There are no moments of reprieve left on The 100 as bad situations gradually become worse until a dire situation becomes simply hopeless. Such is the case in this weeks episode of “Gimme Shelter” as we hit the halfway point of a season that has seemed as grim as anything the series has ever done. Sure, there are moments of levity such as Murphy dancing and cooking as Emori and Clarke enter the compound, or last weeks relieved smile between Clarke and Bellamy after avoiding seemingly imminent danger, but that sense of doom looms ever large over the heads of these characters, and it’s near suffocating. In an episode as thrilling and suspenseful as anything television has to offer, The 100 made sure to hammer home just how seriously they made business.
No character or viewer is being let off the hook easily.
Here are some thoughts I had throughout the episode.
What relationships will remain intact?
If we are to take Clarke’s words in the trailer for next weeks episode seriously, there are only ten days left before the death wave hits which will certainly eliminate many of the background (and perhaps even lead) characters that are currently on the roster. However, with relationships deteriorating it will be interesting to see whose dynamics we’ll be invested in by the time tragedy truly strikes.
Bellamy has seemingly finally let Octavia go and out of his protective grasp, a huge move for a character who from his earliest moments was defined by his need to play guardian to her, both out of responsibility and guilt. On top of that he’s made yet another fisure in his and Kane’s relationship while in his moment of comfort, Bellamy reminds the man of their history which includes the death of his memory.
No dynamic on the series lays unscathed, demonstrated beautifully with last weeks episode where Raven and Murphy had to work together and now Murphy and Clarke working side by side. The relationships may not be strong and may be weighed down due to the stress that comes with the end of the world, but will the characters be able to realize those bonds, however tethered, are all they really have left?
Morality is yet again called into question.
The 100 has never shied away from presenting the morally gray decisions the characters have had to make in order to secure the future of their people at large and this theme is brought into the highlight yet again this week though through a somewhat unlikely character.
There’s the expected dilemma of Abbie having to decide if it’s worth possibly killing a man in order to ensure the survival of the human race and Bellamy going against instincts to try and rescue two men who didn’t make it inside before the black rain came before having to give in so that he won’t be another victim but it’s Emori who makes the more polarizing decision of the week.
When faced with the fact that she’d likely be the named called to endure the testing of Luna’s bone marrow cure, Emori seeks refuge in a lowly thief, condemning him to her expected fate by telling Clarke and co., that he committed great sin against her, putting Clarke and the rest into the belief that if he’s as evil as Emori states, then at least they can rest easier by knowing that the the victim of the lab rat testing will be someone who was far from an innocent.
Nothing is going to end well
I don’t think I’ve felt such an air of defeat since Game of Throne’s “The Red Wedding” and that’s no small statement. The 100 despite airing on The CW has never had trouble in conveying an atmosphere that lent people to believe that these characters were hanging onto survival by the tips of their fingers. Now it seems as if they’re as close to loosing grasp as they’ve ever been with so little time left at their disposal.
It’s up to the show now how they decide to move forward with this mood. Not a show you’d typically associate with stress it’s increasingly become an anxiety inducing series because showrunner Jason Rothenberg has accomplished his goal in making sure no viewer believes any of the characters are safe. With a season five on the way what are we supposed to believe and have the writers managed to write themselves into a corner?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see just in case the characters have some sort of trick up their sleeves to save them from what appears to be unstoppable doom.
What did everyone else think of this weeks episode of The 100? How much do you doubt your favorite is going to make it out of season four totally unscathed?