Episode 403 “The Four Horsemen”
Written by Heidi Cole McAdams
Directed by P.J. Pesce
Hot damn, you guys, every time I think we can’t get any more full circle, we do another two laps and become more full-circle-ier than I could have ever imagined. At what point are we watching a show within a show? And does this show literally have a child-murder quota that I’m not aware of? Read on to find out…
In Arkadia, people are still working to patch the ship up enough to survive the upcoming nuclear wave. No one is working harder than our own golden trio, who are discussing their lack of popularity with their peers and food. Just a gentle reminder how doomed they all are. Raven (Lindsey Morgan) does some mad guilt tripping on Bellamy (Bob Morley) to remind him they can’t make synthetic protein without the water generator he blew up last episode. She also wants Clarke (Eliza Taylor) to make a list of the new 100 (this full circle thing is really getting to me), aka the hundred people who will get to survive on the upgraded Ark. Clarke, understandably, does not want to make that list, as it is objectively horrifying and she has done enough objectively horrifying things throughout the course of this show to last a lifetime. But the subject is put on hold due to a fracas at the gate.
It’s Nyko (Ty Olsson)! And some grounders who appear far worse for wear. “They need Skaikru medicine,” Nyko explains, and they sure do look it. Including a hacking and hunched over Luna! Remember Luna (Nadia Hilker) you guys? The last Nightblood, lived on an oil rig cave, swore an oath of pacifism and consequently kicked Clarke and all her friends to the curb? You know, Luna! “Please don’t turn me away because of what I did to you,” she entreats Bellamy and Clarke. They are saved from answering by beautiful wise ex-chancellor and ray of pure light Abigail Griffin (Paige Turco), who heals the sick in her spare time. She identifies it as acute radiation poisoning right away because she’s a genius. It seems the wave isn’t adhering to plot lines and has already started killing all the fish (and people) around the oil rig of pacifism. This causes some significant stress and worried-glance-exchanging between our two heroes.
Back in Polis, Octavia 3.0: Assassin’s Creed version (Marie Avgeropoulos) is being contracted by Roan (Zach McGowan) for a job. He wants to speak in private, but Octavia won’t send Indra (Adina Porter) away because adopted mom. The reason Roan needs the FBRS (Fierce Bitch Revenge Squad) is because the Flame has been stolen — really? I’m sorry, but really Roan? You’ve had the Flame for like, five minutes. Already? Really? Anyway, Roan needs them to find it and/or kill the person who stole it. His number one suspects are the fanatical Keepers of the Flame, which I guess is a cult of some sort. He can’t search for it himself and no one can know it’s been stolen, so it’s a super-secret spy mission for Indra and O! My heart is full. After she splits we learn from Roan that Octavia has a boss new nickname— Skai Rippa, aka Death From Above. Move over, Wanheda. Cool has a new face. And Mama Indra glimmers with pride. We only know this because she said so. She is exceptionally hard to read.
In an undisclosed cave, Murphy (Richard Harmon) and Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira) are lamenting their own lack of eats. Seems to be a lot of that going around. Murphy longs for his old digs in Polis, where there was much more food, but also much more murder. Of course, Murphy, who I just have to assume has never had a girlfriend before, doesn’t know that bringing this up will 100% open the door for talking about Ontari, aka Turnipface McChildDecapitator, aka the former fake-commander aka evil chick who basically raped Murphy possibly more than once. The conversation does seem to go in that direction, too. They barely scrape over the non-con moment before Murphy decides to dip to steal food from Arkadia. Because of course he does. Because Murphy.
The med bay in Arkadia is popping! Full of sick and dying people! Abby, Clarke and Jackson (Sachin Sahel) — Jackson!! Low-key I’ve been waiting for confirmation that Jackson is still alive because I was genuinely sketchy on that point. But here he is, doctoring! Except doctoring sucks right now, since all these grounders are almost certainly going to die of radiation poisoning, and meds are on lockdown (thanks Raven). While the medic nerds converse, Bellamy does what he can for Luna, who isn’t looking so hot. Even her magnificent hair is wilting. Clarke joins them and gives her word to Luna that she’ll do everything they can to save what’s left of her people, but Clarke’s been throwing her word around a lot lately so I wouldn’t take that all the way to the bank.
Our heroes get summoned by certified Beautiful Mind Raven Reyes, who has deduced that ALIE was incorrect in assuming they had 6 months left. Raven Reyes is literally smarter than a supercomputer, in case you missed that. She’s taken the new info about the dying fish and bugs (also noted earlier by Emori) and calculated that they have, in fact, only two. So if you were asking “how much more bleak can everything get?” at any point before this, hold on to your seats/hats/closest living relative/whatever. Bellamy is worried the Ark won’t be ready by then, but Raven says to leave that to her. The only thing she wants from Clarke is the list of the new 100, because in her own words, “Choosing who gets to live or die is your specialty.” Offense! That’s rude. Before my poor put-upon Khaleesi can summon a clapback, however, the noise from a rover being stolen interrupts them.
Who’s that stealing the rover, you ask? Why it’s Jaha (Isaiah Washington), ruiner of everything. Captain of the Guard Bellamy Blake isn’t having that, however, and btw Bellamy bossing Jaha around is my new religion. Of course, Jaha has to ruin everything, even my enjoyment, by revealing he knows the repaired Ark will still only save a hundred people. This is bad news for our golden trio, who’s trying to keep 3/4ths of the population’s impending death’s on the DL. But Jaha claims that he has the answer to their problems (as he has before, to disastrous results) in the form of a crazy old cult’s crazy old bunker. And if there’s one thing Thelonius Jaha knows intimately, it’s crazy cults. He brings out a steampunk iPad with some old news headlines. I like the steampunk iPad. It claims this group, avid Doomsday Preppers, allegedly built a huge bunker to live out the end of the world that could save thousands. Only downside: there’s no definite proof it exists, and if they really do only have two months to prep the Ark, they can’t waste a single day. In exchange for this long shot, Clarke promises Raven if the bunker isn’t viable, she’ll make the survivor’s list that Raven is pushing so hard for. So, lose/lose!
So Jaha, Bellamy at the wheel, and Clarke riding shotgun, embark for their latest last-ditch effort. Hot damn, you couldn’t fill this rover with more self-loathing if you tried. On the steampunk iPad they watch literally the worst TED talk ever, given by the leader of the aforementioned doomsday cult, called the Four Horsemen (drink for the episode name drop! That’s gonna be a thing I do now, heads up). It’s a very juicy cult speech, full of salvations and whatnot, and ends with a rallying, “From the ashes, we will rise.” Cool, but, you won’t though. Anyway, Jaha seems to have gone all Emmy Award Winner Tony Shaloub on us, and done some high grade investigating into this guy. There’s only one outstanding property left to this cult, the leader’s childhood home, with a convenient bunker located just underneath it. That’s where our heroes (such as they are) head out, in what is definitely the second or third worst road trip of all time.
While the best friends are away, however, the munchkins will play! Turns out Murphy’s version of “sneaking in” to Arkadia is whistling up to the front gate and flirting with Miller (!!!!!!!! I am good I deserve this I am good I deserve this I am good I deserve this I am g) right in front of his dad. I am here for this ten TRILLION percent, in case you were wondering. Break those heteronormative chains of cable television, my greasy son. And just in case I haven’t been filled with enough love in my heart, it appears I’m about to get a Murphy and Raven scene, which are among my faves, if for no other reason than the epic exchange of snark.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Radiant beacon of light Abby Griffin arrives! (We know this is about to be an important conversation, because Murphy is here eavesdropping.) She’s here to negotiate with her adopted daughter Raven for radiation medicine for the grounders. Raven, who is in charge of supplies and also not having it, thank you very much, declines. On the grounds that it’s a long shot anyway and they can’t risk wasting their already small rations. While she does have a point, Dammit I’m A Doctor Not a Politician Abby Griffin is here to save children! “If we can save even one life, would you call that a waste?” She asks Raven. But who has one functioning leg and zero time for anyone’s crap? This gal. Raven shuts her down and inadvertently reveals the impending end of the world to Murphy, who continues his streak of accidentally knowing everything.
The irradiated grounders are dropping off like flies in MedBay, to the dismay of Abby. Like her daughter, she’s tortured by all those she can’t save. But rescue comes— I kid you the eff not— in the form of John Murphy, who lived up to his criminal roots by stealing medicine for a sick kid (as Jackson notes, this is the same offense that got his father floated — and there goes my heart function). Abby, who I think has just started emotionally adopting children on the fly, tells Murphy she was worried about him after telling Jackson to administer the medicine to the child first to see if it works. He does so, aided by Luna and Nyko. Everyone in this scene is a hero and I am going to die here this is emotionally EXHAUSTING.
We return to Polis and find the Flame-stealer. It’s the mysterious shouter from the season premiere! See, didn’t I tell you guys to remember her? I love being right. But we’re getting off on the wrong foot here, as she is important now in that she is currently holding Clarke’s ex-girlfriend hostage. As she strolls past a grounder tech-smashing party, her tail, the sneaky spying Octavia, encounters resistance in the form of Ilian and his ilk. They “let” her pass (I use “let” in this sense because there’s no way these nerds could stop Skai Rippa from going to a place she wants to go), but follow her. She, in turn, follows the flame stealer to another flame keeper cave— now with 30% MORE candles!! They’re obviously going to have a showdown, so let’s get to it.
It’s a more even match than Octavia has faced recently— our mystery girl with the on point af hair is matching O blow for blow. However, Octavia the Bounty Hunter is here for killing. Just as she’s about to do that thing, Indra interrupts. Wait, Indra stopping someone from being murdered? What on Earth!? We don’t have to wait long for an explanation though, as she quickly stays Octavia’s blade with a simple “She’s my daughter.” Okay, allow me this brief moment to FLIP THE FLOP OUT OH MY GOD YOU GUYS INDRA HAS A DAUGHTER NOT JUST A MURDER DAUGHTER LIKE A DAUGHTER DAUGHTER WITH BIRTH AND STUFF HOLY CRAP.
And yeah, that causes O to put her sword down and change tune real quick. Now she’s down to talk things out with Roan with much less murder. Gaia (her name is Gaia oh my God I’m going to faint) turns out to not have followed in her mother’s footsteps of hardcore battles and curb stomping bitches, but instead took a holier path of Flamekeeper, which I guess is a religion not a job title. She even wears a little flame keychain around her neck just to drive it home. She berates her mother for allowing an Azgeda king to hold the flame, saying it perverts their faith. But Indra does not approve of her daughter’s life choices either and makes this known very clearly in a heart wrenching speech that adds 30 new dimensions to Indra’s character literally before our very eyes. “My daughter was not meant to wander the earth looking for Nightbloods. My daughter was meant to lead armies. My daughter was meant to lead our people.”
What really puts the final nail in my emotional coffin here though is Gaia turning to Octavia, clearly taking after Indra in terms of fighting style and boss tattoos, and says quietly “it looks like you’ve found that daughter.” WELL FINE THEN, I WASN’T USING THAT HEART ANYWAY. Octavia “Death From Above” Blake is the only one trying to stay on topic, reminding the reunited duo that if Roan doesn’t have the flame, he’ll be exposed to enemies and keep sending people to find it. It’s a cluster, basically. Let’s throw some gas on that fire by that tech-smashing party popping back up to corner the new FBRS. Clearly outnumbered, the fierce bitches lay down their swords but aren’t happy about it. Immediately the anti-steampunk brigade, led by Ilian, take the flame from Gaia, and oh crap things are about to get ten trillion times worse, aren’t they? Yep. Lexa’s gonna die twice. Thanks a freaking lot, Ilian!
As I mourn my Heda again, O and Gaia look around the wreckage left by douchehats. As Octavia collects the remnants of — Gaia’s keychain necklace, because O switched them out and Gaia had the real flame the whole time, you fools! — Gaia thanks her and commends her plan. Maybe Indra’s two daughters can get along after all? Gosh darn, wouldn’t that be a change of pace. As mother and bio-daughter exchange barbs about each “getting what they wanted” (A potato chip commander and a murder-heir), poor Octavia Blake, who has been motherless for quite some time now, tries to broker a tiny peace with Indra. But it’s difficult, as Indra points out, because fuzzy mother-daughter reunion times will not stop Roan wanting Gaia’s head on a stick for stealing the flame. But fear not, Skai Rippa has a plan for that part, too.
Back in Arkadia, Raven, who looks like she’s been burning the midnight everything, notices that the medicine supply has been broken into. We of course know it’s selfless and noble French fry John Murphy behind the deed, but Raven does not, and storms down to MedBay to have it out with her own adopted mom. She’s intercepted by Murphy. Finally! The vicious snark exchanges I dream of! “Once a cockroach, always a cockroach, huh?” Raven confronts him with a package of their own stolen meat. MMMmmmm, yeah, right there, that’s the good stuff. Murphy tries to derail her before Abby comes up with the remainder of the missing meds. They only used one dose, and Raven gets there just in time to witness one of the most upsetting scenes on this show to date: the slow and painful death/mourning of a pacifist grounder child. This scene also gives MVP of the ep to Nadia Hilker, who is now two for two in appearing in episodes that make me cry my own blood. Good job.
Because we’re now wallowing deep in our own misery and sadness, let’s join the Guilt Trip, comprised of Jaha, Clarke, and Bellamy, because that is where they live. They’ve arrived, carrying flashlights, exposition, and snarky one-liners (“Well, if anyone’s entitled to a lucky break, we are.” Keep ‘em coming there, Bellamy, right into my veins). While they explore the ruins, Scooby-style, Jaha and Bellamy break off into a rousing round of character-defining talks that stab me deep in my fragile heart. Bellamy telling Jaha that he had it backwards when saying that Clarke was lucky to have him was a virtual falcon punch to my lungs. Is this really happening? Does a small child really need to die every time I get a validating Bellamy/Clarke friendship moment? Because I’ll make those kinds of sacrifices if it means getting more of these one liners from someone other than Murphy (“If you’re wrong, and there is a Hell? I guess I’ll see you there.” Hot DAMN that’s what I like; sorry grounder children, your sacrifice is noted and appreciated).
It looks like they are entitled to some kind of something, because (Lois and) Clarke found the cult bunker! It’s full of old Supernatural props the CW had lying around, but nonetheless, our heroes find it promising. After — can’t make this up — knocking to see if anyone’s home (I love Bellamy Blake if that is not abundantly clear), our fearless trio endeavors to pull the door off its hinges entirely with the rover in a “Hold My Beer and Watch This” type situation. It works, but because of the quid pro quo of this show, that’s only because what’s inside has to be horrible; all that’s inside is a gaggle of irradiated, twelfth level corpses. So the day is wasted, and Clarke has to write that awful list. But hey, at least Jaha’s dreams are dashed. That’s something.
In King Roan’s throne room, Skai Rippa (aka Octavia Blake, ninja warrior) comes bearing the head of some random dude she’s pinning the Flame’s destruction on. She hands him the broken pieces of Gaia’s keychain and they reflect on how many more people they’re going to have to murder to stay safe in Polis now. But in case you haven’t been paying attention (which would be hard, because they’ve really been driving it home), murder is kind of O’s thing now, and she’s on it.
Murphy returns to his and Emori’s love nest with a big old bear hug for his lady (d’awww), and news of the end of days (less d’awww). Now that Murphy knows they need to be on the Ark, they’re switching up their strategies and going to chill with Murphy’s people after all. And knowing that this will give me Emori in Arkadia interacting with all my space faves, this right here is one of the things I’m most looking forward to coming up. Please let it be a Kevin-and-Britney-a-la-Daria situation where everyone just leaves them to their own brand of shenanigans with slightly rolled eyes.
That Ark is being worked on round the clock by people who may or may not get to live on it! That’s not horrifying or depressing at all! But hey, if you want to get really depressed, let’s check in on Clarke “Not Even Nineteen Years Old Yet in Case You Forgot” Griffin making a list of the new 100. God it’s a cruel, cruel plot circle out there. Thank goodness my heart’s already been ripped out, cut to pieces and ground to emotionally exhausted dust already by this episode, or Clarke adding Bellamy’s name to the list while he sleeps nearby and softly crying would break me. But you can still break something that’s already been broken, as is evidenced by Clarke being unable to put her own name down as the 100th on the list. That’s the true sucker-punch; much like Bellamy, no matter how many people Clarke saves, she will never see herself as fit to live. But that’s why they need each other, you guuuys, this episode all but beats into our skulls, as Bellamy snatches the burden from her and writes her name (in all caps!) before she can object. For frick’s sake, I was already dead before this scene started, how can one become deader than dead? By hand holding and more worried glance-exchanges, that’s how. Bury me in that party bunker you guys, I’m done.
But guess who’s not done — Luna! You didn’t think they were bringing her back for a one-off, did you? Nahhh, we don’t roll like that here. Luna appears to be up and at ’em (although still only at 30% hair floofiness), despite not having been given medicine of any kind. She’s just kind of… okay now. And we’ll give you three guesses why… (hint: it’s the same reason Clarke and Co. pretty much tried to violate her brain last season) Say it with me everyone: The! Last! Nightblooooood!
So aside from that leading me to a very Mt. Weather-ey brain place (please can we not go that full circle? Yet?) this episode just continued to press the pedals of excitement and open up even more doors of plot-pointy goodness. What are Murphy and Emori going to get up to in Arkadia to make themselves useful? How many people is Octavia willing to kill to keep Roan in power? How did Abby make it all the way from Polis to Arkadia in between one episode and why didn’t anyone feel the need to tell me Jackson was okay? That’s fine, he is. But what’s with this sweeping grounder movement against technology? How will that eventually come back to bite us in the behinds? Whatever, it will probably be Jasper’s fault.
The 100 airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c on The CW.