'Survival of the Fittest'
Fun fact: The working title for this episode was “The Odd Couples.” (I have no idea if this is true.)
Last week the Grounders and Sky People decided to team up and go after Mount Weather; this episode was all about preparing to do that. And in that preparation we got so many unusual pairings. In ascending order of weirdness, we had the dynamic duos of: Lexa and Clarke, Lincoln and Bellamy, Kane and Octavia (then Indra and Octavia, then back to Kane and Octavia), and Jaha and Murphy. Let’s start with our fearless leaders and work our way to the more unusual.
Lexa and Clarke
Remember when Clarke went on a lady adventure with Anya? We all were so excited to see them finally work together—and then Anya was shot and killed. Rude Sky People. Well, we are kind of getting the friendship we wanted to see. As it turns out, in Grounder lore, they believe that when the Commander dies, he/she is reincarnated. (I think Anya was actually Lexa’s mentor, not her former Commander, but just go with me.)
So these new gal pals start off their day like any normal teens would: planning a war. Down in the multipurpose prison/banquet hall/war room, the two meet with the leaders of their peoples—except not Abby because there were too many actors to pay this episode, and not Kane because he’s back at camp, so basically it’s just Major Byrne and some guy named Quint, who we’ve never heard of until this episode. The Grounders think they should just open the hatch, so to speak, and let the Undergrounders die. But Clarke points out that they have a complex system in place for breaches.
Other ideas are tossed around, but Clarke shoots them all down. Quint is tired of it, and he gets up in her face—but really he’s just angry that she burned his brother alive back in season 1. (Come on, Quint, that is SO … two weeks ago? I’m a little fuzzy on the timeline at this point.) Clarke keeps insisting that they just need to wait for Bellamy when Lexa tells her that isn’t a “plan,” it’s a “prayer.”
The girl just killed one of her love interests; realizing that she sent her other one to certain death is hard on her. So she goes for a walk in the woods. But Quint suddenly gets very agressive and starts hunting her like prey. As she runs from him, Byrne—who had followed her out—comes over a hill without an arm. If you read these recaps, you’ll know she’s not my favorite person, but I didn’t want her to go out like that! And WHAT ripped off her arm?
Clarke thinks it’s Quint, who now has the upper hand on her—until Lexa throws a knife into that hand. She tells Clarke “the kill is yours” before they hear … a dinosaur? The way the trees rumble I would say it’s more likely a polar bear or a smoke monster. Taking no chances on either three, Lexa injures Quint and leaves him for bait while she, Clarke, and another nameless Grounder run. Clarke leads them to the things feeding ground. Except it’s not a thing—it’s King Kong. LOL.
As much as I love this show, I really had to suspend belief here. Clearly these are the remains of a zoo—so I guess the gorilla is the ancestor of the original zoo gorillas from 100 years ago and they were mutated from radiation to give us this monster. Okay, sure.
Anyway, nameless Grounder dies. Lexa hurts her arm, and asks Clarke to leave her behind. Clarke refuses; instead she saves her and locks them into an animal cage (and fanfic explodes across the internet). Lexa jumps back into her speech about weakness: She says Clarke is weak because she saved her and wouldn’t kill Quint. But Clarke is truthful: She needs Lexa. “You may be heartless Lexa, but at least you’re smart.” And those two smart girls trick the giant gorilla into the cage and escape to live another day.
Lincoln and Bellamy
These two are former enemies, but they do have a lot in common: They would do anything for Octavia. The two set off to infiltrate Mount Weather with a great plan: Lincoln will use his reaper past to Trojan Horse Bellamy into Mount Weather. Oh, and what happens once they’re in the door, you might ask? “I kill everyone,” says Lincoln. Naturally. This is a brilliant plan… with one problem. Lincoln is an addict.
When they get to the mines, Lincoln hesitates and decides it’s a bad plan. Bellamy pushes—literally punching him—to enact the plan. As Bellamy is stripped (woo!) and lined up for Dr. Tsing’s sorting, Lincoln is supposed to knock out the other Reapers while Bellamy gets inside. Instead, he kneels down, tilts his head, and gives in to the Red drug.
It’s heartbreaking, but also ties back to the story Lincoln told Bellamy: When he was just a young grounder, Lincoln saw a ship fall from the sky (“suicide by Earth” Bellamy called it). He fed the man and cared for him, but when his father found out, he made his son kill the man. “The world has been trying to turn me into a monster for as long as I can remember.”
It seems the world is winning as Lincoln slips back into his Reaper ways and Bellamy gets sent to the Harvest Chamber.
NEXT: More powerful pairings
Kane and Octavia vs. Indra and Octavia
Back at Camp Jaha, Indra and her warriors are joining the Sky People so they can prepare for war together. Kane—who is apparently back to being Chancellor?—gives a rousing speech: He says they can work together against their common enemy. No one—not the Sky People or the Tree People—is buying it.
They do all train, but separately. The Sky People shoot at targets, and the Tree People spar with one another. When one Grounder looks longingly toward the guns, Kane offers to teach him to shoot. But Indra is quickly there to stop him; she tells him, “You know better.” According to Octavia, our resident Grounder historian, legend has it that if a Grounder picks up a gun, Mount Weather will wipe them all out.
But Octavia has always seen herself as a Grounder—so she stands up to Indra. She wants to learn to fight. She faces off with Theo and gets knocked down again and again and again, but she keeps getting back up. At one point she even stands up and spits blood in her face. Then he dropkicks her, but she still starts to get back up (you don’t keep down a girl who grew up in the floorboards). Indra steps in, saying, “Even a fool knows when to surrender.”
I’m not a war expert or anything, but maybe kicking the shit out of one another isn’t the best way to prepare for battle? Seems like having everyone wounded and tired before attacking Mount Weather is bad strategy. But Octavia’s fight does have one positive effect: She wins over Indra, which led to this amazing exchange:
Indra: “You fought like a child today.”
Octavia: “That should make you happy.”
Indra: “It does.”
I laughed out loud here—is Indra becoming likeable? She then goes on to ask Octavia if she will become her second. Octavia says yes. First lesson? “Never question me.” Naturally.
Kane sees all this play out and essentially asks the former Arker to become a spy. Apparently he never realized that this girl became a Grounder a long time ago.
Jaha and Murphy
Of all of tonight’s pairings, this was the most unusual—and yet it turns out these two crazy kids have a lot in common. Most notably, they’ve both been in the makeshift Sky People jail in the short time everyone’s been on Earth. But Jaha is recently released from their and he’s using his freedom as an opportunity to voice his concerns with the Grounder alliance. Kane tries to reason with him, and I’m sorry, but when is KANE the one giving JAHA reason?
During Kane’s big group speech, one of the Grounders confronts Murphy about not doing anything while Finn massacred his village. Now, I’m no Murphy Apologist, but he did try to get Finn to stop. The Grounder does not see it this way, so it leads to a kerfuffle. To show his desire to work with the Grounders, Kane gives Murphy cleaning detail. (You know, mopping is really important right before you leave your spaceship home for war.)
But Jaha goes to find Murphy; he has gotten him cleared of his duties, so they can take a trip—to Wells’ grave. Up until that moment I forgot that Jaha hadn’t been there yet, hadn’t been able to grieve his son properly. Picking Murphy to accompany him on this momentous event seems like an especially odd choice. The walk to the dropship leads to witty banter like this: “I’m nobody’s son… You made sure of that.” I may or may not have said “oh, snap” to my TV then.
Murphy tells Jaha the true nature of Wells’ death and yells at him a lot for having blood on his hands. But of course Murphy has quite a bit of blood on his own hands. Then Jaha says, “Good can come out of even the darkest acts, John.” (They are on a first name basis now.)
The two have a sleepover at “home sweet home.” As pillow talk, Jaha continues on with his “sacrifice the few to save the many” spiel before telling him of his true dream: The City of Lights. Yep, we’re back to this (about time). When Murphy and Jaha wake up, there’s a small group of Arkers waiting for their Moses to lead them to the Promised Land. So I guess that makes Murphy his Aaron?
So what can we expect next week? Wick and King Kong joking about noble gases together? Raven (who was also MIA) and President Wallace talking about the best types of radios? You just never know from this show.
Abby, where you at girl?
Do you think Lincoln’s story about seeing a man fall from the sky will come up again? In the books (spoiler!—even though they’re way different) Clarke finds out that her father was actually sent to Earth instead of floated. Since we saw him go out of the Ark in the first season, that seems highly unlikely, but it’s interesting to learn there have been other Sky People on the ground earlier.
Were you impressed that Bellamy knows his mythology?
We’ve talked about this before, but what are your theories on The City of Lights? New York City? Canada? Las Vegas?
Can we please get to Mount Weather now?
After a nuclear apocalypse, a group of people who have been living in space return to Earth—and quickly learn they’re not alone.