Monday, March 7, 2016

The 100 3x07 Recap: "Thirteen" (Life is About More Than Just Surviving) [Contributor: Laura Schinner]

Original Airdate: March 3, 2016

One thing I’ll say for this week’s episode of The 100 is that it was definitely the most compelling episode of the season. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that we did not have to deal with any of the nonsense from Pike, Bellamy, Jaha, or Jasper back at Arkadia. Instead, this episode focused almost completely on the Grounders, as Lexa had some difficult decisions to make about how to deal with the Sky Crew. Not only that, but we were also given some answers that only served to create even more questions about what is going on with all of this artificial intelligence stuff. With Murphy being our key to discovering more information rather than Jaha, this aspect of the episode was actually somewhat interesting for the first time.

Of course, the only thing people are talking about from this episode is the somewhat predictable death of Lexa. The whole season has really been setting up her death, as she’s gone against her people’s way of doing things, choosing to listen to Clarke and bring peace about without using violence. The surprising thing about her death though is how it happened. Obviously, it would have made sense for her people to turn against her and kill her themselves — something someone even attempted early on in this episode when she once again refused to declare war on the Sky People. Instead, her death was completely accidental, a decision that I am not entirely sure I agree with but provided some very strong scenes nonetheless.

Before we get into that actual scene though, let’s take a look at everything that led up to it. In this episode, Lexa finally took a stand against Sky People, knowing that something had to be done to stop them. Again though, she did not want to resort to violence, instead simply wanting to barricade them in Arkadia and let them come to the decision to take out their leader themselves. However, if anyone tried to escape the barricade, she had no choice but to declare a kill order on them. In a lot of ways, this was the smartest thing she could have done while still staying true to her new way of doing things. It protected her people while also refraining from killing any completely innocent Sky People. Now, not every Grounder is going to see it that way, with many of them still believing that blood must have blood and being anything but quiet about their displeasure with how she’s handling the situation. Still, no one has successfully outright defied her.

With her new decision made, it was of utmost importance that Clarke — along with Octavia who had been brought there by the Grounders whose city was attacked by Sky People — return to Arkadia before the barricade went up. In a rare scene between Clarke and Octavia, we saw Octavia plead for Clarke to understand that this was the only course of action she could take if she wanted to help their people. Despite her feelings for Lexa once again growing, Clarke was able to realize that Octavia was right.

This led to an emotional goodbye between Clarke and Lexa, who finally gave into their feelings for each other for the first time since Lexa’s betrayal. It was important for this to happen because in many ways, it marked Clarke’s final forgiveness of Lexa for that betrayal. This whole season has shown Lexa trying to make up for that mistake and earn Clarke’s trust again. By bringing these two characters together again and cementing that forgiveness, the impact of Lexa’s death was that much stronger and more emotional.

The actual death scene went down essentially the opposite from how I expected it to happen, with Titus dealing the final blow to Lexa. Their relationship has been strained throughout the season, as he has not agreed with her decisions, especially since she has relied on Clarke’s advice so much. However, despite this, her death by his hand was not intentional at all. He was actually aiming at Clarke, who had discovered that Titus was keeping Murphy locked away, when Lexa accidently walked into his crossfire. Kind of contrived and honestly, Lexa deserved a better reason to die but at this point, it is more important to look at what it accomplished.

Titus has not once agreed with Clarke and has struggled with Lexa all season, but in her final moments when she asked him to promise never to hurt Clarke, he agreed. While Lexa’s death was sad, it did prove that in the end, Clarke made her realize that there is more to life than simply surviving. The bond between these two has been a compelling one since the start and seeing their effect on each other in these last moments was highly emotional. It could be argued that she deserved a better death, but they did at least do justice to her character in her final moments, sending her off with very strong scene.

While Lexa’s manner of death was surprising in its own right, the true questions from the episode sprang from what happened after she died. We have gotten closer to understanding how exactly the world ended by getting a look at Polaris — the original thirteenth section of the Arc. In this episode, we saw Becca, who created Alie 2 after the failure of the original Alie, fall down to the earth from the Sky right after the earth was destroyed, escaping right before Polaris was blown up. The mark this woman has on the back of her neck is one we finally saw reflected on Lexa’s neck, as Titus removed what we shockingly discovered was Alie-2 from her dead body. What this means for the show going forward is up for debate but it definitely makes things interesting again.

I’m still not entirely sure how to feel about how everything went down in this episode but it will serve to move the story along which is something the show really needs at this point.


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