Sunday, February 28, 2016

The 100 Recap: 3x06 "Bitter Harvest" (The Good, the Bad, the Ugly) [Contributor: Laura Schinner]

"Bitter Harvest"
Original Airdate: February 26, 2016

After the rage I felt walking away from the last two episodes of The 100, I was surprised when this week’s episode didn’t inspire the same reaction. Instead I walked away feeling... apathetic? The bad decisions had been made in terms of characters and all there is left to do is watch the consequences of those decisions play out. But because I can’t agree with those decisions, I find myself not really caring what happens from here. There are still a few reasons left to watch this show, mainly centered around Clarke, Lexa, Abby/Kane, and the always favorite Octavia Blake. The rest of it is too frustrating to put effort into feeling anything about at this point. Regardless, let’s take a look at this week’s episode in terms of the good, the bad, and the ugly.


It’s clear that Lexa’s betrayal of the Sky People at the end of last season is still eating away at her and she’s trying to make up for it by turning a new leaf this season. While still thinking primarily about her people and keeping them safe, she’s able to realize, thanks to Clarke, that there are nonviolent ways to go about getting the peace that she desires for her people. Instead of seeking revenge on the Sky People for destroying a village and starting a war where undoubtedly many lives would be lost, Lexa’s decided to once again call a ceasefire. By doing this, she hopes to save lives instead of losing them in the war.

Her people aren’t as understanding of this concept however, as their motto has always been “blood must have blood.” Lexa’s right hand man, Titus, has realized that Clarke is one of the only people Lexa listens to and set out in this episode to make Clarke understand why they feel the need for revenge and justice. He accomplished this by bringing in Emerson, the last of the Mountain Men. With Lexa giving Clarke the decision of what to do with him (either killing him herself or banishing him for life), Titus came to Clarke and made her see that the revenge she seeks against Emerson is the same revenge they seek against her people. The only difference is that Emerson was directly responsible for what happened to her people, while if a war was to start, many innocent Sky People would lose their lives.

In the end, Titus’ plan backfired, as Clarke came to realize that by killing Emerson, she would only be doing it for her own peace of mind. And she didn’t deserve that. Watching the dynamics between Clarke, Lexa, and Titus play out has been one of the more interesting parts of the season since they clearly have different ideas on how to go about governing people. As the season continues, this will surely come to a head, especially as the Sky People remain intent on taking out villages of Grounders.

Another dynamic that has been promising this season is the one between Abby and Kane. As two of the only people left at Arkadia trying to maintain peace with the Grounders, the pair has been attempting to work behind Pike’s back with Octavia in order to prevent war. In a mission that is seeming more and more hopeless by the minute, Kane and Abby can only really find hope in each other. Their connection continues to grow stronger with each episode and they will hopefully be able to use that hope and strength to find a solution of how to repair everything that has gone wrong in Arkadia.

Finally, a constant check in the "good" column for every episode is Octavia Blake. Out of everyone, she is the one who understands both Sky People and Grounders the most, having been a part of both sides. She sees people as people, regardless of what group they belong to and is not willing to idly sit by while Grounders are killed. With inside knowledge from Kane that a Grounder village was going to be attacked for their land, she went to warn them despite knowing that they might not trust her. Octavia is willing to risk everything, even her life, to help those who might not even appreciate her help. And of course, they didn’t appreciate it, instead using her as bait to plan a surprise attack on the Sky People who they now knew were coming.

At this point, Octavia holds no real loyalty to either side, simply wanting to avoid as many casualties as possible. There’s no simple way to do this though, as she is quickly finding out.


The bad from this episode comes from the writers' decision to force one of the best characters, Raven, into one of the least interesting plotlines the show has ever explored. Everyone watching The 100 who fell in love with Raven did so because she wasn’t willing to take crap from anyone and remained strong despite the many obstacles she’s had to face in life. Taking such a strong character and sending her to the City of Light — where characters essentially lose all of their agency — was not a great idea. While the pill may not be an actual drug, it has many of the same effects, taking away pain but also taking away a character’s ability to think for themselves. Instead, they blindly follow some computerized hologram who couldn’t be less interesting if the show tried.

The writers also played with the idea of sending Jasper to the City of the Light in this week’s episode and honestly, that would have been a much more preferable option than sending Raven there. At least Jasper — who has been completely unbearable this season — wouldn’t have been able to get much worse. And it would have been relatively easy to just zone out and ignore whatever was happening in this annoying plot.

Instead, they took a fan favorite and forced her there, ruining yet another character in the show.


Of course, the ugly in this episode is anything having to do with the awful Pike and Bellamy plot. There’s not much more to say about it that hasn’t already been said and this is essentially where my apathy for the episode now comes in. Pike is going to continue being a horrible person making horrible decisions, and Bellamy is going to continue going along with it for God knows what reason. With his sister going against the group at large, he’ll have some tough decisions coming up and there is now no doubt he’ll make the wrong ones.

At this point, there seems to be nothing that can kick Bellamy out of this stupor he’s in. Although perhaps he should try taking a journey to the City of Light? At least there he wouldn’t be massacring innocent Grounders.

Other than the obvious, I also struggled this episode with understanding why Monty so easily went along with the atrocious plan. Sure, his mom is in the group that opposed Grounders, but the fact that we literally got no explanation beyond that for Monty joining is frustrating. The writers, seemingly at random, decide when we’re going to get insight into what a character is thinking, most of the time opting to not let us know. They could be doing a lot more with Monty, in particular, but are instead too focused on boring, uninteresting plotlines like the City of Light.

Unfortunately, the ugly seems to be taking over on the show, making it difficult to watch. As the season continues, we can only hope that something major will change, as the path The 100 is going down right now is not a pretty one.


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