The 100 – “Join or Die” Review and Analysis

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“Oh crap.” Things go from bad to crucifixion-y in Polis, Luna’s all like “uh, no” when given the opportunity to become Commander, and somehow I now care about Pike now? You guys, so much happened but not really from an action standpoint? Which is fine because we got a lot, A LOT of good stuff. And some head-scratchers, but that’s pretty much season 3 in a nutshell.

“Join or Die” gave us tons of stuff to marvel over – flash backs of the Ark! Floudonkru! Luna! – and tons of stuff to horrify us – ALIE controlling Abby! Crucifixion!

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WHAT, TOO SOON GUYS? I couldn’t resist the cheap joke. Sue me.

This episode was written by sister team Shawna and Julie Benson. I thought it was a pretty tight episode from a plot perspective and gave us some exciting moments to geek out over, but I’m having issues with Clarke and Bellamy guys. Major issues that I’ll get all salty about later.

This review is powered by: Monkey Shoulder Batch 27. It’s a blend of three Speysides – Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie. If you’re going to drink a blend, then Monkey Shoulder should be on your list. It goes down way too easy, so you know where this review is headed: BUZZVILLE!

Let’s get into it!

Visit Polis! The Most Unhappiest Place On Earth!

Hey guys, remember Kane’s first visit to Polis? He was happier than a pig in shit. He absolutely loved the Grounder capital. It was busy and vibrant and proved Kane right – Grounders weren’t the enemy, they were pretty much people just trying to make their way in the big ol’ world.

So, what’s Polis like today?

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An utter hellscape. Kane and Pike walk into Polis and the streets are literally soaked with blood. LITERALLY. And that’s not figurative.

Jaha and ALIE have Polis on lockdown and their directive is simple: JOIN OR DIE, HOLMES. Which should have been the title of the episode, but no one ever asks me, so you get the genius advice a day late and a dollar short. Your loss, JRoth and Co.

Polis quickly went from Grounder capitol to Murdertown USA in zero to .002 seconds flat, didn’t it? It helps when you can wield the Commander’s power to make everyone take the key. And those that don’t? Well, let’s go to Kane’s reaction upon seeing WTF!Polis and the people crucified in the streets:

Kane: “Uh, you guys. We were supposed to go to Polis to see the new Commander. This is all wrong. This is totes Bolton-controlled Winterfell. We’re not even on the right show anymore!”
Weird Grounder who looks like he wandered away from a Insane Clown Posse gathering and onto the set: “Nope, this is Polis. But seriously though fam, did you see the season premiere of Game of Thrones? What is UP with Melisandre? That was crazy, yo!”

WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT THE CAMERA, WEIRD GROUNDER???!!!

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Yes, ALIE has turned Polis into a House Bolton wet dream and it’s utterly horrifying. Jaha has a simple proposition for both Pike and Kane. Take the key, go to the City of Light, and chill. Pike refuses and is thrown in prison for his trouble. Kane, however, is far more important to ALIE because he knows where Clarke and crew are hiding, so ALIE takes a far more sinister approach with our sexy beardy Kane.

You know earlier in the season when we got ALL the Kabby feels and it was great? Well, apparently ALIE ships Kabby as well, because she leverages Abby not once, but TWICE to get Kane to take the chip.

The first time is a ruse. Abby is brought to Marcus, appearing to have been roughed up a bit to heighten his concern for her in order to try and get him to tell her where Clarke is. Kane doesn’t give up the info, and Abby reverts to the old sexy sex route, which tips Kane off that she’s chipped. Nice one ALIE, you still don’t get humans, do you?

So, that plan up in smoke, what’s the next best thing? Crucifixion kids! Does anything that happens on this show shock you anymore? As soon as Pike and Kane walked into Polis and saw people up on crosses, well, you pretty much assumed someone was ending up crucified.

As Kane is tried to the cross and before the nails are pounded in, he and Abby revisit a recurring theme from the series:

Kane: “Abby! This is madness!”
Abby: “This is unity.”

Looks like we’ve gotten a new Unity Day, guys, and it’s gruesome. Remember “join or die” was petty much Alpha Station’s directive to Polaris and they got blown out of the sky, and somehow Skaikru turned it into a holiday.

ALIE and Jaha are tearing through the people who resist, and they give zero fucks. Like absolute zero. And I don’t think this day is going to be remembered with hats and horns in the years to come.

It feels weird to say this, but kudos to the show for getting the nail placement right. As my Catholic mother taught me, nails go through the wrists, not the hands, otherwise the body weight will just tear the nails through the hands. Ick. I wanted to look away as they were nailing Kane to the cross, but I was just shocked…they did the damn thing.

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Oh, and did you catch Jaha holding a short piece of barbed wire and then tossing it aside? Holy symbolism guys…the Crown of Thorns. Sexy beardy Jesus-y Kane? Could this foreshadow a grand sacrifice for the rest of humanity on Kane’s behalf? I don’t want him to die, but at this point no one is safe. Is the symbolism a bit too much at this point? I don’t know.

Kane, who is the absolute best and must not die ever, DO YOU HEAR ME WRITERS, NEVER EVER KILL HIM OR THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY, refuses to give up Clarke’s location or to take the chip. Because he’s the best. Have I mentioned that? Kane’s character development has been powerful, and if you have any doubt about it, this episode gives us Ark flashbacks of shitty Kane, if you needed a reminder of how he was set up early to be the antagonist on the Ark.

Kane is resolute, loyal, and steadfast. He’s not going to give up Clarke or himself to ALIE. Until…Jaha points a gun at Abby’s head and it’s pretty much over for Kane. An example of “love is weakness,” but it makes me love Kane more. And it hurts, y’all, seeing him cave to ALIE, but she’s cunning and has quickly learned how to leverage loved ones to get people to acquiesce. Remember, ALIE needs consent from her victims to accept the chip, then she can control them completely. Jaha taught her that. And it’s Jaha that holds the gun to Abby’s head to force Kane’s consent.

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I love the work that all of these actors are doing, even when they’re being completely destructive evil assholes. You guys…so good. Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Paige Turco, Erica Cerra…they are giving this show their all, and if you think they’re not as responsible for the feels you’re feeling as the younger cast, you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.

This whole cast makes me want to slap my own ass and call myself Sally. I don’t even know myself anymore.

And Here’s The Part Where I Talk About Ontari’s Character Development!

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I Think I Now Kinda Sorta Care About Pike. WHAT SORCERY IS THIS??!!

You wanted Ark flashbacks? Baby, we got Ark flashbacks! Pike is directed to teach the delinquents earth skills before they’re sent down to earth, and he has two weeks to get the job done with a less than attentive or enthusiastic group of kids. I remember taking an accelerated 4-week Willy the Shakes course at the University of Illinois. Try reading a Shakespeare play a day. These delinquents have it EASY.

Or not. Pike needs 3-4 months to get these kids ready, but he’s only given 2 weeks. He’s reluctant and balks a bit at the thought of sending the kids down in the first place. But we learn that Pike’s philosophy has pretty much never wavered: keep fighting at all costs against all odds. This seems perfectly rational if you don’t know anything about what’s waiting on the ground, especially if you have no cause to believe anyone’s alive on earth.

Pike does his best to try and impart this knowledge on the delinquents, and the results are mixed. Octavia, who has pretty much never been socialized, seems to be a bit of a sponge. She’s like Clarke – she pays attention, even if it means drawing the derision of the students around her. She doesn’t have the “I’m too cool for this” conceit of her other class mates…or the good student proclivities of someone like Alpha Station’s upper crust – Clarke. Octavia is just trying to learn because she doesn’t know that SCHOOL ISN’T COOL, YO.

Stay in school kids. Seriously.

I don’t know how they did it, but they did it…the writers made me sympathetic to Pike. And large credit goes to Mike Beach, who brings the acting chops to this role that’s needed. I won’t say he’s a multi-layered character at this point, but at least he’s CONSISTENT. He’s doing his best to help the delinquents understand how to survive, even if it means that his “graduation” is a trial by violence. He’s not a subtle man, but he’s trying to teach these kids to work as a team to live. He might not agree with sending them down to earth, but he takes his responsibility to them seriously. He even volunteers to go with them, which is quickly shot down by Jaha. Pike cares. That’s an important thing to spotlight in isolation and away from his Arkadia story line. Pike may never realize how awful his actions have been or what he’s ultimately cost his people, but he’s not wavering about who he is, and even if that means he’s a shitbird most of the time, he’s consistent.

I think it’s obvious from the flashbacks that he cares about the kids and their survival. He went to extremes to drill his final lesson into their heads. He went to extremes to ensure his survival on earth.

Now, I’m not saying I’m on Team Pike, but his actions on earth have been given a context due to this snippet of him on the Ark. This is who he’s always been. Funny how this concept works with Pike but has utterly fallen flat with Bellamy.

Pay Attention To Octavia On The Ark…Important Stuff Guys

I know there are still some fans that struggle with Octavia’s character this season, thinking she needs to get over not feeling as if she belongs, but to those people I say rewatch the flashback scenes and put yourself in her place.

It’s apparent that she’s an aberration among the delinquents. She hasn’t been socialized with kids her age and she doesn’t fit in to their cliques. Think back to your high school experience. What clique did you belong to? Myself, I was a band geek. SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE.

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We weren’t the most glamorous group in high school, but we stuck together. We were a TRIBE. We ate lunch together. We sat together in our shared classes. Hell, my friends Laura, Tracey, Liezl, and I not only stuck together throughout high school, we roomed together at the University of Illinois, in some form or another, freshman through senior year. Band geeks are the best.

Now, what tribe did Octavia belong to on the Ark? What proverbial lunch table did she sit at?

She was alone. She was kept hidden her whole life until her teen years, and you can see by how the other delinquents react to her that she’s the ultimate outsider. So can we really blame her for her not feeling as if she belongs anywhere? I would say no.

I LOVE how revealing the flashback scenes are for everyone. They help provide the “flavor text” of some of the delinquents and fill in major character backgrounds for others. If you overlook Octavia’s history here, you’re missing out on a huge part of explaining her psyche. We see why Lincoln was so important to her and why Bellamy’s role in his death crushed her. What I would love to see is her really feeling Monty’s words: she’s one of the hundred…those are her people, even if she doesn’t recognize it so far.

I would love to see her bond more with Clarke, Raven, Jasper, and Monty. Maybe we’ll see that in season 4…her further character development needs it. I think these flashbacks were so crafty in how they framed Octavia’s experience on the Ark in respect to her “peer group,” and filled in a big part of why she’s disenfranchised. Pay attention to these little moments folks…they speak volumes.

P.S. (Also take note which delinquents stand up to Pike and come to Murphy’s aid during “graduation”…you can see who the heroes are going to be)

And Now A Word On Clarke And Bellamy

Clarke: stop letting others beat you up for being the leader, hold others accountable, and stand your ground.

Bellamy: own your fucking shit and stop blaming others for your hurt feelings and bad decisions.

This season is failing these two characters. I’m sick of writing about it. Give Clarke her power back and either shit or get off the pot with Bellamy. FOR. FUCK’S. SAKE.

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What the fuck is even going on with these two when it comes to consistency? They’re both at the point where they take one step forward and fifteen steps back. Bellamy will try to lay some blame on Octavia for not trusting him one moment, then admit to Clarke that he feels responsible for Lincoln’s death in the next. Notice how he never admits this to his SISTER. The one person who needs to hear it.

In one breath, Bellamy will mock Clarke (“Wanheda, the freshmaker peacemaker”) and say he doesn’t want her help, and the next line, the VERY next line he tells her that he’s lost Octavia. Oh, you don’t want Clarke’s help, but you want to confide in her? This is maddeningly inconsistent and I’m pretty much done with this fumbled “redemption” arc, if that’s what it’s supposed to be. It’s certainly not a “I take responsibility” arc, that’s for damn sure, because Bellamy won’t own up to his shit to the people that matter most.

And Clarke. She’s had power about twice this season. Once while choking out Roan on the river bank and once while sticking the flame onto Emerson’s neck. The bad ass season 2 Clarke that we all loved? So far, still back in season 2 from all indication.

This isn’t character development. It’s marking time, marching in place. The plot has steamrolled these two this year. Obviously, I’m kinda exploding here with pent up frustration. I have had to twist my brain into a pretzel in order to justify the actions of these characters all season. I tried really hard, but now I’m just tired. So tired. I’ve reached the threshold of diminishing returns.

If they kill Bellamy at the end of this season, unfortunately I don’t think I will care. I think I’m supposed to care, but I don’t.

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OVER IT.

Look, I don’t hate Bellamy. Kudos to Bob Morley for his work over the series because he’s too compelling an actor to completely dismiss the character. But I just…I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to understand him and justify his actions.

Clarke and Bellamy have yet to have a very raw, frank discussion addressing everything that’s occurred since Bellamy snapped the cuffs on Clarke in “Hakeldama.” Their subsequent conversations have been by a bit shallow and filled with platitudes that the show has explored previously. Their confrontation in “Hakeldama” was the best we’ve gotten this season between the two and I feel we need another conversation that addresses Clarke’s feelings, and not just Bellamy’s. Clarke hasn’t been allowed to be angry at anyone but herself, and it’s become an issue that’s created a blocker for her own character development. Clarke basically ignoring Bellamy’s dotted-line culpability for everything going to shit in Arkadia and ruining the work she put in to protect Skaikru is just crazy at this point.

Bellamy seems to have very little regard to the point of view of the other characters, who are just now plot devices to expose his emotional state. Octavia’s grief and anger make him feel things. Clarke leaving makes him feel things. Gina getting fridged makes him feel things. How others now treat him make him feel things. Human interaction is a two-way street, and right now Bellamy is so deep into his own turmoil that his lack of empathy makes him very difficult to sympathize with right now.

I don’t know if this is deliberate and will be fodder to fuel a Bellamy “ah ha” moment and jump start his maturation, but at this point in the season, I don’t think we’re going to get a sudden shift in how Bellamy is being treated, or a shift in his dynamic with Clarke. If they both survive for season 4, I hope there is a lot of work put into character progression next season.

Indra And Pike And Murphy, Oh My!

When you filled out your Polis Madness bracket, did you have Indra, Pike, and Murphy in your final three as a team? Because I sure the hell didn’t see that coming. I knew Pike and Murphy would be in the mix somehow, but I was certain Kane and Pike would have to learn to work together to fight against ALIE.

But with sexy beardy Robot Kane lost to us, we get the wackiest of whack teams of the century: Pike, Murphy, and Indra.

Guys, can you even stand how awesome this trio is going to be? Because they all pretty much hate each other, but they HAVE to work together. Who doesn’t love a classic Indra-Pike-Murphy mess-around?

Of course, this super team up doesn’t begin on a good note. Indra has managed to loosen up the spike that has her chained to the wall and decides to take her revenge on Pike for the army of Grounders he killed. Death by 300 cuts. Technically Indra, it should be 299, but you’re the one holding the sharp object, so you do you, girl.

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Murphy puts up with Pike’s torture for awhile (and the fans thank you!) before reasonably pointing out that Pike is strong, and they’ll need everyone they have to fight against the real enemy – ALIE. Indra is all like “shrug” and is about to kill Pike when one of her own people tells her to stop. Murphy has talked sense into at least one person. Murphy asks a simple question: do you want revenge or do you want to save your people. Indra’s all like “why not both?” but she’ll leave her revenge for later.

We learn through flashbacks that Murphy and Pike aren’t exactly buds, and Pike used Murphy to send a very pointed message to the delinquents – keep fighting or you die. Murphy has absolutely no love for Pike, but I have a feeling that Pike’s single-minded drive to survive is going to serve this little group well. Yes, I think we’re on the train to Redemption Junction with Pike, and I’m very interested to see how the dynamic between Indra, Pike, and Murphy plays out, especially Pike and Indra. Will they gain an understanding from one another, or once their mission survive is over, will they revert back to throwing down?

We need a good team name for this trio. Pindry? Will Pindry work? Who doesn’t love a good Pindry mess-around?

ADVENTURE SQUAD ROAD TRIP!

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Adventure Squad A (Squad B – and “B” is for “brains!” – is back at Arkadia) is in search for Luna and we have no idea how much time has passed since they left Arkadia and started their journey. Has it been a day? A few days? A week? Meh, the show cares not for time. For instance, you only should need one day to grieve the death of a loved one then move on in this show’s timeline. (the salt…it flows……..)

When the Adventure Squad reaches what they think is Luna’s village on the map, they find nothing but a bunch of stacked stones. No Luna. No Boat Clan. Nobody.

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Our wet and downtrodden Adventure Squad make a fire (yay Octavia!) and make plans to spread out along the shore the next day to try and find a trace of Floudonkru. Jasper throws some pine branches into the fire and holy green flames, folks, they figure out it’s a signal fire! You know, Lincoln MAYBE could have made a note in his journal about throwing the pine needles into the fire to signal Floudonkru instead of just sticking a pine nub in there like a fucking scrapbooker with no instruction as to why it’s there?

While Jasper and Octavia keep feeding their fire pine needles, Clarke joins Bellamy on the beach to have another one of their frustrating conversations (I can’t even right now), share a little “let’s make Bellamy feel better about himself” hug (I can’t even even more right now), and get their moment broken up by SEAL Team 6 emerging from the surf.

FLOUDONKRU IS HERE! And do they know how to make an entrance, or what? How awesome was that?! I’m so excited to see a new clan…Luna’s clan! You guys, are you excited?

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FLOUDONKRU! FLOUDONKRU! FLOUDONKRU!

SEAL Team 6 is suspicious of the Adventure Squad because word has gotten out – Skaikru is the absolute worst and they tend to be a little murdery, but mentioning Lincoln’s name gives them some cache. The head of SEAL Team 6…can we just talk about this guy for a second? Because his voice is soooo low and I just kinda want him to whisper sweet Trigedasleng to me for an hour or two. Seriously, why are we just meeting Super Low Voice Grounder?

SLVG offers “safe passage” to the Adventure Squad in the form of a greenish liquid. Octavia immediately takes it because that’s Octavia. Jasper follows suit because he’s never met a drug he hasn’t liked and has my favorite Jasper moment of the episode:

Jasper: “What…does it do?”
[He drinks the liquid then watches Octavia fall unconscious]
Jasper: “Oh crap.”

Clarke turns to Bellamy and says “together” and they … oh, for fuck’s sake, can we not have to call back to EVERY previous “meaningful” bit of dialogue? It’s insulting my very average intelligence as a fan. I’m so salty, guys. It’s Saturday now and obviously I need to start day drinking and get my cheer on. Be right back, gotta get some Monkey Shoulder and a smile.

Let’s Revisit Those Flashbacks ONE More Time

Just a couple other things I’d like to mention about the flashbacks on the Ark. We get a reminder of where Jaha, Abby, and Kane started from and it’s such a jarring difference to where they’re at now in Polis. I think it’s really interesting that Jaha implores Pike to take a “leap of faith” with them in sending the delinquents to earth. No, that didn’t get lost on me. Since coming to earth, Jaha has found someone/something else to take a leap of faith with and it’s a monster in a red dress whose desire to “make life better” has created an absolute nightmare with Jaha’s eager help.

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Kane has obviously gone through some massive changes from who he used to be on the Ark and I’ve gushed over his character development. In the flashbacks, he’s a coldly rational person who is willing to send the delinquents to earth and seems to have no remorse over this likely death sentence. Juxtapose that Kane with the one hanging on the cross, who now cares so much and is so loyal to his people that he won’t give up until Abby is at risk. If Kane dies at the end of this season…argh. I’m trying with all my might to reverse jinx this possibility.

In comparison to Kane and Jaha, Abby has gone through the least amount of change. She’s been trying to be one of the good guys from the jump. Chipped Abby is utterly heartbreaking because we know she’s not this person. She’s not malicious or manipulative at all. She’s one of the most compassionate characters on the show (and imparted that quality in Clarke), and to see her now as a CoL zombie, used by ALIE as a psychological and emotional weapon is just…shocking. Guys…when Abby comes face-to-face with Clarke, it’s going to be ugly. Assuming this happens, and it sorta has to, right? Because the inherent drama there is too delicious to pass up.

I would like to give the show major props for it’s callback to “Radioactive.” They chose a slow, haunting acoustic cover of the song as a backdrop to the delinquents boarding the dropship, and it was a gutsy move. Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” has become sort of the symbol of the eye-rollingness of the show’s pilot. The song has been overexposed, overplayed, and I guess we all hate Imagine Dragons? Are they the new Coldplay or the new Nickelback? I’m unsure…I haven’t kept up with the “who we hate now in pop culture” newsletter of late.

But this was a cheeky wink and a nod by the show to its fans, as if to say, “we love you, thanks for sticking with us and having faith…look how far we’ve come.”

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And we did have faith. And here we are. Yes, the show has its issues. You’ve probably noticed I’m a little salty AF about Clarke and Bellamy in this review, but The 100 is still better than most everything on TV.

I love that we got to see the kids loaded onto the dropship, Abby saying goodbye to an unconscious Clarke, and Bellamy faking it as a guard to hide on the ship. This was such a nice moment that could have been a throw-away, but Paige Turco adds such emotional weight to seeing these kids off, especially given she’s sending her own daughter down to what they believe to be certain death.

Abby: “What are we doing?”

I feel like that question, although asked in Kane’s presence, was really Abby questioning herself. Sending Clarke down to earth was Clarke’s only real chance to live because there is absolutely no way she would not have been floated when she turned 18. Her knowledge that the Ark was dying made her too dangerous. Abby may have felt like shit sending those kids down to earth, endangering HER kid in the process, but it was really the only way for most of them to live past their 18th birthdays. They absolutely would have killed Clarke, but I have no doubt they would have found reasons to float most of the other delinquents as well to save air. At least earth gave them a chance.

I’ve noticed some folks thought the flashbacks should have been used earlier in the season to give viewers a different perspective on Pike, but I felt they were placed perfectly in this episode. Remember, the flashbacks aren’t just about Pike. There’s a lot of subtext, development, and theme progression that adds a lot of color to the current events in “Join or Die.” Just the extreme shuffling of roles and attitudes between Jaha, Abby, and Kane alone make the flashbacks powerful stuff and appropriate this late in the season.

Let’s also shout out that great transition from the last flashback to Clarke waking up in the shipping container. That was a really well done bit of cinematography. Remember scared, princess Clarke on the dropship? Now she’s worn down Wanheda – broken, dirty, and desperate.

Jaha And Autonomy

Watching this episode, and Jaha’s progression this season, it seems like he is really the only one among ALIE’s acolytes that has any measure of autonomy. I don’t get the feeling that ALIE is directing his actions at all, and that makes him all the more frightening and dangerous because he has fully bought into the crazy of the City of Light.

I’ve been trying to shoehorn in a reference to the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, which includes the passage “look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.” I’ve been going back and forth between Jaha and ALIE as to who could be Ozymandias, a tyrant who imposed his rule on the world. ALIE is certainly the architect of the City of Light, but no one has been more crucial in filling the CoL with people than Jaha. He has been instrumental in helping ALIE work around her programmed limitations in regards to free will and consent. He has given her more power than she could have achieved on her own, and in this sense, I feel that Jaha is the very real threat this season.

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Remember when Jaha convinced ALIE that once someone takes the key, they have given consent to ALIE and are then tools to be used, much like the nukes she launched to destroy the world in the fist place? Well, ALIE now seems to be Jaha’s tool in fully realizing the City of Light. In many ways, the disciple is out-stripping ALIE’s expectations. He is very much a neo-Flamekeeper in some respects, acting as ALIE’s counsel to help her navigate the issues posed by the human experience, finding viable work-arounds to build an army of controllable human slaves. His placement on the Commander’s dais last episode, occupying Titus’ position as ALIE sits on the throne is rather telling.

What I haven’t sussed out is Jaha’s rational for getting to this point. I really have to go back and re-watch seasons 1 and 2 and pay a great deal more attention to Jaha’s journey. I’m not entirely sure why he became a City of Light zealot. But his single-minded pursuit of filling the City of Light with people has been building momentum, and I’ve seen no indication that ALIE is directing him at all. Everything that he is doing, including the torture and coercion of his own “friends” has been horrifying.

I can’t wait to see how the season ends and where Jaha ends up. I personally think everyone in the CoL is going to die perma-death in real life, so I don’t think Jaha survives. But it would be truly interesting to see him in season 4, especially after everything that’s happened. I’m anxious to see how the CoL aftermath reverberates throughout season 4.

Holy Crap, We Finally Meet Luna! And She’s All Like “Computer Says No”

LUNA! LUNA! LUNA! Guys, it’s LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNA!

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“Clarke, we need to talk about your hair.”

Oh holy crap, she’s been teased for 2+ seasons and we FINALLY get to meet Luna! She’s the mysterious leader of Floudonkru and the 8th novitiate in Lexa’s conclave who literally peaced out that tomfoolery.

From the scant info we’ve been given about Luna, she’s been painted as a bit like Lincoln. A peaceful Grounder. We also learn she’s a Nightblood and Titus considered her a coward and a traitor to her kind because she presumably didn’t participate in her conclave…or maybe she did and was faced with having to kill Lexa? Her past is unclear at this point. Some suspect she had a relationship with Lincoln, or may be related to him, and upon learning news of his death, she obviously was close to him in some way. She is less reactive to the news that Lexa is dead, so theories that she is Lexa’s sister or a past lover is less likely.

So, the Adventure Squad finally meets Luna and Clarke goes in hard with an inelegant hard sell to Luna to become the next Commander. I mean, really. Clarke is just not suave here in any way, shape, or form. The thirst is real, y’all.

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No small talk, no “Hi, I’m Clarke Griffin kom Skaikru, Commander of Death, Flamekeeper, Slayer of the Moutain, Bringer of Death, and Angel of Death…so yeah, I’ve got a lot of titles that involve death…but I’m kinda a big deal. Do you have a little time to talk about our lord and savior, the flame of the Commander? Maybe we can grab a latte and chat?” No, instead we get:

Clarke: “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, become Commander maybe?”

No foreplay from Clarke at all. Just straight into her pitch that Luna is the last Nightblood and Lexa’s spirit has chosen her (**cough**bullshit**cough**) to become the next Commander. Clarke says all the right Flamekeepery things, but has all the elegance of a telemarketer while making her pitch. We get it, Clarke. You NEED this. Hell, all of humanity needs this, but she could have had just a LITTLE chill.

Luna considers Clarke’s offer to become the next Commander and her response is predictable.

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OLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

Of COURSE Luna was going to be all like “yeah, but no.” Nothing is ever that easy. Not on this show.

Luna walks out of the shipping container that the Adventure Squad were held in and Clarke follows with a “uh, what, WAIT!” and BAM MOTHER FUCKERS WE ON AN OIL RIG!

This location was foreshadowed in the opening credits every fucking week, so if you didn’t see this coming, then I don’t know what to say. But they are on a goddamn oil rig in the middle of the ocean! This was a great reveal to close the episode. That was all CGI, right? For some reason I’m like “oh sure, they’re totally on an oil rig” even though I know that’s crazy talk.

Looks like we get a lot of Luna next episode and hopefully some good backstory to fill in the blanks about her relationship to Lincoln and Lexa. What I fear is that since the actress is only credited with two episodes this season we’ll see her die. And there’s a reason to believe this if you’ve watched the promo for 3×14 with an eagle eye…spoiler alert incoming!

FUTURE SPOILER ALERT! ALIE is in the background of a shot with Jasper, which leads me to believe that someone on the rig is chipped. It might be a new character, Shay. We also don’t know at this point who is in possession of the ALIE v1.0 chip that Octavia took off of Hannah. So, there is a possibility that someone takes the chip while on the rig. Although I would think the best place for the chip would be with Adventure Squad B back at Arkadia to further study it.

This Week In FanDUMB

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The lunatic fringe of The 100 fandom…the gift that keeps on giving. Like herpes. Only less enjoyable.

Ah, weird, angry, socially-malformed fandom outliers, you never fail to disappoint. We got some good fodder this week from some painfully un-self-aware twitter warriors who incessantly dribble shit from their under-developed brains.

Let’s take a look at this assclown:

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Oh yeah, this is going to work. You and your small-minded ilk are going to bully the show’s ex-PA into deactivating? How’s that working out for you? The massive pile of shit heaped upon Layne Morgan in the past few weeks has been staggering. You know who you don’t fuck with if you’re looking to break them mentally and emotionally? Layne Morgan. If I was as the ass-end of the abuse she’s been taking, I probably would have eaten at least a whole cheesecake by now. But she’s quick to shine a spotlight on these douchecanoes and take them down a peg or three. It’s almost like she’s doing my job for me. Please note: this “job” pays nothing. /cries into my scotch

Hey kids, want to know a way to identify someone who may not be the most intelligent or socially adept person on social media? Look at their twitter handle/name. I guarantee, if their handle/name is a the name of a show character or a ship, then you likely have a hot mess on your hands! 50% of the time this strategy works all of the time. Look at this fan:

fandom

Shipping wars are the absolute bane of entertainment right now. If there’s a ship to board, people will pile on and aim their cannons at other ships in order to take them down. And this matters because IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. Y’all are fighting over fictional relationships on fictional shows. For reals.

Look, I realize that some ships, like Clexa, signify representation of under-represented or mis-treated minorities. So let me say that up front. I’ve pretty much exposed my preferred pairing on the show. Lexa and Clarke. Simple as that. Number one, I’m bored with straight relationships even thought that’s my alignment…there’s really nothing new under the sun to be explored. Number two, I feel that only Lexa is Clarke’s equal and understands the burden of leadership and how wounded she is. So, I’m not a big fan of Bellarke (romantically) and I’m one of those “disillusioned” folks that only reads them as platonic. So whatevs.

If you have to debase, insult, or tear down another ship, then you’re a fucking loser ass loser. If you enjoy reveling in the pain of LGBT folks who really looked towards Clexa as something that finally represented them, then fuck right off the goddamn planet, you shitbird. Same thing goes for the extreme Clexa folks. No one is safe from my derision. And I’m getting my drink on, so I’m feisty.

Speaking of Clexa fans, they are certainly not without their fucking idiot racist and sexist contingent. Because didn’t you know, straight white men are now the enemy! Check out these folks…they cannot stand that Morgan Gendel was hired on as an EP on the show, and they go straight balls-out crazy:

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KKK? Are you fucking serious? Hyperbole much? I’m also strangely offended by the use of Ron Swanson. We’ve gotten to the point where folks that probably self-identify as liberals or progressives are actually just regressives, spewing hate. They tend to be just as reductionist as the good ol’ fashioned racists and sexists. Being bigoted towards white folks isn’t different or somewhat better than being bigoted against people of color. A bigot is a bigot is a bigot.

I stated last week, and I’ll keep banging this drum until the day I kick the bucket, women (of any sexuality) cannot keep marginalizing men and consider themselves themselves feminists who believe in true equality. There’s a very troubling, isolating, and hateful trend in today’s neo-feminism towards misandry. Yes, there are a lot of knuckle-dragging men out there, but there are a lot of knuckle-dragging women out there that are trying to somehow “even the score” of centuries of misogyny through reactionary misandry. Not cool.

We cannot reach the point where we believe that people who don’t look a certain way or identify a certain way cannot be trusted to write people of color, women, or LGBTs…or men for that matter. There’s no unity or understanding or trust in taking such a position. Education should be the goal, not exclusion or marginalization. Partnership, not “us” versus “them.” You think anyone benefits from being told “you can’t do this because you don’t get us?” Understanding and empathy and good writing/representation can come from ANYONE, regardless of who they are…but we need people to guide each other in order to do so. Build bridges, not forts.

Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, I’m going to start singing “We Are The World” up in here. Underneath all the salty asshole attitude, I really am sort of a hopeless sap. Shhh…let’s keep that between you and me.


Miscellany

  • My ship, Slarke (soap + Clarke) has run aground. Y’all had to add sand to the mix? Mother. Fucker. There was a wee bit of rain to FORCE her to get a bit clean, but then she rolled around in sand like a donut in powdered sugar. Is that how it works with donuts? I don’t know. I may have to consult an expert. McKenzie?
  • Eliza Taylor on the Nerdist Fangirling show said “The One Hundred.” And it GIVES ME LIFE!!! I’m not alone.
  • ….and Eliza is Team Ironman. It’s like I don’t even know you, Eliza Taylor…and to be fair, I don’t really know you. BUT YOU’RE DEAD TO ME. I’m irrationally Team Cap. I will fist fight over this, folks.
  • I feel like Luna’s hair is mocking Clarke’s hair.
  • If everyone is chipped dies, will you be surprised? If Clarke is the cause of their deaths by shutting down ALIE, will you be surprised? Oh Clarke.
  • If the afore-mentioned comes to pass, we could be left with Indra and Pike as the defacto mom and dad of the series. Think about that. The only real adults left…assuming they both survive.
  • Both Octavia and Clarke smiled this episode. Mark it on your calendars, folks. I don’t think we’ll get much more of that this season. Because Valar Morghulis and stuff.
  • Valar Dohaeris ALIE.
  • 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. Note: the new version of “Radioactive” isn’t up on Spotify…if it’s ever added, you know it’s going on my playlist.
  • 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, I’m taking it one game at a time, I’ll be happy with whatever team drafts me, OH GOD please don’t let the Browns draft me.

FINAL VERDICT!

“No Way Out”: 8.0 out of 10 nine inch nails. TOO SOON? 


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.
  • McKenzie Morrell – recapping her damn face off and great interviews with the cast!
  • 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.

This entry was posted in Review & Analysis, Television, The 100. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The 100 – “Join or Die” Review and Analysis

  1. KenB says:

    Thank you for calling out the crazies in the fandom. ESP the Clexa fandom. They have points but they ran Adina Porter off Twitter and that cannot be forgiven

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh, there’s crazies on all sides of the fandom fence, and it mostly comes from shippers. I need to find me more crazy Bellarkers to balance the scales a bit, but I fear I may have to traverse onto Tumblr to do that and I think I’d rather contract syphilis.

  2. Danni says:

    Great review, Jen!

    Thanks for calling out the fandumb again.

    And yes. I agree with you. RED FLAG ON BELLAMY AND CLARKE, writers.

    Now, I am a huge Bellamy fan. I adore Bob Morley, watching him act is one of my greatest pleasures on this show.

    I have put in a LOT of hard emotional work this season to forgive the mistakes of 3.04. I am 100% on board with Bellamy and always will be. I want this character on this show.

    But. Time to bloody park Bellarke, writers, and it kills me to say this. Your only priority in S4 should be proper, nuanced character development. Forget the romance. Make sure the plot is QUALITY over quantity. Give these two characters room to breathe and let them fix *themselves* – DO NOT HAVE THEM FIX EACH OTHER.

    If they need to kill the romantic tension they appear to be building up…. just acknowledge it! Have them discuss it like adults in S4, decide now is not the time, and move forwards as friends and grown ups. They can always return to it much later on if they wish. But they absolutely 100% MUST fix the damage this season has done to those characters first.

    We need to see Clarke deal with what is happening to her and growing back into herself. We need to see Bellamy acknowledging his issues and fixing his behaviour and becoming a man.

    I am absolutely certain that in Bob Morley they have an actor who can OWN Bellamy’s arc next season and bring the audience back on board. But they MUST give him a chance and not have the writers working against him. He is their greatest asset here. Stop putting shipper targets on his back and let him bring Bellamy Blake back to us! Let him veto the kind of rubbish they gave him in 3.13! Use him, he deserves a chance to play this out. And us Bellamy fans deserve to see it too, we’ve forgiven the writers a lot this season. Forget Bellarke for now, our Bellamy is not just half of a ship, damn it. He’s his own person and we want to see him grow *for himself* and not for Clarke.

    It was all going fine until 3.13, 3.04 was becoming a memory we could eventually get over. And then they threw Bellamy’s characterisation on the pyre again just to force a Bellarke scene. Stop doing that to my Bellamy Blake! And writers…. don’t you dare give up and kill him off in S4. Work hard, work with Bob, and fix this. I know you can.

    Other than that…… great episode! LOL.

    But they simply cannot destroy the two main characters on this show. They cannot afford it. S4…. they absolutely need to bring Clarke and Bellamy back to us. Even IF they have to kill any Bellarke ideas they may be having for good in order to do so.

    Whoosh, sorry for taking over your comments!

  3. Sean says:

    I think the thing to remember about Clarke this season is that she doesn’t WANT to be Season 2 Badass Leader Clarke. She looked at herself in the wake of Season 2 and hated what she’d become. So all this season, she’s been looking for someone else to take over as leader instead of her. First by just living on her own in the woods, and hoping everyone would sort things out themselves, then by supporting Lexa as the ultimate authority, then by trying to get Aiden to succeed her, and now by searching for Luna so she can take the throne next. Clarke has (very deliberately, in my opinion) positioned herself as a supporter this season, rather than a leader, because she’s afraid of what she’ll do if she becomes a leader again.

    • Jennifer says:

      When will Clarke realize that Clarke in the supporter role = the world goes to hell in a handbasket? I mean, everything has literally gone to shit since she’s taken a back seat. Sure, as a leader, she may have to crack a couple eggs to make an omelette (or stage a genocide or two), but at least shit got done. She could shape the world. Instead, Pike takes over, Lexa dies, Ontari steals the throne, ALIE runs rampant through Arkadia, and Polis becomes a House Bolton territory. I would like to think that at some point this season she realizes that some of this could have been avoided if she took charge, and it provides a spark to get the old Dark Clarke back so she can save the day. Or some of the day. Or just a couple folks since most everyone will likely die.

      • I think the writers are well aware of the character flaws this season – they wrote them all into the Nevermore script!!! So I think you’ve just summarised exactly what will happen with Clarke towards the end of this season/going into S4: she’ll realise she has to step up or the world will literally go to shit.

  4. A.Rob says:

    Jen, you realize this episode was fan service just to me (not sure if my fantasies also included crucifixion but lets go with it). It was as close as I was going to get to my drunken beach party with giggles and nudity. There was sand, it was actually ON A BEACH *SQUEEE!* and they did drink a substance that made them pass out. No nudity, but merninjas so…fair trade. And a barefoot hippie leader who clearly smells of patchouli, sea salt, and contempt. I maintain that she just got back from a barter fair in which she traded her shoes for a chip, you know plot purposes.

    • Jennifer says:

      That beach scene pretty much broke me. I couldn’t plaster a smile on my face anymore and say “this is okay…this is okay, right guys?”

      I really hope this isn’t it when it comes to where our characters go from here. I can’t deal with more “I have feelings” Bellamy and “I used to have feelings, here’s a platitude” Clarke. Where by S1 and S2 B&C at? It would be so much easier if I didn’t love the show so much…I could just turn off my brain.

      • A.Rob says:

        I got excited when I saw a beach for a second there… I bet if they had only made smores and brought along a bottle of Monty’s hooch and talked out their feelings in a more tea spillin give no fucks manner that they would have been playing beach volleyball in no time. Alas…twas not to be.

        Let’s face it, Hakeldama set a really high bar when it comes to B&C interactions…I think what made it stand out was we got strong emotions from both of them, the dialogue was raw and more importantly fresh. Not rehash of shit that has already been said. That just keeps the wheels spinning in place when their dynamic has come so far and deserves more heft. Both these actors can more than handle it, so give them intense dialogue. Same with B&O. These are key interpersonal relationships on the show and their interactions always seem to stop short of where they need to go because the writers need to break neck speed their plot points along. slow down kids…have some more character driven scenes that breath, I believe in you.

        Bellamy side eyeing the chip in the rover is my new fav aesthetic. There was some surface snark there that was dying to come out. This show needs more snark. that ol season 1 snark. Jasper is picking up some of that slack again.

  5. techgirl67 says:

    I wish I could pick out my favorite part of this review and paste it into this comment box to highlight but alas I would basically be doing a select all, copy, paste. Bravo as usual Jen.
    And yes, I would be horrified if the Browns drafted me too.

  6. Victoria says:

    – I also wondered what Zach Galifianakis was doing in Polis and why he was staring into the camera in that production still.
    – Why didn’t Jaha hold the gun to Abby’s head right from the start to get Kane to take the chip?
    – I would make a case for Clarke having had power more than twice this season because she had Lexa bowing to her and shedding tears with just a kiss and she just has a way with women in general. It’s almost a superpower.
    – I think Clarke’s current flat affect is attributable to her being stuck in the first stage of grief and who could blame her? She will cling onto Lexa being in that chip until the season finale I guess. See my reddit comment for more detail on how Clarke is simply not in her right mind.
    – I thought Clarke’s pitch to Luna was going to be so epic and it was so anticlimactic
    – MUCH respect for Eliza Taylor for putting up with that Fangirling show. I know she is not an A-list celeb but how do you waste an hour with an actor who has some serious sci-fi street cred? It was SO hard to watch and so awkward for her but she was a total pro and such a good sport about it. I will totally forgive her for whatever nonsense TMZ will eventually hurl at her if she stays in the public eye long enough. C’mon nerd culture web shows, do your freakin’ homework and prepare!

    • Jennifer says:

      You bring up some good points about Clarke having power more than the times I mentioned. Unfortunately all the fealty that Lexa swore to Clarke and the political power she seemingly had did nothing in the long run, as Pike turned it all to shit.

      Who are you on reddit so I can creep you?

      Clarke’s pitch to Luna was just so sad…she really thought it was going to be that easy? I think she’s just tired of all the bullshit.

      That Fangirling show was painful because they just don’t know how to work their guests into it…it should be far more intimate and inclusive…even the set design was like “hosts over here on the couch all nice and comfy and you can have the chair across the room.” Needs work!

      • Victoria says:

        – senecaco on reddit
        – The Fangirling hosts are far less interesting than they think they are. I felt like I was watching a John Hughes movie. For fun I thought about what Taylor’s conversation with her manager/agent must have sounded like on her way home. To be fair, I would never watch that type of webshow unless I was tuning in for the guest.
        – As down as I am on Clarke’s character development, I remain optimistic about the last 3 episodes.

  7. Thorn says:

    Umm…..just wondering. But does anyone have the latest body count for living members of the 100? I mean, on new-BSG they at least kept a count. Any guesses?

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