The 100 3×16 Review: Perverse Instantiation Part Two
In “Perverse Instantiation Part Two”, Clarke takes the flame and the chip and finds herself in the City of Light, racing against time to find the kill switch and defeat Alie once and for all.
Wow, there’s so much to discuss! With Ontari brain dead, our intrepid band has extremely limited options. Clarke’s plan to put the flame in her own head, using a constant blood transfusion from nightblood Ontari, is actually pretty brilliant (“Perverse Instantiation Part Two” is full of brilliant plans), but did Abby really have all that equipment in her med kit? I guess when the story involves an A.I. and brain-controlling chips, I should suspend my disbelief a little more. Once again, Clarke has to bear the burden of leadership and possibly sacrifice herself in order to save everyone. Maybe next season, the show can give her a break and give someone else a savior complex. Oh, who am I kidding?
Speaking of the chips, I’ve never quite understood how they work. Are they swallowed? Do they dissolve? Was that ever explained?
Bellamy’s arc this season angered a lot of people, myself included. I don’t know if he needed to be “redeemed” so much as he needed to realize that his decisions — which I cannot truly fault him for, since he believed he was doing the right thing — were for the wrong reasons. He simplified it to Pike as needing to believe that the Grounders were bad and the Arkers were good, but I don’t think it’s quite so black and white as that. When the 100 fell to the ground, they landed in the middle of a culture they don’t understand, and they’ve been struggling to find their place in a world in which they don’t really belong. Bellamy has, since mid-season 1, borne a lot of responsibility and a lot of blame. Still, he has begun to atone for his mistakes and grow again as a character. I almost hated Bellamy at the beginning of the season, but he’s back to being the character I know and love.
Now it’s Octavia’s turn. Bellamy equated her slashing Pike’s leg and trying to sacrifice him to his decisions after Gina’s death, and while I feel it’s unfair to compare his relationship with Gina to Octavia’s with Lincoln, he isn’t entirely wrong. Octavia is grieving and making choices based on that grief. By seeking revenge over Lincoln’s death, she endangered everyone’s lives, just as Bellamy seeking revenge for Gina’s death cost lives. I thought, after Pike saved her during the final battle, that she would be able to move past what happened…and then she killed him. As similar as their pasts and stories may be, Octavia is not Bellamy. He belongs in this society in a way that she never did. Lincoln was all that mattered to her, and now he’s gone. I don’t know how she’ll react to what she’s done.
Lexa’s “return” was triumphant, bursting out of nowhere to rescue Clarke when she was incapacitated and pinned down on the steps. It’s a little disconcerting that she was basically killing a bunch of people’s minds — the ethics of this entire storyline give me both nausea and a headache — but considering Alie’s plan, I doubt she had much choice. And she essentially sacrificed herself to save Clarke, thereby making her second death much more compelling and fitting than her first.
It took an entire season, but in “Perverse Instantiation Part Two” we finally learned Alie’s plan. It seems that the nuclear missile silos that weren’t fired in the first apocalypse have begun to deteriorate, and they all only have about six months to live. Fabulous! Alie, programmed to make human life better, thought that bringing everyone to the City of Light would be better than slow death by radiation poisoning. Clarke questioned why Alie didn’t just tell people that, instead of torturing them, which makes you wonder if that’s how Alie first brought Jaha to her side. It’s the season finale, so they left it to the very last second, but Clarke decided that she would rather the human race fight to survive than wallow in complacency in the City of Light and flipped the kill switch.
Much like the previous season finales, “Perverse Instantiation Part Two” clearly sets up the plot arc of the next season. I predict that much of season 4 will be trying to find the other missile silos, and perhaps that means we’ll leave behind the Grounders vs. Arkers conflict that has plagued the past three seasons. I do hope they continue having the characters deal with the consequences of their actions. Season 3 opened with Clarke still struggling after Mount Weather, therefore season 4 should deal with the aftermath of Alie’s manipulations. We already saw some of that when Clarke was able to bring back Abby; Clarke did her best to reassure Abby that it wasn’t her, but Abby and the others will still have to live with what they have done, even if they weren’t fully responsible for it.
Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about this season. It came across as a little uneven and made some controversial decisions along the way. A serial television show can’t really exist on just an A plot, which is what the City of Light was, even though it took a while for us to get to it. However, it was the B plot that I had such issues with. It seems to me that the B plot relied heavily on us rooting for or getting attached to characters that weren’t developed well enough for me to care. A belated flashback episode made Pike seem more human than the tyrannical despot he appeared to be in the earlier episodes, but it was too little, too late.
- It was wet when Clarke entered the City of Light. I thought there was no inclement weather. Isn’t it supposed to be perfect?
- Wow, everyone climbs fast on this show.
- Abby has an extremely well-stocked med kit, and I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing her pull Ontari’s heart out of her chest.
- On that note, Murphy being helpful and useful was fantastic.
- Is it ironic that they sent the 100 to Earth thinking it was uninhabitable only for it to become uninhabitable after they land?
- Wasn’t Monty stabbed?
- I liked the symmetry during the final battle of Bellamy dueling Kane and Abby forced to confront Jackson. It was a mentor/mentee fight to the death. Luckily Clarke flipped the switch in time.
- I’m a little unsettled by that last shot of Jasper. Am I the only one?
And so ends a very divisive season of The 100. What did you guys think of “Perverse Instantiation Part Two”? Do you think it brought a satisfactory end to the City of Light storyline?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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