It appeared that things were finally looking up for our heroes towards the end of an action-packed The 100 Season 4 Episode 6.
But, of course, I should've known better – in the hour's final moments, everything took a drastic downward turn.
"We Will Rise" followed three intersecting but distinct plots.
One arc followed Bellamy, Clarke, and Roan as they set off on a mission to deliver the last remaining hydrazine to Raven at Becca's lab, after the catastrophic destruction of Arkadia on The 100 Season 4 Episode 5.
Without the hydrazine, Raven wouldn't be able to blast off into space and so wouldn't be able to cook up Becca's nightblood recipe with Abby. (Yes, I'm calling it a recipe.)
This unlikely trio's adventure was easily the most exciting aspect.
The tension was high as the three shaky allies journeyed to Becca's lab to deliver the hydrazine to Raven. Just in case everybody watching wasn't clear on the stakes, the writers went ahead and had Monty lay it all out there for us.
Monty: I do, however, feel the need to reiterate you’re about to drive the last 10 barrels of hydrazine known to man — cargo which Raven needs every last drop of — through hostile territory, packed with warring clans, over uneven roads where one serious bump could cause an explosion that would not only kill all of you, but would wipe out mankind's only remaining chance for survival.
Roan: What could possibly go wrong?
While Roan's sarcastic response was perfect (and delivered flawlessly by Zach McGowan), Monty's line was easily the cringe-worthiest piece of dialogue the show has done in a while.
It's textbook expository dialogue – and it was unnecessary. We know (and certainly Clarke, Roan, and Bellamy know!) that the stakes are high. What's the point of Monty saying it like that? It felt patronizing, weird, and just... off.
In general, I wasn't a fan of several moments of dialogue on "We Will Rise." At various points, it crossed the line into cheesy and cliché.
Another example: Niylah remarking "We're not so different after all" when she saw the Sky People attacking Ilian. I mean, really? That was a little too on-the-nose, for me.
Dialogue complaints aside, the action sequences (as the trio ventured over the rocky, war-torn terrain with literal bombs in their trunk) were great and very nerve-wracking. Zach McGowan jumping from one rover to the other? Amazing.
I also liked the (minor) twist that it wasn't Trikru, as originally expected, who made off with Clarke and the hydrazine while Roan and Bellamy were looking for a way to cross the river. It was Roan's own men, looking out for themselves and willing to turn on their own king to do it.
Azgeda is kind of the worst clan, isn't it? In re-watching "We Will Rise," I did notice a subtle hint that Roan's men would turn on him.
When the group confronted Trikru en route, the Trikru leader (not knowing Ice Nation was around) remarked to Clarke and Bellamy that rumor had it their group was teaming up with other clans to take Ice Nation down.
The Ice Nation traitors shot Roan quite the look at that point, which makes a lot more sense in context, once you know what they did later.
It wasn't only the action that was great. Clarke, Roan, and Bellamy's team-up also allowed for some excellent character work, in brief scenes between Clarke/Bellamy and Roan/Bellamy.
I'm a little bit obsessed with the sassiness that Roan and Bellamy both tend towards when they're around one another. They're more alike than they realize (each is driven by a deep, overriding sense of loyalty), and I think that's why they butt heads so often.
I also loved that they had a little bit of a fanboy moment, talking about how Clarke was truly the only person who was truly fighting to save everyone (not just her own group). Clarke is pretty great, you guys.
Speaking of Clarke being great, can we talk about what I'm sure was Bellamy's near-confession of love?
Bellamy: It's pathetic, right? She hates me, but I keep coming back for more.
Clarke: She's your sister. She's blood. She'll come around and see how special you are.
Bellamy: Clarke... If I don't see you again...
Clarke: No. You will.
"How special you are" was a little much on Clarke's part, but there is virtually no way Bellamy was going to say anything other than how much he cares for Clarke. What else could he possibly need to say to her, in the event that it was the last time he ever saw her?
Also, this face:
Bob Morley is so good at acting just with his face, without any words. SO MUCH ANGST.
Meanwhile, while Bellarke was trying to save the world and having their almost-moment, things were erupting back in Arkadia.
In the aftermath of Alpha station's destruction, it was understandable that the populace would wand revenge on the person responsible – Ilian. Left without guards in the medbay, the increasingly incensed mob had easy access to him.
Chancellor Kane, once again displaying the phenomenal growth he's undergone since his early, ruthless days on The 100 Season 1, was flat-out unwilling to be cowed by mob rule. While the majority of others were willing to let Ilian be killed as punishment for his crime, Monty, Kane, and Niylah were really the only attempting to keep the poor dude alive.
Luckily, Jaha took a break from getting drunk off moonshine with Jasper (WTF was that about?!) long enough to devise a plan to save Ilian.
Octavia, who is clearly still in a tremendous amount of pain over Lincoln's death, reached her breaking point on "We Will Rise." She found herself, quite literally, standing in Pike's place as she held a gun to Ilian's head.
What was kind of weird about Octavia's plot in this hour was how abrupt of a shift it was. While in Polis earlier this season, O was "Skairippa," focusing her energy on indiscriminate killing as an assassin. But before that, she'd certainly seemed much closer to forgiving Bellamy for his involvement with Pike.
By the beginning of "We Will Rise," she'd done a complete 180.
Octavia is dead. She died when you killed Lincoln.Octavia [to Bellamy]
This is very harsh, and I'm not entirely sure what we're meant to think precipitated the resurgence of Octavia's blistering anger at Bellamy all of a sudden. They were all working together as recently as The 100 Season 4 Premiere.
While I'm not fully convinced of Octavia's arc, it's clear that she needed to get to this dark point. She needed to have a complete breakdown and find herself emulating Pike. I wasn't a fan of how literal it was with the Lincoln parallels, and the way she got there was kinda shaky (plot-wise), but two things are certain.
One, Marie Avgeropoulos gave a great performance.
And two, this was the lowest Octavia can possibly get, so it'll only be a journey towards healing from here. Well, it better be, at least – Octavia was treading dangerously close to be Jasper-levels of unsympathetic during this hour.
Back at Becca's lab, Raven was working herself too hard in order to figure out how to successfully fly the rocket into space on minimal fuel. In an unexpectedly satisfying character combination, Raven, Murphy, and Luna worked together to come up with a solution.
These three characters are portrayed by some of the ensemble's strongest actors, so it wasn't too much of a surprise that they did great work together and vibed well.
But I just loved the various scenes the three had in Becca's lab – Luna intervening to calm Raven down when she attacked Murphy in a frenzy, Luna relating to Murphy about hating herself once and finding peace, Luna coming up with the crash-land-in-the-sea idea.
Basically, the moral of the story is that Luna is awesome. I'm legitimately worried that she'll die in some random, shocking way, because what else could possibly go wrong at this point?
And if we do save everyone? Then what? What happens once you've turned us all into nightbloods? Do we just keep on killing each other?Roan [to Clarke]
Unfortunately, Raven successfully simulating the crash-landing wound up being a moot point.
Though they battled their way through Trikru, Skaikru, and rocky terrain, one of Trikru's arrows pierced a hydrazine barrel, leaving Clarke, Roan, and Bellamy one barrel short.
By all appearances, this means that there's now no way to get into space and therefore no way to create the nightblood. Oh, and Raven had a terrible seizure induced by the stress of it all. So now everything is bad again. Business as usual on The 100.
- I watched the scene where Trikru discovered Roan in the trunk and attacked several times. It seems to me that Roan held off his men from killing the little boy who spotted them. If that's accurate, it's a great, subtle character moment for him.
- Niylah is sticking around, which is great. The fact that she and Clarke are sleeping together made sense to me – I mean, Clarke is only human. She needs to destress and enjoy herself *somehow*.
- Also re: Niylah – I loved that she was (somehow) aware of Clarke's relationship with Lexa (did they discuss it offscreen?) and reassured Clarke that Lexa would be proud. That was such a sweet moment.
- Clarke had the sketch that she drew of Lexa on The 100 Season 3 Episode 6 hanging in her room on the wall. Great detail, and it's refreshing to see that Clarke is being giving ample time to grieve Lexa, while not being incapacitated by said grief.
- That Clarke/Kane hug killed me a little inside. A perfect small moment and way for Clarke to give her implicit OK to Kane and Abby's relationship.
- What in the fresh hell is going on with Jasper's arc this season? We're halfway through, and literally all he's doing is being an ass about everything and acting like people trying to survive is a big joke. I'm gonna go ahead and call it – Jasper's arc is a huge misfire, and I'm not really sure how they can possibly remedy it later this season.
What did you think of "We Will Rise"? Share your thoughts by commenting below. Remember that you can re-watch The 100 online here at TV Fanatic anytime!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.