The 100 3×09 “Stealing Fire”
Written by Heidi Cole McAdams
Directed by Uta Briesewitz
Photos by Cate Cameron/The CW
In part one of my five-part catch up/apology spam before the two-part season finale, I’ll be chronicling a cherished moment in fandom history with my own real-time reactions in my real-life OTP swag.
First off, let me offer a sincere apology for my lateness (and for the cardinal sin of forcing you to look at my face). I had what can only be described as a minor health catastrophe; but it’s all squared away now and the governor has signed off on all the official papers, so I’m back on the grid. And oh man, have we seen some crap. Let’s dive right in!
Clarke (Eliza Taylor) has become an innocent bystander to Murphy’s Habit of getting locked into rooms. The horn sounds, signaling that the Conclave to choose Lexa’s successor has begun. Murphy (Richard Harmon) is moderately amused by the subject, but Clarke and my new favorite character, Clarke’s Weave, are too dead inside to care. Lexa’s black bloodstain still looms on the blankets, and the look on Clarke’s face makes me wish I could inject alcohol straight into my veins. Murphy unlocks a new skill: the Power of Empathy! It’s mildly disturbing!
Titus (Neil Sandilands) arrives, to the delight of no one. He’s come to smuggle Clarphy (I’m not wedded to it) out of the city in some invisibility cloaks. This would mean he kept his final vow to Lexa of keeping Clarke safe, but Clarke is understandably pissed and confused that Titus has not been busted for treason. After all, Kane was, and he didn’t even kill his guy! Turns out Titus has Flamekeeper Immunity, and therefore cannot be extradited or killed. Murphy wants to bounce, but Clarke wants to see Aden (Cory Gruter-Andrew), the Not-Love-Actually kid who Lexa made vow to keep Skaikru safe should she die. Titus doesn’t want to, but he doesn’t exactly have any moral authority to stand on.
Aiden and The Nightbloods (new band name I call it!) are undergoing the Purification Ritual, which is apparently sprinkling hot Cheeto dust over Lexa’s shrouded corpse. Clarphy and Titus show up, causing interruption and sads. Aden even asks if Clarke would like a moment alone with Lexa, which actually wounded me so deeply I lost my vision. But this isn’t the first loved one Clarke Griffin has buried, although hopefully it will be the last (lmao). Turns out Lexa actually made all the Nightbloods vow to protect Skaikru in the alliance, because this show is a giant conspiracy to kill me.
More party crashers! King Roan (Zach McGowan) — fka Prince Roan, fka Drogo — arrives with his own Nightblood, the crazy turnip bitch from before. Still as crazy and bitchy and turnipy as ever, she makes a run for Clarke’s life, but is foiled by Titus and Roan. While it appears Roan and Ontari (Rhiannon Fish) — fka crazy turnip bitch — are not getting BFF bracelets any time soon, she concedes, although not before informing Clarke that Skaikru will be slaughtered once she becomes Heda. A real delight, that one.
Bet she gets invited to lots of parties.
In Good People Jail, Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) is comforting his people like a baller while he, Sinclair (Alessandro Juliani), and Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) all patiently await their deaths. Pike (Michael Beach) rolls up and, because he is just that much of a douche, announces that all the grounders will be executed along with Sinclair and Kane for the crime of treason. This does not vibe well with anyone, even Bellamy (Bob Morley), whose hotness-to-evilness ratio is still within acceptable limits. He successfully talks Pike out of the mass homicide, which is a first. So now we’re back to just Lincoln, Kane, and the Almighty Rabbit Wizard being axed. So that’s… better? I guess?
In the Best Friend Squad headquarters, Milper (I got it eventually!) are consoling each other. That’s when Bellamonty comes knocking, which causes confusion and mistrust. However, once Bellamy sneakily removes the bug that Bryan (Jonathan Whitesell) snuck into Miller’s jacket, they have a conversation so cold and snarky that somewhere, Shonda Rhimes is filled with a deep sense of satisfaction. Miller (Jarod Joseph) and Harper (Chelsey Reist) — my actual children who I actually gave birth to) refuse to let Monty (Christopher Larkin) and Bellamy aid in their escape. Who knows why? Could it be the scores of people Bellamy has murdered in the last four days? Could it be Monty tattling on the Rabbit Wizard, thus depriving all the children brownies on New Years? Who knows. Could be anything. Either way, Bellamy tells them to relay to Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) to meet him at the drop ship.
Which she does! Hooray! I am still viciously attached to the drop ship for some reason. Can we just go back there? Remember how fun things were in season one? Back when we had colors and sunlight and everyone’s hair was clean? Miller had a beanie! How awesome was that? Anyway, Bellamy is pleased that Octavia and her bitchin horse have come to meet him, right up until she shanks him with a tranquilizer. Yas, mom! Drag him! Literally drag him!
Back in the tiny cave church, fka Murphy’s crib, fka Polaris, Titus is sterilizing the Flame (aka ALIE 2.0), and hopefully wallowing in self-hatred, when Clarphy arrives. Clarke is transfixed by the fancy potato chip that was once the love of her life, but as always, Skaikru is all business. As it turns out, Titus is also bugging about what might happen if Ontari becomes commander. Short version: Ice Nation takes over, everyone probably dies. While they are discussing this, the victory horn sounds, signaling the end of the conclave. Why, you may ask? Oh, only because Ontari murdered all the other Nightbloods. What a quirky little nugget! I’m sure she and Pike will get along splendidly.
Bellamy wakes up in Octavia and Lincoln’s love shack from season one. He is greeted by the sight of Octavia convincing Indra (Adina Porter) not to beat the bejeesus out of her big brother; whom, make no mistake, she is still pissed at. She makes this very well known. Bellamy begs the Fierce Bitch Revenge Squad to let him help save Kane/Lincoln/Rabbit Wizard, but they ain’t having none of it. I am actually floored by the performances here by Morley and Avgeropoulos, which are low key fire as hell. Octavia’s response to Bellamy’s “you need me” was a very solid and vicious, “For the first time in my life, that’s not true.” And I freaked out in both joy and confusion, for Octavia really hasn’t needed her brother for quite a long time. But I digress.
Now it’s time for the dreaded lover’s showdown. Miller confronts Bryan about the sneaky spy bug he planted in his jacket, which I’m conflicted about. On the one hand, I love any and all scenes including and/or mentioning Miller. It fills me with joy and a profound sense of inner peace. On the other, this is making me incredibly sad. You can tell Bryan is remorseful and truly loves Miller despite them being on opposing sides, but as Nate so deftly points out, “You can’t have both of us.” Then he leaves, and I get very much more sad.
Oh boy. Ooooh boy. Here it comes. Kane gets trotted out in chains for a brief visit with none other than the actual goddess of sunlight and healing herself, Abby Griffin (Paige Turco). I am already in pain before either of them even open their dumb beautiful mouths. Kane entreats her not to help them escape lest she be condemned to death alongside him. However, Abby Griffin is not about to give up her man without a fight. The final nail in the coffin of my soul is Abby’s tearful and shaky confession that she can’t let another man she loves be put to death. It is at this point that I lose all the s**t I had left to lose. However, mere seconds after I have resigned myself to the grave, Kane puts an end to the forehead touching and tearful glances by saying “Don’t make this any harder than it already is.”
Please enjoy my shot-by-shot reaction.
Back in Polis, aka the Child Murder Capital of the World, King Roan is quietly leading Clarke and Murphy through the streets to safety. He manages to subtledrag Clarke along the way, something we all remember he is very fond of doing (throwback to the Worst Road Trip Ever!). He claims this means his debt to Lexa for sparing his life is repaid, but unlike Murphy, Clarke isn’t in a hurry to leave. At least not without her potato chip girlfriend.
Back in Good People Jail, Kane is looking over his incredibly premature Grounder Unity tattoo, like a guy who got his ex-girlfriend’s name on his chest during spring break. Lincoln tries to console him, which inspires Kane to give his most balling dad speech ever. “Sometimes death can be an act of unity, too. We don’t break. We don’t show fear. “ DAMN, MARCUS. BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE YOU-SHOULD-HAVE-BEEN-CHANCELLOR (A/N: Please remember when I originally wrote this review that joke was much more topical). Kane once again demonstrates that he’s a “needs of the many” type of guy. What a trooper. Just then, the beautiful moment implodes at the arrival of Pike and the Douchey Murder Patrol (sans Bellamy). They’ve come for Kane, Sinclair, and Lincoln, and per Kane’s orders, no one resists.
As they march to their doom, they encounter Harper completely and totally by chance. She’s looking gorgeous and alive, my two favorite things for characters to be. After the coast is supposedly clear, Harper radios a mysterious “OKS”, unaware that she’s being monitored by the Greens. They discover OKS is the luscious Octavia kom Skaikru (don’t ask me why but I really like that), and Donna tattles to Pike before you can say “toxic influence”. Bryan suggests that they hide the prisoners until they find out where Octavia is, and Pike is moderately shocked that Bryan has said something useful. I can’t imagine it’s happened many times before. Regardless, they follow his plan.
At the same time, Bellamy is arguing with Indra in the love shack to let him free to save his sister. However, since Indra’s still pissed as hell and not a complete and utter fool, she isn’t here for it. After all, it wasn’t too long ago Bellamy and the DMP were murdering pretty much everyone she knew, save Indra herself. Why, she asks? “For the same reason you haven’t used that sword on me,” Bellamy explains, which means their mutual favorite person of all time, OKS. Bellamy thinks this will compel Indra to save Octavia with him, but for the trillionth time this season, Bellamy is incorrect. “Octavia kom Skaikru will earn the warrior’s death you denied me,” Indra claims before bolting. This leads to a very good portrayal of the crying-eyes emoji by Bob Morley. My kokoro.
Clarke, Clarke’s Weave, and Murphy attempt to steal potato chip Lexa from Titus, a plan obviously doomed to failure because Murphy is there. Indeed, Clark does get caught by Titus, who sneaks out of the shadows and instantly blames Clarke for Lexa’s demise. “I pulled the trigger, but it was you who killed her,” Titus claims, and at this point I am ready to fight Titus. I will actually fight every character this season that has unjustly blamed Clarke Griffin for all their crap decisions going wrong when it’s not her fault you are all the worst. Clarke just wanted to kill panthers, bang Lexa, and do stuff for her people. Just let her live. Please.
Back to the plot. Titus and Clarke are arguing over whether or not to give Ontari the Flame, which is odd because neither of them want her to have it. I think at this point Titus and Clarke just love arguing. Anyway, Titus claims Ontari is the only one who can have the flame since she’s the last Nightblood there is. Clarke’s Weave throws out the idea of just giving the potato chip to someone else, but we and Titus know that’s not an option. Only people with the Nightblood can survive having the Flame put in them, and Ontari seems to have beheaded all their alternatives. But wait! Recall if you will, Lexa’s Plot Device Tattoo from the Episode We Really Can’t Think About Right Now! The missing eighth circle for all the Nightbloods that Lexa herself killed to become Heda. Where that dude at? She split, as it turns out, which Titus claims makes her a coward unworthy of the flame. Though, as Clarke points out, not as unworthy as the crazy bitch who decapitated eight-year-olds as they slept. Point to Khaleesi.
Just then, another Murphy-getting-beat-up moment signals the arrival of Ontari, still covered in Nightblood. Girl wants to command all twelve clans and she can’t even find a shower. Pfft. Titus gives Clarke the opportunity to hide, making him somewhat less the worst. There’s some snarking in there, Titus gets burned (haaaa), and Murphy is tasked with “Cleansing” the blood-soaked turnip child before she receives the Flame. That will end well.
This roast seems to be sufficient motivation to bend the rules of the Order of the Phoenix or Fire Nation or whatever. Titus agrees that Luna, the missing Nightblood, would be a step up from the child-murdering Scarface psychopath they have now. The name jogs a memory for Clarke, commander of death and making out and remembering things. Apparently Lincoln mentioned her once (I’m just gonna take her word for it), and she and Titus conclude he can find her again, based on pure desperation. This leads to Titus handing over the potato chip starter kit to Clarke, along with a baller Mulan-style armor cabinet and the title of Flamekeeper. Clarke’s just racking up all the cool titles this season. Respect.
The Douchey Murder Patrol is still looking for Octavia kom Skaikru and her compatriots, and doing a terrible job because they are terrible. Pike starts to sniff perfidy in the air, and discovers the guards he left guarding Kane/Lincoln/Rabbit Wizard are no longer responding. This is of course because they have been tranquilized (One of them is Bryan! I’m playing the world’s smallest violin), and the Best Friend Trio is vanished. Boom! How’s that taste, Chancellor? They roll out looking like chumps; even more so when Octavia literally comes out of the woodwork once again, right from under their stupid fascist noses. Octavia’s extensive experience hiding underneath floors has been used to the Best Friend Squad’s advantage in this matter, and soon the remainder of their party arrive. Miller has a moment with Bryan, who it seems has switched allegiances from DMP to BFS. Proud mama tears! Abby immediately frees Kane, who does not fail to point out that she did the exact opposite of what he told her to do. “Why would I start listening to you now?” Abby asks, which makes Kane smile, and me do this.
The celebration is short lived. Harper radios the BFS to warn them that the hallway is still being patrolled by guards, leaving them trapped. I’m not sure if they know they’re still being sneaky spied on by the Greens, but they are, which leads Monty to send out his own signal to the guards, leading them to the gates and away from his friends. Monty’s mom is shocked and disappointed that her son hasn’t followed her gross, murdery footsteps, and the Best Friend Squad is pleasantly surprised that Monty was really riding for them after all.
While Monty’s mom (Donna Yamamoto) chews him out for not being a douche and betraying all his friends like he was supposed to, Pike goose-steps in and demands to know who effed up. In a mildly shocking twist, Monty’s mom covers for her son’s treason. Too little too late, but what the hell, point to Mama Green. This doesn’t at all hinder Pike from being the worst, however.
The BFS is escaping while Arkadia goes into lockdown. Kane herds all his children through the secret Best Friend’s Door, except for the self-sacrificing and noble sun angel that is Abigail Griffin. Kane tries to usher her out, but Abby refuses, since she’s pretty much the only doctor in all of Arkadia and people are definitely about to start dying. This leads to the thing. The thing thing. The actual thing that is the actual only thing that matters out of all the things ever. Inspired by her selflessness, dedication, and general goddess-level hotness, Marcus finally abandons all pretense and lays one hell of a kiss down on his lady, hard, and I actually feel the icy fingers of death curl around my heart and squeeze it like a stress ball. There are no words, so here are some pictures.
But of course, we all knew the joy would be short lived. Pike’s douche Peanut Teacher voice comes over the radio with an announcement: One way or another, he’s killing someone today. Either the prisoners give themselves up, or the interned grounders get executed. Because at this point, just why effin not, right? This is chiefly opposed by Lincoln, who instantly moves to sacrifice himself without a second thought and I’m glad he’s leaving we don’t deserve him he’s too pure for this god-forsaken show— Ahem, sorry. Octavia is clearly not down for leaving her boo to get executed, so she elects to stay. This too is not in the cards, for after a heartbreaking kiss that definitely didn’t cause me chest pain, Lincoln zaps his lady with a sedative and gets on with being a Hero.
As bummed as I am about Lincoln leaving, literally this one slow-mo shot of Ricky Whittle walking down a hallway might honestly have made the whole thing worth it. It’s almost jarring when you watch him open his arms and accept whatever Pike has planned with a heart-shattering finality. I’m not sure what CGI camera tricks they used to somehow make him ten times hotter than he already was, but thanks, CW! May the budget ever increase.
Polis is poppin! And by that I mean Scarface McChild-Murder is taking a bath. Finally. Murphy is there to supervise “purification”, or because something plot-significant is about to happen and Murphy always needs to be there for some reason. He and the new Heda-to-Be have a lovely chat about how she plans to murder everyone he’s ever known — something he doesn’t value quite as highly as say, Emerson perhaps. So he’s basically chill with it. A knock on the door brings both a creepy, sexually-charged scene I could have lived happily without, and Roan with Titus in tow. Titus, having failed his literal only job, appears to be in hot water. Team Ice Baddies are all hype to kill him for his betrayal, but Murphy points out he’s the only one who knows how to perform the Flame ritual. Titus has different plans. With the knife Roan holds to his throat, Titus does his own take on Seppukku, and bubbles a bloody “For Lexa,” before falling backwards into the tub. What was that about hot water, again?
Team Ice Baddies, of which Murphy is now apparently an honorary member by association, decide to say “screw it” and go ahead with the Ascension Ceremony sans Flamekeeper or Flame. Being that the only ones who know they don’t have it are either peaced out or stewing in blood-water, all they have to do is burn Titus’ body to cover their tracks. Scarface throws some orders at King Roan, which he does not appreciate, and I am taken aback by how little I care that Titus is dead.
Meanwhile, riding through the forest on a white horse like a knight in a fairy tale, Clarke Freakin’ Griffin is taking one last look at the giant candle (which produces a red puff of smoke for our fallen Heda) before riding off with her potato chip girlfriend. Real shout out to Eliza Taylor’s face in this scene, not just for her expressions which were heartbreaking at best, but just in general. Also, that is one awesomesauce horse. And that’s that scene.
Said red puff of smoke is seen far and away by Indra, who knows what it means. She is all set to ditch Bellamy chained to that cave and bounce, much to his chagrin. He hopes this might get Octavia to realize Indra will always prioritize her people. Much to my sparkly heart emoji, Indra responds firmly, “Octavia is my people.” So screw you, Bellamy! He wants to do a team-up to save her, but Indra’s not here for that. “Tell her I’m sorry,” Octavia’s mentor says gravely before she dips.
The Best Friend Squad, which now includes Bryan, is marching solemnly through the muck, dragging along an unconscious Octavia. She begins to stir just as Lincoln is marched to his execution, and immediately starts flipping out. As she desperately stumbles through the woods to Lincoln, I begin my pre-cry. While this is happening Pike is promising Lincoln that all the grounder prisoners will be safe, which I’d bet holds about as much water as a paper bag. Lincoln looks at him with such shade I’m honestly blinded. It’s inspirational. He drops to his knees in the rain as Pike reads his sentence and asks him if he has any last words. “Not for you,” he says gravely, and my pre-cry transitions into full-cry, as does Octavia’s. Oh man, this is messy. I can’t describe it. Here are the pictures.
I’ve re-watched this scene three times and I still have to cover my face with my hands when the trigger is actually pulled. Don’t know what happens after that. I usually pop back in right as Octavia’s sad-cry face hardens into one of rage, vengeance, and determination. It’s both hard to watch and incredibly satisfying on a deep level. O’s gonna come out throwing punches, y’all!! Can’t wait.
Having been spoiled for Lincoln’s death long in advance (and having common sense before that), I was surprised that I wasn’t more steeled for his demise. It was still utterly painful to watch, and probably always will be. That’s the mark of a good TV death, which is more than a lot of characters get (cough). I’m so stoked for Ricky Whittle on American Gods though, so I’m living in the silver lining here. Other than that, this episode served its purpose in propelling the plot forward after Lexa’s death. We have a new antagonist I’ve grown to hate almost more than Pike in under an episode, so that’s a feat. What else, what else… Ooh, Harper! Harper getting to do so much stuff, you guys! We are truly hashtag blessed this day. Hopefully this leads to the show circling back to a more delinquent-centered storyline. And the drop ship. And maybe someone can wash their hair, just to get crazy.
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.