The 100 Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: "Stronger Together"

Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
We’ve got a classic The 100 conundrum, then another one, and some Octavia being a badass scenes, so let’s just start off by applauding this great episode. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, someone needs to slap some sense into these fools!

But before we get to Clarke, let’s briefly go over what happened in Polis this week. We open the episode with a devastating flashback scene of a man, Ilian, being controlled by A.L.I.E (hey girl, nice to get a glimpse of you again). If only he’d waited like, 30 seconds before killing his brother at her behest, because this is the moment when A.L.I.E was shut down! He wakes to see the horror he has wrought as his dying mother proclaims, “Avenge me!”

Cut to Ilian with an ambassador named Raphael who’s attempting to challenge Roan for power. Since Roan is hurt, this guy might actually have a chance in a fight, but since we never see him shirtless, it’s kinda like “CW, we’re on to your games, this guy ‘bout to die.”

And die he does at the hand of this season’s early MVP: Octavia. Side note: I love how feminine her warrior look is, like you can being a ruthless killer but still rock a great high pony and a fashion-forward hooded cape. Octavia takes matters into her own hands after Marcus fails to get Raphael to back down and glides into his chambers, undetected. She says if his beef is with Skaikru he should challenge her, not Roan. He responds “you’re not worth my blade.” Boy bye! She knifes him in the ear, instantly killing him, then wipes up the blood and puts the knife in his hand, making it look like nothing. Then she eerily says, “Long live the king.” It’s a perfect scene! So, Roan fights on another day. Props to whoever shot Octavia’s reaction when everyone finds out that Raphael died, briefly putting her in focus behind Ilian. She’s just like “Yeah, don’t step to me.” Anyway I hope this season ends with her becoming the Grounder queen when she somehow saves them all.

Oh also, this episode starts with Abby and Marcus getting it on! Honestly, good for these people for trying to squeeze some happiness out of their constantly tormented lives.

So now we get to the main thrust of the episode: our crew trying to save humanity from the impending doom of radiation. Bellamy at one point hilariously gets mad that they’ve been trying to think of ideas for two whole days! Maybe it’s because none of you are equipped to handle this! Raven smartly suggests that they crowd source what to do. If we’re to believe her (which I’m only 75% gonna do) they can’t stop the reactors from breaking down they can only ride out the storm (read: radiation that will incinerate them so it’s like they never existed). But instead of taking Raven’s very smart suggestion they just decide to go all in on Monty’s epiphany to use the Ark as their shelter. Guys, if it took you two days to come up with this idea… Again, it's further proof you need someone smarter. Anyway we’ll get back to this.

So, the first classic The 100 conundrum our team faced in this episode was at the Farm Station. Bellamy, Bryan, Nate, Harper, and Monty go to retrieve a hydrogenerator, crucial for the survival of the 500 remaining Skaikru people. They are instantly confronted with Ice Nation who’ve taken up residence there and also enslaved some Skaikru people long thought dead. These people are being moved the next day and the only weapon our crew has is to make the hydrogenerator a bomb. So now they have a dilemma: get the water supplier that will allow their 500 people back at camp to survive and ride out the radiation (allegedly) or save these 25 or so people and doom the 500 (potentially). Now given Bellamy’s earlier declaration to “save who we can save today” and the fact that all the men on this show are terrible at thinking about the long game (thus leaving the women to clean up their messes) it should be obvious what they chose.

That’s right, they blow up that hydrogenerator and free their people. Hope these new guys don’t drink a lot of water! This did lead to another great moment though where Monty sets free the prisoners and lets them murder their captor. Monty is secretly crazy-ruthless. I mean, never forget, he killed his mom. Any way, when I first watched, I was mad at them for thinking so shortsightedly. But the more I think about it the more useless I think this whole “Ark as shelter” plan is…so honestly, good. Hopefully them destroying the water source will expedite the day they realize this is a terrible plan.

But that day is not today, because Clarke really can’t come up with anything else! Did anyone else laugh at the scene of Clarke trying to do the math for how to keep people alive then throwing the paper, defeated? That’s like me trying to get those astronauts on Apollo 13 home with my iPhone calculator. Look, I love Clarke! Her particular brand of ferociousness, mixed with fierce loyalty has honestly kept these people alive these past three seasons. She’s had to make instant, impossible decisions with unthinkable consequences and yet she’s stuck around (mostly, except for the start of season 3). But, she’s not equipped to handle this, it’s over her head, and someone needs to tell her that, in a way she’ll understand.

Instead we get Jasper and Jaha’s useless warnings. Look, even if the writers didn’t hit us over the head with it, it’s obvious that there are some parallels between what’s going on now and what the Council did on the Ark. The difference now though is: they have many, many natural resources. They aren’t trapped in a confined space in (literal) space. Of course Jaha can offer some interesting musings on the choices you make while in power and Raven and Jasper can condemn Clarke for not trusting her people and acting like the Council, but at the end of the day, it’s just so different. There are so many more options! So that adds an extra layer of stupidity to it beyond simply being an examination of how power can make people dictators and strip their humanity.

It’s just not necessarily an impossible situation! Here’s my brief brainstorm or things they should consider: maybe they need to salvage Mount Weather for anything that wasn’t exploded and see if they have tech there that can make a hydrogenerator, maybe there are more fallout shelters around the world they can scrape for parts (or some people can stay in), maybe the Air and Space Museum (they’re in D.C.) is buried near them and has useful tech. Maybe these are all bad ideas, but that’s because I’m not a frickin’ scientist. Someone on this effing planet has to have a better idea. Crowd source, like Raven says. Just, you know, don’t put all your eggs in one basket guys. That never works out!

But maybe what the episode is examining is how Clarke hates not having a plan and it leads to her jumping on the first thing she thinks might work and then not backing down. Or maybe it’s that she’s too afraid to relinquish control, because of how bad everyone is at taking charge. It’s fine to point out the problem, Jasper, but maybe get on your high horse after you’ve stopped singing about hating Mondays and actually saved the day a few times. Honestly, does any one else really seem capable of being a leader? I mean, besides Indra, duh, but she doesn’t know about radiation.

So, doing what she thinks is best, Clarke decides that she can tell her people the truth, but not the whole truth. She says she promises they’ll survive if they all help fix the Ark, even though she knows that Raven has already said only 100 can survive without a hydrogenerator. It’s actually unclear how much she tells them (they cut to the end of her speech), but the people seem to respond well. Anyway, given how mad Raven is (she tells Clarke her father would be proud, sarcastically), hopefully she’ll eventually come to her senses and actually crowd source this thing.

We know for certain that this plan isn’t going to hold forever, because it definitely excludes Grounders. And Clarke promised Roan that they’d save the Grounders. And Roan told Echo in this episode that she could go check up on Clarke and her progress. Whoops!

My one theory is that Bryan and Nate should kiss more in scenes like a real couple would… oh also, that Riley is going to be their secret weapon, in some way. IDK I just feel like they said his name a lot for him to not be important. If they would’ve said “Oh great it’s Riley, our radiation expert!” when they found him I’d have been fine with that.

Finally they use the phrase “stronger together” twice in this episode, and it has to be a nod, right? It was too much for my already broken heart, so this is where I leave you. May we meet again!

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