EPISODE REVIEW: The 100: “We Are Grounders, Part 2” (Season Finale)

Kevin Long
Kevin Long's picture

Ok, let’s get the gonzo journalist crap out of the way first: I have just finished reviewing two concurrent series. This one, and “Cosmos II: Armed and Fabulous.” Cosmos, obviously, I was disappointed by. This show I rather surprisingly enjoyed, though I wouldn’t care if it got cancelled tomorrow, or six weeks ago. Enjoyed, not loved.

But that’s not the point. I found reviewing both shows…straining. I don’t know why this was particularly. Anyone who followed me on Republibot back in the day knew that I frequently cranked out three or four reviews a night (On the old Cartoon Network Friday night lineup), and sometimes I did as many as SIX. And I did shows on other days of the week too. In addition to my Friday duties, I did reviews for whatever genre shows appealed to me (Kings, Lost, SGU) or that I felt obliged to cover for the sake of the community (Defying Gravity, the Prisoner reboot, Caprica, that horrible final year of Galactica-in-name-only, etc). This was surprisingly easy for me.

Why did I do it? I did it ‘cuz TV reviews are the #1 draw for a website like this. People immediately hop online after a show ends, and look for info about it. It pays to be fast. Reviewing a genre show like The 100, you get probably 35% of your hits in the first hour after it airs, and probably 75% within 24 hours. After that, it dwindles down to nothing. And as I can type and think fast, and I’m good at it, I cranked out as many reviews as I could as quick as I could. Easy. No sweat. 

And now it is.

I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m depressed (Well, there’s no ‘maybe’ about it, I’m depressed as hell, but that might not be the cause), maybe it’s that the site seems to have lost interest in TV, maybe it’s the unending turn-it-up-to-eleven nightmare stress I’ve been under for the last three and a half years, from my dad dying over Christmas in in 2011 up through my wife’s major surgery this month. It just never lets up, and it’s taking a toll on me. Or maybe it’s just that I’m half a decade older, and I can’t keep up anymore. Honesty, I don’t know, and I find I kinda’ don’t care enough to figure it out, and find a workaround it.

Basically, I kinda’ don’t want to review TV shows anymore. I don’t know if it’s a universal thing, or just related to both of these recent shows being unimpressive, or if it’s symptomatic of my very-probably mental meltdown, but there it is. When The 100 returns in the fall (And it *HAS* been picked up for a second season), I will probably be watching it, but I don’t believe I’ll be reviewing it. I just can’t seem to work up the energy. Can’t work it up for much of anything, really.

So there you go. On to the season finale:

ON THE ARK:

The plan is to sever the bulk of the station from the big wheel. The maneuvering thrusters will then brake the bulk of the station to the point where it’ll enter the atmosphere. It’ll then fall apart, and some sections will survive and others won’t, they can’t really predict it very well. Unfortunately, the separation doesn’t work, so Kane attempts to sacrifice himself to save  all the rest, only to find out that the Chancellor has ALREADY sacrificed himself to blow the station manually.

Clarke’s mom (And Kane’s) segment lands, and they check in with the Chancellor, who’s the only one left in orbit. They describe the situation. He says he’ll stay online as long as possible and try to put them in contact with any other segments that survived. He’s got a week or two of air all by himself up there.

ON THE GROUND:

The 100 (Actually 82 as of the start) attempt to bug out to the coast like Lincoln suggested, but they get intercepted by Grounder scouts and have to run back to the shelter of the camp. They decide on plan B: Hold off the grounder assault as long as possible while Raven rigs the rocket engines to work again as they have plenty of excess fuel. Once they’re running, the kids will retreat back to the dropship, and fire the engines, incinerating all the grounders.

Alas, Raven is bleeding to death from Murphy’s gunshot. Finn decides to try to make it to Lincoln’s cave to retrieve coagulant, and he and Clark admit their love for each other.  The Grounders, meanwhile, are making feint attacks, getting the kids to waste bullets. They’ve been torturing Murphy for information. When the kids figure out the feint technique, they decide to just attack for real.

Finn finds Lincoln, and gets what he needs, but he has the idea of going and pissing off the cannibalistic, possibly-mutant Reapers. This they then do, and the reapers chase them. Finn and Lincoln lead the Reapers to the grounders, and the two groups start beating the hell out of each other.

Octavia is injured, and can’t make it back to the camp, so Lincoln takes her and promises to keep her safe. When the Grounders break down the wall, Bellamy and Finn are trapped outside. Realizing there’s nothing they can do, Clarke orders them to shut the dropship hatch and fire the engines. As they’re doing this, Ava, or whatever the Grounder Queen’s name is, jumps through, and the kids beat the living hell out of her.

There follows a pretty cool scene where the engines fire and incinerate everyone for a hundred yards in all directions.

The next morning, the kids come out with Ava as a captive. There are charcoal briquette bodies everywhere, and Clarke is obviously afraid both Bellamy and Finn are dead. Suddenly, red smoke bombs fly in to the camp.

“What the hell?” Clarke says

“Mountain Men,” Ava says. Everyone blacks out.

Clarke wakes up in a very sterile hospital room with now windows, clearly underground. She looks out a portal in the door, and sees Monty (Who went missing two eps back) in the other one. Next to him, she sees a sign that says “Weather Mountain Quarantine Wing”

The End

I have to say, this was a damn fine episode from start to finish, and a much bigger, better finale than I’d any hope to expect. It was well directed, and pretty well paced (Octavia’s farewell is a bit too long), and pretty action packed, tense, and exciting. Best ep of the season, which, really, your finale should be, right? My only complaint is that some of the fight scenes were hard to follow, being at night, with no lighting, and people dressed in black, and shot largely in medium shot and closeup, with people wearing masks. Hard to tell what was going on. But otherwise: Great.

Nice that Weather Mountain made a comeback after having been abandoned as a plot point 10 episodes ago.

Evidently Weather Mountain was not unmanned (As the Ark thought), but has maintained a pocket of civilization just like the Ark itself did.

There’s some obvious Wheedoning going on here: we’ve got the “Reapers” who are close to the “Reavers,” both phonetically and in terms of what we actually see them doing. Finn and Lincoln lure these guys into following them, luring them into battle against the Grounders in much the same way that Mal and the Serenity lured the Reavers into attacking the Alliance ships. It’s pretty much note-for-note.

The climactic firing of the rocket engines is actually VERY much like a very similar scene in the book, “When Worlds Collide.” In that book, Earth is about to be destroyed. A rabble attack a facility trying to force passage on some space arks that are under construction. They fire the engines on the arks, and that kills the rabble.

Is Murphy still alive? (Likely) Raven got her meds, but will she be paralyzed or will she be fine? (Probably fine) Did Bellamy and Finn survive? (Of course) Did any other space station segments survive? (Probably not).

These and other questions will be solved in October, when season 2 begins. But I probably won’t be telling you about it.

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Kevin Long is a very sad Science Fiction author, who’s had two of his short stories complimented by Larry Niven. He (Kevin, not Niven) 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. That would probably cheer him up some.

 

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