I am an immense fan of CW's The 100 and have been since it first began to air back in March. the premise is both intriguing and original, something that is hard to accomplish on television these days. The show always manages to keep the audiences on the edge of their seats and wondering what will happen next and last night's mid-season finale was no exception. If you haven't watched the show, be warned, spoilers below.
Last week, in an effort to secure peace and unite against the Mountain Men, Clarke, Bellamy and all the others from the Ark sought to prove their worth to Lexa, commander of the Grounders. While they were successful and Lexa ultimately agreed to peace, she demanded that Finn be handed over to submit to Grounder justice for massacring their people in search of Clarke. This cliffhanger ending brought us to last night's episode.
Unfortunately for Clarke and company, Lexa and the Grounders will accept nothing less than Finn's life, or else they will massacre the Ark people at Camp Jaha. The episode took many twists and turns as the show is often prone to do, and it created the perfect air of suspense over wether or not Finn would survive.
One of the biggest highlights of the episode was a return to the Ark station via flashbacks as a post-apocalyptic story in space was one of the best and most unique aspects of the show. When Chancellor Jaha left the Ark earlier in the season I was disappointed because I had thought we had said goodbye to the Ark. It was one of the best parts of the first season to see the fight for survival up in space as well as the fight for survival on the ground. It is also helpful to remember and see where these characters came from and remind us they are indeed strangers on the ground and are still adjusting to a different way of life while at the same time honoring where they came from.
I would point to this as a model for shows like Once Upon a Time that tend to force flashbacks on us every episode; they work much better when used occasionally and it also helped the audience learn more about Finn and thereby give us a reason to want him to survive. By focusing on his earlier relationship with Raven it showed a different side to his character that we haven't seen much of, that of a caring person just looking to help out those he loves versus focusing on survival.
Romance certainly played a big part in this episode as both Raven and Clarke were the frontrunners in trying to find a way to save Finn from his fate. This in turn helped drive much of the plot of the episode as they played a cat and mouse game with both the people of Camp Jaha, including Clarke's mother the now-chancellor Abby, and the grounders.It was an especially tense yet satisfying moment when Raven turned on Murphy, the 100's residential character to hate, and proposed offering him up instead of Finn which would have been fine with just about everyone. Ultimately, however, it was Finn who, recognizing the danger to the camp if he lived, decided to offer himself up. Which left us with those final minutes of nail biting.
As the Grounders prepared to burn Finn at the stake in sight of Camp Jaha with the people of the Ark watching, Clarke, Bellamy, and Raven decided for one last try. This was why this episode succeeded; what should have been a simple dilemma over wether or not to let Finn die turned into a chase to see who could come up with the better alternative. Bellamy proposing Finn run away, Raven proposing first Murphy's death and then killing Lexa, and finally Clarke who made perhaps the hardest decision of this show.
After failing to dissuade Lexa from the execution Clarke asked for one final goodbye. What should have been just a tearful goodbye and Clarke professing her love for Finn, turned into the ultimate plot twist of the season. Clarke used the scrap metal dagger Raven gave her not to kill Lexa but, wait for it, to kill Finn.
Looking back this was perhaps the best possible outcome to the episode. Unfortunately it is clear the Finn would not survive the episode. However, it is confirmed that a death at the hands of the Grounders would have been long and torturous for him prompting Clarke to spare him the pain with a quick death.
This episode was perhaps the best since the first season bringing back the sense of real danger and at the same time the sense of triumph that the second season has been lacking. Nothing in this episode from the Ark flashbacks to the return of Marcus Kane felt forced or out of place. Similarly nothing felt left out of the episode; while the 42 trapped in Mt. Weather were noticeably absent and it would have been nice to see what was happening considering the cliffhanger of that storyline last week, it would have been distracting to the main plot of this episode and thus was wisely put on hold.
The episode also helped develop the plot and move forward in the story as the conflict between the Grounders and Camp Jaha was beginning to drag. It has also helped further set up for the long awaited confrontation with Mount Weather, though judging by the promo for the next episode, that may not yet happen. Still, the turmoil and sacrifice faced by our characters in this episode was what made this show worth watching in the first place and it was nice to return o what made this show great to begin with.
Overall, "Spacewalker" delivered in all areas and gave audiences exactly the kind of storytelling they had been hoping for in the second season. Finn will be sorely missed as he brought a lot of heart and dedication to the show, but hopefully this will allow for Bellamy and Clarke to develop their relationship. It will also be interesting to see where Clarke's actions put her friendship with Raven.