So far this year, The 100 has not been shy with character deaths or plot twists. In a world like this, peace is fleeting; a new Commander attempts to control the coalition, while artificial intelligence ravages the population of Arkadia. Clarke remains Wanheda, attempting to reconcile the person she was with the person she longs to be. Season three body count: 500+
Somewhere in Trikru Territory
Despite his hatred of Clarke, Jasper is driving her to the cave where their cohorts are waiting. She asks him to elaborate on what has happened in Arkadia (after all, her mother just let guards shoot at her), but Jasper isn’t exactly forthcoming about anything other than pain and sarcasm. He still blames her for Maya’s death, and now isn’t probably the best time for a heart to heart.
In the cave, Bellamy, Octavia, Sinclair, Monty, Miller, Bryan, and Harper are trying to decide what to do about Arkadia. They heard bits and pieces from Jasper over the radio, but don’t have the full story about ALIE. Octavia tells the group that she’s leaving, but Bellamy tries to stop her. Before she can go, Jasper and Clarke arrive with Raven still unconscious. Jasper fills everyone in on how “Raven’s not here right now,” and also tells Sinclair about her foiled plan to get ALIE out of her head using a wristband as an EMP. Clarke brings out the Flame (aka ALIE 2.0) and asks if that’s what the key/chip/brainwashing thing that Jaha has been giving out looks like. Through Not-Raven, ALIE senses the chip and wakes Not-Raven’s body, demanding to know where they are. Not-Raven escapes the cave momentarily, and realizes that they’re somewhere in the woods, but is knocked out again by Jasper. Clarke remembers that she saw a wristband at Niylah’s outpost and urges the group to relocate.
They take Not-Raven to the outpost, ensuring that she isn’t in the same room as Niylah. Since ALIE sees everything Not-Raven sees, they can’t risk her putting two and two together. Not-Raven is tied to the bed, but tries to escape, even dislocating her shoulder in the process. Not-Raven is incredibly strong, and when it appears that the group can’t control her, Clarke pulls out the flame again. She tells ALIE that if Raven’s body gets hurt, she’ll never get the AI. ALIE tells Not-Raven to let them help her. The group takes turns watching Not-Raven while the others attempt to figure out the wristband/EMP. ALIE encourages Not-Raven to do anything she can to learn her whereabouts and get her hands on the chip, and so begins a malicious cat and mouse game in which Not-Raven brings up every dirty, bad, or shameful deed her captors have done. She accuses Clarke of getting her own father killed, and painfully reminds Bellamy that he is responsible for just as many deaths as Clarke is, if not more. (Anybody remember the culling in season one? She sure does.) Through these uncomfortable, yet truthful, moments, ALIE is able to surmise that Monty is going to the Dropship in order to retrieve a magnet needed to make the EMP work.
Accompanied by Octavia, Monty runs into no one other than his mother Hannah. He can’t understand why she’s acting strange or how she even knew to find him at the Dropship. The terrible truth dawns on him after he asks her what his father’s favorite color was; ALIE is inside Hannah, and sent her there to stop him from returning with the magnet. Hannah starts to beat him, but he’s saved by Octavia. Hannah is about to kill Octavia, forcing Monty to fire a warning shot at his own mother. When it’s obvious that it didn’t work, he shoots to kill.
Monty and Octavia, scarred by what just happened, return to the outpost just in time to finish the EMP. Not-Raven begins to appeal to their sensitivity, begging them not to try the procedure. She tells Sinclair that it will give her brain damage, but the group resolves to stick to what Raven had wanted to do previously. At first, the EMP doesn’t have enough power, but they hook it up to the Rover battery and it appears to work. In the immediate aftermath, neither Not-Raven nor Raven are responding. In his anger, Jasper takes the flame from Clarke and is about to crush it as revenge on ALIE. Clarke begs him not to, explaining that “It’s Lexa.” Jasper stops immediately, something in her voice telling him how much she loved the Commander. He can’t bring himself to break the chip, probably thinking of Maya and the conversations that he and Clarke had had earlier in the evening.
Clarke suddenly remembers what she witnessed when Lexa died and Titus removed the flame from the back of the Commander’s neck. She gingerly cuts into the back of Raven’s neck, and silver blood oozes out. Raven wakes up as herself, and the group is relieved. Even though she needs to rest, they know that they must relocate again as ALIE has realized where they are.
“Nevermore” brought The 100 back to its roots in a way I’ve been longing for since the beginning of the season. Not-Raven reminded both the delinquents and the audience of things that haven’t been discussed lately—things that were once vital to both characterization and development. But more importantly, we finally have an episode that was built upon strong, relatable themes, and was all the stronger for it. While the title is an obvious play on Raven’s name and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” the ties go even further. The basic themes within the famous poem are loss, depression, lingering grief. All three themes have been prevalent in The 100 before, and were central to this episode. The temporary loss of the Raven they know and love, and the potential for her and their families and friends to be lost forever; Jasper’s depression after Mount Weather, and the jarring reminders Not-Raven gave to Clarke and Bellamy about their past actions; and the ever-present lingering grief that hovers over the delinquents, even in moments of happiness, was renewed when Monty was forced to kill his mother to save his friend.
Just when I was losing hope, and seriously wondering why I continue to watch this show, I was reminded of the power of this story. Thank you, Kim Shumway, for “Nevermore.”
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May we meet again,
The Collected Mutineer
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