Each week, The 100 has increased the intensity and stakes both down on Earth and up on the Ark.
On The 100 Season 1 Episode 7, the situations in both locations exploded and there's no turning back. Bellamy and Clarke's decision to torture the Grounder was a questionable choice and one that could have horrible consequences. Up on the Arc, the truth (well, most of it) was revealed.
Each week, I'm impressed by how far the show goes to push the characters' limits. For every horrific decision that's made there's another one to offset it and reaffirm that humanity still exists.
I'm amazed at how much I've been drawn into caring about so many characters in such a short time. There's not one character that I don't love. I may not like them much at times, but I care what happens to them. That's quite a feat and kudos to the writers for creating such a expansive world with deep characters.
This show is an anomaly because not a second of air time is wasted.
Bellamy was blinded by anger when he brought the Grounder (to be named later) to the drop ship and tried to force answers out of him. He was rightfully angry that he lost people on his watch, but his response was wrong for many reasons. Despite that, he continued and ignored both Clarke or Octavia.
The Grounder saved and protected Octavia rather than hurting her. He wasn't responsible for the deaths, instead he actually saved them when he blew the warning horn. Plus, there was no indication that he even understood what Bellamy was asking.
The situation changed when Finn's life was on the line. Clarke made the tough decision and gave her support for harsh torture. Given the injuries to the Grounders back, being whipped probably wasn't anything new. When he didn't budge, Bellamy impaled his hand and then Raven electrocuted him. The Grounder wouldn't help. Torture wasn't the answer.
Octavia stepped up and put her own life on the line to save Finn. She poisoned herself with the knife and the Grounder's humanity came though. He cares about her and couldn't let her die, so he pointed out the cure.
There's a connection between the Grounder and Octavia that transcends culture and language. He sees something in her, while she understands that he was trying to protect her when he wouldn't let her go. Given her childhood, it makes sense that she would be drawn to that.
His "Thank you" was intriguing. Does he know English? Or was he just parroting back what Octavia said to him on The 100 Season 1 Episode 6? That question has and will bug me until it's answered. The interactions between the 100 and the Grounders would be more complicated if they don't speak the same English. Even if that's the case, it's possible that the phrase as endured the time.
I'm not sure where they go next, but hopefully Bellamy will listen to Octavia and give the Grounder a chance. Of course it may not be reciprocated, I wouldn't blame the guy if he's doesn't forgive the torture.
News that people were sent down to Earth and survived caused problems on the Ark. People were still grieving after the culling and now they believed that the people were sacrificed for naught. Chancellor Jaha handled that brilliantly and from the heart.
His son was dead. He shared in their sacrifice for the good of their society. That endeared him to the most of the people. His explanation that those who sacrificed themselves didn't die in vain was not only true, but believed. Each person who gave up their life provided the time they need to get people down to Earth.
Of course, he didn't tell the whole truth. Project Exodus remained a secret. There aren't enough materials to send everyone to the ground. I'm not sure if that means those left behind would have to be sacrificed or if they would have enough oxygen and supplies to live out their lives up on the Ark. I'm sure that will be addressed at some point.
Given the situation on the ground, it could be safer for those who remain behind. The Grounders feel invaded and likely would not be happy to see more people from the Ark arrive. It's like an alien invasion or when the Colonists landed at Plymouth Rock.
Leadership is Hard
Jaha's leadership is being threatened and he's blind to it. He was played by Diana. She manipulated her way back on the Council after having her ally, Ridley, stir up trouble during the community meeting. She's put herself in a position to try and regain the Chancellor's seat that she was ousted from by Jaha.
While Jaha believed in his decision, Kane struggled with his. He was arrogant in his belief that Earth wasn't survivable and he was wrong. Could there have been another solution instead of the culling? Perhaps, but people were already getting sick from a lack of oxygen. Without drop ships to send more people immediately, they still would have had a problem.
This ashamed and humbled Kane will be a better leader now. He's seen the tough decisions that Jaha's made and it's provided him some humility over his own actions. Kane was a despicable man just a short time ago, but now he's become a more sympathetic character.
On the ground, Bellamy and Clarke had to face their own decisions. He was right when he said being in charge isn't easy. Their progression as leaders as been fascinating to watch. With the threat of the Grounders now upon them, they will be challenged in even more difficult ways.
Odds and Ends
- Clarke really hit her mom hard with her accusations about her father's death. When the tensions aren't as high, I expect they will have a heart-to-heart and Clarke will recognize that her mother may have made a mistake and wasn't out to get Jake killed.
- Loved loved loved the interactions between Clarke and Raven. This is no catty love triangle. It's an awkward situation, but it's being handled in a very courteous fashion. Both Raven and Clarke acted in the interest of the other at times when it came to Finn. No ill will from either of them. It's a refreshing take on a love triangle.
- The Grounder's notebook was filled with information. Bellamy and Clarke should take a closer look at it. What was that fuzzy creature? And were the marks really a countdown of victims? Or could it have been innocent reason for the marks?
- The Grounder will be named. I'm not sure when, but it's a great name! I can't wait to find out if he's given the name or if he already had it before the 100 landed.
There were some great lines in "Contents Under Pressure," check out our The 100 quotes section.
It wasn't easy picking a favorite, but my choice was from Octavia, "For the record, you didn't save Finn. That was me, but whatever you want to tell yourself to feel better." Bang! She put Clarke in her place and good for her!
Who was the most heroic?