The first of a two-part finale covered a lot of ground in the world of The 100, so let's not waste any time and dive straight into the fray! After unsuccessfully recruiting Luna, the four searching for her (Clarke, Octavia, Bellamy, and Jasper) go over their futile options without a Nightblood to take the place as the next commander. A frustrated Clarke takes a moment to herself to grieve of Lexa with the stressors surrounding her; however, one of ALIE's followers has discovered her location. Roan makes an entrance and kills the man before he can make a move, proving they need each other to achieve one goal -- place the chip of the commander in Ontari. Eventually they make their way back to the small pool of allies who haven't been placed under ALIE's thrall, sharing their new plan with Raven, Monty, Harper, Miller, and Brian. For this to take effect, Clarke takes the role of bridging this new unity with Roan. At first, he says his people (Ice Nation) aren't afraid of ALIE until Bellamy and Clarke suggest just how influential she's been thus far. Roan doesn't take too much convincing with a quick response of "when do we leave?"
With preparations being made to act on their plans, Raven and a few others make sure to stay behind to stop the AI. We learn that ALIE is very much aware of their discussions, signifying she has already breached their group with one well hidden follower. Clarke's group makes it as far as they can by vehicle, but they are forced to split up with Roan and Clarke pairing off. Jasper and Monty search for a motherboard at Arkadia, and Jasper's numerous questions make him a major suspect of the ALIE influence. He tells Monty that he's spent enough time blaming others for what happened, but Monty then notices the tech they needed. ALIE refuses to let anything happen to risk her existence -- making him stab his own best friend to stop their attempt.
Roan takes Clarke into Polis, pretending to use her as a prisoner with Octavia, Bellamy, Brian, and Miller covering them. Brian and Miller talk about a future without fighting where they can be together and live a simple, happy existence with each other, shifting to a scorned Octavia staring her brother dead on with a justified expression of anger on her face. Roan calls out everyone else to see his "offering," but Jaha is the only one to appear (not part of their Ontari-centric plan). Before they realize it, their cover is taken hostage by ALIE's followers, and Roan is killed by Kane, saving Clarke because she's the only one who can access the full scope of the AI 2.0 upgrade. Raven and Monty have locked themselves into the room where Raven can work with an especially creepy Jasper talking through an intercom hoping to gain access. Back in Polis, ALIE uses Abby to get to Clarke's emotions, having her ask for the pass phrase -- while cutting her own daughter whenever she refuses to oblige. It's an especially cruel tactic and rough scene for a mother and daughter, but things look to get more difficult when they decide to take Bellamy next. Things begin to look bleak for the Blake sibling until Murphy and his band of survivors kill the guard faction, keeping the others at bay. They try to leave but Bellamy informs them he refuses because Clarke is still in trouble. "Clarke's always in trouble," Murphy accurately responds before ultimately agreeing to join them in a quest to finish what they've started.
The two groups become a stronger unit, quickly forcing their way into an open area where Bellamy and Murphy are raised to the top of the tower. Octavia become emotional when talking to Indra about Lincoln being her "home," but it's shortened by a trigger-happy Kane firing at the others. Brian is shot (only injured as of now), and the delay causes the elevator shaft to slow, letting ALIE's men into the elevator with Bellamy and Murphy. They manage to fight (and kill) those in their way and rise back up toward the higher levels. Raven hacks her way back into ALIE's mainframe, which calls for a brief celebration, but Harper enters the hallway, only to be knocked out with her gun taken by Jasper. Monty's blossoming emotional attachment to Harper makes this an especially high-risk scenario, and Jasper tells him he doesn't want his friend to have to lose anybody else...
The dwindling group of those rebelling makes it difficult to continue to raise the elevator manually, and the rubble separating others that follow ALIE begins to shift like they are getting closer and closer. In a last ditch effort, Abby threatens to hang herself if Clarke doesn't give them the answer, but Clarke sobs and says she can't give it up for the sake of the world's survival. She proceeds to drop with the rope around her neck; at the same time, Bellamy and Murphy bust through the doors. Murphy cuts Abby down with only a moment to spare, while Bellamy shoots and knocks out Jaha -- but not before Jaha struck Ontari in the head to prevent her being used as a vessel. The two free Clarke, though they realize Ontari is bleeding out and, at the very least, is brain dead, making their entire schemes and hopes seem intangible with only one nail-biting episode remaining.
Overall Grade: 9/10
This first part of the finale was a high-stakes episode, like The 100 is always able to do, but brought the sci-fi elements of the series back to the forefront of the plot. The balance between the apocalyptic yet futuristic dynamic makes this season different from where we were last season, in a refreshing change of pace for an evolving drama series. There are so many interesting plot lines to tie up in the season finale so I can't help but feel like we're in for a major suspenseful thrill ride before the conclusion next week!
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
- ALIE is still that diabolical villain who manages to be a formidable opponent.
- My theory remains that Clarke could be the next commander in some capacity (just not sure how she'll obtain what's needed like Becca did).
- Murphy saves the day! The misunderstood character saved multiple lives while finding the time to bring out his snarky side, well done sir.
- Raven is still probably one of the most brilliant characters of the series for repeatedly showing ALIE they won't go out without a fight.
- My heart still hurts for Octavia, and a happy ending this season doesn't seem too likely...