The City of Light/A.L.I.E. storyline is one that had felt disconnected from the main plot ever since it was introduced at the end of Season 2. ‘Thirteen’ is the episode that finally ties Alie to The 100 mythology, and it does so in a wonderfully executed and satisfactory way.
WARNING: This review contains HUGE spoilers
Titus is a character that has been disregarding Lexa’s opinions and decisions for most of the season and I guess we were all too focused on hating Pike, Jaha and Bellamy to realize how dangerous this friction could be. Lexa has had a death flag over her head for most of the season: Alycia Debnam-Carey was guest-starring this season since she is fully committed with Fear the Walking Dead, which is filming its second season in Mexico (The 100 is shot in Canada). The writers have actually been planting the seeds since this season started, like having Lexa mention that she wanted peace to be her ‘legacy’ or introducing Aden, the kid who is (was?) supposed to succeed her. It’s a shame, but it had to happen.
Needless to say, what the writers attempted to do with this episode could have gone quite wrong. Adding Becca’s flashback and the whole explanation on Alie 2 while having Lexa die had the risks of one thing overshadowing the other. Fortunately, the show did a surprisingly good job in telling these events in a way that every revelation came out naturally, ending with an excellent montage paralleling Becca landing on Earth with Alie 2 being removed from Lexa’s nape.
‘Thirteen’ was not perfect, though. Even though Lexa’s slow death served to give a very emotional and impactful goodbye to her character, the way in which she died felt very lackluster given the strength and power of the character. On another note, while Lexa and Clarke making love was believable and very touching considering it was their farewell, it kind of cheapened the effect that it happened right before Lexa’s demise. It felt rushed, and as if the writers felt obligated to have them have sex at least once (especially after Clarke slept with Niylah earlier on, someone who meant nothing to her compared to Lexa).
On the other hand, we have Octavia, who keeps going her own way. She did not only convince Clarke to return to her people, but she also seemed to be the one teaching lessons to Indra (how the tables have turned!). Octavia is one of the characters who has progressed the most and is quickly becoming one of my favourites and so I really hope she plays a crucial role this season. It would be nice to see her bury the hatchet and join Clarke as a mediator between Grounders and Sky People, for example. One way of doing this would have been to have her be in the room while Clarke gave her goodbye to Lexa. At least it would have been more fitting than having Murphy awkwardly standing there.
Despite the obvious “Bury your gays” problematics of this episode, Lexa’s death added a lot to The 100 mythology. ‘Thirteen’ had its problems and a big side of the fandom is understandably not happy, but, in the big scale, it was also one of the best episodes of the season, and one of the most important ones in the entire series.