All of season 4 (and honestly most of The 100) boils down to this: who lives and who dies.
Clarke and Jaha tried to make that decision on their own; it seemed at the end of “Die All, Die Merrily” that they had succeeded. But with help from her brother, conclave champion Octavia gets the final say. She’s been an outsider her entire life, hidden away from the world she never got to be a part of. But here at the end of things, she gets to choose unity — for everyone.
Not only is it the right decision, it’s a decision her character deserves to make. Octavia has grown probably more than any other person on The 100, and she was owed the chance to be the heroine this time. Plus, it helped that she got to make up with her brother in the process!
When “The Other Side” begins, Bellamy is raging against Jaha and Clarke’s decision to seal up the bunker. Apparently, they sent people to snatch up Octavia and Kane, too, but Bellamy was the only one they could get to in time. The self-appointed Skaikru leaders tell Bellamy they won’t be opening the door again. Clarke tries to make him understand why she had to make this hard choice. “I understand that you think you did what you had to do like always,” Bellamy claps back. Preach, Bellamy, preach.
Abby enters the control room and learns what Bellamy just did: Her (other) loved one isn’t underground with her. Against Jaha’s protests, Clarke allows them to radio up to say goodbye. Bellamy is relieved to hear that Octavia is alive and that she won the conclave. She tells him of her decision as the victor to let everyone into the bunker and that each clan is selecting 100 people to live in the bunker.
Bellamy is just telling her he’ll find a way to get the door open as Jaha enters with guards (Miller, how dare you!?). They shock-baton Bellamy, and suddenly we’re back in the Ark. As Bellamy is dragged away, Jaha tells Clarke they’re doing the right thing. Abby points out that even if that’s true, at least she and her daughter feel bad about it. Seriously, when did this guy turn back into such an ass?
Knowing they need to keep Bellamy locked safely away, Clarke asks Murphy to guard the door. “You need a selfish bastard?” he asks. “I’m your man!” They walk up to the turbine room, where their prisoner is chained up. He’s screaming from the inside and bleeding against the cuffs, so Murphy calls Abby in to look at his wounds, which is exactly what Bellamy was hoping for.
Bellamy knows Abby wants to fight for Kane just as much as he does Octavia, so she helps him escape and warns him that it won’t be simple to open the doors: They’re operated from the control room, where Jaha just happens to be. Bellamy isn’t too worried, though; his motto this episode is “Open the damn door or die trying.”
And he’ll need to open the doors quickly because things above ground are starting to heat up. The other clans have been kept away because of the black rain, but if they arrive at the temple and find out Skaikru stole the bunker, all bets are off. And arriving just in time to make things worse: Echo. She says Skaikru has dishonored the Grounders yet again, but as Octavia points out, it’s she who has dishonored everyone. Octavia knows all about her conclave cheating and banishment. Indra says Azgeda shouldn’t get any spots in the bunker because of this, but O points out that it’s not fair to punish everyone for the actions of one. Instead, she tells Echo to keep this info to herself and her people will be safe.
Inside the control room, Abby gives Jaha a chance to change his mind, but when he refers to Kane in the past tense, Abby jabs him in the leg with a sedative. Bellamy sneaks in after, and she tells him how the hatch works: She’ll have to open it from the control room’s computers while he opens the actual bunker door.
He runs off to do that right as Clarke sees Murphy is knocked out and Bellamy is gone. She runs straight for the bunker door, where she finds him trying to open it. With a gun pointed at her friend’s head, Clarke tells him she’ll do whatever she has to — like always. And then he gives her the speech she desperately needs to hear: This isn’t the same as the dropship doors or the levers in Mount Weather or the City of Light. She’s not saving people; she’s letting people die.
Clarke says that they don’t know what will happen if the doors open; they could all die while fighting before the death wave even comes. But Bellamy tells her she’ll have to kill him because he’s going to do this no matter what. Through tears, Clarke lowers her gun as Bellamy opens the bunker’s hatch.
(Recap continues on page 2.)