The 100 gives us another incredible episode this week as we deal with the fallout of Clarke’s decision. Written by Shawna and Julie Benson and directed by Henry Ian Cusick The 100 Season 4 Episode 11 “The Other Side” is filled with moving character moments from top to bottom as our characters make crucial choices when faced with the ever nearing apocalypse.
ARKADIA: CHOOSING DEATH
This storyline has gotten increasingly devastating as Season 4 has gone on, but this is a series low. Jasper and his followers’ decision is heartbreaking and hard to watch. I understand Jasper had already given up, and while his final scene is as beautiful as it is upsetting, this isn’t how I wanted him to go out.
In a way you could think of the group’s mass suicide as a way of saving themselves from a much more painful death in the next 24 hours. Nonetheless, it’s a dark, dark place for what was once The 100’s most joyful character to end his story.
Jasper: For all it’s faults, Earth is really beautiful.
It leaves the audience with a sinking feeling of despair, which I believe is meant to be tempered by Monty finding Harper alive, but even that doesn’t quite work the way it should. Harper choosing to live is supposed to inspire hope after everyone else is gone, but instead it undercuts the weight of Jasper’s death.
The immediacy of the scene makes Jasper’s death about their relationship, rather than being about, well, Jasper. Both scenes are deeply emotional, well acted, well shot, and well written, but they shouldn’t have been that close together or necessarily in that order.
RAVEN: CHOOSING LIFE
Harper isn’t the only one choosing to live. Back on Science Island, Raven gets a visitor to combat Becca’s tempting voice in her ear. Sinclair always believed in Raven and always stood by her, encouraged her to keep going and be the best she could be, and he does so now even in death.
Lindsey Morgan honestly deserves an Emmy at this point for the amount of work she puts in. Everyone on the cast of The 100 is incredibly talented, but Morgan goes above and beyond episode after episode, and season after season. And The 100 Season 4 Episode 11, “The Other Side” is no different.
Becca: With me in her brain she’s DaVinici, Mozart, Einstein.
Sinclair: And I choose Raven Reyes over those three hacks any day, and twice on Sunday.
Becca and Sinclair war as the devil and the angel sitting on Raven’s shoulders as they fight over whether she should die in space or find another way to live. Raven is a proud member of my favorite team on The 100, the “find a solution in the face of an impossible choice” team and she chooses to live.
Raven: I don’t choose pain, I choose life.
Raven uses her great, big, wonderful brain to save herself, bringing the audience to tears of joy and triumph. Her determination, brilliance, and heart make Raven one of the best characters on The 100, at this point she is arguably more of a hero than both Clarke and Bellamy.
Now let’s just hope her friends get her to safety before the death wave hits.
POLIS: CHOOSING LOVE
In Polis, everyone is dealing with the fallout of Clarke and Jaha’s decision to close the door before the end of the conclave, essentially stealing the bunker for Skaikru. Jaha has been slowly manipulating Clarke for all of Season 4, on The 100 Season 4 Episode 11, “The Other Side” it becomes clear just how deeply he’s damaged her outlook.
Clarke: Yesterday we were right, today we have to live with being wrong.
This kind of heartless decision making is commonplace for Thelonious Jaha, it’s the kind of Chancellor he was on the Ark in Season 1. But for Clarke it’s a fairly recent development. She’s no stranger to being logical and making tough decisions, but she doesn’t usually ignore her friends, her mother, and her moral compass.
When it comes down to it she cannot kill Bellamy to stand by the choice she thinks is the right one. Hopefully, this break in her momentum will turn her around and bring back the Clarke we used to love, the Clarke that would look for a third option when faced with two impossible options.
Abby and Bellamy team up to open the door and rescue their loved ones and the rest of humanity. These two are so incredibly similar that it’s almost difficult to believe this is the first time they’ve had a storyline together.
Both Bellamy and Abby think with empathy, using their hearts as much as they use their brains, which makes them both such excellent characters. Bellamy’s love for Octavia, and Abby’s love for Kane, along with their shared knowledge that saving everyone is the right thing to do, all combine to motivate the two of them to open the door.
Jaha tries to manipulate the two of them as he has with Clarke and others in the past: locking Bellamy up to keep him from taking action and trying to convince Abby he’s right by using Clarke’s life as her pressure point.
Together Abby and Bellamy are both stronger and smarter than Jaha. Their combined emotional strength shows the audience that following your heart, and trusting your gut, in conjunction with using your mind, are all necessary for making the right decision.
Jaha: I’m sorry for your loss Abby. Marcus was a good man.
Abby: He still is.
Clarke needs to learn from them in this situation, she needs to remember the importance of empathy and compassion. Jaha would convince her that neither of those things matter, but if the human race is going to survive, and be worthy of surviving, they need both logic and heart.
The 100 is excellent at shifting audience perspective each week to show various characters as the hero of the narrative, this week that role easily goes to Abby and Bellamy, and Raven, and Monty in each of their respective stories. Can Clarke redeem herself in the final two episodes of Season 4 and get back on the hero squad?
- Though I aggressively disagree with Clarke’s decision to shut the door, I understand why she made it. As incredibly frustrating as her character has become it’s important to remember she’s still just a kid, and one that’s been manipulated at that.
- Clarke seeking comfort from Niylah is a really tender moment that I find quite endearing. Niylah both judges Clarke’s decision and understands the necessity for Skaikru to be in the bunker. I really hope she gets to keep her place inside.
- I love love love seeing Sinclair back to help Raven save herself.
- Henry Ian Cusick directed this episode beautifully, raise your hand if you’re still heart-eyes over the way he frames these character moments! [RAISES BOTH HANDS]
- Octavia kept Roan’s banishment of Echo in place, what does this mean for the Azgeda warrior? Will she survive primfiaya?
- I love John Murphy entirely.
- Can we please get some actual scenes between Kane and Abby in the final two episodes? The continual affirmation of their relationship has been great, but we haven’t gotten to see them together since The 100 Season 4 Episode 2 “Heavy Lies the Crown.”
- THIS is the Bellamy/Octavia reunion I wanted several episodes ago, I’m glad we finally get to see them reconcile with each other.
What did you think of this episode of The 100? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
The 100 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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