The 100 "We Are Grounders, Part 1" Review: We Built This City

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jun 05, 2014

The 100 S01E12: "We Are Grounders: Part 1"

The penultimate episode of The 100's freshman season was the first part of a two-part finale, but it's probably more accurate to call it the second of a three-episode arc. Last week's "The Calm" was big on setup, but "We Are Grounders, Part 1" wasn't much better. The series continued to set up dominoes with the distinct purpose of knocking them down next week, but nothing really happened. Monty is still missing, the Grounders have yet to attack, and the Hundred are packing up to move away from their base camp. The big moments have yet to come, and I have no doubt next week's finale will be exciting and fun (for us, not for them), but this week was just a bit of shuffling disguised as action as we waited for the final pieces to fall in to place.

Murphy attempted to make Bellamy feel everything he felt when they hung him earlier this season, and I suppose he was mostly successful, but Bellamy was also rescued when Raven was able to open the door and Octavia and Jasper rushed in. I never thought for a second Bellamy was in any real danger, which is funny when you look at the show's death toll, but the writers have worked so hard to make him a semi-respectable character who acts to balance Clarke's general sense of optimism, that he's probably more safe than anyone. Just look at his impassioned speech in the final moments of the episode. If you honestly think the show would kill a character willing to give a speech like that, a character willing to risk staying in their poorly constructed camp to save his people, then you and I are watching two different shows.

But for all of Murphy's doucheyness this week, I rather liked this particular storyline because it forced Bellamy to face the repercussions of his actions, which proves the series isn't willing to just forgive and forget. After the way Bellamy was pardoned by the Chancellor earlier this season, I wondered whether the series was going to make a habit of sweeping major transgressions under the rug when it came to its protagonists, so I rather liked seeing Bellamy trade his life for Jasper's and face the consequences of his actions, even if he was silently counting on Raven to come to his rescue the entire time.

Speaking of our favorite mechanic, I don't know at what point Raven became injured—surely it wasn't when Murphy blew a whole in the side of the ship to escape—but she's currently sitting pretty with what looked to be an abdominal wound. It's a good thing Lincoln rescued Clarke, I guess! But still, as Lindsey Morgan is only listed as a guest-star—similar to Ricky Whittle who plays Lincoln—I live in constant fear the writers will make her their next victim. Considering eliminating Raven would mean eliminating their only mechanic and one of the stronger, more intelligent characters, I don't see it happening, but then again, I didn't see them introducing characters who eat live humans either. SO WHAT DO I KNOW?

Lincoln put himself in harm's way and killed one of his own people to rescue Finn and Clarke this week, and he even sacrificed himself so they could escape from the aforementioned human devourers known as Reapers, which makes me his number one fan. For as many episodes as we've seen him, Lincoln and Lincoln's motivations are still mostly a mystery. We know how he feels about Octavia, but what has made him turn against his own people in favor of the Hundred? Obviously we know why we're rooting for them, but what happened in Lincoln's life that made him act this way? I hope he survived the Reapers, because A) that would have been a terrible way to go out, and B) I need answers!

Even with all of this, we were still very much in the wait-and-see stage this week. It's not a knock against the episode—it was still an entertaining hour as we realized the Grounders are probably the lesser of two evils (three if we include the mysterious Mountain Men who are likely Monty's kidnappers), and we learned a bit more about the hierarchy of the Grounders society, but mostly we're just supposed to wait for next week. Even the action on the Ark was a setup for the finale. Realizing they could use the thrusters to propel the Ark into the Earth's atmosphere, and thus to its surface, felt a little ridiculous, to be honest. And frankly, it felt very, very stupid. 

We've seen what happens to bits of the Ark when they enter the atmosphere with no way to keep from breaking apart or burning up, and its stretching even my patience to think this plan of the Chancellor's could actually work. I've forgiven The 100's silly science mistakes until now because A) I'm rubbish at science, and B) I've had other things to focus on. But when an episode has very little forward momentum, it's hard to turn a blind eye to an epically flawed plan. That said, here's hoping Abby and Kane survive the descent to Earth's surface because I don't want to watch this show without them. 


– We know there's at least one person between Anya and her commander. Do all Grounders live in units? Do all Grounders have their jobs within a militarized society? I am dying to find out more about these guys and how they live. They seem to get more interesting with each passing week.

– LOLOLOLOLOL Finn is in love with Clarke. At least Clarke admitted he broke her heart and wasn't so quick to forgive him and get all lovesick over his admission. There are more important things at hand, anyway.

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  • Adicted_87 Aug 07, 2014

    OK am I missing something! Abby is still on the ark? Wasn't she on the ship that crash landed a few eps back?

  • ben45tpy Jun 08, 2014

    Not the best episode but I'm happy with how the show's going at the moment. They've managed to keep up the stakes, the sci fi, the characters and the ethics and not let them be overpowered by 'shipping (although apparently some commenters value the show's shipping above all else). The finale should be really strong.

    I'd prefer if they maintained 13 episode seasons for this show to keep up the quality but I doubt that will happen, even FOX is struggling with that model and this is CW for Chrissakes.

  • Mangalore Jun 07, 2014

    They expect 95% of the arc to disintegrate on entry so I don't see how they don't see their plan is majorly flawed, it's just a better chance than dieing without trying.

    In essence they want to find 5% of the station they might turn into a makeshift landing vehicle or more precisely a container that is a little less of a coffin than the other parts of the ship.

    As desperate plans go this one is clearly in the "We don't have anything to lose anyway" department.

    At best we can hope for maybe another few hundred of the Arc to actually survive that plan. Still better than suffocating.

  • WinchesterX5 Jun 07, 2014

    I really enjoyed this episode...and how adorable is Bellamy now that he's fully embracing this good guy/hero stuff? :) I am a bit concerned about the adults coming to earth though and lets face it they are coming, the crazy plan will work and at least some will survive. If the adults reach earth they will completely alter the dynamics we've been watching, in fact they will alter the characters themselves. I suppose it could be interesting to watch the adults try and take charge and the teens resist.. but that might takes us into cliche stroppy teen territory.

    I do enjoy the adults and parallel storylines though so maybe a compromise would be that some adults reach earth but remain separate from the 100. They won't have much control over their descent and the 100 are moving away from where the adults think they are...with no communication between the two groups and entire planet they could be kept separate fro a long time. The adults could come down in a completely different part of the world and in a different type of society.. that might be cool, two stories for the price of one. And of course struggling to find each other gives a problem that could last for series after series. I wouldn't mind that if it stays at this standard. :)

  • ZoranJovanovi Jun 07, 2014

    I hate Finn and Anya. Reapers could eat them to make things interesting.

    Other than that, reviewer got it all right.

    I hope we get surprised in season finale.

  • MichelPilgrim Jun 07, 2014

    Don't kill Raven!! (She got wounded when Murphy shot the floor, right?)

  • WinchesterX5 Jun 07, 2014

    Yes, she was underneath the floor when he sprayed it with bullets. :)

  • aeverhart139 Jun 07, 2014

    The best was not writing the typical epic "I love you too moment" It i so much more interesting, having that not work out. Bot to mention, they're boring. Snnnnnnooooooze. IF there is gonna be some epicness w/ Clark, gotta be Bellamy... they just fit.

  • Oenc Jun 07, 2014

    I like Clarke and Bellamy. They compliment each other well and I like Bellamy and his character. Very interesting development.

    This whole season since we found out that the Arc was dying, I was wondering why they just don't bring the whole thing down? Looks like they saved that bit for the finale.

    I like how gritty this show is. I was worried that it would be a glossy hollywood pretty people teen drama thing, but it actually does well to explore human instinct and character. Can't wait to see what happens next.

  • Scrabble Jun 07, 2014

    Thought for a minute that half would go with Clarke and half stay and fight with Bellamy. Thinking about it now though, I'm glad that's not the case. With only one episode left, them splitting up and the extra plot threads that would need to be followed is maybe more than the show could handle.

    I don't share your enthusiasm for Lincoln. I don't dislike him, I'm just not interested so far. I agree I'd like to know more about the character and his motivations though. Hopefully they won't make it all about Octavia. Lincoln saying he was helping because what his people had done 'was wrong' just struck me as very off. They'd done a good job showing that things were more grey and the 100 were not completely guilt-free. This felt like a step back.

    The Ark storyline may be ridiculous but I'm happy to overlook that if it's the only way to get the adults on the ground. Shame they're running out of resources too and are so crippled.. Won't be quite the unstoppable threat to the grounders the 100 hoped for.

  • Mcarson09 Jun 07, 2014

    Raven was shot when Murphy shot at the floor, how did you miss that? Clarke is too good for Finn, but the show doesn't have any competition for Finn so they will be back together in short order. I like Raven and Bellamy because they are good for each other. The angst has taken up a lot of the show, but at least there has been more story to keep everything smoothly. The reapers feel too much like a firefly copy but everything else keeps me going. I hope it gets a 22 episode next season.

  • thekaitling Jun 07, 2014

    Sometimes when you're busy taking notes and watching a show, you miss things.

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