Please only read further if you’ve seen Episodes 301-303 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, Warner Bros. and The 100 show runner Jason Rothenberg, for giving me advance access to the first 4 episodes of Season 3, but rest assured that I would never spoil anything for you!
Episode 303 of The 100 was unusual in the sense that they chose to focus solely on the Clarke and Grounder stories, and did not visit Jaha, ALIE and the City of Light. I appreciated how Grounder politics were illuminated, as well as further character development for the Commander, shining more of a light on Lexa’s power and hinting at her history.
This show continues to boldly go in stunning directions, and this episode proves once again that no one is safe. To end Season 2 with the irradiation of an entire community of people inside of Mount Weather, and then three episodes later blow up the mountain and kill all men, women and children inside is insane, ballsy, shocking and admirably brave.
Major kudos to the editors of Episode 303, because the reveal that the assassin was in Mount Weather and not at the Summit in Polis was masterfully executed.
The name of the game in Season 3 of The 100 is exploiting weakness. From the clans challenging Lexa about Clarke, to Echo using Bellamy in order to start a war for her Queen. The ramifications and fallout from the events in this episode set the table for an even more tumultuous season of shocking twists and turns.
PART 1: LOGISTICS & LOCATIONS
“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” – Dante Alighieri, Inferno
That phrase appears when you pass through the gates of hell in Dante’s Inferno. It is also applicable when you pass through the doors of Mount Weather. From the title of this episode, “Ye Who Enter,” I knew we were in for something rather horrible. Last year I speculated that Mount Weather was an inverted version of Dante’s Inferno, masterminded by another Dante: Wallace.
“Someone’s made themselves at home.” – Raven
“Wow, the Grounders are going to think we moved in.” – Octavia
The chilling image of life in the dining hall of Mount Weather brought Bellamy and Octavia to a screeching halt, and with good reason. The blood of the innocent still stains the floors upon which they dine and live.
“Moving people into Mount Weather puts our entire agenda at risk. You know that, and you did it anyway. Opening a hospital is one thing; moving Farm Station survivors in is another. Now we have to explain. Taking the attention away from everything else we’ve been negotiating for.” – Kane, to Abby
Of course Abby will blame herself for the lives lost in Mount Weather. It is tragically ironic how Clarke was responsible for the deaths in Mount Weather mere months ago, and now her mother bears a similar burden. It was an … Echo of what happened before.
“They raise the lift. The elevator shaft is our only way in.” – Echo
Many of you were curious about how Lexa and her people traveled within the capitol tower in Polis. Thanks to Echo, we now know that they use a manual elevator system of pulleys, which require manpower/womanpower in order to function at all times.
My favorite aspect of Lexa kicking the Ice Nation representative off of her balcony was the lack of response from Polis folks below. As if to say, “oh, another one pissed off Heda. Pass the salt.”
The details that the production designers put into both the sets and costumes in Polis are magnificent. If you pause during certain scenes, you may even see what looks like clan logos on the backs of chairs in the throne room. The elaborate makeup seems to differentiate between war and peace, and certain colors and styles represent ceremonial significance.
The wheelbarrow of fresh fish on carts rolling through Polis indicated the proximity of the capitol to the sea. While most assume the capitol is Annapolis, I have other theories about locations that I will share in a separate post soon.
The Grounder anthem, written by Lauren Muir, translated into Trigesdaleng by David J. Peterson, composed by Tree Adams and performed by Julia Dominczak, is just beautiful. Hopefully they will release the song for us to purchase at some point!
“Aden is ready. He is even better than I was before my conclave.” – Lexa
The assumption in this scene is that Lexa is sparring with future Commander candidates. There was a variety of younger Grounders sitting on the rocks observing Lexa spar with Aden. Titus oversees their training, which makes sense because he has worked side by side with the last four Commanders.
What does it mean to be a Nightblood? From a young age, a select group of Grounder children demonstrating skills above and beyond their peers must be selected to participate in Commander training. In addition to talent and agility with a blade, their spirit must play a role. That is, unless Grounders of all ages are eligible to be the next Commander if they fit the criteria. Right now all we know is that a Commander can be male or female, and that they seem to be “chosen” at a younger age.
During the Summit, Lexa was referred to as the Commander of Blood. Commander candidates are referred to as Nightbloods. The oft-used Trigesdasleng phrase “jus drein jus daun” translates to “blood must have blood.” Keep this in mind as the season progresses.
In Episode 210 (“Survival of the Fittest”),when they were trapped together by the pauna, Lexa revealed to Clarke that “when I die, my spirit will find the next Commander.” If that is the case, I have to contemplate what the role of the Conclave is with regard to the next Commander. A Conclave is a private meeting. In the Catholic church, a Conclave represents a meeting for the election of a new pope. On this show, the Conclave is likely the political gathering of the top spiritual leaders among all Grounders. I imagine that the Conclave is comprised of different leaders than those representing their clans in Lexa’s coalition. In my conspiracy theory mind, there is a connection between the Conclave and ALIE, but I will explore that further down the line.
PART 2: CHARACTERS AND CLANS
Thirty-six Farm Station Skikru and Gina, deceased before we even had the opportunity to get to know them. Let’s hope that Miller’s boyfriend and Monty’s mother were not among them. I think it is safe to speculate how Pike will react to this massive, devastating loss, and it certainly will do nothing to improve his attitude toward all Grounders.
THE ICE NATION
There is no doubt in my mind that the Ice Nation have had scouts watching Arkadia and Mount Weather, particularly over the last three months following the eradication of residents inside. They were very likely aware that the Sky People were scavenging the mountain for supplies, and then utilizing the facilities again. Thus, when Emerson came armed with the self-destruct codes and a deal for his life, it was an offer Queen Nia couldn’t refuse: to destroy the haunted mountain once and for all. That there were Skikru inside was an added bonus for her.
“We know not to make treaties with our enemies. She even prefers the enemy’s language. Why is Wanheda still alive? If this is your weakness again, Azgeda will happily step in.” – Ice Nation representative, about Lexa
The previous weakness that he was referring to? Costia. OUCH. Big mistake, huge.
“There’s no need to argue about this again. Please, come join me. Let us speak in private. I have a message for Queen Nia.” – Lexa
The cement received the message. And so did everyone else in the room. Word will travel back to the Ice Nation, quickly.
“Would anyone else care to question my decisions? Good. Then let’s begin.”
Decisive. Quick. Steady. Strong. HEDA.
“Is that why your army has moved to close to Polis, because you believe the Commander is weak? The Ice Queen doesn’t make mistakes. She makes threats.” – Titus
The Ice Nation seems far more aware of Lexa’s proclivity for protection of and potential relationship with Clarke than I first imagined. The now-deceased Ice Nation rep mentioned weakness and Roan also intimated that he knew Clarke could get closer to Lexa than anyone. And when Echo met up with Ice Queen Nia, she reported that Clarke was by the Commander’s side in Polis “as expected.” Cue the red flags; it’s a trap!
Ice Nation delegate: “You should never have moved your people into Mount Weather. The Ice Nation did what Lexa was too weak to do.”
Lexa: “This is an act of war. Sentries, arrest the Ice Nation delegation, including the Prince!”
The Ice Nation destruction of Mount Weather and the people inside, despite the mountain being off-limits to all following the eradication of the residents inside three months ago, was not part of the treaty or any agreement between the 12 clans. Queen Nia planned this attack to start a war with Lexa, and though her Ice Nation seems to have more warriors than any other clan, I don’t think she is quite prepared for Clarke Griffin or the true power and influence of Wanheda.
My memory fails when it comes to small details like this, but I don’t recall whether Clarke still has her father’s watch. Because that was my first thought when I saw that the Ice Nation assassin was using a digital watch. Perhaps Niylah wearing an old Ark security bracelet was a nod to the fact that trading posts all over the lands feature items taken from various Ark crash sites. If that was indeed Clarke’s watch, it would be another sadly ironic nod back to how she emptied the mountain before the assassin closed it once and for all.
Traditions, spirituality, religion; the assassin went through a very specific ritual before entering the self-destruct launch codes in Mount Weather. His watch was set to take action at the exact time the Summit was taking place in Polis. This was a meticulously planned attack, designed months in advance and put into motion thanks to traitorous Echo.
Abby: “What if they won’t give her back? And it’s my fault.”
Kane: “We won’t leave without your daughter. I promise.”
Despite their strong differences of opinion about Mount Weather, Abby and Kane have managed to co-lead the Skikru successfully for months, and clearly formed a closer connection in the process. They are equally committed to ensuring peace for the Sky People and to finding Clarke.
After working with Lexa via Indra on the Truce for a few months, I don’t expect that Abby has forgiven or trusts the Commander, but she does trust her daughter.
Abby should just resign herself to the fact that she will never really have as much time with Clarke as she would like. You can see the wheels turning in Abby’s head, absorbing just how powerful her daughter has become over the last three months. She may be the Chancellor, but Clarke is decidedly in charge.
Clarke; “The Commander is changing the terms of the Summit.”
Kane: “Is this because of Mount Weather?”
Clarke: “This is because of the Ice Nation. They want Lexa dead. They want to take over the coalition.”
Abby: “That’s Lexa’s concern, not ours.”
Kane: “If Lexa falls, the coalition shatters and there’s no way we avoid that war. You said there were new terms.”
Clarke: “We become the thirteenth clan.”
Abby: “What does that mean, that we follow Lexa?”
At this point, Clarke was not aware that some of the Skikru had moved into Mount Weather. It would have been fascinating to have seen where she stood had she been in Arkadia when they decided to start utilizing supplies and facilities in the mountain. Clarke was primarily responsible for what happened to the residents of Mount Weather, and the accompanying demons weighing heavily on her shoulders provide constant reminders. But Clarke is also a healer at heart, like her mother. The decision would not have been easy, nor would it have been settled as quickly.
“If you need to leave, I get that. But you’ll always fit in with me.” – Bellamy, to Octavia
I think we can all agree that every scene featuring the Blake siblings is absolutely terrific. Bellamy’s words of support to his sister Octavia and the emotional sentiment behind them reminded me of what he said to Clarke before she left on her walkabout last season. “If you need forgiveness, I’ll give that to you. You’re forgiven.” Bellamy is a heart-on-his-sleeve brother, friend and leader. That passion can be both advantageous and detrimental, as we’ve now witnessed.
You just know that like Abby, Bellamy will blame himself for what happened at Mount Weather; for suggesting that Gina stay to help, for her death, for the entire disaster that took place because he trusted Echo. The look in Bob Morley’s eyes when he realized that they were set up by Echo was heartbreaking and visceral.
Bellamy’s distrust of Lexa is not a surprise, but Clarke’s decision to remain in Polis with Lexa as the Ambassador for the Skikru for the newly appointed thirteenth clan was, to him. I honestly believe that Bellamy assumed Clarke would want to go with him back to their people, and as far away from Lexa as possible.
Bellamy: “Clarke, we need to leave. Now.”
Lexa: “We need an Ambassador from the thirteenth clan to stay here in Polis.”
Bellamy: “It’s not safe here.”
Lexa: “Clarke will be safe her under my protection.”
Clarke: “I have to stay. I have to make sure she keeps her word.”
Bellamy: “She left us to die in that mountain. She will always put her people first. You should come home to yours.”
Clarke: “I’m sorry.”
Just as Lexa apologized to Clarke, Clarke apologized to Bellamy. This brief exchange between the three was tremendously weighted with much more than what was actually said. So much has changed for both Bellamy and Clarke over the last three months, separately. It will take some time for them to return to their previous comfort levels if they wind up spending more time together; to recognize and respect each other’s new leadership responsibilities.
Every word of dialogue exchanged between Clarke and Lexa was loaded, heavy with history and tension. The easiest way for me to analyze it was to break it down into pieces, from my personal perspective.
Clarke: “What part of I won’t see you was unclear?”
Lexa: “I respected your wishes for a week. But we’ve got bigger concerns.”
Clarke: “We don’t have any concerns at all.”
Yes, Clarke is in Polis against her wishes, but she’s not being held captive like a prisoner. Clarke’s openly bitter attitude and animosity toward Lexa is understandable. But after publicly threatening the Commander’s life, Lexa not only respected Clarke’s wishes to stay away from her for seven entire days, she allowed her the comforts of a room and bath in her capitol tower. It is not a stretch to assume the latter, given how Clarke looks.
A week alone in the life and mind of Clarke Griffin is like a month for the rest of us; she absorbs, observes, analyzes, visualizes and plans. My point is that despite her current situation, Clarke is keenly aware of her physical surroundings, why she is being accommodated, and the alternative confinement that other leaders may have shackled her to.
Lexa: “I’m hosting a Summit with Skikru at sundown. You’ll be returned to your people.”
Clarke: “You went to all that trouble to capture me, just to let me go?”
Lexa: “I went to all that trouble to save you.”
Clarke: “You know when I could have used saving? When you abandoned me at Mount Weather.”
Lexa: “Clearly you didn’t need my help.”
Of course Lexa knows what happened inside of Mount Weather after she took the deal and retreated along with her troops and the rescued Grounders. Wanheda the Mountain Slayer is legendary, and Grounders like Niylah from all clans, all the way up to the Commander, will be forever grateful for Clarke’s actions. I don’t think that Lexa regrets her decision to save her people and leave Clarke in the lurch, but I strongly believe that she does regret hurting Clarke in the process.
Lexa: “You’re angry, Clarke, but I know you. What you’ve done haunts you, and it’s easier to hate me than to hate yourself.”
Clarke: “Oh I can do both.”
Lexa: “What would you have done, if their leader had offered you the deal? Save your people at the price of mine – would you really have chosen differently?”
Clarke: “I don’t betray my friends.”
Lexa: “But you did. You had friends in Mount Weather.”
Clarke: “Those deaths are on you too. The only difference is, you have no honor and I had no choice.”
Again, I must remind you that these are two young women that did not choose to become leaders. Both feel and have an enormous responsibility to their people, and would give their lives to protect them. They bare unimaginable burdens and the kill marks that wouldn’t fit on either of their backs are imprinted behind their eyes while asleep and awake. Clarke and Lexa are far more alike than Clarke is ready to admit right now, but I think that during her walkabout she came to this realization.
“It helps no one to dwell on the past, and that’s not why I’m here. You’re right. I’m not just letting you go back to your people. I want something more. I want your people to become my people. I’m offering Skikru the chance to join my coalition, become the thirteenth clan. No one would dare to move against you because that would be moving against me.” – Lexa
Lexa changed the subject and cut to the chase, because three months of unspoken emotion was on the table at this point. Let’s focus on the word “offering,” because Lexa could very easily have forced Clarke’s hand, threatening the lives of the Skikru or leaving them fend for themselves against the Ice Nation. Lexa seeks Clarke’s permission for the Skikru to join her coalition, despite the fact that she is not the actual leader of her people, because she knows that Clarke has far more sway than her mother the Chancellor. Clarke also has far more awareness of and experience with the other clans thanks to her walkabout. One half of this offer was absolutely a strategic, political move on the Commander’s part. The other half was Lexa’s attempt to earn Clarke’s trust back and hopefully rebuild their relationship from the ashes.
Clarke: “Just leave me alone. I’m done. Do you understand that? I left.”
Lexa: “You can’t run away from who you are, Clarke. Join me. Bow before me and your people will be safe.”
Clarke: “Bow before you? You don’t give a damn about my people. I know why you’re here. I made you look weak at Mount Weather and now the Ice Nation is exploiting that. Well if you want the power of Wanheda, kill me. Take it. Otherwise go float yourself, because I will never bow to you.”
Deep beneath the furious surface, Clarke knows that Lexa is right. She does not have a death wish; she knows that Lexa will not kill her, and what Clarke ultimately must do is protect her people regardless of the current status of their personal predicament.
Lexa: “You’re free to go. Your mother is here. I’ll have you escorted to her.”
Clarke: “Wait. I have a better idea.”
And just like that, you can see the motion and emotion behind Clarke’s eyes as she puts the anger aside in order to move forward. The switch from anger and frustration to strategic foresight is just incredible, and visible across every inch of Eliza Taylor’s face. Clarke knows that she can’t kill Lexa, and I don’t believe that she ever wanted to. Once again, Clarke will do what is best for the Skikru, and likely feels as if she owes them that after choosing to be away for three months.
Clarke KNOWS. She knows what she needs to do, to give the coalition a chance to improve life for her people and for everyone she loves to stay alive. Thus, the striking change from bitter to resourceful in the blink of an eye.
The demons that haunt Clarke Griffin reside very close to the surface beneath her skin, itching and scratching to erupt and disrupt the life she is attempting to rebuild. They also stand guard around Clarke’s heart, convincing her that she does not deserve to love or be on the receiving end of love. Clarke does not require a sword to battle the monsters clawing their way out of her soul, nor does she need a blade to defeat them once they emerge.
Clarke: “This is our Unity Day, Mom. You can be the thirteenth station, or you can be the thirteenth clan.”
Kane: “Clarke’s right. I’ve seen the Ice Nation army, and we don’t stand a chance against it. We need to do this.”
Abby: “So we become the thirteenth clan. Then what? What’s going to stop the Ice Nation?”
On the Ark, Unity Day symbolized and celebrated the 12 nations that joined together to form the Ark. In Polis, this day would symbolize and celebrate the 12 clans joining together with the Skikru from the Ark.
The physical transformation of Clarke from heart-on-her-sleeve leader to a more Lexa-like Wanheda for the ceremony was striking and stunning. Clarke knew that she would have to adapt and adjust quickly, including the ceremonial outfit and makeup, in order to convince the other clans of her dedication to Lexa’s induction of the Skikru into the coalition.
Clarke will likely retain her role as Wanheda while acting as the Ambassador for the Skikru, the newly anointed thirteenth clan. She holds arguably as much power as Lexa now. The implications for the future of the clans and this show are massive, from that perspective.
It is imperative to point out that in my eyes, Clarke still feels a pull toward Lexa. Justifiable resentment, simmering for months and now out in the open, does not automatically dispel the other feelings that Clarke has for her. Whether or not she will ever be able to move forward in any romantic direction with Lexa is unclear at this moment in time, but I tend to believe that eventually they will reconnect on that level. The fact of the matter is that I am a hopeless romantic and watch the show with my fiancée; we always talk about the electricity and chemistry between Clarke and Lexa, and together we hold out hope for the couple.
Echo: “I was with the Queen’s army, heading toward Polis. The war chief talks too loud.”
Pike: “You’re one of them, so why are you telling us this?”
Echo: “We abandoned Skikru in the battle for the mountain. It was wrong.”
Bellamy: “She saved my life. We can trust her.”
In Season 2, we saw that Echo experienced firsthand the horrors of what Wallace did to the Grounders they captured; the bloodletting, torture, murder and reaping. She did help Bellamy escape, and I understand why he would then trust her.
“The Summit’s a trap. The assassin is already there. At sundown, your people will die.”
I liked Echo and wondered if she would turn out to be an ally. Now I hope that they find Echo and hand her over to Lexa to face death by a thousand cuts.
Clarke: “I keep asking myself, how did the Grounders know there was a self-destruct mechanism inside of Mount Weather?”
Lexa: “We’ll have the answers soon, Clarke.”
Something tells me that Clarke will soon recall that Emerson escaped Mount Weather, and that he is the only one who had such information, and she wouldn’t be at all surprised to realize that he made a deal with the Ice Nation.
“You got your war, thanks to the last Mountain Man.” – Echo, to Queen Nia
Of course Emerson snaked his way into evil Queen Nia’s lair. Douche.
That was a brutal death. We barely got to know Gina, but I liked her. She was optimistic and smart, resourceful and loyal.
Bellamy: “You should stay here, help them gets those missiles ready to launch.”
Gina: “Don’t do anything stupidly heroic.”
Bellamy: “Garden variety heroic. Got it.”
Gina had jokingly reminded Bellamy not to go and be a hero, but she wound up being one herself. After being stabbed multiple times, taking every ounce of strength and breath she had left, Gina warned Raven about the assassin and the self-destruct launch. Gina may not have been able to save everyone’s life in Mount Weather, but she sure saved Raven and Sinclair.
From a technical standpoint, I just loved the shot of the launch code countdown in Gina’s eye.
If we took a drink every time Indra smiled on The 100, we would be thirsty. Well, thirstier than we already all are, collectively.
“Hello my friend.” – Kane
Indra is one of the most important characters on the show, particularly now because of her emissary role between the Commander and the Skikru. The only reason that Abby and Kane knew that Clarke was not in the hands of the Ice Nation was because Indra relayed the message once Clarke was brought to Polis. Indra’s communication has saved countless lives, and likely will continue to.
I’m not saying that the Mount Weather tragedy is Jackson’s fault, but it was his suggestion in the first place. Way to go, Doc. Welcome to Guilt Club. It’s a very crowded organization filled with familiar faces.
Over the last three months, Kane has made great strides working with Lexa’s people, more so than any of the Skikru. He recognized the possible consequences of bringing something as small and seemingly innocuous as a medical kit from Mount Weather into Polis. The respect he shows and shares with the Grounders is inspiring, and we can only hope that it rubs off on Pike and the Farm Station eventually. Although after what happened in this episode at Mount Weather, that is beyond unlikely.
Kane’s reaction to seeing Polis for the first time and gazing up at Lexa’s tower was exactly how I imagine many of us felt. What a set and setting!
He not only graciously accepted the BBQ creature offered by the vendor, Kane then gifted her with a Skikru arm patch in return. No one is as receptive to new communities and culture than Marcus Kane.
Abby: “You’re suited for this.”
Kane: “It’s amazing. When I dreamt of the ground, it was empty.”
Abby: “But it’s not empty now. Marcus, you gave this to me. And you asked me to set a good example. But what we’re trying to do here is something new, something you have a vision for. This should be yours.”
Kane: “Not like this. We’ve been passing the Chancellor’s pin since we landed on the ground. This time, it’s up to the people.”
Abby: “Well then let’s hold an election when we get back to Arkadia.”
Kane: “No matter who wears the pin, we’re in this together.”
Insert the song “Election Day” by the band Arcadia here!
Cut to a short time later, when Abby nominated Kane to receive the coalition brand after coming to the realization while strolling through Polis that he is a natural with the Grounders. That brand links Kane to the Grounders and Lexa permanently, and in my mind places him in more danger than he has faced thus far.
We finally get a true sense of the power of Lexa, the Commander of 12 clans and architect of the coalition, thanks to the incredible Polis set and her throne room. It is surprisingly small, creating a more intimate setting for integral meetings to take place.
Lexa is a brilliant strategist and she’s certainly not an idiot. Allowing Roan to roam around the tower was a purposeful move on her part. Of course she knows that he would attempt to bribe guards and lure Clarke to the dark side. Thus, she was not at all surprised when Clarke pulled out a knife. Lexa did not even flinch, and looked Clarke directly in the eye. After the knife attack, Roan was even allowed to attend the Summit. Lexa is always one step ahead, keeping her friends close and her enemies closer.
Lexa does not treat any other human on Earth like she treats Clarke; with trust where there should be suspicion, and with patience rather than pressure.
“I’m sorry.” – Lexa
And then Lexa apologizes, again, to Clarke. First, outside of Mount Weather after taking the deal. Then when she removed the gag after Roan delivered Clarke to her. And now after being held at knifepoint. Fact: no one else on the planet earns an apology from the Commander, let alone multiple times.
This is a woman who publicly threatened her life at the end of the last episode. One week later, Lexa pays a private visit to her room after Clarke requests one. Again, NO ONE else on what is left of Earth is granted such kindness, respect, patience and leniency. If you’re still convinced that all of this is due to Lexa’s political strategy with Clarke, then you and I are not watching the same television show.
“I never meant to turn you into this.”
Lexa fully comprehends what Clarke is going through, and has had to face demons and make horrifying decisions far more often. This is a definitive acknowledgement of her role in Clarke’s haunted state of mind.
I find it fascinating that Lexa is referred to as “Commander of the Blood” among the 12 clan representatives. Jus drein jus daun! She likely earned this designation for being the first and only Commander to unite the clans, and the wars waged in the process. Although truly, Wanheda is the one who finally put a stop to the decades of Grounder bloodletting in Mount Weather, so perhaps it would be a better title for Clarke.
Kane: “We’re under the Commander’s protection.”
Abby: “Thank you for ensuring my daughter’s safety.”
Indra: “The Commander did that. You can thank her yourself at the Summit tonight.”
After working with Lexa via Indra on the Truce for a few months, I don’t expect that Abby has forgiven or trusts the Commander, but she and Kane both trust Clarke. Now more than ever.
“We welcome Skikru to our halls, in the spirit of friendship and harmony. And we welcome Clarke kom Skikru, legendary Wanheda, mountain slayer. The reason for this Summit has changed. We are not here to negotiate a treaty with the Skikru, but rather to initiate them into the coalition. To symbolize this union, the leader of Skikru must bear our mark.” – Lexa
Initiating the Skikru into the coalition without a vote was a giant risk, but one that Lexa was willing to take in order to not only protect Clarke and her people, but to add power and numbers to the now 12-clan strong coalition about to engage in war against the Ice Nation.
“Marshal your forces. We’ll avenge the attack together.” – Lexa, to Kane
An immediate show of compatriotism and proof of her word, the Commander will now work together with the Skikru to combine their people and support their livelihood.
Lexa: “Thank you for staying.”
Clarke: “I stayed because it was the right thing for my people.”
Lexa: “Our people.”
Clarke: “If you betray me again … ”
Lexa: “I won’t. I swear fealty to you, Clarke kom Skikru. I vow to treat your needs as my own, and your people as my people.”
A short time later, when Lexa got down on bended knee to convince Clarke of her dedication, I must admit that I was floored. The most powerful human being on the planet pledged fealty to Clarke Griffin. You and I both know that Commander Lexa has never and would never do so for anyone else, for other leaders or people in her life. If you have had any doubts whatsoever about Lexa’s true feelings for Clarke, here is your proof. This was easily the most stunning, revelatory and honest moment we’ve witnessed thus far between Clarke and Lexa.
By Clarke offering her hand, a renewed understanding of their roles and rebuilding of trust begins. The path that Clarke and Lexa have traveled and will traverse will not be smooth, but for some of us, there is light and hope at the end of this rainbow.
And then there was the nod, the subtle agreement between Clarke and Lexa at the very end of the episode after agreeing that Clarke would stay in Polis with Lexa while their combined forces faced the Ice Nation. What that nod signified is open to interpretation, but I read it as a signal that they’re moving forward as a team, or at least a unified force to be reckoned with.
We have no idea whether or not Monty’s mother was one of the Farm Station folks killed inside Mount Weather. It would be cruel to feature their lovely mother-son reunion in 302, only to kill her off in 303. But this is The 100, and we are not watching a show filled with puppies and kittens.
NIA (The Ice Queen)
The reveal of Ice Queen Nia was amazing, from the graveyard lighting to the fantastic costume, hair and makeup. Episode 304 will give you a much stronger sense of exactly who Nia is, and Brenda Strong is simply phenomenal.
Echo: “Your son is a prisoner.”
Nia: “Not for long. Soon he’ll be free. And Lexa will be dead.”
At first I assumed that Roan’s banishment from the Ice Nation was issued by his mother, Queen Nia. Given Nia’s response to Echo and that Roan’s deal with Lexa included a pardon, I now believe that the Commander originally delivered the order.
My suspicion of Nyko as an insider or spy was unfounded. I am relieved. Echo was the traitor. Nyko remains one of the Good Grounders.
“This is such a mistake.”
Octavia is the actual voice of reason among the Skikru right now. She has the rare perspective to speak from experience for both her original Ark family and new Triku community.
“I’m sorry, Bell. But I don’t fit in here.”
Bellamy had faith that the Summit would result in the lifting of Lincoln’s kill order, and Octavia is eager to leave with him if that happens.
Octavia: “What is wrong with you? You didn’t have to kill him.”
Bellamy: “Yes, I did.”
Octavia’s statement is significant for many reasons. She considers herself half Grounder, and the Grounder guards were merely doing their job running the elevator system. Bellamy didn’t hesitate to kill rather than just knock out the guards. Nothing escapes Octavia’s notice.
“I’ll escort them. I hope you kept up your training. You’ll need it.” – Indra, to Octavia
I legitimately cheered out loud when Indra welcomed back Octavia into the Grounder warrior fold. They are one people now, after all. Let’s hope that Lincoln is extended some leniency as a result.
He was too comfortable, too soon, in Mount Weather. Now Pike has even more hatred toward the Grounders, and with good reason. Again. After more than half of his Farm Station crew are killed, the likelihood that Pike will take the time to get to know and distinguish the non-Ice Nation Grounders seems slim.
Every time that Raven Reyes smiles, a floated angel earns her wings. Raven’s beautiful smiles are as rare as Indra’s, sadly.
Sinclair: “The Raven Reyes I know doesn’t give up.”
Raven: “She does now.”
Sinclair: “You think you deserve this pain, that this is your cross to bear. For your mom, for Finn, for all you’ve been through. It’s not. You deserve more. Abby can help you.”
Raven: “What if she can’t? What if I’m just broken?”
Sinclair: “I took a chance on a zero-G mechanic with a heart defect. Why don’t you take a chance on her too?”
Raven’s relationship with Sinclair is actually quite lovely, ongoing and growing as time goes by. The mutual respect and trust is obvious, and having an encouraging mentor like Sinclair is essential during Raven’s recovery and as she rebuilds belief in herself and her skills.
She is in a great deal of physical pain, but Raven is surrounded by amazing friends like Octavia, Monty, Bellamy and even Abby. That counts for something, as she recovers once again from yet another explosion. I share the frustrations of many fans when it comes to Raven’s ongoing injuries, but I have great faith in the writers and the direction they’re taking her character in Season 3 beyond this episode.
It seems as though Raven really bonded with Gina in the three months during Clarke’s absence. In addition to the disappointing loss of Gina as a character, I am sad that Raven lost another good friend.
Roan: “Don’t be fooled, I’m a prisoner here, same as you. The Commander promised to lift my banishment if I delivered you safely. She broke our deal. I’m willing to strike a new one with you, so we can both go home.”
Clarke: “I’m already going home.”
Roan: “Then you won’t have a chance to get what you really want.”
Clarke: “What would you know about what I want?”
Roan: “I saw the look on your face when I took that hood off. You want revenge.”
Clarke: “You want to kill her. So kill her.”
Roan: “You can get close. I can’t. You’ll find a knife under your bed when you return to your room. I’ve already bought enough of the guards to get you out of here. If you do this, Azgeda will take control of the coalition, and you’ll find a strong and grateful ally in the Ice Queen.”
Clarke: “And why should I trust her? From what I hear, she’s worse than Lexa.”
Roan: “That’s because you’ve been talking to Lexa. Look, we’re all trying to do what’s right for our people. This is what’s right for yours.”
A part of me believes that Lexa specifically contracted Roan to bring Clarke to Polis because she still seeks payback against Queen Nia for Costia, and planned to keep the queen’s son as a chess piece in her game of revenge after his delivery of Wanheda. Another part of me thinks that Nia set Roan up for this exact reason, ensuring that he would have the chance to stay in Polis, bribe guards and try and lure Wanheda to the dark side. After all, Nia said that she expected Clarke to be right by Lexa’s side. The Mount Weather attack was just one part of her large-scale design, and now Clarke and Lexa are exactly where she wants them to be. Uh oh.
The tattoos on his head may be symbolic of previous Commanders and wars. When I have more time, I will study Neil Sandilands’ lovely head and share my further speculation!
Titus has been the right hand man for four Commanders; he is the consigliere of the clans, providing advice and counsel to his young commanders-in-chief. We do not know the exact length of reign each Commander has, but I have a strong feeling that Titus is a key player in the mysterious Conclave.
Lexa: “You still think the Summit is a bad idea.”
Titus: “You mean well, Heda. But now is not the time for good intentions. Your enemies are circling. Queen Nia moves against you. Our focus should be there. Instead, you antagonize her further by offering the Skikru a seat at your table.”
Lexa: “I will not let the fear of war dictate our agenda.”
Titus: “Why are you doing this? The Sky People are here to negotiate a treaty, not join the coalition. They didn’t ask for this. Not one of the 12 clans will accept it.”
Lexa: “They will accept it when they see Wanheda bow before me.”
Titus: “She won’t even see you. Yet everything you do elevates her. Why?”
Lexa: “Clarke elevates herself. She’s special.”
Titus: “You’re special, Heda. I’ve been the Fleimkepa for four Commanders. No one has done what you have. We are so close to our goal. If you want the power of Wanheda, you know what must be done. You strike her down, you kill her. Take her power.”
I do not think they could hammer home this fact with any more clarity: Lexa’s belief in and feelings for Clarke affect her leadership, the coalition, and the lives of all of their people. Whether that will be to Lexa’s benefit or detriment is yet to be seen, but I imagine it is a little of both.
PART 3: THE CITY OF LIGHT
“This is about survival. We don’t have the numbers, but the missiles in this mountain even the playing field. You know I’m right.” – Pike
I have often wondered why ALIE didn’t just have her cronies infiltrate Mount Weather for the missiles she clearly covets to power the City of Light. Pike’s comment made me think that perhaps part of ALIE’s long-term strategy or game to rid the planet of “too many people” was to leave the weapons of mass destruction in the mountain for the Mountain Men and clans to use against one another. I will explore more down rabbit hole in the near future.
If you are interested, I also co-host The Dropship: The 100 Podcast with AJ Mass; we posted our interview with The 100 show runner Jason Rothenberg earlier this week, and our analysis of 303 is already up (iTunes and PodBean)!
As always, I encourage your constructive feedback and commentary. 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.
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.