TV recap: The 100 season two, episode five – Human Trials

Last time on The 100, Clarke and Anya found Camp Jaha and decided to form an alliance to take down the Mountain Men. Only Anya was shot to death by Major Byrne’s soldiers before she could do anything. Finn and Murphy headed to a Grounder camp to try to find Clarke and the others from The 100, while Bellamy, Octavia and Monroe headed back to Camp Jaha. And Jaha himself was captured by Grounders.


Mount Weather

Jasper is called in to see President Dante. Turns out, Jasper does care about Clarke and has been dropping by sick bay trying to see her every day. Dante tells Jasper that Clarke has run away, and tells Jasper he can go after her and bring her back, and that as Mount Weather is his home, he can return anytime. Dante is really, really manipulative, clearly wanting Jasper to do the dirty work and somehow persuade Clarke to come back.

There’s a new creepy doctor in Mount Weather, who has Lincoln strapped to a chair and injects him with something that doesn’t look pleasant. What is going on?

Jasper has shared Dante’s news with Monty, who decides that he is going to go after Clarke, since she would come after them. Maya tries to stop Jasper, but I think it’s all an act. And then Maya’s face goes red and starts burning – there’s a radiation leak somewhere. I think it’s very conveniently timed, and that Dante is behind this radiation leak. Creepy doctor one tells Jasper that he can help Maya via some sort of blood transfusion, and Jasper gives in. Argh!

Creepy doctor two is back to inject Lincoln yet again. What is he injecting him with? Is he trying to turn Lincoln into something? A weapon perhaps? This project is called the Cerberus project, so is it something to do with dogs? Are they trying to turn Lincoln into a human/dog hybrid? 

Meanwhile creepy doctor one is prepping Jasper for the blood transfusion. Conveniently, as Monty tries to talk Jasper out of it, Maya has a seizure. Am I mean for thinking this whole thing is a set up to bring Jasper on side? Monty becomes suspicious after creepy doctor one says something that makes him think she’s done this procedure before, despite what she said.


Creepy doctor two now wants to start phase two testing on Lincoln, which seems to involve bringing in another Grounder, putting a dose of medicine on the floor between them, switching on a high pitched noise, untying them, and seeing who gets to the medicine first. They’re both desperate for whatever the medicine is, as their body now craves it, and Lincoln ends up beating the other guy to death for it, before injecting the medicine into his own neck. Jeez.

Upstairs Maya seems to have been healed by the procedure with Jasper’s blood (of course), and I still think this whole thing is a complete set up. The two creepy doctors have a summit with Dante, and it turns out that creepy doctor one wasn’t supposed to experiment with Jasper, at least not yet. And the conversation reveals that creepy doctor two is indeed breeding soldiers (OH MY GOODNESS, I THINK HE’S CREATING REAPERS), while creepy doctor one advocates for moving ahead with the 47. Moving ahead with what? 

Ooh, turns out creepy doctor two is Dante’s son (his name is Cage Wallace – how appropriate), and that Dante is suspicious of the radiation leak that harmed Maya. So it was a set up (although creepy doctor two doesn’t admit it). I think he wants to usurp his father.

Camp Jaha

Picking up right where the last episode ended, the Camp Jaha folk think they’ve captured a Grounder. Only it’s Clarke. How long until someone who recognises her sees her? Luckily, only about a minute, since Abby sees Clarke being brought in and recognises her through the blood coating her face.


Clarke is just as stunned that her mother has survived as Abby is to see her. Not wanting to leave a happy reunion happy for too long, Major Byrne starts interrogating Clarke, and is surprised to find she’s been to Mount Weather. Abby turns Major Byrne away, and breaks the news to Clarke that Finn and Bellamy have survived. Clarke breaks down in relief, but she doesn’t yet know that Finn and Bellamy are out looking for her.

Her face cleared of blood, Clarke wakes up hours later in a pretty awful state, but it’s okay, her mother is there. Abby updates Clarke on what’s been happening, and Clarke says that the group need to move against Mount Weather. Abby tries to stop Clarke getting up, tries to protect her, but the time spent away from her mother has turned Clarke into a survivor – she no longer needs her mother’s protection because she’s gone through so much, and survived. Abby just doesn’t seem to get that quite yet.

Major Byrne disturbs the little mother/daughter chat by saying someone is approaching the camp, and after the events of the previous night, she seems a lot more cautious. She’s assessed the situation, and is pretty confident whoever is returning isn’t a Grounder.

Heading out to see what’s happening, Clarke bumps into Raven, who has been waiting outside the tent for her all night. It’s a lovely reunion, because these two women started out as wary of each other and both loving Finn, and now they’ve formed a really deep bond. Two of my favourite characters and two of the most powerful women in The 100 are back together again, and I know things are going to work out (as much as they ever can down on earth). And then the gates to Camp Jaha open and Bellamy, Octavia and Monroe return with the girl they rescued. 

And if you thought Clarke and Raven’s reunion was lovely, it’s nothing on Clarke and Bellamy’s. Clarke runs up to Bellamy and throws her arms around him, and he initially doesn’t know what to do, before he wraps her up in a hug as well. It’s unexpected but so lovely, and it’s Octavia who sums it up by saying that it’s the last thing she expected to see, but with a smile on her face. These guys have been through so much together, it’s not a surprise that they’d want to cling together, because they’re the only ones who understand each other. But things don’t remain happy for long – the reunion is dampened by the news that Finn is still out looking for Clarke.

 

I’m surprised, but it seems that Abby and Major Byrne have listened to Clarke, and are planning to head to Mount Weather. Caution is the word of the day, and the adults decide they’re going to observe Mount Weather and also send word to Kane that he needs to come back. But with a lack of soldiers, Finn and Murphy will be set loose.

Clarke isn’t happy with Abby, who is being half chancellor and half mother. Bellamy nails it – now that Abby has Clarke back she’s willing to abandon Murphy and Finn, even though she sent them out in the first place to find her daughter. 

Despite instructions from Abby that no one is to leave the camp, Clarke and Bellamy form a plan, and with Raven’s help get hold of weapons. Octavia comes bounding up to say she’s going too, and is ready to fight Bellamy if he doesn’t let her go. In a show of how these characters have developed, Bellamy is already prepared for her to come along – he’s no longer underestimating her and is instead fully aware of her worth to them and of her strength. And so the intrepid trio escape, with Raven looking on.

Abby isn’t happy to discover that Clarke is gone, and heads straight to Raven, who denies everything. Abby turns on Raven, slapping her round the face, clearly overcome with emotion. I think Abby is having a hard time reconciling the Clarke she sees now with her daughter, and it takes Raven telling her that Clarke isn’t a child anymore for Abby to perhaps finally see that Clarke doesn’t need her. 


In the woods

Kane, in a nice bit of circling back to season one, plants the tree his mother kept guard of on the Ark. This is a new, diplomatic, peaceful  Kane that I really like, who tries to persuade his Grounder prisoner to take a drink of water by showing him he has faith in his humanity, rather than by resorting to violence or scheming. Still, Kane isn’t stupid and won’t untie the Grounder despite his request.


In another part of the woods Finn and Murphy have the Grounder campsite in their sights, but Murphy isn’t convinced anyone is being held here – the camp is full of children, families and elderly people. But Finn is too blinded by the need to rescue Clarke that he can’t see sense.

Like the good old days, Bellamy and Clarke are camping by firelight. Bellamy, without even being told, tells Clarke that she was right to shut the door to the drop ship, assuaging her guilt. And finally someone acknowledges how much Finn has changed – Bellamy tells Clarke that the loss of her and the others has completely transformed Finn. Bellamy feels guilty for letting Finn and Murphy go, even though he saw how unstable Finn is, and for not realising that it wasn’t Grounders  who took Clarke and the others. 

Finn and Murphy head into the Grounder camp at night, and Finn decides to burn the camp’s food supply, causing a panic. The distraction allows the pair to explore, but we all know they’re not going to find anything there. Instead of leaving when they’re discovered, Finn captures another Grounder, and holds him hostage. The stand-in leader of the camp (it’s Nyko! They’re in Lincoln’s camp! Where’s Indra?!) tells Finn The 100 aren’t in the camp, but Finn doesn’t believe them and insists on searching the area. 

Kane has arrived at the perimeter of a Grounder camp, and tells his guards that they are to return to Camp Jaha while he proceeds with the Grounder they’ve captured. Not only is Kane heading into the Grounder  camp alone, he’s also not allowed to have any weapons, and he unites the Grounder. How badly can this go? Pretty badly, since about three seconds later the Grounder knocks Kane out and takes him to the camp, where he’s thrown into an underground cell. A cell that is occupied by someone else. OH MY GOODNESS! IT’S JAHA!

Over at the other Grounder camp, Finn has, unsurprisingly, not been able to find any of The 100. Murphy is having huge doubts about sticking around, but it’s hard to make Finn see sense. Especially when Finn finds a bunch of clothing belonging to The 100 hanging up in camp. There’s a young Grounder who clearly wants to rebel, and who is held back by Nyko. When Finn threatens Nyko, he keeps his calm, but Finn only loses it more, holding a Grounder girl to the floor with his foot. Murphy’s many desperate pleas seem to work, and Finn lets go of the girl, eventually, but I’m far from convinced this is the first step on the road to Finn’s rehabilitation.

Nyko finally realises that the Grounder Finn killed was lying to Finn and Murphy about The 100’s whereabouts because he’d been thrown out of camp. Finn and Murphy are about to walk away when it all goes wrong – Finn opens fire on one Grounder who he thinks is about to attack them but is actually just running away, and then a second, the boy, who wants revenge, and then Finn just can’t stop, and keeps firing and firing and firing his gun, killing indiscriminately. It’s horrifying. In his haze, he can’t hear Murphy telling him to stop, but he does see Clarke and Bellamy and Octavia run into camp. Finn’s so happy to see her, but Clarke is clearly disgusted and terrified by what Finn has become, so much so that she takes a step back.


Solid ground?

Well, no one can accuse The 100 of sitting on its laurels. This episode moved the story forward leaps and bounds, and brought back together all the major characters.

It was an episode full of reunions, from the genuinely joyful (Bellamy and Clarke, Octavia and Clarke, Raven and Clarke) to the more cautious (Abby and Clarke, Jaha and Kane) to the downright awful (Finn and Clarke). The contrasts were clear, and really hammer home the new dynamics of The 100 now that the adults are on earth and there are new enemies to face.
The 100 has always been pretty dark, and never afraid to shy away from showing the dark side of human nature. I thought the episode earlier in season two where we saw the people on Mount Weather experimenting on the Grounders was the most horrifying thing we’ve seen, but it was nothing compared to Finn’s descent into madness. The fact that Finn has changed so much is made more terrifying by the fact that we knew him as a good person, and that he was always the peacemaker in the group. While people like Bellamy and Murphy have seen Finn’s gradual decline, it’s only brought home to them, and to us as an audience, how bad it’s become when Clarke sees it – the last time she saw Finn he was honourable and loving and kind, and now he’s a monster on a par with anyone she met at Mount Weather.

What an episode.

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