WARNING: This review contains spoilers
The 100 is determined not to lower the bar this season, keeping things intense in every single episode so far. Fast-pacing has always been a thing in this series, but some plot points started suffering the consequences in ‘Watch the Thrones’.
I have mentioned this before, but this season has a civil war feel to it. Tension within the Grounders is nothing new, but what started off as an unpopular disagreement within the Sky People, grew into a much bigger uprising in ‘Watch the Thrones’. As cool as the gladiator-like fight between Lexa and Roan was, I felt like the Arkade plotline had a lot more emotional impact. Or at least it should have had it.
Pike appeared out of nowhere this season to lead a smaller party who don’t agree with siding with the Grounders. Far from disappearing due to the extermination of nearly all of Pike’s people in the Mount Weather accident, his oral speaking is good enough to win a lot of new people to join his cause, including Bellamy. The thing is, I’m not sure that Pike’s motives and the motives of the people he convinced are the same. One could understand that some Sky People might want to join in the mistrust towards the Grounders out of fear. After all, they have been attacked by Grounders countless times and the idea of “us vs. them” is always appealing in these kind of conflicts. However, Pike doesn’t seem to act out of fear. In fact, he said that he doesn’t even want their help (“we can defend ourselves”), meaning that Pike is not so afraid that the Grounders might betray them, but convinced that they will because of their nature. To him, anything that’s not Sky People is bad news. And that’s a very dangerous mentality.
Still, it felt very rushed that Pike was named chancellor so soon. And it’s even stranger that he was able to convince Bellamy. As I started watching this episode, I began writing about how much I like his new-found relationship with Kane and his magnificent character development. It did seem that Bellamy had taken a 180º turn from the first episodes of Season 1, but by the end of this episode, that turn seemed to be of 360º. I understand that he feels guilty (although we didn’t have enough time to care about Gina), and I understand that he feels betrayed by Grounders (even though that girl belonged to the Ice Nation), but I don’t think that would be enough to convince him to kill 300 Grounders who are there to help Arkadia after all. And if it is, then Bellamy must be more gullible than I thought.
On the other hand, we have the Grounders. Nia challenges Lexa to a death battle, only the one to be fighting Lexa won’t be her, but her son, Roan. Genius Clarke tried to convince him to become King instead because his mother doesn’t care about him anyway. Even though it’s not enough to convince him, Lexa agrees with Clarke’s point of view and shows that she has some heart too when, instead of killing Roan when she had the chance, she kills the Queen instead. This was a very powerful scene for several reasons. Not only was it unexpected and badass, but Lexa also finally got to avenge Costia. However, it still felt a bit sudden to kill Nia so fast after she had just been introduced. This episode was a big victory for Lexa and Clarke, but I’m starting to fear for Lexa’s life. The introduction of Aden, who is presented as a very promising kid who would become next commander if Lexa were to die, can also be seen as foreshadowing for Lexa’s demise at some point.
Meanwhile, Jasper continues to wander aside the main storyline. I thought that he had already hit rock bottom and that his time alone in Mount Weather would be enough to confront his feelings and start healing, but I couldn’t be further from the truth. Monty makes a good point in saying that he’s suffering too, but in a more healthy way. However, as much as I understand some viewers hating on Jasper right now, I also have to give credit to The 100 for portraying realistic and different ways of mourning. The truth is not everyone will deal with trauma in the same way. Oh, and once again, nothing from Jaha, Murphy and co.
The 100 has never looked more Game of Thrones-y, and no, that’s not just a pun for the title of the episode. The series doesn’t seem like it’s going to be hitting the brakes anytime soon, but it would be nice if we had a breather every now and then to keep building new characters so that future events will be more emotionally impactful. I guess it’s too late for Nia and Gina now.