Please only read further if you’ve seen Episode 301 of The 100, because there are major spoilers throughout the article below!
Fact: last year I fell deeply in love with The 100. It is a wild ride and passionate, consuming affair. We are now in year two of our relationship and my hopes for our future together look quite promising. But like any great romance, we will have occasional disagreements of opinion. And I promise to remain faithful while applying fair and constructive criticism to my analysis when it is earned.
Before we dive in, here is a brief overview of how this and future episode analysis posts will be organized.
Part 1: World Building (locations, clans, etc.)
Part 2: Sky People and Grounders
Part 3: ALIE, Jaha and Murphy
Side note: For those of you unfamiliar with my style — I do not recap episodes, but I do specialize in theorizing, as I did with LOST several years ago. Keep in mind that some of what you read will seem implausible, but that is what I enjoy the most while writing about a show like The 100. I encourage you to suspend your disbelief, ponder the possibilities beyond what is presented onscreen each week, and engage in constructive conversation about it!
Also, if you are interested in listening to rather than reading my perspective about the show, I co-host The Dropship: The 100 Podcast with AJ Mass! We have a few episodes posted so far, and plan to record new podcasts every week following a new episode of The 100!
Thanks to The CW and Warner Bros., I am lucky enough to have seen the first four episodes of Season 3, but rest assured that I would never spoil anything for you! As the season progresses, my analysis will dive deeper. In the interest of remaining spoiler-free for 301, you will find more commentary than extensive theories. But trust me when I tell you that I have a notebook full of ridiculously long-winded theories ready to share when I am allowed! [Logistical note: there are no official photos on The CW press site from 301 of ALIE, Bellamy, Indra, Jaha, Kane and Monty, so I use screen shots from my phone when necessary.]
Season 3 of The 100begins where Season 2 ended, with Jaha and Murphy, but three months ahead in time. And truly, it was so nice to see the gang back together again: Bellamy, Raven, Miller, Monty, Jasper and Octavia! Despite the short-lived nature of it, watching these characters smile and rock out to a song was a real treat. And I’m fairly certain that few fans could have guessed where we would find Clarke after three months on a walkabout.
Did I love Episode 301? I really and truly enjoyed it from start to finish. It wasn’t a perfect hour of television, but I am extremely satisfied with how the three storylines (Clarke, Arkadia, and ALIE) progressed during the time jump, and how the first episode of the new season set the table for the shape of things to come. To be perfectly honest, I am a much bigger fan of episodes 302–304, but for now my focus is on analyzing each character, clan and community from The 100, Episode 301!
The former Camp Jaha appears to be rebuilding and thriving, three months after Clarke left. Systems and structures are in place to ensure that the Sky People move forward, working together as a community. We all know that sunshine and rainbows are never in the forecast on The 100, so enjoy that brief glimpse of peace while you can!
Doctor Jackson noted that they have Sky People requesting contraceptive implant removals, opening the door for future babies on the show. Population control laws from the Ark are no longer an issue on the ground, and it makes sense for families to want to grow. Frankly, as long as Clarke, Raven and Octavia aren’t ever among that group, I don’t mind. Realistically speaking, those three don’t seem likely to line up at that particular door anyway.
It appears as though the Sky People and Grounders worked out a truce for the time being, despite Lexa’s actions at Mount Weather and without Clarke’s input. An impressive feat, to say the least.
We know that there hasn’t been an attack on the Sky People since Mount Weather, likely because there are “rules of engagement” that apply, according to Kane. For example, Bellamy tells his team that they can shoot the guns, but “just not to kill.”
So naturally someone or something has to threaten the truce. Lincoln warned Abby that there will be a war “if it looks like Skykru are colonizing the mountain.” Despite the Grounders’ gratitude for what Clarke, Bellamy and Monty did to end decades of reaping and death, I imagine that the mountain is now a symbol to the superstitious clans. Perhaps they believe that even without life inside, it remains a cursed and evil location to be avoided. Or even more likely — the Grounders may fear that the technology inside would be used against them again. Not just by the Sky People, but by anyone.
CARS AND TRUCKS AND BOATS, OH MY!
The vehicles used by the Sky People were likely acquired from Mount Weather (a former military base; thus, the Land Rover 4×4 piloted by Raven),along with fuel. Although I imagine that 97 years in the future, there are alternative fuel sources that the Sky People are now accessing or creating on their own.
Assuming there is fuel of some kind available across the lands, I would not be surprised at all to see other modes of transportation in the future on the show. Paging Luna of the Boat clan! Octavia did mention her in this episode, and Lincoln noted that Luna is hiding for a reason and doesn’t want attention. Color me intrigued! Don’t forget that Jaha also showed up on a boat with Captain Emori that likely runs on something other than magical AI fairy dust.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the motorcycle we saw a glimpse of in Murphy’s lighthouse lair! The 100 bucket wish list: John Murphy showing up at Arkadia on a freaking motorcycle. Make it happen, Rothenberg.
I fully expect that if the Farm Station folks from the Ark ever reunite with those in Arkadia, the food situation will vastly improve. Although I’m not sure they’re familiar with barbecuing techniques for two-headed deer.
THE ICE NATION
The Ice Nation, also referred to as Azgeda, is ruled by Queen Nia (pronounced nye-ah, by the way),who was responsible for killing Lexa’s ex-girlfriend Costia long before the Sky People arrived on the planet. But we have yet to meet Nia and are left to contemplate the circumstances under which she and Lexa would meet again. Whatever the case may be, it should be spectacularly tense. I do the math below, and speculate about said circumstances.
Lincoln pointed out that the Ice Nation is part of Lexa’s 12-clan coalition, but “it doesn’t mean they respect the cease-fire.” I knew they were trouble when they walked in! Just kidding. They haven’t yet. And they’re unlikely to appreciate Taylor Swift.
Putting two and two together: Indra informed Kane that the Ice Queen wants Clarke’s power, and would break the coalition and start a war for the opportunity to obtain it. At the end of 301, we see Clarke taken prisoner. But I’m not making the assumption that Clarke’s captor Roan is from the Ice Nation. That would be too easy and obvious. This is The 100. They mess with us. I like it.
LOGISTICS & LOCATIONS
The Ice Nation is located in Sector 8. Given that the Azgeda territory stretches across a thousand miles (thank you, Octavia ),and that they’re literally called the ICE Nation … I feel as though it is a safe guess that Sector 8 contains what is left of Canada. Add to that the fact that a new Grounder character we haven’t met yet is called Ontari. One “o” shy of Ontario (Canada).
Kane, Abby and the Sky People have detailed maps (likely assisted by some found in Mount Weather),possibly providing updated post-apocalypse terrain and exact locations of the 12 clans. Either that or they created their own maps, adding new locales as they discover and encounter them on scouting missions. This gives them a leg up that they never had before. Of course it took five whole minutes for Bellamy and team to break protocol and engage in gunfire.
Indra pointed out that the trading posts were in Sector 7, which Bellamy indicated were near the Ice Nation border. It seems Ginger Griffin unintentionally wandered far closer to enemy territory than she ever intended.
Although the demons and ghosts permeating the halls of Mount Weather will never disappear, it is very smart of the Sky People to utilize leftover resources. Fine, it isn’t smart if it means setting off another war. But … cars and clothes and pianos and art! Oh, and little things like medicine, technology and weapons.
The shot of the kids with the soccer ball playing in Arkadia is a definite call back to the soccer-playing kids in Mount Weather, and a reminder of exactly why Clarke is unable to be among her people right now.
The use of the Violent Femmes song “Add it Up” was very effective, both in the Arkadia jeep crew scene out in the meadow and back at camp with Shawn Mendes on the piano. All that Jasper ever had with Maya was “just one kiss,” after all. Too soon?
That our favorite little The CW show-on-the-rise features a performance by one of the most successful young musicians of the modern music scene (Mendes) is quite a feat, and an admirable casting coup.
Because the new opening title sequence (including Polis!) was not on the screener I had for 301, tonight was the first time I saw it. Thus, no real comment yet. I’ll make sure to include thoughts in my next post!
But I did love that Bellamy is the voiceover at beginning of the episode. It is unclear whether he will continue to narrate the opening, but it’s a nice change.
Abby retains her role as the chancellor in Arkadia, and seems to have the respect of the community. Working closely with Kane in that capacity and as the camp’s primary doctor, Abby keeps herself busy in order to not dwell on Clarke’s well-being and whereabouts, 24/7.
She and Clarke only very recently reunited, and despite the fact that their reunion was not entirely reconciliatory, they had made great progress in their relationship. Abby is recovering from the bone marrow trauma and taking on two leadership positions simultaneously, without the council of and love from her daughter — a painful and challenging circumstance for our favorite healer. As Raven so gently suggested, “fix yourself. You suck at both jobs.”
Everyone can see just how important Raven is to Abby. They fill a much-needed role in each other’s lives without Clarke around, as surrogate daughter and mother.
To me, Bellamy’s journey this season seems to be about moving on without letting go. Without giving anything away about the next three episodes, just know that the direction they take his character is fantastic. Bob Morley has never been stronger.
Even if it was brief, seeing Bellamy smile was lovely. It is nice to see that he found romance and companionship with Gina, in Clarke’s absence. Of course I realize that how he feels about Clarke has likely not changed one iota.
Gina’s copy of The Iliad is quite a significant gift for Bellamy, in many ways. In the interest of remaining spoiler-free, I will merely suggest that perhaps you familiarize yourself with a synopsis of this classic. To say that there are parallel overtones and foreshadowing with The 100 is an understatement.
The very first words we hear Clarke speak in Season 3, three months after leaving her people at Camp Jaha, are in the Grounder language Trigedasleng. Significant. Adaptation is the name of the game if life is about more than just survival for Clarke. The clothing, the dirt, the language — Clarke has to blend in more with the environment and the clans. And blonde Clarke would be an immediate target. Therefore, we are treated to Ginger Griffin! My best guess is that her Grounder Salon consisted of crushed berries and a stream somewhere out of sight. But the transition from Princess to Wanheda did not happen overnight, and it must be noted that Eliza Taylor’s performance and growth on The 100 from Episode 101 to Episode 301 has been absolutely phenomenal.
She is legend, the Commander of Death. There is bounty out for Wanheda, and Clarke is a symbol. Treacherous conditions for her to be out there on her own. But is Clarke even aware that she’s being referred to Wanheda, what it means and why? That is the larger question as 301 ends.
Not everyone is hunting Clarke. There are likely thousands of non-warrior Grounders and members from all 12 clans that revere and fear Clarke, for what she was able to do at Mount Weather. If Niylah’s words were any indication, many will be thankful that Clarke ended decades of torture and death for their families. Down the line, potential and helpful new allies may be living and hiding around every corner for Clarke.
Abby made a comment that an Arkadia search party wouldn’t find Clarke “unless she’s ready to be found.” Despite the pain it caused, I strongly believe that Abby understands her daughter’s actions.
As we all know, Clarke Griffin is nothing short of resourceful. We knew that she was not going to just give up living, that she was going to tackle the ramifications of her actions on her own to gain necessary perspective away from those who remind her of the how and the why. Girlfriend baits a panther with a bunny! Impressive, young Jedi.
“No kill marks.” – Niylah
“My back’s not big enough.” – Clarke
It is important to reiterate that like Lexa, Clarke did not choose to be a leader. But unlike Lexa, Clarke is able to walk away from her people and take time to contemplate her actions. Kane still refers to Clarke as a girl, and Indra reminds him that so is Lexa. They’re both wrong. And in my opinion, once Clarke and Lexa realize and acknowledge their similarities from a leadership perspective, that will likely inform any future potential relationship (friendly, romantic or political).
At the end of Season 2, the very last words that both Lexa and Bellamy said to Clarke were “may we meet again.” My hope is that both of them meet up with Clarke again, and sooner than later.
Red is the Warmest Color
In all likelihood, Clarke hasn’t made human contact in three months, outside of a few handshakes in trade. She has not seen or made any friends. Therefore her reaction to and dalliance with Niylah is not at all surprising. For Clarke, it is a release of tension and of anger. Niylah is a warm body and she is satisfying a carnal human desire — nothing more and nothing less, for both of them. For Niylah, it is gratitude for what Clarke did for her family by taking down Mount Weather. And as is likely the case with all of the Grounders and clans on Earth 97 years in the future, Niylah’s sexuality appears to be fluid and not defined — which is refreshing. Niylah doesn’t need to be assigned a label after sleeping with Clarke. These were simply two consenting adults engaging in one night of pleasure. Clarke slips out before Niylah even wakes up; neither of them are seeking or expecting morning cuddles and a future romance.
For what it’s worth, trust me when I tell you that when two women go from zero to Lady Town in four seconds flat, it is clearly not a first rodeo for either of them. Also, kudos to The CW for allowing this scene to air as is, with tasteful yet realistically explicit sexual activity. To be quite frank, it is refreshing to see a female/female sex scene on television that doesn’t include bras on, tongues invisible and pre-orgasmic reactions off-screen.
Although we did not meet Gina in prior seasons, there are many characters in the background that were part of the original 100. It is clear that she is an integral part of the Arkadia community, leading missions to recover items at Mount Weather. At some point during the three-month time jump, Gina and Bellamy made a romantic connection — another instance of Bellamy moving on without letting go (of Clarke),in my opinion.
A disconcerting, unexpected Indra moment in 301: seeing her in the Sky People jeep! It seems she is working and negotiating well with Kane during the cease-fire, and they’ve even established a system of communication to indicate when Indra would like to meet (“three clicks”).
Sadly, I doubt that Indra works directly with Lincoln and Octavia any longer. She is fiercely loyal to Lexa and their people, and likely does not forgive Lincoln or Octavia for choosing to stay with the Sky People rather than the Grounders/Tree clan.
I imagine that the reason Indra won’t touch the gun offered by Kane is the same reason Octavia now only uses blades — guns are Sky People weapons, (I presume) not to be touched or used by any of the 12 clans. The Grounders are somewhat superstitious and spiritual by nature, so perhaps they feel as though using Sky People weapons would alter their fates in detrimental ways.
Jasper has far less concern for his own life than he used to. He is reckless and unstable. More than anyone, Jasper is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning from Mount Weather. I understand why, after being kidnapped, imprisoned, threatened, and forced to watch someone you grew to love die in your arms. That being said, I want to slap Jasper a little. Yes, he and Maya shared a brief yet sweet romantic connection under dire circumstances, but he wasn’t the only one to lose someone or part of themselves that day. I would argue that Clarke, Bellamy and Monty are suffering PTSD just as much as Jasper is, perhaps more on a more psychologically traumatized level (versus taking to the bottle and laughing at death’s possible door). Not to mention Abby and Raven, subjected to bone marrow removal sans anesthetic. And Raven being blown up. And so on.
In one of the lighter scenes involving Jasper, when he is yelling out of the jeep moon roof — it is a call back to the Pilot when he yelled joyfully right before being speared. In both instances, his is a loud, obnoxious and ultimately ominous precursor for the shape of things to come for poor Jasper. Hello, knifepoint.
I am totally on board with how much of a father figure Kane has become to Bellamy, and feel as though they benefit mutually from that relationship, given both of their experiences on the Ark and on the ground.
It appears that Kane is also still the Grounder Whisperer, the one Sky person who understands and works with the Grounders better than anyone. The dynamic between Kane and Indra is terrific, and I am hoping we see far more of those two working together.
Without addressing what we see in one of the official trailers for Season 3 (my choice),I will just point out that Abby chooses to rest and recover in Kane’s company. She’s that comfortable. Well, as comfortable after one can be three months after being drilled for bone marrow.
Although we haven’t seen Commander Lexa since Mount Weather, we know that she is at least aware of what is happening with the Sky People due to Indra’s meetings with Kane. That being said, I would be surprised if Lexa has actually shown her face at Arkadia. Although I am not sure if she’s been in Polis for the last three months, I’m quite sure that she sends Indra to Arkadia as her emissary for political purposes.
It is safe to say that Lexa knows Clarke is out on a walkabout and is being hunted by everyone. And despite Lexa’s decision to abandon her at the mountain, I truly believe that she is very concerned about Clarke’s whereabouts and safety. Or maybe I just want to believe that to be true. Because despite their personal connection (before it went to hell),Lexa realizes what Clarke’s leadership means to both of their people and the current truce, let alone any future alliances between Grounders and Sky People.
The Ice Nation warriors that Octavia and company killed said that they are looking for Wanheda, and Indra confirmed that the Ice Queen is seeking Clarke for her power, which means that Lexa’s worst nightmare (for Clarke to meet the same fate as Costia) is a distinct possibility. Thus, Lexa sends Indra to notify Kane that Clarke is being hunted by everyone. She knows that Clarke walked away from her people, but Lexa’s head informs her heart to warn the Sky People about the bounty on Clarke. Because if the Ice Nation can’t find Clarke, what better way to lure her out of hiding than by using one of her beloved Sky People as bait?
I am unable to reveal when we see the Commander again, and have pages and pages of thoughts and theories that I am very excited to share with you after the first four episodes! This should surprise no one.
Commander Lexa still has a kill order out on Lincoln, because he chose to go with Octavia rather than stay loyal to his Tree clan. Despite any sympathy or compassion that Lexa might feel for him, the Commander must decide what is best for her people versus what is best for one person.
The struggle to adapt and find comfort in the metal box community of Arkadia is an understandable challenge for Lincoln. He is and always will be a warrior. His issues are compounded by the fact that Octavia is very unhappy with his assimilation into Skykru life. Let’s hope that they find common ground upon which to live, love and work together.
The kid has acting chops. Massively popular singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes makes a brief but memorable appearance in 301, and it is not clear whether we will see his character again. But seriously – Macallan gets into a fight and you don’t show him getting hit in order to receive Stitches, the name of Mendes’ biggest hit song? Missed opportunity! I am not at all surprised that Jasper was set off by the piano retrieved from Mount Weather – recalling the last time we saw the piano, chandelier and other items now in Arkadia (see photo).
The truth of the matter is that Mendes is a huge fan of the show and Jason found a way to include him in an episode organically. His performance worked for me, and Mendes was not a distraction, which is all I was worried about when I’d heard he would be on the show. Truthfully, it doesn’t hurt that many of his 5 MILLION Twitter followers may start watching the show because of him. There is no guarantee of a Season 4 or beyond (yet) for The 100, so all press is good press as far as I’m concerned.
What a lovely, pleasant surprise — the reveal that Nathan Miller has a boyfriend. Last season, he reunited with his dad (Sergeant David Miller) in the Mount Weather bone marrow torture room. And now there is a possibility that Nathan’s boyfriend may be alive and well among the Farm Station folks! Miller is another LGBTQ character on The 100 who exists without an agenda, written no differently than Monty, Jasper, etc. I just love that Bellamy mentioned it factually, in passing. There is not time or room for judgments in that world. If only that were the case in ours.
In addition to facing what he did in assisting Clarke and Bellamy to irradiate the Mount Weather community, Monty bears a share of the burden of responsibility for Maya’s death. And yet, he does not give up on his traumatized best friend Jasper, a sadly one-sided uphill battle.
Like Raven, Monty’s recovery involves just feeling useful again. So he keeps busy as Arkadia’s main IT man. It is fantastic to also see Monty out on scouting missions, manning the controls and driving the jeep. An increase in screen time for Christopher Larkin would be a very welcome gift.
We learn that Monty is from Farm Station on the Ark. He’s hoping his parents are among the survivors they’re searching for!
I find Niylah to be very intriguing and hope that she appears again on The 100, because Jessica Harmon is terrific and there is definitely more to learn about her clan and history. Because she lied to Roan and kept Clarke’s identity a secret, I feel as though her people could potentially be a future ally for Clarke.
Given that no one really knows how Lexa feels about Clarke, it is very unlikely that Niylah was aware of the Commander’s feelings for the leader of the Sky People, and therefore had no hesitation sleeping with Clarke. And frankly, even if Lexa ever finds out about their dalliance, I don’t think Niylah’s life will be in danger. Lexa is far too busy ruling over a 12-clan coalition to “punish” someone for engaging in consensual sex with a woman she has romantic feelings for.
The very definition of home is a foreign concept for Octavia. To spend the first sixteen years of your life locked under a floor, only to be catapulted down to Earth and quickly assimilated into a Grounder lifestyle is an experience unique to Octavia Blake alone. Imagine discovering who you think you are or will become, only to be torn in two directions and by two factions that consider you their own. Octavia has two families now, but she’s trapped again, in a sense — living with her original Sky People in Arkadia with her Grounder love, Lincoln.
While Bellamy is technically her only family and they are together in Arkadia, he and Octavia are at odds from the get-go about Lincoln’s role with the Sky People. I am concerned for the siblings, and hope that their disagreements don’t ever boil down to her having to choose between her brother and her heart.
Marie “I do my own stunts” Avgeropoulos looks right at home on the horse, doesn’t she?
Octavia uses her swords rather than guns, and would rather sleep on the ground outside in the cold than inside a room on the Ark. That speaks volumes about where she truly feels she belongs.
How great was it to see Raven back in action, fixing up cars and driving the jeep with a smile on her face? Despite their circumstances, the Sky People have tried to make the most of their lives over the last three months. For Raven, that involved the healing of new injuries obtained at Mount Weather — but it is clear that she is still working on the mental anguish and physical pain. Everyone who experienced Mount Weather has some form of PTSD; it manifests itself differently in everyone. Unlike Jasper, who has taken to the bottle to drown his sorrows, Raven clearly dove back into her mechanical work — it is familiar and probably a comfort to her. Raven is not one to just sit around; she feels normal when she’s being productive.
One of the most admirable characteristics about Raven is that you rarely ever hear her complain, despite the obvious physical pain. Her strength is nothing short of incredible. Raven is one of the most relatable characters on the show, and certainly the strongest, in my eyes.
Strangely enough, we do not see Wick in 301, and there is only one mention of him (when Abby confronted Raven). So I am just going to assume that he has a very limited role this season.
Not much is known yet about this mysterious new grounder, but the primary question is whether Roan is searching for Wanheda for himself, for a bounty, or for someone else entirely. I really look forward to his journey this season, because Zach McGowan was made for this role.
Assuming Roan drew it himself, can we talk about how NOT like Clarke her Wanheda Wanted poster looked like! So Roan may not have Clarke or Lincoln’s artistic skills. Nor does he have soap or a razor blade. But so few do out there.
The LIGHT house. The City of LIGHT. Got it. ALIE is all about enLIGHTenment.
One of the possibilities that keeps me up at night is that ALIE is not the only AI/avatar out there. Think about how brilliant it would be if a character we’ve met has been integrated into one of the clans, and we haven’t noticed because they blend in and avoid human contact. It sounds outlandish, but on this show, nothing can truly be crossed off of the crazy list. And if there are other silicon-based characters out there, were they created with the same physical imperfections as their carbon-based models? Although ALIE is a beautiful and seemingly flawless digital being, it would be smart to also create avatars that blend in more with what others in that world resemble at the time.
Jaha’s comment to Murphy that “ALIE has been able to complete the work she began with her creator one hundred years ago” is the most significant line of dialogue in 301, at least to me. Origin story, unveiling! But is Chris (formerly known as Lighthouse Larry),her creator? Perhaps that is too obvious.
By my estimates, The 100 is currently taking place in the year 2150, which means that ALIE was created or at least started working on her evil world domination only a year or so earlier.
My attempt at an ALIE timeline:
ALIE and her creator (Mystery Launch Code Man) begin working on world destruction because there are too many damn people on the planet.
October 20, 2051
Chris is in the mansion, surprising Becca with her avatar. The nature of their relationship is unknown, but clearly Chris ignored Becca’s wishes, thus creating the monster machine disguised as a gorgeous woman who would become ALIE. Lord only knows what happened to Becca. It seems unlikely that ALIE would keep her around
May 10, 2052
Chris records his suicide note video in the lighthouse, containing integral information about ALIE. “I tried to stop her but I lost control. She got the launch codes. It was her. She did it. It was my fault. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”
ALIE successfully recruits Thelonious Jaha to help her finish the construction and execution of the City of Light, after Jaha kindly gifted her with an intact missile to power their terrifying new Tomorrowland.
ALIE’s core command is to “make life better by fixing the root problem: too many people.” She took care of it by decimating the planet with missiles. SO many questions emanate from this discovery. For example, who was Chris and why did he have access to missiles? The presumption would be that he was working with the military. Given the technological advances we are seeing today, it is quite possible that the military was funding Chris’ AI project. The door has been opened for additional new characters in ALIE’s world, because she can’t be the only person (thing) left on her little island. I sound like a broken record, but she needs corporeal bodies to physically achieve her goals.
Let’s take a moment to also ponder this: is ALIE, in silicon-based digital form, able to touch or feel anything? Unlikely. So a human being had to be the one to actually enter the launch codes to make the world go boom. WHO that was is the biggest question. Chris is an easy answer, and one I am not ready to accept at this point. Thus, my designation of Mystery Launch Code Man.
Part one of ALIE’s grand design was successful because she believed there were too many people on Earth, and took care of it by eliminating most of them. That is a chilling (smaller scale) parallel to the culling orchestrated by Kane and Jaha earlier up on the Ark.
I was very surprised to see ALIE is on the boat with Jaha, Gideon, Murphy and Emori. This is the first time we’ve seen her away from her property. Clearly she can project herself anywhere, but I don’t think she visits other locations herself very often. (Side note: I’m not going to analyze the glimpses of future scenes shown briefly in various trailers for Season 3 of The 100, such as ALIE and Jaha in another locale. I will address the actual scenes as they unfold during the season.)
“She didn’t end the world, she saved it.” – Jaha
Jaha fully believes that he has found his destiny. I often wonder just how different Jaha’s journey would have been had his son Wells remained alive. I won’t go so far as to suggest that ALIE controlled Charlotte, and needed Jaha’s son to be killed in order for him to wind up in her clutches. But everything happens for a reason, and Wells’ death created an unforeseen and alternate path for the former Chancellor.
We are not privy to what happened between Jaha and ALIE during the three-month time jump. But clearly her influence is stronger than any of us imagined. Jaha mentioned that he kept Murphy locked up in the lighthouse because he needed him to stay safe “because of all the things we needed to do.” I suspect that ALIE was the one who decided to keep Murphy away while she convinced/manipulated Jaha with her ultimate plans.
I maintain that Jaha was targeted and recruited by ALIE; that she believed his philosophical beliefs and leadership style would fit what she was seeking. Whether Jaha winds up being a pawn or a patsy remains to be seen. I would be willing to bet that Jaha is not part of ALIE’s end game, and will be discarded at some point. I do hope that he is allowed to live, because Jaha fascinates me to no end!
Jaha went along with ALIE’s plan to keep Murphy locked up in the lighthouse while he fell further down the rabbit hole illuminated by his new silicon BFF. Murphy was trapped for 86 days, and I am clamoring to find out just what took place between Jaha and ALIE during that time! Something tells me that there was far less brainwashing than there was voluntary participation on his end.
There is a timeframe or deadline for ALIE’s plan, because Jaha tells Murphy that they have much to talk about “and so little time.” Uh oh.
Listen, if I were stuck in a bunker for 86 days, that wine would not be wasted on my head. Also — did your Hatch not have a functioning shower, John? Asking for a friend.
Despite all that he has done since landing on the ground, including his many ill-advised and lethal interactions with fellow Ark survivors, Murphy still feels like he has life to live, that he has a purpose. He is unable to kill himself, and thankfully so. John Murphy is my candidate to transform from zero to hero, and this just may the season to see that happen. Many of his actions after arrival on Earth were abhorrent, and he was a true villain among and to his people. After being separated from them for so long, it will be quite fascinating to see how Murphy interacts and works with the Sky People again. Credibility is long gone, and John has more to prove than just about anyone. That being said, I believe that what he learns from Jaha and ALIE will be absolutely essential to Bellamy and Clarke, no matter where she is at the time. Good luck getting to and convincing her of anything in the near future, Murphy! I am not convinced that Murphy would deliver the same essential information directly to Kane or Abby, for what it’s worth.
The glass of water awaiting Murphy when he woke up in ALIE’s house may as well have had a sign on it that said, “drink me.” Welcome to Wonderland, John. The addition of the apple, a forbidden fruit provided by Eve 2.0 herself (ALIE),was a nice touch.
Because I believe ALIE sees all, and has eyes/ears on the ground thanks to drones and outcast Grounder moles … I think she uses Emori to get Murphy to do what she wants. John is a tough nut to crack, and has made very few connections of any kind since landing on this planet. Emori was the rare exception. When ALIE commented to Jaha that “I told you he’d come around” — that basically confirmed my suspicion.
Here’s hoping that Murphy holds on to the City of Light chip that Jaha gave him. My wish is that at some point down the line in Season 3, he reunites with Clarke, and they get the band back together and combine their skills to become the virus that infects and implodes Project ALIE Is Nuts (PAIN, for short).
TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
When Murphy stumbled in to the lighthouse on ALIE Island, everything inside was pristine and intact. Perhaps Mystery Launch Code Man still lives there, or it’s his bachelor pad on occasion when his artificial mistress requires his services.
Murphy was locked in the lighthouse behind a containment door shortly after entering it. It is safe to assume that the lighthouse was constructed prior to the missiles being dropped, as a safety bunker. Sounds like the handiwork of our mysterious military friends again. I noticed that ALIE’s henchmen, when they discovered Chris’ body in the lighthouse, mentioned something about “two years.” I don’t recall the context and will keep it in the back of my mind as we learn more about ALIE.
ALIE’s henchman (blond ponytail dude, whom I shall refer to as “Thor Light”) said, “I knew it, the news was wrong — it wasn’t China.” So these guys thought China dropped the missiles on the U.S., when it was ALIE. The distractingly beautiful AI in the red dress pulled off the largest assault and loss of human life in international history without “telling” a soul, and likely by using digital misdirection (I’m picturing a quick tweet suspecting China of launching nuclear war, distributed to the military and the world from her evil eye). All by her badass robot self. Except, of course, the one human she needed to enter the launch codes.
The missiles detonated all over the planet, and yet the lighthouse and ALIE’s mansion escaped without as much as a scratch. It is not entirely too far-fetched to think that the military somehow created a shield of sorts over that township or territory (yes, I watch and read far too much sci-fi). But the radiation must still seep through said magical shield, because the lighthouse was designed as a containment facility, to escape radiation caused by missile detonation. Or not.
ALIE’s guys removed Chris’ body and cleaned up the crime scene. To what end? Perhaps the invisible Launch Code Man resided there. I have to wonder if it laziness or oversight that ALIE allowed Chris’ confession tape to exist after his death. ALIE probably doesn’t concern herself with what anyone who discovers the tape could possibly do to alter her maniacal intentions.
THE CITY OF LIGHT
“We converted a nuclear warhead into a power source. With the added power, ALIE has been able to complete the work she began with her creator one hundred years ago.” – Jaha
The field of solar panels that Jaha discovered at the end of Season 2 was not the City of Light after all, because the City of Light is a state of consciousness that exists in the mind only. ALIE created a virtual reality in a brand new macrocosm, previously fueled by the sun via a solar panel farm but now running on nuclear power — a counterfeit community that she expects all remaining humans to join. And of course there wouldn’t be any pain, hate or envy in the shiny new artificial world; that is all that the remaining survivors on the planet know, so digitally delusional ALIE believes her recruitment plan will work.
It appears as though one’s body remains while one’s mind travels to the City of Light (case in point: Jaha in 301). So that would be an indication that perhaps Becca is still alive, likely trapped somewhere. But then again, ALIE has complete control of Becca’s brain, so she may have found a way to discard the human form and travel to the City of Light on her own. The ramifications for that possibility do not bode well for the rest of the humans out there.
We are not aware of the reach that the drones originating from the solar panel farm have, but I venture to guess that they don’t travel beyond ALIE’s territory. Otherwise we would hear fantastical tales about metal birds or monsters from the many clans spread across the lands. Then again, I am compelled to contemplate exactly how ALIE keeps an eye on the living from her virtual perch.
The drones exist not just to monitor, but to lead; they are the yellow brick road, leading new recruits to the AI behind the curtain: ALIE.
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” – Morpheus, The Matrix
In my overly active imagination, the magical microchip that Morpheus Jaha gives to Neo Murphy is the red pill. Welcome to ALIE’s version of The Matrix. The world remains unaware while under the influence of the blue pill until ALIE is ready for them to enter the Matrix. Jaha has very clearly taken the red pill, voluntarily.
CRAZY THEORY OF THE WEEK (will be ongoing)
Polis & ALIE: The Grounder-to-AI Connection
Polis looks like it consists of one giant tower in what is left of a large city; a tower that is likely known throughout the lands as the Capitol, housing the highest-ranking member of modern-day society 97 years from now. Essentially, Lexa is the Commander in Chief and she resides in the post-apocalyptic equivalent of the White House (although ironically, it is ALIE who lives’ in a real “white house”). My point is that Polis would be an obvious target for enemies with technology-based weapons. There must be a reason that Wallace never aimed one of his Mount Weather missiles at the Polis tower, knowing exactly where home base was for his nemesis, Commander Lexa.
I speculate that Wallace worked with or was controlled/manipulated via blackmail by ALIE in some capacity. I strongly believe that someone with the power that ALIE wields would not just allow Lexa and the 12 clans to roam and rule freely across the lands she oversees. ALIE needs the Commander … but the larger question floating in my head is if ALIE somehow controls the Commander as well. I KNOW, it sounds insane. This is how my brain works. I bear it so you don’t have to.
There are missiles in Mount Weather. ALIE needs missiles for the City of Light. For some unknown reason, she has not acquired them yet. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you her solution: Thelonious Jaha. Her pawn is a long con. ALIE is no doubt aware that the mountain is now abandoned and lifeless. Again, she needs humans to help her with the dirty work. Knowing Jaha’s role and connection among the Sky People, he was her top priority, and she believes he will help her get to the missiles in Mount Weather.
To me, Emori showing up with Jaha on ALIE Island is proof positive that there is indeed a connection between ALIE and the clans. Emori was one of the outcast nomad Grounders, which leads me to suspect that ALIE recruits ousted members of society to do her bidding. I have no idea what ALIE might have used to motivate Emori to assist her, but I think it has to do with the promise of a future in the City of Light, a tabula rasa, the new land of opportunity where Emori’s hand wouldn’t be disfigured and she would feel no pain. Perhaps the same oasis was offered to Gideon, the giant bald man accompanying Jaha.
Free will is the ability to choose your course of action. ALIE’s grand plan removes free will from the picture, controlled by microchips and false hope for the Promised Land. To be continued, in depth…
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this opus! Future articles will not be as lengthy, because screeners for future episodes aren’t guaranteed. It has been a gift to be able to watch the first four episodes in advance; to let what I’ve seen marinate in my brain and then write about it for weeks.
As always, I encourage your constructive feedback and commentary. I only ask that you please refrain from sharing your own theories in the comments section, as it is my personal policy to avoid reading others’ theories while continuing to shape my own. I hope that you absorb and enjoy the weekly analysis, and then engage in conversation about it with me here and on social media! You can find me on Twitter @JOpinionated.
May we meet and tweet again!
The 100, starring Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Marie Avgeropoulos, Bob Morley, Christopher Larkin, Devon Bostick, Isaiah Washington, Ricky Whittle, Lindsey Morgan, Richard Harmon and Henry Ian Cusick, airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.