In mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mortals. It’s a metaphor representing human intelligence and inspiration, a development that separated us from the animals and gave us the capacity to know, after a fashion, the power of the gods. The fire stolen in this week’s episode of The 100, “Stealing Fire,” was both literal and figurative, but like Prometheus, Clarke now races to give the Grounders a touch of inspiration and reason in the hope to avoid all out war. Meanwhile, we lose another beloved cast member as Pike demonstrates his commitment to hardline rule, except now the cracks are really starting to show.
Let’s start with the death, and by that we mean the member of the main cast that will no longer be appearing the show, because, as usual, there was a lot of death. Sadly, we bid goodbye to Lincoln this week, the Grounder who served as a valuable bridge between the Grounders and Skaikru. Lincoln pays the price for helping Kane and Sinclair escape and meeting a similar fate, gunned down in the mud by Pike. It was a powerful moment on its own, Lincoln with all his quite strength submitting to his death because it means the other Grounders in Skaikru custody will be spared, while Octavia looks on unable to do anything to save him.
So why did this feel so anti-climactic? Is it because we know that Ricky Whittle will soon be walking with American Gods? Partially, but it’s also because Lincoln’s been pretty thoroughly benched this season. The last couple of episodes he’s been locked up with the other Grounders in Arkadia, and cut off from Octavia as she’s been Die Harding in the woods around the camp and journeying back and forth to Polis. On top of that, the finale seemed rather rushed as the script tried to ground through so much plot (and we didn’t even touch on Raven’s sudden spasm from the Jaha/A.L.I.E. agenda before the break).
On the other hand, Lincoln did get a pretty bad ass last call. Pike asks him if he has any last words, and Lincoln says, “Not for you.” Nicely done. He then looks to the sky and says in Grounder “May we meet again,” before a really graphic (by CW standards) cap in the dome. It was a wonderfully constructed scene, but it just kind of washed over me. Despite your thoughts on the way Lexa’s death was handled, it was at least given a proper sense of gravity as played out in the reactions of both Clarke and Titus. By comparison, Lincoln was dispatched quite clinically.
Titus is the second person on this week’s “In Memorium” segment, with most of the Nigh Bloods making it an even baker’s dozen in the dead pool. Speaking of clinical, the Ice Nation’s Ontari kills her competition in their sleep, rather than face-off against them in mortal combat, which she was pretty likely to win, but waste not/want not I guess. It’s a twist of the knife to Titus, who did seem to be holding his giblets together only barely after accidentally killing Lexa, that he’s now forced to hand over the Flame to someone who straight up murdered her fellow Night Bloods in their beds and take the throne rather than win it in the new old fashioned way.
Clarke, although deeply upset, and so much so that even Murphy takes a break from snark to try and be comforting, put all that aside to get back in the game. Although Aden, in a rather sweet moment, tells Clarke that he and the other Night Bloods swore to Lexa that they would protect Skaikru, Ontari wants to make wiping out Skaikru priority number one. For Clarke there was only one option despite the danger: snatch the Flame and cheese out of Polis before it can be implanted in Ontari. Murphy reluctantly follows.
I thought for a moment that this was going to lead to Clarke perhaps ending up with the Flame implanted in her, a last ditch move to bring the Grounders and Skaikru together as one people by linking the “reincarnated” Commander with one of Skaikru’s leaders. Admittedly, that would be simplistic, and The 100 doesn’t too simplistic. Instead, it winds together two dangling threads, the Night Blood from Lexa’s ascension that wasn’t killed, and Lincoln’s friend Luna, the one that he and Octavia were always planning to meet on the coast. It turns out, they were one and the same. Now in Luna is not just the hope of new life for two star-crossed lovers, but the hope for peace amongst the Grounder factions.
The identity of Luna will be an interesting reveal because I do wonder what connection she’ll have to Lexa beyond the fact they were both in the same class of potential Commanders. Between the way Lexa talked about her in “Thirteen,” and the backstory about how she just ran away during the conclave, I wonder if Luna is Lexa’s sister, perhaps even her twin sister. That last part seems a tad obvious, so I wouldn’t put money on it, but it’s a development that could give Clarke an even more personal drive in her new role as the keeper of the Flame. That’s got to be a better deal from the “Commander of Death,” but it does mean that the known world is going to be chasing after Clarke again.
As for Murphy, I knew the moment that Titus sent him to escort Ontari to the Commander’s suite to buy a few more moments with Clarke that he would be in over his head again. It seems to be Murphy’s fate to bounce from one horrible situation to the other, but what’s going to become of him now? On the one hand, he knows that Ontari doesn’t have the Flame inside her, but on the other he’s shown her little regard for the fate of his people despite her promise to wipe them out. Murphy and Ontari definitely have a moment, but they’re expert scammers and survivors too so this will be a very interesting relationship to watch.
Other relationships will be impacted going forward. Any sibling fondness between Bellamy and Octavia will surely be tested now that Pike’s killed Lincoln, not matter how firmly Bellamy has disavowed Pike’s growing totalitarianism; Kane and Abbie shared a moment and a kiss, but any romance for them is not likely to get much progress any time soon with Kane on the run; and Monty’s mom has covered up for her son helping the rebels in their escape from Arkadia, which forces her to confront the idea that there’s shades of grey here. Either way, Pike is losing friends and making more determined enemies.
The interesting subtext of the episode was the crossover between technology and faith, as Titus struggled with the fact that his faith can’t co-exist with the dire real world political circumstances; while Clarke strives to hope that part of the legend is true and that Lexa does continue to exist in someway as a part of the Flame despite knowing it’s technology. It will be interesting to see where Clarke’s journey takes her, even though it almost seems certain that it will continue to cut her off from the main action.
Meanwhile, with seven episodes left in the season, I can’t help put feel that there’s still an awful lot of story to be crammed in, and the rushed way that Lincoln’s death was handled leaves me a tad concerned because we now have our characters split off on about five different journeys, and while they’re all tangentially connected, they’re all fairly well-defined on their own with a wide variety of measures and consequences to be explored. Only The 100 can take three weeks off and leave you exhausted again after one episode.