It’s flashback time, which means one of Clarke’s lovers has to die. Ascension Day was a good frame for the flashbacks. We learned not only what it means to current-day Trikru, but how it originated through the flashbacks. And now we know that Alie 2 is this AI chip that functions through interfacing with humans, so it should theoretically be more human itself.
I’m not sure how retconny it feels because Lexa doesn’t feel particularly super-intelligent. However, she did manage to unite the 12 tribes and she did have a knack for finding alternative solutions, like killing Queen Nia and blockading Arkadia. The one thing that does feel weird in retrospect is the whole thing where she wanted Clarke to leave her to get mauled by the bear-beast-thingy (I don’t remember what it was anymore). Wouldn’t it potentially eat the commander chip?
It was really cool seeing the actress who plays Alie also play Becca. So I was wondering if Alie had been let out, but it turns out she got out herself, bypassing all the safeguards. Becca determined Alie was too dangerous, but she still kept Alie alive. Her hubris / faith in AI also gets the 13th station destroyed, when she refuses to give Alie 2 up, saying that Alie 2’s intelligence is what will keep the human race alive. I think she truly believed that and she wasn’t just saying it to prevent them from floating her precious. In a way, she wasn’t completely wrong because the air only lasted 1 century instead of 2. It was good to finally see Becca’s motivations and it helped answer more questions.
It seems like Alie 2 was created to correct Alie 1’s faults, and not to combat Alie 1. They already had a “poison pill” for Alie 1. I suspect that Alie 1 may have had an idea of what Becca was trying to accomplish because I bet Becca tried to explain to her that she didn’t understand humanity. Pure speculation, of course.
It’s still unclear what nightblood is. It looks like it’s necessary to host Alie 2. Lexa and all commanders had nightblood. Becca injected it before she was interrupted and told they wanted to float Alie 2, so it doesn’t look like it was created to stop radiation. (But perhaps that’s a pleasant side effect? I don’t understand how Becca was able to take off her suit and not die right away.) The first nightblood was created through injection, so it doesn’t seem like it’s a genetic thing, maybe? But then how are new nightbloods created in this world? In the cave paintings, we see the first “natblidas” who correspond to the people Becca saw when she landed. She had enough to inject them, I assume.
Based on Lexa’s tattoo and the conversation with Clarke about it, it seems like there were 9 nightbloods in Lexa’s class (including herself). It sure sounds like they kill off all the other nightbloods when one is picked as commander. (Which truly makes me wonder how new ones are created. It also makes me frightened for all those kids who didn’t get a line, and I’m guessing Clarke will try to stop the murder.) But one escaped this fate. It was probably Costia, whom Lexa would save, and that may have been how Queen Nia created her nightblood. I even wonder if the nightbloods are created by doing something to pregnant women. It makes sense that the other nightbloods are killed because it would prevent a lot of succession conflict.
Seeing Lexa in a meditative state reminded me so much of Jaha. It just hammered home the AI parallels.
I put subtitles on when I did my second watch, and I noticed that the phrase used to deactivate Alie 2 (make its tentacles go bye-bye) is [indistinct] both times. I don’t even know what language it is. I don’t think this is the case, but it would be cool if the grounder language already existed pre-apocalypse. I do think that this phrase will be important later.
We got to see even more of Titus. We know he’s the Flamekeeper who transfers the AI from person to person. He is a badass who’s able to take out a would-be assassin in Semet. After seeing him take out Semet, I figured Murphy didn’t have a chance in hell of killing him. I also figured Murphy wouldn’t die because he is unkillable. Seriously, I’d be more shocked if Murphy died than if Clarke died, haha. We also know that Titus’s agenda is protecting the commander (not some secret nefarious AI-agenda) and that he more specifically has an emotional attachment to Lexa. But he has his own ideas about what’s important (blood must have blood), how to govern, and how to keep Lexa safe that creates conflict between him and Lexa and him and Clarke. We learn that “love is weakness” is from Titus. Not sure how long he’s been preaching it, pre- or post-Costia, but I’m guessing it’s been a consistent belief of his. It’s an interesting contrast to Alie 2 needing to know how to be human. Love is important to the human experience, and Lexa recognizes this through the end, which means it could be something the next commander will know too. On that subject, the scene with Lexa shouting that she knows how to separate her feelings form duty was great.
On first watch, it seemed like the Americans were just being jackasses when blowing up Polaris. However, on second watch, I realized that the Chinese and Russians were also getting jumpy and thinking about backing out. So, it also a show of power to prevent other stations from getting cold feet. I’m not sure why the dude didn’t just tell them about it. Not the smartest plan.
Tumblr exploded when Lexa died. At first, I didn’t realize the dead lesbians thing was a trope. Total blind spot on my part, which was made worse by me not realizing that it wasn’t just shippers overreacting. I won’t say too much on this because I didn’t even know it was a thing, so it’s not really my place to comment. However, I think it’s unfair to criticize the show merely for killing off Lexa because of 1) her contract situation and 2) the show’s willingness to kill main characters, including Clarke’s male lover. It does seem fair to criticize the show for how it happened because she did right after sex and because it was a stray bullet. On second watch, though, it appeared as if Lexa was running to the room, not just randomly wandering in to get hit. I think she was truly concerned about Clarke and going to help her, but I don’t think all of that was conveyed as clearly as it could have been (the shock was more important for them to convey, which may also have been a mistake if they wanted to avoid some of this backlash). Read other people for a better discussion of this. Lexa was an awesome character, and I’m sad Alycia’s gone. She did get a tender send-off. And at least the sex scene didn’t seem to be catering to the male gaze. When I re-watched the episode on Hulu, it was advertising Fear the Walking Dead, and I may be more interested because of who’s on it.
Murphy was one of my favorite things about this episode. For now, he’s the one person in this world who knows that there are two AIs. Crazy! I enjoyed his, “Trust me, I have no faith” line which says so much about him as a person. The delivery by the actor was great. I also cracked up at the “worship garbage” line. No offense, lol.