The 100 recap: Bitter Harvest
Last week’s recap started with a discussion of history, and this week’s will too because, well, history is a funny thing. Sometimes people are doomed to repeat the mistakes of others in history. Other times people take so much pride in the history of their people, they refuse to change the future. And then there are times when people are so embarrassed by their history, they bury it. All of the above is happening on The 100 in “Bitter Harvest.”
Pike continues to travel down the path of refusing to acknowledge the atrocities of Earth’s past by making the same mistakes. His story makes me the most angry, so let’s start there. Monty’s mom, Hannah, and other Farmers are taking soil and water samples outside Arkadia when a Grounder kid from the Sector 4 village wanders by. She says, “Hello there,” with a smile — and she’s Monty’s mom; she couldn’t possibly want to harm this kid, right? WRONG. When the Mean Farmer Whose Name I Refuse to Learn whispers that they can’t let him go, she gives a nod. I officially hate Hannah.
Luckily, Octavia is watching them nearby (while reporting back to Kane). SO when the Farmers go after the kid, she intercepts them. She keeps him quiet while they hide against a tree under some brush. It looks like they’re in the clear until Monty’s mom gets nearby and sap starts to drip onto O’s forehead. Turns out sap in 2150 burns on contact. Octavia is a warrior, though, and she’s able to fight through the pain and stay quiet so Hannah doesn’t discover them.
Kane has eyes on the ground thanks to Octavia, but he needs ears, too. Miller helps with that: He sneaks into the Chancellor’s quarters to plant a bug while Kane distracts Pike and Bellamy. It’s not hard to distract Pike — all you have to do is bring up one of his many terrible decisions. Kane chooses the imprisoned Grounders. “Interned,” Pike emphasizes as my blood boils. (I hate Pike so much, but Michael Beach is playing this character so well that I never know how to feel while watching these scenes.)
With the bug in place, Kane can overhear the next briefing. Pike says, thanks to the soil and water samples, they’ve found the best place to start planting: Sector 4. And instead of going to the village there and saying, “Hey, do you mind if we grow some food here? We’ll share,” Pike’s plan is to wipe them out. Bellamy has a shred of doubt, but Pike reminds him of their crusade: “Will you do what needs to be done for your people to survive or not?” Unfortunately, everyone in that room will.
So Miller meets Octavia in a cave and leaves her a horse so she can get to the village and warn them. Miller reminds her that if those villagers ignore her or choose not to flee, their own people will be walking into an ambush. But Octavia puts it another way: “What do you think happens when Lexa finds out Skaikru massacred another Grounder village?” Good point.
As Bellamy is packing up artillery for their village-clearing mission, Kane tries to stop him. But Bellamy is too hardened to listen now — and when he has mentors like Pike and Hannah encouraging him, it becomes an even more dire situation. Kane goes to discuss his problems with Abby. Kane feels the weight of all of this: He was the one who demanded an election, which caused Pike to have enough influence to carry out these atrocities. All Abby can offer him is a kiss on the cheek as hope that it will get better.
Before Team Bad Guys pack up the Jeep and leave, Miller comes to say goodbye to his boyfriend, Bryan. First, I’m glad Miller is on Team Good Guys. I wish I could say the same of Monty and Monroe. Second, does Bryan know Miller is on Team Good Guys? Third, why does Bryan have such a boring name!?
Octavia gets to the village before the Bad Farmers. Although she’s trying to warn them, the Grounders take it as a threat — until the boy from the creek steps out and says she was the one who saved him. Octavia waits while they pack up their stuff…or so she thinks. She realizes too late that they’re setting a trap using the poison sap that she was introduced to that morning. She tries to stop them, but they knock her out.
When Octavia wakes up, it’s evening and she’s tied up. The Jeep is pulling up at the same time. She’s up on a ridge with the villagers who stayed behind to deploy the trap. The Ark crew is walking into the village while she gets free to go warn them. When the villagers shoot flaming arrows at the sap-covered pyre, Octavia yells at them that the smoke is poison (smart girl). Bellamy tells them to fall back to the rover, but Monroe is too deep into the smoke. Monty goes after her, and Hannah stops her, but Bryan tells her not to go…so she doesn’t. I hated Hannah before for trying to kill a kid, but then she doesn’t even try to save HER OWN KID? Girl, bye. You need to die.
Anyway, sadly, this isn’t Hannah’s time to die: It’s Monroe’s. Monty is able to pull her out of the smoke, but it’s too late. To make matters worse, Hannah is blaming Octavia for all of this — and Octavia is still kidnapped by the Grounders.
When they get back to camp, Pike tells Bellamy that they need to find proof of Kane giving info to Octavia. Bellamy, falling farther down the rabbit hole, agrees to do it. I have visions of him pretending to flip back to Team Good Guy just to get info from Kane, and I’m not loving those visions.
NEXT: What everyone else is up to at Arkadia
While the rabble-rousers at camp get angrier, everyone else is getting happier — courtesy of Jaha and A.L.I.E. Raven visits Abby to get cleared for job duty. Raven has no pain anymore; there’s no reason Abby can’t clear her, so she does, with the exception that if anything is abnormal on her blood tests, she’ll pull her again. When the blood tests come back, Jackson says everything is clean. Her dopamine is a bit high, but that only indicates that she’s happy and not in pain, not that she’s on drugs.
Jaha is handing the pills out like candy to anyone who asks. Jasper is tempted, but Abby asks him to wait…and he does for a little bit. But he grows curious — and even more curious when he sees Raven with Jaha’s backpack at the computer’s mainframe. She was there trying to patch A.L.I.E. into the Ark’s mainframe so the AI can find her 2.0 version. Raven questioned what was wrong with the first version (uhh, she nuked the Earth, nbd), but Jaha tells her nothing is wrong. And Raven takes it as gospel — this is not the Raven we know.
So that’s where Jasper finds her: having successfully patched A.L.I.E. into the Ark’s mainframe. And trying to goad her, Jasper tells her that he lost Finn’s ashes. She’s not upset, and that’s what convinces Jasper he needs to try whatever Jaha is doling out.
Jasper finds Jaha, who gives him the City of Light pill. “Does it hurt?” Jasper asks. (Thank goodness someone finally asked that because that “pill” is huge. I have to psych myself up to take multivitamins. I don’t know how these people are taking this horse pill no problem.) Jaha tells him no, so Jasper is about to swallow it when Abby grabs his hand. She wants to know what’s in this, and A.L.I.E. gives Jaha the go-ahead to tell her.
He explains that it’s a silicone device that adheres to your brain stem once you take it; it stops the pain receptors. “Should have stuck with ‘key,'” Jasper jokes. Abby doesn’t flinch too much at this very weird news, but she says that she wants to test it. “Would you have given it to Wells without testing it first?” Abby asks, to which Jaha says, “Wells?”
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Yeah, as Abby points out, this pill is removing more than just pain. She takes his pill stash until she can test it, but A.L.I.E. isn’t worried… They have Jackson in the City of Light now, too. “I’ll keep an eye on her,” he says. (Not you, too, Jackson!!)
This story is intertwined with what’s going on at Polis, but just like the shocking reveal in this episode, I’ll save it until the end.
Now that Lexa has called off her troops, she and Clarke are lounging around her swanky castle (seriously, it’s like a post-apocalyptic West Elm in there). The commander is napping, and the commander of death is sketching her. Aww. But this pretty picture doesn’t last long before Lexa wakes up from a nightmare. She says the former commanders are haunting her and she’s worried she’s destroying their legacy. “Your legacy will be peace,” Clarke says.
Yes, Clarke and Lexa are still singing the “blood must not have blood” refrain, but that’s about to be challenged when King Roan sends Wanheda a gift: Emerson bound in a box. Lexa asks Clarke to decide the fate of the last of the Mountain Men. Titus, who thinks Lexa’s judgment is clouded, wants death. Lexa says that’s the old way, and she wants Clarke to echo this statement, but instead Clarke says she wants Emerson dead. Lexa makes sure she knows what this means: Emerson can be banished or he can die by Clarke’s own hand. She has until sundown to decide.
Clarke takes a little trip to visit Emerson. She wants him to ask her for mercy, but he says, “I don’t want mercy; I want revenge.” Emerson had two children, and they were killed along with the 369 other Undergrounders when Clarke chose to take down the Mountain. That action isn’t going to be something either of them can easily forget: “My pain ends today,” Emerson says. “Yours has just begun.”
NEXT: Titus and Jaha’s secrets are revealed
Emerson’s words are clearly resonating with her when she goes to her room and finds Titus. He’s there saying that the two of them need to get along — for the sake of the commander. So far Titus has seemed like an upstanding guy…but here a little flag raised for me. He says that his main concern is Lexa: The Grounders will have a hard time accepting the new policy, and so they’ll kill her for it. Clarke says she wants justice from Emerson, but at the same time, she says Lexa’s choice not to wipe out the Sky people for “justice” was the right response.
And then Titus throws down: “Did you not wipe out his people for what a few of them did to yours?” Clarke doesn’t know what to say, so he pushes on. He wants her to tell Lexa to give up the “blood must not have blood” fight. But Clarke refuses to do something that would lead to war against her own people.
And finally, finally Clarke takes her own advice and realizes that “blood must not have blood” has to be applied to everyone — not just people she likes. At Polis that evening, during a death ceremony, Titus hands her the knife to kill Emerson, but she says, “no,” that she doesn’t deserve the peace his death might bring. She looks at him and says, “I wouldn’t be killing you for what you’ve done — I’d be killing you for what I’ve done.” Emerson is not pleased.
Titus is also not pleased. He wants Lexa to kill Emerson. But she speaks to the crowd, over their murmurs, and says the crimes of the Mountain can’t be saved by killing one man. She goes on to give a speech that could very well be her legacy as a commander, saying that they are living in a new world in which violence isn’t answered by violence. (Raise your hand if you applauded your TV. No? Just me? Cool.)
Lexa banishes him for life to live with the ghost of those he lost, which is a pretty brutal thing to say, even to Emerson. Clarke finishes it by saying, “May you live forever.” Damn.
And in a very unexpected way, this dovetails with the Jaha story line because Titus has been getting info from a bound-and-tortured Murphy. (Okay, now I’m definitely concerned about Titus.) He wants to know about the City of Light pill.
Speaking of the City of Light, back at Arkadia, Raven is telling Jaha that there’s no trace of A.L.I.E. in the Ark’s system. A.L.I.E. is sure that Becca went into space (to get away from the AI she created, she tells Jaha only), so it doesn’t make sense that she wasn’t on one of the 12 stations. And that’s when Jaha makes a face. Apparently, there is a story of a 13th station, but most people don’t know it. “Blowing a station out of the sky to get others to join isn’t exactly a Unity Day story,” he says.
All he knows is that it was a ship named Polaris. Cut to Titus beating up Murphy to get info on the infinity pill. The camera pans out and there’s a piece of a ship with the name “Polaris” on it, except in Tondc fashion, the “a” and “r” are burnt out. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how we get Polis.
And that’s about ALL I can explain. Did Polaris come down safely? Does this have to do with why the Grounders call the infinity symbol the “sacred symbol”? Why is Titus so concerned about it? And most importantly: Can someone shove some City of Light pills down Pike, Guy Without a Name, and Hannah’s throats?
What do you guys think about this twist? I know many people don’t like Jaha’s story line, but I’m excited to see where this goes. As much as I loved last season, I did sometimes miss the sci-fi aspects we lost when everyone came to the Ground. This brings back that element without us having to return to space. And if anything, it just gives us a nice break from being angry at Pike.
Let me know your thoughts below, or find me on Twitter @realdalener.
After a nuclear apocalypse, a group of people who have been living in space return to Earth—and quickly learn they’re not alone.