There were a lot of great things going on in last night's The 100, but one of the most memorable aspects of the episode was pretty darn weird. While the Grounders and the Sky People prepare for a massive battle, their two girl leaders need to bond — over a very large, very hairy enemy.
So here we are: the eve of the battle against Mount Weather, and everyone has stuff to do. Bellamy and Lincoln are looking for a way inside. The troops are training for the coming fight. Jaha is adopting Murphy or something. And Lexa and Clarke are getting chased down by a killer gorilla.
Let's start with the gorilla itself, which was my least favorite part of what was on the whole a very strong episode. Yes, I get it, there was a zoo and some of the animals managed to survive and breed. But we see so little of animals on The 100 — we don't even get much of a sense of animals — that introducing a monster gorilla ups the nature ante too much too quickly. How about some rats wreaking havoc with the supplies first?
But Lexa and Clarke trapped together, that works, especially as the two continue to feel out each other's cultural values and understanding of the world. Clarke learns that Lexa believes she will be reincarnated after she dies, and that new leaders are believed to hold the spirits of deceased leaders. This rather makes sense given Grounder attitudes toward death. The Grounder warriors lead a brutal life, but they believe their death isn't the end. Lexa, for her part, starts to accept that some of Clarke's differences may not be weaknesses. I do worry sometimes that The 100 will end up treating the Sky People as some colonialist "civilizing" force, but I think what makes Lexa a strong leader is her ability to acutely understand cultural differences, which may make her more likely to accept them in the end.
Meanwhile, Kane seems to be having trouble with that sort of cultural empathy. When the Grounders refuse to touch guns, he's simply perplexed by their superstition, forcing Octavia to step in as cultural interpreter. While people like Kane might view the Grounders as merely puzzling and savage, Octavia has been immersed in their culture and understands how their history and their society are linked. And Indra, at least, offers her a chance to belong, something she was sorely missing aboard the Ark. While many of the Sky People may view the Grounders as savages, it was the Ark that criminalized Octavia's very existence. She never really had a chance to be one of the Sky People. But, if we can believe Indra, you can merit your way into being a Grounder warrior. Kane can't even begin to fathom that someone from the Ark might feel more at home among the Grounders.
And while we're learning about the Grounder religion, Jaha is getting a little religion of his own. Jaha has been a little off since his hallucination aboard the Ark, but I rather like that he's taken Murphy under his wing. Murphy need something — someone — to put him on a path. He's a competent survivor, but socially, spiritually, he's adrift. And, as it becomes clear from Murphy and Jaha's conversation about Murphy's executed father, Jaha owes Murphy a little fathering. When he makes Murphy lead him to Wells' grave, he's saying goodbye to one son so he can attend to another. I'm looking forward to seeing what is ahead for these two.
But it's Lincoln whose soul is in the greatest danger. He and Bellamy find their way to Mount Weather and get themselves captured in order to get Bellamy inside. But in posing as an active Reaper, Lincoln submits to the addictive drug Red once again. Bellamy makes it into the harvest queue, where he can hopefully free the caged topsiders waiting inside, but the real question is whether Lincoln can retain his humanity.