EPISODE REVIEW: The 100: “We Are The Grounders, Part 1” (Episode 12)

Kevin Long
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The two-part season finale begins, and it’s got to be a step up after last week’s virtually-plot-free placeholder, right?

ON THE ARK:

Having done all the damage control they can do, the inescapable conclusion is that everyone on the Ark will die in less than sixty hours. Initially they simply resign themselves to death. Yeah, they kinda’ suck like that. They’ve spent 97 years in space, and they’re still not very good at it. Eventually, the chancellor decides to use the station’s thrusters to pile into the atmosphere at a point of their choosing. The station would break up, but about 5% of it would survive, and presumably anyone in that 5% would survive.

ON THE GROUND:

Clarke is a prisoner of the grounders. A man named “Tristan” shows up and takes over Anya’s force. A signal fire goes off in the distance, and all the grounders freak out about the “Reapers.” In the confusion, a man is assigned to kill Clarke, but it’s Lincoln. He and she escape. They make it to the signal fire in the distance, where she’s reunited with Finn. It’s explained that Lincoln abandoned his trip to the coast because “What my people are doing to yours is wrong,” killed one of his own, and rescued the kids.

Once the rest of the grounders figured out what happened, they chased the three of them, so they ducked into some tunnels that lead “Everywhere.” While trying to find their way back to the camp, they stumble across the Reapers – essentially CHUDs* - and Lincoln apparently sacrifices himself to draw them off while Finn and Clarke get away. Finn gets attacked by one of the reapers, and beats him to death with a rock. Clarke examines their food, and discovers the bad guys are eating live people.

Yup.

So they get back to the camp.

MEANWHILE,

The camp is furiously preparing for the expected grounder attack. Murphy is captures in mid-murder by Jasper, who he takes hostage. Bellamy offers himself in exchange for Jasper, and Murphy takes the deal. Jasper and Raven find an access panel so they can get beneath the floor in the lander, and hot-wire the doors to open. This they then do, but not before Murphy attempts to hang Bellamy, and fires off several rounds at random.

The good guys come in, but Murphy’s escaped to the upper deck. He uses their remaining supply of gunpowder to blow a hole in the hull and escape. Jasper hugs Bellamy in the best scene of the episode, “It’s a long way from ‘whatever the hell we want’,” he says, which is a nice callback to the start of the series.

Raven’s been shot by one of Murphy’s stray shots. Clarke and Bellamy are immediately at loggerheads: Do they stay where they are, or do they run for the coast like Lincoln said? They decide to make a run for it.

To Be Continued….

OBSERVATIONS

Well, yeah, this was a whole heck of a lot better than last week, wasn’t it? I mean, yeah, the pacing was off. The orbital stuff wasn’t really keeping up its share of the work, so we don’t have a solidly tripodal story here, but it wasn’t bad. I’m looking forward to next week.

It’s interesting that Anya is removed from command by Tristan, and that Tristan works for “The Commander.” (Cobra, I assume, ‘cuz that’d be cool, and GI Joe never gets enough love) Evidently so does Anya. Up until now we’d assumed Anya was the local cheiftainess, but, nope, these people are organized more like an pre-Napoleonic army. It’s unclear if they’re simply keeping order, or if they’re actually at war with someone, though given the introduction of the “Reapers,” the latter seems likely. Also, Lincoln makes several references to fighting battles that don’t jibe with the “I’m a proud Indian brave” kind of talk we’ve heard up until now.

The Reapers, presumably, are the live version of the deformed humanoid skeletons we saw in the pilot, and which have never been referenced since. I don’t like the name. Their look and their actions are too close to Wheedon’s “Reavers” from Firefly. They live in the caves, come out at night, catch people, take ‘em back down below and eat ‘em while still squirming. Can anyone say, “Morlocks?” But of course Morlocks were smart, and these people appear dumb as rocks.

In any event, the grounders seem to fear them, and cut them a wide berth.

I’d wondered if Murphy was a mole for the grounders, or just a psycho. Spoilers: Just a psycho.

Who or what are the friends on the coast that Lincoln has made repeated references to? By the way, though the show has never stated it, the 100 are in Virginia. Heading east to the coast would most likely bring them to the Norfolk area. That’s a super-high-priority target by anyone’s standards, and since we’re looking at a postatomic world here, it stands to reason that Norfolk would have been nuked. Several times, probably, and it’s probably still radioactive as hell. I’m betting the show won’t have thought that up, but I’m just pointing it out here so I can be conspicuously smarter than the writers. It’s been that kind of week. I need to make myself a big man by tearing down weak shows.

Anyway: I reiterate that getting down from orbit isn’t hard. Getting into space is the hard part. Getting down requires just a good heat shield and some parachutes. It’s cutting edge 1961 technology, dude. It’s cake. The whole “We don’t have enough ships” thing has always been the most irritating part of this show for me because it is simply not at all logical. Given the resources they have, they could easily build landers. Or, failing that, they could put people inside metal balls coated with several inches of graphite and some parachutes, and just chuck ‘em at the ground. My point being: It’s really damn easy to get out of space.

Anyway, looking forward to the season finale next week.  

*- “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers”

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Kevin Long is a well-reviewed Science Fiction author, who has written four full-length anthologies, and is at work on several other projects. His personal website is here and his Smashwords page here. Or, if you prefer Amazon, his books are here, here, and here. His most recent book is here: http://www.amazon.com/Bones-Angel-Kevin-Long/dp/1499324138/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401922876&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bones+of+an+angel and he just got a facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100008371740774 Check him out, follow him, buy his books. They’re only $1.99. How can you lose?

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