Monthly Archives: February 2016

The 100, Season 3, Episode 5

So one of the problems with analyzing this in real-time instead of binge-time is that sometimes the viewers have to have patience. Bellamy explains himself more in this episode, to both Kane and Clarke. He tells Kane not to lecture him on the difference between Trikru and Azgeda because the former killed many of his friends before Kane got to the ground. He says “they” and Lincoln is pissed. The Bellamy-Clarke conversation is especially raw. You can see that he felt hurt and abandoned by Clarke leaving. His reasoning isn’t wrong, and it’s some of the things I wish he had said before. He mentions Lexa’s betrayal, and how Lexa’s betrayal forced their hand with the Mt. Weather genocide (my word, not his). He says that they were people who trusted him. That reminded me how it wasn’t Clarke on the inside of Mt. Weather, which made this decision a little more abstract for Clarke. She knew there were innocents, but she didn’t fight side by side with them, or have one of them save her life, like Bellamy did. Bellamy put a lot of trust in them to hide his people, and he betrayed their trust. The Mt. Weather thing messed up Clarke, it messed up Jasper (who spent even more time with the people than Bellamy), and we’re seeing that it messed up Bellamy too. I love that this show can have the characters previous decisions weigh over them so much. It was a really great scene.

That said, I do wish the storyline had been given more time to breathe. I wouldn’t have even minded Bellamy saying more of that stuff before his convo with Clarke; I don’t think it would’ve taken away from this scene. I mean, Pike is a candidate the night before, then chancellor in the next scene. I wish we could’ve seen more debate. We know that the election is close from when Kane congratulated Pike, but it would’ve been better to see people’s viewpoints more fleshed out. Perhaps there are scenes that didn’t make it, or maybe there’s just so much more shit to get to into the overall storyline that will make me forget about it all.

When Bellamy says that this is the person he’s been all along, I was like, “NOOO ZUKO!!!11!”

Bellamy also welcomes a full-on assault by the 12 clans, instead of fearing it, as everyone did in season 2. We’ve seen the power of assault weapons, though, and the technological advantage is very, very real. It gives the viewer more doubts about who would prevail. Perhaps Pike has given Bellamy more confidence too. Kane still thinks the war is coming and it will lead to them getting wiped out.

Pike creates an internment camp and the choice of language is very intentional. It’s supposed to remind us of the Japanese internment camps. Who knew it’d feel even more relevant with a renewed hatred towards Muslims and a certain candidate refusing to initially even condemn the Japanese internment camps. Pike is supposed to embody these harsher impulses when we are in these kill-or-be-killed situations. That’s not to say that his morality has no shades of gray, but he justifies his decisions by pointing out all the future lives he’ll save. It’s not just Pike, though, who has these impulses. It shows how democracy isn’t a buffer against it. The people weren’t tricked. The people knew what this was, and they voted for it. I wonder, though, if Pike will become more authoritarian towards his own people. So far, he hasn’t, and we know he doesn’t want internal strife. Kane respects the democratic process, but I don’t think Octavia is enamored, saying that maybe they should do things differently.

In other news… JAHA IS BACK! Be still my heart. I was so overcome with emotion I had to text multiple people. I have to say that Jaha is suprisingly straightforward. He told Abby that Otan was in the City of Light. He tells Pike basically everything too. The only thing he doesn’t tell about everyone right away is ALIE, which I suppose is a big deal.

I loved the the scene with Pike and Jaha. First off, it’s good to see two black characters as main characters conversing with each other, instead of seeing black characters as peripheral characters, side pieces in a white story, as I’ve seen in so many other shows. Second, it reminded me so much of Gaius and Six in Battlestar Galactica. The double-conversation was pretty fun. The music also reminded me of Battlestar, whenever it showed us Alie. So far, Pike doesn’t see Jaha as a threat. Pike explicitly mentions Jaha’s time in the wilderness, which only solidifies the Jaha-Moses parallel. Now, Jaha is more of a prophet.

I always expected the broken ones, Jasper and Raven, to be the first ones to enter the City of Light. I thought it would be Jasper first, but instead it was Raven. Her initial skepticism is definitely well within character. And her motivation to try it was well-done too. Abby taking her off duty makes her feel more and more useless as a person. She’s hit rock bottom. She’s angry and depressed. Jaha’s right that she has nothing left to lose. Or is he… I suppose next episode we’ll see what else you give up when you enter the City of Light. Yes, there’s no pain, but what else does it do? We’re going to delve deeper into the theme of what makes one human. Are pain and anger and grief essential (as they are to Murphy)? Alie initially tells Jaha that the digital and biological are equivalent, but maybe they’re not. Abby is the one who benched Raven, so she’ll have to give the all-clear to let Raven work again, which means she’ll do more doctor-stuff to examine what the infinity wafers do. (My friend said that the pill reminded him of communion, so from now on, I will refer to them as infinity wafers. Also, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it reminds him of communion. It kinda is like they partake of Alie’s body and become one with her.) Even with anything crazy Abby finds, I’m pretty sure seeing Raven walk is the miracle that will convince more people to join Jaha. By the way, we’re getting some cool varied representation of disabled people between Raven in this show and Furiosa in Mad Max. When Raven finally saw Alie, I was so excited.

There’s a lot of speculation going on about Nightbloods based on Lexa’s tattoo. I didn’t bring it up before because I hadn’t seen it until recently. Look it up, but she’s got broken infinity sign. People suspect that the infinity wafers have nanobots, and the nightblood makes them immune. The commanders are opposed to Alie. I’m not sure I buy it yet, but there is definitely a link.

We last see Murphy getting taken by Trikru (I think. They seem to have tattoos, and they say it’s the commander’s woods and Trikru lives in the woods.) people to be punished for stealing. Emori is still free. One guy finds his infinity wafer and says “The sacred symbol.” So why do they know about this symbol? What do they know about the City of Light? Hmmmmmm…. Murphy tells his captor to float himself, which I find as hilarious as when Clarke told Lexa to float herself. You realize that this means nothing to the grounders, right?

One more big moment is Indra suggesting that they use guns to Lexa. In the first or second episode, Indra refuses a gun when Kane offers one, so this is new for her. Warfare will get a lot more gruesome.

We see how much Lexa has changed when she says, “Blood must not have blood.” That’s kind of a big deal. Clarke has more influence on her, and it’s something Lexa definitely didn’t consider when it was Finn’s blood that had to pay for grounder blood. Indra warns her that Polis and Titus won’t like this, and even though Lexa goes all tough, we know that her hold on being Commander isn’t ironclad, even despite killing the Ice Queen. I’m not sure how Lexa can keep this position once Pike “clears” the Trikru village in his way. And speaking of the Ice Queen, I doubt we’ve seen the last of Roan and Emerson.

There’s still a lot of plot left, and less and less I feel that I can possibly predict. Let’s see where the rollercoaster goes tonight.

The 100, Season 3, Episode 4

Posting this right before episode 5 starts! Man, Legends of Tomorrow has some terrible acting. When it first came on, I thought it was a fake show within a show.

Here are my thoughts for the last episode of The 100:

There were two big storylines in this episode: The attempted coup by Queen Nia and the Bellamy joining Pike storyline. There was also a small storyline with Jasper and Monty’s breakup.

So, Bellamy storyline pretty much went how I was afraid it would go. I expected Gina’s death to be the catalyst to push him towards Pike — and away from Octavia, as we saw in the trailer. (I literally deleted a sentence about this in my last blog post. Wish I had actual evidence that I predicted this, but it’s not really something to be that proud of.) At the memorial, we barely get any more development of Gina. She always saw the light. Blah, bland af, and especially doesn’t fix the fridge girl issue since it’s so generically good. Bellamy says “Gina was real” which felt like the writers trying to convince us that she was a real character. (At least Miller’s boyfriend gets to live.)

The Bellamy stuff also falls flat when he could be providing some nuance to Pike’s view. I don’t mind Pike as a character. He’s frustrating, but after second watch, his viewpoint makes some sense. He has trouble distinguishing between Trikru and Ice Nation. It’s frustrating because hey they look hella different. But so are modern contemporaries who have similar view. Pike says that all they understand is force, which is definitely the show critiquing similar views we heard during the run-up to the Iraq War, and views we still hear now. Pike loses most of his people, and then the second he trusts a grounder, that trust is broken, and he loses almost half of his remaining people. He doesn’t know that he can trust Trikru, and no one really presents a compelling argument to him. I feel like the Kane/Abby coalition was generally bad at explaining things to the people and usually kept things secret. It probably would’ve been better to keep people more informed, especially if an army is coming. Still, the dichotomy feels a little rough because of Bellamy, and because his main motivation is guilt for Gina. I mean, we could’ve hard more arguments about how grounders can’t police grounders because they betrayed us at Mt. Weather. Bellamy specifically warns Clarke to stay vigilant about Lexa, but then this isn’t brought up again. Or we could’ve talked about how precarious the alliance was and how they can’t be sure Lexa will survive to protect them. Well, I guess they didn’t know about that because Nia was in chains at that point, but c’mon, you gotta wonder if Lexa could still hold things together even if you didn’t know about Nia’s plan. Oh and when Pike says we can protect ourselves, why isn’t anybody like, nope, we’ve seen the combined might of the coalition and they outnumber us by a lot.

I like that Pike is still principled and not just a general asshole. Pike is willing to die to protect his people, willing to accept the consequences of being charged for treason, if it means he can wipe out some grounders before they kill him. He’s not evil or dishonorable. He also tells people that we do not fight our own. A step up from the lady who stole the dropship and fucked up the Ark.

Pike and Kane and contrasted through their conversations with Bellamy. Pike blames himself and lets Bellamy blame himself too. He proposes action. Kane thinks the enemy is all grounders. Kane draws a distinction, saying Bellamy should blame Ice Nation. Kane says to Bellamy that given the information he had at the time, he made a reasonable decision. A man after my heart. He gets my vote.

Abby acted like a privileged ass as usual, telling Pike, “Well take it under advisement,” when he criticizes them. Seriously, tell him about how you almost caught fucked when Jaha told you all to leave.

The vote between Kane and Pike was close. That means Bellamy’s support likely was the difference, given that he probably swayed 40 some-odd votes. Well, we know he at least swayed two with what’s-her-name and what’s-her-face.

Usually the bridge between cultures has been love. Octavia and Lincoln first allow the opposing cultures to not instantly antagonize each other. Finn uses them to try to initiate contact. Then, Lexa falls in love with Clarke, and that is what powers their alliance, really. (Along with a lot of luck — good job Abby. That’s a sarcastic good job.) It’s what pushed them into being the 13th clan. Maya and Jasper form a bridge between their respective groups. With Kane and Indra, there’s a friendship. In the episode before this one, you saw that they genuinely trusted each other and enjoyed each other’s company. I think it’s specifically why Kane trusts the forces to protect them. Indra was charged by Lexa to raise the army and she’s the one who radios Kane. It sure seems like she’s in charge. (Which means AH SHIT! for next episode. I hope she doesn’t die!) We got the line about brands and slaughter, but I wonder if they also could’ve attacked Kane’s friendship with Indra. Let’s see how that goes in the next episode.

Aside from the Bellamy stuff, though, I’m still excited to see where this storyline is going. Perhaps once things are in motion, I won’t be so annoyed by Bellamy’s lazy motivations. And besides, it’s still early. A lot of the themes examined in Season 2 that made it so great weren’t really seen until later. It’s still early.

The other storyline was the Nia coup, which was much more exciting and much tighter. Everyone has their own motivations and it’s interesting to see Clarke join the world of political intrigue and negotiate with Roan and try to murder Queen Nia. She does this independently of Lexa, who really only sees one way through this — to fight and win. But even then, she throws the spear through Nia instead of Roan. It’s a savvy move, to make the new king someone who owes his life to you and someone who you’ve proven your physical superiority over. There’s a lot of tension in that fight because anyone can die (and we know at least one person will). It’s the type of show that wouldn’t be afraid to kill Lexa. Thanks Game of Thrones for this. Seriously, the whole thing was exciting. The fight was well-done and the twist was great (even if I predicted it a few seconds early haha).

What the hell is up with nightblood? Why is it so special? Who’s the first commander? Did s/he establish the system of reincarnation? Hm. I feel like this will be more important later.

The last storyline was the Monty-Jasper breakup. Addiction sucks. That conversation was hella real between them. It’s part of why I love the show so much. Between that and the other storyline, it’s more than enough to make up for the Bellamy thing. I like that Maya’s last words still haunt Jasper. They haunt me too because our society has its own corruption that I’m complicit in. (I’m typing this on a computer likely made under shitty labor conditions.) Monty ends up leaving Jasper, meaning Jasper picks to “fall apart alone.” All I have to say is: JAHA TIME! Jasper is at the dropship, which is where Jaha last was before trying to find the City of Light. I wonder if Jaha even cares about his son’s grave anymore. Hm. In the City of Light, Jasper, you will be unburdened. C’mon it’s been two episodes. I need some Jaha.

The 100, Season 3, Episode 3

Apparently, all I can write about is The 100 now. I swear I have other things I care about.

Loved episode 3. Exciting. A few disappointing things. I hate to harp on disappointing parts, but it’s easier to say something interesting about the stuff I don’t like than the stuff I like.

One of the greatest characters on Lost is Arzt, the science teacher. The second he shows up, you know he’s marked for death. He’s a bit obnoxious, and you’ve never seen him before, and they’re going on a dangerous mission to get dynamite. He blows up. It’s a bit tropey, but it’s fun.

When Gina, Bellamy’s girlfriend, shows up, Stevie said she was surprised that I didn’t think she was going to die. I didn’t get the same marked for death vibes, but I guess I didn’t pick up on it. In retrospect, it makes sense given how little backstory she got. We literally know less about her than Arzt (haven’t re-watched episode 3, so maybe I’m wrong). In this episode, she gets stabbed and dies before she can disable the self-destruct for Mt. Weather. The problem is that it feels a little tropey, but the more sexist kind of trope. That is, her death seems to be purely plot fodder for Bellamy. The AV Club review called her a fridge girl, which is fair because of how little her character was developed. Given the history of this trope, it’s not great that the show would rely on it. It feels cheap. Hopefully the next episodes take it in a different direction. This show has earned the benefit of the doubt with its other more developed female characters, making them powerful while flawed in different ways.

The whole Mt. Weather thing felt a little rushed, but I like that this show can still build tension and still surprise me. I was expecting consequences for Mt. Weather. I wasn’t expecting it to blow up the very next episode! The show can do the ticking time bomb, but the heroes don’t always succeed, which makes the tension more real.

At first, I thought all of Farm Station was gone, but there were only 36 of the 60-something at Mt. Weather. I suppose Monty’s mom is still alive. Also, anyone who was upset with Jasper tossing around priceless art… well, it’s all moot now.

That first scene of Mt. Weather, with the mess hall, is really jarring. As viewers, we know the history of the place. The first time we see that mess hall, though Clarke’s eyes, it’s a real WTF moment because we don’t know what Mt. Weather is. There’s an odd feeling of decadence when they’ve been fighting ever since they got to the ground. Now we have the weight of knowing the corrupt system that kept Mt. Weather alive and the subsequent genocide. Then, there we are again, with a similar shot. And people are there again. Oblivious to all of it. For them, it’s simply an abandoned space that’s nice to eat in. They also were fighting since they got to the ground, and it must’ve been a relief to be there. Too bad we don’t get to explore that more, which is why I said the whole thing felt a little rushed. But I do like that the plot is moving forward.

They did develop the Sinclair-Raven relationship more, telling a bit more about their history and then showing him telling her to believe in herself. As a BSG fan, I can’t get over the fact that he lost his leg in BSG and she has a lame leg in this one. I need to make some type of comic/mashup where Sinclair is like, “I lost my leg once. Don’t be like me. Man, I made some bad decisions.” I was glad to see that his character was still around after not appearing in the first two episodes. Sinclair said Abby could fix Raven with the equipment at Mt. Weather. Now that option is gone, so I guess Raven is unfixable now. Except in the City of Light!

The whole Ice Nation plan was confusing and seemed needlessly complicated. I didn’t really get it. Why send them on that wild goose chase? I think it distracted them because Raven said something about some alarms going off or something? Or maybe it was so that the Ice Nation delegate could conveniently say, “Yo, it was us.” Was it just Lexa who banished Roan? The Queen seems cool with getting her son back. Roan also bought off guards, but was he part of the plan too? Where did you get all that money from, exiled dude? I’m not sure why they needed to blow up Mt. Weather and tell Lexa instead of just killing her in the first place if that’s the plan. She is the coalition. Maybe it’s to help convince other clans to join them. I guess the fake-out was kind of cool. I was pretty sure it was a fake-out all along, but it wasn’t until the last minute that I knew it was going to be Mt. Weather. I also knew Emerson would be the one who gave the code, but only knew that after the code first was seen. I was wondering where he went, and didn’t predict he’d be at the Ice Nation before this season. I really wonder how he ended up there. I also have to believe that he has more to offer the Queen than just self-destruct codes. Maybe they’re buying more tech? That assassin did have a watch. Maybe they have more weapons? Also, I have to say that I loved the first Ice Nation delegate who was like, “They were military exercises.” Haha, utter BS. Politics will always be politics.

Here’s a little thing: Titus said, “We’re so close to our goal.” Then, they never explain the goal. What goal? Tell us, what goal???? This is the kind of thing you forget later because there’s so much shit going on, but the show usually does a good job of bringing back all these threads.

I’m glad Abby and Kane, the oligarchs, decided that hey we should have an election. Yay democracy. The campaign against Abby can write itself, though. Posters of Mt. Weather and dead children. Bad decision, Abby.

The 100, Episode 2

I don’t think I have time to re-watch, so this won’t be as deep a ramble.

Spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers spoilers

The City of Light appears to be a digital place, which seemed to be the most likely scenario, when I discussed it with my friend. There’s no pain, which is why you can smack that dude on the head and he doesn’t feel anything, I guess. Not sure if that means you can exist simultaneously in both worlds? I’m still not 100% sure about the rules. Also, no death, so it looks like that dude’s consciousness has been uploaded completely and he gets to look pretty. As I said before, this show equates digital and biological consciousness, so I guess that’s really him.

When (if) Jaha gets back to Arkadia, it seems like Jasper would be a prime recruit for the City of Light. He’s going through so much pain, and the City of Light would relieve that pain. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Abby, who says Jasper has to face the pain to get through it. It’s a very Freudian approach, which I don’t like. (Definitely more sympathetic to things like CBT.) I suspect that this is the dichotomy being set up, and the show’s probably more sympathetic to Abby’s approach, but I hope it’ll surprise me. I’m not entirely sure if it will be because the show’s definitely going out of the way to paint Abby more negatively, which I’ll get to right after one more point. Raven didn’t show up in the last episode, and she’s the other broken one, as described in the opening. She’s also prime for conversion to the City of Light too.

Abby is a terrible leader, and I’ve had that feeling since season one. I wasn’t even that enamored with her shenanigans to tell everyone about the culling. She’s very privileged and kind of does what she wants. Her decisions haven’t been great. She probably should’ve evacuated instead of hoping that she could revive Lincoln. Right now, she’s making the terrible decision to colonize Mt. Weather.

All the shippers on Tumblr are going crazy. I kind of wish Dan Harmon would team up and write an episode where it’s revealed that Bellamy and Clarke were having casual sex for a while and aren’t interested in a real relationship. Also, Bellamy is a master of disguise. I need to make some kind of Gene Parmesan / Bellamy mashup. I ship Jahalie by the way. Just kidding.

It was revealed that Roan, the bounty hunter, is not only from Ice Nation, but is an exiled prince. There’s a lot of backstory that I wish I knew more about. I like that this show is expanding the world by making grounder politics more complicated. I’m also excited to learn more about Polis. Were we supposed to recognize that tower as the wreckage of something famous? What’s the Ice Queen’s end game here? Why is she massing an army? Who else is in Lexa’s coalition?

Lexa wants Clarke to bend the knee and join the coalition. Lexa chose her people at the end of season two and now she wants Clarke to be her people. Clarke still hates her guts. Lexa not only betrayed her, that betrayal forced Clarke’s hand in committing genocide.

The Farm Station thing was resolved pretty quickly. I thought it’d be more of a mystery, but all was told quickly. They landed in Ice Nation territory. Most of them got slaughtered. And now, Pike hates all grounders and apparently refuses to see that some of them are different. Okay, cool, dude, great attitude.

I’m not going to try to make any predictions other than I think things are going to fly off the rails here in ways that I won’t be able to predict. (If I get a chance to rewatch in the morning, I’ll add more notes.)

More thoughts after rewatch

Abby tells Jasper he has to “face your feelings head on,” which is even more Freudian than I remembered.

Alie loves tech and they gather it for her, but Emori says there are other buyers. This seems like one of those little things that could be a potential mindfuck later on, like all those hints about the Mountain Men in season one.

Pike’s first name is Charles, I think? I think that’s what Monty’s mom said. Pike tells Monty, regarding Mt. Weather, “You did the right ting. Kill or be killed,” so we get a little bit more of Pike’s philosophy. Lexa is pretty progressive for a grounder, and Kane had direct interaction with her, but Pike has only been hunted since being on the ground.

Jaha says he was unburdened in the City of Light. I like that they brought back the fact that he lost his son. It was a huge point in season one. There are lots of scenes where Jaha is thinking about his son before he has a conversation with someone else, and that “I lost my son” scene where was really good too. It’s for this reason that I especially thought of Jasper. When Octavia is sitting with Jasper (wow, a lot has changed since Jasper first saved her life), she tells him that it’ll get better and he wonders, “When?” It could get better real fast in the City of Light, yo!

By the way, are they actually in the City of Light, or were they hanging out in the suburbs. Because it looks like you have to take a monorail to get to the actual buildings. Alie says the best part is that there’s no death, but I think you have to have been uploaded to be alive there. I don’t think she could bring back Wells, for example.

It seems like they’re still in the US because there was this “star spangled” text in that place where Roan and Clarke were hiding, and they were still in Ice Nation territory. I wonder if we’ll eventually travel south. There were 12 stations, right? How many are accounted for? I know at least a few blew up on re-entry. One crashed on a cliff and everyone died except for one girl. Arkadia is one and Farm Station was another, so are there anymore potential survivors?

I liked how Roan paused when Clarke says that he’s taking her to the Ice Queen. He just walks away and doesn’t say anything. He’s like that dude in werewolf never actually lies lol. Roan seems to know a lot about anatomy (or at least with regards to stabbing). He knew Clarke almost killed him, and he definitely stabs Bellamy not to cripple or kill, but just to take him out of commission enough in order to make an escape. He could’ve killed Bellamy, but we don’t know his motivations. It probably says something about his character. He also says that the Ice Nation scouts’ deaths were on Clarke, not him, so he’s not super excited about being murdery. We know that, at least. Not like Game of Thrones’s Ramsay or The Mountain.

The Alie-backpack shows up in the first scene, and giant messed-up head dude is super protective. I like that the show sets up stuff right from the get-go.

One question: What’s the difference between Ice Nation and Tree People. Like, why are the linguistics different. Is there government different? (I guess it is because one seems like a monarchy and the other is some weird reincarnation thing.) Are they Sky People because Clarke is like Lexa? Half-kidding. And why were they Mountain Men, not Mountain People? Although I’m not sure if there was a difference in grounder-speak. Okay, I guess that wasn’t really one question.

I thought of another mashup where Jaha and Raven discuss the City of Light. Jaha: In the City of Light, there is no pain. Raven: Will I walk again? Jaha: No. But you will fly.

Last thing: I love bread. That Oprah commercial is the best.


Last last thing: Haven’t watched episode 3, but I’m about to. Just want to say that the Monty’s dad story sounds a little contrived, but only a little.