TV Show Review

TV Review: THE 100: Season 2, Episode 5: Human Trials [The CW]

Thomas McDonell The 100 Human Trials

The CW’s The 100 Human Trials TV Show Review. The 100: Season 2, Episode 5: ‘Human Trials,’ did manage to pack some punch; but its heaviest blows were so telegraphed, that there was more pain in watching them unfold, than in the actual impact. On top of that, there was the jabbing effect of some rather inexplicable character turns – not so much evolution, as reversals. While one character was, as the title suggested, in the process of being broken down, others, like Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley), and Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), went through the wringer to earn their evolved roles. Others, however, have seemed more subject to the whims of the plot. Fortunately, there was enough long term plotting, in evidence, to keep the more arbitrary seeming plot points from holding the episode in place. The trick would be in getting past the short term trip ups.

In something of a signature “you really didn’t think it would be that easy, did you” moment, the far reaching understanding, between Anya & Clarke, ended with Anya being gunned down, outside the Ark garrison perimeter fence. Seeing as how the guards only got a clear shot at the figure furthest away (and headed away) from their position, Clarke got to be taken prisoner. Things got better.

“A face only a mother could love” took on a new meaning, as Abbie (Paige Turco) managed to recognize the face under all of Clarke’s experiences. After ten hours of recovery time, that Clarke would rather not have spent, it was reunion time. Say what you will, about appropriate levels of shmaltz, for the great frenemy hug-out, I was just glad to see that everyone had gotten over themselves, since last season.

Of course, getting used to house rules, again, is always problem one, for the prodigal crowd. Abby got what she wanted, out of the little insurrection that she incited, so screw the rest. Of course, Bellamy, Octavia, and Raven (Lindsey Morgan) – just for good measure – decided to keep the insurrectionist band together, which suited Clarke just fine. The garrison was not going to move on Finn (Thomas McDonell) & Murphy’s (Richard Harmon) behalf, nor move against Mt. Weather, on behalf of Jasper (Devon Bostick), Monty (Christopher Larkin), and the other 48. Team Bellarky (just say no, to shippers), with Raven’s help, snuck back out, to at least do something about the former case.

One reason the garrison was unprepared to take action: Chancellor Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) was absent. Exercising his right, as an adult authority, to invoke the rule of “do as I say, not as I do,” Kane had taken a page out of Bellamy’s book, and led a small party out into Grounder territory. Like Clarke, he wanted to secure peace; but his way involved returning recent captive, Rivo (Colin Lawrence), to his people. Unlike the Anya-Clarke dynamic, however, Rivo wasn’t interested in schooling Kane on the way things worked. Not verbally, anyway.

Side note: anyone else see a resemblance, between Rivo & Lincoln (Ricky Whittle)?

Between his self-appointed role, as peacekeeper, and the fair, yet professionally wary, handling of Rivo, Kane has maintained something of a slow, steady role reversal, with Abigail. Abbie’s still the resident rabble-rouser; but motives (of personal versus general interest) seems to have been traded.

If Abbie’s turns has been costing her points, I’d say Finn has pretty much lost it. If you were to tell me that he has gone back on his original principles, over fear/grief for Clarke – that this was worth going completely hawkish over – that’s not romantic. That’s a guy selling out for a girl, for whatever reason he has rationalized to himself. This is the scenario that makes guys do stupid things. Add guns to the mix, and stupid things become dangerous things.

Having already executed one Grounder captive, for the sake of mission security, Finn had been steadily weaving himself into a corner. He was coming back with Clarke (and the others), or not at all. Consider, then, how dim Murphy’s prospects had to be in order to stick it out, as Finn’s keeper & ‘good cop.’ Feeling that he could ill afford to consider familiar items, in Grounder possession, as anything but spoils of war, Finn had set a course for armed liberation, at the Grounder camp, and burned the bridge behind him. Sadly, Finn had worked himself into a frenzy he had no idea how to get back out of; and the threat, he had worked himself up to overcome, wasn’t present.

Side note: I’ve been waiting until I could spot them all, in a single episode; so I spy, with my little eye, some faces from BSG. Between Sinclair (Alessandro Juliani), Nyko (Ty Olsson), and the familiarly shady Dr. Tsing (Rekha Sharma), it seems that The 100 is shaping up to be as much a rally point for BSG alums, as Arrow has been for the ex-Sparticus crowd.

Nyko’s role, as the Grounder healer, stands in stark contrast to the sheer size of Ty Olsson. What is truly unbelievable, however, is the notion that the Grounders would leave a camp of their weakest completely unprotected, for a pair of gun toting Exiles to infiltrate & seize control of. I don’t care how good a tracker Finn’s supposed to be; but clearly a point was in the opening stages of being made. Whatever the reason they were left unprotected, it was up to Nyko to keep the peace, and up to Finn to not be taken in by the people who abducted – and probably killed – Clarke (and the others).

Personally, I thought the whole scenario smacked of Wounded Knee; but I also think that was the point being made.

Between Finn’s drive, to validate his own state of mind, and the number of young Grounders (Groundlings?), eager to prove themselves, the outcome was inevitable. If the point was to prove that even the most high-minded, like Finn, could bring about a tragedy like Wounded Knee, or My Lai, it was a clumsy effort. Finn’s turn was simply too sudden; his lack of control, a complete contradiction to the considerate deliberator, we were introduced to. Character evolution has been a big part of the series, since the shooting started; but Finn has not had the kind of experiences that would harden him to this degree. The real question, over Finn’s part in the tragedy, was why didn’t he leave after the first shooting. I can call it a personal failing, on Finn’s part, or just lazy writing; but the shock effect needed to be compounded, and everyone needed to be in place for the final irony.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the ghosts of wartime atrocities being invoked for the sake of dramatic license. All that gunfire couldn’t have attracted just Team Bellarky. The warriors are bound to be out there, somewhere, along with Kane & Rivo, or maybe the odd Reaper or two….

Speaking of Reapers (wait for it), the Weathermen were at it again. Lincoln, who had been seized by Reapers, somehow landed in Weatherman hands, and was being conditioned for an ongoing project (again, wait for it). When a Ray Liotta knockoff, oozing with Casino grade charisma, is introduced as the head of Mt. Weather security (and responsible for Lincoln), of course he has to be the First Son of Mt. Weather.

If his work on Lincoln wasn’t a clear enough indication, of Mt. Weather’s role in the series, consider what the aborting of Jasper & Monty’s Clarke seeking mission could mean for The 48 (now 47). Even as Jasper was ensuring he had a lasting place, at Mt. Weather, Monty was shaming him into leaving the comfort zone, for mad runner Clarke’s sake. Before he could even get through his goodbyes to Maya (Eve Harlow), she was suddenly stricken by radiation burns. This left Jasper with no choice but to serve as her blood donor, for an emergency ‘experimental’ blood transfusion. Wouldn’t you know it, it also gave Dr. Tsing an opportunity to put one of the remaining 47 to the test, to see if they could ‘contribute’ to the well-being of the community.

As quick as Monty was, in picking up an incriminating slip, by the Doctor, she was just as quick in deflecting the matter. At that, Monty should have just played along – these are not people you show your cards to.

The final conference, between Pres. Wallace (Raymond J. Barry), his son, and the Doctor, told me more about what may be in store, for the series, than I’m willing to face being wrong about. It’s either going to be that good, or I am just that far out there. In the short term however, I fear we may have to get through the fallout, from Finn’s folly, and all the distracting set-backs – meant to keep the various players at odds – until some redemption arcs, and some real threat emerges.

Finn’s gonna be the new Murphy, for a spell. Everybody go home & sleep it off, for now.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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