The 100: Echoes Review
The CW’s The 100, season 4, episode 1, ‘Echoes,’ was right about where you’d expect a universal downer of an ending to pick back up, again. I’ll put it this way: somewhere between mass buyer’s remorse, and the worst hangover/ comedown ever, is where we found pretty much everyone, at the start of the season. Some of the raggedy reanimated landed in better shape – and a more predatory mood – than others; but Clarke (Eliza Taylor) already had her next messianic quest in hand, so… getting past the next thing, in order to get to the bigger thing, was the thing. Again.
Not to sell the title short, I guess, there was more to this familiar restart than just the next Wanheda rallying cry (and first-aid-by-force). One of the returning elements was Echo (Tasya Teles), herself, and she was at the center of the ‘next thing,’ in this case.
It turns out the reboot to reality left the Ice Nation in a coup position, and in no mood to be fair (or nice) about it. It also upgraded Roan’s (Zach McGowan) condition from dead to dying, however; so that was where Clarke decided to take her first swipe, off of her coalition building season pass card.
Before I get to Clarke’s next thing (and the bigger thing, after that), however, a short state of affairs summary seems in order.
Bellamy (Bob Morley) went unnoticed, as part of last season’s problem, and continued to serve as Clarke’s principal supporter; so never mind the Pike thing – it was just another phase. Marcus & Abigail (Henry Ian Cusick, Paige Turco) seemed closer to noticing that they blatantly flirt with each other; but Clarke was patient about it – she still needed them to risk their lives for her plan, and stuff. After being forced to redress his priorities, often drop-kicked Murphy (Richard Harmon) contemplated a picket fenced future with Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira), back at the Ark; but something about joining another crusade (courtesy of Clarke, this time) made him think better of it. The consummate survivor took the girl, and hit the road – the kind of intelligence that earns redemption status, I’m thinking (while looking at you, Bellamy).
Over at the Ark, Raven (Lindsey Morgan) was in no mood (or condition) to rest on her laurels, so the others celebrated on their own. Jasper (Devon Bostick) defaulted back to emo status, yet somehow seemed even more annoying, for his comedown. I’ll admit, a part of me actually wanted him to go Arseface, to mark the occasion – at least that Preacher character got a positive attitude adjustment, for his trouble. Monty (Christopher Larkin) & Harper (Chelsey Reist) still had their thing, and celebrated accordingly. Unfortunately, Raven’s diligence brought her to Clarke’s bigger thing – sort of reversing the outlook for everyone else. Jasper has become a proper tool; so no surprise, regarding his reaction. I’d recommend survival sex to anyone; but when “we’re all going to die” news greets you, at the other end, even a Monty mounting loses some of its calming effect (sorry Monty – seems you can’t even get laid, without getting screwed).
At Polis, the bigger thing still had the next thing to get past. As relieved as I was to see season 3 cast-offs, like Roan & Indra (Adina Porter), get better (Monty Python standards, or otherwise), getting to the first-aid-by-force moment (in order to resolve the next thing) turned out to be more satisfying than the payoff.
As fond as I’ve been of Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) riding a horse, she did make for a better Trojan variety – her going into early action constituting the first real sit-up-and-notice moment of the season. With Lincoln gone, and Pike dealt with, her brother now seems to be the only cause for brattitude from her character. She’s come a long way, from being a bratty mean-girl about pretty much everything.
I suppose an honorable mention should go to Thelonious “debunked-monk” Jaha (Isaiah Washington), for taking one for the team, and getting her into Troy in the first place. The sobering process seemed to leave all the grownups in a cowed state – which could be considered as good a reason as any why there was little resistance to any of Clarke’s directives. As precarious as Sky & Tree Crue’s position was, inside Polis, the first-aid-by-force plan was a fatal gamble; but I suppose waking up to news that the crack house is on fire would make for some malleable addicts.
The fact that you could say the same for near-death experiences could account for the plan’s payoff, as well. Roan was a highlight of last season; but between his injuries, and the status the episode left him with, it looks like his role will be lower key, for the time being. All that impressive hand-to-hand combat, and a bullet to the center mass, just to be weighed down by politics.
The Roan payoff left the badass wild card firmly in the hands of Echo, who was clearly projected as the poisonous fly in the ointment. She may have acknowledged burning a bridge into Bellamy’s pants, however; and with Murphy as a prime example, a little sudsy shipping tension can always be a source of pacification – if not redemption – on this show. So, yeah, if she can somehow get past her nationalist kick, she could be just the bad girl to keep Bellamy interesting (or at least away from his parental & Clarke issues). It’s more likely, however, that her screwing chances of screwing him, by screwing him over, will be the screws to their dynamic, for the moment. Screw it.
Call me cynical (and smile when you do), but I think Echo’s heavy-handed re-intro was meant to draw attention away from another Bellamy nevermind. I’m certain his Pike acolyte days will come up, every now & then; but the (latest) Bellamy redemption is a done deal. Now the showrunners just sic a crazy hot chick on him, and watch fans circle their wagons. Just watch.
So after all that catching up, it’s time for a little something about this season’s ‘things.’ The next thing was staving off an Ice Nation coup, and getting a restored authority to maintain Lexa’s coalition – securing a protected place for Sky Crue being the bottom line of it all. The bigger thing has been billed as the over-arching plot of the season. It was confirmed that Alie’s virtual conservation angle had some merit to it, and that hardened, self-operated nuclear power plants, across the globe, were about to fail. Never mind that no one noticed these plants, or that their life-cycles were perfectly synced, for some reason (maybe Alie cloaked & synced them herself – just so she could use them as fail-safe leverage – but I’m reaching, here).
So in case you missed it, the series has just declared crumbling infrastructure as this season’s principal threat. Don’t you just miss the rogue A.I., already?
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