Please only read further if you’ve seen Episodes 301 and 302 of The 100, because there are major spoilers throughout the article below!
As always, I encourage your constructive feedback and commentary — but please do not share your theories in the comments section! It is my personal policy to avoid others’ theories while expanding upon my own throughout the season, and unintentional spoilers are sometimes included in theories posted in comments. My hope is 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.
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! That being said, it is challenging to posit theories and speculate when I know what is happening in the next two episodes. Thus, this post will not be as detailed as the first!
With regard to Episode 302, do I think it was equally smart and strategic to feature Clarke reuniting with both Bellamy and Lexa in the same episode? Absolutely! After all, the words “May We Meet Again” were the last spoken by each to Clarke before they all parted ways at the end of Season 2.
Roan: “The great Wanheda, the mountain slayer.”
Clarke: “I’m no one.”
Roan: “A lot of people out there right now looking for no one.”
I must applaud The 100 writers for managing to present two very different yet utterly riveting storylines in Season 3, from Clarke and the Sky People/Grounder Truce to Murphy, ALIE and Jaha. It is a delicate balancing act to offer two distinctively disparate yet truly satisfying stories that hold your interest, especially in the third season of a sci-fi series. I have great faith that the two primary branches on their storytelling tree will converge at the shared root at some point this season, and my conspiracy theorizing brain is already on high alert for when that occurs.
PART 1: LOGISTICS & LOCATIONS
CARS AND TRUCKS AND BOATS, OH MY!
It seems I missed the solar panels on the Rover that Raven was driving in 301. So they are harnessing solar power for their vehicles — thus, no gasoline needed.
Jackson: “They relied on blood to survive. It’s still all there.”
Abby: “You want me to bring a Grounder into Mount Weather for a transfusion? They killed thousands of people for that blood.”
Lincoln warned Abby that the supply runs from Arkadia to Mount Weather put them all at risk and jeopardized their newly established peace via the Truce. But, RED flag; blood must have blood. Listen to Lincoln, Abby! She ultimately made the decision to reopen Mount Weather for their facilities. Of course it makes sense to utilize state-of-the-art medical equipment, but the Sky People know very little about Grounder and clan traditions and superstitions.
NEW OPENING TITLES/CRAZY THEORIES OF THE WEEK
I’m going to put a mild SPOILER ALERT in this section, because although what I’m about to share is speculative, I am highlighting new locations that will more than likely be featured at some point in Season 3. Skip this section if you’re so inclined!
After spending far too much time studying each frame of The 100 Season 3 opening title sequence, I discovered quite a few surprising Easter eggs (hidden and/or subliminal messages inserted by the writers). I can only assume that what is presented in the opening titles is canon and applicable to the series.
Overlaying the entire sequence are graphics with grids and words like “trajectory” and “tracker” that all appear to be emanating from one source. I would hazard a guess that the opening titles are a quick glimpse of the new, post-apocalyptic world through ALIE’s system; through her virtual eyes in the skies.
Trajectory is a word associated with path, direction, range and flight. Hello, missiles and drones! Tracker indicates following, eavesdropping, investigating. Hello, ALIE! Add to this the fact that the words “Broadcast Uplink” flash over the Polis capitol tower and “System Status” appears next to it.
The Grounder capitol city of Polis is now featured at the beginning of the opening credits, along with a very brief flash of the words NEW CONTACT: QUARANTINE ALERT. In Episode 301, we learned that Murphy’s lighthouse had a quarantine door. But this is Polis. My mind is spinning with who the new contact is, and if the quarantine alert is in place preemptively. Is it mere coincidence that the new contact alert appears directly under Eliza Taylor’s name in the opening credits, right under the Polis tower … or are they winking at us from behind the scenes?
So now of course my primary concern is that Wanheda is the new contact (which I interpret as “target”). And my conspiracy theory brain automatically assumes that ALIE knew Clarke would wind up in Polis, exactly where she wants her. Heda and Wanheda may be her ideal one-two punch in terms of taking out the two most powerful people on Earth at this moment. Building upon my Crazy Theory of the Week from 301, perhaps this is why Wallace never bombed the rather obvious target of Polis; ALIE may have forbidden it, having faith in her long-term plan. If this is indeed ALIE’s end game, it is a brilliant long con.
There are also a few new locations subtly and not-to-subtly woven throughout the titles, starting with a mountain called Mt. Sharp, near the original Ark dropship crash site. This one throws me for a loop, because as far as I know, the only Mount Sharp in existence in 2016 is on Mars. I am not at all prepared to start contemplating alien life on Earth in 2150 beyond artificial intelligence, but this is The 100, so I just might have to open my mind in that direction soon.
It is also subtle, but I believe the Ice Nation appears behind Richard Harmon’s title in the opening sequence. At first I thought it to be Polis because of a round tower in the distance, but Polis appeared behind Eliza’s title and this is an entirely different area. There are low mountains nearby that appear to have melting snow. And there is a QUARANTINE ZONE alert on the outskirts of this city as well. If this is the Ice Nation, it resembles city ruins similar to Polis rather than mountainous terrain, as I’d imagined. I suspect that Ice Queen Nia resides in the round tower. It appears to be much smaller than the one in Polis, but I suppose size doesn’t matter. To Lexa, at least. Pun intended.
Although we know that the City of Light is a virtual reality and not a physical location, the giant bright light in between two mountains behind Lindsey Morgan’s title card may represent it.
Now here is where the opening titles get a little more intriguing. The location pictured behind Isaiah Washington’s name is also new and features a large water tower structure. The words CAPITOL CITY, CONDITION: DESTROYED fly above it. I strongly believe that ALIE’s original master plan involved the destruction of all major U.S. capitols, taking into consideration the quarantine zone alerts on both Polis and the Ice Nation (if I’m correct). I believe some of the capitol ruins are occupied 97 years later by various clans, making them future targets for round 2 of Project ALIE Is Nuts (PAIN). Wallace took care of one repurposed capitol already, when he bombed tonDC in Season 2.
ALIE’s oceanfront white house, nestled against lush green mountains all by itself, appears behind Henry Ian Cusick’s title slide in the opening credits of The 100. Two drones fly in, accompanied by the hilariously obvious DRONES label. Unlike the drones we’ve seen in the Dead Zone, powered by and emerging from the solar panel farm, these drones have red wings; perhaps a nod to ALIE’s red dress, and designation of her most technically advanced flyers. What interests me the most about this particular setting is the SECURITY BREACH warning on screen. It could serve as a caution about the shape of things to come or a reminder of events past. I am also fascinated by the fact that the lighthouse is not included in this or any of the locations featured in the opening title sequence. It certainly seems as though the lighthouse would be very close to ALIE’s house.
The final location and image unveiled in the opening sequence is a head-scratcher: an oil rig with a small communications tower, out in the middle of the ocean! In Season 2, I speculated that people out on boats and rigs in the middle of nowhere when the bombs dropped 97 years ago survived, only to return to land to discover the extent of the apocalypse. I then surmised that many of these people returned to their boats to live their lives and create future generations away from the subsequent and pervasive violence across what was left of planet Earth. Just last week in Episode 301, we heard Lincoln and Octavia mention Luna again; she is the leader of the Boat Clan. I am thrilled about the possibility of meeting a water-based clan on this show, and in this season! It remains to be seen whether Zone 5 is the same as Sector 5.
In the interest of time and the length of this article, I’m going to save my thoughts about the location of Polis for a post in the near future. To be honest, I am much more focused on all of the locations featured in the new opening title sequence of The 100.
PART 2: CHARACTERS AND CLANS
There are 63 former Ark survivors from the Farm Station — including Monty’s mother and (hopefully) Miller’s boyfriend, who would be among those now heading to Arkadia if he survived the crash. I did find it a bit odd that Miller didn’t inquire about the status of his boyfriend when they met up with the Pike and the Farm Station team.
Pike led his Farm Station team with the chant, “Grounder killers, one and all.” They have not encountered any clans other than the Ice Nation, and therefore Pike is understandably skeptical about the Truce established between the Sky People and Lexa’s Trikru.
THE ICE NATION
The Ice Nation are a loud and proud clan, marching through the wilderness with face paint, banners and drums. They’re like an obnoxious high school band and football team combined. Which makes Queen Nia the evil principal and her son Roan the school bully. You will meet Nia eventually, and all I will tell you is that Brenda Strong is just spectacular in this particular role.
We now know that the Ice Nation is a family affair, but there must be strife and drama if prodigal son Roan is contracted by Nia’s nemesis Lexa for a job. Here’s hoping for a little backstory in a future episode!
Thanks to Indra, we now know that the Ice Nation crossed a border they’re not supposed to. If the Ice Nation had tracked Clarke successfully before Roan did, she would have been killed and an entirely new war would have been waged. Bullet (blades), dodged!
Abby: “I am not just a doctor!”
Jackson: “Maybe you should be.”
Despite her position as Chancellor and because she is genuinely friendly with most of the former Ark youth prisoners, the recovering residents at Arkadia no longer hesitate to speak their minds. In 301, Raven lit into Abby about ignoring her own issues while focusing on others. In 302, Jackson dropped the truth bomb above, and Jasper hit her where it hurts, referring to Finn’s death: “Your daughter killed him too.”
Abby has come a LONG way since she landed on Earth; she has seemingly acclimated, adapted and adjusted more than almost anyone during Clarke’s absence. Seeking advice from Lincoln would be just one example of her growth. And because Abby is the Chancellor of the Sky People, she must have played a large role in the Truce established with Lexa’s people. I imagine that over the last three months, Abby may have realized WHY Lexa made the decision at Mount Weather — one that her own daughter made a short time later, choosing to save her own people but sacrificing the lives of many others in the process.
“We can’t lose her.” – Bellamy, to Monty
Bellamy is a man on a mission. Before Clarke left on her walkabout, she and Bellamy had forged an amazing friendship after crashing down on Earth, and were unofficially co-leading their people by the end of Season 2. So once Bellamy and the scouting team finally found Clarke in 302, he took off without hesitation. Because he’s Bellamy; impulsive and impatient to bring her back to Arkadia. He probably assumes that Clarke would want to go back with him to reunite with the Sky People. I would not make that assumption, despite her less-than-ideal circumstances after three months on her own (this has nothing to do with Bellamy and everything to do with Clarke’s state of mind).
Bellamy’s reunion with Clarke was brief yet emotional and effective; these two share an intense history, and it reminded me of their last scene together in Season 2 when she left him in front of Camp Jaha. Alas, Bellamy got stabbed by Roan before he even had a chance to discuss an escape plan with Clarke.
We know that Bellamy is a rebel at heart, and despite working with Kane now, he is not hesitant to break protocol. Patience is not a virtue well practiced or obeyed by Bellamy. This season just might be when he starts Blakeing Bad.
After watching the first four episodes of Season 3, it is very clear to me that Bob Morley has elevated his game. I am very happy with the direction that the writers have chosen to take Bellamy this season, and if Morley’s performance is any indication, so is he.
“If only all of my Earth Skills students were as good as her.” – Pike
Clarke Griffin NEVER gives up. The fight and fire in her is so strong, intensified by the three months she spent surviving on her own. She managed to avoid getting captured by 12 clans, and now we know that she excelled in survival class up on the Ark. Because of course she did.
“You’re Ice Nation.” Clarke recognized the Ice Nation markings on the side of Roan’s head, which indicated she had encountered members of that clan during her walkabout. And something tells me that she never forgot what Lexa told her about how the Ice Nation tortured and killed Costia.
The dynamic between Clarke and Roan is terrific. Two warriors, one trained since birth, the other out of sheer necessity. Both resourceful and stubborn as hell. And neither is afraid to speak the brutal truth.
Clarke: “You’re obviously not loyal to the Ice Nation, so why are you taking me there? Whatever the Ice Queen is giving you, my people will offer you more.”
Roan: “Doubt that, not for someone who abandoned them.”
Clarke: “You don’t know anything about me.”
Roan: “I know you took the coward’s way out.”
When Roan covered Clarke’s head and finally delivered her to his destination, I think she believed it would in fact be the Ice Nation, that she’d be facing Queen Nia. Thus, once her eyes adjusted to the light, she saw Lexa and realized she was in Polis — Crazy Clarke was unleashed. The sheer fury in her eyes was visceral and her reaction to seeing Lexa for the first time since Mount Weather was nothing short of electric.
Electricity lives and moves through the human nervous system. We are made of electrical charges that alternate between resistance and magnetic pull. Everyone interprets chemistry between characters differently, and — from my perspective — the voltage between Lexa and Clarke is palpable, impossible to ignore and exceptionally strong. Even if one side is distinctly unreceptive at this exact moment, you cannot deny the heavy air of tension and history that hangs between these two characters.
Lexa: “The deal was for you to bring her to me unharmed.”
Roan: “She didn’t come easy.”
Lexa: “I expect not.”
At the end of last season, when Lexa told Clarke that “Polis will change the way you think about us,” I am fairly certain that this wasn’t how she envisioned the eventual visit to unfold. And I think Clarke would give Polis a terrible review on TripAdvisor, if she had to judge it by the hospitality thus far.
“You bitch! You wanted the commander of death, you got her! I’ll kill you!”
I’ve said it before and will say it again, Clarke Griffin is not a woman in need or want of rescue. Not by Bellamy, not by Lexa, not by anyone. We have no idea what Clarke’s plan was or where she was headed before Roan took her, but she didn’t seem ready to return to her people. And frankly, given the choice, I don’t think Clarke would have gone anywhere near Polis or sought out Lexa for any reason at this point in time. If Roan had not taken her to Lexa, she could have been captured by the Ice Nation and possibly killed or used as bait in political warfare. But Clarke was not out seeking rescue from anyone. She was surviving, and choosing to do so on her own terms.
Roan pointed out that Clarke had a choice to walk away from her people. I sound like a broken record, but it is important to reiterate that Lexa does not have the choice to walk away from her people. Keep that front of mind as you judge each of their leadership decisions, both in the past and moving forward.
I think we can all agree that Eliza Taylor is absolutely astounding throughout Episode 302 of The 100. Her reactions to seeing Bellamy and Lexa again were both so powerful. My hat is off to Eliza for her ability to express terror and be terrifying with equal strength.
Doc Jackson was actually the one to suggest that they utilize the state-of-the-art medical facilities at Mount Weather. The voice of reason, or the impetus for treason? Only time will tell.
You have to love how delightfully optimistic Jackson was. “Abby, this place — it could do so much good, for our people and theirs!” I poke fun, but it is nice to have a character that still believes in the greater good and radiates hope.
“You’re never going to move past this unless you face your feelings head-on.” – Abby
I am legitimately concerned that Jasper might wind up losing more of his mind and kill innocent people out of desperation like Finn did. PTSD is real, and unlike most others after Mount Weather, Jasper’s struggle and recovery are ongoing. Abby tries to be a doctor, a psychologist and a friend to him. So three months later, Jasper faced his demons head-on by accompanying Abby and crew to Mount Weather.
Octavia: “It will get better.”
Devon Bostick is just outstanding this season thus far, and the scene where he searches for and finds Maya’s favorite art is utterly heartbreaking.
Once again, Kane was the voice of reason and intermediary between the Sky People and the Grounders. He realized quickly that Pike distrusts all Grounders, that each of their Ark survivor groups has experienced life on the ground differently. But Kane is the Grounder Whisperer, so I have faith that he will continue to broker peace with Lexa, Indra and all involved.
Roan: “I’ve done my part, now do yours. Lift my banishment.”
Lexa: “I’m told your mother’s army marches on Polis.”
Roan: “That has nothing to do with me. Honor our deal.”
Lexa: “I’ll honor our deal when your queen honors my coalition. Lock Prince Roan of Azgeda away.”
Let’s recap: Commander Lexa, who lost her girlfriend Costia to beheading at the hands of the Ice Nation, hired the Ice Nation Queen’s rogue son to find Clarke. Because the Ice Nation is hunting her. What a tangled web of intricately woven intrigue. This is The Bold, Beautiful, Young and Restless in Another World.
When we see Lexa again for the first time since Mount Weather, the war paint and blood are long gone, replaced by the refreshed face of the Commander on her throne in Polis. Flanked by Indra and a new character named Titus, the Commander is clearly back in her comfort zone. We’ve seen Lexa out on the battlefield and leading from within her camp and tent. But Polis is home for the Commander, and where we are treated to a clearer picture of just how powerful Lexa is.
When Lexa ordered everyone but guards out of the room to speak with Clarke for the first time in three months, her head was held high and her resolve unwavering. The Commander did not fear the walking Commander of Death.
Why do you think I have been using Adele! as my Spoiler Alert on Twitter? HELLO is the first word Lexa says to Clarke in Season 3. I am nothing if not obvious while attempting to be clever.
“I’m sorry. It had to be this way. To make sure that Wanheda didn’t fall into the hands of the Ice Queen. War is brewing, Clarke. I need you.”
Although I believe Lexa was briefly stunned by Clarke’s reaction (the spitting and screaming) she quickly composed herself and took a moment on the balcony to look over the lands she commands — a reminder to remain steadfast, listen to her head, and ignore her heart. But let’s be honest; a little of both played a role in Lexa’s decision to “rescue” Clarke before the Ice Nation captured her.
Regardless of the fact that Lexa chose her people outside of Mount Weather, betraying and abandoning Clarke months earlier, there is no doubt in my mind that Lexa’s worst nightmare would have been to receive Clarke’s head in a bag from Queen Nia. In order to prevent history from repeating itself, Lexa did everything in her power to find and save Clarke from the Ice Nation’s clutches. You can argue that it is political; that Clarke is the de facto leader of the Sky People in the eyes of the Grounders and Lexa just needs her for the Truce and future alliances. But the truth of the matter is that Lexa still feels something for Clarke. It may be buried deep beneath the cool exterior of the Commander’s stoic surface, but it is undeniable. Lexa’s eyes speak volumes no matter who she is addressing, and Alycia Debnam-Carey’s performance on The 100 is so remarkable that she needs very few words to communicate and to express a multitude of emotions.
I do not believe that Queen Nia had an inkling of what Clarke may mean to Lexa; she simply sought Wanheda for her power. If Nia had successfully captured Clarke, she would have delivered her head to Lexa as a symbol and trophy of her newly acquired powers. Thank goodness for small miracles.
As you all know, Alycia Debnam-Carey is one of the leads on the AMC series Fear the Walking Dead. I am relieved and excited that The CW worked out the details with Alycia and the other network to allow her to appear on The 100 again in Season 3 for an undisclosed number of episodes. To me, Lexa has altered the landscape of the entire series, and her character has been integral to establishing the post-apocalyptic world and politics on the ground. I am not being hyperbolic when I say that to me, Commander Lexa is one of the greatest characters of the modern television era, brought to life vividly and astonishingly by Debnam-Carey.
I will have a great deal more to say about Lexa over the next few episodes, but in the interest of remaining spoiler-free, am unable to elaborate more this week.
“The kill order. We have to get you back inside the wall.” – Octavia
I don’t want to imagine a scenario where Lexa’s people find Lincoln, especially while he’s wearing the Arkadia jacket. Lincoln chose to be with and stay with Octavia at great risk, and I do not think he regrets it. But the road ahead looks rocky for our favorite Sky Grounder.
Mom?! Reunited and it feels so good. Or does it? Monty’s reunion with his mother was sweet and lovely. But she has been working under Charles Pike for the last few months, and likely shares his very strong opinions about Grounders. Given how the Ice Nation killed Farm Station children and then Monty’s father, I don’t blame her. Monty may clash with his mom in the near future because of their different experiences on the ground, but for now I’m choosing to enjoy this particular mother and child reunion.
After only two episodes, I am a big fan of Niylah despite knowing very little about her. She certainly appears to be a kinder, gentler Grounder, an ally and resourceful friend to the Sky People.
Despite receiving a severe beat down from the bounty hunter, I don’t think Niylah would have told him anything about Wanheda. She was loyal to Clarke for three months out of gratitude for taking down the mountain, and I imagine will remain so until her last breath.
Saved by the Bell! The irony is not lost on me that Niylah helped save Clarke and then Bellamy saved Niylah.
“She was here when I fell asleep and gone when I woke up.”
Although Niylah informed Bellamy that Clarke was there with her the night before, I’m not sure he registered what was implied or that it actually matters. To be fair, Clarke’s dalliance with Niylah is in fact irrelevant to the story and mission at hand in 302, which is to just find Clarke.
Lincoln: “Our people, they’ll never see anything but death here.”
Nyko: “Our people are wrong, Lincoln. And we can change their minds. Places are not evil; people are.”
For those who may not recall who Nyko is, he is the Trikru healer who saved Octavia from poison in Season 2, and an important friend and Grounder ally for Lincoln.
It was surprising that Nyko would take himself to Arkadia seeking Abby’s medical assistance after being attacked by the Ice Nation. There is a Truce in place between their people, and maybe this was a sign that he was comfortable enough to trust Skykru technology and put his life in Abby’s hands.
That being said, Nyko was injured but not killed by Azgeda. And then he traveled all the way to Arkadia. Together, those two facts form a giant red flag in my head. I have to question whether Nyko was being set up or blackmailed, used to gather information about the Sky People and their politics, community, etc. The Ice Nation is not exactly loyal to Lexa, so they wouldn’t be afraid to ignore any Truce and use whatever methods they deemed reliable to gather intel.
Thinking back to Season 1 (when Jasper pined for Octavia), I really appreciate Octavia and Jasper’s post-Mount Weather friendship, because it illustrates just how far they’ve come, individually and together. Octavia is looking out for Jasper as he recovers from PTSD, just as Bellamy always looks out for her.
Alas, O was at odds again with Lincoln, this time about returning to Mount Weather. There are times when Octavia thinks and acts more like a Grounder than Lincoln does. I will admit to being scared about cracks in the good ship Linctavia. They’re supposed to be the one anchor in the uneasy seas we sail!
Kane: “That was the Ice Nation. Not all Grounders are the same.”
Pike: “They are to me.”
Charles Pike, ladies and gentlemen! Everything is black and white to Pike; there is no gray area. He is the clear leader of Farm Station, authoritative and fiercely loyal to his people. From his brief interaction with Kane and Bellamy, I get the sense that Pike was a well-respected teacher up on the Ark. Pike’s immediate distrust of Indra is understandable, given that he’s lost two-thirds of his people to the Ice Nation. At this point he isn’t aware of the differences between the clans. And I’m not so sure that Pike would be receptive to the idea of intermingling Sky People with Grounders, even if the Truce exists.
Michael Beach has a tremendous screen presence, and I find him to be a very welcome addition to the cast of The 100. Kane is leading alongside Abby, and Jaha is off in Wonderland, so it will be very interesting to see how Pike fits in at Arkadia. He is an alpha male adult and leader among a large population of younger survivors who have adapted more progressively to life on Earth so far.
For a quick moment, I pondered whether Raven would ever be tempted by the opportunity to “live” in a world without pain. But this is Raven Reyes, and there is no way in hell that she would willingly choose to abandon her people to join ALIE’s virtual reality. Raven would rather live in pain and among her friends than anywhere without them.
In related news, I don’t miss Wick at all.
Clarke: “You think you’re so different. You’re in disguise, same as me. You’re on the run, same as me. In the wilderness, same as me.”
Roan: “Damaged, nothing like you. You had a choice. And no, I can’t take you home to your people, because you’re the way back home to mine.”
Has Clarke. Fights Clarke. Finally gives Clarke a long-overdue bath. Brings Clarke to Lexa. Thank you, Roan!
Oh to have been a fly on the wall in the room when Roan negotiated terms with Lexa (likely through an emissary like Indra), to find and bring Clarke to her. Despite being an outcast member of the Ice Nation AND the queen’s son, Roan must have really proven himself in a way that Lexa would trust him with such a task.
Niylah referred to the dead bounty hunter in her trading post as Roan’s partner. So it seems that there may be many rogue members of the Ice Nation out there. Terrific.
Prince Roan of Azgeda is a true warrior, skilled with a blade and a bow and arrow, and has stellar tracking capabilities. He is sharp and resourceful, which is why pairing him up with Clarke was a stroke of genius. Shades of Anya and Clarke from Season 2. Equals, despite valleys of differences.
Regarding Roan’s scarred back, it could be Ice Nation scarification, punishment for abandonment, or his version of kill marks.
Clarke: “Why are you hiding from your own people?”
Roan: “Why did you run away from yours?”
You’ve now seen him by Lexa’s side, the tall bald man with the head tattoos who resembles a monk, but you haven’t officially met Titus yet. You will, and he is equally mysterious and riveting.
PART 3: THE CITY OF LIGHT
As far as I can tell, ALIE does not accessorize with a tech backpack. I would love to learn more about the technology behind the AI; how she is powered, what her system backup entails and where it lives, etc. Because the City of Light does not exist without HER.
Without a doubt, enabled by the world’s most powerful technology and surveillance, ALIE must have digital records of every human left on earth. It also would not surprise me at all if she had information about every single person who populated the planet before she bombed it. ALIE just may have the ability to destroy what is left of humanity, pitting people against one another, using emotional blackmail based upon what she knows. She has recruited one subset of Grounders to do her dirty work, and for all we know ALIE has spies integrated into every single clan, exploiting weaknesses. Perhaps this is one giant game to her; rather than decimate remaining humans, they’re ALIE’s toys to manipulate around a giant virtual chessboard until they have no choice but to travel to the City of Light. Jaha is just her most visible pawn.
Last week I was too focused on Lighthouse Larry/Chris to realize just how essential ALIE’s creator Becca was to this origin story. I seriously hope that they further illuminate what could have possibly driven Becca to destroy the world; why she desired a planet without people, what inspired the concept of the City of Light, if anyone she is related to or loves is still alive or in the City of Light, and so on.
Rebecca (assuming that is Becca’s full name) is a name that translates loosely to “beautifully ensnaring.” If that isn’t the perfect description of ALIE, I don’t know what is.
One of my greatest wish fulfillment fantasies for The 100 is to see Raven and Monty team up, combine their amazing mechanical and tech skills, and destroy The Machine in the red dress.
It seems ALIE has shown her face to some of the outlander Grounders like Emori, as she appeared in the drones to dole out their tech recovery assignments. Because she has every power imaginable at her virtual fingertips, I would guess that ALIE only appears to those she chooses. Which is why I am so looking forward to the day we are treated to a scene where someone tries to stab or shoot the mirage machine.
“She’s not imaginary. She’s very, very real. And she can help you. All you have to do is say yes. You’re in a lot of pain, John. I’ve been there. Losing my son almost killed me. But the City of Light unburdened me. It made me whole. I can unburden you, John.”
Jaha traveled to the City of Light while he was on the boat with Murphy and Emori. I am starting to wonder if the magical tech backpack just needs to be in the vicinity of the person possessing the microchip. Perhaps it powers multiple bodies simultaneously. But you would think the creators of such advanced technology would have had the foresight to house their precious machines in waterproof, industrial-strength cases.
“It’s perfect. In the City of Light, mankind will finally be free of pain, hate and disease. Here there will be no more suffering.” – ALIE
It seems Thelonious has also been hired by the City of Light to handle PR, marketing and recruitment. He took Emori’s brother Otan aside, “enlightened” him, and now he’s one of ALIE’s cronies. Emori noted that Otan had removed his scarf, no longer hiding his deformity from the world. Jaha’s sneak preview of the City of Light manipulated Otan into believing that he can live in a world without pain and retain his original physicality. Much like our favorite new tall bald mystery man, Gideon.
“We were recruited. We don’t know her name. She comes to us in the flying machines. We collect tech. We bring it to the island. To him [points to Gideon]. That’s how we survive. This time she said they needed a ride.”
This is essential information as we piece together a stronger connection between the Grounders and ALIE. Emori, her brother Otan (relation confirmed in this interview with The 100 supervising producer and writer Aaron Ginsburg) and countless other outlander Grounders were recruited to collect tech for ALIE, and in return they are allowed to live.
Her flirting game with Murphy is strong, but is it genuine? To me, Emori is either playing Murphy and this is part of her recruitment game, or he’s her “out” to escape from ALIE. But it seems she may have developed real feelings for John in the process.
The biggest ALIE-related reveal in 302 was subtle, but the implications are mind-boggling. Murphy questioned Emori for stealing from the people she steals for, and she offhandedly noted that “we have other buyers.” There are others out there on what’s left of Earth who also know about ALIE, the City of Light, the outlander Grounders, and the technology and what it is capable of!
My first inclination is to hypothesize that one of the 12 clans in Lexa’s coalition represents the mysterious buyer. If one the clan leaders got wind of what ALIE can do, it would not surprise me if they decided to target the technology to access the weapons of mass destruction in order to destroy other clans. File under: additional crazy theory of the week — Queen Nia of the Ice Nation is Emori’s other buyer. Boom.
“I believe you’re here for a reason. I just don’t know what it is yet.” – Murphy, to Emori
Murphy is justifiably skeptical of Emori’s sudden reappearance and intentions. But John Murphy is a changed man. He even expressed remorse that they had to kill Gideon to escape.
It must be pointed out how amazing is it that most of us are rooting for Murphy now, that his previous, egregious transgressions have been so quickly forgotten and forgiven. Richard Harmon is beyond mesmerizing and magnificent in Season 3 of The 100.
THE CITY OF LIGHT
Jaha: “I’ll fill this place, starting with my people.”
ALIE: “I believe in you, Thelonious. Together we will save the human race.”
Murphy repeatedly hit Gideon, to no effect, as ALIE’s bald bodyguard reiterated that “there is no pain in the City of Light.” Cut to Emori killing Gideon. After seeing him then magically reappear in the City of Light after Emori killed him back on Earth, the lingering question remains: is immortality achieved only in the City of Light?
“I haven’t told you the best part. You know there’s no pain here. There’s no death in the City of Light either.” – ALIE
It appears as if once one achieves the state of consciousness that is the City of Light, their corporeal shell is no longer necessary. Gideon now “lives” in the City of Light only. However, it is also possible that Gideon already has an avatar back in reality, and ALIE will now activate it to use him as she sees fit.
TO INFINITY, AND BEYOND!
We must dissect the significance of the infinity symbol in the tech backpack. The very definition of infinity implies “forever.” On The 100, the infinity symbol likely represents the concept of immortality that ALIE believes everyone can achieve in the City of Light. And The 100 logo itself features an infinity symbol with two zeroes crashing into one another. Foreshadowing! Or an accidental stroke of genius.
Symbolically speaking, infinity also implies eternal love. A small glimmer of hope for our favorite characters? Survey says: unlikely! This isn’t Modern Family.
The infinity symbol may also represent dualism, the belief that a human being embodies two parts: a body and a soul. This may be an absolutely critical clue to a link between ALIE and the 12 clans, if you take the Grounder belief in reincarnation into consideration. If ALIE has anything to do with the transmigration of souls between Commanders, The 100 is boldly taking us into uncharted territory, and I AM IN because this is game changing.
There are two sides to an infinity symbol. On LOST, the rules of the game were established with “two players, two sides; one is light, one is dark.” In The Matrix, it was the red pill and the blue pill. On The 100, it is reality vs. virtual reality, silicon artificial intelligence vs. carbon-based human beings, Grounders vs. Sky People, and so on. My mind is blown wide open just contemplating the possibilities, and this line of thinking will be further explored very soon in future analysis articles.
If you are interested, I also co-host The Dropship: The 100 Podcast with AJ Mass! We shared our analysis of 301 together last week, and plan to record new podcasts every week following new episodes of The 100.
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 90/8c on The CW.