Last week I lamented The 100's hesitation to make the bold move to kill off the light-hearted comedic relief character Jasper, who was speared through the chest in the final scene of the pilot. While I still think that was a mistake, the series at least tried to placate my desire for dead teenagers by at least appearing to kill two main characters this week (and probably two random teens who were introduced with the sole purpose of being killed). Both Atom and Wells bit it tonight, and both of their deaths had greater meaning to the overall narrative than the series just needing to show what a brutal environment the Hundred have found themselves in.
Atom's death did not come, as I'd suspected it might, from being strung up by his wrists overnight with a Grounder lurking nearby, but rather at the hands of an acid fog, which mostly only served to remind me of Catching Fire and why I prefer to stay indoors at all times. In a surprise move, Atom actually survived the acid fog that bore down on the camp and the forest this week, but he was so badly burned that he begged Bellamy to end his suffering. In a twist that everyone saw coming, Bellamy couldn't stomach the idea of taking his friend's life in a mercy killing. This blatantly countered what he'd told Clarke earlier in the episode, which was that she didn't have the guts to make the hard choices a leader must make, but implied that he did. Of course, he had no problem with the idea of killing Jasper, but then again, Jasper wasn't his friend.
When it came down to it, Clarke proved to be the leader who made the tough call and ultimately put Atom out of his misery. This turn of events wasn't surprising, as Bellamy was bound to learn that he lacks certain leadership skills, just as Clarke will probably also discover she lacks certain skills that Bellamy possesses. But after two episodes of Bellamy waving his weapons around in order to prove he's not to be feared, it was nice to see that he's not completely heartless.
Unfortunately, Bellamy's heart is what ultimately brought Wells to his gurgling knees. Charlotte, the young girl who experienced nightmares in which she watched her parents die at the hands of the Chancellor, finally took Bellamy's advice to slay her demons. And apparently that meant throat-slashing Wells because she saw his father whenever she looked at him. Guys, Charlotte needs lots of therapy, and also possibly a chaperone. How old is she? Whatever, that's not the point. This is the first sign that the Hundred are really turning on one another, because even though Shoulder Pad (aka Minion # 2, though he's probably been promoted to Minion #1 now that Atom is dead) attempted to kill a wounded Jasper simply because he kept moaning and was keeping everyone awake, he was not successful in his attempt. If he had been, it wouldn't have been a mercy killing. I still don't buy that Jasper survived the spear to the chest, even if the Grounders cauterized the wound and treated it with seaweed, but killing him at this point would have been a mistake.
When characters die on television, their passing usually means something. Often times, it's not even the actual death that matters, but rather how the rest of the characters react to the death and how they grieve in its aftermath. It's not to say that the person who died wasn't important or deserved to die, it's just that a lot of interesting stories are born from death. Wells' passing serves as a reminder that this world is unforgiving, and that our actions do and will affect others. Wells did nothing to Charlotte, but his father did, and she projected her hate of the Chancellor on to his son, which ultimately led to Wells' death. It'll be interesting to see how Clarke reacts to this development. As for Atom's passing, it didn't have the shock value that Wells' had, but it served the plot in that it showed Bellamy's tough-guy facade was just that: a facade. He didn't have the ability to put his friend out of his misery, and He wasn't able to do what was being asked of him. Clarke 1. Bellamy 0.
We learned through flashbacks (with the worst effing lens flares since J.J. Abrams, seriously those were retina-burning lens flares, man) that Wells wasn't the person who betrayed Clarke's father after all, it was Abby, her mother. This particular development wasn't all that exciting or surprising given how shady Wells had been in the past whenever the topic came up, but it's important to note Abby had the idea to send people down to Earth long before the Hundred were sent there. In fact, it was over a year from the time Clarke's father was floated to the time the Hundred were sent to the surface, if I understood that timeline correctly. Why wait so long? Why waste that kind of time? There are a lot of questions that arise from this new piece of information. But more importantly, now that Clarke and Wells have made up, what's his death going to do to Clarke?
"Earth Kills" finally paid up by offing a couple of characters this week, and maybe I have no heart, but I really enjoyed it. The series purported to be a series where no one was safe, but the first two episodes didn't really hold up their end of that bargain. If we're supposed to be believe that this world is savage, that there's something like acid fog right around every corner, and that the people we should be able to trust aren't trustworthy, then I think the episode succeeded. I wish we'd gotten a chance to explore the present situation on the Ark this week rather than revisit the past through flashbacks, but I'm willing to overlook that because the flashbacks helped to explain the tension-filled relationship of Clarke and Wells.
Current Population of The Hundred (not including Bellamy): 94
– We're supposed to assume Trina and Pascal (the two randoms hooking up and lost in the forest) are dead, yes? I'll be really mad if they pop up later.
– Where can I find one of those bottles of never-ending whiskey? Seriously. Like, five people drank out of that bottle and it never ran dry. How there was any left after Finn and Clarke started drinking it is beyond me.
– "So we havin' fun yet?" This line is just begging me to Photoshop an image featuring Adam Scott's character from Party Down popping up out of a log, right? I know the quote isn't word-for-word, but I'll probably never be able to hear any variation of that questions for the rest of my life without thinking of that show.
– "If you were my friend, you would walk out into that fog and never come back." Drunk logic.
AIRED ON 5/19/2016
Season 3 : Episode 16