The 100 3×10 “Fallen”: Disregarding the Audience

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(*This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for episode 3×10 of the 100. If you haven’t seen it yet, read no further!*)

(***The TRIGGER WARNINGS for episode 3×10 will be mentioned in this article!***)

You know there is a major problem when it is necessary for fans to issue multiple trigger warnings for a network TV show that is geared towards teens and young adults.  Throughout the day on Thursday, fans were warning each other about triggering moments of rape, torture, and self-harm that would occur in the latest episode of The 100, urging everyone to stay safe.

After watching the past few episodes, it seems that the writers are forgetting one fundamental aspect of their show:  it is not on cable.  It is not specifically created for a mature audience.  It is a TV show on the CW, not HBO, with a majority of their audience being young people.  It is clear that, by including these extreme, triggering acts, The 100 not only disregarded its audience but also ignored what is and is not appropriate.

For the past few weeks, a show that was once a source of comfort and excitement for fans has become a source of pain, trauma, and anger,  unnecessarily emphasizing gory, horrendous plots and characters.  The 100 has lost its intriguing entertainment value and has become an hour-long trauma-fest filled with underdeveloped storylines and an overabundance of shock-value.

Like last week episode, the latest was not intriguing and was filled with multiple plot holes; it was uneventful and flat, so much so that I have been having a tough time trying to think of something to write.  I guess I’ll just get into the positive and negatives.  (Positive. Singular.)

Positive: LINDSEY. MORGAN.  Lindsey Morgan was hands down the best part of episode 3×10.  Though we, yet again, saw Raven experiencing pain, this time on a whole new level, her acting was so captivating.  Between Raven trying to get ALIE out of her head in the beginning of the episode and ALIE controlling Raven’s body, Morgan was brilliant.  Her head tilts and body language were spot-on, leaving fans in awe of her performance.  Lindsey Morgan was just incredible, from beginning to end.

MAJOR negatives (I don’t think negative is a strong enough word):  Unfortunately, all of the trigger warnings were true.  In the episode, Raven was tortured by ALIE, Abby was forced to take the City of Light chip against her will after watching ALIE slit Raven’s wrists while controlling her body, and, of course, we can’t forget to mention Ontari’s disgusting scene with Murphy.  Not only did Ontari coerce Murphy into having sex with her by threatening his life and pulling him by the chain around his neck, but the scene seemed to make light of it. It was appalling and disgusting. In typical The 100-fashion, these horrific acts were fast paced, occurring one after another.  Not only was it dark, but it was also entirely uncomfortable to watch.  A network TV show should not make the audience feel sickened by what they see, especially a show on the CW.

Other negatives: Clarke was in the episode for a minute.  And in that minute, she was (yet again) blamed for the deaths at Mount Weather and she has still not mourned the loss of Lexa, on-screen at least.  In addition to the lack of Clarke throughout the episode, Ontari has been disappointing.  Lexa was arguably one of the most complex characters on the show, and after her death, she was replaced with Ontari, whose character depth has been almost nonexistent.  Complexity and intrigue were replaced by a one-dimensional character whose sole purpose thus far was to ruin what the show set up in the first six episodes of the season.

Unfortunately, this has become a recurring theme: week after week the fans flock together to comfort each other in the wake of yet another traumatic, painful episode.  Many fans, myself included, miss the tone of the show’s first and second seasons.  We miss riveting storylines, the character driven plots, and compelling twists that do not glorify violence or shock value deaths.  We miss the days when we could simply watch the show and reflect on it together, sharing theories and interpretations, geeking out over our favorite characters.  We used to look forward to the episode all week, counting down the days and hours until we got to see the show we loved.  This hasn’t happened for over a month.  Now, if you check social media after or during The 100, you’ll see the fans defeated, comforting each other, warning others to not watch the episodes, all because their show, the one they loved and looked forward to, hurt them yet again.

Hopefully, next week there will be something else to write about other than the disappointment, disgust, and extreme problematic elements of the episode.  I really want to focus on something positive but after everything that has happened on the show, I don’t think it is possible for The 100 to redeem itself as fast as some of its characters seem to…

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