The 100 has been pulling our delicate heartstrings all season long and tonight’s episode picks up right after the death of a crucial character - Lincoln. The opening scene of the episode features an emotionally raw Octavia returning to a secret location where her brother has been kept prisoner by them for his loyalty to Pike. “Where’s Lincoln?” He asks, before Octavia unleashes a barrage of punches to the less likable Blake sibling and tells her brother, “You’re dead to me.” It’s going to be an understandably bumpy ride for the Blakes and Bellamy has some owning up to do. In Polis, the new leader Ontari has kept Murphy near her side, recognizing that she seems apprehensive to be in this leadership position after committing such heinous acts to obtain her role. Murphy has begun to chip away at forming a connection with her, offering to help her prove to the others that she is prepared to become the next Heda.
Raven tries to keep herself preoccupied as best as possible while ALIE continues to appear and make her presence known. Raven cranks up music, recites information and even begins physical activity to keep every functioning capability she has distracted from ALIE. The dangerous AI explains that sensory overload isn’t enough to keep her at bay, so Raven finally decides to seek out help by telling Abby she has an idea that could remove ALIE from her once and for all. Monty’s despicable mother meets with her son to say he needs to count on his friends to keep him safe, telling him to escape while he can (and states she doesn’t want to lose both of her children.) He is reluctant to trust her which is probable given her stance the entire time, but Monty still takes his chance and has a brief farewell with his mother.
Octavia, Kane, Sinclair, Miller and Harper take shelter (with Bellamy still bound) trying to determine their next course of action - stating Clarke is the least of their worries as she is probably safe with Lexa. Little do they know the Polis chaos ensues… Monty gets through to their radio signal but before they can respond, so Bellamy offers advice that it’s code to change to channel seven. Despite his ignorance, they take the chance and discover there is truth to what he informed them. ALIE holds a meeting with her brainwashed followers, still unsure how Raven can openly shut out the idea of erasing pain from her brain capacity. Jaha offers his worst idea yet - override free will. Great Jaha, keep up your troubled lessons that will likely get many others killed. Raven explains that her plan involves using the wristbands from their initial drop to force ALIE out, so ALIE triggers the most painful memories for Raven and recreates her worst experiences. (Torture and Finn’s death) so basically she is forced to give her complete control. Raven goes from screaming in agony to sitting up with a change in voice, speaking as ALIE. Now that the AI has officially taken over Raven as her host, ALIE has another follower drug Abby.
Murphy takes Ontari to the underground area with the cave-like drawings to help her find the names of all the former commanders, but nothing is there to help her for the very specific and unruly exam. He decides he’s essential to Ontari ascending to power, offering to be in a way - her own flamekeeper. Once again, Murphy finds a new way to keep himself alive yet still very much in danger. When Octavia and the others meet up with Monty, it turns out to be a trap (of course) and Pike has him at gunpoint. Pike demands that they surrender to save him when Bellamy disarms his sister to gain Pike’s trust. He tells his blind leader that the others are in a cave which sends Octavia charging (but is ultimately tased until she falls unconscious.) He doesn’t offer up the coordinates but informs Pike he will take them to the hideout soon enough.
Abby slowly regains consciousness and realizes she’s surrounded by a handful of her former friends who have joined ALIE in the City of Light. They all offer for her to join them and “free their minds” but Abby is smart enough to know she wants nothing to do with the maniac cult following. To prove a point, ALIE (in Raven’s body) cuts her own wrists open and tells Abby that she must take the drug and they’ll free her to save Raven. She takes it only to save the girl she views as a daughter, which will undoubtedly create problems for the strong willed leader. Ontari rehearses her speech in preparation to prove worthiness, turning on her demanding persona instantly as her potential subjects arrive. When doubted by one specifically, she brings him to his knees and gouges his eyes out in front of the entire room. (That’s a sure way to instill some fear!) Lexa was a much better leader, that’s certain.
Bellamy leads Pike’s crew into a blockade that is maintained by grounders and puts a gun to his head to prove he’s joined forces with them. Octavia tries to attack for revenge, but Kane says that the grounders must have their retribution - offering themselves as their 13th clan once again. Pike tries to fight back, but fortunately gets an arrow to the shoulder and a grounder-style ass whooping. Sure, he deserves much more - but give it time. One of Pike’s soldiers makes a slight movement and Octavia kills him on the spot, staring her brother right in the eyes and stating “blood must have blood.” Safe to say Octavia has a major bone to pick with her brother and his recent attempts to switch sides doesn’t provide enough penance for the trouble he’s caused.
Ontari has resumed her self proclaimed position as Heda, demanding her needs are met by her followers and placing shackles on Murphy because she’s back to not completely trusting him. Things take a 50 Shades of The 100 turn when she undresses for him and makes use of his chains to try something a little more x-rated. Only Murphy can find himself in the strangest predicaments so who knows where this will lead him next. As Jasper returns with the items needed, he sees that Abby has joined the City of Light worshipers and drugs Raven to save her from the untrustworthy AI. We catch a glimpse at a larger pool of people who have since taken the drug making Jasper’s escape slightly more challenging. Clarke arrives at the exact moment he bursts through the gate with an armored vehicle and she tells him she needs to find Lincoln. Jasper yells that Lincoln is now dead (rest in peace) and she will join him if she doesn’t get in and make a run for it. As they speed away, Clarke takes a look back and sees her mother with an unsettling smile and she knows that Abby isn’t herself anymore.
Overall Grade: 9/10
The episode succeeded by placing Abby and Raven in crucial roles, utilizing the actresses and their impressive character development. Bellamy had a change of heart (finally) but his actions thus far make his redemption highly implausible. I have a distinct feeling that Raven being toted as strong could indicate that she is a potential host for the 2.0 AI and add an entirely new facet to the complexity of Raven. It took a slower burn after a few episodes of high intensity, yet it still gave enough significant plot progression to show the building conflict for the City of Light.
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
-I don’t enjoy Ontari after what we’ve seen of her, so I’m hoping she is one of the fatalities of the rising death toll in The 100.
-Raven and Abby both received a good amount of screentime which is something I’ve been hoping for - but their ambiguous fates makes it a double edged sword.
-I’m all for Octavia’s Bellamy grudge, she needs some cosmic karma to seek justice for his crimes against what they were supposed to stand for.