ReviewsTelevision & Film

THE 100: Make Arkadia Great Again!

Episode 402 “Heavy Lies the Crown”
Written by Justine Juel Gillmer
Directed by Ed Fraiman

In an episode about the perils of leadership, one character dares stand above the rest in terms of showing true nobility and good. That character is obviously Monty Green, but that’s not a surprise. Other characters did stuff too! Awesome stuff! And stuff that might have screwed everyone but was awesome anyway! Confused? Read on.

We start off in a flashback to nine days ago. Are we sure it’s not season one? Look, there’s a radioactive butterfly! And a dying body tied to a post! Not Jasper’s, but a grounder woman. I wish it was Jasper. Her chipped son with his array of cool forehead tattoos is trying to convince her to take the good ol’ communion wafer of crazy, but she’s unreceptive. Especially after her chipped son (Chai Romruen) kills her other chipped son right in front of her. We get an easter egg of ALIE (Erica Cerra), right before she’s deactivated by Clarke last season finale, glitching out just in time for the son, Ilian, to see his entire family dead by his hand, and hear his mother’s last words— “Avenge me.” Well. This got off to a sh*tty start. (Although I like that Zach McGowan [Roan] is in the credits now)

Alright, I’m abandoning all pretense of professionalism for a bit here. KANE AND ABBY GOT IT ON IN THE GIANT CANDLE YOU GUYS AND I’M FREAKING THE GEEK OUT!!!!!!!! LITERALLY OUT OF NOWHERE OUR GOOD SPAGHETTI MONSTER DECIDED TO BLESS ME WITH THIS POST-COITAL MAJESTY. ALTHOUGH I AM A SINNER I AM BLESSED. Praise. Things are probably happening but I’m too busy digging through the laundry to find my #TeamKabby shirt but oh fudge it. I’M LIVING TEAM KABBY. TO HECK WITH THE SHIRT. Okay, what’s going on is Abby (Paige Turco) has to leave to check on her patient/new bff King Roan. She briefly pauses to retrieve the necklace with her wedding ring on it (awks, all things considered) and they have a cute moment where Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) puts her necklace back on and helps alleviate her guilt about the dead husband they both kind of killed. There’s some plot foreshadowing or something but I don’t even care, they’re smooching. BLESSED.

Outside in the popping slums of Polis, some punk ass whose mouth his too big for his britches is filling Ilian’s head with lies about my precious salty king. He’s got it in his head to challenge him, as an ambassador, and take control of Polis for their clan. To avenge Ilian’s family’s deaths of course. Uh huh. Sure. He promises them all Roan’s head, completely unaware that their entire conversation has been sneaky spied on by none other than Octavia kom Skaikru (Marie Avgeropoulos).

Back inside the giant candle where Kane and Abby just boned (not over it, never gonna be over it, don’t even ask), Echo (Tasya Teles) welcomes King Roan into his new digs, Lexa’s old ones. She takes another opportunity to talk up Roan’s witch mom for some reason, and it almost looks like they’re about to get into it over whether or not to help Skaikru before Daddy Kane and his adopted murder-daughter pop up with some bad news. About the punk ass from before? Who’s all up into challenging Roan now that he has a sizable hole in his chest? Yeah, no one’s stoked on that news. Roan says he has no choice but to fight, even as Octavia points out the last time he participated in Solo Gonplei he got dropped hard by a 100lb raccoon child, and that was at full HP. Roan, however, is too politically savvy for his own good. He can’t appear weak, or the alliance topples along with Skaikru. In the meantime, Kane asks for the opportunity to dad speech the whole thing around and get Punks to reconsider. And if anyone can do it, it’s Kane’s Beard.

Although I find it hard to believe there’s anything this salty man can’t do.

Arkadia time! Looks like a Best Friend Squad Think Tank is well underway, trying to figure out a solution to the upcoming radiation flood. Current status: FUBAR. Raven (Lindsey Morgan) is at a fundamental disagreement with Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Bellamy (Bob Morley) about whether or not to tell the masses about their impending doom. Our fearless leaders are firmly anti-That. But Raven brings up another season one throwback: the culling! Remember, the bunch of people who sacrificed themselves for more oxygen on the ark? Wild times.

Anyway, she points out that those people volunteered to die because they were told the truth. She also name drops Clarke’s dad, which makes 2 references to Jake Griffin in under 10 minutes, more than the entire last season combined. Anyway, while the golden trio bickers back and forth, genius iconic Official Main Character™ Monty Green (Christopher Larkin) comes up with the solution all by his beautiful self. What can withstand massive temperature fluctuations and high levels of radiation? A gigantic spaceship! What a coincidence. Side note: Monty Green’s smile could power all the technology left on Earth.

We take this plan to the home of our favorite domestic power couple, Miller (Jarod Joseph) and Bryan (Jonathan Whitsell). Why hello, Shirtless Bryan, very nice to meet you. I think we’re going to be friends. Anyway, Bellamy’s in dad mode and explaining to his tiny gay ducklings that in order to stock up on the water they need, they’re rolling out to get the hydrogen generator from the crashed remains of Farm Station. Devotees will remember that Farm Station crashed in Azgeda territory, and is therefore moderately to extremely unsafe. Despite Miller’s heartfelt objections, Bryan, determined to upgrade from tertiary to secondary character, agrees to join the away team. I forgot to mention in my last recap how bitter I was about the lack of Briller in the season premiere. Fixed. Miller is still not happy about that, and they get into a tiff about Pike somehow, but it all ends with the young lovebirds…  hugging? Come on, CW. You’re better than that.

We take the party outside, where Jasper (Devon Bostick) is singing happily in the shower. Note to the writers: there were 50 other ways to showcase Jasper’s new lease on life that made me want to gouge my eyes and ears out 100 times less. Anywhoo. Monty, Jasper’s best friend for some reason, approaches him and kindly asks to stop wasting all their drinking water. Jasper, having leveled up into a new evolution of Douchémon, declines, under the reasoning that they’ll all die in six months anyway. He does, however, make time to ask Monty to grab their weed stash while they’re back in Farm Station (unnecessary, since the entire world is about to blaze it), because that’s the priority here. I’m sorry, I really wish I could stop editorializing, but Jasper just sucks, okay? He sucks. However, it does make my heart go woot woot to see them reprise their solo-high five tradition. Please continue bringing back all my favorite tiny remnants from season one.

I expect Miller’s beanie to pop up any time now.

Look at that marvelously kept facial hair. It aches for a beanie.

While the Best Friend Squad mobile unit, including Miller, Bryan, and Harper (Chelsea Rest) get their stuff together, my two favorite friendships on this show convene. Raven helps Monty with some super subtle foreshadowing that the hydrogen generator is full of hydrogen (der durr) and not to make explosions cheat on her. Science Bros. Bellamy and Clarke exchange Ice Nation keys and furtive, worried glances. Leader Bros. Clarke elects to stay behind to find a way to save the other countless people who don’t have access to a giant spaceship. Always thinking of others, my queen.

Wow, Future Canada is not as far as I thought. We’re already here! But we can’t wait to leave. Monty and Bryan because they have to stare at the wreckage of their former home, and Bellamy probably because being a fifth wheel sucks. Oh, and Farm Station has been occupied by Azgeda warriors. So that’s not great. Even not greater, some of them have come out to greet them. They even brought weapons! Such gracious squatters. Bryan is the last to disarm at Bellamy’s command, making my heart do the thing again. Also, shouldn’t Monty be a bit more expressive as his gf has an arrow to her neck? Oh well. Bellamy, whipping out some fresh grounder-speak (unf) hands them the key and explains they were sent by Roan, their king. This gets him a punch. God, not the face!

As the ducklings and their pappy get trotted down to meet the Chief, it suddenly comes to mind that there are no cell phones in the post-apocalyptic hellscape future and these squatters probably don’t know that Roan is Ice President now. Confirmed. And even these out of touch hicks in the Azgeda equivalent of New Mexico don’t like Roan. Oh well, they’re letting the kids go and get their machine anyway. That’s sweet.

Raven is the new Sinclair, y’all! Giving all the orders, takin’ the names (easily, since only five people volunteered to help her patch the Ark up), and then Clarke arrives! The newly re-invigorated Princess Mechanic is off to a roaring start. Raven laments that she shouldn’t have to be the one giving all the orders, since she’s a youth and not to be trusted with direct positions of power. Well, WELCOME TO CLARKE GRIFFIN’S WORLD, MISS REYES. HOW DO YA DO. “For what it’s worth, there’s nobody I trust more to do this than you,” Clarke assures her lady friend. It’s worth more than enough for me! My heart is fluttering free as a bird at the sight of these two queens finally back on track with each other, even if they are shouldering heavy burdens. It seems to help Raven just a little, before their party is crashed by newly bald Jaha (Isaiah Washington).

Oh, Jaha. You could not have walked into a room with two people who want you there any less. Remember how you executed Clarke’s dad and fed Raven a chip that made her slit her own wrists? No? Well, they do. And they still don’t like you. However, since Jaha was an engineer before he became Chancellor (??? ?????!!!???? how did this not come up at all in three seas— you know what never mind) he volunteers to help with the extensive repairs. Raven tells him to kindly shove his help up his butt. It’s only after a little needling from Clarke, with her boundless compassion and hotness, that she begrudgingly allows him to sort the scrap. Roan could take pettiness lessons from our dear Raven Reyes.

Back in the remnants of Farm Station that have turned into New Icetown, the mobile Best Friend Squad is being led to the hydrogen machine. Monty notes that the Ark is still functioning, despite the fact that the most advanced technology grounders can operate is an SD card and they think it’s a ghost. How is the ship still running then, you may ask. Well, as the BFS learns, there’s an assembly line of slaves chained together to keep the place spic and span. Slaves that happen to be former residents of Farm Station, and Bryan’s friends that he thought were dead. Unfortunately for our friends, while the Ice folk are happy to let them split with the hydrogen generator, they really want to keep their slaves. Well.

I know, Roan. My kokoro hurts too.

It’s fun times with weapons for Echo and Roan! They’re sparring in anticipation for Roan’s upcoming throw down with that ambassador extra from earlier. Under the watchful eye of Doctor Abby, Roan gets his salted butt handed to him due to the fact he has a hole in his body. Abby and Echo both entreat Roan to cancel the brawl, but he’s determined. “I told you, I won’t be that kind of king,” he tells Echo in whatever language Ice Nationers speak. Echo responds by handing his ass to him again, harder. This one is clearly learned in the art of waif-fu. There’s a moment where shade is flung in all directions, so much so that Abby is pressed to leave by their host (under appreciated after saving someone’s life, huh? Like daughter like mother).

Echo is still curious as to what exactly Wanheda promised Roan that would make him stick his petty muscly neck out so far for Skaikru. “The chance to survive the end of the world” is his response. It is a very good response, but Echo is a mistrustful sort and doesn’t know that. She pleads with her king to let her pop off to Arkadia to prove that Clarke ’n Co. are full of it. He gives her permission, but only after she helps him kill this guy. Roan’s still Team Clarke, y’all!! That road trip weren’t for nothin’.

Just outside the giant candle, That punk ass ambassador from earlier is going over his plans with all his little punk ass friends about how he’s going to dethrone Roan. I continue to refer to him only as punk ass until he stops being one. A wild Kane appears out of nowhere to interrupt them, however. And since it’s bring-your-daughter-to-diplomacy day, Octavia is there too. With an amazing new hairstyle that I am living for. Think Rey from Star Wars but if she liked to kill people. Kane requests a one-on-one to talk about the upcoming treason currently being planned (+ Octavia and Ilian, who is retained for guilt-tripping purposes). It’s a lot of grumbly back and forth with some fierce quips from O, but in the end nothing is accomplished of course, and the ambassador wanders away to continue being a punk somewhere else.

At the same time, our brave Khaleesi Clarke Griffin is deeply perturbed by the sheer volume of people she has to save. She even made a chart. God, I love her. I just want to wrap her up in a hundred fluffy blankets with a hot cup of tea and tell her she is appreciated. Unfortunately she’s overcome by stress at the moment and cannot be reached. Except by the sound of weirdly garbled piano music, it seems. Clarke follows the sound to the reigning king of douchebaggery and bad music, Jasper Jordan. He’s hosting a kickback with the other Ark workers, who are having a grand old time not doing the things Clarke needs them to do. She attempts to talk some sense into Jasper, but of course that’s pointless. He continues to play the “apocalypse” card to justify being an astronomical dick. But he never really needed an excuse, did he? The only sensible point he makes is that keeping the truth from the masses is what got The 100 sent down to the ground by the council in the first place, and now look where they are. That’s fair.

Pictured: three frightened baby ducklings and their father who doesn’t understand how they always get caught in these situations.

So the whole slave thing. That’s bad. Bellamy and his coupled off children are discussing how to move forward. It’s pretty risky, especially considering the handy plot note one of the littlest enslaved Arkadians dropped, telling our heroes the huddled masses will be moved tomorrow. Time clock! So, options are: A) Take the hydrogen generator ensuring that Arkadia has the water it needs to survive the apocalypse and scratch the slaves (Miller and Monty are for this plan), or B) Take the hydrogen generator, make it explode, free the slaves. Bryan and Harper are for this plan; Bryan because all these people are his friends and neighbors, and Harper because she’s an empathetic being of light and wonderment. The tie-breaking vote goes to Bellamy, because he doesn’t have enough crippling guilt. Yet!

This is a real gut-wrencher. Bellamy Blake, whose one true love is saving people, has to choose between a small handful of trapped innocents (his favorite flavor of people to save) and ensuring his people can survive (his other favorite thing!). As our fivesome solemnly marches out with the hydrogen tank, it appears Bellamy cast his vote for option A. That surprises me greatly. I feel like it goes against Bellamy’s character thus far, who has shown multiple times he’ll take a greater loss to save even one person, especially small children and wait, no, strike that, they’re blowing everything up. Yeah, that feels more right. Psych! Take that! Best Friend Squad forever! Dang, they even got me with that one. Good show. Literally.

There’s only one remaining Ice Baddie to take down after the explosion: the Final Boss. He’s outmatched by the youth, however, and quickly gets taken down, with Miller (heart eyes) punching a dent in his face basically. Even Harper gets a good kick in, until they’re all called off by Bryan, saying he should be Monty’s kill. Scooby-Doo says whuuuuh?? “This is the man that murdered your father,” he explains. Oh my. That does indeed resonate with our Mr. Green, who as of yet has not gotten to avenge any of his dead parents (seeing as he killed the other one). He gets right to business by purposefully picking up a Convenient Axe. Ignoring Bellamy’s cautions, Monty takes one look at the man who took his father’s life, eyes filled with rage, axe in his hand…

and uses that axe to free all the slaves.

Monty Green, everybody.

The slaves then go and murder the guy anyway, but that’s none of my business.

Back in Arkadia, Clarke is looking for Raven to initiate more friendship times. Instead she finds Jaha, which has to be the very definition of a let down. Jaha points out the polymers they’re using for repairs are pretty advanced for fending off a grounder attack, so he’s figured out there’s perfidy afoot. Not surprising considering Jaha has been the leading purveyor of perfidy since S1. Clarke points this out as well in bulletpoints that you can tell she’s been saving up for a rainy day, but I think at this point Jaha might hate himself too much for insults to take root. Like a drop in the ocean. He namedrops the episode (“Heavy Lies the Crown”), and all but recites Clarke’s own frustrations with leadership and decision making back at her. You can see the look of painful realization in her eyes when she realized she has something in common with this disaster area of a human, but that’s neither here nor there. Eventually, defeated and weary, Clarke asks Jaha what she should do. “I’ll tell you what I told your mother after the culling,” Jaha replies, “we make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have, then hope that there’s a forgiving God.” Oh gosh, was that Jaha’s best dad speech? Horrible. Kane would be so ashamed.

After the sun has set on the giant candle, Abby Griffin looks contemplatively out a window, awaiting her second husband’s return. He does, upset with his lack of progress in helping Roan. Abby assures him that he’ll find a way (heart eyes!! in my face!!), but Marcus can tell when his lady love is perturbed. He knows she wants to go back to Arkadia to be with Clarke and advance the plot and all that, and he knows she should go. But just to prove she’s still #TeamKabby, she’s completely ditched her wedding ring necklace. And they smooch again you guys!!!! I just can’t. It’s too much for my weak heart. I keep pressing my Life Alert but they don’t come here anymore.

Punkass Ambassador McFartshingle (I am trying to undermine his authority as much as possible because I hate him) is enjoying a nice dinner before he tries to challenge Roan and assume the throne. But uh-oh spaghetti-o’s, looks like Octavia kom Skaikru is here to eff that plan all the way up. She struts in there under the pretense of convincing him to fight her instead of Roan, but when that fails as we all knew it would, she settles for stabbing him in the brain. Right in the brain. Through the ear. What an icon. At least she tidies up after her murder.

Wanted to kill this head of hair? You thought wrong. So wrong.

The coalition assembles, despite Kane’s protests, and sans the guy who was supposed to challenge Roan, as he is now brain stabbed. Echo comes to relay that news to the King, only in this game of Trigedasleng Telephone, “brain stabbed” gets translated into “heart stopped”, and the ambassadors all bow their heads in mourning. Except Kane, who spares one look to his assassin baby to confirm to himself that she did indeed do that assassinating. Obviously went over his head on the matter, but hey, results are results. Ilian, whose forehead dots are not pleased with the turn of events, quietly questions Octavia if she’s going to murder him as well. Still maintaining that fierce ass Star Wars-inspired ‘do, she denies knowing anything, and also offers her condolences for his family. Awww. That’s our Octavia. Murderer with a heart of… well, more murder, but she’s nice sometimes.

The party rover pulls back into Arkadia, now plus twenty-five former slaves. As they all hop off and get their bearings, Bryan and Miller have another tiff over how the mission went down. Miller still thinks they should have split with the generator, and that doesn’t sit well with his boyfriend. So all is not well in the world of Briller, and I cry. But flip side: apparently Clarke knew one of the slaves back on the Ark! His name is Riley, and he was name dropped upwards of 5 times in this episode so it stands to reason that he’ll be important later.

Elsewhere, the golden trio link up so Bellamy can explain to them how he messed up/saved the day, and Raven and Clarke can chastise him for it. I’m sad my poor son has to deal with this barrage of insults, but I’m happy it’s not Clarke for once. Raven reminds them that without a hydro-generator, the Ark can sustain no more than a hundred people (ha! I see what you did there). It is in this scenario, with their backs against the wall, that Clarke is forced to tell the Arkadians the truth about the upcoming apocalypse. It goes better than expected. No riots, thanks to some extravagant campaign promises from Clarke. And at the end of it, Raven has the volunteers she needs. Clarke and Bellamy watch the Arkadians get to work, reminding themselves that they saved who they could. But the crown still lies heavy on these two.

And this was some heavy stuff indeed.

I could go on for a paragraph just about the Kabby sex, but I’ll stick to my therapist for that one. Instead I’ll just say that my prediction last week came true, and we’ve seen a complete full circle around to season one. I love it! I’m a huge believer in the “back to basics” action in regards to TV shows that go off the rails a bit. After a bad season you whip back to the stuff that made you good before. And this right here is the good stuff, let me tell you. Character interaction out the wazoo, political scheming and backstabbing, and costuming that just makes you nod your head slightly with a contented smile. I’m not the only one who noticed Octavia looking particularly stunning in this ep, right? I can’t be. It was perfection. Overall, a strong episode in my book.


The 100 airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c on The CW.

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