The 100 Season 4 – Echoes Recap, Turn the Page, Forget the Past?

As Eminem once sang guess whose back? I had no intentions of watching or recapping The 100 again this season, but even though the show enrages me, it’s nice writing about something that I’m actually passionate about. I can’t help it. There was a lot more good than bad going on in the season premiere.

The episode moved at the breakneck pace that we know and love. It felt more like a return to season 1 than season 3 of The 100 which is both good and bad. Good because the episode was really the Arkers working together, bad because it only showed one side of the Grounders – the “violent” we want only care about “power” and “revenge” side, while the Arkers looked on in “horror” and acted like they were above it all and only cared about saving everyone. Which was just bullshit.

We get yet another recap of what happened last season and one of the questions fans have asked over the last few months is how the hell are they going to get down from the tower? That question is answered in the first few minutes. I’m hoping this will be the last time we see this recap. People watching season 4 of a show, generally know what happened the previous season, you don’t have to keep reminding us of the horror show that was S3.

At one point in the first 20 minutes Echo, rightly told the people of Polis that Skykru was directly responsible for all the misery that they were suffering. However once again Jason Rothenberg and company just really glosses over that fact and really only shows things from the Arkers point of view and they don’t seem to really care about all the damage they caused. They only care about their own internal struggles and “demons.” But Grounders are never allowed to get justice and if they demand it, everyone labels them savages. This show needs to move on from this one sided dynamic and provide more balance.

Echo spends most of the episode telling Roan that he needs to be strong and wipeout Skycrew but Roan resists the temptation. Eventually Clarke tells Roan about the radiation and that they are the only ones who can stop it. He doesn’t believe her until she gives him the flame and tells him that he now has the authority to make sure that Azgeda is never ruled by a Commander that he doesn’t choose again.

This episode really was all about Echo, it’s even called Echoes. It felt weird that so much time was focused on her because her character has been non-existent and we literally only saw her for maybe 3 minutes last season. It felt like she had a large role this time because the fandom loves the idea of her. Her last line to Bellamy makes me thing they will eventually have a thing, before he moves back to fawning over Clarke. I did like her character though, even though it felt like one note – because it was designed to basically show the Grounders as “unreasonable savages.”

Towards the end of the episode Kane tells Bellamy that he has to turn the page and move on. The show turned him into a xenophobic, murderous bastard and everyone, including the audience is supposed to just forget all of that. Make no mistake, Kane was talking to the audience just as much as he was the Bellamy.

All the hints at Bellarke drove me crazy because I loathe Bellamy. Every scene had Bellamy following after Clarke like a love sick/lost puppy who didn’t have a mind of their own. My jaw literally dropped when she thanked him for saving her life and he just gives her that stupid smirk. WTH, no really WTH? Her life wouldn’t have been in danger if he wasn’t a for murderous ass. Constantly excusing Bellamy’s actions as someone who was just doing what he thought was right, for his people makes me want to shoot the TV. It puts his selfish actions in S3 on the same level as everyone else’s actions. It just isn’t comparable.

Bellamy didn’t murder those people or try and wipe out an entire village of women and children because he was protecting his people. He was angry because Roan embarrassed him and Clarke left with Roan. He killed Lexa’s guards without remorse and like the coward he is before he found out MW exploded. I’m hoping that because they focused on Bellarke so much in the first episode that it means he is going to get the Lexa treatment and die once he tastes Clarke’s forbidden fruit.

Back in Arkadia, Raven is all of a sudden a computer whiz because some part of Alie’s genius stayed inside of Raven. My question is why didn’t other people assimilate some of Alie’s smarts. It’s a little bit of a McGuffin to only have Raven absorb and retain some of Alie’s technical prowess. She needs to confirm if the nuclear reactors really are going to melt. Clarke doesn’t do much of anything in this episode accept what she always does – try and save everyone in the most emotionless way possible. They finally give Clarke all of 5 seconds to grieve for Lexa which was cheap and hollow fan service.

Jasper is still a depressed, mopey jagoff who contemplates committing suicide, I was so hoping he’d pull the trigger. Monty doesn’t add much of anything to the episode accept have sex with Harper. You know she’s now a goner. Murphy reunited with Emori and convinces her to go to Arkadia with him, saying his people will accept her. Which, again, is ham-handed forshadowing.

Towards the end of the episode Kane tells Bellamy that he has to turn the page and move on. The show turned him into a xenophobic, murderous bastard and everyone, including the audience is supposed to just forget all of that. Make no mistake, Kane was talking to the audience just as much as he was the Bellamy.

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The problem with the episode is nothing ever seems to change and none of the characters grow anymore.  As I said the Grounder/Skykru conflict doesn’t appear to be ending. Everything with Bellamy, Jaha and Jasper upset me last night. If the show can just kill these three characters, it would have a chance at returning to greatness. How are these 3 people still alive and 2 of them not facing any of the consequences for all the vile things that they’ve done. As an audience we’re supposed to just go, “aww, poor Bellamy and Jaha?”

Even with the negative slant of this review, the show still has me hooked. No longer because I like the characters but unlike last season I’m actually interested in the story arc this season. I really want to know how Clarke and the gang can solve this problem, I’m hoping against hope Bellamy, Jasper and Jaha die this season. If not all 3, can I at least get one?

Final Grade C