The 100 "His Sister's Keeper" Review: Siblings, Am I Right?
Well, we couldn't avoid the love triangle forever, guys! After last week's very dark, very mature storyline about the problems facing the men and women on the Ark, "His Sisters's Keeper" focused on the relationships between the Hundred on the ground. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the series had to explore The CW's mandated hormonal teen angst, as well as Bellamy and Octavia's complicated sibling relationship, but neither of the two storylines in this episode were as interesting as they could've been. And they certainly didn't carry the same weight as what we saw in "Twilight's Last Gleaming."
To be honest, after Octavia was kidnapped last week, I thought we were going to spend more time with the Grounders and discover more about their primitive society, but most of Octavia's scenes in "His Sister's Keeper" featured her climbing through tight spaces while wielding antlers as a weapon. I'm not saying I expected to be invited to the Grounders' next council meeting—although I'd like to talk to them about where to buy chains and locks—but we didn't learn much of anything about them this week. In theory, I'm cool with having the Grounders remain mostly a mystery, but before long, they're going to have to do something "serious," because right now they're the Hundred's main enemy on Earth and they don't feel all that dangerous. Especially when they're just picking off faceless nobodies.
In "Twilight's Last Gleaming," the writers made us care about characters we'd just met shining a light on their relationships; unfortunately, they haven't extended the same courtesy to the teens on the ground. If you're on The 100 and your name isn't Clarke, Bellamy, Finn, Jasper, Octavia or Monty (what happened to Monty? Where are you, Monty?), you're pretty much disposable. New characters are introduced—maybe they're given a name, maybe they're not—so that the writers have people to kill off, and while I applaud them for continuing to showcase the brutality of the world these folks live in, at some point they're going to have to try to make viewers care about the people who die. We know they can do it, and we've seen how great the series can be when they do it; that's why The 100 will never fulfill its potential if they just keep murdering people we're not invested in.
Intercut with the action on the ground this week were flashbacks to various points in both Bellamy's and Octavia's lives on the Ark. We already knew it was illegal for people on the Ark to have more than one child, and we already knew their mother was floated once Octavia was discovered, but we never knew the specifics of her discovery. Since the series premiered, Bellamy has been Octavia's protector, and he always seemed like a willing participant in that regard, but as we learned this week, he often feels burdened by her existence. "My life ended the day you were born," he told her after rescuing her. That was kind of harsh, but it's easy to see why Bellamy might've come to resent Octavia over the years. He's been unable to live his own life because he promised his mother that he'd look after his sister and protect her.
It's obvious that, despite Bellamy's protests, he would do anything for Octavia. He took her to the masquerade party (which was ultimately how she was discovered), and he shot the Chancellor just so he could board the dropship when he learned she was being sent to the ground. His resentment of her is unique on The 100, where no one else has siblings, but ask anyone who was burdened with a younger (and cuter) sibling and they will tell you how much better their life was before said younger sibling came in to being. It doesn't mean we don't still love each other at the end of the day, but siblings can definitely be a pain, and they do come to resent each other for things that seem completely ridiculous to outsiders. It happens. My brother is still mad at me for deleting his progress in Zelda in 1995, and that's not even that bad compared to what happened between Bellamy and Octavia. What I'm trying to say is, siblings are crazy, guys!
Over in the teen romance section of camp was Finn, who was torn between his lifelong friendship with and love for Raven and his newfound friendship with and love for Clarke, the latter of which he's not sure he's ready (or even able) to stop. Last week I commented on Clarke's maturity in her reaction to Raven's history with Finn, and that mostly carried over to this week as the two ladies returned to the sex bunker to find something Raven could use to fix the broken radio. For her part, Raven didn't respond too well to the news that her boyfriend basically since forever had only waited 10 days before getting into another girl's pants—which, fair enough. Finn has all the makings of the hero, diving in to save his fellow survivors without a moment's hesitation, but that doesn't mean he has all the answers or only makes good decisions. Karma finally caught up to him this week when he was stabbed by a Grounder during Octavia's rescue, and I obviously don't believe the series will kill him off (especially after attempting to clean him up with a haircut), but he definitely needs to sort out his priorities once he's healed.
It should come as no surprise the love triangle is still the least interesting part of The 100, but I think that if the series develops Finn beyond the obvious hero archetype, and Raven beyond the scorned lover (she was pretty awesome when she was working with Abby on the Ark), the love triangle will feel more integral to the series and viewers will be more accepting of its existence. Now that we know a bit more about Octavia and Bellamy's background growing up on the Ark, I feel like I at least understand where each of their characters is coming from. I still think Octavia's an idiot for even thinking of running off on her own again, but at least I understand her motivations. And if The 100 insists on never fleshing out any other members of the Hundred, the least it can do is flesh out the ones we already know. The show is off to a good start, it just needs to keep at it.
– Current Population of the Hundred (not including Bellamy or Raven): 90
– Bellamy was recruited to shoot the Chancellor by a member of the guard (the guy who's also responsible for Octavia being arrested and Bellamy losing his place as a cadet). MUTINY! MUTINY! MUTINY! I really can't wait for the mutiny storyline take hold on the Ark. The show is setting it up so well.
– Raven: "Do you love him?" Clarke: "I hardly know him." See? Even Clarke is like, "Develop the characters more, show!
– What the Grounder was doing with Octavia still isn't really clear. She wasn't locked up at first, which I found odd, but after she escaped and he recaptured her, he chained her up. Was he really saving her from the rest of the Grounders? He did blow the foghorn to drive them away from the rest of the rescue team. He seemed like a cool guy until the Finn stabbing, but he's just been bopped on the head and was about to be killed, so it's kind of understandable he lashed out first. Either way, I really want to know more about the Grounders!
What did you think of "His Sister's Keeper"?
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