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Boom! Bows! and Wow, What a Masterpiece!

A Review of The 100's 3x03: "Ye Who Enter Here"

I want to start this review by saying that, indisputably, “Ye Who Enter Here” is a perfect hour of television.

If you know me, then you know that I don’t say this lightly. If you don’t know me, please allow me to explain why I believe that The 100’s 3×03 was so ridiculously great. As always, there will be PLENTY OF SPOILERS BELOW, so I definitely recommend that you don’t read this review if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

Alright, let’s kick it off.

Do you know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and you tense with anticipation when you’re going up, up, up and then you think your heart will probably give out once you start the fall? And then the fall happens, and it’s nothing but excitement and thrill and plain awesomeness and once it’s over -too soon, always too soon- you just want to get in line just so you can do it all over again? Well, that’s what it feels watching The 100 for me.

Season 3 has been nothing but mind-blowing so far, and it is just starting! I remember that the skeptical part of me lived in constant fear because every time I picked up the screeners I would think “there’s no way this show can top their last episode, nope, not at all” but then I would watch a new episode, and I would see The 100 managing to become even bolder and better, and it would leave me gaping once again because of how truly great this show can be.

I want you to know that when I call an episode “a perfect hour of television” it’s because every component of the show that I have taken into consideration has surpassed my highest expectations by miles. The script, the direction, the original score, the cinematography, the editing, the set production, the hair and makeup… every single one of these departments have continuously outdone themselves in season 3 and it’s paying off in a big way.

Writer Kim (bloody genius) Shumway delivered us an episode that had everything I could have asked for and then some more. From showing us Polis in all its capital glory, to tricking us with plot twists that left us breathless, to writing scenes that left us gasping with both horror and excitement; Kim is a master at what she does and it clearly shows in the sharp dialogue of the characters and the smart set-up always present in her episodes. The direction of “Ye Who Enter Here” by Antonio Negret is also equally brilliant, from the composition of every shot to the haunting, claustrophobic chase scene inside the hallways of Mount Weather; the pace of the episode feels like there’s a natural tension lurking in the shadows, building up anticipation and fear until the worst happens and you’re left stunned.

I think Negret’s directing style complementing Shumway’s writing talent so perfectly was what made the episode stand out for me. That, along superb acting from Eliza Taylor, Lindsey Morgan and Alycia Debnam-Carey; the introduction of Polis -a huge and gorgeous new set that opens up the universe of The 100 even more- and the outstanding musical composition by Tree Adams, really made “Ye Who Enter Here” a masterful episode that will go down as one of the best of the show for sure.

That being said, let’s talk about plot.

Bellamy, Octavia, Pike and Echo

In the last episode, Abby decided to open Mount Weather in order to use the hospital inside to help both Sky People and Grounders alike. However, in this episode, we realize that not only did Pike and half of Farm Station move into Mount Weather (apparently there was no space left for them in Arkadia) but that Sinclair is also trying to bring back the electricity to power up the whole place, with Raven’s help. Slowly, the Sky People are taking over a fortress that doesn’t belong to them.

Octavia is immediately pissed when she sees that Pike has made himself at home; she knows the Grounders will be angry by this and she knows that their momentary peace isn’t as stable as she would like it to be. But Pike just shrugs off Octavia’s concern and laughs at her like it means nothing. Am I the only one that sees a Pike vs Octavia smack down coming soon? Am I the only one that sees Bellamy standing in the middle of such stand-off, confused and indecisive, for the first time actually picking someone else’s side rather than Octavia’s? We get a sweet moment between Octavia and Bellamy in which Octavia confesses to him that she doesn’t want to stay with the Sky People because she doesn’t fit in with them, and then Bellamy just smiles like he understands and he tells her that she’ll always fit in with him.

The relationship between the Blakes was a bit rocky at the very beginning of the show -Bellamy’s over-protectiveness of Octavia was, naturally, driving her crazy- but once Bellamy realized that his little sister was all grown up, the relationship between them shifted to a more mature place and they have been unbreakable ever since. I have a feeling this won’t last too long, however, because Bellamy keeps making decisions that go against everything Octavia stands for, and I don’t think Octavia will endure much more before she decides that enough is enough. Octavia and Bellamy’s relationship will break eventually and it won’t be pretty -we all saw it happen in that spectacular first trailer, although with The 100 not everything is as it seems. The road ahead for the Blakes seems like it will be nothing but pain; I’m hopeful, though, that one of the most amazing relationships of the show will manage to pull through, somehow. I refuse to give up on Bellamy and Octavia Blake. I just do.

Echo of Azgeda is also back for this episode and boy, did I miss seeing Tasya Teles on my TV! The Grounder from the Ice Nation (last seen when she safely escaped Mount Weather after Lexa made the deal that saved all her people, but betrayed her alliance with Clarke and the Skaikru) shows up at Mount Weather’s doors, claiming that the summit is a trap and that the Ice Nation sent an assassin to Polis to kill all the members of the Skaikru present. Of course, Bellamy doesn’t question her because Echo once saved his life -and this is where Bellamy falls short as a leader- he’s constantly and recklessly impulsive, and he never plans ahead. He should have stopped to think things through, he should have asked why Echo went to Mount Weather looking for him instead of going to Arkadia, where the army of the Sky People still resides. Hell, Bellamy even allows and agrees with Pike when he tells Sinclair that they need to arm the missiles. What would the Sky People have done with these weapons, had they actually managed to override the codes? Bomb the Ice Nation? Launch missiles towards Polis? Kill even more innocent people? Honestly, the Arkers need to go back to school and attend a class called “How To Make Right and Smart Decisions 101.” Apparently, Clarke and Kane were the only ones that didn’t skip it.

Pike has the right idea when he starts to grill Echo, interrogating her about who she is, why she is helping them, and how she knows what she knows. But before he can get too far, Bellamy jumps in to defend the Ice Nation warrior and has Pike back down. Octavia also falls victim to the trap because Echo is a Grounder, and Octavia considers her one of her own people, therefore making the mistake of trusting her blindly. Echo plays them easily, and they fall right into her trap without realizing that the assassin from the Ice Nation has already infiltrated Mount Weather, his real target.

Bellamy, Octavia, Echo, and Pike part for Polis in a hurry, hoping to reach the summit on time so they can stop the assassination. And here is when the one thing I cannot understand -no matter how hard I try- happens. Not only did they completely disregard Polis’ “no weapons” law, once the group reaches the tunnels, they stumble upon two Grounders that are manning the lift that runs inside the tower of Polis. Echo tells them that they need to go through them, and of course, Pike charges against one of the Grounders without a second thought, killing him right away. This is to be expected of Pike, because he thinks all the Grounders are the same and he obviously wants to wipe them all out. But when Bellamy charges against the other Grounder, he ends up killing him, too. And the thing is, he absolutely didn’t have to. Bellamy knows how to incapacitate Grounders in hand-to-hand combat because Lincoln taught him how to fight. Bellamy was literally just two episodes ago reminding Monty, Raven, and Miller to use their weapons to incapacitate, not shoot-to-kill. Bellamy did not have a legitimate reason to snap that Grounder’s neck, and yet, he did. Those Grounders were not Ice Nation warriors who attacked first; for all we know, they were just two regular guys doing their job in peaceful Polis. Two Grounders that didn’t deserve to die. Pike is despicable and ignorant and cruel, so his actions do not surprise me. But Bellamy Blake -the same guy that almost blew himself up in order to stop the acid fog from wiping out hundreds of Grounders- killing a man just for the hell of it, that, that definitely stunned me.

And it was even worse, because when Octavia tells him -rightfully angry- “What is wrong with you? You didn’t have to kill them!” Bellamy simply replies with a “Yes, I did.” He didn’t feel any remorse for his actions, he just took a life like it meant nothing to him just because he could, and in his mind, he sees nothing wrong with it. I would love to know his reasoning, I would love to know how Bellamy Blake justifies the act of killing a man even though he didn’t need to. Bell used to be a character that I respected because of how much he had changed for the better, but after what he did in this episode, after the way he reacted, I simply cannot see him the same way. I cannot forgive and I won’t forget, and I have a feeling that for Octavia, it will be the same.

After that whole mess, Bellamy, Octavia, and Pike manage to interrupt the summit right after Kane receives the brand that marks the Sky People as the thirteenth clan of the coalition -how the hell did they know how to find the right room without Echo? we just don’t know- and realize that they stormed into the room because Echo had manipulated them, and the assassin was in fact inside Mount Weather all along. Yikes, Bellamy is 3 for 3 when it comes to screwing up when he’s not supposed to. Will the guy catch a break? We’ll see.

Polis

You should come with me to the capital. Polis will change the way you think about us.” Lexa said these words to Clarke right before the betrayal at the Mountain, but even though they could never fulfil this fantasy (not in the way Lexa wanted, anyways), what the Commander said to Clarke still remained true. In “Ye Who Enter Here” we were introduced to Polis, the capital of the Grounders and I have to tell you, it was absolutely beautiful. The department in charge of set design did an amazing job setting up the trading posts, the extras, the old ruins and the little details around what was mostly great looking VFX. And the same can absolutely be said for the costume department. The 100 has an incredibly talented crew that works hard and always strives to give the audience the best possible outcome. We first saw their hard work reflected in Arkadia, and now we’re seeing it in Polis, the newest set on the show that everyone already adores.

In just a few shots of Polis, we saw a more refined side of the Grounders that we didn’t know existed before. How advanced and organized the Grounders’ culture really is, for example. People from all kinds of clans wearing all kinds of different clothing. Kids playing on the streets, happy and free, running around without a care in the world. Honest, hard-working men, women, and families earning their keep on trade posts that offered diverse kinds of foods and handmade objects. More than a capital, Polis is a city of peace. It is a city where weapons from outsiders aren’t allowed because violence isn’t welcomed. It’s a city where its inhabitants are kind and joyful despite language barriers. Polis is a city that captivates the audience as much as it captivated the Sky People, and I, for once, cannot wait to see what more it has to offer.

Mount Weather + Raven

Before we go on talking about Polis and Lexa, however, I want to go back to Mount Weather. I want to talk about the fact that Raven and Gina were basically best friends. I want to talk about how beautiful it was to see her bantering with Gina like nothing was ever bothering her. I want to talk about the fact that, no matter how much pain she’s in, how much pain she’s hiding, Raven Reyes will always be super smug because she knows she has what it takes to be smug. I want to talk about the fact that she doesn’t let her disability define her. I want to talk about the fact that Raven Reyes was in charge of bringing back the power to Mount Weather when -ironically enough- she was the one that blew up most of it. I want to talk about the fact that Raven feels like she doesn’t deserve anything good, when in fact she deserves everything. I want to talk about the fact that Raven honestly believes she’s just broken inside. I want to talk about how Lindsey Morgan knocked that scene out of the park with her incredible talent. I want to talk about everything Raven Reyes, because she’s the most amazing hero on The 100 and because she deserves better than all the pain she’s in, and no one can tell me otherwise.

I also want to talk about Gina, who managed to force herself to stay alive after being stabbed multiple times just so she could warn Raven and Sinclair about the assassin setting off Mount Weather’s self-destruct command. Gina, who saved at least two lives before dying as the brave woman that she was. Gina, who told Bellamy “don’t do anything stupidly heroic” died being a hero herself, while Bellamy ended up being anything but that. Gina, who has joined Anya and Wells in the “the fans wants us back from the afterlife” kru. She was a great character, and I’ll definitely miss her strength and kindness. After all, there aren’t many like her around The 100.

Heda and the Coalition

Politically speaking, we learn a lot about Heda and the coalition in this episode.

The small, detailed insights that we get are rich with information and possibilities about what will, and what could, happen in the next couple of episodes. We get a first look at the 11 ambassadors from the other 11 clans -it seems that Lexa is not only the leader of the coalition but also the representative from the Trikru. We get to know more about their rules and ceremonies. We get to dig even deeper into the kind of government that brings peace to all Grounders, a form of government that Lexa created all by herself. A government that is now hanging by a thread.

We know for a fact that it was Clarke’s actions at Mount Weather that gave Queen Nia and the Ice Nation the final push to move against Lexa. Because of Lexa’s retreat from battle -because she chose to save all her people rather than to fight and lose, perhaps, hundreds of them- the Ice Nation is telling everyone that Lexa is weak, and therefore, doesn’t deserve to lead the coalition. They are coming at Lexa with everything they have: Queen Nia “accidentally” invading Trikru territory with her army, Roan trying to get Clarke to kill Lexa, the Ice Nation ambassador refusing to bow before the Commander in the middle of a coalition meeting.

But Lexa has been playing this chess match practically since she was born. More than just a great warrior, the Commander is clever, observant and patient – something that cannot be said about Queen Nia, who seems to be once again underestimating Lexa like she did years before. The Ice Queen thought that she could destroy Heda by torturing and murdering her beloved (RIP Costia), and yet, Heda ended up forcing Nia into joining an alliance that helped ensure peace for all Grounders. Costia’s death broke Lexa’s heart, there is no doubt about that, but it never shattered the Commander’s will. This time, Nia seems to think that she’s actually ahead of the game. She anticipated that Echo would manage to fool the Sky People into believing that the summit was a trap. She has Carl Emerson working for her, a man who knows all there is to know about the Sky People. She has Clarke Griffin by the Commander’s side, as everyone predicted (honestly, Clarke and Lexa would be awful secret agents, they cannot be subtle AT ALL). She has all the 10 remaining ambassadors by her side. And she got the war against Lexa that she was looking for. It all seems to be working in Nia’s favor. However, what the Ice Queen fails to realize is that the Commander is already a grandmaster at chess.

In my opinion, Lexa’s brain is as mighty and deadly as her daggers and swords. The Commander is pragmatic and perceptive, and she understands that all the pieces of the game are never what they seem. She kills the first ambassador of the Ice Nation for disrespecting her because she knows she needs to make a point. Kicking that warrior off the top of the tower was not a cruel, mindless kill. Lexa wasn’t showing off her might just because she could; she was sending a warning to every single one of the ambassadors: “If you want to go to war against me, this is what you should expect.” Lexa knows there’s a conspiracy brewing against her. She’s known Nia long enough to anticipate war as the Ice Queen’s next move. Lexa knows that her own people are planning to overthrow her and she knows that her life is more at risk in Polis -surrounded by traitors and guards that can be bought- than it ever was in the battlefield. And so, Lexa trains the Nightbloods – kids who have the potential to receive the spirit of the Commander at the conclave once she passes away. She teaches all she knows to her likely successors; working as hard as she can to ensure that the next Heda will be a great warrior and a just leader.

The Commander has her own agenda, and she won’t be intimidated by Nia’s actions. Lexa is set on making the Sky People the 13th clan of the coalition even when she knows that everyone else will be against it. Even when her own trusted adviser tells her that she’s making a mistake. Lexa is fiercely in control of everything around her, even when it doesn’t show. She’s relying on Wanheda to bow before her because she knows that is the best chance they all have to avoid another war. Seeing the Commander of Death bow before their Heda would elevate Lexa even more; it would mean no more talks about Lexa’s weakness, it would mean that her authority would be unquestionable, it would make the Commander even more magnificent that she already is. It would mean peace, if only for a little while longer.

Heda doesn’t want the power of Wanheda so she would be more feared. She needs Wanheda to bow because it will help her hold off -if only for a moment- a war that seems inevitable. Heda doesn’t want to make the Sky People the 13th clan just to antagonize Queen Nia, she wants to unite Grounders and Arkers alike just so she can protect them and keep them from having to fight a war they couldn’t possibly win. Everything Heda does is for the sake of keeping her people safe. But I think that for me, the most amazing thing about this whole ordeal was the amount of faith, trust, and love that Lexa put in Clarke. Against all odds and against all advices, Lexa put her life and the fate of her people in Clarke’s hands. Because she knows who Clarke is as a leader and as a person, and the Commander knew that regardless of how hurt and angry Clarke was, she would eventually see the bigger picture. Had Clarke decided to leave when Lexa gave her the option, all hell would have broken loose. But she stayed, and Wanheda bowed, just like Lexa knew would happen. Because this time, Lexa chose to follow her heart instead of her head, and her heart trusted that Clarke would do the right thing.

Titus tells the Commander at the end of the episode “I hope you know what you’re doing” and I honestly believe that Lexa has never been more sure of anything. Everyone thinks that Clarke is Lexa’s weakness but what they fail to realize is that Clarke is the only one that makes Lexa stronger than she already is. Love is not weakness, love is a weapon. The best weapon there is. And the love Lexa feels for Clarke is a weapon that she will wield proudly; the one weapon that will make her invincible, and it’s a weapon that she’ll protect with her life if need be.

Clarke Griffin and Prince Roan of Azgeda

The building “partnership” between Clarke and Roan continues to fascinate me. This time, we see Roan approach Clarke with a plan to kill Lexa because he knew that Clarke was the only one that could get close enough to actually kill the Commander. The Prince of Azgeda is obviously still bitter about Lexa going back on her word to lift his banishment and he wants her gone (which reinforces my belief that it was Lexa who banished Roan from the Ice Nation in the first place). And so he tells Clarke that Azgeda will protect the Skaikru once they take over the Coalition if she helps them. When Clarke says that she heard the Ice Queen is apparently even worse than Lexa, Roan replies with “that’s because you have been talking to Lexa,” implying that maybe the Commander hasn’t been truthful.

But Clarke is the master of manipulation and she knows when she’s being played, so of course, she doesn’t fall for it. However, I do wonder why she didn’t tell Lexa about Roan’s plan. Was it because she knew that Lexa would kill Roan on the spot if she knew of his thirst for revenge and she didn’t want to be indirectly responsible for his death? Or maybe, was it because she’s waiting to use this information later on, as some sort of leverage that she can point out when she needs something from Roan? Clarke’s mind works in mysterious ways, that’s for sure. I’m going to keep an eye out for more interactions between these two because the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” dynamic has always been one of my favorite things and the snark always present between Clarke and Roan never fails to make me smile. I love them too much together.

The Leaders of the Skaikru

Being Chancellor of the Sky People has never been an easy job and this season, we have seen Abby Griffin struggle between being a leader and being a doctor more than enough times. Kane is understandably upset when finds out that Abby opened Mount Weather without consulting him, mostly because he knows that their precarious treaty with the Grounders can fall apart at any second. It’s one thing to open the Mountain to use as a medical facility that will benefit both Grounders and Arkers alike, but another thing is to have Pike and half of his people move into the Mountain -colonizing it- like it’s their new, shiny home. It can be considered as a threat, an act of war, and the fact that Abby didn’t realize this says a lot about how much she still has to learn as a leader. Her heart has always been medicine; above all, Abby wants to save people, she doesn’t want to lead them. And her face is just pure happiness when she realizes that Kane is actually more than capable to take over her duty as Chancellor. When she offers the pin to Marcus, Abby seems almost relieved; like the heavy weight she’s been carrying over her shoulders has suddenly been lifted. Kane has come a long way from the man he used to be when he was living on the Ark -his character development has been incredible, as well. He’s learned to appreciate the Grounders and their culture in a way that very few Arkers have and he has what it takes to guide the Sky People into a permanent alliance with the Grounders that will help them prosper like never before. Marcus Kane bearing the mark that makes the Sky People the 13th clan of the Coalition was the perfect choice. He’s a good man that can -and will- become a great leader; but more importantly, I honestly believe that Kane’s the bridge that will help Grounders and Arkers understand each other like never before.

I also want to talk about Indra, just for a moment. The chief of TonDC was the kind of leader that wouldn’t even let her warriors talk to other Sky People. She refused Octavia’s attempts to become one of them many times, and she even called Lincoln a traitor for helping the Sky People. Yet the first thing Indra did when she saw Marcus Kane in Polis was smile like we have never seen her smile before, and just that mere act was such a powerful moment. Just like Kane, Indra has come a long way. She learned to love Octavia after taking her as her second, she let Lincoln go against the Commander’s orders just because she knew the Sky People were in trouble. She offered to protect the Skaikru delegation after the Ice Nation blew up Mount Weather. Just like Kane has come to understand that the Grounders are not savages, Indra has come to understand that the Arkers are not the enemy. Seeing Kane and Indra act like best friends honestly warmed my heart. I hope we get to see more of that. The Kindra (Kane + Indra) scene is the kind of happiness we all deserve after putting up with so much blood and death.

Another memorable moment was Abby and Clarke’s reunion. It wasn’t as emotional as the first one, but it was just as important. After the events of the last season, Abby finally realized that Clarke had matured more than she could even imagine. The way Clarke just broke down in Abby’s arms after pulling the lever was heartbreaking and the way Abby just resigned to the fact that maybe none of them were good guys was even worse. Abby Griffin finally gets that Clarke is more than just her child and it shows in the way she doesn’t even try to argue with Clarke when she offers them Lexa’s deal. Abby is finally willing to listen and recognize Clarke as a leader because now she’s seen what her daughter is capable of. Because she knows that at heart, Clarke wants to protect their people as much as she does. After years of trying, they are finally on the same page and I can’t wait to see how their relationship will move forward.

Lexa and Clarke

I would like to start this part of the analysis by pointing out that for the first time since as long as I can remember, the driving force behind a TV show I’m watching is a relationship between two young, strong, queer female leaders that also happen to be in love with each other. The 100 has always been great because of how brilliant and giving they are when it comes to representation; but having Clarke and Lexa’s relationship be fundamentally the anchor of their main storyline is just… unprecedented. This is a really huge deal. This is something that makes plenty of young queer girls beam with pride and cry tears of happiness. This is something that should be shouted from the top of the Hollywood hill just so all the networks pay attention to what they should be doing and how they should be treating their audience. And I’m not even talking about pandering to what the viewers want; I’m talking about writing layered and multifaceted characters as the leads of your show; I’m talking about writing characters that stand for what they believe in and fight for what they think is right despite of their sexual preference, religious views or the color of their skin.

Clarke and Lexa are the kind of characters that will be remembered in many years to come because of their greatness; and they have the kind of relationship that will be looked up to and admired by many because of how complex and breathtaking their journey has been. Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam-Carey are currently giving us bone-chilling performances that are worthy of more than just Emmy’s. (Honestly, when will the Academy realize that great actors and even better writing can also be found in sci-fi TV shows and movies? Probably around the same time they realize that Hollywood isn’t made of only white people.) These two actresses are baring their souls for their characters and they are blowing away the audience with the execution of the arc their characters are facing. Eliza and Alycia’s chemistry and talent is so explosive that you can’t help but be absolutely enthralled whenever they share a scene; Clarke and Lexa are both magnetic forces to be reckoned with and if you were fascinated by their performance this week, you definitely cannot miss the next episode.

It is everything you could ever hope for, and then some more.

We start “Ye Who Enter Here” with a much-needed conversation between Clarke and Lexa. It’s been a week since Clarke arrived to Polis and she has refused to see Lexa ever since. But war is brewing, and although the room Lexa provided for Clarke in her tower would be rated 5 stars on Trip Advisor because of the level of luxury and the gorgeous view it provides, these characters are never allowed a chance to sit back and relax. Lexa respects Clarke’s wishes for as long as she can before the inevitable confrontation needs to happen. And let me tell you, once they come face to face again, the clash between these two strong-willed women is nothing if not magnificent.

Lexa starts the conversation by telling Clarke that she’s returning her to her people at sundown. Clarke is clearly skeptic because she thinks she’s Lexa prisoner (honestly Clarke, Lexa had her people treat you like queen all week, that’s not how imprisonment goes and you know it) but Lexa tells her that she went through all the trouble of bringing Clarke back to Polis because she wanted to save her. Lexa knows better than anyone in the world what it means to fall into Nia’s hand when she clearly wants you dead. That’s how she lost Costia, and the thought of losing Clarke in that very same way probably drove her insane for three months. Then Clarke adds: “You know when I could have used saving? When you abandoned me at Mount Weather.” I want to highlight the whole quote because of the fact that Clarke doesn’t say “my people” or “my people and me”; no, Clarke simply uses the words “you abandoned me” and that’s when you realize that most of Clarke’s anger stems from her heartbreak. Clarke’s livid about Lexa betraying her because she honestly thought there was a future for them after the war. She’s angry because she put all her trust in Lexa and then Lexa turned her back on her. She’s furious over the fact that she opened her heart again just to have Lexa rip it apart while she walked away from her. Clarke is all rage and Lexa knows it, just like she knows that it’s easier for Clarke to hate her for what happened at Mount Weather. So Lexa just stands there and let’s Clarke put all the blame and hate on her. Just like she did the first time, when Clarke yelled and spat on her. Because Lexa would rather have Clarke hate her than to have Clarke hate herself; that’s how selfless Lexa is, that’s how much she cares for her.

Then my favorite part of this scene comes, when the exchange between Clarke and Lexa takes a direct turn: “What would you have done if their leader had offered you the deal? Save your people at the price of mine. Would you really have chosen differently?” Lexa asks Clarke point-blank. “I don’t betray my friends.” Clarke replies within a heartbeat. “But you did, you had friends in Mount Weather.” Lexa reminds her, and the way Clarke’s mouth just falls slightly open, stunned and speechless, is what truly drives the scene home. Because Lexa is pointing out that Clarke ended up facing the same difficult choice that Lexa had to face at Mount Weather, and she is pointing out that Clarke ended up making the same harsh choice Lexa had to make. There’s no denying this fact, and I think this is another reason why Clarke is still so incredibly angry at Lexa. Because she knows that, essentially, they both did the same thing.

Then Lexa turns the conversation around once again, astounding Clarke with the confession that she wants the Sky People to become the thirteenth clan of the Coalition. The way Clarke’s eyes snap back up to Lexa’s face when Lexa says that she wants the Skaikru to join the Coalition is so unbelievingly telling, because Clarke absolutely knows the true meaning behind this gesture. More than extending an honor, more than a political move, Lexa telling Clarke that she wants the Sky People to become her people meant that Lexa wants Clarke to become one with her. It sounds a lot like a marriage proposal, and in a way, it truly was. Because becoming the 13th clan of the Coalition would mean that, as leaders, Clarke and Lexa are bound to each other forever. Because it would mean that “no one would dare move against you because that would be moving against me.” Because it would mean that Lexa would never be forced to pick anyone over Clarke ever again. Clarke would become a part Lexa’s people, too, and as such, they would never be on opposite sides of a war.

But then Lexa verbalizes very badly that she needs Wanheda to bow to her, and Clarke, understandably, just loses it again, telling her that she will never bow to her and that if Lexa wants the power of Wanheda, she’s going to have to kill her. Isn’t it amazing how you have Roan telling Clarke that she needs to kill Lexa, and Titus telling Lexa that she needs to kill Clarke, yet somehow both Clarke and Lexa know that they would never lay a finger on each other? The kind of connection and understanding Clarke and Lexa have will never cease to amaze me. Clarke knows that she can yell, spit, and tell Lexa to kill her one hundred times and yet Lexa will never do it. Just like Lexa lets Clarke put a knife to her throat without even bothering to fight back because she knows that Clarke will never finish her. They care deeply for each other and they both know it, even if they don’t want to openly accept it yet.

Their next scene together is even more significant than the previous one, because you have Clarke summoning Lexa and Lexa coming to Clarke’s chambers right away, almost like she was expecting to be called by her. But then, before Lexa can get more than three words into the conversation, Clarke pushes a knife to her throat, and oh, what a gorgeous scene this was. You have a girl who is looking for retribution, a girl who is thirsty for revenge, a girl who is boiling with anger and self-loathing ready to slit the throat of the woman who wronged her, but being unable to do it because she also loves said woman as much as she hates her. And Lexa just stands there, quietly exhaling “right” like she was expecting Clarke’s retaliation all along; ready to meet her fate by Clarke’s hands without putting up a fight because she knows just how much Clarke is hurting and she knows just how much she’s hurting, as well.

The way Lexa meaningfully whispers “I’m sorry” to Clarke absolutely killed me; because Lexa isn’t apologizing for choosing her people over Clarke, she isn’t apologizing for her actions at Mount Weather, instead she’s apologizing because she feels remorse over the fact that indirectly, her choices and her actions forced Clarke to become the monster Clarke believes herself to be. And then Lexa adds “I never meant to turn you into this” with a voice that trembles as much as Clarke’s lower lip before she breaks down. Lexa hurts on Clarke’s behalf, she feels like she’s the sole cause of Clarke’s pain and if given the chance, Lexa would absolutely carry all of Clarke’s burdens if she could. Above everything, the only thing Lexa wants is to make Clarke happy and this is why she offers Clarke an out, the opportunity to run away from her duties once again. Clarke leaving Polis without having Wanheda bow before the Commander would have destroyed everything Lexa worked for in order to preserve the peace among all Grounders; yet Lexa was willing to risk it all because she would rather see Clarke leave and try to be happy among the Sky People than to stand another second of seeing the girl she loves struggle under the weight of her own pain and hate.

But Clarke has already tried running away, she knows that it didn’t make her feel better and she knows that she needs to face her demons if she ever wants to attempt to move on. Therefore, Clarke decides to stay in Polis, she decides to have Wanheda bow before the Commander and she decides to go along with Lexa’s plan because she knows that, regardless of what happened, Lexa is a good and just leader that only wants what’s best for her people.

The ceremony (wedding) happens, Wanheda bows before the Commander, Marcus receives the mark that claims the Sky People as the 13th clan, and then the interruption happens. Against Abby and Bellamy’s wishes, Clarke decides to stay in Polis as the ambassador that will represent the Sky People in the Coalition. Lexa promises Abby that Clarke will be safe as long as she’s with her -this is also a jab at Bellamy, who questions her in the first place like Lexa isn’t the reason why Clarke is still alive. Bellamy tells Clarke: “She left us to die on that mountain. She will always put her people first, you should come home to yours” but what he doesn’t realize yet is that Arkers and Grounders are now one. Clarke is Lexa’s people and she’ll protect her with all her might. And Clarke understands this now, if the nod she shares with Lexa at the end of that scene is anything to go by. They’re both on the same page again, and this time, there’s nothing that will make them have to choose because they are a united front now. Heda and Wanheda working together. Unbeatable. Unbreakable.

The one scene that left everyone breathless, however, was the one that followed the ceremony. Lexa and Clarke are standing alone in the empty throne room. Clarke is wondering how the Ice Nation knew the self-destruction code for Mount Weather, and Lexa tries to calm her down, telling her that they’ll find out soon. Then Clarke turns to Lexa, all hard lines and serious eyes and says: “If you betray me again-” Lexa immediately replies with “I won’t” and then she kneels in front of Clarke and says “I swear fealty to you, Clarke kom Skaikru. I vow to treat your needs as my own, and your people as my people.” And wow, just thinking about the beauty of this scene gives me chills all over again. The first time I saw it, I had to put my laptop away, lay down on my bed and sob into my pillow because that’s just how overwhelmed I was. This scene was intimate, meaningful and perfect; and it single-handedly managed to encompass the true essence of Clarke and Lexa’s whole relationship.

I want to start by saying this:

Clarke Griffin didn’t bow to the Commander, Wanheda did.

The Commander of the Thirteen Clans didn’t bow to Clarke kom Skaikru, Lexa did.

I feel like this is a very important distinction that has to be made. Because at the ceremony, both Clarke and Lexa knew that their actions were just a part of a bigger plan. When Wanheda kneels before Heda, they’re both aware that Clarke is only doing it because she knows there’s no other way for them to achieve peace. Neither of them enjoy the experience, but they both know it was a necessary thing to do. However, when Lexa bows before Clarke, it’s unexpected, consequential, breathtaking, and definitely welcomed by both. This is just Lexa -stripped of all titles and responsibilities- being all human and all heart. After all, the Commander kneels before no one.

But Clarke elevates herself, doesn’t she?

Lexa doesn’t kneel before Clarke in private because she’s scared that her word will be held against her; she does it because she’s being open, honest, and vulnerable in a way she’s never been before. By kneeling before Clarke, Lexa is completely giving all her power, all her trust, all her might, all her faith, all of herself, to Clarke. Lexa is letting Clarke know that she thinks of them as equals, both leaders, both strong. Lexa is reassuring Clarke that she’ll never betray her again because their union has made them one. Lexa is offering a vow that goes beyond just words. By kneeling before Clarke, Lexa is bringing down the walls she has carefully built around her heart and she’s telling her: “I’m here and I love you and I will wait for you for as long as I have to.”

And Clarke just stands there, bewildered and thunderstruck because having Lexa kneel before her is something that she never imagined could actually happen. She’s wide-eyed and speechless because the moment Lexa kneels before her and pledges to be loyal, a part of Clarke’s broken heart just heals. And then Clarke extends her hand towards Lexa in a gesture that means “Thank you” and “I forgive you” and “Maybe I’ll be able to love you again.” When Lexa takes Clarke’s hand and stands, she’s also accepting the forgiveness and the trust that Clarke is offering her. And then they are there, standing as equals and looking into each other’s eyes like nothing else matters. Clarke looks at Lexa like she wants to paint only this moment for the rest of her life. Lexa looks at Clarke like she doesn’t want to let go ever again. They are both declaring the love they don’t dare to profess outloud, but for that moment, their actions are more than enough.

Didn’t I tell you guys? Perfect. Hour. Of. Television. I’m blown away by “Ye Who Enter Here” and I know I’ll be rewatching it again plenty of times more. However, I do daresay that “Watch The Thrones”, next week’s episode written by Dorothy Fortenberry, is just as outstanding as this one. You can take my word for it, if you want.

As always, thank you for reading! Hit the comments below or send me a tweet if you want to talk about The 100 feels. I’m always there talking about it, anyways!

Now, let’s do some bullet-points madness:

  • Will I ever be over Kane and Indra being besties? No. The answer is no.
  • Lexa’s war face paint is different from her ceremonial face paint and she rocks both looks hella hard. I love it. The make up department is hella on point and I want more of it, please and thanks.
  • Raven and Gina’s ship name would have been Given. We lost a good one, kids.
  • Elevator problem solved!!!!! We now know that in Polis, they use a lift manned by two Grounders. I hope their salary is good. That doesn’t seem like a fun job, especially not if you’re gonna end up being killed every once in a while.
  • STOP BLOWING UP RAVEN.
  • The banter between Raven and Gina was great. Did I mentioned that before? They were super cute friends and now I’m upset all over again.
  • Becho is on! …. Becho is no longer on.
  • I’m really concerned about Miller’s boyfriend, you guys. I hope he wasn’t inside Mount Weather when it blew up. I also hope he’s cute… but not as cute as Monty. Whatever. I just like Minty, okay?
  • Kane loves Polis as much as I love The 100 and watching the way his eyes lit up when he first saw the city was the most amazing thing ever. I’ll take two I HEART POLIS t-shirts, please and thanks.
  • The “Grounder’s Anthem” -sang by Julia Dominczak, composed by Tree Adams with lyrics by Lauren Muir- is definitely a work of art. Gorgeous, haunting, meaningful… I can’t get tired of listening to it.
  • Everyone knows by now that Clarke and Lexa are girlfriends because Grounders be worse than Gossip Girls.
  • The countdown of the self-destruction timer being reflected in Gina’s dead eye was an awesome, chilling shot that still has me drooling. Brilliant work, Mr. Director!
  • I want a special episode of just Lexa being like: HEY GUYS, THIS IS MY PIMP TOWER IN POLIS, WELCOME TO MY CRIB!
  • Brenda Strong as the Ice Queen looks incredible. You guys will love her.
  • Gina was the real MVP.
  • I hate Emerson.
  • Indra telling Abby she should thank the Commander for saving Clarke only reinforced my headcanon that Indra is a Clexa shipper.
  • Also, I have a feeling that the incoming Clarke vs Pike smackdown is gonna be good. Yeap. Team Clarke all the way!

Watch a new episode of The 100 next Thursday at 9 EST on the CW Network!

Written by Dened Rey

I can probably talk about TV Shows and movies forever.

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20 Comments

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  1. What a wonderful well-written review; I immensely enjoyed reading every second of it.

    I look forward to your The 100 review next week because you sum up perfectly how I feel about these characters and the relationship between Clarke/Lexa.

  2. Liked your review very much, but I think you imputed a bit too much love and trust into how Clarke feels about Lexa, certainly at least before Lexa bows to Clarke. Remember, Clarke told her mother that she (Clarke) had to stay on in Polis as an ambassador to make sure Lexa kept her word to the 13th clan, Skaikru. In choosing to bow as Wanheda before the Commander in the ceremony, Clarke chose the best of several bad options, and she chose for her people, not for herself, not out of love for or trust in Lexa., NOT YET ( to allude to that famous kiss scene). Does Clarke still love Lexa at this point? Maybe, along with the hate. But Clarke almost killed Lexa just an hour or two earlier. What stopped Clarke? Not love for Lexa, but rather understanding and integrity. Clarke knew that Lexa and she had made similar choices at Mount Weather, similar betrayals. Clarke knew that killing Lexa would have been dishonest, gratuitously violent, and simply a way of trying to displace her self loathing onto someone she also loathed. What makes Clexa so great to watch is not the hidden love the harbor for each other, but rather the long, hard road to reconciliation, partial trust growing to something more, and the guarded possibility of love but only if they can unite their peoples. Because I guarantee you, that neither Lexa nor Clarke will ever choose each other over the well being of their peoples. Lexa did not invite the Skaikru to join her coalition to win Clarke back. She made Skaikru her people because it is part of her strategy to create a better life and peace for all her people. As Kane said back in Season 2, Lexa is a visionary. And as Lincoln pointed out, “That is why you are still alive.”

    • Jason himself said that Clarke simply couldn’t kill Lexa because of her feelings. For me it was a mix of realizing how strong her feelings for Lexa are and at the same time understanding that below all the hatred she knows (because she has always trusted her heart) that Lexa was the best option for her and the sky people. And it was pretty obvious that asking the sky people to join the coalition was the riskier choice for Lexa. She didn’t do this to win Clarke back, she did that so she could protect Clarke without having to choose between her people and Clarke, which in the end she did because their peoples are one now. She basically risked everything for Clarke and was willing to let Clarke go after the knife scene, which would be the worst outcome for her (Clarke would probably get killed, Lexa would be even weaker and the coalition would crumbled entirely).

    • Actually, no : Clarke was struggling with her pain and anger towards Lexa at this moment : she was not yet thinking about her people. At this moment, she let her feelings out and what stopped her is driven by her remaining feelings towards Lexa!! She can’t kill her, because even if she betrayed her, she cares for her and that’s why her anger was so powerful. And when Lexa apologizing, she acknowledged the pain she’s caused to Clarke, eye to eye, a deep sadness through Lexa’eyes. Clarke witnessed that sincerity in her eyes for a few seconds, before turning around. And this is after that, that the pragmatist Clarke resurfaced to make the right decision for her people !

      What you said :
      “Lexa did not invite the Skaikru to join her coalition to win Clarke back. She made Skaikru her people because it is part of her strategy to create a better life and peace for all her people.”
      => Actually Lexa’s decision was driven by both : she wanted Clarke alongside the skaikru, she wanted Clarke by her side to help hold the coalition, and the long fight towards peace ! The skaikru are also Lexa’s people know!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this! You did a wonderful job delivering your insightful reflection on the episode. Can’t wait to see what you write for ‘Watch The Thrones’ next week! Keep doing what you’re doing, because you do it well 🙂

  4. You say everyone knows about clexa now cause ground are terrible gossips, but I’m pretty sure none of the sky people got that memo :p

  5. Wow.. that was probably the best review I’ve ever read..I think you summed up what all the clexa shippers want to say about this relationship. It’s not about sexual preferences or seeing these 2 roll in the sack.. the way these writers and JR have brought these 2 characters together is just mind blowing for all of us… they have givin us a portrayal of 2 woman that is so intimate, honest, and real. I can say I speak for most.. that we are just in awe.. As you said … this epic story and 2 wonderful actresses will live on with us for a very long time no matter the outcome. Beautiful review.. can’t wait for the next one..

  6. Great review! I`m still not over the bow scene. I’ve seen it a thousand times already and it remains so powerful and breathtaking. It is probably the most beautiful scene I have ever seen on TV.

  7. Btw, I’m so glad you are the one doing this review. The people at the roundtable seem to have a terrible grasp on this show.

  8. What a well-crafted, thoroughly analytical-yet-personal review. I devoured it; truly, a great piece to accompany a fantastic hour of television. I have never seen such a pristine episode come out from CW-land, and it makes me yearn for a greater budget and network leniency for this brilliant, tiny show. I am truly in awe of how far it has come, and much of it is due to the lack of inhibitions when it comes to telling a politically and socially relevant story ––one so resonant I haven’t really seen since Battlestar Galactica ended. And yeah, I can finally, morally, make that comparison. The 100 is making leaps and bounds towards that level of mastery, and much of it is due to unrestrained, brave writing like Kim Schumway’s. The Lexa + Clarke dynamic –– beyond the romance, which I adore –– is just such intricate and layered writing… I can’t believe I’m alive to witness such a strong, compelling relationship that also happens to be two queer adolescent females. Stunning.

    Great review, I loved how you formatted it, essay-style, I loved your character breakdowns, and I implore you to keep writing like this because I will be looking forward to reading subsequent reviews soon.

  9. It’s excellent, moving, insightful reviews like yours that are keeping me going while I wait (forever, it seems; I binge-watched the first two seasons in about three days, so this week-to-week business is not my friend) for the next brilliant episode. Thank you for this. I especially enjoyed your Lexa-Clarke analysis. It’s true that the living are hungry – we are hungry, we’ve been starving for the kind of deep, authentic, rich, complex, beautiful, butterfly-fluttery (sciency word) and intimate relationship this show delivers. A relationship that is the “anchor” of the story, as you said, and not just the sidekick or the subtext. Following up to what Cristina said, I am so grateful to be alive to witness this story unfold. And I want more. Very much looking forward to reading your next review. Thanks again!

  10. BOOM! What a review! (I still have to say ITE is my favourite, but this–is EXCEPTIONAL TV!) Re: Bellamy–totally agree. I loved him in season 2 as the role of the “enforcer”, to quote Bob… he’s an excellent soldier and he does have good intentions but he lets his heart rule above all else. He was so open to trusting Echo, which IMO was such a predictable red herring for him and the team. Lovely reflection on Polis, too–isn’t it wonderful that from the fallout of the precoalition wars, a city of peace and prosperity is formed? Kane is so gold in that scene!! Utterly agree with you about Raven and Gina…I can’t decide who are my MVP’s of that episode. I have to give it to Raven, but RIP Gina–sorely missed and, um, plot device…? She had so much potential!! As for the Abby/Clarke reunion–nailed it! Perhaps Abby/Clarke’s reunion (I expected to cry) but I was so pleased it played out that way. It’s like you say–Clarke knows her reputation and her influence…and this is WAR. Full blown war. There cannot be time for sentimentality, and Paige was amazing in her brief “whoa my daughter just got straight down to business” expression.

    “honestly, Clarke and Lexa would be awful secret agents, they cannot be subtle AT ALL” – I snorted. SO TRUE.

    Absolutely, Lexa is politically suave and deadly as well as physically in combat too (squee! 3×04!). I’m so excited to see Clarke and Lexa work towards the same agenda: after all, do they not both want peace for all? To quash Nia’s rebellion? And how on earth d’you personally think Lexa will recover from such treachery, when the end of 3×03 revealed that ALL TEN ambassadors were on Nia’s side?!

    What a review, Dened! 🙂 So glad you’re on-board, and such detail, too. I love your flowing style of writing and the impartiality of your work–you see things from many perspectives. Loved it, thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    – Nico

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