Meaghan McDonough ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Annie Lindenberg ‘19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
“A Lie Guarded”, the fourth episode of The 100’s fourth season, brought all this season’s competing conflicts to a head this week. With Bellamy (Bob Morley) long gone on a hunting mission and Abby (Paige Turco) sent out to find a genetics laboratory that will help them use Luna (Nadia Hilker) to save humanity, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) is left to mind the camp on her own.
In Polis, the truce between Azgaeda and Skaikru falls apart as Roan (Zach McGowan) learns of their future plans. Things don’t fare much better for Clarke as her and Bellamy’s list of potential survivors is discovered by Jasper (Devon Bostick) and Monty (Christopher Larkin). Even with Raven (Lindsey Morgan), Abby, John Murphy (Richard Harmon), and others struggles to complete her mission.
Tensions are at an all time high as Grounders and Sky People alike discover that the end of days is closer than they think, and their plans to deal with it might not be as easy to execute as they thought. Read on to see Annie and Meaghan discuss and review this week’s episode of The 100.
What were the most interesting part(s) of the episode?
AL: Murphy has been fairly isolated from the rest of the delinquents for a while, so to get to see him interact and work in a group of his own people again was a nice dynamic to see. It’s been a long time coming for a Murphy and Raven reunion of sorts, as their relationships is one of the most tension-filled in the show. With such a past, it felt right to finally get to see them in the same space again.
Some of the most interesting aspects of the episode for me also came with seeing characters interact who have barely interacted before– namely Raven with Luna and Jackson (Sachin Sahel). Raven and Luna as a pair were a great dynamic as the two characters really helped to flesh and develop the other, while the Raven and Jackson interaction was short but interesting. With so many talented actors and interesting characters on this show, it’s great when they can really play off of one another and find the perfect mix of characters to develop a plot and each other.
MM: I really loved the mission to find the genetics laboratory. The group—Abby, Raven, Murphy, Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira), Jackson, Nyko (Ty Olsson), and Luna, of course—had a lot of interesting dynamics to explore, and they took what could have been a really boring plot line and made it very engaging. It was something unexpected that added development to characters and relationships while also moving the plot forward in a different direction than what was happening at Arkadia and Polis. Emori knows a worrying secret, and in The 100, secrets often end up leading to some sort of ultimate downfall. I also really loved getting to see Raven in action, interacting with people (Murphy, Luna) that she hasn’t interacted with in a while or, you know, ever. Plus, the laboratory is so cool! I can’t wait to see the technology it has and also find out where it came from. I have my suspicions, but this episode dealt me a lot of surprises, so I’m expecting the show to keep them coming.
What were the least interesting part(s) of the episode?
MM: Just as much Skaikru has worn out its welcome in Polis, I think Polis has worn out its welcome on The 100. Even with Roan finding out about Skaikru’s back-up plan to save only a hundred people using the old ship as a bunker, even with him undoing the alliance, killing a random Skaikru person, and taking Bellamy and Kane as hostages…I just kept waiting to go back to Arkadia or the laboratory mission. It’s not that the conflict genuinely wasn’t interesting. It was just that the writing felt sloppy and rushed, and Roan’s character gets flatter and flatter by the minute. Even Octavia’s (Marie Avgeropoulos) big moment (no spoilers here!) as a result of the Polis conflict seemed so obvious and unnecessary. It was shocking (for like a second, right before it became super obvious what they were doing) and a cool moment for Octavia that is going to lead some real drama next episode, but it took so long to get there. I love the Grounders, but it feels like their development died with Lincoln (Ricky Whittle), Lexa (Alycia Debnam Carey), and Ontari (Rhiannon Fish) and all of the most interesting ones left—Indra (Adina Porter) and her daughter, Luna, and Emori—have nothing to do with Polis. Frankly, with the impending war, I’m kind of hoping Azgaeda gets wiped out. They’re really dragging the rest of the Grounders down.
AL: I don’t know that I can truly say anything better than Meaghan has already said it, but I will add that Roan and Echo (Tasya Teles) offer very little excitement to the show. There characters were drained of any growth. Any potential Roan had as a character last season is now gone; the spark he had has vanished. I’d go even further than Meaghan to say that any Grounder interest for me died with Anya (Dichen Lachman), with only a little thread left by Lincoln and Indra.
Did any acting particularly stick out – good or bad?
AL: Can I say episode stealer? Well, I’m going to, because Bob Morley took the cake this week. The pure emotion displayed by him in only a few minutes was so powerful and so rich that it’s all I could think about when the episode closed. Every time I think I’ve seen the epitome of Morley’s acting, I’m pleasantly surprised to find it can only go up.
As a fan of Clarke Griffin and an even bigger fan of Eliza Taylor, I’m sad to say I wasn’t that impressed with her acting this episode. I do think some of the material written for her was simply dry and difficult to work with, but a lot of Clarke felt rusty this week. I’m hoping for an upswing next week so I can forget I ever had to say this at all.
MM: Just to reiterate: Bob Morley stole the show this episode. He’s generally the acting star of every episode, but this episode he outdid himself. He was on screen for what was probably a total of two minutes, and yet those two minutes were the most raw and real acting we’ve seen in all four seasons of this show. This was Morley at his absolute finest, and he cannot be topped. This performance was enough to make me wish the show would end just so he could move on to bigger, better projects.
That aside, I think there were other strong performances of note. Lindsey Morgan and Nadia Hilker were all exciting to watch, while Christopher Larkin brought some intensity that we haven’t seen in awhile and Devon Bostick was the king of comedic relief. Even when I felt that these actors were involved in moments that were cringe-y (and don’t worry I’ll get to that), I still could recognize the quality of the acting. Even Isaiah Washington had some solid and subtle speeches this episode. Second to Morley, though, was definitely Lindsey Morgan and Richard Harmon. They both developed their characters and worked with a wide array of emotion, making their moments really stand out.
Defining moment of the episode?
MM: There were a lot of great moments in this episode, but I think the one that I’ll always think of when looking back at this episode is Octavia sacrificing herself instead of being taken hostage by Echo. First off, we got this great, well-choreographed fight scene before it. Then we get Octavia’s choice: getting stabbed in the stomach and throwing herself over the cliff’s edge. And while I did think the outcome was obvious, I didn’t mind, the dramatic irony we got at the end of the episode and the repercussions we’ll get to see moving forward…it’s going to be big. Plus, it also solidified Octavia as one of the most badass women on television, which is always great.
AL: While not the most climactic scene, I felt that a defining moment this week was Kane talking to Octavia about how far she has crossed the line. When he reminds her that this is not what Lincoln would have wanted for her, it felt like a breath of fresh air to finally have this acknowledged on screen. This scene was well-acted, but it also showed that sometimes you can’t always keep pushing forward– you need to remember the past, too. With so much plot there’s not much time to recollect on The 100, but to take a breath for a moment and recognize the hardship of the past and how far certain characters have come because of it, felt very real and important.
Cringeworthy moment of the week?
AL: Cringeworthy moment of the week is literally just the zoom in on Roan’s face after they take Kane and Bellamy away after he announces war. He’s staring out the window, bone crown on his head, angsty as he ponders life presumably, and all I could do was laugh. Roan’s character barely feels real at this point, and certainly barely accessible. Rest in peace all of his potential.
MM: There were several moments this week that I thought were cringe-y, but for the worst of the worst, I’d have to say it’s a tie between when Raven says to Luna, “It’s not your blood that defines you—it’s your heart,” and the music that’s playing during Bellamy’s final scene. For the Raven and Luna scene, that line just felt so cliché and the message was kind of mixed. In this case of blood vs. heart, blood literally means blood and isn’t a euphemism for family or ethnicity or anything; but heart, meanwhile, isn’t supposed to be her physical heart—it’s supposed to stand in for her beliefs, her morals. It’s a confusing way to word an already cliche and obvious message. Plus, Raven delivering this line, regardless of how well Lindsey Morgan delivered it, felt pretty out of character. But the music that plays during the scene with Morley at the end is equally unforgivable: it’s way too loud and overdramatic, and if Morley’s acting hadn’t been so strong, I think I would have hated the scene entirely.
Meaghan’s Grade: Despite some awkward, rushed writing and poor sound-editing, I thought this was the best episode the season so far. Most of the actors were able to really show off, and the subtle plot reveals just kept coming. I give this episode an A.
Annie’s Grade: This week, the awkward moments came down to clunky writing that even the actors at times could barely save, but this was also the best paced episode of the season. The balance was great, the timing felt dynamic without being rushed, and there were jewels of A+ acting. I give the episode an A-.