Warning: since this is a recap, it by definition will contain spoilers from the season three finale of The 100, “Perverse Instantiation — Part Two.” You have been warned …
Even when the “good guys” on The 100 win, they still lose. We’ve seen it happen time and time again on The CW’s post-apocalyptic series, and the epic conclusion to the season three finale just drove that point home. There are no happy endings here, just a delaying of the inevitable death that’s coming to every human on Earth. If you think I sound morbid, do you know what show you’ve been watching these past three years?!
While the first part of “Perverse Instantiation” set the stakes for a deadly outcome last week, the second part paid it off in a big way—just not the way we were all expecting. Yes, Clarke managed to defeat ALIE, but there’s something much worse coming, and it’s less a villain and more of an Armageddon situation for literally everyone on Earth, Grounders, and Skaikru alike. And yet, that revelation wasn’t even the biggest moment from the finale. Let’s get to recapping, shall we?
Who’s ready for a gut-wrenching mother/daughter reunion?! Good, because that’s how part two of The 100 season three finale began, with Clarke using the one-shot EMP device to kill the chip in Abby’s head since Ontari was officially brain dead. With no other Nightbloods around to receive ALIE 2 since Luna refused, Clarke wanted to put the flame in her own head and make Abby give her a blood transfusion from Ontari to make herself a Nightblood. Sure, that sounds… risky. But that’s why we love Clarke! Everyone was dubious that her plan would work, but they had to decide fast—because the chipped Grounders/Skaikru were getting ready to climb up the tower in Polis to either chip or kill them all.
With no better solution, Abby began the transfusion for Clarke with Bellamy tensely watching and holding her hand, while Murphy did his job as Flamekeeper. He put the flame in Clarke’s neck, and …it actually worked! After a brief moment of pain, she came to, calm and collected, and all of a sudden knew what to do to defeat ALIE. She wanted to take the City of Light chip and find the kill switch while inside the City of Light herself. Murphy and Abby didn’t agree it would work, but Clarke somehow knew the flame would protect her from ALIE and she would still be herself, and Bellamy trusted her. He promised to keep her body safe from the attacking Grounders, and he fed her the chip.
Clarke woke up inside the City of Light, looking like she just came out of the drop ship back in the series premiere. What a trip it was to see her clean, unbloodied, no scars or dirt on her face, and not a hint of Grounder influence in her appearance! But her own interest and curiousity in the City of Light was short-lived, because she was on a mission. Clarke was shocked to see Jasper happily walking down the street in the City of Light, and even more shocked to notice he couldn’t see her. In fact, no one could. But a mysterious voice called her name, and she started seeing infinity symbols everywhere. Is that a sign meant for her? In reality, her nose started bleeding black, and in the City of Light, Clarke started to get weak. Ontari started crashing, meaning Clarke wasn’t getting enough Nighblood and her body started rejecting the flame. Abby and Murphy jumped into action and did all they could to save both girls to give Clarke more time.
In the throne room, Pike made Miller take the injured Bryan to Abby, leaving him alone with Octavia. Probably not a great idea. While he trusted her to work with him to fight the chipped ALIE slaves and not him, she took the first chance she had to slice his leg and let the chipped City of Light attackers have free reign on him. Bellamy walked in at the right moment and saved Pike, but the chipped attackers, including Kane and Emori, breached the tower. Bellamy tried to convince Octavia to give up her need for revenge—unlike he did—in order to survive and save the world (she seemed to listen).
Back in Arkadia, Monty managed to shoot Jasper in the leg and take him down while Raven distracted him, saving Harper’s life. “Good thing there’s no pain in the City of Light,” Raven quipped. Look who’s got jokes! By looking at ALIE’s code in the computer system, Raven could see that Clarke was in the City of Light, and that ALIE already knew it. ALIE tried to send a virus after her, and began updating her own code to the new version through Clarke’s mind. Did Clarke just bring the flame right to ALIE?! But someone surprising came to Clarke’s aid: Lexa, in all her Commander glory! Yasss! Who else audibly cheered at her epic entrance?! She killed all the people attacking Clarke, and the two shared a beautiful hug. But their fight was not over—they needed to find the kill switch in the City of Light ASAP. Clarke started to crash in the real world, so Abby cracked Ontari’s chest and began manually pumping her heart with her hand. Abby made Murphy take over while she helped Clarke get more Nightblood.
It seemed to work, and Clarke began to stabilize. In the City of Light, Clarke regained consciousness, and she was finally able to kiss Lexa. How many of you already GIFed that moment?! But since the flame uploading already began, that meant ALIE’s slaves would start to see them. They had less than 10 minutes to find the kill switch and flip it, stopping ALIE. Lexa noticed another infinity symbol go by, and knew it was a sign from Becca Pramheda. They tried to follow it to the kill switch, but hit a firewall (represented by a physical wall inside the City of Light), and Jasper found them trapped, finally able to see them. Clarke tried to convince Jasper that what ALIE was doing was wrong, but he’d already drank the kool-aid. Honey, he’s too far gone, don’t even try. He was also flanked by Jaha and the rest of the City of Light citizens who were ready to fight and kill Clarke and Lexa to get the flame for ALIE, but Raven managed to create a door for Clarke to escape through. Lexa stayed behind to fight them all off, and with a final goodbye and a declaration of love, they parted ways. Ugh, that reunion was way too short-lived. I need more!
Clarke made it inside to the kill switch and found herself on the Polaris station with Becca Pramheda. But ALIE found it too, joined them, and dropped some horrifying knowledge on Clarke while trying to convince her not to flip the kill switch. She told Clarke that if she pulled the kill switch, then everyone on Earth would die, not just ALIE. Why? Because ALIE’s drones discovered months ago that all the nuclear power plants around the world were beginning to melt down, and in less than six months, 96 percent of the Earth’s surface will be uninhabitable, even for those born in space. According to ALIE, the City of Light was the only safe place for everyone to survive. So Clarke had to face another impossible, Mount Weather-sized decision: flip the kill switch and potentially doom them all, or let ALIE finish her upgrade and lose the kill switch forever.
In the real world, Pike had a new idea to keep the chipped Grounders and Skaikru out of the throne room. They used Octavia as a distraction and electrocuted the water on the ground, taking them all down in one fell swoop. But Kane revealed to Octavia before he went down that Indra was still alive …and up on the cross, suffering needlessly. But she couldn’t save Indra just yet, since all the non-chipped Skaikru members locked themselves back inside the throne room, while the chipped slaves continued to fight their way in. A bloody battle ensued, and Pike managed to save Octavia’s life. Kane, however, went in for the kill with Bellamy.
Back in the City of Light, despite knowing she might doom the human race to death by radiation in less than six months, she decided to hell with it: they would find a way to fix it, somehow, because they always do. ALIE’s offer to ease everyone’s pain wasn’t enough to Clarke, because, “you don’t ease pain, you overcome it. And we will.” So she flipped the switch, just in time to save everyone from death by chipped slaves. All the chipped people began to feel their pain and grief and sorrow return to them in one powerful, emotional moment. Clarke woke back up, and had Abby remove the flame from her neck. There were tearful reunions all around, from Abby and Kane to Murphy and Emori to Monty and Jasper back in Arkadia. So much pain, but at least they were all finally free. Monty finally got to connect with the real Jasper, telling him that he’d help him get through this world and they’d be happy again, and when Jasper was alone, he actually smiled! Monty and Jasper are my OTP, y’all.
Back in the throne room, despite their victory, Bellamy could tell something was still wrong with Clarke. When he asked her why she didn’t look like someone who just saved the world, she ominously replied, “because we didn’t.” She didn’t give him the whole story but his face fell immediately, and it was like a giant weight was placed back on his shoulders. Their fight was not over yet, and the exhaustion and weariness on both of their faces was palpable. Relief was so close, and yet so unattainable.
But back to that mic drop we mentioned in the title. Octavia got to end the season with the most epic of all time. While everyone else was celebrating their victory or coming to terms with their newly-returned pain and memories and feelings and reuniting with loved ones and friends, Octavia finally, finally, FINALLY got her revenge on Pike by stabbing him clear through his chest with a spear, while everyone else watched in horror. And with one ice cold look at her brother, she just walked right out of the room, and no one stopped her. Damn girl. That was a long time coming, and it. Felt. GREAT. Sorry not sorry, Pike.
And with that, The 100 season three has come to a close. The hour set up the major issue season four will face, the impending nuclear meltdown of the world, as well giving us so many emotional cliffhangers. What did you think of the finale? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW
The 100 will return midseason on The CW.