‘Perverse Instantation: Part One’ was the first of the 2-part finale The 100 has planned for its third season. This first part is all about setting up and starting the final battle vs Alie and her kingdom of “chipped zombies”.
Fighting your enemy is one thing, but fighting your brainwashed friends is an entirely different one as it adds an extra emotional weight to it. We have seen it over and over again this season: Alie and co. try to chip someone who refuses, but they finally give in when a loved one is threatened. This had become a somewhat repetitive pattern that was bound to be broken at some point. Choosing to break it by having our main character, Clarke, have to watch her own mother hang herself was a level of cruelness that I only expected from The 100 writers.
In this first part, the king of Ice Nation, Roan, makes a comeback to help Clarke enter Polis. However, their plan doesn’t work and results in him being shot (killed?), which gave me the feeling that they only brought him back to give the character closure because they didn’t know what to do with his anymore. We’ll see, he could still come back in Part 2 as some sort of last resource-Deus Ex Machina. Clarke and Roan’s plan was to infiltrate Polis to put the flame in Ontari, something that seemed crazy a few episodes back, but that has now become the “best bad option”. The reason why the plan didn’t work is because Alie already knew they were coming because Jasper had been chipped. I had read some Reddit users speculating that Jasper had been chipped in the previous episode, but it still came out as quite surprising since it happened right after he hugged Monty in what seemed to be some kind of closure for his getting-over-Maya storyline. Jasper hasn’t gotten better and the fact that he ended up taking the pill voluntarily as we all expected proved it. I’m not particularly happy with this decision as I preferred it when the show did the unexpected by having Raven take the pill instead of Jasper, who was the most obvious candidate. I believe it would have been best to have Jasper get over his grief naturally and embrace his new mission alongside Monthy, but, as usual, The 100 opted to go with the most dramatic choice by having Jasper state that there’s no hope and that the ground is not really survivable after all. At least Devon Bostick’s performance as chipped!Jasper was both convincing and scary!
Most of the excitement of the episode came from Bellamy’s team infiltration, as they bumped into Murphy’s team midway. The show did an excellent job at creating the excitement that should come with an infiltration mission and that was lacking in some of Season 2’s Mount Weather scenes. Some of the camera work, especially the one in the elevator, was extremely well-done as well. However, my favorite part would have to be seeing Bellamy and Murphy fighting together, especially given their backstory in Season 1. Murphy also continues to be one of the best characters of the season, as he also keeps getting the best lines of the show (“after this, doing the right thing can kiss my ass!”). We also got the opportunity to see a very emotional reunion between Indra and Octavia in which they talked about getting revenge on Pike, as well as Indra saving Kane from the explosion. As Part 1 ends, things couldn’t look worse – they are inside Polis, but Ontari is now brain-dead, so there’s no Nightblood to put the flame in.
One of the reasons The 100 manages to stay entertaining week after week is the fact that everyone has beef with everyone, making coordination and teamwork much more juicy and interesting. Everyone has suffered and everyone has made bad choices, but they still have to make an effort to get along to face a common enemy. Next week’s Part 2 will show whether team effort is enough.