Meaghan McDonough ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Annie Lindenberg ‘19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This week on The 100, “Gimme Shelter” brings the end of times closer than ever before. With black rain finally hitting, several characters are scattered and left to deal with the emotional and moral consequences the disaster brings. Having left Arkadia, Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) is in the woods closely followed by Ilian (Chai Hansen). The two are forced to find shelter in a nearby cave– leaving them to confront their animosity.
Back at Arkadia, Kane (Ian Cusick) attempts to maintain control after all his people are brought inside the Ark for safety. When a call comes over the radio that two of their people are stranded out in the rain with only a small overhang as shelter, Bellamy (Bob Morley) braves the weather in the name of saving who he can. As the day wears on, Harper (Chelsey Reist) has a struggle with morality after making a choice to save her own skin at the expense of someone else.
Clarke (Eliza Taylor) has finally reached Beca’s lab, and during her reunion with Abby (Paige Turco) discovers that they may be able to use Luna’s (Nadia Hilker) bone marrow to save them, but, to do so would require risking a life by exposing someone to radiation. After overhearing this, Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira) takes Clarke back to the mansion to relax where Murphy (Richard Harmon) is. When an intruder breaks in, Emori uses it as an opportunity to make sure she won’t be the one the radiation is tested on.
Read on to see Meaghan and Annie discuss this week’s episode of The 100.
What were the most interesting part(s) of the episode?
AL: Bellamy’s emotional arc this episode takes the cake. It’s been a long time coming for him to deal with his feelings of responsibility and perceived failure in terms of Octavia. As he tries anything and everything to save two of his own people, his clear desperation is heartbreaking. When he has to finally choose his own life over others, he has a beautiful breakdown. With mentions of Bellamy’s mother and Kane’s responsibility being floated, it was a great character moment for Bellamy to finally process some of the things he’s been repressing and it created a crackling moment between him and Kane.
MM: I have to agree. We’ve been waiting for Bellamy to have some development beyond interactions he’s had with Clarke. This week, the writers delivered a lot and they delivered it well. Throughout the season we’ve seen Bellamy coming to conclusions—telling Jaha that Clarke keeps him centered, telling Clarke that they should “save who they can save today,” and even beginning to tell Clarke something (“Clarke, if I don’t see you again…”)—without necessarily seeing the process of getting there. The process, until now, seemed to be stretched over the season thinly. We let it slide because we love Bellamy and understand his character– we understand that these things are inherent for him to say and do. But this episode, while he was simply trapped in a car for most of it, somehow managed to really show us how Bellamy thinks. He runs out into the black rain just to save two people because he can’t save his sister, even if he’s putting his life in danger. He nearly goes out into the black rain again when his vehicle gets stuck in the mud and he can’t continue his drive to save two of his people. Kane talks him down and out of it, but that doesn’t stop Bellamy from really digging into how his brain works: he can’t save his sister, his responsibility; he’s letting everyone down, letting them die, and he’s absolutely powerless. But then, just when you think we’re going to put the final nail in the Kane and Bellamy bonding coffin, Bellamy lets out that line: “You floated my mother.” It really doesn’t get better than that.
What were the least interesting part(s) of the episode?
MM: I’m glad they didn’t focus too much on Abby and the science behind trying to turn the Sky People into Nightbloods. There are a lot of things in The 100 I’ve had to suspend my disbelief for, and the more the writers try to explain how they’re going to inject the Sky People with Niylah’s blood or bone marrow, the more frustrated I get. Furthermore, Abby isn’t all that interesting, and even though she’s the Sky People’s primary medical doctor, I have a hard time believing she’s fully capable of figuring out all of this radioactive biology on her own. It feels like her character arc peaked a season ago, and we’re just waiting for the brain issues Raven is being affected by to take her out.
AL: I agree with Meaghan: most of the adults on this show just don’t really seem to hold much purpose anymore. On top of that, the development of Illian and Octavia’s relationship holds little interest because it’s so obvious what the writers plan to do with them. Not to mention, the whole dynamic they have is uncomfortable and highly problematic in a lot of ways.
Did any acting particularly stick out – good or bad?
AL: Hands down, Bob Morley brought some of the strongest moments this week. As he broke down in the rover, it was impossible not to feel for his character. He displayed anger and desperation alongside sadness beautifully; I will never be able to get over his raw talent and skill.
Chai Hansen has a strong presence as an actor, which is why it’s so upsetting that he’s been stuck in Octavia’s storyline. I hope he sticks around long enough to get some material that may showcase his abilities better.
MM: Bob Morley is clearly of the highest caliber, but there are some other smaller roles worth mentioning. Richard Harmon gave us a lot as Murphy this week. He plays off all the other characters in this show really well, developing chemistry with a very deft hand. Murphy and Emori got a lot of fairly subtle development in terms of their relationship, all of which was made possible mostly because of Richard Harmon’s pure skill. Eliza Taylor, for what little she had to do in this episode, did a nice job showing Clarke’s exhaustion, desperation, and anxiety.
Defining moment of the episode?
MM: The defining moment came at the very end, when Bellamy repeats to Kane, “You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.” It’s the closing line of the episode, and it’s a really heart-wrenching line coming from Bellamy because it holds a double meaning with him—he can’t save Octavia, as Kane mentioned earlier, but Kane also can’t save him. It shows us Bellamy as two things—the savior and the irredeemable—and it’s Kane finally realizing that Bellamy sees himself as both, and doesn’t believe he can or should be redeemed. It opens a lot of doors for them to explore Bellamy further, especially through Kane and his interactions. It’s such a heavy, hard line but it’s delivered with such grace by Morley that it’s left up to us to interpret it. For the first time in a while, we’re left wondering without being absolutely angry about it, and we also know it’s going to take a while to sort this out.
AL: When Kane said to Harper this week, “Who you want to be doesn’t always win,” it felt like a pretty good summary of a lot of the show. Throughout the seasons as situations have escalated and characters have had to make drastic decisions, often they make choices they don’t want to. In a season where literally everything is life or death, this is only going to become more prevalent moving forward. It reminds us of the moral ambiguity this show is known for and does it so well.
Cringeworthy moment of the week?
AL: Octavia asking Ilian to have sex with her so she could forget her pain, a man she held a gun to a week prior. The moment was so cringeworthy because I knew it was coming but hoped severely it wouldn’t. I wish sometimes people on this show could cope in other ways besides sex or, at the very least, less problematic sex.
MM: Octavia and Ilian’s scene is hands down the cringiest moment, especially because it was so obvious. Pretty much any time Octavia is half naked, you know she’s going to have sex with someone for some reason. It was just a matter of time. It’s really disappointing considering that she had a flashback to Lincoln being murdered just an episode before while trying to shoot this guy. The writing was just really obvious and, frankly, insulting to Octavia’s character.
Meaghan’s Grade: Despite the disappointing direction of Octavia’s plotline, this episode had so many great elements with most (if not all) of the other characters involved. Bob Morley shined, which always makes for a good episode of this show. I’d give this episode an A.
Annie’s Grade: This was truly one of the strongest episodes so far this season. Erring on the side of simplicity, the stories this week felt compact and logically thought through (besides Octavia’s arc, which I clearly disapprove of). With great character development and some strong acting moments from several cast members, I also give this episode an A.