Episode 401 “Echoes”
Written by Jason Rothenberg
Directed by Dean White
Aaaaand we’re back, folks!! I would like to start off by apologizing profusely for dropping off the face of the earth towards the end of last season; it was a combination of a series of personal life crises aggravated by gross irresponsibility. But enough about my personal failings, let’s dig into this (FRAKKING AMAZING) season premiere~!
We’re picking up right where we left off, with Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) making a quick and inconspicuous retreat from the murder she just did (RIP Pike, but not really). Looks like she’s about to peace out for good, but she’s stopped by the sight of Indra (Adina Porter) being cut down from one of the macabre-ass torture X’s. And mommy comes first, so down she goes to see how she is. Indra, as long as she’s breathing, will continue to be a badass, so she shrugs out her mortal wounds like they ain’t no thing. All she cares about is knowing whether or not Pike is dead. Which we know his is. I swear you can see a glimmer of pride in Indra’s eyes.
Into the chaos walk Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Bellamy (Bob Morley), looking rad as hell in what I’m calling post-apocalyptic pseudo goth. They survey the desolation in front of them, and I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s pretty bad. Dead bodies, people crying over dead bodies, half-dead bodies, just a mess. They do a brief guilt circle jerk, as they do, before debating when and or if to tell their people about their imminent deaths. Bellamy’s not a fan, as he’s not even sure they can trust ALIE’s threats in the first place. Clarke, whose hair is as on point as I’ve ever seen it, acquiesces. Bellamy gets a lot of snark injected in a short amount of time in this sequence. “I could use a break from keeping you alive,” was a real zinger. And now that I’m looking harder, both of their hair is on top of their respective games. I’m liking the foot we’re starting out on this season, not gonna lie.
Our heroes spot a Polis civilian in distress, and so of course, they must heroically rush. I could not love them even a tiny bit more. They attempt to help, but the Polis citizens rebuke them, claiming this was Wanheda’s doing in the first place. I swear to Christ, it has been TWENTY-FIVE SECONDS AND ALREADY PEOPLE ARE BLAMING CLARKE GRIFFIN FOR S**T SHE FIXED. WILL I EVER KNOW PEACE.
Meanwhile, Arkadia is literally still smoldering a little bit. It’s still abandoned save for the home base faction of the Best Friend Squad, Raven (Lindsey Morgan), Jasper (Devon Bostick), Monty (Christopher Larkin) and Harper (Chelsea Reist), who are blasting some tunes at a survivalist kickback. Jasper waltzes in which his two favorite things, alcohol and douchebro swagger. The only one not in on the party is Raven, who is too busy being the best. Jasper notes that Raven can code now even after ALIE’s deletion; a skill she didn’t have before. While he laments that he didn’t gain any new talents (or old ones— zing), he does note that Raven has been through literally 200 times more than anyone else in this show and deserves a damn nap. This, to me, is the first respectable thing to come out of Jasper’s mouth. But Raven banishes them all to let her work, dammit. While she attempts to make contact with their fearless leaders, Monty and Harper go on a lunch date (aww!), while Jasper swipes Harper’s gun to ominous music. Hmmmm.
Back in Polis, they’re still reeling from The Suckfest. It appears they’ll be doing that for a while. Jaha (Isaiah Washington) looks like he feels terrible, which, good. He’s lucky to have a guy like Kane (Henry Ian Cusick), who assuages his guilt even though he shouldn’t; this is literally all Jaha’s fault. But oh well, Kane’s a better person than me. Big whoop. So is everybody else. But mostly beautiful beacon of wisdom and hope Abigail Griffin (Paige Turco), who gets a beautiful and understated reunion with her hubby to discuss how catastrophically f**ked they are. They have to dip immediately, since Polis is about to become very unsafe for everyone Skaikru. And by “about to”, I mean, “already is”.
Raven does finally manage to get through to Bellamy, and the golden trio is reunited over the airwaves. Clarke tells Raven she’s only alive thanks to her(!), a sweet moment I think signifies the end of the Great Passive Aggression between my two favorite ladies. (So, if you’re wondering how long it takes someone to forgive you for stabbing their ex boyfriend in the heart, the answer is about two seasons). Bellamy and Clarke also fill Raven in on the Bad News; you know, the six months til the end of the world bit? That part.
But wait, a wild plot point appears! Roan is alive, you guys! Remember Roan (Zach McGowan)? Disgraced Prince-turned Disgraced King? Kidnapped Clarke that one time? Remember, how that was a whole deal? You know, Roan! Clarke fills Kabby in on how Roan got shot trying to help her in the season finale. Before Doctor Abigail Griffin, Angel of Light, can get the bullet out and save his life, a familiar party pooper wanders onto the scene. Echo (Tasya Teles)! Remember Echo? Bellamy’s kind-of-friend, who abandoned him at Mt. Weather twice and kind of got his girlfriend killed?
Okay, so maybe she’s more of an acquaintance.
Anyway she has a sword to Clarke’s throat. Abby begs for her daughter’s life, promising that she can save their king. But Echo, who is apparently quite high up on the command chain in Azgeda as a spy, rebukes her and commands the soldiers to take Roan with the rest of their dead. Bellamy pops up, summoned by Clarke being in danger.
He tries to reason with Echo, but she’s not having it at all. Even though she knows Clarke destroyed the City of Light, she still blames Skaikru for the death and destruction wrought on Polis (which, she’s not technically wrong, but still, Leave Clarke Alone). Kane and Bellamy and Kane’s beard try to reason with her, but she ends up claiming Polis for Azgeda anyway, in the name of King Roan. Can she do that? Not According to Ambassador McGonagall over here, who shuts her down and declares Polis under the rule of the 12 Ambassadors of the coalition. That rule is very, very brief. Echo politely waits until the lady finishes her sentence before cutting her throat open with a sword, and rallying all her soldiers with a cry of “For Ice Nation!”
Man, future Canadians are dicks.
Jaha attempts to be helpful by relocating some of the hundreds of dead bodies strewn around Polis. I mean, there has to be better ways of helping, but what do I know. He’s observed by Murphy (Richard Harmon)!! (I’m leaning into my Murphy love now. It’s taken a while, but I’m here. Come to me, my snarky greaseball son), who promptly tells him to go float himself when asked for help. God how I’ve missed this.
Murphy links up with his lady love, Emori (Luisa D’Olivere), who’s midway through placing out. It’s apparently forbidden for mutants like Emori to be in Polis, so before she dips she’s doing some scavenging. It’s not grave robbing if they’re not in graves!!
Murphy entreats her to come with him to Arkadia where they can be together, which Emori is skeptical about as Arkadians have kicked Murphy to the curb roughly infinity times. It’s a valid point. Just as valid as Murphy’s point that Clarke ’n Co. owe him big now, so they can probably stick around. After some hand holding and smiles (!!! My kokoro!!! how will this be ruined for me!!!), Emory agrees to join him in Arkadia, where hopefully everyone will be chill about her lobster hand. Or relatively more chill, anyway. They won’t leave her in the desert.
As Murphy and Emori go on a looting date, Clarke and the Sky Crew are funneling their people into the secret exit to get them out of the city. Kabby gets a cute, understated moment, that does not go unnoticed by Clarke. I can almost taste the sweet, juicy, character development between the Griffin ladies later. Tastes goooood. Eliza Taylor’s facial expressions here slay me; she’s perfectly combined happiness for her mother having something good in her life with “I’m not calling him dad”. I’m almost sad this perfect moment is interrupted by the appearance of the Fierce Bitch Revenge Squad, but not for long! Kane and Indra, newly reunited best friends for life, share a bro hug that literally leaves me in tears. The best friend gang cannot be stopped! My heart is full. This episode is already great.
And now, the war council convenes. There are a thousand Ice Nation soldiers in Polis, and our heroes appear completely screwed. How novel. Even uniting all the other clans against them, which Indra could totally do because she’s a beast, they would still be short. But all this kerfuffle doesn’t interest Clarke; she only wants to save Roan, because she’s a ride or die. In the natural course of conversation, Bellamy and Clarke are forced to reveal season four’s big bad: the passage of time. The nuclear reactors are shutting down and there’s six months before they go critical. We already knew this, but it’s news to Kabby and the FBRS. Indra points out, because she’s perfect, that the real pressing danger are the wandering soldiers who want to kill them right now. But Clarke has one of her brilliant and foolproof plans: surrender! Hey, try anything once, right?
Jaha carries Ontari’s shrouded corpse into the Ice Nation camp, a very nice gesture that is dumb. He is immediately given the beat down by several warriors (I ain’t mad), which is only paused when Ice Extra comes to reveal that Skaikru is surrendering. Echo struts with her guards and returns a pulverized Jaha to his people, with the message that she’ll only talk to Bellamy. Jaha limps into Kane’s strong dad arms with a message of his own— “It’s done.” Whaaaa???
YOOOOO ONTARI WAS OCTAVIA. And there she goes, killing again! I have to say this is one of the more epic fight scenes on this show. Octavia just straight up slays these three grown men in quick succession, including a slow-mo spear chuck that just barely scraped above “cheesy”, just in time to let the Griffin ladies in to attend to the dying Roan. Love it. Love it, love it, love it.
Murphy and Emori, on a lovely stroll, encounter the sky people with whom they’re kind-of determined to join up. Murphy heads for his off again-on again (b)romance interest, Bellamy. But he’s in the middle of a briefing for the crazy crap they’re about to pull. They’re stalling Echo and crew for time so Abby and Clarke can save Roan, which means pretending to negotiate with Azgeda. Bellamy hands Murphy his gun for safekeeping, reminding me of this meme
Bellamy leaves to do his hero thing, hair still on point. Murphy takes Bellamy’s gun (friendly reminder to never give anything to Murphy for safekeeping) and splits with Emori after seeing the numbers in the Ice Nation army and the situation they’re in. Which, while being a dick move, probably not the worst idea. Looks like I’m firmly remaining on Team Murphy, y’all. See you there.
In their peace talks, Echo actually apologizes for killing Bellamy’s girlfriend. Which is… nice? I guess? By Ice Nation standards? Octavia watches her brother nervously while Clarke and Abby spout a bunch of medical mumbo-jumbo that doesn’t sound good. Bellamy floats Arkadia’s terms of surrender: They want a seat at the table in exchange for guns and gun lessons (Bellamy’s favorite thing). Echo’s counter offer? We may not murder ALL your people. Welp.
The peace talks quickly sour, a word which here means “Bellamy gets dropped to the floor with a knife to his throat”, his season premiere tradition. Indra wants to fight, but Kane believes in his wifey and their plan. They fake-surrender once again. Which may have to turn into a real surrender, because after a slapdash patch job on King Roan, Clarke, Abby and Octavia are cornered by Ice Nation warriors. (Brief aside: Octavia pushing forward with arms wide open protecting her lady friends with swords? Yeah, I want that tattooed on my face).
So our valiant heroes are captured (raise your hand if you’re surprised!! then slap yourself with it because you haven’t been paying attention at all), and things look bleak. But right as Echo is about to run Clarke through with a sword in front of all her loved ones, guess who pops back into the party? KING ROAN, MY DUDES!! He’s up, and… kind of okay? Not dead, anyway! Whee!! He lives to recur another day (when he’s not on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)! Clarke entreats him to uphold his end of the deal they apparently had that I forgot about; protecting Clarke’s people. But Roan points out that was before he was shot and Ontari was killed by Clarke’s people. All misunderstandings, of course.
Echo tries to convince her king to kill Wanheda and take her power to conquer everything, just as his mother would have. But Echo makes one miscalculation here: Roan’s mother was a beyotch and he hated her.
Back in Arkadia, they get my second least favorite trope out of the way (Girl-Falling-Off-Guy-Right-After-Sex trope. Don’t ask me why I hate it, I just do). Marper is going strong, y’all! Brief update: I am 200x more on board with this after rewatching season 2 and recalling that they did, in fact, have interactions and they were, in fact, adorable. They have the relationship-defining talk, which is frustratingly vague, but super effective. I’m on board this ship, y’all! Toot frickity toot. Just then, Raven Reyes, who is two for two on interrupting Marper sexytimes, pops in with the biggest boner killer there is: “We’re all going to die.”
We turn now to Jasper Jordan, playing another melancholy bop on Maya’s old iPod. He leaves a note for Monty next to his goggles and oh crap. Oh holy crap. He’s going to kill himself. Holy crap, he’s really doing it. He places Maya’s favorite painting in front of him, and holy crap. I remember Jason Rothenberg (Executive Producer) mentioning in an interview that last season was supposed to end with Jasper committing suicide, but I thought it was scrapped on account of Jasper being Rothenberg’s OC and it being too much of a bummer. But nope. Here he goes. Oh man, if I cared even a little bit about Jasper at all I’d probably be seriously distressed here. He even sits on a tarp, just to be polite. Holy crap. This is intense. Literally just as he puts the gun to his chin, the Plot knocks on his door in the form of best friend Monty.
After hastily shutting down his suicide operation, Jasper joined the BFS to Raven’s Exposition Expo. She reveals that the reactors they’re currently dealing with were only meant to be self-sustaining for 100 years. This, to me, seems like a lack of foresight on the part of science. But, as Monty so eloquently puts it, the warranty has run out, and the radiation levels have been steadily rising since the Ark crashed on the ground. The only person who doesn’t seem to be bothered by the information that everyone on Earth will be dead in six months? Jasper Freaking Jordan, everyone, who’s just happy he won’t have to kill himself when he can just wait it out.
Back in the Ice Nation camp, Roan cauterizes his own wound with a hot knife for the second time just to be a petty bitch. I really have grown to love him. My salty king. He and Echo have a beautifully snarky discussion about how his war chiefs don’t respect him and his only recourse is to kill Wanheda for their loyalty. Echo swears fealty to him, promising he could rule everything. Then she literally whips out a crown made of what looks like bones. Wow, what a pal. No ulterior motives here at all. Nope.
Clarke and her squad are currently chained in a dungeon, which is one step up from being dead. And here comes that Griffin mother-daughter bonding scene I was so pumped for earlier. I knew my faith would be rewarded. I go to church. Abby notices Clarke longingly caressing the USB drive that contains her dead girlfriend (RIP Lexa). With a tearful whisper that earns Eliza Taylor MVP of this episode, she confesses, “I loved her, Mom.” Which only hearts a little bit more than Abby’s loving reply of “I know.” Aaaaaand there goes my regular heart function. I hope you’re all happy.
The moment is interrupted by Echo and her band of merry a-holes, who immediately bag Wanheda’s head and bounce, to the vehement protests of literally everyone else in the room. Sadly, in this one specific instance, protests do not work. (Oh, you expected to get through this whole article without some sort of political snark? Ha. Bitch you thought)
The besieged Wanheda pops up in Roan’s makeshift throne room. “It’s always something with you, isn’t it?” he quips. Man I look forward to Roan and Clarke interaction this season. Clarke proceeds to warn Roan about the imminent threat they all face. She foretells a second “Prime Fiyah”, which is apparently what grounders call the radiation wave that ended the world. Roan is shockingly unbothered by this news, saying his ancestors survived and so will they. He’s wrong of course, but he has no way of knowing that since I guess science just isn’t a thing anymore. His biggest concern is that there’s no way of winning the loyalty of his people without killing Clarke.
Then, Clarke Griffin, flawless and beautiful icon of self-sacrifice, offers Roan the one thing more valuable than her head: The Flame. AKA Lexa AKA the love of her life. Now you KNOW the stakes are all the way up. Anyway, this deal, Roan accepts. Clarke hands over her girlfriend, and I cry inside.
Roan, now shakily on Team Clarke, addresses the people of Polis to tell them there won’t be any execution today, thank you very much. Also he holds the flame now and also all of you can go eff yourselves. (Brief aside number 3: I hope all of you caught the hooded figure who seemed to spark recognition with Indra. I’m going to catalog that knowledge and I recommend you do as well). Anyway, Roan affirms that Skaikru is indeed the 13th clan of the coalition, and our heroes get to chalk up a win for once.
Echo and Bellamy reunite once more, under slightly more friendly terms. Echo hands him some weird key-batarang-looking thing that she says will protect them somehow? Sure, why not. All I care about is Bellamy gets some prime snarking in (“Think we’ll ever be able to trust each other again?” “I doubt it.” Mmmm. Damn that’s the good stuff. That’s the stuff I like).
Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and Kabby link up to briefly go over their plans. They reiterate how important it is to keep the rising radiation levels secret so everything doesn’t fall to crap, and say their goodbyes. I get a beautiful Griffin lady hug (Thanks, Jesus!), and even better, a Daddy Kane speech to his forever son, Bellamy. “You turned the page. And you don’t look back. You do better today than you did yesterday. You understand?” I’m actually in tears because this might be one of his best dad speeches to date, definitely in the hall of fame. God, remember when Kane was a douche we all hated?? Crazy times. Oh well, the turn tables. Love you, Daddy Kane! Keep on being a baller.
It is in this fashion that Bellamy and Clarke roll out, co-leader style, looking fine as hell and ready to save the world. Kabby looks on with pride. On their way out, Bellamy resurrects his old nickname for Clarke (!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am reborn under this!!! And yes, she is a princess, Bellamy being the only person to properly acknowledge this makes me love him all the more), and she gets to whip out a cool one-liner to close out the ep: “Now, we survive.” Awwwwwwhh yeeeaaaaahhhhhh.
Okay, closing thoughts? This episode gave me:
- All the feels
- Extremely high hopes for this season
- Just enough Kabby to keep the shakes off
And ba da ba ba ba, I’m loving it. Bellamy bringing back his season one moniker for Clarke signifies two big things for me: that we’re returning to the season one major theme of fighting a time-sensitive natural disaster that they appear helpless to stop (In S1 it was oxygen deprivation, this time it’s nuclear fallout), and two: the best friendship on TV is officially back on. Both of these things make me deliriously happy, mostly the second thing. While season one wasn’t the show’s absolute best (that honor belongs to s2), it was excellent in terms of being character-centric and having a brighter color pallette. I am here for all of these things. So make sure you’re fully stocked on tissues and liquor, because this season is shaping up to be one hell of a ride.
The 100 airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c on The CW.