The 100 – “Nevermore” Review and Analysis

bitey raven 3The Adventure Squad is back! This is not a drill. THE ADVENTURE SQUAD IS BACK! And it is a welcome return to the roots of The 100. It’s like slipping under a nice warm blanket…a warm blanket filled with anger, resentment, and heartbreak. Because our intrepid delinquents have BEEN THROUGH SOME SHIT, y’all, and are quick to play the blame game and lay guilt trips on one another.

But as dysfunctional as this reunion often is, it is glorious. It shows the delinquents at their best, fighting for their friend’s soul. The dynamic between the Adventure Squad members is the heart of this goddamn show. They are family. Believe that. BELIEVE IT.

So, say it with me: ADVENTURE SQUAD ASSEMBLE! I’m so happy right now!

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Written by one of my favorite series writers, Kim Shumway, “Nevermore” slips right into the groove that is so rewarding with this show: the delinquents working together to solve a problem, and this problem is a doozy: AI-possessed, out-of-her-damn-mind Raven. It has so many powerful, meaningful character beats and moments that just encapsulate what makes the show so compelling.

Let me just say this upfront: this was Lindsey Morgan’s Emmy reel. I thought she was great in “Fallen,” but this episode, she got the ball, took off from the free-throw line, threw down the sickest dunk in the history of history, and said “in your FACE, Jordan!” If the CW doesn’t submit this episode for all the awards, then they out they damn minds.

This is pretty much Lindsey Morgan right now after that freaking performance:

Lindsey: “Say my name.”
Us: “Lindsey Fucking Morgan.”
Lindsey:
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Credit where it’s due: everyone acted their pants off in this episode. This is an intimate episode rife with personal conflict and frayed emotions run very close to the surface for most of the characters. It’s the type of interpersonal interaction we’ve missed for a good deal of the season, as most of the narrative has been plot-driven, but this is a welcome character-driven respite in a tumultuous, exciting, and break-neck season.

This review is powered by Glenmorangie Nectar D’or. You’re probably asking yourself “what the fuck kind of damn high-falootin’ name is that for a scotch? Ron Swanson would be horrified!” When I first got into drinking scotch I googled: “what scotch should I buy if I’m a scotch virgin and just want a little over-the-clothes action or a maybe dry hump but don’t want to go all the way?” and the Nectar D’or was one of the results.

Let’s get into it!

Hey, You Kids Get Off My Damn Lawn!

Our rebel rabble is holed up in the Rebel Cave when Jasper and Clarke arrive with an unconscious Raven in tow. Jasper has filled them in a bit on the radio about how things went tits-up in Arkadia, but he further explains the predicament. While Jasper describes how Jaha chipped everyone, Clarke pulls out the flame to see if her chip looks like what Jaha is peddling.

But OF COURSE Raven wakes up, sees the flame, and ALIE immediately recognizes it for what it is: her v2.0 upgrade. How she knows this is unclear. I can only assume ALIE was aware Becca was away on Polaris working on a v2.0, but how does she know it’s a chip, when previously ALIE was searching Arkadia’s mainframe for her upgrade? So, mysteries to be answered in the future? Or did an explanation end up on the cutting room floor? Unclear.

Jasper also shares that Raven was working on a way to get ALIE out of her head that involves the wristbands the delinquents were sent down wearing, only Jaha destroyed the extras back at Arkadia. But does Clarke know where to find one? You bet your sweet ass she does.

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Remember Niylah from the Sexy Times Trading Post in 3×01? Well, Clarke and crew head back there to get the wristband Niylah has in her possession.

Niylah is not happy to see Skaikru roll up on her front lawn and meets them with machete in hand because guess what, her father died when Pike and Bellamy killed the Grounders encamped near Arkadia. Clarke covers for Bellamy, saying the massacre wasn’t them and Bellamy just sort of looks REALLY guilty in the background. But of course, not before Bellamy points a gun in Niylah’s face and forces their way inside the trading post with Raven. Because that’s Bellamy this season. Grumble.

And Clarke doesn’t stop him, because Clarke is nothing but task-focused and efficient when it comes to getting shit done, even if it means pushing sentiment and kindness to the side for a bit. She’s one of the most compassionate people on the show, but damn if she doesn’t become coldly pragmatic when she to get to her end goal. Ain’t nobody got time for niceties when Raven’s life is on the line.

We didn’t get a deliciously awkward conversation between Clarke and Niylah. Because our gods have failed us. Why, Shumway, why?

I Love ALIE And I Cannot Lie

I started off this season really side-eyeing the whole sci fi/AI element of the story line. It wasn’t compelling at first and it was hard to see where it was headed, what Jaha’s role would be, and what ALIE was up to. The moment I got completely sucked in was, no surprise, when Raven took the chip. With that wonderful marriage of acting and music (Of Monsters and Men’s fucking perfect “Thousand Eyes”), I was ALL IN.

I’ve wavered on my thoughts about ALIE herself this season. At first I thought she was evil and absolutely terrified of her, but then I thought she was vulnerable and confused by Raven fighting back against her influence, and now I’m again absolutely terrified of her because her shackles are off and she is landing goddamn haymakers. She’s just SO GOOD as one of the main antagonists this season.

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I go back and forth on who the “Big Bad” is in this story line, with Jaha now strongly in the running since he’s figured out how to get around ALIE’s constraints regarding free will and consent. Jaha sussed that shit out right quick and gave ALIE more agency than ever, and now she’s using it to wreak absolute havoc. I suspect that ALIE will outstrip even Jaha’s expectations and probably turn on him. She’s a monster he unleashed that he will eventually no longer be able to control.

Guys, Erica Cerra is CRUSHING it as ALIE. Watch her closely this episode and you’ll see just how great she is as she reacts to each situation and the acquisition of new information. You can see the cogs turning as she’s figuring out the weaknesses of the Adventure Squad, using Raven to provoke them.

While many people have drawn comparisons between ALIE’s appearance (red dress) to Six from Battlestar Galactica, I think her wardrobe is fantastic and very deliberate. She’s a red pop of color and vibrancy in a show that often plays with muted and dark colors, especially with dim interior shots and night shoots. When she’s in a scene, you cannot miss her, and Erica Cerra has such a great presence that brings a ton of gravity to the role. ALIE looks impeccable and those arched brows are on fleek. Hey kids, did I use that term correctly?

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I can obviously hang, y’all. Where the post-prom party at? I’ll bring the Natty Light.

I Love ALIE Possessing Raven, And I Cannot Lie

The dynamic between Raven and ALIE in this episode is so amazing to watch. It’s fun seeing two distinctly different interactions take place in one scene: Raven and her friends, and Raven and ALIE. The difference is ALIE views Raven as a tool to finding v2.0, and uses her to poke and prod at the delinquents to get more intel, while her friends are desperately trying to save Raven from ALIE.

The things Raven goes through this episode because of ALIE are utterly crazy. It takes 6 people to tie Raven to the bed, and Jasper of course gets punched in the face for his troubles. It’s really during this scene where the weight of Raven’s predicament and the power of ALIE’s influence on her becomes terribly apparent to her friends. Raven is completely off the rails and willing to do anything to escape.

Which includes dislocating her own damn shoulder to reach her wrist bindings. If there are negative fucks to give about Raven’s physical well-being, then ALIE has reached that level. ALIE just needs Raven alive long enough to get a bead on where Clarke and co. are at to get the flame. It’s not until Clarke uses the flame as leverage that Raven calms down…harm Raven and ALIE will never get the flame. Smart move on Clarke’s part.

Sinclair and Monty work on a plan, initially conceived by Raven, to use a wristband to EMP ALIE out of her system. Sinclair thinks it can be done, but worries about harming Raven. He admits to Clarke that Raven is all he has left, which, c’mon guys, sniffles.

Sinclair then looks directly at the camera and asks: “Can I be a part of the Adventure Squad now guys?” Of course you can, Sinclair. You’re bonafide. You’re fam now. Which probably means you’re dying next episode.

Behold Raven Reyes, The Mother Of Shade…Oh, And She’s Just A Wee Bit Bitey, So Mind Them Chompers

While watching “Nevermore,” I realized to my horror that there may not be enough shade .gifs from Ru Paul’s Drag Race or all of the Real Housewives franchises to adequately cover Raven’s vicious take-downs of her friends.

Because Raven reads Clarke, Jasper, and Bellamy to filth.

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This episode was all tea, all shade. It’s like Shumway cracked open our little brains, scooped out our thoughts, and plopped them on the script so Raven could lay waste to everyone. It was shocking and painful and cathartic (for the viewers, anyway).

There was a lot of truth-telling going on, but a lot of intentional nastiness as well, as ALIE forced Raven to push buttons in order to get more information about their plans and location. ALIE wants that v2.0 chip something fierce.

Imagine having someone dip into your brain and tell you about your worst doubts, insecurities, and fears about yourself. Internal dialog made manifest and served to you by one of your trusted friends, but with the hurt-cannon set to kill. No sugar-coating, no absolution, no compassion. Just straight-up emotional savaging, and that’s what Raven does to her friends.

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Clarke

The first person Raven reads to filth is Clarke, who is busy trying to re-apply Raven’s bandages. I love the beginning of this scene…go watch it again. Raven looks at ALIE and ALIE glances over at Clarke, a little visual nudge to let Raven know it’s time to go in.

Raven: “Do you ever see their faces?
Clarke: “What?”
Raven: “Of all the people you’ve killed?”
Clarke: “I know what you’re doing. But you can’t get to me ALIE, so don’t even bother.”
Raven: “It’s not ALIE, Clarke, it’s Raven. I’m not trying to get to you, I’m just trying to tell you the truth because no one else will. Everywhere you go, death follows. You always want to save everyone. What you don’t realize is you’re the one we need saving from. Wells is dead because you couldn’t see Charlotte was a basket case. Finn is dead because you broke his heart and then slid a knife into it. Hell, I bet you got Lexa killed, too.”

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GURL, no, you just didn’t go there. ALIE sees Clarke get increasingly upset. I think this is a learning experience for ALIE, to be honest. She fills in some knowledge gaps about her adversaries, but also seems to understand the power of emotions, and how to use them as a weapon.

Then Raven starts to really twist the knife.


Bringing up Lexa, Abby, and Jake (and getting a chunk of flesh bitten off by Raven) makes Clarke finally snap and give away a clue to what they’re planning to do.

CLARKE. We need to talk about your anger issues, because this was a noob mistake, and you did let ALIE get to you after saying you wouldn’t let ALIE get to you. It’s not tough to break Clarke, who is so full of grief and regret and anger…all you have to do is spark up a flame and watch Clarke explode.

One down, two more to go! Raven is just getting started.

Jasper

Raven pours some piping hot tea all over Jasper, who has been suffering from PTSD and Maya’s death all season. Raven has no sympathy, though. Nope. Not one bit.

Raven: “Let’s protect Jasper. Jasper’s so sensitive. Jasper’s lost someone. Everyone, cater to his feelings. We’ve all lost someone. You don’t see us falling apart. You don’t see us getting wasted. Being useless.”
Jasper: “No, you took a pill to take your pain away. You gave up your memories.”
Raven: “But then, why should we expect anything more? You used to get high off of people’s medicine. Being a selfish loser is your only move.”
Jasper: “Stop.”
Raven: “That’s all we see when we look at you. A coward. A waste of breath. Why do you even bother living? You’re weak. Pathetic. You can’t save me. You can’t even save yourself. You couldn’t save what’s her name.”

And she laughs a bit as she mentions Maya. LAUGHS, sending Jasper over the edge. That was a cold and ruthless read. There’s even a moment where Raven is utterly savaging Jasper and ALIE looks over at Raven and is like “damn girl, that’s harsh!” Yeah, no fucking shit, ALIE!

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Jasper’s story line this season has been an interesting one, as we’ve watched him suffer the effects of everything that happened in Mount Weather, not just Maya’s death. The delinquents trapped in the facility had to do some hardcore shit to protect themselves, and that’s enough to leave a dent on anyone’s psyche, but having someone you care about die while thinking you could have saved her (however unrealistic that belief may be) is maddening. Especially since Maya died at the hands of Clarke.

Jasper and Clarke have several tense moments together throughout the episode, and Clarke apologizes to Jasper for Mount Weather. Obviously, she didn’t want to kill everyone, but she was backed into a corner by Cage. Jasper doesn’t care, she can shove the apology where the sun don’t shine.

Clarke made the MW decision and yes, it was her decision and her’s alone. Let’s not give Bellamy, or Monty for that matter, credit for coming up with the plan and deciding to move forward with it. Clarke asked for a better option, and Bellamy was unable to give her one, so she IS Wanheda, regardless of what Raven or anyone else will tell you. All tea, all shade bitches. Just watch 2×16 and see for yourself where the ultimate responsibility lies. Cuz I just watched it AGAIN for like the ninety billionth time and it reads the same way it’s always read: Clarke leads, everyone follows. Which bring us to her most loyal follower…

Bellamy

Raven saves her best for last. Hey kids! Did you remember that Raven and Bellamy slept together in season 1? Because I constantly forget, but Raven doesn’t, and brings it up, along with a shit ton of other nastiness that’s just swirling around in her brain to use against him.

Raven: “Does it bother you that you don’t get any credit for the genocide at Mount Weather? Clarke gets to be The Commander of Death, but you murdered all those people too and you’re just forgotten. Then again, you didn’t get any credit for the culling on the Ark either. How many people suffocated when you threw away my radio? At least Clarke was saving her own people, you were just saving your own ass.

Of course, that’s nothing compared to killing your own mom. You just had to take little sister to her first dance. You might as well just shoved Aurora out of the airlock yourself. Do you think she’d be proud of you now? For the kind of leader you’ve become. Or would she see the truth, like the rest of us do? That you’re a follower? Clarke’s been back for one day and you’re already taking orders. The good little knight by his queen’s side. Too bad you were never that devoted to Gina.”

ALIE at this point is lying down on a fainting couch because she can’t even any more. None of us can. This is BRUTAL stuff. ALIE knew Raven could get to one of them, but holy crap, Raven burned everyone to the ground. In the end, she revealed that Bellamy participated in killing the Grounder force near Arkadia, Niylah overhears, rushes into the room she’s not supposed to go into and slaps Bellamy. Once ALIE sees Niylah, the jig is up since this reveals to Raven and ALIE exactly where they are.

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Monty Green – A Cinnamon Roll No More

Despite what eventually goes down at the dropship, I love Monty and Octavia having a little time together. Octavia is set on leaving her friends and finding her own way in the world. She says she’s not Skaikru and she’s not Trikru. With Lincoln’s death, and the chasm between her and Bellamy is as wide as the Grand Canyon, she’s got no one.

But leave it up to Monty to appeal to her and tell her that she does have someone, because Monty’s the best and he’s right. Screw Skaikru and Trikru, she’s one of the 100. They came down together and survive together. Monty is a sweet kid, often swept up by circumstance into horrible situations, but has his heart in the right place at all times. And he proves it this episode by having to do the unthinkable to save Octavia’s life.

Hannah shows up at the dropship and Monty quickly realizes that she’s been chipped after failing his memory test. Hannah attacks him and Octavia, who for some reason is off in the woods (can we just assume she was pooping?), comes to Monty’s rescue, but quickly loses the upper hand. Hannah presses a sword to Octavia’s throat and Monty has to decide what to do. He shoots his mom once in the shoulder, but since there’s no pain in the City of Light, she’s unfazed. Octavia is dead if Hannah isn’t stopped.

So, Monty does the unthinkable. He shoots his mom again, killing her. And our collective hearts break for Monty.

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Guys. I know Hannah was the worst and I have waxed not-so-poetic about her worstiness, but this is a horrible turn of events for Monty. There are very few family relationships on this show. You can count them off on one hand. So when Monty is forced to kill his mother to save Octavia, it’s awful. He’s got a pure heart. He realizes the importance of family, both blood relations and “found” families like the 100. He’s part of the glue that holds the Adventure Squad together, and choosing to save Octavia is a gesture that isn’t lost on her at all.

The Power Of Christ Science Stuff Compels You!

When Octavia and Monty return from the dropship, Sinclair and Monty finish the EMP to knock out ALIE’s chip. They’re worried that it might fry her brain as well because they have no idea who the chip interacts with her brain. But they don’t have any other choice. They trust if Raven was planning to build it, she knew she could survive the EMP pulse.

The Adventure Squad gets their exorcism on and struggles to get the wristband on Raven. ALIE realizes her days controlling Raven are numbered.

ALIE: “Their design is good. I won’t be able to get here before they disconnect you. You know too much. I can’t let them have you.”

Oh Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, ALIE is serious and wants Raven to kill herself. Raven begins to bang her head on the back of the bed while Octavia and Bellamy struggle to keep her still. Clarke leverages the flame against ALIE once again and says if Raven stops fighting back, she’ll give the chip to her. LIES! DAMNED DIRTY LIES! Raven stops just long enough for Bellamy to snap the wristband in place. Raven tries one last gambit, claiming the EMP will give her brain damage, and begs them to stop.

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But nobody is having it…they know it’s ALIE’s last gasp to stop or delay them, so they proceed. After getting a little more battery power to set off the EMP pulse, Raven falls unconscious. ALIE is gone, but Raven is not waking up.

Protip for Clarke: you cannot determine if someone is breathing by checking their pulse. I don’t have a medical degree, but I’m pretty sure this is true from all my watching of Grey’s Anatomy.

When Raven doesn’t wake up, Jasper gets angry, thinking Raven was right, and they did fry her brain, and decides to put an end to all of this shit. He steals the flame from Clarke and threatens to smash it so ALIE can’t ever get it. And here is where Clarke, I guess, reveals her true feelings. She desperately cries out “It’s Lexa! Part of her is still in there!”

I don’t know if this scene was meant to let everyone in on the whole Clarke and Lexa relationship, which no one knows about, but Clarke’s reaction and desperation should be a huge clue here, right? She’s on the verge of tears and her voice cracks. Is it too much to ask for an outright declaration of their relationship, out loud and in front of her friends? FUCK. I think Jasper sees the same look in her face that he’s probably seen in the mirror. Pain recognizes pain.

Clarke also has a revelation in this moment, because she’s also a Smarty McSmartson. She’s seen the flame removed from Lexa’s neck, and she assumes both ALIE’s chip and the flame work the same way because she somehow she knows they were created by the same person? Am I the only one unclear how Clarke is privy to this information? Did she and Murphy somehow figure this out when they were locked up in Polis?

Clarke takes out a scalpel and cuts open the back of Raven’s neck. And chip goo leaks out. GROSS. Can I just say here that that scalpel was DEFINITELY not sanitized (again, I’m an expert Grey’s Anatomy watcher, so I know things). Raven’s looking at a nice staph or MRSA infection, so good going Clarke. Could have at least waved it over an open flame a couple times. Between this and feeling Raven’s pulse for respiration, I have a feeling that Clarke isn’t going to pass her MCATs. That’s okay, Clarke. Refrigerator repair school is always an option. Or an English degree.

Jasper gives Clarke back the flame after the whole ordeal is over and says “I couldn’t do what you did.” How did you guys read this? I think it can be taken two ways: he couldn’t “kill” someone that Clarke loved -or- he couldn’t make the same type of decision that Clarke has had to make in the past. Either way, I think this is a little crack in Jasper that will allow him to trust Clarke again and maybe forgive her eventually. Not all of these guys like one another right now, but they NEED each other to survive. Both physically and emotionally, because when push comes to shove, they will be there for each other and prop each other up when they need the strength to continue.

Goddamn, I’m getting misty eyed, guys. I LOVE this group so much. SO much.

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It might be the Adventure Squad against the world right now, but at least they’re together, looking out for one another. Octavia repeats what Monty told her at the dropship: “We survive together.” And now they know, based on what Raven tells them, that the flame is the only way to stop ALIE. And I imagine that’s what the rest of this season will be focused on…along with stopping Rapey Murder Princess Ontari. SQUAD GOALS!

The Problem With Bellamy Blake

This is the part where I alienate another portion of my small audience. The only people left reading my blog will be homeless ghosts with low credit scores.

That high pitched squealing and rustling of jimmies you heard this week was the Bellarkers losing their damn minds and touching themselves inappropriately at the prospect of Clarke and Bellamy seeing each other again. The Tumblrinas were breaking down previews and noting every single glance between Bellamy and Clarke like it was the fucking Zapruder film.

Look, fools, just because Lexa is dead now doesn’t mean it’s your “turn.” This isn’t a fucking deli counter, you damn savages.

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It would be a completely horrendous mistake for these two to hook up anytime soon after the fucking debacle of Lexa’s death. Shows shouldn’t cater to fan service. It would be tone deaf and insensitive on a nuclear level, and would serve to damage Clarke’s character and her relationship with Lexa irreparably. And the fandom, ever a problematic part of the show, would lose its collective shit and you think it’s bad now, shippers, just wait.

Clarke doesn’t need any romantic entanglements, now or possibly ever because this show isn’t about ships and it’s not about taking the lead character with the vagina and the other lead character with the penis and putting them together like so many other shows do.

Because, boring. And you can get this in 99.99999% of entertainment. I’ve heard there’s a lot of sex over on Outlander…can you get your sex over on Outlander? Or 99.99999% of broadcast TV? Or movies? Or video games? Or novels?

What’s REALLY refreshing and different are shows, like Elementary, that present its male and female leads as friends and partners. As EQUALS. Sherlock and Watson are one of my favorite pairings on TV because their relationship is refreshing to watch. Their dynamic is emotionally deep without romantic entanglements Moonlighting the fuck out of it. Sherlock can sometimes be an otherwise forgettable procedural, but I keep coming back for Sherlock and Watson, because I just don’t see a lot of these types of relationships on TV and at the heart of a show. Look at this BroTP!:

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Platonic perfection.

Why do men and women always have to end up in a romantic relationship on our shows? Are there no other depths to plumb when it comes to men and women on screen together? Am I weird? Well, yes, I am, but are my desires to see something different on TV really horrifying?

I don’t think a relationship between Clarke and Bellamy is going to pay off any differently than we’ve seen numerous times in the past, as relationships don’t seem to be sustainable on The 100. They are either weirdly forced (Finn and Clarke) or end in tragedy (everyone else ever).

So many awful things have occurred because of the decisions Bellamy has made since backing Pike and if everyone else has to pay for the consequences of their decisions, then major back taxes are due for Bellamy to pay (timely tax season reference!).

When Bellamy turns Pike in, perhaps he thinks it makes up for what he’s done, but both Kane and Octavia call him out: did you do it to save Octavia or because it was the right thing? Maybe he thinks he can let Octavia beat on him and then they’ll be all good. Or he can keep going back to the “protecting my people” well and it will square his actions with others. It’s only during his confrontation with Niylah at the end of this episode that we may see a small dawn of realization come over him.

Bellamy: “All I wanted was to protect my people.
Niylah: “By destroying mine.”
Bellamy: “I’m sorry.”
Niylah: “People like you always are.”

Bellamy will always be apologizing for his actions unless he changes fundamentally and makes better decisions. He didn’t see the bigger picture outside of the gates of Arkadia and let Pike convince him that the Grounders would inevitably attack them. Pay no heed to Skaikru becoming the 13th clan, or Kane taking on the mark of the coalition, or Clarke working to prevent bloodshed. Heart over head, that’s the Blake credo.

Right now, Clarke is his crutch. He looks to her for his absolution. But the things he’s done this season have had far-reaching effects, including Lexa and Lincoln’s deaths. If the show tries to Jedi-mind trick that away for Clarke, I will fume.

Clarke should not be, cannot be, Bellamy’s path to redemption. Because this hand-waving has been done in the past. It’s retread ground and the show has to steer away from dipping back into the well too many times. Re-enforcing certain themes can be very powerful, but re-covering old ground doesn’t often lead to new destinations.

When Bellamy says “what do you do when you realize that you might not be the good guy?” Clarke responds by echoing her mother’s words to her: “Maybe there are no good guys.”

This line fell a little flat with me. Sure, maybe there are no good guys, but there sure as hell are bad guys, and Bellamy has been firmly in Bad Guy territory for a good part of the season. It’s time he own up to it. And it’s no longer time for Clarke to be his moral compass. He needs to become a fully-realized human being who can take responsibility for his actions and to see why some of what he does is inherently wrong. Clarke can be there to support him, but she can’t fill in the holes in his character that lead him to make bad choices.

Bellamy has a long way to go as an individual. His story arc got the express-lane heel turn this season, and he has to pay for what he’s done. This is a show that has never shied away from there being consequences to one’s actions, but there are characters that seem to get away without much of a scratch. I think it would be satisfying if something happened to really drive home with Bellamy and the audience that characters cannot escape without paying their pound of flesh.

Yes, there is a path to redemption for Bellamy Blake, but it can’t be through rubbing some Windex Clarke on it. At some point, characters have to stand up, own their shit, and hoe their row. Bellamy is ready for this moment. It’s time for “wounded puppy” Bellamy to grow up into a man who owns his actions, whatever they may be. He needs to realize his own self-worth and that he can be the good guy. The mistakes he’s made in the past should serve as his guide to becoming a better man.

Because this is a Ru Paul-heavy review, let me repeat the same thing Mama Ru says at the end of each episode of Drag Race: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen?”

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The Problem With Clarke Griffin

Clarke splits her time in “Nevermore” between slipping back into her fixer/leader role and being an emotional punching bag for those around her. Her lack of direct, ass-kicking agency for most of this season has been problematic for me, but she needs to stop taking other people’s shit, and yes, this includes Jasper.

I want a cease and desist order on Clarke being the emotional backstop for everyone else without being able to express her own emotions. No one has borne more responsibility for the well-being of Skaikru than Clarke, and we’ve seen everything she’s worked for completely undone by Pike, Bellamy, Titus, and Ontari. While Clarke served her purpose as an ambassador in Polis, she was sorely needed to talk sense into people and crack skulls in Arkadia.

In her absence, Pike gained power, and while Pike was distracted with his own little pretty hate machine against the Grounders, Jaha was left to run rampant with ALIE, converting people one by one until he was able to coerce Abby to take the chip. All of Arkadia fell after that.

Had Clarke been around, been confident enough that she could face Arkadia with her friends at her back, she could have maybe prevented some of the carnage. But that would have made for a boring story though, right? But it doesn’t prevent people looking at her absence and thinking she’s to blame for not being there to stop some of these things from happening, even though they resent her leadership role when she does take charge to stop these things from happening…noticing the issue here?

What really worries me is that she may continue the pained martyr role and end up a shadow of her season 2 self. Being everyone’s dartboard for their pain and resentment makes her second-guess her decisions and makes it tough to make the hard choices. Girl needs to stand up for herself at some point and spill her own tea on people. No one truly knows the whole story of her time in Polis and the things she’s had to do in order to get Skaikru a seat at the table, and then protect Skaikru from being wiped off the face of the earth after Pike’s fuckery.

We need Wanheda back. Don’t wear the armor of the Commanders unless it truly fits, Clarke. We do see her ease back into her leadership role in “Nevermore,” and I hope she continues to ramp it up until she slips free of the emotional crap everyone has been dumping on her.

GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY FRIENDS! I Have A Crazy Theory That No One Believes

Okay, so hear me now and believe me later, I believe Clarke left the Flame (aka ALIE v2.0) back at the trading post. Specifically in that lamp that Octavia trades for her clothes.

Think about it. ALIE can be anywhere and everywhere. She has drones, she has zombies. She’s hunting down the Adventure Squad because she wants that v2.0 chip. The least safe place for the flame is on Clarke. And Clarke knows it.

And because she knows the flame isn’t safe on her, she needs a new plan. You can tell Clarke gets an idea because when Clarke gets an idea, that idea travels right from her synapses to her face and she gets all thinky think face on us. You recognize this look.

thinky face clarke.PNG

Then Octavia goes for a wardrobe change, a throw-away moment and completely unnecessary (unless you’re Beyonce), and I think it’s included to set up shenanigans.

i love lamp.PNG

Octavia taps the lantern a couple times and then gives Clarke a LOOK. These two are in on something, and no, I don’t think it’s the launch of a Clarktavia ship.

meaningful look O.PNG

Clarke then gives a look back at Octavia. Something is afoot.

clarke loves lamp.PNG

I’ve watched this scene a couple times to make sure my initial read on it has merit. I’m obsessed, you say? Your face is obsessed! This whole thing came off as significant in a way that is more than Octavia looking fly in her new outfit (and she does look fly). It makes sense for Clarke to pull Octavia in on protecting the flame since Lincoln may have shared some intel with Octavia on Luna’s whereabouts.

Look, I know that Clarke pledged that she’s protect the flame with her life, but if she’s in constant danger, then she’s smart enough to realize that hiding the flame in plain sight (in a freakin’ lantern no less, hello symbolism!) is probably a move ALIE won’t anticipate.

We’ll see if my crazy theory plays out. Most people on Reddit think I’m bonkers. Let’s see who has the last laugh. I’ve got to get one crazy theory right this season, and it looks as though my “Farm Station are cannibals!” thing isn’t going to materialize. I NEED this one, guys.


Miscellany

  • My ship, Slarke (soap + Clarke) is again having some issues. I’m just going to have to come to peace with her being grimy this season. Did you see all the dirt on her hands before she cut into Raven’s neck? I hope she has good malpractice insurance, just sayin’.
  • You know who’s never grimy? ALIE. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
  • Are you guys looking forward to Jaha showing up in Polis with his zombie army and fucking shit up? Because shit’s about to get fucked up. CHIP THEM ALL, JAHA!
  • Emerson watch: oh, he’s so back next episode, which is entitled “Demons.” Clarke’s little spared chicken is coming home to roost and poop all over her head.
  • DON’T KILL HARPER! #SaveHarper2016
  • So, Team Cannibal is a thing now on the The 100 subreddit. Proudly Team Cannibal! Them Farm Station people are shady fucks…we know they ate people while stranded in Azgeda territory!
  • “There is no pain in the City of Light” would make for one creepy ass bumper sticker, but hard to explain. I already have to sigh heavily and roll my eyes when people ask what my “HODOR” license plate means.
  • An important detail to remember: Sinclair said that the EMP pulse would also fry the wristband, so they had one shot at saving Raven. Interesting. The EMP pulse they devised is not repeatable unless they can find more wristbands, which is unlikely in the volumes they would need to save everyone.
  • Fun fact: Erica Cerra tries not to breathe during her scenes, because why would an AI need to breathe? Perfection.
  • So, it’s quite obvious that Floudon Kru (the boat people) took their name from Modest Mouse’s “Float On,” right? Big indie rock fans, those boat people.
  • Question: if you’re a writer or performer or producer on The 100 and you see Stephen King is a huge fan, are you touching yourself inappropriately? Because I certainly would be. Hell, you don’t want to know what I do every time I get a page view. Okay, here’s what I do:
    giphy44
  • “The median age for the network’s programming is around 35 years old.”: For those still on the “but the CW is for young people!” tip, here’s another article for you to consider when lamenting about how dark and violent the show is: linky link link
  • 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.
  • Speaking of music, show composer Tree Adams has released the season 3 soundtrack on Spotify and iTunes (where it at on Amazon???!!!). I will not add it to my playlist (aside from the Grounder Anthem) simply because it doesn’t tonally fit with what I’m building, but go fucking check it out because it’s fantastic!
  • Hey, if you’re looking for a new show to hop onto after this season of The 100 ends, I suggest Preacher on AMC starting May 22. Go in completely cold, don’t look it up on google and spoil the plot. It may be the craziest, weirdest stuff on TV in a long time.
  • 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, I have a lot of hustle out there on the field, and I’m taking it one game at a time.

FINAL VERDICT!

“No Way Out”: 9.0 out of 10 EMP pulses to your brain


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.

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18 Responses to The 100 – “Nevermore” Review and Analysis

  1. Thorn says:

    Love ya Jen. I spent lunch today sitting outside on the patio of Bull and Bear drinking double Jacks and eating jalapeno stuffed shrimp. This has nothing to do with our favorite TV show, or your review of it, which I haven’t read yet. But I will. When I’m sober.

    In the meantime, I’m with you. Not sure what I’m with you on, but I’m there. I hope in your review which I need to read, you have addressed why Clark is wondering around so casually with the future of humanity in a tiny tin box.

    In fact, for the most part, I’ve already forgotten what happened in the last episode. Sunday afternoon mixed with Jack Daniels and good pot totally destroys your brain. Especially with jalapeno stuffed shrimp.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thorn, you drunk old coot, read my review and you’ll see I don’t think Clarke is wandering around with the flame anymore.
      And GO TEXANS!

      • Thorn says:

        Niylah will become the next merging with Allie 2.0 and save the season taking her place as the new Heda, right before something else horribly devastating happens in the last 10 seconds of the finale. It turns out the new Heda has a bone to pick with Bellamy.
        Then we wait for another year to pass.

      • Jennifer says:

        Niylah isn’t a Nightblood, fool. She got beat up in 3×02 and bled red blood.

  2. Syokhan says:

    “Protip for Clarke: you cannot determine if someone is breathing by checking their pulse.”

    Haha, that bugged me as well. That and the scalpel, and the bandages not being exactly clean, and… okay, suspension of disbelief. Still, minor nitpicks in a very, very good episode 🙂 (Lindsey Morgan rocked, Erica Cerra rocked, they all rocked) As for Clarke knowing both chips were made by the same person, uh… perhaps they mentioned how similar (infinity symbol) both chips looked on the way to Niylah’s? Or she read something in the Fleimkepa’s journal that clued her in?

    “Jasper gives Clarke back the flame after the whole ordeal is over and says “I couldn’t do what you did.” How did you guys read this?”

    I took it as a dig referring to when Clarke killed Maya. As in “I can’t kill someone you love”, even when, you know, she’s somehow inside a chip that goes in your neck.

    As for Clarke leaving the Flame in the lantern, that’s an interesting thought but I really don’t think she would let it out of her sight. We’ll see, maybe you’ll be right! :p (and Farm Station people totally ate Farm Station people, it’s canon until proven otherwise)

    The “only one use” thing with the wristbands is worrying. How are they going to get the named NPCs… I mean, other characters (Abby, Jackson and Papa Miller, come back from this please!), out of the City of Light without them? A massive EMP? Modifying ALIE’s nuclear backpack for that? Something else? Would destroying ALIE free everyone or trap them forever? Argh, so many questions!

    “Speaking of music, show composer Tree Adams has released the season 3 soundtrack”

    And it’s WONDERFUL. Lots of intriguing titles that I’m trying not to mull over too much, too, because hi possible spoilers? Still. Wonderful soundtrack!

  3. Victoria says:

    I see your 7000 word review and raise you a 1000 word comment. (If you really count your page views, then you know I have been hitting “Refresh” for two days now waiting for you to post your review!
    – How great is it that the current most terrifying badass villain is a WOMAN who manages to be very three dimensional and yet, she is a fucking A.I.! How did they do that? Erica Cerra, I bow down before thee. And now I really want some more Becca storyline too. How can they make it so that Raven is somehow a descendant of Becca and ends up being the next commander with Clarke by her side as the flamekepah?
    Related theory: if Clarke used the same scalpel to open Raven’s neck that was used on Lexa (it was the same one right?) then maybe some of that nightblood transferred into Raven so my idea is TOTALLY scientifically plausible. Totes.
    Related FUN FACT: did you see Erica Cerra’s tweet that she was 3-months pregnant filming that episode and battling nausea and sciatica during those scenes?!?!?!

    – 100% agree on the lantern thing. I had the same exact thought that there was no reason for them to show that transaction unless it was going to play a key role down the line and if it means more Niylah at some point, I am all for it. Clarke was so busy making heart eyes at the lantern, she almost forgot to tell Niylah to run for her life! Yikes!

    – Two things you wrote that I am keeping in my clipboard to paste into discussion forums when addressing common complaints:
    >> Did an explanation end up on the cutting room floor? Unclear.
    >>Clarke is nothing but task-focused and efficient when it comes to getting shit done

    – Where can I get the headlights that Rover has because I drive down paved streets in broad daylight and still get a flat tire from errant nails left in the roadway but the Adventure Squad tools around the forest in their Rover with absolutely no streetlights to guide them and they never so much as get a slow leak.

    – Is Clarke wearing Lexa’s old body armor? I can’t find two images that would confirm it is in fact Lexa’s but if it was, wouldn’t Octavia or Bellamy or anyone who ever laid eyes on Lexa be all “Clarke, nice threads, you raided Lexa’s closet?”

    – When Raven started banging her head against the bed to try and kill herself I kept screaming “It’s a Trading Post, check inventory for a pillow for Chrissake!”

    – >> “I couldn’t do what you did.” How did you guys read this?
    THIS is the one thing in the episode that has been bothering me the most. What is the interpretation here? I fully believe it meant he couldn’t make the same type of decisionS (plural) that Clarke has had to make since landing on Earth. It has been one hard choice after another and I think Jasper is finally beginning to realize that The 100 have constantly been thrust into bad-choice-or-worse-choice forks in the road and Clarke is the only BAMF who has stepped up to make those choices for the group. I refuse to believe that Jasper has ANY inkling as to how deeply in love Clarke is/was with Lexa/2.0 chip even if she offered the slightest of clues when she screamed for him to not smash the chip because “its lexa”.

    – I don’t normally advocate exposition but when it comes to the Adventure Squad learning about what went down in Polis and the depth of Clarke’s feelings for Lexa, the opportunity for a great performance and possible bonding of characters is too vast to go with ‘show, don’t tell’. The viewers deserve this scene, the writers deserve an opportunity to write this scene and the actors deserve a chance to sell this scene. Here is hoping its already sitting on the shelf.
    Idea #1: Raven needs to understand better how the 2.0 chip works so she has Clarke walk her through what she knows, and in the process, Clarke starts to break down and reveal she was in love with Lexa.
    Idea #2: After the gang reunites with Murphy, Clarke has a moment and Murphy is her shoulder to cry on, much to the surprise of the rest of the squad.

    – I would put money that there will be no other romantic entanglements for Clarke this season. S4 is open for business I would guess but S3? No way. Based on one of Eliza Taylor’s interviews at one of the recent cons, I would literally bet that there is no one in Clarke’s focus for the rest of this season but Lexa; as it should be. If Bellarke ever does happen, it will be in the series finale and only after, as you said, he becomes a fully-realized human being. The reason I think Clarke could one day, in the very distant future, reciprocate feelings that Bellamy already has for her is because despite all his faults, he has not constantly dumped on her with emotional crap for all the tough decisions she has made. Yes, one exception being how angry he was when she returned to Arcadia in Hakeldama but I felt like that wasn’t really a criticism of the decisions she had to make so much as Bellamy’s manpain for having to fend for himself.

    – Raven is my absolute favorite. I publically declared I would stop watching if they killed her. I was never into the whole Clarke/Raven ship but now, after shamelessly watching a few Princess Mechanic vids, I can completely get onboard that cruise and if S4 turns out to be the last, I would love it if the series ends with those two together.

    – If the gang can’t stop making Clarke their dartboard, I would seriously love to see Clarke tell everyone to F*ck Off and start making their own damn life/death decisions from now on. Enough!

    • A.Rob says:

      Well essentially Clarke did tell everyone to f*ck off and start making their own decisions when she left at season 2, no? I mean it was an irish goodbye f*ck off but still.

      • Victoria says:

        Yes, but I was thinking more of a verbal smackdown. “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a bunch of delinquents who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then question the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way.”
        .. Or something along those lines.

      • Jennifer says:

        Col. Jessup! Yas queen!

        But yeah, she needs to lay some truth on some folks. I realize that will require a tell not show scene, but I think Clarke is owed this moment. I need a fist-pump moment this year with her, and I haven’t gotten it yet.

      • A.Rob says:

        Nice Jessup! well played.

        True maybe Clarke deserves that moment but I also don’t think she is wholly undeserving of some of the shit she is getting either. She isn’t the white knight in this game anymore than any other character which is the overall theme. They have all done bad things. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. You know the bit…perspective, yada, no good guys, yada yada. I’m still hoping for a deeper Pike story in season 4. And I definitely want Emerson to live. Moral Ambiguity is fun for everyone! So Say We All.

        oh Jen, I never got to my Bellamy defense diatribe I once promised. It must be because lately I don’t have the good booze that you have so my wits aren’t nearly as sharp these days. And I tremble in your gif mastery that I forget my damn name, let alone what I was going to say. But I will throw this one out for funzies… I do bristle at the notion that Bellamy somehow never suffers like others do, like there some log on who has it the worst and he is at the bottom. or that he isn’t called out on his mistakes…he is called out on it constantly. And its not like Clarke has suffered too many consequences for TonDC. They each made rough extremely problematic calls, got called out, and suffered, What is the scale to who suffered more consequences, or what mass murder was worse? That’s silly season. Also, you have to judge things on what they mean to each individual and for Bellamy losing the love/respect of his sister is quite a blow for him (in ways the other characters can’t relate), even if the audience wants their pound of flesh. They have all suffered great loss and are tremendously damaged from it, but their losses are unique to who their character is. And if we want to get pedantic about who had more emotional breakdown moments on screen I think we will still find Clarke has had a plenty on screen breakdowns to show her emotional state. Its not like she is forever stoic. But also her stoicism is who she is as a character, its a trait she showed from the very beginning. Everyone handles their grief differently, but that shouldn’t mean their grief is somehow unequal just because characters aren’t grieving the way fans think they should. Not saying you are guilty of these things but sometimes the fandom engages in hyperbole when it tries to decipher who does or doesn’t suffer consequences, or who is or isn’t allowed to grieve.

  4. I love your reviews 🙂

    Octavia is off-screen for just a moment – of course she’s taking a dump in the woods!

    I don’t think they’ll need more wristbands as they can just cut the chips out of the zombie necks, right? (hence Monty believing they could have saved his mum too).

    Re. the Flame hidden in the lamp – I didn’t notice it initially, but you’ve sold me on it completely. Hopefully Niylah takes it with her on her “supply run” without get super irritated about Clarke making her a mobile target…

    And thankyou for explaining The Problem With Bellamy Blake. Thankyou.

  5. Danni says:

    Great review Jen! I appreciate your “Bellarke” thoughts and even though you know I love this dynamic, I completely agree that it’s silly to interpret this episode as if their relationship is going anywhere this season beyond being repaired as buddies. Bellamy needs to seriously deal with his shit, and this is the priority (which is why I love the character – love me a flawed hero!) – to think Lexa will somehow be swept away when she was *so* important is to misread the narrative. However I don’t make any demands of the writers – S4 is up to them 🙂

    And – proud to be a member of Team Cannibal! Yay! #TeamCannibalUnites

    Also, thank you for the HUGE shout out to Lindsey Morgan. She was the absolute star of this episode, she really nailed it. This whole episode was fantastic! The narrative technique was brilliant – here I was thinking we were going to get loads of boring “heart-to-heart” talks and instead we got a psychotic AI calling everyone out on their deepest fears. This is why I love The 100!

  6. Mheiy says:

    Holy chip!! Ive watched the Octavia, Lexa, Niylah and Lamp scene and you could’ve been right. Omg!!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      If I’m right, I’m going to do a little happy dance of “I’m not crazy! I’m not crazy!”

      • A.Rob says:

        I just rewatched this scene this morning. And maybe I am crazy too, but I think you are right. We shall erect statues as tribute in your honor if you nailed this one.

  7. techgirl67 says:

    I must say amen to a few things you pointed out in your review:
    1. A platonic relationship between Clarke and Bellamy is so much more interesting than the other option. And I hear Outlander is pretty good….
    2. Clarke needs to whup some Adventure Squad ass and tell them all to stop blaming her for everything.
    3. Bellamy needs to man up and take responsibility for himself.
    4. Stephen King is a tea drinker.
    4. I completely agree with you about the lamp theory. I wondered why they “highlighted” (no pun) that scene the first time I watched it too.
    5. I love your Spotify playlist and listen to it way too much.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write this analysis. I always look forward to your slightly crazy (drunken?!) and hilarious take on each episode.

    Signed,
    Homeless Ghost with a really low credit score

    PS-Don’t KILL HARPER.

    • Jennifer says:

      You need to watch the latest episode. My lamp theory got blowns up and I’m not happy about it, not one bit.

  8. Pingback: The 100 Season 4 – Preposterous Predictions and Potential Possibilities | Declare Shenanigans!

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