So, I'm pretty sure we just watched Lindsey Morgan's Emmy reel.
The 100 Season 3 Episode 11 was a fantastic installment that felt much more intimate and "vintage The 100" than the show has been lately.
Don't get me wrong: While the world-building of the past two seasons has been great and has made the show into the burgeoning epic that it is, the trade-off is that we have less opportunity for these closer, one-on-one moments with our original group of delinquents.
"Nevermore" felt more like an episode from The 100's first season than its third.
Thematically and structurally, it's really similar to The 100 Season 1 Episode 7, "Contents Under Pressure," the one where there's a storm, everyone is confined to the dropship, and Clarke needs to communicate via radio with her mother on the Ark to save Finn's life.
And that's really not to disparage the third season, despite its handful of weaker-than-average storylines (here's lookin' at you, Pike!).
Notably, this installment is on a much smaller scale, focusing on far fewer characters and involving less scene changes and cuts. Everyone is fully focused on saving Raven and, for the most part, they're confined to Niylah's home while attempting to free her from ALIE's control.
This gives us the perfect opportunity for lots of what I like to call "clearing the air" scenes. Basically, it's a breather from the action (to a degree!) that allows the characters to delve into the interior, the psychological landscape, while they're all hyper-focused on a common goal.
ALIE, controlling Raven, essentially aired out all of the group's dirty laundry. She had Raven really goad the group; in particular, Clarke, Jasper, and Bellamy got the worst of it.
This gave Lindsey Morgan so much golden material to work with, and she absolutely nailed all of it.
She flipped back and forth seamlessly between portraying ALIE, ALIE-impersonating-Raven, and just Raven, going from badass to absolutely psychotic, from viciously violent to quietly sinister and ruthless, within a blink of the eye. Really remarkably work.
It's hard to pick which of the many Raven scenes in this installment was the best. It was just an incredible array of facial, vocal, and physical acting. Raven was basically Reagan in The Exorcist. ALIE is essentially the devil in a red dress, so it fits anyway.
Real talk: I almost burst into stress tears when Raven dislocated her shoulder and starting gnawing at her own arm to try to break free of the restraints the group had put her in. Jasper looked appropriately horrified at that moment.
The set-up scenario for their confinement to Niylah's home was very smart as well. In essence: Raven being clued in to her surroundings and figuring out where she was would inevitably lead ALIE right to the group, since ALIE was fully in control of Raven's mind. For that reason, they needed to remain in once place.
The tension arising from this set-up was fantastic, and the staging and camera-work were really well-done too, whenever ALIE would appear suddenly in the frame, within Raven's line of sight, as Raven desperately swung her head around looking for context clues about her location.
Erica Cerra (as ALIE) did some amazing acting off of Lindsey Morgan. A few of the looks that they threw at one another were great, like when Clarke produced the second AI in an attempt to distract ALIE and allow the group to pin Raven down.
Raven had so many searing monologues and biting one-liners that I eventually lost count. The two best were probably her solo rants to Clarke and to Bellamy.
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 put a knife into it. Hell, I bet you got Lexa killed, too.Raven [to Clarke]
You might as well have 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.Raven [to Bellamy]
Damn. Absolutely horrifying and riveting. I was definitely not expecting ALIE to bring up Wells and Charlotte, for one. That was totally out of left field, and the show has not addressed any guilt on Clarke's part for that death in ages.
ALIE was going straight for the jugular. It was interesting to see that Clarke finally broke when Raven brought up Lexa's recent death, and the mention of her father put her over the edge and caused her to lose it. This fits; if she'd had the biggest reaction over Finn, well, that would have just been weird.
Also interesting: Bellamy didn't actually break at all during Raven's rant to him. On a closer character analysis, I would hypothesize that this is because she isn't saying anything at all to Bellamy that Bellamy hasn't already thought about himself.
The dude has a lot of self-hatred over his past mistakes, it's pretty clear. And I'm talking pre-Grounder massacre, which obviously ranks higher than the word "mistake." I'm talking about his mother's death, shooting Jaha, stealing and chucking Raven's radio.
As this was going on, the group was attempting to keep from Niylah the fact that Bellamy was directly involved in the massacre that took the life of Niylah's father. ALIE is nothing if not incredibly intelligent and manipulative, and she got lucky when Niylah overheard about Bellamy's involvement in the massacre and stormed into the room.
We know now that ALIE was able to recognize Niylah and pinpoint her home's location because Hannah, Monty's mother, had been there with Kane, Bellamy, and the others when they were searching for Clarke at the beginning of the season. At some unseen point, ALIE got Hannah.
After all of the deaths in the past several weeks, I was still somehow fully unprepared for yet another one today. I didn't particularly care for Hannah, but I love Monty, so the fact that he was forced to fatally shoot his mother was horrific.
Christopher Larkin gets the runner up award for best acting in this installment, just behind Lindsey Morgan.
He played all the beats of Monty's grief perfectly, and he managed to realistically convey all of those feelings in an abbreviated timeline – obviously, since they were in the midst of saving Raven's life, he was forced to bottle up his horror and sadness.
Monty trying to assure himself that his mother was already gone, unable to be saved by the time he shot her, as a speechless Octavia just looked at him not knowing what to say, was one of the best scenes in this installment.
Even more distressing: when he later saw Clarke save Raven and realized that his own mother could have been recovered. Absolutely brutal.
The fact that Monty killed his own mother to save Octavia was also a great way to underscore what Monty had brought up to Octavia earlier.
Monty: Octavia, we're your people. We were sent down together. We survive together.
Octavia: Lincoln was my people. I'm not Trikru, I'm not Skaikru. I'm nothing.
Monty: You're one of the hundred.
Octavia: Not anymore.
Octavia had a great (if abbrevited) emotional arc over the course of "Nevermore."
I expected (and was dreading) that they'd go the "lone wolf" route with Octavia in the aftermath of Lincoln's death. Her swift realization that Monty was right, that the 100 survives together, was unexpected and satisfying, as was her decision to remain with the group to defeat ALIE.
And it was all thanks to Monty saving her life at the expense of his mother's. It's weird; this turn of events is at once incredibly dark and incredibly heart-warming.
By the end, Octavia has come to accept that she's part of the group (despite her deep-seated continuous anger at Bellamy), echoing Monty's words right back to him when she called for the group to use the second AI to take down ALIE –
Then let's stop her. We survive together.Octavia
Meanwhile, Bellarke moments happened. Well, not like that.
Bellamy and Clarke have been separated for basically the entire season, except for that really intense reunion scene shortly after Pike's massacre.
Somehow, despite all that's happened between them, they appeared to pick up right where they'd left off. They complement each other so well, working together as leaders. Bellamy is so much less of a doofus when he's with Clarke, and he trusts her implicitly (when Pike isn't fogging up his brain, at least).
Perhaps most importantly, the moments between the two didn't come off as fan service or unrealistic, either. The show's made pretty clear so far that Bellamy and Clarke are there for one another, and support one another, despite any mistakes or horrible things they've each done in the fight to protect their people.
I don't think anything explicitly romantic will happen between Clarke and Bellamy this season. I'm sure Clarke won't even begin to move on from Lexa until, probably, mid-season next year.
I mean, just look at her face when she stops Jasper from destroying that second AI and tell me your heart didn't break for her. Lexa is still at the forefront of her mind and will be for awhile.
Bellarke, if the show ever fully goes there, will be the slowest of the slow-burn romances.
Bellamy: What do you do when you realize you might not be the good guy?
Clarke: Maybe there are no good guys.
And that, right there, is the thesis statement of the entire series. Of course it would've been stated in a conversation between Clarke and Bellamy; they know better than anyone, at this point, that gallant, moralistic heroism simply does not work in this world.
Once Clarke had her "brain blast" moment and realized that she should be able to cut the destroyed ALIE chip out of Raven, she did it and Raven recovered almost instantly.
She informed everyone that ALIE could be defeated using the second AI chip, and that's the game plan now.
Unfortunately, ALIE knew this would happen so she, too, has adjusted her game plan accordingly – kill Clarke and her group instead of converting them and bringing them into the City of Light.
- Poor Niylah. They barged into her home and then got it overrun with crazed AI-controlled Sky People so she had to flee. AND her father died. This girl is not having a good go of it.
- I love Sinclair's devotion to and love for Raven. I especially loved his concern that they'd be frying her brain and, even more, the fact that everyone was unanimously sure that Raven wouldn't have brought up a plan if the side effect meant her brain being destroyed.
- I really, really liked this installment but one thing is sticking out for me: Why couldn't the group just use the rover's battery to begin with? I get that, plot-wise, Monty needed a reason to go to the dropship so he could fight and kill his mother, but logically it's a little flummoxing.
- Jasper is nowhere near ready being able to forgive Clarke for her actions art Mount Weather. Despite that, the whole "clear the air" aspect of the majority of these scenes made it so that he's unlikely to actively snip at Clarke as much anymore. He got a lot (or maybe all of it) out of his system.
- For a minute, I really thought Clarke would implant the second AI in Raven. When the destroyed ALIE chip began oozing out of Raven, her blood did look black...
- I think this probably goes down as the single most hypocritical/most lacking in self-awareness line of the series –
You were hurting and you lashed out, because that's what you do. There are consequences, Bell. People get hurt. People die. Your people. Monroe's dead. Lincoln is dead.Octavia
What did you think of "Nevermore"? Chime in and let us know your thoughts by commenting below and be sure to relive Lindsey Morgan's glorious performance by watching The 100 online right here at TV Fanatic anytime!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.