I’m just going to get this out of the way right now: this was, to me, a fantastic and uncompromising episode. It raises a couple tough moral dilemmas for our characters. Moreover, I appreciate that fact that I cannot say the choices made in “Heavy Lies the Crown” were definitively right or wrong, or good or bad, I can really only agree or disagree based on my own opinions and the facts at hand. And I LOVE IT. I’m sure we’ll get deep into these issues on our next May We Geek Again podcast, so be sure to check it out.
Besides the moral quagmire that the writers fling us into, we also have those character moments that I love more than anything else with this show. I eat this shit up with a spoon. This episode’s writer is Justine Juel Gillmer, who penned last season’s “Demons.” We saw glimpses of some great character interactions in that outing, but “Heavy Lies the Crown” was rich with characters playing off of one another, and y’all know I love it.
And to top it all off, the piece de resistance, and I think you know where I’m going with this – let it resound across the mountain tops – KANE AND ABBY HAD SEX!
PEOPLE ABOVE THE AGE OF 25* HAD SEX ON THE CW!!! (*does not include vampires)
Let’s get into it!
We Gonna Talk About Bellamy’s Decision First And Foremost
Alright, let me lay some ground rules here because I’m not going to cotton to any fandom fuckery. Y’all already know this fandom drives me to feelings of murderation, but I think people get their danders raised and their heads up their asses and forget a few key concepts:
- Disagreement is not cause to burn everything to the ground and go to war.
- Not all options or opinions are equally valid.
- Writers of entertainment can do whatever they wish with their creations; we cannot demand they write the character as we would choose.
- Characters can make decisions we don’t agree with and we can STILL LOVE THAT CHARACTER.
- Reviewers of entertainment are entitled to their own opinions without people lashing out on them.
Some fans of this show tend to go completely myopic with some of their favorite characters and view any criticism, however valid and reasoned, as an attack, and they take it very personally. THIS IS NOT RATIONAL OR HEALTHY BEHAVIOR.
That I even have to put some guard rails around this discussion is maddening because I should be able to say whatever the hell I want without worrying people are going to get their fee fees hurt, but that’s the world we live in now, where every differing opinion is cause for taking offense. This show is about nuance, about the moral grey areas, and that’s what makes this show so much fun, so challenging, and so engaging. Just ask my friend, Capitalchick, how many of her
TonDC Washington DC lawyer friends watch and endlessly debate this show. It’s amazing the vast array of people that love this show…labeling it a typical CW show for teen viewers is far removed from reality.
So, with that preamble, let me talk about Bellamy’s decision to blow the water generator to save the slaves versus take it back to Arkadia to ride out the apocalypse. I’m going to be honest with y’all here: There’s so much to unpack in this episode and two key decisions I don’t agree with.
Regarding Bellamy, I personally disagree with his decision.
I skew very much towards Clarke and Raven’s attitude regarding his choice. I tend to be very pragmatic and rational. In this situation, utilitarianism is the way to go…do the greatest good for the greatest number. I disagree with making a decision that removes the water generator from play for a couple reasons:
- Limited technological resources – the water generator is likely one of the few “legs up” they could get in regards to having technology that survived the fall of the stations. If the Grounders are sitting on old earth technology, it will likely be tough to find and likely not operational.
- Limited STEM brains – without a number of engineers, mechanics, doctors, et al., we’re looking at a smaller brain trust to come up with alternative solutions to losing the water generator…as much as we love Raven, we need more than just one person working on this issue.
- Water is key – it doesn’t get more basic than Maslow’s hierarchy of needs…food, water, and shelter are core components of the physiological and safety needs on Maslow’s pyramid. Destroying the water generator is not the same as destroying another resources that might have yielded limited gains, such as a power source like a solar panel array…we’re talking WATER here.
- Immediate gain versus greater future gain – this isn’t an easy one, because looking in the faces of those slaves and leaving them to their fate would have been dreadfully difficult, so the immediate need appeals to emotions rather than the rational because it’s RIGHT THERE in their face. Versus this esoteric “threat” of a 6-month removed apocalypse. Bellamy, Harper, and Bryan recognize pain and sympathize in the moment and to them it’s more pressing than the “concept” of a threat that remains sometime in the future.
It seems Clarke and Raven don’t agree with Bellamy’s decision either. Clarke, while perhaps disappointed, quickly moves on, while Raven is a bit more pointed about it. But neither they nor Bellamy can really dwell on the ramifications of his decision. I’m liking this trio as leaders because it’s a great dynamic and will likely lead to some good drama when the decisions become more immediately critical to their survival.
Sidenote: I find it interesting that freeing the slaves is framed as Bellamy’s decision, when really he was the tie breaker in a vote. This episode gave others a say in the outcome, which we don’t often see. Miller, Bryan, Harper, and Monty all gave their opinion and voted on what to do, and what I would have loved to see was most of them wanting to bring the generate back and Bellamy overriding their vote to save the slaves. That’s the type of leadership I’m looking for, not vote taking to decide the outcome. It takes a little drama out of the decision. If Bellamy had voted first (and they joked BTS that they wish he did), then the outcome would have come down to Bryan or Harper. Could you imagine?
I we’re heading towards a reality at this point that the Ark is not going to be a viable solution…it’s too easy, so perhaps the water generator is a moot issue (although I find it difficult to believe that the water generator wouldn’t be useful regardless of where they end up). But considering these possibilities takes us out of the narrative and into omniscient observer status as the audience, and that simply doesn’t work to make Bellamy’s decision okay. You can’t look down from above and say due to conjecture of where the plot may go that Bellamy’s choice may affect nothing in the end. That’s a poor justification for his actions.
Depending on another solution to just pop up via Raven ex machina or some other venue is also conjecture. Again poor justification, given the reasons I’ve already given regarding resources, et al. I don’t think you gamble on “another option” given the limitations facing our heroes: time, resources, expertise.
And while I don’t agree with Bellamy’s decision, I see why he does it and it makes complete sense from a character perspective. I don’t think the writers including a little girl as one of the slaves was a random choice. This harkens back to his protective nature over Charlotte, which of course harkens back to who he had to be on the Ark for his sister.
These are deep emotional and psychological waters here for Bellamy, and if he had decided to not save the slaves, it almost would have been out of character for him. His impulse to save those slaves comes from a place of nobility and growth as a character, but also that’s just who he’s kinda been. It should not be lost on us either that only one of those slaves was from Farm Station (RILEY, THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND). That he’s saving Grounders is massive growth for him. He has decided that his ethos will track with Clarke’s – the idea of “save everyone” – but for Bellamy that ethos applies TODAY, whereas I think Clarke will make short-term sacrifices for long-term gain.
Will this decision come back to haunt him? I’m guessing not really, but then again…
One other aspect to point out about this whole thing…Bellamy now knows the position Clarke often finds herself in, having to make in-the-moment decisions that can have an emotional toll and set others against her. Raven, also present at the end of the episode, has been removed from this level of decision-making, having not had to pull a lever, so to speak. Her judgment of Bellamy in this situation, while driven by pragmatism, also comes from place of naivety. I think we have to wonder just how long Raven will remain unscathed from the burden of such life-changing decisions.
Princess Mechanic Is Back And As Spirited As Ever
I love Raven and Clarke together, even when things are tense, as they end up as in this episode. Even though Raven doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Clarke in regards to her big lie to the Arkadians, I don’t foresee it severely hampering her ability to work with Clarke towards a solution. See, that’s what ADULTS do…they disagree then get over their damn selves. But having Raven question Clarke’s decisions is a good thing, because it brings perspective to all choices. In the future, will Clarke question something Raven does that is perhaps a bit morally darker than she usually goes? We’ll see…and I have to say, I hope so. Raven should not be the only character that hasn’t gotten blood on her hands based solely on something she chose to do.
I loved the interaction between Clarke and Raven earlier in the episode, where we basically relived the “I would pick you first” moment from season 1. You know how I said last review that I could live inside that Indra/Kane hug? Well, I could also live inside that “I would pick you first” moment because it’s unequivocally awesome. FACT.
Raven is uncomfortable with her new role of chief, even if it is perhaps (for the moment) unofficial.
Raven: “Who the hell am I giving them orders? I’m not the chief.”
Clarke: “I’m not the Chancellor. But here we are. For what it’s worth, there’s nobody I trust more to do this than you.”
Come the fuck on. If that’s not a besties moment, I don’t know what is. We all know the way to Raven’s heart is through telling her how fucking competent she is.
But besties moments on this show don’t last because the writers want to give is a little taste, then snatch the very thing we love from us because THEY ARE MEANIES.
At the end of the episode, Clarke and Raven have philosophical differences as Clarke lies her ass off to Arkadia. Raven got a “your dad would be proud” dig in there, which really, kinda a low blow, but something needed to be said because (as I’ll discuss in a bit) Clarke really worked that crowd like a master manipulator, completely misleading them in order to get everyone rowing in the same direction. Again, Raven doesn’t have the leadership experience or the resume of decisions, right or wrong, under her belt that Clarke does. Raven’s desire to see her friends live up to her esteem of them shows in these “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” moments.
The online reaction was funny. Raven is everyone’s favorite until…DUN DUN DUNNNNN…she calls Clarke or Bellamy out. Then Raven is shit. Oh, this fandom. It needs to be purged with the cleansing fires of rationality and emotional stability.
Kane And Octavia, The Oddest Of Odd Couples
You ever go out for drinks with a friend and things are getting on just fine until your friend starts imbibing a LITTLE too much and all of a sudden a fun night out turns into you trying to reign your friend in from doing something stupid like trying to start a fist fight? At some point, you’ve lost control and things are careening downhill and your eyes go wide and you’re like “this is so not going to end well” and you’re convinced that you and your friend will end up in jail and really, it’s not your fault, you’re just trying to make sure your friend is okay, but somehow they’ve taken complete control of everything that’s happening and you’re sort of horrified and pledge to yourself that you will have a serious sit-down with your friend who you now suspect is a bit of an angry drunk? And the whole time this nightmare of a friend is running rampant, you’re just trying to calmly implore them to stop.
Because that’s where Kane and Octavia are headed. Bodyguard Octavia sounded like a good idea. Rogue assassin Octavia is what you got, however. And it’s obvious, to me at least, that Kane has a budding problem he cannot control on his hands.
Can we talk about my baby daddy Kane for a second? Is it just me, or is this bitch just not successful at the politicking whatsoever? You know I loves me some Kane. Like, LOVES ME SOME KANE, but his diplomatic schtick is falling on deaf ears. The Grounders just kinda nod and smile and say “bless your heart” in the most old-Southern-lady way possible when he tries his darndest to diplomat all over the place. I find the parallels between Kane’s attempt to save Roan from fighting in single combat to Clarke doing the same with Lexa amusing. Despite the change in leadership, the challenges and pitfalls remain the same: some rando bitch always startin’ trouble.
Hey, don’t start none, won’t be none.
But back to Octavia, all I can say is: goddamn. Just when you through Clarke was the one with zero chill, Octavia comes up on us, all dead eyes, and runs a shish kebob skewer into a dude’s brain. Like, DUDE. Shocking.
Keeping Roan in power is key to protecting Skaikru and Kane obviously isn’t getting it done, but man, Octavia went H.A.M. on the Trishankru ambassador. Hey dude, stay sexy, don’t get murdered.* Oops. Never mind. (*any murderinos out there?)
I’m just so hyped to see where Octavia’s journey goes and the eventual emotional and psychological reckoning when the floodgates open up, because she’s completely shut out her feelings at this point. Octavia is making her own decisions at this point and is in the driver’s seat of her own story, and it’s refreshing to see her have that agency. Now she’s able to go out and succeed or fail, but it will be on her own terms.
Dude, Jasper, Can You Chill Bro, You’re Seriously Harshing Clarke’s “I’m Trying To Save Everyone And So Far It’s Not Going Well” Buzz
Let’s talk about my boo Clarke. I’m the biggest Clarke stan in the world, but man, she is pissing on people’s heads and telling them it’s raining at the end of the episode and it seriously worries me. I totally disagree with how she’s going about providing “hope” to her people. It’s about as fake as ALIE’s City of Light.
Like I mentioned earlier, Raven is really the only one to call her out on her lie and here’s where I’d love to see Bellamy step in and say something as well. Surely he has to recognize how dangerous it is to write checks that your ass can’t cash.
I feel like, with Bellamy’s decision being such a lightening rod, many fans will simply ignore Clarke’s decision, but this very much seems like a callback to ruthless season 2 Clarke. And man, I loves me some Dark!Clarke, but I’m going to be sweating her decisions this season, aren’t I? I just feel it. And I love it! I don’t have to agree with her choices and I’m going to love her all the same. Challenge me! I want to feel something other than complete and total acquiescence to a character’s decisions! That’s why I love The 100.
Her goals are noble, but her methods are very questionable. Tell the truth, but only a partial truth, and fill it in with a lie to get people willing to work to fortify the Ark. I may not like it, but I recognize it for what it is…the burden of leadership that Jaha refers to earlier in the episode when he weighs in with some of my favorite dialog of the episode:
Jaha: “Heavy lies the crown. I know the burden of keeping a secret. You think it’s going to destroy your people.”
Clarke: “You locked me up. You floated my father.”
Jaha: “And now you understand why. No leader starts out wanting to lie or imprison or execute your people. The decisions you face just whittle you down piece by piece.”
Jaha is in the unique position of having been through it all – everything that Clarke is seemingly about to go through. She will likely have her own version of the culling that so made an impression upon me in season 1 and raised the stakes of the show to new heights. The culling is one of those touchstone moments of the series, and seeing another gut-wrenching decision like that only makes sense in a series that likes to continuously call back to previous decisions and consequences.
Clarke is also dipping back into TonDC bombing territory, where she was forced into a Sophie’s choice that also necessitated maintaining a lie to protect Lexa’s hold on power (which of course benefited Skaikru and their alliance). She hated doing it then and I suspect Clarke hates doing it now, but it doesn’t show when Raven takes her to task. Giving people false hope gets them working, and it serves as a means to her ends. It’s a cold choice, but it’s what we’ve come to expect from this show. When shit hits the fan, either with Echo/Roan or Skaikru, it’s going to be harrowing to watch. I have no doubt that Clarke will pay for this lie.
Meanwhile, in Zerofucksville…
…Jasper, with a new lease on life, compares Clarke to leaders of the past on the Ark, which cuts Clarke deep, but grounds us in the perspective of the OTHER side, the side of the folks that are usually the ones sacrificed by people like Jaha or Kane back up in space. Remember, Clarke and the delinquents were sent to the ground a scant short time ago, and now Clarke is the in the position previously held by Jaha, Kane, and Abby. It also speaks to the class divide from the old Ark, where you would assume Alpha Station-dweller Clarke would either be a highly-educated and skilled professional, like her mom or dad, or a leader. I don’t think this will be lost on the less privileged members of Skaikru when the seats on the proverbial life boat are limited.
Guys, leadership sucks ass on this show. I can see why Jasper is singing and drinking up, and he brings a necessary perspective from outside of the group, the “I don’t give a fuck, I just want to live while I can” attitude that is a welcome break from the tryhard trio of Clarke, Raven, and Bellamy.
Cue The Squealing
KABBY SEX HAPPENED, KABBY SEX HAPPENED, KABBY SEX HAPPENED! /deep breath
We’ve been on quite a journey with these two and this relationship was on a slow burn for awhile now. Especially in seasons 1 and 2 where these two were not exactly the bestests of friends. Can you imagine their pillow talk?:
Kane: Hey, remember that time I had you shock lashed for arms trafficking? Fun times, eh?
Kane: Wanna have the sex again?
Despite the their rocky past and their continued fight for survival, Kane and Abby have grown as characters and they eventually found their way to one another. It’s really on of the more satisfying and earned relationships on this show, to be honest.
The sex is great and all, but the most notable development between Kane and Abby is not only acknowledging Jake’s importance to Abby, but also her willingness to move forward with Kane. Taking off her wedding ring means she’s able to move on and can love Kane without feeling beholden to the past. And it’s a painful past…remember Abby confiding in Jaha got Jake floated. Abby has felt responsible for the death of her husband and it has been a sticking point between Abby and Clarke in the past. I think this is one of those “turning the page” moments that really leaves the past in the past. It also illustrates how one person processes and moves past her grief and I wonder if we’ll see parallels with Clarke in the future.
That Kabby is parting again so soon after finally getting it on is a bit disappointing, but Kabby really serves no purpose in Polis, and we know from previews that she’ll be needed in Arkadia as people start showing up with radiation sickness. I cannot wait to see her back with Clarke and Jackson doing doctory things, but I could use a little more Kabby.
But guys…you did it in Clarke’s room in Polis? Dude.
It feels dumb to say this, but depicting a healthy, sexually active older couple on the CW is significant…believe me, I’ve been subjected to plenty of ageism from “fans” that think anyone above the age of 21 is not allowed to watch the show. Fuck off kids.
My Current Sexual Orientation Is Roan And Echo Sparring
If I were Abby, I would find ANY excuse to hang around Polis just to watch Roan and Echo spar one another because OH MY GOD it’s all just sex on a stick. Listen, I know Abby just got to roll around with sexy beardy coitus god Kane, but c’mon, you can’t honestly tell me she wasn’t enjoying those two in their tank tops and leather pants waving swords at one another.
As an aside, where exactly are they getting these black tank tops from? Is the Polis Target having a sale?
Nothing really new happens in Polis with Roan and Echo, aside from Roan letting Echo in on the whole world is ending secret, which immediately raises her suspicions because Skaikru could be lying to save their asses. Like, fair. She’s determined to go to Arkadia to check things out because we love when shit hits the fan, and boy will it when she sees what appears to be Skaikru preparing to ride out the second apocalypse in their own little part of the world with no thought to anyone else.
Look, I HATE drama that arises from misunderstandings that could be alleviated with just a simple discussion. These Three’s Company scenarios just fill me with anxiety and anger, so we’ll see where this one takes us, but I’m guessing to no where good. Echo has a role to play this season, and it could be as someone who royally fucks everything up because a mixture of fear and distrust causes her to misinterpret Skaikru’s intentions, but let’s see where this leads.
At the end of the episode, I think Echo and Roan catch on that the Trishankru ambassador was killed by Octavia, and I get the feeling that Echo was just a wee bit impressed by Octavia. Yeah, I’ll fuckin’ low-key ship it. We know that…TRIGGER WARNING…Becho is endgame…but I’ll ship me a little Octecho (Ectavia?) for the moment.
(Here’s where some angry little Bellamy stan who only lives for their Bellarke ship and is unable to mentally process sarcasm fires off an angry tweet about how bad my reviews are because I joke that Becho is endgame.)
Ilian Is My Jimmy Jam
I’ve seen him for all of like five minutes on screen and I’m ALL IN on Ilian. His backstory was simple and moving (oh hey, Erica Cerra, good to see you again for a couple seconds!) and his motivations are fairly clear. How he and Octavia will intersect and interact remains to be seen, but I think there’s some initial chemistry there to work with. But Ilian is right to think he could be her next target because, dude, Octavia is ripe to murderate anyone who threatens Roan. So he should be very wary of her since he was conspiring with his clan’s ambassador to depose the king. Could her “sorry about your family, dude” sentiment have rung more cold and hollow?
Obviously, there’s still a lot of hatred towards Skaikru and blame heaped on them, rightly or wrongly, about the City of Light (again, how is Jaha still running around NOT dead or at least locked up?), so I wonder if Ilian will be used as a character that, either through Octavia or Kane, will come to see that they’re not all so different. With Octavia, things are a bit sketchy because she’s only reinforced the idea that Skaikru is dangerous. I’m excited to see where they take Ilian and how they weave him into Octavia’s journey. I still have NO CLUE where they’re going to go with Octavia and if she remains dedicated to Skaikru or just peaces out to murderate everyone, so I’m personally hyped about her story line.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that Ilian is pretty. I’M SHALLOW.
Who Dis Riley Bitch Anyway?
There are a great many mysteries in the world: Who killed Laura Palmer? Where’s Waldo? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? Why did I wake up naked on my lawn? AGAIN.
But none greater than: just who in the fuck is this Riley dude?
Everyone seems to know him, like he’s Norm from Cheers. Seriously, if this Riley mo fo is the secret weapon to figuring out the apocalypse and Bellamy is all like “I told you guys, we didn’t need that water generator, Riley was they key all along!”, I will cut a bitch.
But most likely, he will die a gruesome death sometime in the near future. It is The 100 after all and he is the closest thing we have to a red shirt right now on the show that isn’t just a random face in the crowd.
I love that Riley is now taking on a life of his own within the fandom. Riley fever is at an all time high, and we finally have one of those fun fandom moments that are few and far between. All hail Riley!
Until, you know, he makes a move on Clarke, and then all the extremist shippers will rain shit upon him because that’s how they roll.
This Week In FanDUMB
You know what’s dumb? People who have such a myopic raging hard on for a character that they will not accept any – ANY – criticism or differing viewpoint of said character whatsoever. I their favorite character made a wrong decision? I’m the dumbass. I like a different ship than their favorite ship? I’m the dumbass. I have issues with the direction a character is taking? I’m the dumbass. I make a joke they don’t get? I’m the dumbass.
There’s white knighting, and then there’s irrationally tilting at windmills because of an overwhelming obsession with a fictional character. Keep telling me I’m dumb for having a different opinion, and I’ll keep joyfully writing about this fantastic show.
BECHO IS END GAME. triiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggggered.
- My ship, Slarke (soap + Clarke) seems to have been consummated. That this happened off screen is very disappointing, but she’s clean, has some new threads, and workin’ that good earth cleavage. I’m sated.
- While it might be “heavy lies the crown” over in Arkadia, it’s “awkward lies the crown” in Polis…that thing looks uncomfortable on Roan’s head.
- So, uh, did Monty get that weed from his bedroom wall at Farm Station? Because I know a couple people with zero chill that could really use it right now. /side eye at Clarke
- How exactly did Monty know Jasper was going to kill himself? Plot magic!
- Speaking of Jonty, we get a great moment of levity with the shower scene. I know this is a dark show, but these fun scenes are appreciated tremendously.
- More on Monty! He could have killed the man who murdered his father, but he instead did it by proxy, freeing the slaves and letting them
eatkill the slave holder. Is this growth for him? I don’t know, but he’s kinda hardcore ballin’ right now.
- Bryan and Miller are headed for splitsville, and I’m not terribly upset as they had zero chemistry as a couple, IMHO. On a show that’s seemingly fine with a spectrum of sexuality, its lone m/m relationship is rather neutered and has no sexual expression whatsoever. I don’t know if this is a reluctance to show male homosexuality on screen or a comfort factor with the actors. Either is not good.
- I don’t think that the revelation that without the water generator only 100 can survive was lost on anyone. A premise reboot, baby! Cheeky writers.
- NYKO IS BACK NEXT WEEK AND I’M ALREADY A BOX OF CAKE MIX (don’t get it? image search “cake mix box” and you’ll notice a trend)
- Y’all…did you see that Morgan Grendel is writing 4×05? SO EXCITE.
- I don’t often tout other TV shows in my reviews, but dude, fucking watch Legion on FX. Legion is from the X-Men universe, but it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s from the creator of the Fargo TV series.
- 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 or in promos. I’m thorough like that.
- Thanks for sticking around and reading this review! If you’d like your earballs tickled with a The 100 podcast I cohost, please check out maywegeekagain.podbean.com.
“Heavy Lies The Crown”: 8.5, maybe 9.0, out of 10 Rileys Riling
(I really loved this episode, but I have to leave my self scoring room for the rest of the season…I dunno, my gut says it’s a 9.0. This is my first scoring controversy!)
There are some The 100 reviewers/recaps/writers 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:
- 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.
- Selina Wilken – a mix of passionate fandom and truly professional journalism.
- Jo Garfein – Hosts The Dropship podcast and has some great fandom charity auctions
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.