The 100 has returned with a vengeance. Picking up three months after the events inside Mount Weather, the delinquents and Sky People were enjoying a tenuous peace with the Grounders. But peace cannot last in a world like this, where Clarke Griffin has been hailed as the Wanheda, the Commander of Death, and the Grounder-hating Pike is elected to be the new Chancellor of Arkadia.
So far this season, I find myself distracted by my emotions when I watch The 100. When writing recaps, I try to distance myself from the show in question, even if it’s one that I enjoy. Especially when it’s one that I enjoy. Although emotional response is a large part of watching television and enjoying storytelling, I attempt to be as objective as possible. Through questionable storytelling, old tropes, and sad character deaths, I have managed to recap (or at the least, react to) eight episodes. However, the last few episodes have made me question my loyalty to the show.
While it’s true that the most recent episode, “Stealing Fire”, included some amazing scenes in both Polis and Arkadia—such as Kane and Abby’s first kiss and Clarke finally having a little thing called a storyline—the darkness and morbidity was overwhelming for me. Yes, I’m talking about Lincoln. I had a feeling, like many other fans, that our favorite grounder wouldn’t make it through the season since Ricky Whittle was cast in American Gods. But knowing that a death is coming doesn’t always make it easier, particularly when the character is someone whom you admire; someone who has been there since the beginning, who is integral to the lives of other characters.
Lincoln’s death served a purpose. It’s sad, but true. He sacrificed himself for his people, his desire for peace never wavering even when staring down a firearm. His devastating loss will both break and fuel Octavia. He deserved better, yes. But neither did the death feel pointless. My issue comes with the pacing of the last several deaths. We’ve lost Monroe, Lexa, and Lincoln in a handful of weeks. I know that this is a show in which people die. But in the past, there have always been glimmers of hope—there’s been a reason to continue watching. Lincoln went out a hero…but what are we left with?
The writers seem to have dug themselves into a hole, where there is nothing but despair and death. I have praised this show in the past for being realistic and fantastically post-apocalyptic. But the loss of Lincoln has pushed me off my small precipice of optimism. When are the quasi-good-guys going to get a win again? Never? The push and pull, back and forth, with Polis is both rushed and old. There are real threats in the Ice Nation and Pike’s authoritarian leadership, but there are also strong, brave, resilient characters who can push back and give us faith in the human race. But they are constantly pushed down, beaten, killed. So what keeps us watching? What stops us, the audience, from giving up?
Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @ImpalaMutineers.
May we meet again,
The Collected Mutineer
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