The CW’s The 100, Watch the Thrones TV Show Review. The 100: Season 3, Episode 4: ‘Watch the Thrones’ followed up on last ep’s gut punch with a proportionate amount of fallout; but was hardly a come-down. What could have been a long game of tag, between rivals, turned into direct confrontation, and the cards went face up fairly fast. There were still attempts at playing the expectation game – as much of the episode was devoted to Clarke & Lexa (Eliza Taylor, Alycia Debnam-Carey) circling a long goodbye – but some of that – including the Ice Nation Prince, Roan (Zach McGowan), being tossed into an executioner’s role – paid off nicely.
Seeing Nia (Brenda Strong), the Ice Nation Queen, dragged before Lexa in the very first scene set the tone – and pace – for the episode. As I assume her own order would be the only reason her people would allow her to be taken, in the first place, clearly there was a power play in the works. Given the need to have Lexa overcome Nia’s menace, or be a martyr to it, it was clear that neither Clarke, nor Roan, could really intervene. The fun of the episode was in watching the supporting players try, anyway.
To that end, Titus (Neil Sandilands) has been coming into his own, as the Commander’s Hand, deftly balancing an air of authority with a helpless resignation about the limits of his abilities; but more intriguing was the promise of expansion to the Night’s Blood concept – introduced in the season’s second episode. Aden (Cory Gruter-Andrew) had been previously singled out by Lexa, but here, he was offered – in the face of Clarke’s fears over Lexa having to duel her way out of Nia’s plot – as something of a boy-toy insurance/ will provision. He was to be Lexa’s successor, really; but it was cute watching him pledge to take up Lexa’s watch over Clarke & the Skaikru. Of course, that wasn’t enough, resulting in more subtle plotting, between Clarke & Roan. This introduced us to Untarie (Rhiannon Fish). It turns out that Nia had been working on her own Night Blood successor program; setting up a rather tasty prospect of some future Black Blood on Black Blood violence. We were left with the notion that Untarie has been benched, for the moment, which would be a shame if she plays ball. I don’t think she’s gonna play ball (or hoping – IDK), but it would have to wait. ‘Watch the (Game of) Thrones’ was only a set up to game changers across the board.
Parallel to Nia’s coup – forcing a duel between Lexa & Roan – was Pike (Michael Beach) taking matters into his own hands, after Kane & Abby (Henry Ian Cusick, Paige Turco) refused to sanction retaliation for Mt. Weather, and he perceived Lexa’s peace-keeping force as a Trojan Horse threat. When airing council dirty laundry resulted in a near riot, Pike was further elevated – as a voice of reason – but that all sort of came at Lincoln’s (Ricky Whittle) expense. This may have seemed like a new low-point, for Linctavia – I’m pretty sure it was a last straw moment for Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) – but Lincoln has a bridge-builder role to fill. Sucks to be him.
As Clarke seemed to be the only thing that has been keeping Bellamy (Bob Morley) from going off the deep end, this whole time, some Gina remorse left him in Pike’s corner (getting played by Echo might have had something to do with it, but they didn’t go there – yet). “Gina was real” had to be said. Until her dying heroics, she had been kind of a non-factor; but now she gets to be Bellamy’s personal martyr for whatever reckless things he does next (to restore his season one bad boy cred).
For now, that meant a revisiting of Kane’s first season coup-as-a-matter-of-survival-principle – Kane, again, having since taken up Jaha’s role, for that dynamic. Although I would’ve expected it to have been Pike’s idea, this initial clash was always meant to play itself out politically. With two Mountain Slayings, to date, a second Finn massacre might’ve been a bit much (at the moment).
Speaking of Finn, he might’ve sent Jasper (Devon Bostick) a message. Hopefully, that message (“eat my dust”) helps get the Jass-man to whatever corner he needs to turn, otherwise, let the guy that died with Maya rot in peace. More points to Monty (Christopher Larkin) for even trying to get through to him, up to this point; but Monty’s mom, Hannah (Donna Yamamoto), gave me pause.
At one point, during Pike’s pitch to Bellamy, I thought I saw a subtle shift in focus to Hannah, in the background, for what could have been a show of concern for where that convo was going. So far, however, no signs of any double-dealings, on her part; so more important drama for Monty, at some point, perhaps.
The Serpent & the Mountain match remained the main event, though, and it did not disappoint. There was some noticeable work that went into making Alycia keep up with Zach; but the see-saw fortunes were nicely balanced, and the choreography pretty neat. I did see the outcome coming – but, honestly, I expected the other person to do the deed. Nia was ruthless; but as befitting a ruler with nationalist – as opposed to personal – ambitions. Roan, on the other hand, has been motivated more by personal needs, thus far, which would make him a different fit for the Ice Nation throne. In any case, the showrunners seemed to go out of their way to make Nia the battle-axe that everyone wanted out of their misery (except Untarie). The resolution to the duel was just another set-up for future events – which is always a good thing, when a show has momentum going – but some fans may have been left hanging by the post-duel resolution.
These reviews get long enough, without a weekly shipping report, so let’s just say that a simple “goodnight,” between Clarke & Lexa, may have lit quite a few Clexa fans’ hair on fire. Even I had to admit that more came across between those two, in what wasn’t said or done, than what could’ve been. Points go to Alycia Debnam-Carey for subtly, and I suppose the ultimate legacy of Nia was to give us a better appreciation for Lexa (knock on wood).
The Ice Nation did not get beyond boogeyman status; so until the Red Queen makes her move, the jingling keys will have to come from somewhere else. That could still come from the Ice Nation (at some point); but, for now, the War Elephant in the room has Pike in the high seat. The episode ended on a pretty chilling note (remember that Finn thing I mentioned?), as the result of a popular vote; but as far as things will be going, I imagine the show would have to take things much farther – even by its own standards – for the Pike character to burn-out anytime soon. Look how Kane turned out.
At this point, I actually have some confidence that The 100 not only has a decent idea of where to go, but also a decent idea of how to keep viewers singing along, during the ride (wildly off-key character solos aside). We won’t all like the song selection (special place in Dante’s TVLand for shippers); but we might find points of interest, along the way. As for the destination – ooh, cool road-sign….
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