If any character has changed for the worse on The 100 while living on the ground, it's Finn. But this week's episode reveals that Finn has always done things for love that can get him killed. The question is whether he'll manage to survive this time around.
First off, I apologize for not recapping last week's episode. I had the flu, and I'm fairly sure you would have been treated to a few paragraphs of gibberish right up until the Grounders demanded that the Ark survivors hand over Finn. Once again, I have to say that the Grounders are being pretty reasonable on this front. Finn stormed into one of their villages and started shooting people because he was frustrated that he couldn't find Clarke. Handing over a murderer is a show of good faith.
The bigger problem is what the Grounders want to do to Finn. A quasi-recovered Lincoln (who doesn't trust himself enough to take off his restraints) explains the torturous death that Finn will endure at the hands of the Grounders. They don't believe in swift executions; they believe a killer should go out screaming.
While the adults debate trying and executing Finn themselves, hoping that a humane death will still placate the Grounders, Raven recalls why Finn was one of the 100 in the first place. It turns out that Finn was not actually the spacewalker who blew three months' worth of air out an airlock; it was Raven. Raven thought she was going to be barred from spacewalking because of her heart murmur, and so Finn, in a sweet but dangerous romantic gesture, figured out a window when Raven could spacewalk unnoticed.
Unfortunately, there was a seal breach and out goes the oxygen. In a second sweet—and more personally dangerous—gesture, Finn takes the fall for Raven. Since she's 18, she'll get spaced for sure, but he's only 17, which means there's a chance he could be released after a few months in detention. And that's the story of how Finn became a candidate for living on the ground.
Raven feels guilty for her part in setting these events into motion. If she hadn't gone on the spacewalk, if she hadn't let Finn take the fall, then Finn would not have gone down with the 100. (Of course, Finn could have died on the Ark or in the fall, but that's beside the guilt-ridden point.) If he hadn't been one of the 100, he wouldn't have fallen for Clarke and gone utterly, violently mad on the ground. What Raven doesn't seem ready to acknowledge is that Finn made a lot of choices between taking the fall for the spacewalk and shooting a bunch of Grounders.
The meat of this episode is really in the characters contemplating how the things they've done reflect on them as people. If they have done terrible things to survive, does that change their nature? Can they be good people and killers? On the one hand, we have Lincoln, who sees himself as a monster for the things he did while brainwashed and on the other we have Raven, who wants to absolve Finn of his crimes because she let the first domino in his chain of bad decisions fall. But it's something each character has to ask themselves—and something the adults aren't quite ready to ask.
The Grounders on the whole seem less consumed with these questions, however. When Clarke suggests they might be savages, Lexa tells her simply, "We are what we are."
At one point, Raven tries to get the other kids to give up Murphy in lieu of Finn. Sure, Murphy has committed his own share of evils, but it seems his major crime at this moment is being unloved by anyone. Finn, in the end, though, decides to take his lumps and surrender. He's made a lot of terrible decisions that he thought would protect his friends, but if he truly loves them, he needs to die in the name of peace. It's his finest hour.
And amidst all these questions about morality and actions, Clarke knows who she is in this scheme and what she needs to do to ensure peace with both the Grounders and her own conscience. She convinces the Grounders to let her say goodbye to Finn by not flinching or protesting as Indra pokes her with her blade. That goodbye is absolutely final, however, as she gives Finn a merciful death with a knife. There's some grumbling among the Grounders, but Lexa seems willing to accept this compromise. This world is what it is, but for Clarke, the choices that humans make still matter. The question is whether her fellow survivors will accept her choice.