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The 100: “Coup de Grace”

I can’t stand Jasper, but he’s very enjoyable when he’s ready to kill for Monty, which manages to be one of my favorite Jasper moments to date. Anything about Monty is great, and if we’re going to do anything with Jasper, highlighting his total adoration of him is the way to go. Things at Mt. Weather are getting worse and worse, with Harper and Monty both missing, which propels Jasper to take the risky action of confronting Wallace. Season two is only sixteen episodes, so we’ve got five more to go, but the Mt. Weather storyline is really picking up the pace. Bellamy’s facing a harrowing ordeal on the inside, and Jasper’s desperate for answers, and though Mt. Weather’s dragged in some areas this season, it so happens to be the best part of the episode while its Camp Jaha slowing down “Coup de Grace”. 

Turning to Wallace ends up being Jasper’s best bet, as he leads Jasper to Harper (who’s undergoing what’s likely about to be her last procedure) and Monty. It’s all going very well, Wallace arresting Singh and going looking for his son and planning on having the 48 sent away for their safety. But of course there’s a coup and Cage takes over. Following this particular plot hasn’t been all that fun, and it’s easily predicted in this episode, but it throws a nice kink into Bellamy and Maya’s plans.

Maya’s been hard to swallow all season, though as of this episode I question how much of that has to do with her recurring contact with Jasper because she spends the bulk of the episode with Bellamy, and it’s the best thing that’s happened to her character in forever. And it’s the best thing that’s happened to Bellamy in a long while, the episode ten times better because it marks The 100 remembering that Bob Morley is a series regular.

The opening sequence, of Bellamy and the Grounders being showered with water, held with leashes around their necks no less, is horrifying in how dehumanizing it is. The short time we have with Bellamy on his own, caged alongside other Grounders, is wonderful. He makes a new friend, a Grounder woman who spits in his face, and he spares her the horror of being harvested by drawing the attention of the scientists so he gets strung up and bled in her place. It’s so nice to see the resurgence of Bellamy’s heroic side. His journey through Mt. Weather with Maya is a tense one as they dodge anyone who would be able to identify Bellamy as an intruder, and Bellamy’s surprised to find the mountain populated by families, not only the monsters bleeding their friends dry.

At Camp Jaha, we’re treated to a confusing storyline of Abby and Clarke challenging each other for authority. Clarke being targeted in an assassination attempt finally alerts Abby to the fact that they’ve been allowing Clarke to lead them, and she’s not okay with it. The power struggle angle is one that’s well and old now. If the show wanted to play this card, the time to do so was before Clarke was leading negotiations and commanding armies episodes ago. I can’t remember the last time Abby made a decision for the good of her people, it’s been Clarke doing all the heavy lifting, and they’ve all been content to let her. So the change of heart now just feels cheap, like the show remembered it hinted at this earlier and forgot and decided now was the appropriate time to bring it back. It feels like a waste of time to see Abby trying to pull rank in how they handle a prisoner, with Clarke finally walking the guy out of there with an announcement that she’s the one in charge. And Abby, not willing to go to the mat with her own claim, lets her.

There’s no reason for Clarke to give up leadership now. She is the leader, but it’s not as compelling as it once was. There’s no longer any question of what the right options are, not like last season when we had people arguing about what the right course was. Whatever was the right decision, we never knew. It was just whatever consequences came with them. Now every choice Clarke makes is the right one, and everyone else is just following her orders. It saps a lot of the energy out of everything, including this very episode. It’s all very typical, and I can only hope The 100 figures out a way to get back to it’s earlier quality before the season is up.

Stray Observations

  • Count of times Clarke thought it was wise to snap at Raven: 2
  • Let’s make Bellamy’s new Grounder friend a regular please.
  • No one’s noticed Jaha, Murphy and a dozen or so other people, are missing.  Shouldn’t that be a concern when you’re in the midst of a conflict with one group and in a tense alliance with another?
  • That awkward moment where you encounter the son of the man you killed a few scenes ago.
  • Raven: “You killed Finn and I didn’t give up!” Bless Raven.
  • Octavia’s got more interesting things happening finally, and I’m thankful for it. She’s almost full Grounder now, with the braided hair and war paint. Indra’s putting her through her paces, but she’s torn between her allegiances to Indra and to Clarke. God willing this will be the source of that more interesting, more complicated storytelling I’ve been looking for.

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