Blood must have blood ... or does it?
Credit: Katie Yu/The CW
S3 E5
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Rulers, Statesmen, Nations, are wont to be emphatically commended to the teaching which experience offers in history. But what experience and history teach is this, that peoples and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. —Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

The 100 writers’ room must have had this quote nailed to the wall as they wrote this season, and the character of Pike in particular. Every time he spoke tonight, it was as if he was intentionally recalling a terrible moment in history. Colonizing an already inhabited land while killing the native population? Check. Interning people just because of where they’re from? Check, check.

It’s easy to be frustrated by how easily the Arkers are following Pike, but his message of “outsiders are the enemy” is something people, sadly, too easily support — even today.

In “Watch the Thrones,” newly christened Chancellor Pike promised he would “finish what he started,” i.e. meet Indra’s peacekeeping army outside Arkadia with automatic weapons. In “Hakeldama,” we see Bellamy, Pike, and the Farmers coming back from outside the gates. They’re covered in blood, but there are no casualties from the Sky People. Abby doesn’t understand how they all returned against an army of 300. The answer’s simple: Pike and Co. killed them in their sleep.

As if nothing just happened, Pike addresses his people as chancellor: “This land is ours now.” (Apparently Woody Guthrie’s lyrics did not endure the apocalypse.) He goes on to say that any person who resists them will be met by force.

Clarke and Lexa, who are journeying to Arkadia with the body of the Ice Queen, have stumbled upon just what that means. The field outside the Sky Nation’s camp is littered with bodies; the only surviving person is Indra. She says Bellamy let her live so she could pass on a message: “Skaikru rejects the coalition. This is their land now. We can leave, or we can die.”

Lexa’s knee-jerk reaction as commander is to lay waste to Arkadia, so she calls the 12 clans to battle. Luckily Lexa is still willing to listen to Clarke, who says if she can get Kane to come meet them (thanks to Indra’s radio) and explain what’s going on, they can stop the war from happening. Lexa agrees but has her troops on the way just in case.

After getting Indra’s radio signal, Kane asks Octavia if she’s able to sneak out of Arkadia, and of course she is (“I was born for this”). Octavia quickly escapes to Lexa’s camp, where she goes straight to Indra’s side. Indra was a teacher and a leader to her, but I also suspect Octavia thinks of her as a mother figure. Finding out her own brother shot said mother figure — along with 300 Trikru, people Octavia thinks of as her own — can’t be good news for O’s future interactions with Bellamy.

When Octavia tells Lexa, Indra, and Clarke that the Sky People elected Pike, they realize just how much has changed in the past few days. And Clarke is starting to realize how much she missed in her time away. When Clarke says that her people couldn’t have voted for that, Octavia spits back, “What do you know, Clarke?”

The feelings behind Octavia’s words have to be more than just resentfulness for Clarke leaving. All O has wanted is to be welcomed as a Grounder — she’s learned the language, trained with their chief, adopted their customs, and still she’s not welcomed. Yet, Clarke kills a whole civilization with the flip of a switch and suddenly is revered as the most powerful among the Grounders.

But regardless of all that, Octavia agrees to help Clarke get back into Arkadia. There’s one day until the Grounder troops arrive; Clarke thinks if she can just talk to Bellamy, she can make him side against Pike.

There may have been a sliver of time when that would have worked… Bellamy does have a whiff of doubt that what they did was wrong (“We went too far”). But Pike is there to pounce: “Think about the lives we saved today, not the ones that were lost.” War is complex — I’m not about to begin to delve into what’s right and wrong during times of conflict. As we learned last season, there’s a very large gray area, but I think killing 300 people while they sleep is more in the black-and-white territory. And Bellamy should know this, but he has just suffered a significant loss (RIP Gina), and Pike is giving him someone to blame for that loss, in addition to a tangible way to strike back.

So Bellamy puts the Sky Guard jacket back on. Then promptly runs into Kane and Lincoln, who aren’t exactly happy with him. “You murdered innocent people; is that how you are now?” Kane asks. Bellamy, freshly brainwashed by Pike, just strikes back by saying, “You need to wake up,” and he goes on to say how Trikru were killing his friends before Kane even hit the ground (which is true).

NEXT: As if a massacre weren’t enough…

The situation only gets worse at Arkadia when Pike decides to intern the sick Grounders whom Abby had been treating in medical. He is interning the sick. (I might have blacked out from rage while watching this scene.) Lincoln is there when they’re rounding up his clan, and when they try to force Danae, a woman who can barely move to walk on her own, he gets angry. So angry that he picks a fight and ends up interned himself. (Later, Miller sneaks medicine from Abby into the internment camp for Danae. Thank goodness he’s on Team Good Guys!)

Octavia happens to arrive back at Arkadia just in time to see her brother lock up Lincoln. She starts yelling, loudly, about how he massacred the army; apparently he doesn’t want to have this conversation with his sister in public, so he pulls her into a private room — where Clarke happens to be waiting.

Anyone hoping for another happy Clarke and Bellamy reunion was sorely disappointed. Bellamy has had a charge of heart since when they met near Polis; we see a return to season 1 Bellamy, who doesn’t answer to Clarke. “Why do you get to decide it’s over?” he spits at her when she says the Ice Nation has already paid for the crimes at Mount Weather. She tries to talk him out of war, but he says they’ve always been at war and he’s tired of Kane, Clarke, Octavia, everyone telling him that peace is even an option.

Clarke makes one final plea, “Bellamy, I need you… I need the guy who wouldn’t let me pull that lever by myself.”

“You left me. You left everyone.”

Bellamy is clearly hurt by Clarke’s disappearance, but then he just masks that by attacking her: “People die when you’re in charge.” He goes on to point out all the times she’s been willing to — or actually carried out — a sacrifice of lives. He’s not wrong, and Clarke knows that, too. She apologizes for leaving and says she only did it because she knew the Arkers were in good hands with Bellamy. He apologizes, too. And then he handcuffs her to the chair.

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Not to sound like a tween, but this scene slayed me. Clarke has always been able to pull Bellamy back, to get him to see reason and what’s best for their people (and vice versa). Losing Gina might have pushed him over the edge and skewed his view of what’s best for the Arkers now. If Clarke can’t get him to see the errors in his thinking, how far will he go? And how far can he go before it’s too far for him to return?

Going one step further to that point, Bellamy attempts to take Clarke to the brig, but Octavia intercepts them. The two women are able to make it back to Kane and Abby with enough time to escape Arkadia again. Kane gives them the radio to stay in contact, and Clarke asks her mom to go with her. (If you did not tear up here, please take a look at your life.) Abby knows she’s needed at Arkadia, so she hugs her daughter and sends her off with a “May we meet again.”

This is hard to watch because, as a wise person named Murphy says, people don’t always come back when they leave in this world. He and Emori have developed a con wherein he plays dead on the road and she attacks the nice person who stops to help him. They’re clearly enjoying their time together **kissing** — but Emori can’t stop thinking about her brother, Otan. She wants to go back for him and starts to, but then realizes she doesn’t want to be without Murphy.

She goes back just in time: He’s jumped by a group who learned about their con. They’re going to kill him (Emori is hiding in the bushes) until they see his City of Light pill, which fell on the ground. They say it’s the “sacred symbol” and decide to take him as a prisoner instead. Many questions here, but we’ll have to wait for more episodes for the answers.

NEXT: Let’s talk about what else is happening at camp: Jaha

Jaha — with the A.L.I.E. vision only he can see — returns to Arkadia. Otan is with him, but now that the Sky Guards don’t tolerate Grounders, they essentially shoot him on site. But as long as Jaha can have his backpack, he doesn’t mind because “death is not the end.”

Kane welcomes Jaha back and tells him the war that he predicted before he left is about to happen, but Jaha has no more cares in the world. “None of it matters in the City of Light.” Kane’s not buying it. Jaha preaches the message to Pike next, but he’s also not buying it.

So Jaha takes his message to the people. He’s preaching to a group outside when Raven comes up and yells at him, saying there’s no easy way to eliminate the pain. Raven knows a lot about pain these days; because she won’t get treated and Abby won’t medically clear her anymore, Raven has been pulled from work duties. Abby tries to help, but Raven says everything is fine. Everything is not fine, and A.L.I.E. knows it. She tells Jaha that if he can get Raven, the others will come.

Later, Jaha finds Raven sorting scrap metal, a new, less strenuous job. The former chancellor wants to help her, but Raven is tired of people offering help. She sees admitting her pain as admitting she has a disability — and she doesn’t want to be weak. Jaha simply says, “What have you got to lose?” and leaves her the City of Light pill.

That evening, Raven is struggling — it’s raining, she’s in pain, and she’s in tears. She grabs the pill from her pocket and swallows it. Within seconds, she’s walking with ease and looks up to see A.L.I.E., who says, “Time to go back to work Raven.” Whatever that means…

Clarke and Octavia definitely have their work cut out for them, too. When they get back to Lexa’s camp, Clarke goes in to tell the commander and the Trikru chief that what they’d heard about Pike is the truth. Lexa is ready to respond with war — and Clarke tells her she has the right to do that, or she can change the way things are done on the Ground. Indra, in the corner, yells out the usual response, “Blood must have blood,” which leads to this beautiful, epic exchange:

Clarke: Really? Because from where I stand, the only way that ends is with everyone dead. So what kind of leader do you want to be — the kind who kills every chance she gets because that’s your way or the kind who shows the world a better way?

Lexa: You consider letting a massacre go unavenged a better way?

Clarke: If it ends a cycle of violence, yes. If it brings about peace, yes. Someone has to take the first step. Let it be you. You say you want peace, that everything you’ve done was to achieve that, yet here we stand on the brink of another war, a war you could stop.

Clarke is the anti-Pike. She wants to learn from history; she sees what has come from “blood must have blood” before and knows there has to be a better way. Whether or not she can get Lexa to see it is the biggest question. Indra doesn’t even think it’s a question: “You can’t be considering it.” And she’s right. Lexa’s not considering it; she’s doing it.

“Let it be known — blood must not have blood.”

With Pike’s actions, the Arkers became the ruthless killers, and now, with Lexa’s words, the Grounders have become the peacemakers. I believe that’s called flipping the script.

Let’s talk about your thoughts on “Hakeldama” below, or you can find me to chat on Twitter @realdalener.

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