After what Pike and Bellamy did at the very start of The 100 this week, it’s pretty hard to imagine that the episode “Hakeldama” would or even could end on an optimistic note. (I honestly never thought I’d type the words “optimistic note” in a The 100 recap. Ever.). Shockingly, it did. Commander Lexa may have just turned the tide and taken a step towards peace in spite of the fact that her people were just slaughtered by Arkadia. Let’s start at the beginning!
Just as we all suspected, as soon as Pike became Chancellor of Arkadia, he resumed his kill squad with Bellamy and, together, with a small group, they massacred the entire peacekeeping force that Lexa sent to protect Arkadia. Bellamy only convinced Pike to leave Indra alive (albeit severely wounded) to deliver a message to Lexa: the Skaikru rejects the coalition. While normally this act of war would elicit the “blood must have blood” reaction from the Grounders, Clarke convinced Lexa that the only way to end the cycle of violence before everyone ends up dead is to take the first step and not retaliate. And to Indra’s shock, Lexa didn’t just consider Clarke’s idea; she agreed with it. “Blood must not have blood.” Whoa.
So, if the coalition follows Heda’s orders, the Grounders aren’t going to retaliate against Arkadia. But will Arkadia do the same? It seems unlikely, given how Pike is treating all the Grounders inside Arkadia’s walls. First, he interned all the sick and wounded Grounders being treated in the med bay and locked them all up inside the jail cells without meds or supplies. Remember, these are the Grounders that Abby and Kane convinced to come to Arkadia for treatment. Then, Pike locked up Lincoln just because he was trying to help the extremely sick Grounders. Even Bellamy was going to extremes, telling Octavia to stop acting like a Grounder and getting into fights with Lincoln. He even tried to lock up Clarke when she snuck into Arkadia to try and reason with him!
And let’s talk about that heartbreaking Bellarke scene for a moment, because some major props must be given to Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley. Not only was the dialogue in that scene crafted beautifully, but also their facial expressions and delivery of their lines packed so much emotion into such a short exchange. Talk about powerful. While it’s been difficult to understand why Bellamy has been making all these “wrong” choices this season, this scene finally explained his perspective clearly.
Ever since Bellamy arrived on the ground, he’s lost countless numbers of his friends and loved ones to Grounders, be they Trikru or Azgeda. They’ve tried peace, and still he’s lost people closest to him. “We’ve been at war since we’ve landed.” Bellamy is giving us all some much needed perspective. Clarke is pretty much the audience right now, trying to say that Pike is the problem and she solved the Ice Nation threat already and this isn’t who Bellamy is. This is exactly how the majority of the fans feel. But Bellamy opens her eyes by explaining that this is who he’s always been since the start. Sure, he’s matured and grown since the series premiere, but he essentially let Clarke, Octavia, and Kane convince him to give the Grounders a chance. He tried it. But that didn’t work. He continued to lose people. He’s sick and tired of letting his people die trying to work with the Grounders. The lesson he’s learned is that Grounders are the enemy.
And here’s where it got even more real. Bellamy also opened Clarke’s eyes to the fact that her way isn’t working either. People die when she’s in charge. She let a bomb drop on an innocent village even though she thought Octavia was there. She made a deal with Lexa, but Lexa then left them all in Mount Weather to die and the only way they made it out of there alive was by killing everyone who had helped them inside Mount Weather, the same people who trusted Bellamy. You could see it on Clarke’s face: all of a sudden, she realized she wasn’t as right as she thought about everything. About anything.
Here’s the kicker: No one is right in this situation. They still keep losing people no matter what they try. But Clarke’s apologies weren’t enough to snap Bellamy out his anger. He handcuffed her and tried to take her to Pike until Octavia intervened. Octavia knocked out one guard while Clarke was forced to steal Bellamy’s taser stick and knock him out with it. Both of them escaped from Arkadia and got back to Lexa with Abby and Kane’s help. And that’s when Clarke lobbied for mercy with Lexa.
But all this political strife wasn’t the only major change happening inside the walls of Arkadia. Jaha finally made it “home” after being gone for four months. And he didn’t return alone: A.L.I.E. came with him, although no one can see her (yet). But Emori’s brother Otan was killed at the entrance of Arkadia because he was a Grounder, so now it’s up to Jaha to talk up the “City of Light” to everyone. It’s obvious that Kane, Abby, and Pike all think Jaha has gone nuts in his time abroad, but they allowed him to proselytize to whoever he wants because they think he’s harmless. Big mistake. A.L.I.E. identified Raven as their ace in the hole; she knows that if Jaha can get Raven to swallow her City of Light chip, others will follow suit. Jaha proceeded to manipulate Raven’s pain and frustration about her leg, and although she was scoffing at Jaha’s faith in the beginning, by the end of the episode she swallowed the chip. Instantly, and to her complete and utter shock, she felt no pain and could walk normally. But she could also see A.L.I.E. Yikes.
Meanwhile, out in the wilderness, Murphy and Emori have been taking the world by storm, conning people out of their belongings. They work together well! But Emori wanted to go after her brother Otan, not realizing that he was already killed by the Arkadia security when Jaha arrived with him. Just as she was about to try to convince Murphy to join her, he was captured by Trikru scouts. Apparently, their reputation as a pair of master thieves had spread and they were wanted for questioning, but Emori was safely hidden in the trees. The scouts then saw Murphy’s City of Light chip that he never swallowed, and called it the “sacred symbol.” Clearly they’ve seen it before. Instead of killing him for stealing in the Commander’s woods, they decided to bring him to her instead, while Emori could only watch helplessly from the trees.
This episode, guys. I can’t get over it. Do you finally understand why Bellamy is going down this path (even if you may not agree with it)? What did you think of Raven’s decision to swallow the City of Light chip? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.