Welcome back to our reviews of The CW’s The 100. To read more coverage, click here.
There’s this itch in the back of my mind since watching season four’s penultimate episode of The 100 that we just watched one of the best, if not the best, episode the show has given us to date. Engaging with every aspect that has made the series such a thrilling and often times distressing one to watch, it delivered on action, apocalyptic visuals, moral quandaries, significant loss and even greater sacrifice among its characters. It was a emotionally enriching hour of television after the uneven, if moving episode prior, bringing together a group of characters who, if aligned right, should make for an all consuming installment in the finale this upcoming week.
No episode in the series (perhaps, as I mentioned last week, aside from season one’s “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”) has fully encapsulated the great pains of what it means to be a leader in a threatened society as well as “The Chosen”. While there are the obvious pull on your heartstrings moments as seeing a young boy separated from his father, the latter sentenced to the death wave, it’s the character moments that stick out the most, as Kane, Abby and Jaha all meet their wits end in terms of what they’re willing to sacrifice. Abby is at the point where she no longer believes her life is one worth saving, telling Kane that she will be outside the bunker when the wave arrives. She believes that after the lives she’s sacrificed all for the “greater good” of her people that she is unworthy of saving.
Perhaps she’s right. But she’s also the primary doctor on hand and also the woman who saved Kane from himself so of course, after knocking out the rest of his people, he makes sure that Abby is on the right side of the doors.
We see Jaha almost go down an infuriating path of no return when he plans yet again to steal the bunker for his people alone, rather then sending over 400 to die. What works in this storyline however is that we, for once, understand where Jaha is coming from, even if we don’t agree with his methods. His explanation of how his people had been ready to live, had accepted their safety and were at peace only for it to be violently taken from them resonates, despite it being his fault that they had felt that false sense of security in the first place.
The next aspect that makes the whole narrative work is that he doesn’t succeed and he comes to that choice on his own, with the help of Kane of course. He realizes that by revolting he’s taking his society backwards and possibly risking the lives of everyone, loosing the 100 allotted spots for his people.
Kane however has perhaps the most crushing moment, when he looks down at the bodies of his knocked out people as they’re bodily separated from those who will live and those who will die, muttering about how this is how his people survive, using it as a mantra to justify the horrific sense that he’s executing the majority of his people to ensure the survival of some.
Despite how intriguing it’s been watching all of the factions making the painful decisions on who lives and who dies and will likely have painful fall outs once the wave hits, it’s the group of our original leads that makes for some of the most exciting moments of the episode. After their mission to rescue Raven and bring her to the bunker fails, and Echo, Monty and Harper join their team, Bellamy, Clarke, Murphy and Emori, they head to the island to come up with their next idea to out sprint death once again.
This time? It will be with the help of Raven’s rocket, and they’re going back space, back to the arc.
It’s oddly poetic to see this group of outcasts, leaders and scientists group together to return from the place they were cast out of, especially when we know the fraught relationship they all had with space considering the restrictions that came with it. However, this is a live or die moment and with the clock ticking down on them, there’s little room for error or misstep which should make the finale something to marvel.