Well. That happened.
It’s taken me about four viewings of this week’s episode of The 100 until I could finally formulate coherent thoughts on all the game-changing twists and reveals. “Thirteen” rendered me into a speechless shell of a human on the first viewing, left only with the ability to keyboard smash the jumbled emotions swirling through my mind. Three more viewings later and the best lead-in I can come up with for this recap is still: “Well. That happened.” And I do this for a living! The 100 has made me lose my mind!
Hey, if it was going to happen, I’m glad that it was this episode that destroyed my sanity. Because wow, did “Thirteen” deliver some mind-melting twists or what? In order to accurately get to every single one, let’s break this recap into two parts: the past and the present.
It’s time to go back, people, all the way back to the end of the world. While everyone on the Ark was told that countries and politics ended the war, that’s not the truth. It was Becca’s computer program, A.L.I.E. 1, 97 years ago, while Becca was working on A.L.I.E. 2 on the 13th station in space, Polaris (turns out she owns the entire space station). Turns out A.L.I.E. 1 hacked the nuclear launch codes, and when her creator couldn’t kill her with a computer virus, the nuclear apocalypse began.
We then jumped ahead two years to find Becca still trying to perfect A.L.I.E. 2 aboard Polaris (while also injecting herself with some black formula that was making her look sickly). But when the Commander of Polaris discovered she was still working on the same program that wiped out humanity on earth, he wanted to destroy it. It was the infamous Unity Day, and all the stations were planning on docking together to make the Ark. The Commander wouldn’t let a genocidal program kill the rest of humanity; he didn’t want it to infect the other stations. But Becca refused to destroy it, knowing that it could save the human race. While A.L.I.E. 1 didn’t understand what it meant to be human, A.L.I.E. 2 would because it was designed to interface with humanity on a biological level. It would understand the value of human life by co-existing with it (this will be important later on). Becca believed that A.L.I.E. 2 would see the mistakes humans make before they make them, like the problems the Ark had 95 years later with oxygen and food and supplies running out 100 years before they were supposed to.
The Commander still didn’t agree, so Becca locked herself in her lab, got all her data together with the A.L.I.E. 2 matrix safely embedded in the back of her neck, and escaped Polaris in a pod heading for Earth. Meanwhile, Polaris wasn’t making the right docking maneuvers in a timely manner because they wanted to destroy A.L.I.E. 2 first. Not knowing this, the other 12 stations shot it out of the sky to show that extreme measures had to be taken if the Ark was going to survive. Everyone had to follow orders, or else they all would die. And so, seconds after Becca’s pod escaped, Polaris was destroyed.
Becca’s pod landed safely on the ground in what would later become called Polis, and a group of mysterious humans came out to meet her. She was able to pull her helmet off and breathe normally despite critical levels of radiation, because it turns out that black formula she was injecting herself with was meant to build up her immunity to radiation. She had been planning to come to Earth with A.L.I.E. 2 the entire time! Since the formula made her blood black, we now know the origin of the the first nightblood, and the first Grounder Commander since she was wearing the Polaris Commander’s space suit. Of course, there are still a ton of questions, but we’ll get to that later. First, let’s fast forward to …
Poor Murphy, will his luck ever turn around? At the onset of the episode, he was still being kept prisoner by Titus, who wanted to know everything about the City of the Light chip he found in Murphy’s belongings. But all the talk about computer programs and space stations and artificial intelligence was too much for a Grounder who prays to “garbage,” as Murphy so eloquently put it (the alter was built of pieces of the destroyed Polaris). Titus couldn’t wrap his mind around what Murphy was (accurately) telling him about the City of Light. He refused to believe that the Commander he has been following his whole life, the first nightblood, has anything to do with the Skaikru origins. But as we learned via the flashbacks, it turns out that the first nightblood is none other than Becca Pramheda, a.k.a. the First Commander. It’s all connected!
In the throne room, at Titus’ advice, Semet from Trikru brought Octavia bound and gagged to Lexa to seek justice for what Pike’s crew tried to do to their Grounder village. Lexa was pissed that he would do so on Ascension Day, a holy day for Grounders, but Clarke agreed with Titus that justice must be done. She knows that only some of Arkadia is following Pike, and those who oppose him just need time to overthrow him. So Lexa decided to bring the armies of the 12 clans to Arkadia to blockade them in. Her idea being that keeping them from the lands they need to grow food and get supplies will motivate them to rise up against their leader within. Once rid of Pike, Lexa would then welcome them back into the coalition as the 13th clan. But any Skaikru caught crossing the line set up can be killed. Semet wasn’t happy with this plan, and tried to kill Lexa in anger, but Titus blocked and killed him.
While Titus wanted Clarke to get inside the blockade before it went into effect (a.k.a. away from Lexa, unable to sway her any more than she already has), Lexa asked her to stay in Polis as her special “guest.” Once again, Titus was not pleased that Lexa’s feelings are getting in the way of her rule as her former love Costia did (before Azgeda chopped off her head and delivered it to Lexa’s bed). Octavia knew that she needs Clarke with her inside the blockade to help stop Pike, but Clarke wasn’t sure what to do: stay in Polis with Lexa or go back to her people in Arkadia. She finally decided to go, and said her goodbyes with Lexa (and all it took was one look from Lexa to know what Clarke decided). Lexa said the Ark goodbye, “May we meet again,” and they finally kiss … and fall into bed together. Clexa fans, was this worth the wait?! How many times did you rewind that scene?! (I’m up to five … )
Later that night, taking a break from their romance, Clarke asked Lexa about her giant back tattoo. She told Clarke she got it on her Ascension Day, a circle for every nightblood that died when the spirit of the Commander chose her, seven circles in all. But there were eight other nightbloods during the ceremony, so that means one of them didn’t die. When Clarke asked about the remaining nightblood, Lexa said she didn’t want to talk about it. Ah! No! What happened to him/her? This is clearly going to be important down the line.
Meanwhile—after Titus left Murphy locked up deep within Polis’ Flamekeeper temple—Murph managed to escape his ties and saw the burnt out “Polis” sign. He then proved he’s a lot smarter than we all give him credit for by realizing “Polis” came from “Polaris.” That led him to the realization that the “holy symbol” infinity sign is tied with the Ark’s story, and told Titus all about the 13th station and Unity Day. Pointing to the woman drawn on the walls and inside the mushroom cloud drawing, Murphy put two-and-two together, but Titus once again refused to believe that the first nightblood had anything to do with his people and knocked him out.
After tying up Murphy in Clarke’s room, Titus then tried to shoot Clarke and frame Murphy for her death by using a Skaikru weapon (a gun), taking care of two birds with one stone. The only problem with his plan? Lexa walked in at the worst moment, and one of the bullets hit her in her stomach fatally. Titus swore to her as she died that he won’t try to hurt Clarke anymore and that he’ll serve the next Commander as he served her. Will he escape justice for causing her death? Let’s hope not, but he is the only Flamekeeper, and as we soon find out, that’s the most important job in the history of humanity. And raise your hand if Clarke’s final goodbyes to Lexa as she died reduced you to tears. I was a mess. If you weren’t a mess, then you’re a liar.
But there was hardly enough time to wallow in grief, because Titus then turned Lexa’s body over, and on the back of her neck was the “holy symbol” infinity tattoo … over a scar that looked eerily similar to Becca’s own. Titus opened up Lexa’s scar with a scalpel … and pulled an A.I. matrix out of her neck. It’s A.L.I.E. 2! It’s been inside Lexa. This. Whole. Time. What?! Titus then called for the conclave to begin to pick the next Commander. Turns out the Flamekeeper has been responsible for keeping the A.I. alive for the past 97 years, and the “spirit of the Commander” is real, because each commander has had his/her consciousness uploaded to the A.I. Who knew that all the Grounder spiritual psychobabble was actually rooted in something real and technological?! At least that means Lexa isn’t truly gone for good, even if she is dead. Whoa. This is going to be a death that I’m pretty sure I’ll never get over.
One storyline I wish I could have seen more of/spent more time with? Indra and Octavia. When Octavia only caught a brief glimpse of her former Grounder mentor while in Polis, she learned from Clarke that apparently Indra hadn’t been doing so well after Skaikru massacred the Grounder army. Her injuries from the attack were serious, and rendered her slower and weaker than she used to be. Bottom line: she was ashamed of herself for not being the best warrior she could be (as is the Grounder way of life). But after a powerful pep talk from Octavia, Indra dropped her negative attitude and turned herself around. We only got two short scenes between these two strong women – one of Indra telling Octavia she’s not the person she used to be, and one of Indra taking Octavia’s words to heart – and the turnaround was all too quick. There was a lot to pack into this major episode, so it’s understandable that this storyline would get cut short, but it was frustrating nonetheless.
Well, The 100 fans … have you recovered from this game-changing episode yet? Come grieve Lexa’s death with me on Twitter at @SydneyBucksbaum (send me all your Clexa GIFs, please! I beg you!), and check out what executive producer Jason Rothenberg had to say about where the show goes from here!
Images: The CW
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.