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