisexual character has had decreased screen time compared to last season where she was not canonically bisexual until half way through the season. We were screwed over with regards to Lexa but its becoming more obvious that we were also screwed over with Clarke as well.
Jason Rothenberg actively sought out LGBTQ youth online and lied to them. He actively exploited the LGBTQ community for over a year. We tried the passive way which you seem to think is the only way. In the week following Jason Rothenberg retweeted reviews calling us “angry lesbian teenagers” and all sorts of things. We trended “LGBT Fans Deserve better” one week after 307. In return, Jason Rothenberg retweeted a post calling us bullies and cowards. Two weeks later he does interviews and explicitly says he would not change the story in any way. The ONLY thing he would have changed was hyping 307. In an interview with Damian Holbrook he said he was offended by the “accusation of queerbaiting”. He then actively started to attempt to queerbait AGAIN. If you read Mo Ryan’s article then u know about the finale. Well, he tried to tease it some more and pretended he didn’t spoil it on tweeter already. That particularly part of the interview is what inspired the trend “Jroth is still lying” because we didn’t want anyone to get sucked back in with his queerbaiting. In fact, we had to get another writer(kim Shumway) to confirm Lexa was dead dead. He was STILL trying to play us. Then, miraculously 2-3 days after those offensive interviewers he put out that “apology” letter. The fans rejected it completely because it apologized for the trope and not the massive year long queerbaiting. And the apology came with a series of contradictions when compared to just 2-3 days earlier. It was an apology meant for the media outlets and not the fans. He knew about the trope beforehand. We told him and Kim Shumway about it. More proof is that on a podcast the day after he said he did know but that he was exempt from it some how. Even more proof? Javi Grillo-Marxuach (the writer of 307) said multiple times that it was discussed in deep and at length but it obviously didn’t go far enough. No one has demonized Javi because he owned up and took responsibility for his actions. At WonderCon, Rothenberg repeated the same lie that he didn’t know about the trope. Rothenberg has continuously lied throughout this whole thing and takes no actual responsibility for the damage he’s done. The fact of the matter is there have been no real repercussions for the responsible party aka Rothenberg. So, no its not misandry for calling a straight white male out on his privilege and exploitation of a group he doesn’t belong to. And considering what he did to Ricky Whittle… Rothenberg demonized himself a few times over. My last note is that if a large group of people are offended at whats been said maybe its not the listening skills of the audience that’s at fault. Maybe its the talker.
I hope you read this and see WHY the outrage continues on. Its not about a ship. its about the showrunner still lying. Its about the showrunner getting away from this mess relatively unscathed. People don’t necessarily want the show cancel. However, the Rothenberg ignored us(again only answered what some media outlets covered). So, next we went to the CW. They continue to ignore us. The only way to make them listen is through financial repercussions because obviously they don’t care about hurting real people.
When talking about this show its important to remember that its not exactly the plot itself that is triggering. its the social implications.
death by stray bullet not inherently bad
a man chained up and executed by authority figure in mud not inherently bad
Self harm not inherently bad
rape scenes…. i could say something but for argument sake not inherently bad
Pairing a lesbian a death by stray bullet is bad. I believe you said you read up on this.
Pairing a black man w/ mud and execution by authority is bad. Its an American t.v show. The parallels will be drawn. It was a disgusting choice for Rothenberg to make. There are a thousand ways to kill a character. Did u know Rothenberg changed the script? Lincoln was suppose to die in the finale. Literally any death would have been better.
Self harm was too much of a realistic suicide attempt. Clarke’s injury was meant for her to go to med bay. Kane’s “attempt” was not necessarily all that convincing. Whats wrong w/ asking for a trigger warning? If Scandal can do surely t100 can.
I believe u touched on how the rape scene was framed
The rebranding is irrelevant. A network cannot shout “we want to rebrand now and so we are rebranded”. The big shows on CW all have a young audience. There is no beating around the bush. TVD, SPN, Flash and Arrow all drawl in a young crowd. The CW is trying to rebrand ok. But, they went from A to E and now expect everyone to be at Z. Its a failure of the network to actually rebrand. Its a process but by no means do I look at their t.v line up and think “oh yeah they are going for a more adult crowd now”. In fact, you had to quote Pedowitz on his vision. That right there shows they failed. If something is meant for mass consumption and the masses need it be properly explained by its creator its failed. U mentioned throwing the baby out with the bath water but isn’t the CW ignoring their audience very similar? Why alienate their current/original audience to this point. They should take the criticism and do better.
Yes, t100 has always been dark but its not dark anymore. Its just pitch-black. Its just torture and violence for the sake of it. S1 & S2 were good and dark because of the choices the characters had to make. What choices do the characters in S3 make? besides the mass murdering golden boy’s bad choices there haven’t been much of those. The women in particular seem to have no agency this season. I’m 24 and I’m no child. I watch GOT, TWD and etc. GOT has really gone down hill for me and not because of violence but because of the choices D&D made in their adaption. Many things in GOT are similar to the books… HOWEVER, they assign them to the wrong characters vastly changing the context and social implication. Its very similar to my miss match at the beginning of my post. I could make a whole post on GOT but lets take Sansa’s rape scene. Sansa is her own character and in charge of her story in the book. In the show, the frame her rape through Theon’s eyes and thus, making it about his pain. In the books, its a character within Theon’s narrative and not a character with her own narrative that is raped. They sacrificed a character with an equal but rarer narrative to further a more common narrative. Those choices(women w/ equal narrative importance sacrificed for men, vilifying POC characters that weren’t that way in the books) are what make GOT problematic.I could sit through a 1000 brutal character deaths as long as the character dying are proportional. And that is the problem with t100 this season. The sacrifice of important representation to further cliches.
If you want the people to stop because you are afraid that a tv show you enjoy might be cancelled or harmed fine but please stop making outrageous claims. The criticism is valid. Maybe a small minority are going to far and some are using this to fuel ship wars or whatever. And maybe u really do mean to only being talking to those people only but that’s not how it reads. And why would those types even read this review? If you truly want to be fair to both sides criticize the accounts associated with the show for making rape jokes. Maybe people would be less angry if it didn’t fall to ex-fans to correct current fans about things like the definition of consent. Last week it was explaining why Lincoln’s death was inappropriate. Again the criticism is valid. We are constantly dismissed by the cast and network as children. Agree to disagree but do not dismiss us like they do.
Thankyou for the review and your comments on the fandom. The reactions to it have just proven that you are absolutely correct with your criticism. All this extreme prejudice detracts from the valid concerns and efforts of the LGBTQI movement.
I also don’t hold Rothenberg responsible for what is clearly a systemic cultural problem. Revenge is not revolution.
As a person currently not related to the LGBT fans deserve better movement (think neutral observer), I’ve been reading these comments, and several of them are well structured responses to a very thorough review (thank you for criticizing Bellamy’s “manpain”. Really was starting to get on my nerves). I do hope you’re taking the time to read them.
From what I’ve seen, both sides of this “shipping war” have the loudspoken extremists and these are the people that you see the most of. However, I do believe that the clexa shippers have a right to be angry about the way that the 100 team sold the relationship to them before the end of Lexa. That, I think, is the prominent reason for the anger at the actual writers and PR people of the 100. Nothing to do with the actual events of the show (even though HOW Lexa died DID play a role).
HOWEVER. It seems that on the Clexakru side, they’re becoming more focused on the actual movement now, and are using the 100 to show that they cannot be ignored any longer; what happens to the 100 seems to have become more of a means to an end. The rampant hate against bellarkers seems to have been reducing (it was more instigated by generalizing that all bellarkers were as hateful and narrowminded as one of the bellarker extremists) and there’s been a call for peace within the fandom itself by one of the most outspoken clexakru leaders (I think) @decaheda. Against each other, of course. The Clexakru are still going to go after the show and the Bellarkers will still be supporting it, but the toxic hatred in the tumblr fandom is reducing exponentially, I think.
On a personal note, I believe that the 100 HAD good representation, once, and has sacrificed a good portion of that for the sake of needless violence. Or rather, violence that has no purpose other than for shock value. There’s also just the unfortunate trend of the Caucasian (yes, I realize Bellamy is played by a Filipino, but I’m Filipino. I think this gives me more of a right to say that his CHARACTER has been whitewashed. He, as an actor, has not been, but his character is white) men being forgiven, the POC women being incredibly victimized, and the continuing villianazation of the black men on this show.
I continue to watch it because, as you said, it gave me hope once. Perhaps one day, it’ll give me hope again.
I feel I must call you out on your Caucasian comment.The 100 writers have publicly stated that Bellamy is the same race as the actor who plays him…..so this a fairly racist and insulting comment…suggesting that he’s just not ‘brown enough’.
It seems that some people are so determined to label this show racist that they are prepared to ‘whitewash’ Bellamy….because a racist show can’t possibly have a MOC as its male lead…can it??
I understand that the show has said that Bellamy is of the same ethnicity as Bob. However, I, speaking as a Filipino, do not relate to Bellamy at all. So yes. The show has its representation, and I misspoke in my earlier comment. But to me, it is bad representation. If one just watched the show and knew nothing about the actors or what the show’s writers have said OUTSIDE the show, they would never know that Bellamy was anything other than white. I truly apologize if this mindset seems racist (please continue calling me out, I enjoy broadening my views, no sarcasm intended) but speaking AS A POC, I don’t feel represented by Bellamy Blake at all.
All apologies to Bob though; I’ve read how much he cares about his heritage and I wish I could say that Bellamy reflected it, but I’m just calling it how I see it.
How is Bellamy supposed to act, especially on a show where no one has a spotlight on their race?
Also, I’m not brown. Just reread your comment, and felt the need to clarify this.
Its not about what Bellamy does its about what the writers have done. Bellamy has a white mother, white sister and in S1 flashbacks to his childhood he is played by a white child actor. Also, in Ark flashbacks and in the pilot episode he is visibly pale. What the writers say in interviews and twitter are irrelevant. Its whats on the t.v screen that matters. The general audience isn’t looking on social media. It takes only a few seconds to establish ethnicity. Any show aware of itself adds in a line or two dialogue to clear anything up. There is plenty they would have done w/ Bellamy such as not cast a white child actor. Show his father for a second in a picture or a flashback. They could have changed his last name to something Filipino. Before anyone says “its not how it was in the books” Bellamy was black is the books so what does it matter…. There’s a lot they could have done or just not do. Yes, white-washing is a very serious issue in Hollywood and needs to be stopped. However, if we accept that Bellamy is a MOC and they get to claim diversity points from it then where is the accountability? They get their cake and eat it too while people who this person is suppose to represent are called racist for not seeing themselves.
I most certainly did not intend to call anyone a racist….and sincerely apologise if this was the impression given.
This is the first review of yours I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I’ve watched the backlash of 3×07 from a safe distance and I agree that there are certain factions of fandom who have taken a step too far, albeit from an originally solid base of justifiable hurt and anger. I’ve seen vitriol from both “ship”s camps that beggars belief. While I’m not a “hate-watching” lesbian, I’m certainly an “eye-roll” watching lesbian and, before I damage my sight irreparably, I may have to give up on the show I’ve enjoyed watching since the first episode.
My problems with The One Hundred (it’s catching), however, stem from your wishlist for the next episode –
“Clarke opens up to SOMEONE about Lexa – as of right now, no one knows about this relationship.
Octavia needs to be set straight – Clarke didn’t ditch Skaikru, she just was unable to leave Polis, being locked in her room with Murphy and all.
Clarke doesn’t take anyone’s shit – I don’t want to see Bellamy or Jasper or anyone else guilt trip her about her past actions; I want Clarke in control and with agency and willing to spill the tea to these guys – and this includes cutting off the manpain blamed on Clarke at the quick.
Niylah’s wristband used to save Raven – this thing has been a Chekhov’s gun all season long, and despite writer Kim Shumway’s insistence that it wasn’t important, it’s obviously important. NICE TRY KIM.
Bellamy owning up to his actions – your sister, your responsibility? How about taking responsibility for your horrible choices, dude?
Raven saved by Sinclair using her idea about the wristbands – I don’t want to see the flame placed in Raven’s neck. Right now, I think it’s a bit of a misdirect…they may have to access her neck to fry ALIE v1.0…Clarke knows the flame kills non-Nightbloods, so putting it in Raven is too risky
Clarke seems angry in 3×11 – yes, let the anger flow through you…I can’t wait to see ALIE talking trash to Clarke about her mom through Raven.
I’d love to see an awkward conversation between Clarke and Niylah.”
My problem is that this is all EXACTLY what I’d want and expect from the show, but suspect we’ll see none of. Clarke will be blamed for everything and given the burden of man-pain yet again, her relationship with Lexa will not be mentioned, Bellamy will be given a clean slate (if not in this episode, certainly by the next), the massacre of the sleeping grounders will be written off and his indirect involvement in both the death of Lincoln and Lexa will be forgiven after a few tears.
It’s all just so…disappointing.
I look forward to your next review – especially in regards to these points! Hopefully, I’ll be proved wrong.
A very good Review. And I agree the show still is great. I hope the fandom acting like Pike is coming to an end and leaves everyone involved (especially the showrunner!) with the show and the fandom alone. And please America don’t become German by critizing and being too concerned about everything the Show does. This is exactly why I love American Shows. They just want to entertain one way or the other and are not taking themself too seriously. And I still miss Lexa and I hope the Show helps me with that pretty soon ;-).
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