“Hakeldama” begins with a field of dead grounders and ends with an order from A.L.I.E. to a new follower. The 100 writers balance between showing repercussions from recent actions, with rehashing the decisions our characters made that led them here… to present day Arkadia. Overall a pretty great episode with a few plot twists, theories confirmed, and strong character beats. Granted, I am biased for any episode that features A.L.I.E. pulling our central character’s strings.
“In this world when people leave, they don’t come back,” explains John Murphy (Richard Harmon) to Emori (Lusia D’Oliveira), as she persists on meeting her brother Otan (Mik Byskov) at Arkadia. Murphy’s line contains dramatic irony, considering her brother’s death took place a few scenes prior to their conversation. If Emori had gone after her brother then, chances are slim that she would return, considering no grounders are allowed to enter Arkadia. There’s also a layer of situational irony found in Murphy’s words. Back in “Wanheda Part II” Murphy rejects the City of Light faith and leaves Jaha (Isaiah Washington) behind. He’s an unbeliever in both A.L.I.E. and the idea that people return. During Murphy’s final scene with the vengeful grounders, we witness him becoming a prophet for the “sacred symbol.” He may not be a believer, but he’s a true scavenger. More importantly, John Murphy may have just verified a very popular theory within the series’ fan community; Lexa’s agenda with Titus, the Nightbloods, the City of Light; it’s all connected. The “sacred symbol” is an infinity sign, suggesting ideas about eternity, immortality, the afterlife, and reincarnation. Funny how the writers reintroduce Murphy’s story line with him playing dead to deceive an unsuspecting scavenger. I just hope he sticks around for a few more episodes before temporarily disappearing again; we’re finally getting answers.
“Ten against three hundred and none are wounded, how is that even possible,” asks Abby (Paige Turco) to Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) as they witness Bellamy and others from farm station return to camp. Pike (Michael Beach) does not debrief the camp on the previous night’s retaliation attack, but instead he spreads his anti-grounder propaganda, “My goal is the creation of a self-sustaining, prospering, and safe Arkadia.” Later, Bellamy learns that to achieve this goal Pike’s next move is ordering an attack on a nearby grounder village. Pike convinces him that they are just doing what needs to be done for their people’s safety. This includes removing all sick grounders into a holding area for the time being, yep Skaikru voted for this type of leadership within their camp. I wonder if Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) got to vote in the election? Just wondering, because he made the decision to stay living amongst Skaikru and now he’s in a holding cell along with his people. Plus, it hurts to overhear Bellamy self-justify his actions to Kane, “Don’t tell me the difference between Trikru and Azgeda… Trikru killed thirty-seven of my friends before you even stepped foot on the ground.” We are really understanding the reasoning behind switching the opening narrative from Clarke to Bellamy this season. Clarke left her people and has a different perspective of life on the ground; while many in Arkadia share Bellamy’s perspective; for better or worse. He’s not wrong either. The grounders did attack Skaikru first and “Blood must have blood,” correction, “And let it be known blood must not have blood,” states Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey). During the end of the episode the commander decides to change the grounder way and takes Clarke up on her proposition to “end this cycle of violence,” even if that means letting a massacre go un-avenged. Anyone else notice Indra’s (Adina Porter) uncertainty in agreeing to Lexa’s command? This makes me believe that not only will Lexa die at some point this season, but it will be a betrayal from within her own clan. Everyone keep a close eye on Titus during the next few episodes. He’s probably already a City of Light prophet.
“The war you predicted, the day you left is about to begin,” states Kane to Jaha upon his return to Arkadia. Throughout this episode there are many character references to who they were before and after they’ve landed on the ground. “I was born for this,” remarks Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) before entering a secret passageway out of Arkadia; remember she used to hide under floorboards as a child on the ark. She’s the forbidden second Blake child. Just a day after electing a new Chancellor, they welcome back Jaha into their midst. Interesting parallels are drawn between Skaikru’s former leaders who abandoned their people; one sneaks in and the other walks through the front door. “I am not the same man that I was on the ark, Charles,” insists Jaha during a private conversation between him and Chancellor Pike. Not to mention the woman in the red dress providing commentary during the discussion, “He feels threaten by you,” observes A.L.I.E. (Erica Cerra). I love this scene, because it’s very reminiscent of the relationship between Number Six and Dr. Gaius Baltar in Battlestar Galactica (2004). There’s this fine line between prophet and puppet that these male characters walk throughout the series. A.L.I.E. is an artificial intelligent just like Number Six. Jaha may have returned to the camp as a humble servant, but he’s still a public figure amongst his people. Pike is put at ease during their conversation as Jaha explains he just wants to save people, “by freeing the mind from physical and spiritual pain.” Have no fear Chancellor Pike, just establish a clear separation between church and state.
“We, Lexa and I… the ice queen is dead, the problem was solved and you let Pike ruin everything,” explains Clarke (Eliza Taylor) to Bellamy (Bob Morley). Finally, these two characters have some screen time together again. They have such great on-screen chemistry. The scene also serves as a pleasant reminder that these two have been leading Skaikru since the beginning and they rely on one another. Bellamy ultimately shifts into self-justification mode, when Clarke indicates her disappointment in his new alliance with Chancellor Pike. He actually makes a strong argument considering “You were going to drop a bomb on my sister.” I almost forgot about that incident from “Rubicon” (2×12). This is true. Lexa did convince Clarke that she could not warn her people about a mountain men missile targeting their council meeting. Just another command Clarke gave that has led her to assume the “Wanheda” grounder title. Bellamy’s reaction about her return to camp also strikes a nerve with her own insecurity as a leader for people she abandoned, “Clarke, you left me… you left everyone.” During the previous point I compared this series to Battlestar Galactica; well meet #Bellarke, who is our Apollo/Starbuck counterpart. Hopefully Bellamy and Clarke will find each other later on in the series… just not too late like their predecessors. “I’m sorry for leaving, but I knew I could because they had you,” says Clarke right before Bellamy cuffs her to the table. Octavia distracts Bellamy long enough for Clarke to grab his taser and she uses it on her friend, “May we meet again.” Well, the lines have definitely been drawn as Clarke now understands that Arkadia is not the same camp she left behind in the season two finale. The writers also use this plot to help foreshadow a future falling out between our Blake siblings, “If you keep doing things like that, soon I won’t be able to protect you,” says Bellamy to Octavia; just like how your “ark princess” is now struggling to protect you (Bellamy).
“There’s no simple way to eliminate pain and you know it,” states Raven (Lindsey Morgan) suggesting A.L.I.E. to her prophet. Another smaller, character arc gets incorporated to one of the main storylines this season. Raven’s escalating sorrow isn’t something new for us viewers after her breakdown following the attack on Mount Weather in “Ye Who Enter Here.” The writers pick up right where they left her… wallowing in her own sorrow. Abby has gone ahead and pulled her from active guard duty, due to the stress it puts on Raven’s previous injury. Then we observe Jaha giving a sermon out in the field to a few skeptics, only to have Raven disrupt the service. Now her initial disbelief in the City of Light is different from Murphy’s unbeliever position. Raven’s hope continues to be torpedoed time and time again; while Murphy knows the truth about A.L.I.E.’s mission. This character difference leads to Raven making a different choice, when Jaha presents her with the “key to eliminate pain.” The writers close the episode with Raven swallowing “the chip” and literally walking off her pain. All set to the song “Thousand Eyes” by Of Monsters & Men; nice choice to create a very Frankenstein’s Monster tone. Absolute perfect sound mixing between the added thunder and soundtrack music, queued up to Raven meeting A.L.I.E. for the very first time. Really, this closing scene seamlessly makes me both excited and a bit fearful now that A.L.I.E. is in Arkadia. Poor Raven has misplaced her faith once again in false hope; in a lie.
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