TV Show Review

TV Review: The 100: Season 3, Episode 13: Join or Die [The CW]

Michael Beach Isaiah Washington The 100 Join or Die

The CW’s The 100, Join or Die TV Show Review. The 100: Season 3, Episode 13: ‘Join or Die,’ was on its face, about the context, to the current state of affairs, when viewed in terms of past & present, and primarily applied to Pike (Michael Beach). I suppose it was only fitting, then, that the figurative past Pike, Kane (Henry Ian Cusick), and present Pike, actual, would arrive at Polis together, under different circumstances, only to find themselves under the same threat.

Understandably enough, Polis had changed, for having gone through two consecutive Commander ‘ascensions;’ but that point kept getting hammered home (the streets run red with blood – we got it). Meanwhile, details that should’ve mattered more were ignored (two of Pike’s Farm Station boys walk into the Grounder capital, brandishing guns – unchallenged – and he thinks “oh, goody – back up”). For his troubles, Pike got the usual spiel, from Polis’ new concierge, Jaha (Isaiah Washington), but opted to take his lumps, rather than go for the smooth & creamy.

When Kane decided he’d rather have some of what Pike was having, Abby (Paige Turco) took the order. Some of that service would be frowned upon, outside of a porn script; but this was one more reason why life-or-death stress sex should be avoided. Luckily, Kane had the right head on straight, and Alie (Erica Cerra) still had to learn that there’s more to controlling Humans than pushing buttons. Sci-fi needs smarter A.I.s.

In any case, the Abby flavored carrot also came with a stick; so cue torture porn. Now, before anyone who brings Jesus to a YA sci-fi melodrama discussion, consider that this particular measure had been in common practice well before & beyond any one religion’s claim on it (he said, slowly backing away from subject, brandishing history book at all comers).

Strange that Alie & Jaha both still insist on the chip being taken voluntarily. Sure, various forms of compulsion have been employed; but there are ways to force feed the people they insist on having. Heck, if Alie really wanted to be devious about it, Abby could’ve slipped Kane a spare, hidden in her mouth (but some clever measures are best left to cable, I guess).

The episode would advance Clarke’s (Eliza Taylor) quest to find Luna (Nadia Hilker), Nightblood at large, to just shy of the collect 200 dollars point; but would mostly focus on some of the why of Pike – before his series damnation, and likely as a prelude to some kind of post-damnation phase – and some of the how to the 100.

Hear the one about greatness being thrust upon some? Well, damnation Pike’s sense of personal destiny may have come from having the fate of the original 100 dumped on him – capital punishment consequence & all. Remember when the show was just about the 100? Monroe (Katie Stuart), Fox (Genevieve Buechner), Roma (Celia Reid), Jasper’s (Devon Bostick) ridiculous goggles – it was kind of neat, seeing them all back in classic, dumb-as-dead condition.

If pre-damnation Pike was earnest in his teaching, pre-damnation Murphy (Richard Harmon) was a right smug little tug. Fast forward to post-damnation Murphy, and his boast about surviving has at least held up (so far). Pike & Murphy made for a convenient juxtaposing of present vs past circumstance, with Abby & Kane’s relationship evolution merely touched upon.

I might’ve been premature, when I first regarded tension between Pike & Indra (Adina Porter) as the first signs of a future thing; but now i’m not so sure. Things did come back to the two of them, with Indra getting some serious payback started; but it was too soon. If there is to be a Pike redemption, Indra may have to come around, one way or another. That, or make sure he stays redeemed (one way, or another).

As far as any of that past-Pike presentation related to the present ground game, at least some critics can stop treating Clarke & Octavia’s (Marie Avgeropoulos) wilderness skills as semi-miraculous (he taught Clarke too, just not as part of the crash course – no pun intended). Some unrelated welcomed news was that two episodes of common threat bonding didn’t resolve the Luna Rovers’ internal conflicts. The unwelcomed bits were Octavia being way too emo, going about it, and Bellamy (Bob Morley) not knowing when to just grin & bear it, serving as a sign that he hadn’t really learned his lesson, yet. Then again, Bellamy doesn’t need to learn such things, when Clarke’s around.

The Jasper breakthrough, with the signal fire, was just… moving right along.

I get that we were meant to feel sentimental about this fresh look back, into the show’s beginnings; but besides it being too soon for an Imagine Dragons cover, it seems like there was an effort to conform the past to the present. If this episode does mark the beginning of a Pike redemption, then a more in-depth reminder of how far Kane had come (he was the original Pike, after all) would’ve been useful, for instance.

Join or die would be the common theme to both elements, of course; but by the time Murphy & Indra do the expected, I kinda backed Murphy’s take. As important as the flashback was to Pike, going forward, the surviving exiles were products of subsequent events. Beyond that, caveats being needed for the need to be on the same page, would be the overall message, I suppose; while the coercion element went beyond the Ark & City of Light, as the Luna Rovers chose a knockout pact, to keep themselves together – leading to Luna finally being presented with an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Well, that’s what Clarke figured, anyway.

You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you? Silly rabbits, scripts are for kids.

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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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