Saturday, June 15, 2024

Full Circle, and Back to the Stars on The 100

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The 100 Season 4 Episode 12 Review, “The Chosen”

“The Chosen” opens with a ticking clock. 12 hours to “pick survivors” to remain in a bunker, for the impending wave of lethal radiation. Mass panic escalates and Murphy runs to find Emori– touching, for a moment– who then tells him the Grounders have only allowed room for 100 Arkadians.

Cut to Raven, still in Becca’s lab on the island. Fortunately, they’ve reserved special spots for “essential personnel,” which includes Raven, as well as children under 16. Unfortunately, this leaves a meager 80 spots for Skaikru. As a mechanic, friend (and credited character) Bellamy offers to rush to save her to secure her apocalypse-survival spot. Clarke, ever the hero, adds herself to the rescue party, but not before earning some side-eye from Bellamy.

Time for an uncomfortable road trip?

The two leave all geared up with radiation suits made all the more fancy by a special, ominous counter telling them how long they have to get back to the bunker. Abby bids Clarke goodbye with an unreciprocated “I love you.” Abby also puts a new spin on an old tune, telling Clarke that she is, in fact, one of the good guys. Speaking of “good guys” and good choices, enter Murphy and Emori, ready to join the team to find Raven. Abby confirms a bunker spot for Murphy, but is unsure if she can do the same for Emori. And with that, the road trip begins.

Kane gives a rousing speech to an angry crowd, telling them they all will have an equal chance of survival with a “fair lottery.” The scene recalls the events of Season 1, where Kane similarly was in a position to delegate life and death, leading to the execution of 300 people to save oxygen on the Ark. Incensed Skaikru react against Niylah, a Grounder, taking up a space for their own. More mob chaos, as Niylah is violently attacked before being saved by Octavia. Apt, if we consider how Niylah, a Trikru integrated with Skaikru, was saved by a defected Arker herself.

Back with the adventure crew, Murphy and Emori are cuddly and romantic in the backseat, talking about being each other’s home. In the frontseat, things are tense between Bellamy and Clarke, as it so often is after your friend points a gun at you. Bellamy cracks a joke, but the burgeoning reconciliation is interrupted by someone suddenly jumping in front of the vehicle–almost as if he wanted to die, Clarke remarks. The group is ambushed and attacked by more Grounders, before they are saved by a gallant rider with a bow and arrow… Echo. In exchange for saving their lives, Echo hopes she’ll find shelter in the bunker on the island where Raven is, and roadtrip team gains another member– if they can find another ride.

Cue Robin Hood theme

Meanwhile, Kane is receiving names for the bunker lottery. Most notably, Miller’s father turns in a piece of paper with his son’s name rather than his own, wanting to give him the best chance he can. Touching, and heartbreaking all at once. More blame-game between Kane and Abby follows, as they each try to claim responsibility for the impending deaths of their people. The price of survival for humanity is still high. Perhaps to assuage some of her guilt, Abby throws her own guaranteed spot back at Marcus, telling him to draw 81 names instead. Jaha suggests finding leverage in order to more honorably fight for survival, rather than line up to die. What does he have in mind?

Bellamy and Co. manage to reach Monty to secure transportation. But before they can get too excited, Emori starts coughing up blood. Uh oh. Turns out, during the attack, her helmet broke. Clarke nobly decides this is the perfect time to test the strength of her nightblood, removing her suit to save Emori and exposing herself to the irradiated environment. It even seems to be working with enough time for Monty to arrive, but then she too begins to cough up blood. Fortunately, Monty’s also come equipped with another suit that had been saved for the late Jasper. All’s well?

Kane’s slips of papers are slowly revealing the names of those with spots in the bunker. The air is heavy as goodbyes are said between loved ones, including Miller, who has been chosen, and his father. Jaha’s plan seems to be imminent, and Kane takes notice of something amiss. Jaha has spurred the crowd to fight for their lives, chanting and all.

The world’s most tragic lottery.

Marcus finds him, and Jaha reveals the leverage he was talking about earlier. He plans to gas the Grounders, and threaten to destroy the crops if Skaikru are not given room in the bunker. On the flip side of the equation, Indra, hand in hand with Octavia, has managed to acquire Arker guns. They approach the door to the bunker, poised to launch an assault on the Skaikru inside. But alas, the door opens to an altogether unpleasant surprise. All the occupants unconscious where they stood… and Kane and Jaha in gas masks. Why decide, they muse, when you can have the decision made for you. “This is how we save our people,” sobs a clearly shaken Marcus. They turn, instead, to Clarke’s original list. The lottery is no more. Without resistance, the unconscious bodies are dragged to death or to safety, according to the list.

Cut back finally to Raven, greeted by her welcoming party which has significantly increased in size. When Raven notes they have no time to get back to the bunker, the group retorts, “we’re not going back, we’re going up.” They don’t have enough fuel to get down, but they will have five years to figure it out, sustained by the enviable diet of recycled urine and algae salads, as Murphy elegantly puts it. Seems like another expedition is in order.

“We’re going back to the Ark”

Images courtesy of the CW

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