TV recap: The 100 episode nine, Unity Day

Last time on The 100, everyone got high and started hallucinating, giving Octavia the chance to help Lincoln the Grounder escape. Bellamy tried to run away, and after almost being killed by a fellow member of The 100, was brought to his senses by Clarke, and the two began to form a true alliance. On the Ark, Jaha got closer to finding out who tried to have him killed, and we finally got confirmation that it was Dodgy Diana.


Earth-bound

On Earth, The 100 are watching Chancellor Jaha give his annual Unity Day speech. Marking the day when 12 space stations came together to form the Ark, not everyone is convinced by Unity Day – Finn believes it’s a lie, as it took the destruction of the 13th station force Ark to be created (this is all a bit Hunger Games). He finds himself on the opposing side to Clarke, who sees Unity Day as a day that gives people hope.

Hope that is helped by Jasper and Monty, who have managed to brew ‘Unity Juice’ and are busy getting everyone drunk. Drunk enough that Octavia can sneak away without anyone (apart from Finn) seeing. Taking a wild guess, I think she’s off to see Lincoln.

The 100 are having a pretty good time, even Bellamy and Clarke (who is putting a cutting of communications with the Ark down to a technical fault). This is the most relaxed and smiling we’ve ever seen Bellamy and Clarke, and it’s lovely, even if it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this must be some sort of calm before a storm.

Raven is the only one not partaking in the merrymaking, making bullets in a tent. Finn is finding a second female in camp who is not on his side – Raven is happy to confront the Grounders with violence, while Finn wants to try the diplomatic approach of talking. Finn is an idealist, but I think The 100 should try his method first. Violence only begets more violence.

Having fun in a different way is Octavia, who is following a trail of flowers left for her by Lincoln. The relationship between the two has clearly progressed from the hot kiss they shared at the drop ship to something a lot more physical (and hotter). As Octavia gets ready to leave, Finn appears out of the darkness, intent on wanting to talk to Lincoln. Finn believes if he and Lincoln can get along, so can everyone else. And Finn wants to achieve that by meeting the Grounders’ leader, before the guys from the Ark head down to earth and start fighting.

Lincoln agrees to set up a meeting between his leader and The 100’s, and he’s not talking about Bellamy. So Finn heads back to camp to persuade Clarke that he needs her to negotiate with the Grounders. She’s not happy, and is shocked to find out that Finn has met with Lincoln. Clarke is firmly in Bellamy’s camp on this one, convinced guns are the only answer. Finn appeals to her and she seems convinced enough to give it a try. That doesn’t stop her from telling Bellamy that he needs to follow her and Finn secretly, and take guns. While I think Finn is in the right here, I can’t help but love that trust is growing between Clarke and Bellamy (Bellarke forever).

Jasper attempts to cheer Raven up, which is more than can be said for her boyfriend. Their banter is cute, and this is a lovely friendship I hope to see blossom. It doesn’t have much time right now to do that, as Bellamy interrupts to grab some ammunition. Not willing to stay behind, Raven and Jasper head out with Bellamy on what could be a suicide mission.

Walking through a dark forest is giving Finn and Clarke the chance to bond again, although their relationship is seriously stilted, so it’s a good thing they reach the meeting point sharpish, finding Octavia there waiting for them (much to the surprise of Bellamy, who is hidden in the trees watching).

And there, over the bridge, appears Lincoln, followed by a group of Grounders on horseback, including their kick ass female leader (the Winter Soldier definitely takes eye make up tips from her). Clarke and the leader, Anya, meet in the middle of the bridge to talk. Anya points out that The 100 came onto the Grounders’ territory, that the flares launched by The 100 destroyed a village, and that The 100 invaded their territory. It’s an interesting perspective, The 100 having gone from explorers and pioneers to invaders. But Anya and Clarke do seem to be coming to some sort of agreement – the thought of more people coming from the Ark is scary for the Grounders, but Clarke promises she will try and make them honour the terms she and Anya set.

Clarke points out that the Ark has tech which could destroy the Grounders, but Anya’s people have lived through worse. And then, as they’re talking Jasper spots Grounders with weapons hidden in the trees, despite Lincoln’s promise that the Grounders wouldn’t bring weapons to the meeting. The irony escapes Jasper, Bellamy and Raven, who are themselves armed with a massive guns, and they leap out of the trees, shouting at Clarke to run as they begin firing their guns at the Grounders. Negotiations ruined, everyone makes a run for their respective sides of the bridge, although Lincoln is hit with an arrow. That’s what you get for being a good guy.

The gang head back to camp, with Finn and Octavia pissed at the others for bringing guns to the meeting. And then Finn says the most devastating thing – telling Clarke that she didn’t have to trust the Grounders, she just had to trust him. Oof. My heart.

Left standing alone on what should be a day of celebration, Bellamy and Clarke look to the sky to see the exodus ship. It’s early, but they’re happy, until they realise it’s heading to earth way too fast. And then it hits the ground in an explosion of light, leaving Clarke to believe her mother, meant to be on the first ship, has died. 

Happy Unity Day.


On the Ark
Jaha announces that the first of the ships will leave the Ark for earth the following week, but it appears he hasn’t told the population that not everyone will be going to earth.

Dodgy Diana is continuing her sly takeover of the Ark, sidling up to Abby to apologise to her, and then acting surprised when Jaha cuts his speech short. Jaha makes way for a group of kids, who are performing a play about the formation of the Ark, while Kane’s mother is trying to persuade him to take he small tree she’s been cultivating down to earth with him. Kane’s a little too busy being important, and walks away from his mum.

As a bunch of cute children are in the midst of a reenactment of the unification of the Ark, a bomb explodes. Bodies litter the floor as a ringing sound plays out and Jaha wakes to muffled voices and blurred vision. And then everything becomes clear – bright red blood everywhere and screams filling the air. He immediately charges Kane with finding out who is responsible, but Kane is distressed to see his mother has been fatally injured and he cradles her as she takes her last few breaths, giving the blessing to send her on a safe journey. Again, my heart.

Despite his loss Kane realises that someone is trying to kill Jaha. Dodgy Diana, suspiciously missing, must be behind it, but the gang hasn’t worked that out yet, although Kane is uneasy. And yep, there Dodgy Diana is, preparing for battle, and planning to take the ship and travel on it down to earth without (most of) the Ark dwellers.

As the clean-up operation continues, Dodgy Diana rushes in to say that the launch of the ship must be delayed and that she has discovered who set off the bomb – a mechanic who lost his wife in the culling. Kane and Abby are suspicious, but they don’t have any concrete proof of Dodgy Diana’s treachery. Kane heads to interrogate the mechanic, and walks straight into a trap – the mechanic and his ‘guard’ are in Dodgy Diana’s pocket and knock Kane unconscious.

Things on the Ark are getting worse – the station is suffering from a failure of everything, and people are soon going to start dying. Jaha manages to find Kane, who has realised (finally) that Dodgy Diana is staging a mutiny.

Dodgy Diana appears at the drop ship, and commands her men to start throwing disloyal people off the ship – her people are calling her Chancellor. Abby, hidden in a corner, can only sit and watch.

Jaha and Kane arrive to find Dodgy Diana in the exodus ship, and they can only watch through the window as she readies the ship for launch. And then Abby is found hiding, and Dodgy Diana decides Abby will be of use to her people when they get to the ground. Abby refuses and is stabbed as she makes a leap for the lock and turns it enough that Jaha and co can get a wrech in and try and open the doors. Try as they might, they can’t open the doors, and it only gets worse as they realise that the exodus ship is not uncoupled from the Ark, meaning everything will be destroyed when the exodus ship launches.

And then Dodgy Diana plays her trump card – yelling that there aren’t enough drop ships for everyone. And then she gives the command to launch the ship, and we get an external view of the Ark – the exodus ship detatching itself from the rest of the structure, which goes black.

Solid ground?
Ooh, the stakes have been raised and things have changed considerably. Up to now the big bad has been the Grounders, but this week we saw that the Grounders see The 100 as the threat. I definitely want to see how this relationship, which could have gone so well, now plays itself out after official enemy lines have been drawn.

But the best thing about this episode is the The 100‘s approach to gender politics. One thing I love about The 100 is its female characters, who are nuanced and worthy of so much more than that awful “strong female characters” tag. 

Throughout The 100, both on the Ark and on earth, it’s been the women who have been powerful. Sure, there are times when Bellamy seemed to be in control of The 100, but he’s admitted himself that Clarke is really the leader, and she’s clearly looked up to by the group. The fact that the Grounders appear to live in a society which welcomes female leaders/is a matriarchal society (we haven’t seen enough yet to judge whether that’s the case), and which wants to negotiate with measured, female leaders from opposing parties, is encouraging.

And on the Ark, Abby, while not being the elected leader, clearly has the ear of her peers. Her motherhood is celebrated, and her emotions and passion lead her to make good decisions, they’re not something to be ashamed of. Dodgy Diana is slightly more of a typical female villain, cold and calculating and hard-nosed, but even she has layers. Also, note how all Dodgy Diana’s acolytes are men. There’s an argument here for Dodgy Diana being named after Diana, the Roman goddess of childbirth, nature and fertility – after all, Dodgy Diana’s aim in the time we’ve known her has been to lead a crew of people down to earth (nature) to repopulate and resettle. And she’s always referred to her crew as “my people” – does she see them as children of a sort? Diana was also the moon-goddess, and, well, Dodgy Diana lives on a space station above earth, a bit like the moon.

Whatever else its faults – an occasional tendency towards the ridiculous, many failed attempts at getting the balance between the Ark and The 100 right, too much silly romance – The 100 is definitely good at portraying women in a way they rarely are in the mass media.

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