The start to this season of The 100 felt rocky, but in this week’s episode “Nevermore”, the 100 circled back to its roots in telling the stories of the original delinquents (a la Season 1), and it was without a doubt my favourite episode of season 3 so far. The episode showcased the key elements of The 100 that I love: the original delinquents working together, hard decisions and heartfelt moments. Let’s dig in.
01. “That brilliant mind of hers”
Where to begin, I have not made a secret of my love for Raven Reyes. I actually think that Raven (or Lindsey!) has been mentioned in every single top 5 post I have written for this season of The 100. Raven is one of my favourite characters. Her determination, strength, brilliant mind and love of her friends has endeared me to her character, and despite the struggles, the pain and torture she has endured, she continues to keep pushing through and surviving. She’s one bad ass lady.
As the Delinquents tried to remove the AI from Raven’s conscious/body, Raven/ALIE fought back at every turn. Affected by ALIE, the Raven we know and love was transformed into an unrecognisable, diabolical and fierce beast (reminiscent of the reapers). She was suddenly a cruel animal, and she simply was not Raven. The ALIE turned against Raven’s friends exposing the demons.
By exposing the thoughts, fears, feelings and misgivings of the watchful Delinquents, ALIE – unsuccessfully – tried to manipulate her way into securing the ALIE 2.0 chip. She used “Raven” against her friends and allies. ALIE brought to the surface their demons and self hatred and voiced them for all to hear. She forced and manipulated Raven to inflict pain upon herself as a way of inflicting pain upon the Delinquents. It was cruel, not only did the Delinquents have to watch their friend suffer, they had to endure her taunts. Taunts that were designed to cause pain, and discourse. If you want to tear down an army simply pit them against each other and let the anger do the rest. Yet the Delinquents were able to overcame this and they put their brains to good use finding a solution. Now they are untied to stand against ALIE and Jaha.
Lindsey Morgan delivered a nuanced, subtle, captivating, impactful and heartbreaking performance in every single moment, it was absolutely thrilling to watch. That lady is one talented human.
02. “Maybe there are no good guys”
As easy as breathing, Bellamy and Clarke have fallen back into their roles as leaders side by side, she is the head and he is the heart. Their quiet exchange as their left Niyliah hut reminded me, and the audience that we – as an audience – often forget about characters’ storylines, wrong doings and history. This episode revisited the history of their main characters in a brutal and heartbreaking way. In the face of their friend’s pain the characters were forced to face their demons. They may not have overcome their demons – they may never truly overcome them – but their demons have been acknowledged and recognised, something that I believe need to be done. It served as a reminder that truly, no one is innocent in this world.
In the face of pain and suffering fragments of a person are revealed, it fascinated me that Bellamy, out of all of those who were there was the only one who did not react to Raven in her presence. Despite her cutting tone he endured it. In light of his actions earlier this season, this felt significant. A friend pointed out that he did not react because he already knew, he already feels the guilt for what happened to his mother, and he carries all of that guilt with him. So, he stepped outside and took his anger out on himself.
To my relief, some of Clarke’s grief, anger and turmoil finally bubbled to the surface in response to ALIE’S taunts. If one takes the time to consider it, we really have not had the luxury – like we have with Jasper – to see Clarke’s reaction to so many of the events on screen, the pace is so fast moving, thus is the nature of the show. To finally see such a visceral reaction was a reminder that Clarke is alive and breathing, she is not just a shell.
03. “We survive together”
A large focus of this season has been on how Jasper is coping in response to the events of last season, but also to the current events. Whilst he is not undeserving of the focus, it felt disproportionate to have such a large focus on him, considering the amount of grief they had all endured. I know and understand all too well that everyone processes grief and situations differently: some lash out in anger, some shut the world out and some keep going. How we process stress and grief is part of what makes us unique and human. In processing his own grief he became dismissive of others and their own turmoil and whilst that is a perfectly normal reaction to trauma I was frustrated that we were primarily shown Jaspers pure reaction when they had all survived the events together. So on that note, I found it refreshing to see Jasper back in action and acknowledge, that despite Clarke’s wrong doings she has not had an easy way out, and she still has own struggles.
Monty has been the personification of innocence since the beginning (regardless of his actual status of innocence) and there is an innate desire to protect him. To see him so outrightly shoot his mother was jarring, it was also fitting. I felt for Monty, because in the end, protecting Octavia was the priority, she had become his family. Dare I say, even more than his own mother. They had endured the ground side by side, that is unique. As an aside, I am curious to see if we will have the opportunity for Monty to process his grief beyond the brief scene in the jeep…
An ongoing thread that has been spun throughout the series is the idea that everybody is doing whatever it takes to for their people to survive. The primary focus of this has been on the Delinquents. In this episode, by necessity Clarke was forced to face the others, Octavia had to stay and Jasper had to fight his demons. In a moment of sweet irony ALIE in her cruelty and her best efforts to tear them all down, she brought them together. Now they are stronger then ever and they have the strength to survive together and fight against ALIE and crazy Jaha.
04. “We’re not them”
Clarke’s emphatic statement “we’re not them” immediately stood out to me and it felt very telling of the mindset of the Delinquents. They do not feel like they belong. Feeling like you do not belong is unsettling, you feel unsafe, exposed, on edge and oh so lonely. It is a unnerving situation to be in. The Delinquents are struggling with their identity, and they have been ever since they sent to the ground. They were rejected by the Ark, and they were not welcomed by the Grounders. They are foreigners (to everyone), and they are refugees, they have been forced to leave their home so they can survive. And, despite their integration with Arcadia, and their rocky truce with the Grounders they still do not feel like they belong.
Since Season 1, Octavia has been a vocal and magnified version of the Delinquents continued identity crisis and their struggles to fit in. This episode felt like a slow realisation for Octavia and The 100 that maybe, just maybe, they are not either, but they are still their own people, they are The 100.
05. You’re one of the 100
Monty’s actions, proved to Octavia that even though she may feel like she is floating adrift and alone, she still has friends that will protect her. She may not be a grounder and she may not be an Arker but she is one of the 100. The final scene outside of Niyliah’s hut made me grin because The Delinquents are back and stronger than ever, they’re a united front, they undoubtedly still have issues (goodness, I would be more worried if they had no issues) but they are a united front again and that is what counts.
Despite their conflicts and misgivings, I have always seen The 100 as been their own weird family and this episode simply solidified that. Sure they have a few additions but they are starting to find their own ground and footing. They’re learning to support and forgive each other, that’s what families do.
I will not lie, it was refreshing to see Bellamy and Clarke at the core as a team, leading together again, they balance each other out wonderfully.
Now that the Delinquents are united against ALIE, how are they going to keep moving forward to defeat her?
– I have a soft spot for characters that look out for Raven. The scene between Sinclair and Clarke tugged at my heartstrings.
– This episode echoed the tones of Season 1 and I loved it.
– I really did enjoy this episode, Kim Shumway crafted it brilliantly!
– Erica Cerra does an incredible job at playing such a chilling ALIE.
– Did I mention that I loved seeing the Delinquents back together again? (Yes, I consider Raven a delinquent!)