Annie Lindenberg ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With a season that has been questionable at best, The 100 reached a whole new low this week with “Fallen.” Though at first the episode was only rocky and a little underwhelming, The 100 later crosses a line that is unforgivable. Despite some standout performances from Lindsey Morgan, Bob Morley, and Marie Avgeropoulos, the episode’s content itself fails to rise to the actors’ skill.
This week there were three major story arcs, the first of which the episode opens on, with Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) returning along with Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) and the rest of the rebellion crew. Octavia wastes no time in attacking Bellamy (Bob Morley) for his place in Lincoln’s (Ricky Whittle) death last episode, the scene charged and heartbreaking in their intense acting of two siblings with such strife between them. The storyline continues on later as Monty (Christopher Larkin) is forced to flee camp since Pike (Michael Beach) knows of his part in letting the rebels escape. As it flashes back to the rebels in the cave, a radio signal is received from Monty who is searching the woods for them. After a discussion on whether it’s a trap or not, Octavia and Kane leave to meet Monty at the dropship, towing a chained Bellamy along with them in case it truly is a trick.
Upon arrival at the dropship, Monty walks out just to have Pike behind him. Monty’s mother had sold him out, using Monty as a way for Pike to follow him and find the rest of the rebels. Before any violence can occur, Bellamy promises Pike to take him to the cave where the rest of the rebels are hiding out. Though his intentions are at first ambiguous, we find out that Bellamy was really leading Pike into the way of the Grounders to hand him over. Kane asks to join the Grounders as they take Pike to Polis, telling Bellamy to tell Abby he’ll watch out for Clarke before leaving. Monty and Bellamy have a charged discussion about family, where the tension that is palpable between Octavia and Bellamy is felt in full force through strong acting.
Storyline number two involves Alie (Erica Cerra) and the pill to the City of Light. This begins with Jaha (Isaiah Washington) and Alie standing outside Raven’s (Lindsey Morgan) door as she attempts to block Alie out with loud music and overstimulation. Abby (Paige Turco) and Jasper (Devon Bostick) are soon on the scene, Raven telling them she needs help to get Alie out of her head. The scene shifts to Jaha as he sits with his followers, Alie and him discussing how to keep Raven as part of their ranks. Simultaneously, Raven is speaking with Abby and Jasper devising a plan to get rid of Alie which involves using the wristbands from the first season that monitored the delinquents vitals. As Jasper runs to retrieve the wristbands, Alie gives Raven all of her pain back in hopes of getting her to submit and give up her free will.
Abby takes her to the infirmary, trying to stop her pain, when it all becomes too much and Raven relinquishes her free will to Alie. As Abby bursts into anger at the situation, Jackson (Sachin Sahel) comes back with a sedative just to stab it straight into Abby’s neck. The scene shifts to Jasper getting the bands, only to have Jaha and the rest of his cult barge into the room, ordering to destroy them. Back in the infirmary, Abby wakes up tied to a chair surrounded by Jackson, Jaha, and Raven (who is inhabited by Alie). They want her to take the pill, and though at first Abby refuses no matter what torture they choose to inflict upon her, after the Alie-controlled-Raven slits her wrists Abby submits for the sake of saving her life. At the end of the episode, Jasper sees Abby giving the pill to everyone, and he sneaks to the infirmary to get Raven and escape camp. Just as they’re leaving, they run straight into Clarke (Eliza Taylor), and she jumps in as they drive away from the mass-converted camp.
Last but definitely least is Ontari (Rhiannon Fish) and Murphy (Richard Harmon) back in Polis. To prove Ontari can be claimed the new commander, she is expected to name the lineage of all commanders before her, something she is unable to do without the flame. Murphy offers his assistance as a master liar and manipulator to get her subjects to believe her without the flame, and though Murphy has always been known to do whatever it takes to save his own skin, even his push to help Ontari seems out of place. The plotline itself seems simply like a way to hold Murphy somewhere because he doesn’t have anywhere else to go at the moment, and Ontari is such a caricature of violence and cruelty she holds little appeal. In a later scene Ontari goes on to gouge out a man’s eyes to prove no one should question her, and the subjects fall in line. The final scene of this storyline is what ends up being entirely unforgivable, as Ontari chains Murphy back up, strips in front of him, and then even after Murphy states he has someone else, forces him to have sex with her or she’ll kill him. The worst part of it all? They play it all as a joke.
Essentially a sexual assault scene, they try to make it seem lighthearted as Murphy says “the things I do to survive” in a comedic way before approaching the bed. This is anything but comedic, however, as Murphy has no choice in this sexual action. He isn’t allowed to say no for the fear of death, and if he isn’t allowed to say no than a yes isn’t really a yes at all. Along with this horrifying scene, The 100 has entered a triggering realm this week that may not be suitable for all audiences. When Raven is cut open and bleeding all over the floor, the scene was much too graphic, and it seems that much of what The 100 has become is truly pain for the sake of pain.
Recently the show has tried to become grittier and darker by throwing on as much pain and angst as is possible, and though there is nothing wrong with a darker show, when all you do is make it a competition for who can suffer the most, you’re forgetting the true possibility for storytelling and character development. Fans are expected to live through an exponentially increasing amount of pain without nearly as much plot and story gratification as The 100 has shown it is capable of in the past.
With the show drifting away from a character-driven show to a much more plot-driven one and the conflicting storylines that feel vastly different from one another, The 100 better hope to patch itself up in the coming weeks if it hopes to save the gritty yet endearing, strong morally questioning show it once was. With great actors under its belt and a glimpses of possibility sparkling through this season, it isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility.
This week, however, certainly didn’t make the cut.