TV Show Review

TV Review: The 100: Season 3, Episode 9: Stealing Fire [The CW]

Ricky Whittle The 100 Stealing Fire

The CW’s The 100, Stealing Fire TV Show Review. The 100: Season 3, Episode 9: ‘Stealing Fire,’ didn’t shy away from what had been set up, by events leading to this point; but didn’t fully face up to it, either. After all the talk that went into choosing sides, loyalties switched pretty easily, once confronted by consequence. The matter of black(blood)-on-black(blood) violence was finally back on the table, but one character took the easy way out – the episode pretty much following suit, in the process. By the end, however, it was an exercise in reshuffling some characters, while taking yet more out of the deck.

The attempted Arkadia coup left Pike (Michael Beach) eager to make an example out of Kane, Lincoln, and Sinclair (Henry Ian Cusick, Ricky Whittle, Alessandro Juliani). There was to be more, but we needed a reminder that Pike isn’t a total monster.

Bellamy, Bryan, and Monty (Bob Morley, Jonathan Whitesell, Christopher Larkin) all took to shedding the monster mantle more definitively; but the exercise seemed hollow to me. Where’d all that conviction go? Wherever it went, it went far enough away to get Kane’s leftovers working with the ex-Pikers, again.

Speaking of leftovers, the Kane-Abby (Paige Turco) dynamic has officially gone from enemies, to rivals, to colleagues, to friends, to friends with… unfinished business. Two better distractions, from respective weaknesses, would be hard to come by, on this show.

In the left-for-dead column, on the other hand, Bellamy actually got off easy, for his reunion with Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) & Indra (Adina Porter); but the pair was not about to be anything like as forgiving as Team Kane. Still, he was left in good enough shape to prick at Indra’s moral high ground, while making the case that he was still in the sister-saving business – revoked license notwithstanding.

Turns out, Octavia wasn’t the one in any real jeopardy. Good planning, good deeds, and good timing (along with some conviction gap exploitation, brought to the other team – thanks, Monty), saw to that; but honor & duty was something Pike was able to exploit, to pull a tragic victory out of his larger defeat.

No, Pike isn’t a total monster; but at least he’s hands-on about the part of him that is. I can think of at least one person who would like to lay hands on him, in all sorts of bad ways; but let’s see how much fan service viewers are actually entitled to.

As important as all of this was, the Arkadian intrigue was actually the weaker element to the episode, as more monumental events were taking place over at Polis.

With Lexa’s loss, neither Clarke (Eliza Taylor), nor Titus (Neil Sandilands) were at their level headed best, and the blame game left somewhat unresolved. Fortunately, Murphy (Richard Harmon) was in the tag along role, to speak for weary viewers, and Roan ( Zach McGowan) showed up, to pour a little priority straightener on the proceedings.

With all the fawning over Clarke, lately, it was nice to see someone go for her head, again (not that I want Clarke under the knife – I just like a little more danger than drama, now & then… or most of the time, actually). As this particular non-fan turned out to be Ontari (Rhiannon Fish), however, one head in a duffle bag would never be enough. The good news was that we were finally going to see the Nightbloods go all Gimme the Prize – with Aden (Cory Gruter-Andrew) finally strutting his stuff. The bad news was that Ontari had an app for more instant gratification. I suppose the circumstances of Roan getting the Ice Nation throne were spectacle enough to bypass a replay – but I still wanted my Battle Royale kiddie carnage, dammit.

I maintain that Sandilands’ Titus character has been a season standout, for a number of reasons; and here, both the actor & character took truly memorable turns, taking some of the sting out of Ontari’s triumph. Blood in the would-be Heda’s cleansing bath water has got to be symbolic on one level, or another; but Titus’ lateral pass to Clarke wasn’t about to keep Ontari from taking the spoils she had ‘earned.’

So now we have a Lannister styled pretender-to-the-throne element thrown in, to boot. Alright – let’s see where crowning crazy gets us, on this show.

I don’t quite get Roan’s deference to Ontari. He’s still king, and knows she’s missing the key ingredient to ranking over him; so the only explanation left is that he wants an Ice Nation Heda badly enough to just play along – Ontari then doing his business, even as he bows to her. Risky, but it seems like something he would at least try to orchestrate.

Murphy, on the other hand, remains the consummate survivor. It seems that he may even be learning to harness his knack for attracting bad girls. Unless Alie gets a serious jones going for him (again), I’d say Ontari is as bad a girl as Murphy will have to manage (knock on wood). Of course, there’s still another bad girl out there, likely wanting him back; but that’s just more soap for the cleansing ceremony.

If anything about the episode alluded to the story of Prometheus, it was the latest quest that left Clarke back where the season started: out on her own, in the wind, and on the Most Wanted list. At least this time she got two Grounder titles, and a white horse, for her trouble. A white horse which, beyond its symbolic value, should make her harder to spot in the wood – I can’t finish this line.

Hopefully, the Clarke pattern won’t go full-on meme – with Clarke finding more ‘comfort’ on the run, and ultimately turning the conclave runner into a Lexa replacement.

‘Stealing Fire’ officially made cast purge the order of the day. Given the write-offs of the last few episodes, the show seems set to turn a corner at speed, necessitating a lightening of the load. I can only hope this will ultimately be more about making way for bigger things, than giving up on weaker elements.

Beware of turning character fans into trolls – they get mean when there’s blood in the water.

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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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