by Matthew Thompson
With the alliance in place between the Sky people and the Grounders (at least for now), the focus shifts to the looming confrontation between them and those in Mount Weather. “Coup de Grâce” allowed us to peer into both camps with an added focus on the strife at the top of both sides’ power structures.
In Mount Weather, Jasper, worried for his best friend Monty, goes to confront President Wallace. I give Jasper credit for such a bold move, going as far to pull a sword on the old man. While that likely wasn’t necessary, it does seem to lead in a good direction. The elder Wallace is probably the only one at the top of Mount Weather food chain that has a conscience when it comes to outsiders. As much as he wants to let his people live on the outside, he won’t do it at any cost. After he sees what his son and Dr. Tsing are up to, he orders the release of those from the Ark they have held captive. Unfortunately for our protagonists, the younger Wallace, Cage, has already taken charge. Everyone that has been cooped up in the mountain is ready to be free and it seems like most are prepared to achieve this goal through Cage’s any-means-necessary approach.
There is a bit of friction up atop the Sky people totem pole as well. At first glance, one might think it is between Kane and Abby and that certainly true to some extent. Among other things, they are at odds on how to handle the prisoner who had attempted to assassinate Clarke. But the end of the episode shows that the real struggle lies between Clarke and her mother. While the power shifted around on the Ark and between the adults after they reached the Earth’s surface, Clarke had already taken control on the ground amongst the delinquents who were sent to fend for themselves. The face-to-face at the end of the episode between mother and daughter is this week’s best moment. We, the viewers, all know Clarke is the leader amongst their people who is getting things done and making as much clear to her mother is another strong moment for an already strong character. The tensions at the top of both the Mountain and Sky people isn’t exactly new, but the way both Clarke and Cage show who is in charge at the end of this episode certainly feels a step above what we have seen before.
I think the most entertaining storyline this week was Bellamy’s though. After being taken in by the Mountain Men last week, we see him being poked and prodded, caged up and eventually hung up to be bled. Help comes not from one of his former friends trapped in Mount Weather, but from Maya. What follows is a thrilling escape from captivity including a brutal fight with a security guard (credit goes to Bellamy, Maya, and the girl in the cage for their quick thinking during that sequence) and some tense moments while trying to sneak back to their friends (the elevator part was especially good). He never quite makes it to them before Cage locks them all down, but he does get in contact with Clarke and Raven and has established himself as an inside man as long as he can maintain his rather dodgy cover.
A few more things:
- While I like the point they are trying to convey, it felt a little ham-fisted that Maya and Bellamy would end up in the school wing and bump into the kid of the guard he killed. I thought Maya’s reaction to the killing initially was great though. She realized she was in a bit over her head there.
- I’ve enjoy seeing Octavia’s evolution this season (and I also just enjoy seeing Octavia), but for some reason she looked a bit silly in the Grounder eye make-up this week. I guess I’ll have to get used to it. It works on Lexa.
- Indra comes off comical with her aggression at times.
- Raven is back this ep. Mostly as her usual kickass tech support self, but I like that she isn’t afraid to get in Clarke’s face. Still I was glad when Bellamy intervened to break up their latest spat.
- No Lexa this week is a bummer. She has been pretty awesome so far on the show. Also hoping we don’t go too long without checking in on Jaha and company on their pilgrimage.
If you’ve heard me talk or seen me write about The 100 in the past, you know how much I like seeing the various factions interact. Just as fascinating can be seeing those within each group battle amongst themselves. “Coup de Grâce” gave us a little of that while also further setting the stage for the war between those inside and those outside Mount Weather. I can’t wait until shit finally hits the fan. Just the thought of stuff like the Grounders imprisoned inside being let loose has me giddy for it all to go down. For now, I’m content to watch the pieces fall into place. What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!