Last week, Clarke was faced with a surprising reunion between herself and Lexa – something that has been a building conflict since her abrupt betrayal and departure when they teamed up last season. The episode gave us many opportunities to discover where the two now stand, while introducing more Ice Nation and the troubles accompanied with the mysterious faction. To begin, Clarke and Lexa begin by finally having a civilized conversation regarding the incident that drove them apart - Lexa leaving Clarke's people for dead. Lexa tries to repair their relationship by telling her that Clarke and the sky people could become the 13th clan, and unite with Lexa's forces. In order to make this truce, she demands that Clarke bow before her and Lexa's allies, but Clarke refuses to aid Lexa in her quest to regain a powerful persona. When a meeting of leaders takes place atop the tower Lexa has resided in, she kicks a supporter of the Ice Nation queen from the top floor, reminding everyone that she isn't going to be pushed around by any opposing foe.
Bellamy, Octavia, Raven, and newcomer Gina arrive to the reformed Mt. Weather, where they quickly learn that some of their people have made themselves at home. Meals are being served and music plays loudly in the dining hall, making it visibly uneasy for Octavia to feel comfortable with their choices. Back at the summit, the prince of Ice Nation known as Roan approaches Clarke with a plan to murder Lexa and join Ice Nation. While Clarke isn't concerned over Lexa's well-being, she does seem more cautious about trusting this mysterious queen with an intimidating reputation. Octavia and Bellamy find a moment alone, one of the best dynamics of the series, and she expresses to her brother that she isn't feeling like she belongs with her former allies any longer - something that is momentarily reinforced when a militant faction of the sky people imprisons a grounder trying to warn them that an assassin has been sent to the summit that Abby and Kane are set to attend.
The woman named Echo isn't believed by Pike, but Bellamy confirms she's trustworthy based on their interactions during the battle of Mt. Weather. Bellamy and a select amount of others prepare to make their move to save their own, and he shares a romantic moment with Gina which as always leaves me a little concerned for her longevity. Taking things into their own hands, Kane and Abby arrive to the summit and discover people living out their lives as casually and relatively peaceful as possible. They experience a surreal moment where a woman offers them food for free, an act of humanity that gives them hope for an optimistic future. The only problem being... The summit is supposedly planned to end badly for the representatives of the "sky people". One of Lexa's advisors tries to dissuade her from a treaty that the sky people hope for, but Lexa ensures him "Wanheda" aka Clarke will bow before her to join their coalition. He makes a final attempt to make a bigger move, and proposes that Lexa kill Clarke if given the opportunity, taking her power. Seeing both Clarke and Lexa being pitted against each other makes me believe that they will do the opposite - with both being two women who aren't fond of being pushed into a corner.
Bellamy, Octavia, and Pike arrive to a location near the summit, realizing that the warnings were true when they come across the bodies of a few former allies. This confirms their fears and sends them venturing in to save Kane and Abby. Clarke asks to see Lexa, and ambushes her with a knife to the throat, but can't muster the will to make a move. Lexa tells Clarke she will let her return with her mother (who just arrived) but Clarke stops her and shares that she's got something else in mind. Clarke and Abby reunite for the first time, but the celebration is brief as Clarke tells the terms have changed - suggesting they become the thirteenth clan after all. Kane finds it to be a decent offer, fearing the Ice Nation queen, but Abby feels less willing to oblige. Clarke tells them that "Wanheda" is what will stop the queen, clearly making up her mind on what to do next. The scene cuts to Clarke making a new runways style debut, in full on grounder princess gear and a ridiculous complicated new hairstyle to commit herself to the grounder image. The former sky people’s leader bows to Lexa in front of the entire group, indicating they will enlist in Lexa's clans. Not all of her people are thrilled about the initiation, but they continue anyways with Abby opting out of receiving a new grounder tattoo - so Kane gets to be the lucky representative! The Blake siblings and Pike burst through the doors of the meeting, hoping to save Abby and Kane, however even Lexa was unaware of this supposed assassination. As it turns out, the former grounder they trusted (Echo) was an ally of Ice Nation and misinformed them to leave Mt. Weather vulnerable to being attacked.
Raven has a moment where she succumbs to the pressures she faces, and feels like she isn't capable of what everyone needs her for. Luckily, Sinclair is around to give her the pep talk she needs and reminds him that Abby can help her if she just allows it and has faith - but Raven fears that she's just simply broken. Gina gets in the radio to talk to Raven, but the assassin strikes from behind and stabs her repeatedly. She crawls to the radio and tells Raven he set Mt. Weather to self destruct and bleeds out, after doing her best to save everyone. Raven and Sinclair find the killer and successfully stop him (while learning the launch codes are on his arm) but are unable to stop anything before they see the facility explode with nearly 40 of their friends and allies inside. Raven manages to reach Bellamy and inform him what happened while in tears, and everyone at the summit becomes privy to the attack from Ice Nation. Another emotionally gripping scene directly after a difficult loss. Lexa insists it's an act of war, imprisoning all affiliates of Ice Nation in her presence. Bellamy pleads with Clarke to leave Lexa and return to Arkadia, but Clarke decides to stay with her original plan. When Clarke and Lexa gain a moment of privacy, she questions if Lexa could have been involved - and Lexa now bows to her, offering her complete loyalty in an act of love. Is it authentic? We'll find out soon enough...
The treacherous woman whom Bellamy trusted is next seen returning to her Ice Nation allies, showing her true allegiance and sharing that she sparked the war they hoped for. The Ice Queen makes her first appearance, and makes it known that she will free her son and kill Lexa, showing no signs of intimidation.
Overall Grade: 9/10
The interchanging relationship between the grounders and sky people evolved more than ever before in this episode, making for a fascinating development. The Clarke and Lexa plot continues to be one of the most complex alliances/personal relationships on The 100, and as optimistic as I want to be - I am concerned that it could have dire consequences once again. This episode brought a noteworthy performance by Lindsey Morgan going through Raven's individual struggles, and the devastation of watching her friends perish. The episode certainly was indicative of the emotionally weight this season will hold, and The 100 consistently finds new ways to keep the characters on their toes.
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
-Clarke making the decision to trust Lexa was a very complex process that could be argued to be a positive and a negative (proves how strong the series writing can be)
-Gina may not have been around long, but they managed to make her a character we felt for. Her death was painfully sad, and makes me wonder if we're in store for many upsetting demises this season.
-The balance of the
12 13 clans and Ice Nation is shaping up to be a formidable power struggle.