The CW’s The 100, Hakeldama TV Show Review. The 100: Season 3, Episode 5: ‘Hakeldama’ could have been the slowdown, as the show turned a corner; but, to me, felt more like someone hit the brakes, threw reverse, and opted to run over some accumulated road growth – repeatedly. It may be too early to really describe my overall unease with the ep – without a few more eps for context – so a simple good-news-bad-news recap might have to do. Which do you want first – good or bad news?
Any readers expecting me to continue, in accordance to their responses, may have a fundamental misunderstanding of both my job description, and the depths of my dementia.
The good news is that we were spared the actual massacre of the Grounder peace keeping force. The show has earned its gruesome violence badge; so it can afford to skip the mess, and spend more time on the cleaning rag wringing. With Pike (Michael Beach) completely screwing up the lyrics to “This Land is Your Land,” in ways no one present could’ve known/ cared about, it was left to Kane & Abby (Henry Ian Cusick, Paige Turco) to try salvaging an Arkadian olive branch, with Clarke (Eliza Taylor) working on keeping Lexa’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) people from doing what came naturally.
The bad news is that we weren’t spared the hollow hand-wringing that came out of the massacre, and seemed to go on forever. If Bellarkies took heart, from the look of Bellamy’s (Bob Morley) post-deed face, then keep waiting. His only regret was the killing of wounded. Give the man a Peace Prize. He did make a point of sparing Indra (Adina Porter), after all. No, wait… Indra was left with an ultimatum to deliver to Lexa, and he turned the whole thing into acting out, over being abandoned by Clarke, when he was forced to confront his conscience – his conscience being Clarke, of course. If his douche bag defaulting (my words, but his admission) was to prevent further Arkadian deaths, then he was expecting a very one-sided war.
If Pike’s Arkadia is going to be the new Mt. Weather, then Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) was already the new John McClane. The Blake kids were already on the outs, once Bellamy made it about choosing sides, so Octavia kept her end pretty consistent. I did figure she’d be the one to put Bellamy down, but that vengeful puppy dog needed to get paper smacked by the other end of his leash. There’d be more than one justifiable act of non-lethal violence to the episode, however.
The Good News: Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) got his groove back. Whether for heritage sake, or just ‘cause ass-hats eventually get the beating they keep asking for, Lincoln took a more decisive stand against Pikery, this ep – not only landing him squarely on the side of the opposition (by way of getting locked up), but also forcing Pike to demonstrate just how much of the villain he may be willing to play (and peripheral characters to show which side they were on). There was also the matter of Bellamy possibly confirmed as on the outs, with the future in-law; but let’s just wait for the inevitable redemption effort. The bad news: unless something drastic is done with his evolutionary arc, Lincoln taking one for both teams could turn into a battered housewife syndrome. If the Pike run leads to civil war, Linctavia should already have long been on the wild side – so get on with it.
Without Bellamy in her column or Abby pulling strings, Clarke just went Ghandi, and decided on the give-peace-a-chance method (for peace’s sake). Not only did her reasoning fly in the face of all Grounder tradition, it flew in the face of the freshly paused Ice Nation arc – where Clarke was willing to go to great lengths to use ‘Blood must have Blood’ to keep the peace; but now sees it as an obstacle to that end. The good news for her, in this case, was that Clexa still clicked, and she can still get people to do potentially regrettable things on her behalf. The bad news… I dunno – besides getting to feel bad, does Clarke ever pay a price for what others do for her?
The Good news for Lexa: I see a light at the end of the Gandhi tunnel. The bad news: I think it’s the kind that comes with wheels, a whistle, and a tendency to close distances faster than expected. I’ve always seen Indra as being patient with the Commander, in a pained duty sort of way; but this Clarke bar candy break may be asking too much of any ranking Grounders, from Lexa’s coalition. The consolation is that the immediate fallout seems so certain, that a left-field blow may have been perfectly set up, to repay the Commander for some of her own.
Having already spent more time on shipper combos than I would’ve liked, I might as well throw one more in. Murphy & Emori (Richard Harmon, Luisa D’Oliveira) seemed to be a thing in progress (MEmori?), and living La Vida Bonnie & Clyde. That was the good news. The bad news was that their road scam became too routine – getting him pinched. Worse, Emori had taken a time out on caring about what became of her brother, in Jaha’s (Isaiah Washington) pill peddling hands.
Jaha’s return to Arkfall – with Alie (Erica Cerra) in tow – should have been more monumental; but he wasted no time breaking with the character that had left Kane & Abby behind, and set about working on the new order. The good news: he demonstrated to Alie that he still knew his way around people, and that he could get things done without her micro-management. The bad news: Jaha’s new initiative was magnetized to Raven’s (Lindsey Morgan) outspoken cynicism. If Jaha used Pike to bring Alie around, they both needed a Raven conversion to bring more Arkadians around.
The good news there: Jaha’s pursuit of Raven didn’t run on, to the point of starting to seem like something between Wile E. Coyote & pedo-creeping (and if you got hung up on the pedo thing, you missed the irony of Raven being the Road Runner). The bad news: we may have lost one of the few remaining consistently sane voices on the show. It likely takes more than being ‘hooked on a feeling’ for Jaha’s ‘method’ to have had the effect it did. I’m thinking nano-drivers; and if that’s the case, it may take more than an intervention to get her back. Here’s to hoping for a free will component, to Fire God conversion….
Until someone, or something comes along, to frame all of that as some kind of reasonable progression, it all seemed like multiple exercises in regression. Bellamy defaulting back to his Clarke foil state; Jaha back on a soapbox; more Abby underground networking; another us-versus-them turn for the Skaikru; another trigger happy moment to overturn progress – yeah, I’d call that regression.
I understand that showrunners have to sometimes resort to games of keep-away, to bait viewers like cats taunted by tassely things; but some of these turns feel more like the car-lurch game (“door’s open – oops, my foot slipped”). One’s fun, until the cat wises up, and walks away; the other’s just annoying. Let’s see if The 100 showrunners know the difference.
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