Meaghan McDonough ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Annie Lindenberg ‘19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Three episodes into The 100 season 4 and the stakes only keep getting higher. This week “The Four Horseman” follows several paths. In Polis, Roan (Zach McGowan) comes to Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), to ask her to track down the newly missing flame as Ilian (Chai Romruen) and a group of looters are ravaging the city in an attempt to destroy all technology. Meanwhile, in Arkadia, Luna (Nadia Hilker) arrives with the remaining grounders of Floukru, all of whom have been poisoned by the radiation that has spread to the fish in the ocean.
Raven (Lindsey Morgan) interprets this sign quickly: the projected six months they thought they had is in fact much less. Faced with the outcome they always feared, Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Clarke (Eliza Taylor) must put their remaining hope for saving more than 100 lives in Jaha (Isaiah Washington). As the three of them journey to find what could be a humanity-saving bunker, those at Arkadia continue to argue over rations and whether saving the lives of the radiated grounders now would be too much of a risk for their future. Though Murphy (Richard Harmon) and Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira) plan to go out on their own, the discovery that Murphy makes while stealing from Arkadia makes him reconsider their choice.
This episode of The 100 really pushed the plot twists in a way we haven’t seen since season two. What we thought the season would be about has been unraveled and made anew. How well that was done and whether the writers accomplished their goal is certainly up for debate. That’s what Annie and Meaghan try to take on below in this week’s review.
What were the most interesting part(s) of the episode?
MM: I was most interested in the Jaha, Bellamy, and Clarke adventure this episode just because this is a combination of characters we haven’t seen together before doing something that wasn’t predictable. Sure, Jaha claiming to have this great “salvation” for the Sky People is a bit of an overused plotline, but we’ve never seen Bellamy and Clarke there together to see it through. It was only a very small part of the episode, but I thought the character interactions were interesting even though I am extremely weary of Jaha as a part of the show. At the very least I found myself wishing they’d return to Bellamy, Clarke, and Jaha’s adventure instead of focusing on other things that were happening in the episode. I was also really interested in the introduction of Gaia (Tati Gabrielle), who I had been curious about since the trailer. The reveal of her parentage and purpose was really satisfying, and I can’t wait to find out more about her as the season goes on.
AL: I found the Jaha, Bellamy and Clarke dynamic intriguing as well. It was interesting to see the past leader and present leader dynamic as they worked together. Any scene with Raven this week was the most riveting to me, particularly because the acting was so spot on. Lindsey really brought the gravity of the situation to every moment she touched, and it made Raven’s storyline incredibly compelling. It showed how many angles of contemplation there are moving forward as they try to save humanity, which truly fleshes out the major conflict this season.
What were the least interesting part(s) of the episode?
AL: For the most part, this episode felt fairly balanced as far as focus went. I’d say the least interesting parts came from Polis simply because this storyline felt short and incohesive with the rest of the arc this week. Jaha’s search for redemption was also a little dry, though his moments with Bellamy were rather nice.
MM: I think that there were a lot of places where the pacing was off or things were moving so fast that it made it easy to miss other moments. I agree with Annie that everything that took place in Polis felt really short and incohesive. There were too many things going on and not enough time spent on them. It was revealed, very abruptly, that Roan somehow managed to let the flame go missing. Then we met Gaia, found out who she is and what she’s going to offer to the show, but then the people in Polis were also rioting and destroying all the technology. Octavia was really shady—from promising Roan that she’d go after whoever took the flame to what she inevitably ends up doing when she finds the flame and who has it—throughout the episode. That part wasn’t necessarily uninteresting, but it was kind of confusing and also felt very rushed.
Similarly, I thought the backstory of “The Second Ark” was really abrupt. I hope it comes back a bit more just so we get some explanation, but I also found it so trivial that I’d be happy to never hear about it again.
Did any acting particularly stick out – good or bad?
MM: In last week’s review, I wished that they would give more of Abby’s (Paige Turco) and Jaha’s screen time to Raven (Lindsey Morgan). It turns out, dreams really do come true! Raven, as the person in charge of figuring out rations to sustain them through the end of the world, was faced with the ethics decision of trying to save suffering Grounders now or keeping medicine for their people in the future. What she decides and how she deals with it as more information is revealed is really stunning to watch, and seeing the horror and sadness in her eyes at the end of the episode was such an important moment both for her as a character but also as a part of the show. We always see Raven as such a tough, quick-to-move on person, but this choice really broke her down and made her vulnerable. Lindsey Morgan was a force to be reckoned with, and I hope we get to see her use her mastery more in the future. I also really thought Adina Porter gave a lot of life and development to Indra in the very short amount we got to see her. Major props to both these ladies!
AL: I could not agree more with Meaghan when it comes to Raven’s part in this episode. Lindsey really brought it this week with every moment she had. Even when there were no lines, her facial and responsive acting was brilliant. The way she plays with her stress and responsibility has finally given Raven some new material after a long time of simply being in pain, making every moment with her character riveting.
The final moment of the episode with Clarke as she makes the list of the 100 people who will be saved was also heartbreaking. As she writes Bellamy’s name down and then has an interaction with Bob, the moment is so charged with emotion. As Clarke breaks down and Bellamy comforts her, the two finding strength and reassurance in the other, you can clearly see the trust in their relationship and how much they rely on each other. It was an incredibly genuine and touching moment that both actors played wonderfully. Truly well done.
Defining moment of the episode?
AL: For me, defining moment of the episode came through when Raven was watching Luna and the Floukru child who couldn’t be saved. This showed the emotional gravity this show is very capable of successfully accomplishing as well as some spectacular acting. As Raven and other characters are faced with how far they are willing to go to survive and at what cost, The 100 finds a groove of emotion and moral questioning that electrifies the story.
MM: There were so many moments this week that could be considered defining of the episode—Luna’s arrival, Jaha’s conversation with Bellamy, the fate of the Second Ark, Murphy giving Abby that medicine for the Grounders, Octavia betraying Roan, the secret of the Nightbloods—but I really think that the most incredible moment was Clarke making that list of the 100 who would be saved. It was defining for her character, it brought back themes that were explored in earlier seasons, and it also has the potential to produce a really intense series of repercussions. Furthermore, the moment between Clarke and Bellamy when she puts him on the list and then he wakes up and puts her on the list—after neither of them wanted to be on the list in the first place…I mean, it was just really something. The emotion in the moment was kind of indescribable really. More choices they have to live with; the choice they made to save themselves.
Cringeworthy moment of the week?
MM: I really think what they did with the flame was…lame. But for me, the cringiest part of this episode was the whole thing with “The Second Ark” cult. The explanation of what it was and how it got to Earth was incredibly rushed and confusing. It seemed like the magical solution that just came out of nowhere, which was bad enough, but then it got worse because it ended up amounting to nothing. Of course, we’re going to find out more about it (I assume! I hope!) as we find out more about Luna, but it’s the kind of plot point that merits a bit more than a few swipes of an iPad and Jaha’s mystical explanation.
AL: Cringeworthy this week for me came when Ilian crushed the ‘flame’ just for us to find out it wasn’t the flame at all. This moment felt poorly done. Its set up left no suspense for whether it was actually the flame or not, as it was clearly pointed out earlier that Gaia’s necklace was an exact replica. With that setup so clear early on, the supposed ‘suspense’ brought from it being crushed simply didn’t exist. Not to mention in the current storyline, the existence of the flame doesn’t feel as pressing and has few emotional ties.
Meaghan’s Grade: Writing-wise, I think this episode was kind of hot mess and it definitely lagged in parts. It felt like this was a sort of transitional episode where they ended/started a couple different plotlines so they can get to where they want to be by mid-season. Still, there were some great moments boosted by the masterful actors in this show. I’d give this episode a B overall.
Annie’s Grade: I thought that though this week was chaotic: pacing wasn’t always fluid and certain storylines lacked. The acting overall really heightened the quality of the episode. There were moments from key actors that were striking and really showed the acting chops on The 100, which made the episode rather enjoyable. Overall, I give the episode a B.