The 100: Heavy Lies the Crown Review
The CW’s The 100, season 4, episode 2, ‘Heavy Lies the Crown,’ wasn’t exactly subtle about its subtext; but subtlety can be overrated with this material. What it did with this subtext was lay the groundwork for some interpersonal (and a few professional) relationships, going forward.
Apparently, someone did miss the rogue A. I., already – ALIE (Erica Cerra) made an appearance, to start things off. Remember all that regret & recrimination (what R & R stands for, on this show), in the immediate aftermath of the mass sobering? Well, we were taken back to that – but for a more personal take, in order to introduce a new character. This one more case of ALIE coercion carving served as an origin story for Ilian (Chai Romruen). His introductory quest for vengeance might take up more of this season’s plot than I’m likely to care for; but it’s early, yet.
Grounder anger, over ALIE’s chips ahoy campaign, was Roan’s (Zach McGowan) principal excedrin headache, at Polis. With the likes of Ilian holding on to a literal manifestation of this chip on their shoulders, there was a challenge for the throne coming. A challenge that Roan couldn’t afford to deal with in the manner he’d prefer, and Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) lacked the leverage to dissuade. This week’s minor swing-and-a-miss at diplomacy would settle itself, however – if by “settle,” you’re willing to accept the new role Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) has carved out for herself, in the shadow of Kane’s diplomatic mission.
At Arkadia, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) gathered those in the know, for a little brainstorming. Despite this, Monty (Christopher Larkin) managed to hatch out a patch for their problem. As much as I appreciate Monty’s mind, his stop-gap solution should’ve been obvious to at least a few others present – the factors had been drilled into them for much of their lives, after all.
The fact that one of the drill instructors was Pike should’ve telegraphed where this week’s stop-gap quest was headed, plot-wise. With Bellamy (Bob Morley) at its head, and Pike apologist Bryan (Jonathan Whitesell) in the mission mix, it would’ve been a twist if things didn’t go off reservation.
Since nothing says “intruders calling” like rolling up to a Grounder outpost in a truck (being electric doesn’t make it that quiet. Or invisible), Bellamy’s team was pretty much captured on arrival, and Roan’s token of safe passage didn’t carry as much weight as hoped.
There was a bit of timeliness, to Bryan’s lingering regard for Pike, and the remote Ice Nationals’ regard for Roan. Not My King meets Let’s Make Arkadia Great, Again. Of course, each camp’s contempt for their respective institutional authorities met at a genocidal regard for each other; so: conflict.
This week’s principal swing-and-a-miss at diplomacy, came over the matter of slavery. This Ice Nation outpost had them – and not just the impossibly large eyed urchin kind, either (the kind that gets Sarah McLachlan stuck in your head, killing every mood you could possibly be having but guilt). They had some survivors of the Farm Detail massacre, as well. That was enough for Bellamy to get hooked on a feeling, rather than do something as high-minded as, say, securing the future of hundreds more. Were we really meant to reconsider the ‘needs of the many’ argument?
Well, just to hedge their bets, Bryan went & made things personal for Monty – the most clear headed thinker in the bunch. To Monty’s credit, however, he let the slaves have his share of the payback (’cause Monty’s even thoughtful about his vengeance).
what continues to annoy me about Bellamy (besides his endless supply of Mulligans) is the fact that he seems incapable of owning up to his screw ups. In my circle, we call it being wrong & strong. Confronted by the price of his liberation play, he just declared it the right thing to do for the moment. There’s no arguing with that.
Saving a handful, now, at the likely expense of everyone (including the handful), later, did play into Jasper’s (Devon Bostick) new addition to his repertoire: passive aggressive nihilism. I better not find out who asked whether he could be any more annoying, ’cause we got an answer. Yes. Yes, he can.
Jasper has actually been feeding on the prospects of doom. Misery loves company; but why take yourself out of everyone else’s misery, when you can watch all you were going to leave behind go with you? This also gave him a whole new reason to just act out; so, yeah, asked & answered.
Hey, here’s a thought: all the resources Jasper seems set on wasting – seeing as how everybody’s already dead & all – will last longer if he dies first. Just putting that out there, Skaikru, ’cause at this point, frankly, I’m prepared to hate any day, if Jas keeps singing about it (and not well).
Still, it’s hard to mull over Bellamy’s rut, or Jasper’s spiral, without acknowledging the most improved characters of the lot.
I think I’m really going to like Octavia more as an assassin, than wannabe wildling. ‘Octavia, Assassin’ could work, too, provided the affinity for chip-on-shoulder Ilian (that I thought I recognized, anyway), doesn’t get in the way. Her getting all wrapped up in Lincoln was a thing that happened – let her do her own thing, for a while.
The Jaha (Isaiah Washington) redemption is coming. Wait for it. In fact (and despite some hateful evidence to the contrary), Jaha may have the easiest one of them all. He’s got both Clarke & Bellamy making the exact kind of life-or-death calls he’s made, as chancellor, denying them the right to keep judging him. The title refers to her & Bellamy even more than it does Roan, which affords Jaha the luxury of a knowing how-ya-like-me-now smirk. There is, however, the thing about Clarke’s ethical evolution making her increasingly unlikable, all around, and Bellamy has to keep pissing people off, in order to win them back… so maybe Jaha needs better proxies.
At the very least, when word gets out about such decisions (and they always do), he won’t be the most hated person at wherever they all happen to be. He’s also going to work for redemption, of course; so keep all eyes on Wanheda & Geisha-boy – Thelonious is getting a respectable middle-name, again. Or a heroic death – those happen, too.
There was enough evidence, this episode, to suggest more frustrating character turns – and circles – to come, this season. At this point, I’m prepared to let the fans hash out the merits, of their respective picks, among themselves. There have been some encouraging developments, since last season (including a pretty damned good reason for the show to keep its name), and I’d sooner just focus on those.
Of course, if those don’t pan out, these reviews could degrade to the equivalent of me just flipping over tables. As I regret the thought of some you actually looking forward to that, I’m really hoping those elements pan out.
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