TV Show Review

TV Review: THE 100: Season 1, Episode 3: Earth Kills [The CW]

Eli Goree Eliza Taylor Thomas McDonell The 100 Earth Kills

The CW‘sThe 100 Earth Kills TV Show Review. The 100: Season 1, Episode 3: ‘Earth Kills’ was essentially a series of trade offs. The fight to save Jasper (Devon Bostick), became a point of contention between Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Finn (Thomas McDonell), and Wells (Eli Goree), on one side (that now included Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), for not entirely silly reasons) and Bellamy (Bob Morley), Murphy (Richard Harmon), etc., on the other. From there, the episode revolved around a number of sacrifices. Much was put on the line for Jasper; one character chose being hated, over causing another pain; another chose loyalty/ obedience over love; both were seemingly cast aside, in order to further the evolution of (supposedly) more central characters.

I suppose the overall theme, to ‘Earth Kills,’ was facing death. Whether in the form of a killer cloud storm, euthanasia, or the Ark’s socio-political environment, characters were forced to confront hard realities behind their beliefs and experiences. Unfortunately, two relatively key characters were more or less sacrificed, while a third, Charlotte (Izabela Vidovic), was introduced to make points, to that effect.

With Jasper’s dim prospects polarizing the Terra-teen camps, one character conveniently served to muddy perspectives, regarding “hard decision” making. The truth behind the execution of Clarke’s father (Chris Browning) was finally revealed; but only because Finn was somehow hip to the obvious question, that Clarke couldn’t/ wouldn’t ask herself. It meant a long overdue redemption, for one of The 100‘s few upstanding characters (and a liberation, of sorts); but redemption wasn’t part of the theme – thus only serving to set up the third character’s contribution to that theme. If the realization of that contribution seemed shocking to some, I contend that those persons had bought into the show’s mishandling of the subject matter. This is an inherently dark premise, people; if anything, the series should be having more disturbing events, occurring more frequently.

It might be an unfair correlation to make, but I sure hope Jasper earns his restoration to the cast. It seemed to come at a better character’s expense. Two, if you consider that both he and Monty (Christopher Larkin) are now free to resume a rivalry over Octavia (ugh).

The creepy kid angle did not do the episode any favors. Hollywood has produced enough creepy kid plot twists to make Charlotte’s very presence a dead give away. Seriously, why would a 13 year old – who seems more like a 10 year old – be mixed in with a crowd of hardened juvenile offenders (not delinquents – there are murderers in their ranks) unless she was at least as dangerous? At some point, viewers have to know when they’re being played. Never mind the fact that The Walking Dead traveled the same road, in a superior vehicle – but I shouldn’t beat up on The 100 with unfair comparisons.

If the idea was to shock fans out of any sense of complacency, and insulate the show from charges of being too immature with its subject matter, the plan may have backfired. What the supposed twist to ‘Earth Kills’ accomplished was the skimming of a few inches off the shallow end of the pool. The series began with a very lopsided ratio, distinctly split along age lines, of smart/ noble characters to cads/ vapid eye-candy. It would be horrible to think that the precious few decent characters on the ground constitute a distraction from the central heroine; that, like the army of brutes/ idiots around Bellamy, their only purpose is too elevate her to a “lone voice in the wilderness,” or a singular champion, destined to battle some equally singular villain.

The fact that this character was reduced to a martyr, meant only to redeem Clarke of her one vice (in much the same way another was killed to seemingly give Octavia some genuine angst, going forward), cheapens the cast, overall. Suggesting that no one is safe would be one thing (and a positive); reducing potentially valuable characters to props for ‘safer’ ones, however, would suggest that no one should be taken seriously.

Hardly a reward for trying to take this series seriously; but the show has its defenders, so I guess my opinions count as just another trade off.

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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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