EPISODE REVIEW: The 100: “Unity Day” (Episode 9)

Kevin Long
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First, the big news: “The 100” has been picked up for another season!

I have to admit I didn’t see that coming. The ratings haven’t been terrible, but they’re certainly lackluster.  Also, it turns out I was right: the first season WAS a 13-episode deal, which is common for midseason replacements. The second season deal is unclear, but it’s probably a more standard 22 episoe season. That’s  13 with an option to pick up the ‘back 9’ episodes if the ratings are good enough to justify it.

Ordinarily I’d ruminate more about what all this means, but I kinda’ hurt my hand this week, so I’ll keep my review uncharacteristically short and sweet. (“Hooray” said the audience)

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ON THE ARK

It’s “Unity Day,” the day the Ark celebrates the unification of the thirteen space stations that survived the nuclear war. While the celebrations are going on, a bomb explodes killing six people. The station is immediately locked down, and suspicion falls upon the new councilwoman, who took Clarke’s mom’s seat. As you’ll recall, she was the previous chancellor. Kane’s mother is one of the six who are killed.

Kane’s forces go looking for the new councilwoman (I’m sorry, her name escapes me) and her own people tell her she’s suspected.  She tells her people to hijack “The Exodus Ship” and take it to the ground. This will take several hours, so she turns up in the rescue operations, claiming that a mechanic set the bomb. “He surrendered to my people. He blames you for the death of his wife in the culling.”

Kane goes to interrogate the guy, but it’s a trap. Most of the guards are on the side of the councilwoman/former chancellor.

The mutineers end up shutting down most of the power on the Ark to get The Exodus ship ready to go. Clarke’s mom is captured.  Kane is rescued, but unfortunately, the ship is still plugged in to The Ark’s life support, and if it cuts loose it’ll cripple the station and everyone will die. (Exactly how quickly isn’t stated).

The mutineers detach, and the Exodus Ship pulls away from the station, doing a heck of a lot of damage as it goes. There are explosions, but by that point our POV is too far from the station to see terribly much.

ON THE GROUND

Octavia has been sneaking off at night to have sex with Lincoln, the grounder she helped escape. Finn follows her one day, and gives Lincoln back the very same knife he stabbed him with. Lincoln, it turns out, had been sounding a horn to warn the 100 whenever his people had been hunting them.  Finn and Lincoln set up a meeting between their respective leaders: Clarke for the 100, and the leader of the Grounders.

Later that night he springs this on Clarke, who agrees to go along with no weapons (At Finn’s insistence), but secretly tells Bellamy, and says to bring guns just in case. Bellamy’s team follows at a discrete distance.

At an old bridge full of obvious symbolism (It’s even crumbling in the middle!), Clarke meets with Anya, leader of the grounders. She’s played by Dichen Lachman, whom I’ve had a running crush on since she was in The Dollhouse. I think that’s officially done now. I know it’s superficial and all, but she was super-creepy-looking here.

Anyway: So Clarke and Anya Try to hammer out a treaty, but Anya isn’t in the best of moods, as it turns out those flares from a few episodes back set fire to a village. Also, they’re not thrilled about Lincoln being tortured. Meanwhile, Bellamy’s team notices archers in the trees. As the negotiations APPEAR to be kinda’ working, maybe, Jasper freaks out and starts shooting the archers. Things go south quick, and Lincoln takes an arrow saving Octavia. Everyone runs away.

Back at the camp, they reflect on how they’re definitely at war now if they weren’t before. They see The Exodus Ship coming down, but it crashes behind a mountain, evidently exploding. OBSERVATIONS

The direction on this episode was great! The only think hampering it was the lengthy and randomly-spaced commercials that REALLY messed up the pacing. One scene feels cut in two, actually. This is an increasingly annoying thing in broadcast TV, but here it seemed even more excessive than usual.

Everything on the Ark was done really well tonight, but I have to single out the terrorist attack (Genuinely startling!), the death of Kane’s semi-estranged mother (Which was genuinely moving), and how quickly the good(ish) guys figured out who was responsible. I like that they’re not total idiots, though they should have taken her into custody under suspicion rather than waiting for evidence.

This is the first time we’ve seen any national symbols other than American flags. In the Unity Day celebration there were 13 flats. I counted the US, UK, Brazil, I *THINK* Argentina, Portugal, and Russia.

I liked how excited Clarke got when she saw horses.

Finn tells us that Unity Day is actually a sham. He said that the stations didn’t cooperate until they were more-or-less blasted out of the sky. I’m not sure exactly what that means. Was someone shooting at them from the ground, or were they fighting each other? Probably the latter. This also implies there were MORE stations initially, and that only 13 survived.

That’s actually a pretty neat idea. Earth is dead, and the last survivors in LEO are killing each other to get supplies. That’d be a fascinating show in and of itself, don’t you think? I’d kind of like to see a series about that!

It is deliberately nebulous as to whether the Grounders intended to negotiate, or if it was a trap. The archers may have just been a precaution, same as Bellamy’s group. Jasper shot first, but we don’t know if he started a war, or if he saved everyone’s lives.

I like how Bellamy and Clarke’s professional relationship has grown.

So how bad are things on the station?

Why did The Exodus Ship crash? Obviously not everyone died ‘cuz Clarke’s mom is on it, but still, what happened?

We still don’t know what caused the nuclear war.

Anya the Grounder Princess says that others have tried to wipe her people out and failed. I’m wondering what this is in reference to. I can’t help but feel there’s some third group here on the ground that we haven’t met yet. There’s those non-human hominid skeletons from the premier, after all….

What I said about Dichen Lachman stands, but they were deliberately making her creepy. She had a very weird gait when she walked and her shoulders were pushed forward, and her arms didn’t move much. Creepy!

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Kevin Long is a well-reviewed Science Fiction author, who’s fourth book is called “The Bones of an Angel,” and it just came out this weekend! (Check it out herehttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/433927 and here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K348VGI ) and he’s written three full-length anthologies. He used to blog under the name “Republibot 3.0,” but now that his stalker is dead, and he can afford to be less paranoid, he uses his real name. His personal website is here and his Smashwords pagehere. Or, if you prefer Amazon, his older books are here, here, and here. Check out his site, and buy one of his books. He’s got a wife and kids to support!

 

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