by Matthew Thompson
I’ve really fallen in love with The 100 this season. Its only major shortcoming so far was Finn’s arc this past Fall. I felt the change in his character came on a bit too suddenly and the fallout from his attack against the Grounder village had a negative effect on the show for a bit as a result. I do like how it wrapped up though and I give the writers credit for how they handled Finn’s exit. Last week they wrapped up the aftermath of that storyline allowing this week’s episode “Survival of the Fittest” to fully move forward beyond that plot point.
Moving forward here means the Ark group and the Grounders joining together to save their people held captive in Mount Weather. But the alliance is off to a shaky start which we can see in two major storylines throughout the episode. A difference of opinion between Clarke and Lexa ends up in a mini-adventure for the young women. Animals haven’t been a huge part of the show, so it was cool to see one as a threat here. While I think I was hoping for some kind of radiation-deformed beast, the gorilla still made for some fun chase scenes. More importantly it gave the girls a chance to bond. I love that this show has these two strong young women leading their respective people. Much like seeing how each of The 100’s various factions differ, it is fascinating to compare and contrast Clarke and Lexa’s leadership styles, personalities and beliefs. By pairing them off on their own, this episode gave us another window into how they both operate and it was certainly a lot of fun to watch.
Meanwhile back at Camp Jaha, the two groups are not getting along quite yet. They are both preparing for their upcoming confrontation with the people of Mount Weather, but in a very segregated way. Eventually Octavia forces Indra to let her test herself against one of the Grounder warriors in their way of combat. I was a little worried they were going to have Octavia hold her own in the fight or perhaps use some trick to win, but I’m glad they didn’t. It may not be a pretty sight to see her get knocked around the way she did, but it is much more realistic. She still manages to earn Indra’s respect and in the process helps to ease tensions between the two groups by episode’s end.
While both of these storylines show progress for these two groups working together, Jaha still sees it as a short-term solution. He worries what will happen to his people when their common enemy is defeated. If that is the end of them being on good terms with the Grounders, what will they do to survive next? Well he has recruited a small group to go and seek out the City of Light. That’s right, the City of Light! I’ve loved the little teases The 100 has included throughout the season of new places in their version of Earth. It is why Jaha’s brief stay in the desert was so bittersweet. It was really cool to see a different type of landscape outside of the forests that make up the bulk of the show’s setting now, but he ended up back with the rest of the group so soon. I was hoping he might be our eyes into new areas of the world for a little while. This is why I’m so excited to see him planning his trek to the City of Light, another place first teased during his short time in the desert. Hopefully this new location doesn’t fall short of my expectations.
The first part of the planned attack on Mount Weather also went into effect this episode by sending Bellamy and Lincoln to get a man on the inside. Lincoln succumbing to his addiction from his time there earlier this season is certainly an interesting route for the show to take. Clearly The 100 isn’t afraid to explore this sort of dark material. But with so little time spent with these two this week, it came off as the weakest aspect of the episode for me. We’ll have to see what ramifications it has next week, but it should definitely throw a wrench in the works.
A few more things:
- Apparently Lexa believes in reincarnation which leads to a fun conversation between her and Clarke. A couple good lines from that sequence: “How are your leaders chosen?” and “I need your spirit to stay where it is.”
- I like Murphy going off with Jaha. Seems like a good storyline for someone who has kind of bounced all around during the course of the show. The parallels between the two of them that Jaha pointed out helped to sell me on it.
- New pairings are also a good way to show different sides of these characters and this week was obviously full of them.
- So now that end-of-2014 and 2015 preview stuff is done, I’m trying some single episode reviews out again. Not sure if they will just be sporadic or if I’ll keep doing them week-to-week. I really liked doing this one so maybe I’ll be back for another next week. We’ll see!
With the Finn drama behind us, the show is back to focusing on what I love about it and “Survival of the Fittest” was another very strong episode because of it. With the confrontation against Mount Weather looming and Jaha’s journey to the City of Light about to begin, I can’t wait to see where The 100 heads next. What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!