Meaghan McDonough ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Annie Lindenberg ‘19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This week’s episode of The 100, “Heavy Lies the Crown” opens with new character Ilian (Chai Romruen)—a grounder who, under the control of A.L.I.E., was forced to murder his whole family. His desire for vengeance propels the storyline this week, as the Azgeda ambassador wants him to fight against Roan (Zach McGowan) in question of his ability to rule. Roan, meanwhile, struggles to prepare for the ensuing challenge despite Echo’s (Tasya Teles) training and Abby’s treatment of his bullet wounds. Abby (Paige Turco) and Kane’s (Henry Ian Cusick) relationship escalates while Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), the only other member of Skaikru left in Polis, spends her time spying on those who plot against Azgeda’s new leader.
The other major story this week takes place with the delinquents as they attempt to figure out how to survive the coming end of the world. After Monty (Christopher Larkin) realizes the Ark itself is a viable place to live, the mission of the week for Monty, along with Bellamy (Bob Morley), Miller (Jarod Joseph), Harper (Chelsey Reist), and Bryan (Jonathan Whitesell), is to go retrieve the hydro-generator from the fallen farm station. If they can get this, they can survive on the ark until the Earth is survivable again.
The moral problem comes when they discover that Azgeda has taken over farm station and the people who were once there, enslaving innocents. Do they blow up the hydro-generator to save the slaves or save Arkadia in the future but leave the slaves to die? As those on the mission struggle with the decision, back in Arkadia, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Raven (Lindsey Morgan) are trying to get people to help fortify the Ark.
What were the most interesting part(s) of the episode?
AL: This week ushered in a moral dilemma that was truly intriguing. While on The 100 the stakes are almost always high, it’s been awhile since I wasn’t sure which way one of these high-intensity decisions was going to turn. While they debate over whether to blow up the hydro-generator to save the slaves or leave the slaves and take it to save themselves in the future, The 100 falls back into a morally ambiguous zone it thrives in.
Strife begins to boil as the pressure of the end of the world has started to settle in, and this differentiation between those who will do anything to survive and those who just want to enjoy their last days is starting to become clear. The conflict between these two groups, which we saw the beginnings of this week, will only grow stronger as we move forward, and I’m incredibly interested to see where it leads.
MM: I, too, really loved the moral dilemma this episode presented. One of my favorite episodes of The 100 is “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” which is the 5th episode of Season 1 when the culling (which is referenced repeatedly in this latest episode) happens. This episode had a very similar vibe: one decision can either save the lives of everyone for less time or save the lives of many for longer at the cost of a few. I thought it did a really good job of recalling old moments from earlier seasons, as well as showing how characters have changed. From the repeated mentioning of the culling to Abby fiddling with her dead husband’s wedding ring that hangs around her neck; all of it felt like it was highlighting how the characters have developed. I especially loved how the outcome of this decision was so different from the outcome of the culling, how you could really feel that Kane and Bellamy are two entirely different leaders, and that Bellamy is really coming into his own.
What were the least interesting part(s) of the episode?
MM: I actually didn’t really care all that much what was happening in Polis. As sweet as I found Abby and Kane’s moments, I didn’t feel like that much time needed to spent on them. I cared even less so when they were apart: Abby doesn’t really do anything to help Roan, and Kane’s discussion with the Azgeda ambassador seems unproductive, even to a Skaikru sympathizer such as myself. Kane basically says that yes, Skaikru is the reason that Ilian killed his family, but they also destroyed the City of Light, so everyone should be cool and be friends. As if causing a problem and then fixing the problem is somehow enough to make up for the repercussions of the problem in the first place! Even Octavia’s plot line, as cool as it was, seemed underdeveloped. I couldn’t imagine Lincoln’s death leading her to killing more Grounders. It was the Sky People who killed Lincoln at any rate.
AL: I couldn’t agree more. A lot of time this week was spent on a story that went nowhere. The Kane and Abby plot didn’t move, Echo and Roan’s interactions felt repetitive, and instead of developing the main storylines more they chose to include small bursts of Jaha and Octavia storyline that didn’t feel meaningful. With such a big cast, it can be hard to decide where to give your time but I wish, instead of giving several characters scenes that didn’t contribute much to the overarching story, they would focus their time more wisely.
Did any acting particularly stick out – good or bad?
AL: This week I was particularly struck with Christopher Larkin’s acting as Monty. As he came face to face with the man who killed his father, he is filled with anguish. Instead of murdering him, he breaks the chains of the slaves in a moment that’s particularly heartbreaking.
Devon Bostick was, again, great this week as he slipped further into his new care-free attitude. He played the humor particularly well. Also a shout out to Jarod Joseph, who was finally back on our screens as Miller– his character consistently feels real and he always masters the intensity necessary for any scene.
MM: Devon Bostick has really come into his own. From the comedic elements of him wearing that shower cap to the dramatic monologue he gives Monty about wanting to “live” instead of survive, he’s really gotten a handle on delivering his lines in just the right way to make a viewer think a little bit more. And while I think we’ve seen a lot from characters who aren’t necessarily at the forefront (like Bellamy and Clarke, or Kane) this season, so far I think Bostick has gone above and beyond the acting required of someone who is in a B-plot for a show.
This week, the weakest were probably Paige Turco and Isaiah Washington. I didn’t really feel Abby’s sadness or conflict over giving up Jake and I don’t even know why Isaiah Washington was in this episode at all. Raven was right to be suspicious of Jaha trying to help, especially because Washington’s acting doesn’t make Jaha seem repentant at all. I really wish they would have given the screentime that they spent on these two characters to Lindsey Morgan, who has proven her acting ability again and again even when she is only given the minimal amount of material to work with.
Defining moment of the episode?
MM: The defining moment, by far, was Bellamy’s decision to save the slaves and him telling Clarke, “We save who we can save today.” I thought the transition from Bellamy being left to make the decision to the reveal of what he chose was really clever, and then to have Clarke argue with him for him to stand his ground felt like a huge moment of growth for him and their partnership. Both of them have made so many decisions that have cost so many people their lives. But, in this moment, Bellamy makes the decision to save people and he makes that decision alone. He justifies his decision to Clarke, and she agrees with it in the end, even though she is aware that he’ll be responsible if, in the end, more people are condemned to die because there’s no hydro-generator. It shows just how far they’ve come. It makes Clarke’s lie afterward so much harder to swallow, but also that much more necessary.
AL: When Jasper berates Clarke for not being honest with their people and letting them decide what to do with their last six months, Clarke responds by saying she can’t tell them until she has a solution. Jasper responds, “that’s spoken like the council that sent 100 kids to die on the ground.” Not only did this interaction show how far the show has come, but also how much weight has come down on the delinquents’ shoulders. They’re now in a position of power to do to others what has been done to them. Will they be better than the leaders before them or will they fall into the same mistakes? This moral questioning has always been a highlight of the show.
Cringeworthy moment of the week?
AL: Less so awkward-cringe worthy and more so uncomfortable was Clarke’s final speech this week. It felt all too familiar of past mistakes and slightly out of character for the Clarke we’ve come to know. As she lied to her people, I couldn’t help but cringe with the knowledge that this decision will ultimately come back to bite her in the ass.
MM: For me, the most cringeworthy moment this week was Harper getting snuck up on by the Grounders when the mission was approaching Azgeda. That was just some basic and embarrassing nonsense.
I really enjoyed this episode; I think it went a lot faster than the premiere and had a lot of interesting development for most of the characters. I also loved the throwback mentions of episodes and plotlines past. My only issues with the episode are that some of the character motivations were unclear or weak at times. Overall, I’d give this episode a B+.
While I thought the ideas behind this episode were really intriguing, I didn’t think they were executed all that well. The Polis storyline dragged while the delinquents’ story pulsed forward. The balance was off, but there were some incredible acting moments and setup. I give this episode a B-.