The 100, “Bitter Harvest” returns the focus back to Clarke’s burdens from her past crimes against the Mountain Men, while A.L.I.E. finds hope in her new followers at Arkadia. “Hope” is a tough pill to swallow after suffering through so much pain. Meanwhile, Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), Kane (Henry Ian Cusick), and Miller (Jarod Joseph) spy on the Farm Station uprising and attempt to save more grounder lives. A pretty tough episode for fans of the Blake sibling relationship, considering the diverging paths both find themselves walking along. This episode in particular showcases how The 100 writers can seamlessly tie together two ongoing season plotlines with one swift scene.
“This is a gift from King Roan of Azgeda for Wanheda,” explains Titus (Neil Sandilands) as he presents a large box to both an unsuspecting Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey). Finally, the scene I have been waiting to see since the season three trailer. Clarke coming face to face with the last mountain man, Lt. Carl Emerson (Toby Levins). Perfect timing considering Lexa’s declaration that “Blood must not have blood” in “Hakeldama.” Now Clarke must decide if this is applicable to vengeance for her people too; after all he is the assassin from “Ye Who Enter Here.” The man responsible for all those Skaikru lives lost. “This is both proof of Azgeda’s loyalty to the coalition and an answer to yet unanswered questions,” continues Titus; I am still confused about Roan’s intentions behind this gift for Wanheda. He has always been skeptical about Clarke being worthy for her grounder title as “the commander of death” (3×02). Roan (Zach McGowan) just likes to test Clarke. Really, all I hear from the note is – soon enough he’ll return to the fold. She’s going to need help soon enough, as Titus continues to plot behind the Commander’s back, and views Clarke as a threat to his own agenda. Titus tries to align himself with Clarke as she contemplates her final act of retribution against Emerson, “Did you not wipe out his people for what a few of them did to yours?” I really like this scene, because we continue to witness the strain Clarke’s present words and past actions have put on her relationship with the grounders. She wants to bring hope to all people on the ground, yet history proves her allegiance will always be to Skaikru; when forced to choose.
“I didn’t destroy Mount Weather, you did. 381 people, 181 men, 173 women, 26 children… two of them were mine,” states Emerson after Clarke confronts him in his holding room. On The 100, there aren’t necessarily good guys or bad guys, because life isn’t that simple. Clarke may be our main heroine in the series, but she still murdered his people, his children to save her own. I adore this scene as director, Dean White, continuously spins the camera around the pair throughout the entire exchange. A perfect visual representation for the “cycle of violence” that both Clarke and Lexa are trying to end. Clarke ends up walking away from Emerson, and for a moment it seems that he has won their war with her choosing to take his life. Then fast forward to the execution ceremony scene, “I wouldn’t be killing you for what you’ve done. I’d be killing you what I’ve done,” explains Clarke to Emerson after choosing that he be banned from the coalition’s lands. The last mountain man is the living embodiment of Clarke’s guilt; but the political repercussions from choosing to kill him out weighs any other gratification from Emerson’s death. “I hope you live forever,” states Clarke after Titus declares the full brunt of his banishment as Emerson’s life is a constant reminder that he’s the last of his kind. Both Taylor and Levins deliver the emotional complexity found in this final scene they share together, as they communicate their victory and loss through mere eye contact. Sure, each deliver some great lines but their performances really support the writing to it’s fullest extent.
“With the loss of Mount Weather resources Arkadia will be starving in less than a year,” says Pike (Michael Beach) during a meeting with his inner circle; that now includes both Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Monty (Christopher Larkin). Did anyone else flashback to season one in this moment? This scene just reminded me a lot about Chancellor Jaha announcing that the ark is dying to his inner circle; is life really that much different for Skaikru now that they’re on the ground? Well, the Blake siblings are certainly heading in their separate ways as Octavia says “My brother is on the wrong side,” as Miller tries to convince her to talk to Bellamy. She instead chooses to warn the grounder village that Pike intends to remove from precious soil that they can use to raise crops for a food supply. Octavia probably should have chosen to serve as Bellamy’s voice of reason, considering how the grounders use her to set a trap for her brother and his team. Again, Dean White continues to impress with this sequence at the grounder village and Monroe’s (Katie Stuart) untimely death. This series is set in a post-apocalyptic world, yet after the poisonous gas gets released I felt like a scene played straight from an Iraq war film; utter chaos. The true turn in this plotline comes with a final meeting between Pike and Bellamy, “Two of our people died today, because of her [Octavia] not to mention the gas poisoned the soil, making the ground useless.” Bellamy refuses to allow her sister to receive punishment and instead offers to find proof that Kane is the true traitor in Arkadia. The same man who is desperately trying to get Bellamy on his side, oh the irony! I feel like there is a clock set on this story line as viewers who saw the season three trailer are just waiting for that epic Bellamy and Octavia throw down; tick, tick, tick, boom!
“Blowing a station out of the sky to get others to join isn’t exactly a Unity Day story,” explains Jaha (Isaiah Washington) to A.L.I.E. (Erica Cerra) about the thirteenth station. An important lesson in history since A.L.I.E. came to Arkadia on a mission to find version two of her program, “I’m just saying that programmers and engineers don’t go to a version two unless,” but Jaha cuts Raven off from finishing her thoughts about A.L.I.E.’s current condition. Nope, I really did not consider that this artificially intelligent being is on a survival exploration to find the upgrade her creator made… but sent into space. We also begin to further understand how the key into the City of Light works as a neuron transmitter that inhibits certain neuron pathways to prevent pain receptors from going off. This is why Raven’s leg still doesn’t work, but she no longer feels any pain. Abby (Paige Turco) observes a much more alarming side effects from Jaha that motivates her to ban the substance in Arkadia. See, she mentions Wells, and Jaha responds as if he has forgotten his son entirely, “It seems to be doing a hell of a lot more than stopping pain.” Remember Jaha’s pain stems from emotional guilt and heartache, very different from Raven’s physical pain. The City of Light allows him to detach his personal feelings from people, making it easier to bury those pesky decisions that burden a leader with guilt; just like the forgotten thirteenth station. If anything The 100 season three proves that no sin stays buried on the ground; fast forward to the ending scene between Titus and Murphy (Richard Harmon). We learn that Titus is not only torturing Murphy for information about Clarke, but the “sacred symbol” too. The camera slowly pans back into a wide shot to show an old abandon Polaris shuttle from the thirteenth station. Bring on those science fiction elements from the first season, because we’re upon the halfway point.
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