Episode 313, “Join or Die”
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Directed by Dean White
Are you guys ready for a clusterball of all my favorites?? Flashbacks! Callouts!! Hugs!!!! And an inspiring dad speech from a most unexpected source. Whom? Let’s find out…
OH MY CTHULU-FACED MONSTER. My bad, it’s just some guy. He’s got the joy of escorting Fmr. Chancellor/Douchey Murder Patrol Captain Pike (Michael Beach) in chains to be executed, a job I’m sure half the fandom would fight him for. Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) is there, too! Hi, Daddy! Missed you last week! Their crew arrives to the sight of a half-dozen crucifixions, and the quickly deteriorating society of Polis. It is not a pleasant scene. As they continue to walk through literal rivers of blood (lay it on a little thicker there, guys), Kane and the gang encounter a mass of people, sitting completely still and silent. It’s creepy. But Jackson (Sachin Sahel) is there! Oh man, Jackson!! I hope this doesn’t mean he’s going to die.
ALIE-Jackson suggests Cthulu-Guy unchain Pike, a plan neither he nor I am a fan of. CG protests that Pike is a prisoner of the commander, but speak of the devil and her little child murdering turnip-face will appear. Ontari (Rhiannon Fish), now a part of the ALIE Network, also orders Pike freed. She also orders all the returning henchmen to take the Kool-Aid Chip, which bugs both Pike and Kane out understandably. Jaha (Isaiah Washington) is also there. I hate him, but that’s irrelevant to this scene. Pike makes a go for Ontari, but is foiled by his own chipped henchmen. Jaha entreats Pike to take the chip, but it’s a reach at best. He tells the former-Former Chancellor to piss off, and is promptly led away to presumably a dark abysmal hole. One can only hope.
With Pike tossed aside like so much space garbage, Jaha sets his sights on Marcus. ALIE makes it a point to tell Jaha that the network needs Kane to find Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and her potato chip girlfriend aka ALIE 2.0 aka the Flame. Kane does not take the chip, but in an act of defiance, dramatically hurls the chip into the sea of zombies. Never leave us again, Daddy. As Kane is trotted away, ALIE and Jaha bore me to sleep but then Abby shows up!! Mom!! Usually this would mean we’re all saved, but Abby (Paige Turco), having heroically and gorgeously sacrificed herself to save Raven, is on team Crazypants, and urges them not to throw Kane in jail. “Leave him to me,” she says with a startlingly creepy smile. Oh my god oh my God oh my GOD. Brace yourselves, #TEAMKABBY, I think we’re in for a rough ride.
#TBT to the Ark!! I’m hype!! I love flashbacks, and we don’t get nearly enough of them. I hope there’s lens flares. Anyway, 6 months before this epic garbage fire, Pre-Daddy Kane is escorting Pre-Douchebag Pike to a meeting with pre-Bananapants Jaha (and Abby). Pike has been tasked with teaching a crash survival course to The 100, and I legitimately forgot Pike was a teacher on the Ark and not a politician. They reveal their plan of sending the delinquents to the ground to Pike, though not the reason behind it. Would Pike have revealed the oxygen deficiency to the masses had he known? Who cares? I hate him and he’s going to die soon. Pike is given a two-week window to teach ninety-nine delinquents (Clarke is busy drawing trees and narrating, but she knows her stuff) how to survive on Earth. Maybe if he’d had longer he would have been able to teach them how to dodge spears and not fall prey to love triangles. Again, we’ll just never know.
The baby delinquents file in to be filled with knowledge. Look at Murphy (Richard Harmon), with no blood on him at all. That’s trippy. Oh my God, Jasper (Devon Bostick)’s goggles! I completely forgot about them! And Miller (Jarod Joseph), back in his beanie! This is heaven. I feel rewarded. Poor Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), still in her 1.0 stage, shuffles in awkwardly and is immediately roasted by Miller, which makes me sad. It’s also freaking me out how clean all their hair is. I’m here for this. And we get lens flares back to present-day Octavia 3.0!! Excellent.
The current core four trudge through the rain, following Lincoln’s basic map to find Luna. Clarke is having a quiet moment with her girlfriend, which is cute but sad. I’m really glad how they’re portraying Clarke’s mourning period for Lexa; it’s subtle but persistent, as it should be. Like all prolonged road trips with friends, everyone in the Mobile BFS Unit is a little tense. After all, Luna has no incentive to help them. Octavia kom Skaikru is adamant, however, so we press on despite the obstacles. They continue on foot, with Octavia chiding Bellamy (Bob Morley) for bringing along his children (guns).
Our heroes run through the rain until they hit the coast, which makes for a lovely view but not good news. What they assumed was Luna’s village on the map was in fact some decorative lawn rocks. A mild to moderate bummer, at least. This, rightfully, stresses our heroes out. Jasper turns to Clarke for their next move (which, first of all, the nerve), and Octavia does some primal scream therapy into the ocean. Casual reminder that Octavia Blake only interacted with two people for the first sixteen years of her life.
Back to the flashbacks! Pike is teaching the fetuses how to build a fire. We get shots of a few familiar faces in the crowd, including Monroe (RIP Katie Van Stuart) and that dude who tried to kill Bellamy that one time, consequently launching the greatest friendship currently on TV (RIP Ichabbie). Murphy is being a little ass, shocker. The delinquents’ behavior prompts Pike to give probably his first inspiring survival speech ever. “The key to surviving on the ground, and on the Ark, is to keep fighting at all costs, against all odds. The minute you give up, you’re dead.” This is, to be honest, the core concept of this entire show. Hype!! Murphy hones his one-liner skills (while accidentally foreshadowing), and we flash forward.
In present-day Polis, present-day Pike is being thrown into New Good People Jail for people who’ve rejected the chip. Notable members include Murphy and Indra. Indra!! Perfect. She and Pike are due for words. Before they dip the guards ask the prisoners if any of them want to accept the key, but no takers. Once they’re gone Murphy picks up where he and Pike left off in the flashback: being a mouthy little greaseball. Their reunion is overtaken by the Fierce Bitch Revenge Squad captain, who has freed herself from her confining chains and takes no time at all in getting down to business. “You killed three hundred of my people. Now you shall take three hundred cuts by my hand.” Kind of extra, Indra, but okay. To Pike’s credit he doesn’t give an inch, and to Murphy’s non-credit, he turns away at Pike’s screams. Quick aside: these are three characters who I never imagined in a million years would interact, and I’m loving every second of it.
Back at the beach, Jasper and Octavia are using Pike’s fire-making lesson while they drum up a plan. This leads to a tense moment between the Blake siblings, which leads to a full-on kerfuffle, which turns into me crying on the floor in front of my TV with a bottle of wine. “I can’t even look at you,” Octavia reveals, “Because every time I do, I see Pike putting that gun to Lincoln’s head. I hear the gunshot. I see him fall.” This is literally so rude. Bellamy storms off, while Clarke and Jasper look on in various states of concern and awkwardness. However, Jasper’s fidgeting produces something genuinely useful: the leaves in the surrounding trees apparently turn the flames green when thrown into the fire. Remember how everything on earth is made of acid or radioactivity now?? Good times.
In the giant candle, shenanigans are being played. The chipped Abby is thrown into Marcus’ fancy holding digs. Kane, of course, doesn’t know about any of the previous shenanigans that lead to Abby being chipped, so he’s relieved to see his lady love. I am already a nervous wreck and nothing has even happened yet. Abby’s ALIE hallucination prompts her to pump Kane for information on Clarke’s whereabouts, but of course he doesn’t have any. When their perfidy doesn’t progress as quickly as ALIE wants, ALIE-Abby steps up her game in a big way. Taking advantage of their blossoming romance, she throws the full and considerable aesthetic appeal of Abigail Griffin in Marcus’ face. It’s such a bizarre situation when you’re screaming at two characters you normally would love to be smooching, but all it causes you is frustration and stress. Kane catches on rather quickly when Abby gets frisky, however. Since he knows that the real Abigail Griffin would not be thinking of canoodling at a time when her daughter is in danger. That’s love, bitch! The look on his face when he realizes Abby is part of the network is honestly gut-wrenching. Unfortunately, my #TeamKabby T-shirt is in the laundry.
ALIE-Abby commands that Marcus join the other crucified individuals outside. I do not like this scene. He pleads with what he thinks remains of Abby, but to no avail. That’s almost as painful as the actual nailing of his hands to a freaking cross are you kidding me is this real. How much extra can this episode possibly get?
To answer that question: Clarke takes a long walk on the beach to have a moment by the ocean with Bellamy, and that’s real. It does not start off so warm and fuzzy, what with Bellamy whipping out Clarke’s death moniker and vehemently rejecting her help. That instantly deteriorates. He laments that he’s lost O forever, but Clarke disagrees. “Octavia will forgive you eventually. The question is, will you forgive yourself?” That one stings, but the sucker-punch is Bellamy’s reply. “Forgiveness is hard for us. I was so angry at you for leaving. I don’t want to feel that way anymore.” Oh my God, is the madness over? Have we finally Resolved This Plot and fixed the entire concept of friendship? Yes, my friends, we have! Clarke drops the straight truth that we’ve all known for two and a half seasons: that Bellamy and Clarke need each other to lead, as they’re stronger together than apart. He silently agrees, and we get an epic schmooze-fest of a hug to repay us for our suffering. That’s how extra. Play the McDonalds jingle, because I’m lovin’ it.
After getting the supportive friendship dynamic that sustains my life back, everything instantly implodes. Several masked figures emerge from the murky waters, which Clarke and Bellamy notice only too late as they were distracted with cuddles. It happens to the best of us. The same figures also get the drop on Jasper and Octavia, leading to another sticky pickle for our heroes. The water-grounders want to know what all the fuss is about, and Octavia expertly BS-es an answer she knows will work. She claims Lincoln sent them. Which is sort of kind of a little tiny bit not a lie? I guess? Who cares, it works.
The squid people pass around a party kit filled with a mysterious liquid. They claim our heroes will have to drink it if they want “safe passage”, which we’re all assuming is what they came here for. Octavia kom Skaikru is the first to drink up, because she’s a trusting hero as well as a party animal. She’s quickly followed by Jasper, who’s just a straight-up alcoholic. Both Bellamy and Clarke are hesitant to do shots with strangers who just emerged from the flippin’ ocean, but they agree to do it together. Oh man, my heart. It’s missed this. One of the squid people starts a signal fire, and it’s light’s out for our dynamic duo. What will become of them? Stay tuned!
Good news: back to the flashback! Bad news: I have to listen to Jaha talk even though I hate him. They have a tense and awkward conversation about Wells’ (Eli Goree) arrest. I am honestly just wondering: will we see Clarke at all in these flashbacks? I just want a glimpse of her sidebraid, just one, I swear. Anyway, Pike finally figured out that the Ark is dying and that’s why they’re deploying The 100. He semi-goes off on Jaha, which more people should be doing on a constant basis. “Do you even care if they live or die?” Jaha is, through sheer character consistency, determined to be a secretive little slut, and will not let Pike tell the delinquents their mission or what the class is for. What’s more, there’s only one more class before the dropship is dropped, and the kids are not absorbing the material. Pike only has one more day to reach them and get them to square the eff up before the fate of humanity is put in their teeny baby hands. Let’s see how he does it.
At the same time, the class is waiting on Pike to arrive. Non-Bloody Murphy hits on Harper, which is gross, but we find out her last name!! It’s McIntyre!! Oh my God that’s better than I could have ever imagined for some reason. Pike does eventually arrive and announce that it’s his last class, but before that, he asks Murphy to help him teach his final lesson. That lesson turns out to be that no matter what the situation, no matter what time, place or company, Murphy will find a way to get the crap kicked out of him. There’s no other lesson for any of us to take away here. Pike not only roasts him in front of all his friends, he also finally reveals to us the reason behind Murphy’s initial arrest: setting fire to the home of the officer who arrested his father. This is cool because it’s a question I’ve lowkey wondered for a while, and it’s a pretty satisfactory answer.
Then Pike continues to smack the jimmies out of baby Murphy. Am I terrible for finding this funny in a ludicrous sort of way? The other delinquents attempt to come to Murphy’s rescue (as Pike intended), but are all met with failure except for Beanie Miller, my small child I never quite appreciated. He gets a good whack to the back of Pike’s head with a blunt object, something I’m sure he reflects on fondly in the current timeline. Unbearded Kane (whom I do not like as much) arrives just in time to see the tail end of things. “It’s graduation,” Pike explains, although no one quite buys it, they did unify in a time of crisis. “Congratulations. Class dismissed.” And so the story goes that The 100 originally came together and formed a team under the influence of the one thing that unites us all: Murphy getting punched.
That might be why, in present-day Polis, Murphy has been unbothered by Pike’s continued torture under one half of the Fierce Bitch Revenge Squad up until now. Indra is still somewhere in the middle of her 300 cuts. But it appears, in the six months’ time between the shiny, lens-flarey scenes on the Ark and the dark, grimey and dim scenes of season 3, Murphy has indeed squared up and absorbed Pike’s lessons of unity. “He’s strong, we need him if we’re going to fight our way out of here! Our real enemy is out there.” Oh my god. Oh my god oh my god oh my god. Murphy is giving a Dad speech. Oh my god oh my f**king god. Somewhere, Bellamy is smiling, however unconsciously. “Ask yourself this,” Murphy poses to Indra, “Do you want your revenge, or do you want your people to live?” And bust my legs and call me shorty, it works. Indra decides to take her revenge another day, and put her people’s survival first. I can’t tell who I’m more proud of in this scene. It’s really suuuuuper close, until Murphy pulls away with the whole thing by telling Pike to go float himself for thinking he was the one who inspired him. “Everything I learned, I learned on the ground.” Where’s that picture of the little baby with the success face?
Oooh, we get to go back to the Ark? Yes! I just love how un-dead inside everyone was up there. The 100 are being marched off to the dropship, like the poor nervous little ducklings they are. I say my last goodbyes to Beanie Miller, who lives on in my heart to this day and until I die. Pre-Kabby watches the children shuffle off into certain doom when an unconscious Clarke is carried past them. So we kind of get to see her, although not as much sidebraid as I was gunning for. Also, what ever happened to that jacket? It was super cute. Anyway, Abby Griffin, self-sacrificing and noble goddess of lawful neutrality, clips a wristband on her daughter and says her “May We Meet Again”s. It makes me sad. But not as sad as the easter egg of Slicked-Back Hair Bellamy, whom I do not miss. #FreeTheCurls. Let’s get sadder, shall we? Unbearded Kane attempts to apologize to Abby (heartbreak!!), which she quickly rebuffs (double heartbreak!!). “You got your extra air,” she sneers coldly before rushing off to do whatever it was Abby did in season one. I genuinely forget. Unbearded Kane’s look as she walks away is guarded, but you can see the blow land. I’m in crippling pain. MVP of the episode goes to this scene as a whole; not only due to my love of Easter eggs, flashbacks, and snarking, but because the music played over it is a slower remix of the same song they used in the pilot. That, my friends, is some real hype.
Presently, Bearded Kane is just a bit more distraught than his past self. He’s still chained to that X thingy (thanks, cable television, for not letting it be a cross, because that would be too extra even for this extra-ass episode). Jaha and Ontari arrive, offering the chip and an escape from the pain that they put him in in the first place. Kane is having none of it, as the power he’s drawn from his beard has given him Main Character-level durability. But Jaha, ALIE, and their thousands of twitter followers don’t have time to play games. Jaha pulls out a gun, which initially causes a reaction of “Do it, no balls” from Marcus, but Marcus is not the intended target. Instead this brainwashed loony toons crazypants son of a damn bitch has the nerve to point a gun at the head of Abigail Griffin. And that, of course, gets the intended result. Kane agrees to take the key to save the life of the woman he loves; consequentially, I am an emotional wreck. It’s highkey creepy watching the pain disappear from Kane’s face as he absorbs the chip, and it blends incredibly well with the flashback footage of the kids being dropped. Oh my God, we actually get to see Wells!!!!!!!! And Baby Clarke 1.0!!!!! This is my new favorite episode by far.
It’s an incredible transition into Clarke 2.0, who is now Wanheda, Flamekeeper, and very sleepy. She and the squad awaken in a nondescript metal box, sans guns and sword. Our heroes are notably distressed, until the container is opened and a woman with the sickest hair I’ve ever seen pops in, demanding to see Lincoln. Octavia gets the sad task of informing her Lincoln is dead, while our new Flamekeeper gets to give a dad speech that puts Murphy’s to shame. Luna, who I was not prepared to be this awesome, has apparently become a pacifist since her conclave, and vowed to never kill again. Clarke isn’t giving up, however. She dads her hardest, but in the end it’s no use. Luna rejects the Flame. Because that would have been too easy. Instead our heroes follow her out of the crate and into the bright light… only to find themselves smack dab in the middle of the ocean. Hoo boy. Location change!!! Get hype!!!
Okay, the breakdown: I loved this episode. It was honestly a chart-topper for me. I loved the interacting pieces of the puzzle, the callbacks to season one (both subtle and outright), and minor characters from near and far all being brought to the apex for what is leading up to be one baller final conflict. “Join or Die” did what The 100 does at its best: shape out characters via their relationships with each other. Of course Kane was going to know Abby was chipped, after witnessing her say goodbye to Clarke like that. Of course Clarke, fixer of everyone and everything in this stupid messed up world, is going to want to fix Bellamy’s relationship with Octavia, but instead repair their own. And of course Indra, who is admittedly a salty bitch but who values her people over herself, is going to push pause on her beef with Pike in order to band everyone together to stop ALIE!!! Because we back, y’all!! After a couple of pretty rough patches, we back.
The 100 Airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on The CW.