Wave of Mutilation: ‘The 100’ Season 4 Finale Review

Cease to resist, giving my goodbyyyye
Drive my car into the ooocea … ha hun
You’ll think I’m dead!  But I sail awayyy hay hay … hay hay!
On a wave of mutilation
A wave of mutilation
Wave of mutilation
Way … hay hay … hay haaayvvve
Way … hay hay … hay haaayvvve

I’ve had this song in my head all week going into this season finale, and now that I’ve seen the ep, it turns out that the somewhat nonsensical lyrics actually fit the episode shockingly well.  Clarke had to give up her hope of getting to the Ark and say goodbye to her friends.  She then rode out the death wave (definitely more of a fire-based wave than a water-based wave in Clarke’s case, but close enough).  Everyone thinks she’s dead!  But she “sails” away, which in her case probably means that she does a good amount of earth-searching to find livable land.  I’ve got a lot of questions on how that even works, but I’ll get to that later.

Man, I had a picture in my head of how this whole episode was gonna go down based on clues and teasers and promos we had from the past couple weeks.  And the basic structure of the ep was precisely what I had pictured … yet it somehow ended up going down in a way that completely threw me off at the same time.  It left me heartbroken.  And terrified.  And thrilled.  And utterly furious.  I need to run through this stuff real quick just to work through it in my head:

  • As mentioned above, the basic structure of the ep was indeed what I had pictured: The Kru would do whatever they had to do to get the rocket ship ready, it would involve going out and getting the oxygen generator and messing with some sort of comms tower, Clarke would get stuck out there, and the rest would have to go into space without her.  We’d pick up after what I assumed would be a 5 year time jump, and that would be the 4.13 promo scene where Clarke has different hair and there’s no snow outside.  She would be trying to make contact with The Ark.
  • I’m sorry but I have to admit I was praying that we would spend little-to-no time in the bunker in this ep.  We basically wrapped that story up last week and I knew we’d need every last second of this ep devoted to the Delinquent Kru trying to get into space.  I was glad my hopes turned out to be correct here.
  • Based on my mostly correct vision of the structure of the ep, you’d think this episode would’ve been a breeze for me, but hooo boy was it not.  I shat my pants throughout the entire thing because the pacing and some key moments were just, different.  The bullet points below this describe how.
  • The time they devoted to getting the rocket into space was way shorter than I expected.  But I had indeed wondered how much time they’d have to devote to getting from the ship into the Ark itself, and as it turns out, there did need to be a decent chunk of time set aside for this.  There’s a lot that has to be done to get into the Ark and get it working.
  • The above bulletpoint means that nearly all Clarke’s scenes with literally anyone and everyone else in the episode, including Bellamy, were shoved into the first third of the ep.  So unfortunately there was very little time for pleasantries.  But we had some, at least.
  • The time jump was of course longer than I had envisioned, but only by 20% if we’re doing the exact math.  Still, a 6 year time jump is extreme.
  • The speech Bellamy gave in the promo about being tested for the next 5 years, which we all hoped was to Clarke, was to freaking Echo.  LAME.
  • The mystery kid at the end was both a surprise and not that much of a surprise, because I had been wondering if someone might emerge from the Ark or the bunker with a kid.  I just didn’t necessarily expect a rando nightblood kid Clarke had discovered outside.
  • I had almost zero doubt in my head that Bell/Raven and the Ark peeps would make it back down to Clarke in that final scene.  The fake-out with the stupid prison ship made me yell “FFFUUUUUCCK!!” at my TV screen.  Silly me, I should’ve known better than to trust that damn beautiful “I See You” track on Tree Adams’ S4 soundtrack.

Now, this was a really good season finale, but it has also left me feeling extremely perplexed.  I …. HAHA the tv.com photo recap sums it up perfectly:

“Everything about this episode was so deliciously upsetting. Show of hands, how many of you are sporadically bursting into laughter because your body can’t handle how upset you are versus how much you enjoyed this episode?”

It wasn’t laughter for me so much as some yelling and then falling into a catatonic state on the couch.  It’s one of those finales that leaves me like, “That was a great way to end the season, but also maybe I should go ahead and cancel my season pass immediately and cut all ties with this show to save myself the pain of season 5.”  Because, as hardcore TV fangirls, we all know how this usually goes.  We’ve been here many times.  You get that twist at the end of the finale, and it may seem cool and exciting in theory, but then you get to the next season and realize that it was actually the worst possible thing that could have ever happened and the show will never be the same again and you should’ve just appreciated what you had with the show while you had it, before it all got fucked sideways and flipped on its head and then kicked in the face and set on fire.

That’s where I am right now.  I hope season 5 is mind-blowingly awesome!  It could also be diarrhea.  We won’t know for another ~9 months.  I could get pregnant tonight and carry a child to term in that timeframe.  Maybe I should do that, so by the time S5 premieres I’ll be too distracted giving birth to let season 5 break my heart.  Jk.  Mostly.  Let’s talk about the finale.  And settle in because this is about to be LONG.  This finale fucked me up more than any TV finale I’ve seen in years, so I’ve got a lot to say about it.

The Blakes

This ep starts out with The Blakes having a heart to heart, which is comforting because now we know that the Bunker peeps know that the Delinquents at least have a plan to try to make it back up to The Ark to survive.  It’s a longshot, sure, but it’s something.  It’s better than the Bunker peeps just never having heard from Clarke and Bell again after they left on their mission to get Raven.  And as I expected, the prospects of O never seeing Bell again is what finally gets her to the point where she can admit she loves him back.  Bell’s pep talk, reminding O of everything she did that he and Clarke couldn’t have done, is nice.  This turns to a funny discussion about Octavia as Prometheus, and everything is warm and fuzzy.  Until the line goes dead.  D’OH!  It’s a good way to kick off the episode not only on some important end-of-the-world discussions with loved ones, but on the ominous note of the radiation wave hitting Polis, on its way to Becca’s island.

Octavia as Wonkru Commander

Wow, to go along with what I said last week, never in my wildest Hundy dreams did I envision Octavia as the next person to wear Lexa’s official Commander forehead decoration thingy (I refuse to call it a bindi because I don’t think that’s what it’s meant to be).  “The time of the Commanders is past.  The time of The Flame is past.  This is your time.”  This is an interesting statement, but I kinda doubt the show will stick with this forever.  The Flame is still out there and 2 nightbloods exist.  Will these guys use Clarke and her little buddy to turn other people into nightbloods in season 5?  It seems like it might be a smart thing to do, just in case another radiation wave hits at some point.

Anyway, O is clearly still completely overwhelmed at the thought of trying to lead 1200 people trapped in a bunker for the next 5 years, attempting to keep them from going insane and eating each other alive down there.  Who wouldn’t be?  Luckily she’s got Indra there to basically tell her everything she needs to do.  Her little quip about how she thinks it should be Bell or Clarke acting as commander is kinda comforting, as I’ve been wondering how much she hates Clarke for closing that bunker door.  I’m sure she’s still pissed, but at least she acknowledges that leadership is not an easy job.

But What About Kabby and Mackson and Jaha??

I have to admit I hadn’t even thought of this, but in Eric Goldman’s review he was annoyed that we got no Kabby follow-up in this ep, especially after Kane went against Abby’s wishes and kept her in the bunker last week.  Eric has a point.  I’m just kinda of the view that Abby’s declaration there was ridiculous to begin with, and she had to know that.  She is one of the only 2 doctors left on the damn earth.  She knows they need her.  Now with that said, it is very bizarre to have a season finale without Jaha or Kane or Abby present.  Hell even Jackson usually gets … oh wait!  We do get a quick flash of Mackson right at the beginning.  Mackson and not Kabby?  Definitely weird.  Still though, I’m o.k. with it because it was structured such that S4 basically had two different finales: The Bunker Finale (ep 4.12) and the Rocket Finale (4.13).  I didn’t need more from the Bunker at this point.

Raven is a Badass and Princess Mechanic is Everything

I’ll probably do an overall season 4 review and talk more about this, but season 3a of this show developed an issue of “there are too many people on this show now and there’s too much shit going on.”  There was too much focus on people and things we didn’t really care about.  Season 3b improved on this, and season 4 further sharpened its focus, literally spending the entire season slowly culling its cast even further.  I’m o.k. with this because it has allowed the show to give better focus to its core characters.  Raven had a really good arc this season, culminating with her – per usual – using her brain to solve everyone’s problems.  It’s kinda funny if you think about it because in a way, each season ends in a partnership between Clarke and Raven to devise a solution to the season’s Big Bad Problem.  Clarke acts as the frontman and/or idea man while Raven is the brilliant scientific brain to make it all happen.  Clarke is the Jobs and Raven is the Wozniak.

And compared to previous finales, particularly S1 & S3 which made very direct use of this partnership, this finale was an excellent progression for Raven, as she took charge of the whole operation here far more than she ever has before.  Clarke brought in the idea and then just let Raven take the reins and run with it, and from that point forward, Clarke was happy to act simply as a team member, taking orders from Raven as Raven ran the show.  Raven’s freak-out midway through was kind of a funny Very Special Moment with Bellamy, which I’ll get to more when I talk about him.  But Raven’s freak-out sesh was totally understandable, and kudos to Bell for being able to calm her down enough to think of another bright idea to solve it.  And she got to space walk again!  Whee!!  I’ll talk a lot more about Raven in my S4 review.

Murphy & Monty: Montphy??

“8 people alone in space for 5 years and one of them is John Murphy!?”

New Bromance Alert!  O.k. maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here.  But seriously have these two not interacted at all since season 1??  How did I never notice that?  Wow, I’m thinking back and realizing that they have literally almost never been in the same place at once from the end of season 1 onward.  Monty was in Mount Weather while Murphy was at the Drop Ship and then Arkadia.  Murphy was on the CoL trek with Jaha when Monty got back to Arkadia. Murphy was in Polis while Monty was still at Arkadia.  Murphy was at Becca’s Island and then The Bunker while Monty was still at Arkadia and then at Polis.  Wow.  Finally their paths have converged again and boy did the sparks fly.  It’s still fresh in Monty’s mind the fact that Murphy wanted to kill Jasper while he was gravely injured and almost dying from the spear to the chest in early S1. Murphy’s zinger about Jasper taking “the coward’s way out” was oh-so-perfectly-Murphy and gave Monty a chance to defend his friend’s honor, while bringing back some season 1 style fisticuffs.

And in the end, these two had no choice but to work together to get this oxygen generator back to the lab.  And they were going to do it or die trying.  Monty taking his gloves off then forced Murphy to have to help him put them back on after he unhooked the oxygen generator, and it forced Murphy to carry the thing on his own back to Team Raven once Monty passed out.  Murphy to his credit and character growth then put out the effort to go back and rescue Monty, who was actually thrilled that Murphy had prioritized the oxygen generator over Monty himself.  Turns out Murphy’s modus operandi works to the group’s advantage sometimes.  I’ll be curious to see how these two get along on The Ark.

Grounders in Space

It’s an oxymoron!  It was kinda fun to watch these two, particularly Emori, who was kinda like a kid on Christmas morning experiencing this whole thing.  Echo was decidedly more anxious about the entire ordeal.  And how sweet was it when Bellamy closed the drop ship door and Emori blurted out, “Can’t we just give [Clarke] another minute!?”  Just 5 episodes ago none of us would have imagined that.  But Clarke has redeemed herself with Emori pretty well since then.

And Echo, uggh.  I mean look, I’ve dumped on her all season and I don’t want to pile on.  I loved her in season 2, but we found out early in S3 that the only reason she seemed cool in S2 was because we didn’t actually know her yet.  Since then, she has literally done nothing but cause trouble and murder/maim the main characters and their loved ones.  I was relieved that she didn’t haul off and try to kill anyone in this ep, but the scene with her weird little freak-out was the biggest waste of time in the episode.  Every second counted in this ep and we didn’t have any to waste on stupid detours like this.  If I’m being honest, I was yelling at the screen begging her to shove the knife into her chest when Bellamy walked in.  But nope.  Once again, for the bazillionth time in a row, her life was spared.  Wonderful.

In any event, I’ll be very interested to see how Emori and Echo evolve over the next 6 years in space.  Are they gonna turn full-on Skaikru the same way O and occasionally Clarke have adopted the Grounder lifestyle?  Will Echo ever figure out how to stop causing needless drama?  Doubt it.

Bellamy’s Heart Will … Start Listening to His Head

It actually took me until the end of this ep and then reading the post mortem interviews with Jason to fully realize what the writers were doing with Bellamy here.  Like, yes I did understand their goal with the scenes where Bell gave Raven and Echo those pep talks, which was to give him confidence that he can handle issues like this on his own.  Then again, he’s always been better at many of these pep talks than Clarke anyway, so that part is nothing new.  Maybe it was really just to remind him what his natural abilities are.  But what kind of threw me off about him in this ep was how stoic he was in letting go of Clarke.  It kinda bummed me out in watching it all go down that he wasn’t completely losing his shit.  If I put myself in either one of these two’s shoes in having to leave the other one for dead, I would be beside myself, in the corner in the fetal position.

It was only once I read the interviews that I realized exactly what the writers are trying to do with him in this 6 year time jump, and that his stoic reaction to losing Clarke was his attempt at following her instructions from the beginning of the ep.  I kinda wish he had been a little more weepy at the end when he’s looking down at the earth on fire, because I was weepy AF and I knew she wasn’t gonna die!  But at the same time it was sweet to see him trying so hard to do exactly what Clarke had asked him to do, despite how devastating it all was.  He even clearly states it when he repeats Clarke’s oxymoron from earlier in the ep: “It’s the only choice.”

In watching this ep and reading the post-mortems, and putting those together with some quotes I heard from Bob at a recent Con he did, it’s now clear that the writers are feeling a need to prove for Bellamy’s sake that he can live and survive and be a good leader without Clarke there to temper his more emotional and reactionary instincts.  They want to essentially mature him into a well-rounded person and leader in his own right, to prove he doesn’t have to rely on Clarke.  If you think back to the way he reacted when she left him after season 2, he completely lost his shit in early season 3 and wound up killing 300 people in their sleep.  So.  That didn’t go well.  His journey this season has been about becoming a better person following that colossal blunder, so I figure that this is a continuation of his evolution.

The writers probably also see this as serving to make Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship healthier as well, to make sure they are leveraging each other’s strengths without being entirely dependent on each other.  Though this does make me wonder – if there’s anything the last few eps of this season have proven, it’s that Clarke relies on Bell to temper her overly pragmatic thinking sometimes too.  For some reason I haven’t seen any mention in these interviews about Clarke learning similar lessons on her own during the separation.  Maybe acting as a protector/mother figure to this kid Madi is supposed to provide that growth for her.  And this is probably a good segue to …

Clarke Was Lost and Now She’s Found

“She saved us, again.”

Thank. GOD.  If there’s any reason why the writers weren’t focusing on similar “how to live and lead without Bellamy” growth for Clarke, it’s because they were focusing on a different type of growth for her; one that I’d say is more important at this point.  Especially because Clarke, despite her couple leadership weak points, has never had any trouble with being on her own or having the confidence to know she can handle business by herself.  No one is worried about Clarke being on her own for 6 years.  Plus she doesn’t have anyone she has to lead during that time anyway other than the new kid, so she basically gets a break from all that.  So we in turn don’t have to worry about Clarke mass murdering anyone to save anyone else during this timeframe.  Lol.  At least I’m pretty sure.

After 2 eps in a row (4.10-11) of Clarke having the shittiest storyline of both eps, it was a major relief to see this issue reversed in the last 2 eps of the season.  I do hate how rushed stuff has to be when you get 3 less episodes in a season to tell the story, but I will take what I can get at this point.  And this season finale, like last year, was a superb Clarke episode.  In a sense this year’s was even better, because like Raven and Bellamy, Clarke got to evolve.  Clarke took a step she’s never taken before, and made a sacrifice she has never made.  In a sense – and I didn’t notice this until my second watch – this episode was essentially the last 30 minutes of Rogue One with Clarke as Jyn Erso.  And, SPOILER, we all know how it ended for Jyn.  Like Jyn, Clarke suddenly became this sort of tragic hero in a way she never has before.

The thing about Clarke is, her strength has always been in her stoicism and mental fortitude.  “I bear it so they don’t have to” is her specialty.  The girl can literally withstand anything mentally and emotionally.  Mercy kill Atom while he’s suffering hopelessly from poison Mount Weather fog, because Bellamy can’t bring himself to do it?  No prob.  Hand her the knife and let’s get on with it.  Make her kill her own ex-boyfriend to spare him from torture?  Clarke’s got ya.  She’s not gonna enjoy it, but she’ll get ‘er done.  Mass murder scores of innocent men women and children in Mount Weather to stop Skaikru from being killed?  Done.  Kill the City of Light to force everyone back into shitty painful reality so they can work to save the human race from a radiation wave?  Obvi.  Check.  Next!

But where Clarke’s weakness has always been is in an area that I think is actually, in a weird way, not dissimilar to Murphy’s weakness.  Murphy is a survivor, a cockroach, traditionally looking out for number 1 at all times.  He’ll do nearly anything he has to in order to survive.  His scope of coverage has now expanded out beyond himself to Emori as well, and he’s had growth this season even beyond that which I’ll discuss in my S4 review, but you get what I mean.  So how does this relate to Clarke?  Clarke basically takes this same approach to life, only her coverage scope has always been much larger than Murphy’s.  The ultimate goal is the same though: To ensure that her group of people survives.  Her coverage in S4 did expand out beyond Skaikru to the entire human race, and that led her to make some wacky decisions in eps 10 & 11.

But for her it has always been about preserving the unit at all costs.  And the costs generally involve sacrificing other people.  It’s never had to involve a serious choice of sacrificing herself in the physical sense, rather than the mental/emotional sense.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s never had any problem with getting cut and banged up and shot up with nightblood and putting a flame into her neck that might fry her brain and getting weirdly stabbed in the chest with surgical knives by her mom lol, that stuff is nothing for her.  But what she’s never had to do is to physically sacrifice her entire self to the point where she would almost certainly be rendered incapable of helping/leading her people anymore, because she’d be either dead or permanently incapacitated.  That’s always been a step further than she’s comfortable with, and thus far it also hasn’t necessarily made sense to do so in any situation that has arisen.

But this time was different.  This time Clarke probably felt the need to redeem herself from the seemingly selfish move of trying to steal the bunker for Skaikru a couple eps back.  It also seemed that she’d had some time, based on Abby’s premonition, to think about the possibility that this might be some sort of destiny for her, and to come to terms with it.  She stepped outside of her comfort zone here, acting mostly just as a team player and dutifully following Raven’s instructions, not deviating from her assigned task even when it meant sacrificing her life for it.  And sure, there was pragmatism at play here too; it wouldn’t be Clarke if there wasn’t:  1) Her nightblood gave her the best chance of any of the delinquents at surviving even though it was still extremely slim, and 2) she also was finally faced with a crystal clear choice of, if I don’t sacrifice myself right this instant then none of us will make it out alive.  And Clarke can’t let that happen.

Regardless of all the logic going into it, Clarke was a bona fide hero here in a way she never has been before.  And that made me happy … and relieved after her missteps with the bunker.  Her hero’s journey in the ep was pretty damn awesome too, climbing all the way to the top of that tower, trying to get the satellite in the right place, getting the signal going, rushing back down, running for dear life trying to beat the radiation wave while stumbling, cracking her helmet, flailing back into Becca’s lab and seemingly dying as she basically boiled to death from the inside out.  No scars though because this is TV!  Lol.  Magic.

And now apparently she has spent 6 years as a badass Mad Max style road (forest) warrior.  A punk princess with a sassy new jacket red streaks in her hair.  What more could anyone ask for for Clarke?!  O.k., the next answer might rhyme with “shmellarke” for many viewers haha so I’ll get to that next.  But after a full season of Clarke having to endure only the shittiest and most thankless parts of leadership … let’s just say I always prefer when she also gets to go out and get her hands dirty and be the badass we all know she is.  And that’s where we are with her now.  Yay!


“I left her behind.  I left her behind and now we all die anyway.”

Sigh.  As I predicted last week, no romance before the end of the world.  As this has all gone down, I’m realizing that the stupidly slow timeline on this show means that it’s only been like 2.5 months since Lexa died, which would be too fast for Clarke to fully move on, even though in the real world it’s been a thousand years.  Fine, 1.2 years to be exact.  But that means that everyone’s Bellarke hopes this season have been nothing but a collective pipe dream.  And maybe, like I mentioned in my 4.11 review, my fear that the Bellarke ship sank with The Lexa Debacle is real after all, and Bellarke is now dead.  They stayed platonic, Bellamy left and kept a stiff upper lip when Clarke sacrificed her life to save him/them, and he moved on with Echo or Raven or Murphy (Murphamy) or lord only knows who else and Clarke will get back with Niylah when they dig that bunker out from the rubble.  And they’ll live happily ever after – with other people.  The End.

But … nah fuck that.  There was a lot of stuff going on in this episode to be sure, but relationship-wise it all revolved around Clarke and Bellamy at its core.  Right!?  I know I’m not making that up.  To me this episode played like a tragic chapter in some sort of epic love story: Two characters who have spent the past 8 or 10 months quickly forming such an intense symbiotic bond that they no longer entirely know how to function without each other.  They are each other’s centering force.  They are the head and the heart, one can’t work without the other.

But then suddenly, they have to.  We spent this ep prepping Bellamy for it, instilling Clarke’s pragmatism in him to better prepare him to deal with the separation from that point forward, and then seeing how he handled it when it did happen.  Everyone was dismayed about leaving Clarke behind, but when it came to making that final decision and directing their sympathies somewhere when they did have to leave her, they all looked to Bellamy.  And as that clock ticked forward and time ran out for them to make it out on time, it was all about Bellamy watching that lab door and hoping against all hope that Clarke would come busting through it just in time.  But the clock kept ticking and Clarke never came, causing Bellamy to have to shut the rocket ship’s door on her in a clear parallel to Clarke shutting the Drop Ship door on Bell and Finn in the season 1 finale.

And man, it’s hard to watch Bellamy take on that stoic “think with your head over your heart in situations like this” attitude that we’re used to seeing with Clarke.  Especially when it comes to severing ties with Clarke herself.  It’s excruciating to watch him be the one to make that final call to leave her because there’s no time left, and because it’s what she’d want.  It feels very similar to how it felt when Clarke got on her stupid “love is weakness” kick in mid season 2 and told Bellamy to go to Mount Weather after all.  The motivation for Bell here is obviously far more reasonable and appropriate, but the end result is the same in this case.

Regardless, Bellamy literally had no choice.  He repeats Clarke’s oxymoron from earlier in the ep, but the better way to state it here is that there was not a choice at all.  There was only one viable option.  He can’t cause others to die because of his desire to wait.  He can’t jump ship, because him dying would be pointless and he knows it would devastate Clarke if she knew he did that.  We also know that if he did, he would die and Clarke would live.  No one wants that!  There was nothing he could do but what he did.  And he did it for her.

Man though, it’s even harder to hear Bell tell Raven “We have to be able to handle this without her or she died in vain.”  I still wish he’d been more weepy like Raven and I were lol.  His eyes were teary obviously.  But again, it is kind of adorable to see him so dutifully carry out Clarke’s instructions, no matter how much it hurts.  Bellamy holds Clarke’s words and advice and wishes in higher regard than anyone in the universe, and he always has.  Well, since late season 1 at least.  And if Clarke wants him to keep going and fighting onward, then goddamnit, that’s what he’s gonna do.

We don’t yet have follow-up on what Bellamy did in the 6 years following the aforementioned scene, but we do know what Clarke has been up to, and it literally involves her having one-sided radio conversations with Bellamy every day of her life.  Obviously that translates to her trying to make contact with all of them on The Ark, but like it was when the group had to leave Clarke and everyone looked to Bellamy, Bellamy in turn is Clarke’s #1.  He is (was) her copilot, her centering force, and he is the one she directs all of these daily diary entries to.  I seriously doubt he has heard her up there, but if season 5 doesn’t open with Bellamy having some similar memento or way of honoring Clarke (his process would be different since he assumes she’s dead), I am going to be very angry.  Oh, is there any Clarke artwork in the Go-Sci ring by any chance?

The Time Jump

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: I generally hate time jumps.  I literally can’t even think of one time jump in any TV show that I was ever happy about.  I guess they aren’t always 100% awful, but my reaction to them has ranged only from begrudging acceptance to absolute hatred.  Why?  Because it always involves skipping over at least some length of character development that I really would have preferred to see.  However!  That said, with all the speculation about a time jump in this finale, I actually for the first time in my life didn’t loathe the concept.  So what’s different this time?

Well, first off, this time jump actually helps to resolve yet another story-telling method this show employs that I despise: Extremely, ridiculously slow timelines.  Remember on Breaking Bad when Skyler was pregnant for 500 years?  That drove me utterly insane.  I don’t watch The Walking Dead, but a friend of mine tells me it’s another good example of this.  I can’t stand it because when you spend 4 or 5 seasons telling a story that only spans 8-10 months or whatever, the audience’s perception of what’s going on never matches up with the characters’ perceptions.  It never feels right, and characters make decisions that don’t seem logical based on the fact that you as an audience member have spent literal years watching their story; waiting for certain things to happen – things that feel like they should have progressed 100 times over by now.  It can be extremely nonsensical and frustrating.

The other reason I didn’t hate the concept of this time jump going into it is because the slow-ass timeline meant that these characters were all still supposed to be teenagers, which is just completely ridiculous at this point.  Eliza is 27 years old and she’s one of the younger actors on the show!  Bob is 32, Marie is 30, and Chris Larkin is 29.  These people don’t seem like teenagers at all, and I really haven’t looked at them as teens since season 1.  (I know Bell was supposed to be early 20’s but whatever you get my point).  To have to constantly say, “Oh wait but Octavia, played by a 30 year-old, is only 17 still!”  No.  Dumb.  I refuse.  Let her be a proper age, goddamnit.  And now finally she can be!

So, that’s all well and good.  It’s allowed me to get on board with this time jump concept far more than usual.  But now of course I’m worried by the fact that we now have no clue what happened to the Ark peeps and the bunker peeps.  We don’t know what state we’re going to find anyone in next season except Clarke.  All the problematic things about 6 years of offscreen events and character progression that exist with a time jump completely still exist here, regardless of the upsides.  And I’m extremely worried about every single one of them.  Just a few examples:

The Kid

Uggh.  This kid, I’m telling you, will be trouble.  From Cousin Oliver to April Nardini, all the late-intro kid has ever done is to fuck up the dynamics between the existing/adult characters.  Clarke is essentially this kid’s adoptive mom now, so we’re gonna have to see her factor this child heavily into all her decisions, while we sit there and try to pretend to care even 1/10th as much as she does.  The kid is essentially gonna be a young Riley, everyone’s best friend.  Except this time she will only be Clarke’s BFF/daughter, and literally no one else will care.  Even the other characters.  Which will make this all the more trying.  So, yeah.  We’ll see.  This kid will either be tolerable (that’s the best I can hope for) or she will literally ruin the entire show.  Fingers crossed for the former.  And p.s. this doesn’t even include any other surprise kids we may get in the S5 premiere!  Everything I said here applies to them too.

Who Will Bellamy Have Hooked Up With?

Sigh.  With 6 damn years having passed and with Bellamy thinking Clarke is dead, Bellamy and Echo are probably married with 3 kids and a freaking Honda Odyssey and a mortgage at this point.  6 years is a long time to be cooped up in a space station with a very small number of people.  Bell’s options are extremely limited, but if Clarke is dead, it would obviously be a waste of his time to sit around pining away for her.  Unless he has somehow heard her radio transmissions but can’t respond to her.  Doubt it though.

While Clarke lives a life of forced isolation and celibacy, there is just no goddamn way the writers will let that Ark story go without some interpersonal drama.  And I hate all the options here.  Assuming Bell doesn’t wind up doing any partner swapping with Murphy or Monty, his only other two options are Raven and Echo.  And first off, let me say, if he hooks up with Raven in any sort of serious way, I will shake this entire effing planet to its very core with fury and murderous rage at these writers.  To pit Clarke and Raven against each other yet again in yet another kind of love triangle scenario would be beyond cruel and ridiculous.  It would be last straw, deal breaking, season pass cancelling levels for me.

And then we have Echo.  Uuuuggghhhh.  It’s … probably the least horrible option in a world of horrible options. These two have kind of had a dynamic ever since season 2 which constantly screamed “potential hookup”.  Reminder: This girl murdered Bellamy’s girlfriend.  She also did everything in her power to kill his sister, twice.  And she successfully killed Ilian.  I am 90% sure this hookup is going to happen and I am already furious about it.  UPDATE: Bump that to 100%.  The answer to this question is now officially Becho.  Sssssiiiiiggggghhhhh.  Gotta keep telling myself: At least Becho is less problematic than Rellamy.  Groan.  If these two have a kid up there or something … uggh.  I hate TV shows.

I had another option listed here which was that maybe some of those dumb Eligius Corp people are somehow on the Ark now, or maybe Bellamy and them are no longer on the Ark at this point.  I half expected them to come out of that prison ship at the end of the ep, having been overtaken and kidnapped and forced into prison labor at some point during those 6 years.  But then I read Jason’s post-mortem interviews, and in one of them he specifically states that they are still on The Ark.  They could still have wound up with company on The Ark, but if so I no longer think Bellamy will have hooked up with any of them, now that Becho will obviously be a thing.  Maybe these guys really are still just chillaxing up there exactly as originally planned, eating algae salads and drinking each other’s recycled urine.  Maybe they’re having mass orgies and partner-swapping parties for entertainment.  Lord only knows what we’ll find up there in the season 5 premiere.

p.s. I’m super happy for Tasya Teles who seems really close with the rest of the cast, but does it sting just a little to couple this news with the fact that Harper/Chelsey Reist, a reliable cast member since S1, and an OG Delinquent, still hasn’t been promoted?  Will she and Monty still be together when S5 picks up?  It would be nice to get news of her being promoted as well.

The Bunker

So it seems that Polis has at least somewhat crumbled around the bunker in the last 6 years, and everyone is trapped inside.  There’s too much rubble for Clarke and her new companion to clear on their own.  I’m sure they’ll find a way to make this happen early in season 5, but what will they find inside?  What have those guys been doing trapped down there this whole time?  Is Octavia still their commander?  Has she had to enact any crazy Ark-like rules to keep the peace and keep people in line?  Is she still the same person?  Have Kabby and Mackson held joint weddings and are they all living happily ever after underground?  With Isaac Washington no longer set to be a series regular next year, will he simply disappear into thin air the same way Bryan did?  What’s Niylah up to?

A few final random thoughts:

  • I didn’t talk much about Harper here but I’ll talk about her journey in my S4 review.
  • Raven mentions at the beginning of the ep that the oxygen generator they are bringing up to The Ark was built to support a “lighthouse bachelor pad” (I think the same one Murphy holed up in between seasons 2 and 3).  Remember how the whole reason these guys had to come down to Earth in season 1 to begin with was because The Ark’s oxygen generation capabilities were failing?  Hmm.  What does this mean for the 6 years these guys have theoretically been up there?
  • The Baton from season 1!  Empty now.
  • All this ep’s callbacks to S1 were appropriate because the last 100 finale that was this upsetting was the S1 finale.  But I was lucky then: I binged the show between S2 and S3.  So I could just skip right ahead to the S2 premiere.  Now I have to wait 9 goddamn months.

My rating of the season 4 finale: 95/100

Man.  This is a damn tough one.  Because I gave the S3 finale a 95 too, and that one was really awesome, but it didn’t, like, deeply affect me the way this one did.  My S4 review is more than TWICE as long!!  This one has fucked me up in a way that only a very small handful of finales ever have.  But the reason I’m not rating it higher than 3.16 is that it has created such a fear in me that season 5 might be terrible!  I can’t know.  I’m afraid if I go too high I’ll jinx it even more.  It’s all I can do right now!  I’ll be back with a season 4 review later.

5 thoughts on “Wave of Mutilation: ‘The 100’ Season 4 Finale Review

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