[Warning: this story contains spoilers from Thursday’s episode of The 100, “Stealing Fire.” Proceed at your own risk … ]
Just when I thought The 100 couldn’t break my heart any more that it already had, “Stealing Fire” happened. Another episode, another shocking ending, and another fan-favorite character killed in cold blood. First I had to say goodbye to Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and now I have to say goodbye to Lincoln (Ricky Whittle)?! Is there no justice in this world?
The 100 proved that there isn’t. At the end of last night’s episode, Lincoln sacrificed himself to save the lives of all the other Grounders currently locked up inside Arkadia’s jail cell by Chancellor Pike (Michael Beach). After almost successfully escaping Arkadia with Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) and Sinclair (Alessandro Juliani) before their executions, all the other Grounder prisoners were threatened with death by Pike if they didn’t turn themselves in. Lincoln knew he couldn’t let the others die in his place, so he decided to turn himself back in. Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) offered to go with him, but he couldn’t let her die too, so he made the ultimate sacrifice. He drugged Octavia and made Kane take her out to safety with the rest of the fugitives, and handed himself back over to Pike.
Octavia came to right outside the gates of Arkadia, just in time to witness Pike execute Lincoln by shooting him point blank in the head. It was brutal, it was gruesome, and it was downright heartbreaking. While Lincoln went out honorably (because of his choice, not because of Pike’s choice), it was much too soon to say goodbye to one of the show’s best characters, who has been a part of the series pretty much since day one. Lincoln was the very first Grounder we ever met up close and personal, and was our introduction into this world that has existed on Earth ever since humans left the ground in the Ark following the apocalypse.
To honor Lincoln (and to say goodbye to Whittle as he begins production on his next project, Starz’s American Gods), let’s round up all of his best moments on the series. Not to cry about losing him, but to celebrate all his badass and noble choices over the past two and a half seasons.
Think back, long ago, to season one, episode five: “Twilight’s Last Gleaming.” That’s the first time we ever saw a Grounder up close, when Octavia hit her head on a rock and woke up to find Lincoln (although she didn’t know his name yet) staring at her:
And let’s not forget the first time we got to see Lincoln in all his glory, head and back tattoos included, when Bellamy (Bob Morley) captured him and kept him hostage in the drop ship just two episodes later:
His body was like a fine piece of art. Just appreciate it for a moment:
While Bellamy went down a dark path when it came to torturing his prisoner, Lincoln’s time being tied up inside the drop ship allowed him to bond with his future love Octavia, and revealed that not only was he just a normal human, but he also spoke English when he thanked her and said this:
When everyone in camp accidentally ate hallucinogenic berries, Octavia seized the opportunity to set Lincoln free. His thank you was extremely surprising … and definitely welcome:
Now that he was free to return to his people, Lincoln tried to broker a peace treaty between the drop ship kids and his clan leader, Anya (Dichen Lachman), but Jasper (Devon Bostick) screws it up by firing his gun at Grounders hidden in the trees. At least Lincoln was able to get this hug in before the action started:
And pretty much any moment Lincoln and Octavia shared in his cave was H-O-T:
Or how about when Lincoln made his choice and decided to side with the drop ship kids, and Octavia, over his own people? He told Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Finn (Thomas McDonnell) that it wasn’t just because of his feelings for Octavia. He believed what his people were doing to them was wrong. He even picked up his bow and arrow to fight the other Grounders attacking the 100. Without him, more of the kids would have died in the season one finale battle:
And the way Lincoln gave up his entire life to run away with Octavia (even though they’re getaway was halted by other Grounders) was extremely noble and selfless. He risked his own life to save hers from the poison slowly killing her:
But just as it seemed like they were finally going to get away from all the drama of the Grounders and the 100, Lincoln was attacked and taken by Reapers to Mount Weather, where the evil Cage Wallace (Johnny Whitworth) turned him into a Reaper. These were dark days, indeed. Truly the stuff of nightmares:
But Clarke, Octavia and Bellamy work together with Clarke’s mother Abby (Paige Turco) to figure out a way to cure a Reaper and restore them back to their original state (basically helping them through an intense drug withdrawal and keeping their heart beating). While it looked like Lincoln would not survive the process, Octavia got his heart beating again. It wasn’t his time to go (yet):
Lincoln’s survival of the Reaper process was a major turning point for the Arkers in their war with the Grounders. By showing how they can bring people back from being Reapers, the Arkers were able to strike a truce with the Grounders and achieve peace (although not for long). But Lincoln still had to deal with his addiction to the Reaper drug that Mount Weather had gotten him hooked on:
While battling his own demons, Lincoln finally proved himself to Indra (Adina Porter) by saving her life after TonDC was bombed by Mount Weather:
And after everything Cage put him through in Mount Weather, Lincoln was able to get his revenge on the evil coward as he was trying sneak away in the woods. Lincoln came out of the fog, in full on warrior mode, and when Cage tried to inject him with more of the Reaper drug, Lincoln slices off his hand, injects Cage with the drug and watches him die:
Hell, it was so badass, let’s just watch the entire scene:
It seemed like Lincoln and Octavia would finally get their happily ever after when they returned to Camp Jaha (which would soon be renamed as Arkadia) to live together, but their happiness was short-lived:
Octavia felt like they both didn’t fit in with the rest of the Arkers and wanted to leave Arkadia immediately for the Grounder clan by the sea that Lincoln previously told her about, the place they tried to escape to back at the beginning of season two. But they didn’t get out in time. After facing so much extreme prejudice from the people of Arkadia, his final words were the Skaikru goodbye … in Trigedasleng, the Grounder language:
That’s the perfect way to sum up his character: a man caught between two worlds, saving those who needed to be saved and sacrificing his life for the woman he loves. And if Octavia isn’t the one to take down Pike,, I volunteer as tribute, because man, that guy has got. To. Go. But the look on Octavia’s face as she watched Pike execute Lincoln sure seems to suggest she’s about to get her revenge, doesn’t it?
What is your favorite Lincoln moment from The 100? Tweet me your favorite videos and GIFs at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.