Some day Grounder children will tell the ghost story of Emerson, the last of the Mountain Men; a group of teenagers will laugh as they try to scare one another with the story that seems too terrifying to be real.
“Demons” played with the typical horror-movie tropes (creepy music, flickering lights, thunderstorms, masked men) in a way that felt organic to the story line. Yes, it felt different from other 100 episodes, but — aside from the sad moments — it was kind of fun.
The episode’s tone started with Miller telling Harper and Bryan a ghost story in the cave: A short time after Unity Day, there was a massacre on Alpha Station. People were losing their minds that they would never be on the Ground again. (I start to panic whenever I’m in a plane that has to circle the airport before landing — I would not handle being in space forever well, either.)
A Brazilian man named Captain Fidalgo was haunted by his wife and kids, who were killed by the bombs. He was so haunted by his “demons” that he took a metal hook and murdered 11 people. He gutted them with a hook and strung them up in the mess hall. But the real “hook” of the story (sorry) is that, using his own blood, Fidalgo wrote “demons” on the ground before being cut into pieces himself.
I have no idea if this story has anything to do with future plotlines or if it’s just to set the scary-movie mood, but I tell it all to you here because I would like to pose a question: There were Brazilians on the Ark!? Why is everyone we know now so American? And more importantly: Why couldn’t Eliza and Bob keep their Australian accents if there were different nationalities on the Ark!?
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Anyway, after telling his ghost story, Miller goes outside to go to the bathroom. There’s a thump. Bryan goes to check on him, and there’s another thump. Harper vacillates between being scared and yelling at the guys for playing a joke on her. And then a scary Grounder jumps out and snatches her up as she screams bloody murder. Did I mention this was all happening during a thunderstorm? **Spooky**
The Rover gang is headed back to Arkadia, where they’re hoping to meet up with Miller, Bryan, and Harper. Problem is they can’t get them on the radio, and only we know why. And when they get to Arkadia, no one is there either. It’s a spaceship ghost town. It creeps everyone out — and the pool of Lincoln’s blood isn’t helping matters — so they decide to get in, grab Lincoln’s sketchbook, and get out.
NEXT: How do you stop an A.L.I.E.?[pagebreak]
Raven has been reading Rebecca’s journal and discovered what we all learned from “Thirteen”: Rebecca found a pathway to access the human mind, A.L.I.E. became dangerous because she thought the world’s problem was overpopulation, A.L.I.E. then blew up the world because of said problem, and Rebecca was developing A.L.I.E. 2.0 to atone for her sins. Raven says the second AI was designed as a way to merge with the mind. Rebecca altered her genes, which resulted in her blood turning black, in order to become one with the second chip herself. Clarke deduces that at some point that genetic mutation must have become hereditary, which is why there are nightbloods. They need to get to Luna, so she can access A.L.I.E. 2, so they all can figure out how to stop the evil A.L.I.E. 1.
Which brings us back to Lincoln’s sketchbook, where he had info about Luna’s whereabouts. Jasper and Octavia find it immediately, but being around Lincoln’s things is too much for Octavia. She cries and then throws things across the room in anger. Marie Avgeropoulos is really selling these emotional scenes. “It’s okay to fall apart a little, Octavia,” Jasper, the king of falling apart, tells her. But she says that warriors don’t mourn until the war is over. And the war is far from over for her. Because right then, the Grounder who took the cave kids knocks out Jasper and strangles Octavia.
Raven, Sinclair, Clarke, and Monty are too enthralled with the second AI to notice people are going missing. Raven has been reading more of Rebecca’s journal, and she thinks they can activate the chip with a simple phrase. Even though Lexa didn’t realize she was part AI (likely because the program degraded over time), she probably knew this phrase.
Clarke tries “Blood must have blood” in English and Trigedasleng. Nothing happens. Monty tries “Seek higher things,” the motto of Rebecca’s company. It doesn’t work, but Raven says the phrase could be in Latin. Luckily, Sinclair studied a bit of that, and on his second attempt (“ascende superius”), the AI springs its little tendrils to life.
Raven is entranced by it, and the closer she leans in, the more the tendrils seem to seek out her brain. Clarke pulls her back and warns her: Anyone who isn’t a nightblood will be killed by the second AI. They need to find a host, i.e. Luna, in order to access the code.
When Monty and Clarke set off to find the rest of the group, they head down a hallway with flickering lights as creepy children’s music begins to play. Monty thinks it’s a bad idea to follow creepy music, but of course Clarke forges on. There’s a music box in the middle of the hallway, and it has the name Aaron on the bottom. Before they know it, red smoke fills the hall and knocks out both of them.
The lone Grounder comes to check Clarke’s pulse, but she was faking and wakes up and rips off the mask. It’s not a Grounder at all, but Emerson. She runs out of the ship to find Bellamy, who’s been at the armory; they radio Raven and Sinclair and fill them in on the situation.
Raven and Sinclair shut down the hangar, but Emerson gets in just in time and turns out the lights. Right as Sinclair is trying to manually open the doors to let in light, Emerson stabs him in the stomach. Sinclair yells at Raven to stay locked in the Rover, but she runs out to be with him — he’s her person after all. She cries as he dies, and then Emerson grabs her from behind.
NEXT: Hate you, Emerson[pagebreak]
When Clarke and Bellamy find Sinclair’s body, she grabs the radio and talks to Emerson directly. She knows he must be in the airlock, where they kept him when he was a Camp Jaha prisoner. Emerson says if she comes to the airlock without weapons, he’ll let her friends go. Bellamy has a better plan: She goes and distracts him; he’ll shoot Emerson.
That plan fails. Emerson knows Bellamy is there, so he makes him turn over his weapons, and then he cuffs him up in the airlock with the rest of the 100 kids. He makes Clarke get on her knees, and with a gun to her head, he reminds her of all the people she killed: his kids, his wife, his brother, his friends. “Did you really think I’d be happy with just one life in return?”
He slams the airlock shut, and the oxygen starts depleting. He’s making Clarke watch, but when she uses his son’s name, Aaron, she’s able to headbutt him and get away. But just for a second because he grabs her again and forces her to watch as her friends run out of air. He asks if she has any final words. She does: “ascende superius.” She sticks the chip onto Emerson’s neck, where it burrows in and makes him bleed out and die. Clarke is able to get the airlock open just in time to save her friends.
Before taking off on their mission to find Luna, the group takes time to mourn their friends. Bellamy retrieves Lincoln’s body for Octavia in one of the episode’s most heartbreaking scenes. The group builds a pyre for Lincoln and Sinclair’s bodies and sets it aflame while one of the most beautiful musical moments of the series plays.
The next day, Raven and Monty tell the group they’re staying behind. A.L.I.E. downloaded herself into the Ark mainframe; Raven thinks they can pull some of that coding to help them take her down. Plus, she’s in a lot of pain and would slow them down. Miller, Bryan, and Harper stay behind to protect them. Which means that Clarke, Bellamy, Jasper, and Octavia are off to find Luna. And they couldn’t be going any sooner because things are not looking so great in Polis.
Emori has made her way to the capitol, where she’s posing as a vendor who cooks rats. (Yuck.) She heard rumors about Heda’s handsome Skaikru flamekeeper, and she knew it had to be Murphy. He finds her on the streets when he’s with Ontari and tells her to meet him at the flamekeeper’s lair. After, um, getting to know each other intimately again, Murphy fesses up to everything he’s been doing to help Ontari be fake commander. He even tells Emori the truth about sleeping with Ontari — a move I’m very proud of Murphy for. Emori doesn’t seem to mind. “Who could blame her?” she says. I was so happy for this reunion. I should have known happy can’t last in this world.
Later, when Ontari is hearing from people in her chambers, Jaha comes in. “You don’t have to be a false commander,” he tells her. He tells her he learned this from her false flamekeeper. Murphy swears he didn’t tell Jaha anything, but then Emori enters the room. She’s in the City of Light.
Ontari listens to Jaha as he tells her how she can be “all power, all wisdom” and then hands her the City of Light key. Oh boy.
At the end of the episode, Emori comes into the throne room and says the gates of Polis are open. Jaha and Ontari stand beside the throne because A.L.I.E. is seated on the throne. Ohhhh boy.
Luna, I hope you’re out there.
What did you guys think of “Demons”? Were you digging the scary movie vibes? Did you cry every time Octavia did? Are you ready for Murphy to pair up with the other 100 kids and take down A.L.I.E.? Share your thoughts below, or find me on Twitter @realdalener.