Last week I wrote an article on the limits of fiction and whether TV shows should start adding trigger warnings at the beginning of certain episodes. ‘Fallen’ was one of the most intense and entertaining episodes we have had in a while, but the show should have considered adding warning for dark sensitive themes like graphic self-harm and dubious sexual consent.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers
One of the reasons why The 100 surprised many people during the second half of its first season is because it went from being a pretty generic teen survival series to something much darker and serious. ‘Fallen’ takes those dark themes to a whole new level, not only with very graphic and disturbing images, but also with the fact that literally every character is suffering right now. Last week I talked about how this season’s events feel so hopeless, like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. If you think about it, none of the characters are in a good place or in a position of helping others, and so everyone is hopelessly trying to survive and “do the right thing”, if that’s even possible anymore.
Octavia is devastated after Lincolns death, resulting in an insatiable blood thirst and a beating to her brother followed by the words “you’re dead to me”. Just as most siblings, Octavia and Bellamy have had their ups and downs throughout the seasons, but now I’m starting to wonder whether their relationship is fixable at all. I believe that, whether it is or not, is actually connected to whether Bellamy’s redeemable at this point. The problem is Bellamy had already gotten his redemption a long time ago and so having him fall for Pike’s words so easily is probably the dumbest character storyline this season has pulled.
We are not seeing that much from the Grounders ever since Lexa’s death, which I’m not going to complain about because the Sky People’s stories are much more interesting at the moment. Ontari is just plain unlikable. Not only does she have big shoes to fill after Lexa’s death, but she’s also ruthless, narcissistic and just plain evil. The fact that her storyline seems to be stuck until she can officially become Heda isn’t helping either. Murphy, who has always worked as a free agent forming alliances in his best interests, finds himself dragged into Ontari’s game. Ontari trying to seduce him was the last straw. Murphy is not interested in her because he wants to be loyal to Emori (aww), but she still doesn’t care. Murphy giving in was played for laughs with the line “the things I do to survive”. In a way, this does relate to what I said about Murphy being a clever person who will do what he has to do to survive, but Ontari forcing him to have sex with her was still wrong. The reason why is because, if Murphy had refused, Ontari would have probably killed him or kicked him out, meaning that Murphy wasn’t making a choice, there was just no alternative.
I was saving the best for last: Ithere is one MVP in ‘Fallen’ that is Raven Reyes, both for how badass her character is and for how impressive Lindsey Moragan‘s acting was. Raven refuses to give in to the City of Light if it means losing her memories and humanity. She figures out a way to get rid of her connection to the City of Light that involves using the old wristbands (are we going back to Niylah’s trading post?). Unfortunately, Alie gives her her memories and pain back, which forces Raven to relieve some of her most painful moments, like Finn’s death and the time she had to undergo surgery without anesthesia. That one scene in which Raven screaming due to all the excruciating pain and suddenly switched into Alie-mode was incredible. Everything from the look on her face, the tone of her voice and the twisting of her neck was both creepy and mesmerizing. Ironically, Jasper, the character we all thought would be the first one to give in to the painfree world, is the last one standing. All Arkadia has been taken over by the zombie-like City of Light people (that was quick!) and they are ready to start “Stage 2”. As Jasper escapes from Arkadia, Clarke reappears just in time to see that even her mother has joined the City of Light. I guess now both of them will have to get along if only to get that wristband to change the situation. Maybe Bellamy, Octavia and the others will join too?
‘Fallen’ is the episode that ties several storylines and plot points of the season so far, and it does so in unexpected ways. Many things have changed since the beginning of the season, and while the show didn’t handle all of those changes that well, the resulting situation that we have at hands is still appealing. Now, if The 100 stopped relying on unnecessary graphic content and pointless events for the sake of shock factor, that would be great!