I get to review every other episode of The 100 for The Geekiary, and after “Gimme Shelter” it seems less coincidence and more sad fact that the episodes I review tend to be the most eyeroll-inducing.
The sad thing is, “Gimme Shelter” had some really great moments and side plots, but they were all overshadowed by the High Stakes that this show is constantly making even *higher*. I mean, six months to get their shit together became two months; they were fixing up Arkadia and then Ilian blew it up; they were going to save everyone with Nightblood but the only way to do it was to go to space and they can no longer go to space…oh, wait, not so much that last part! As Abby explained in “Gimme Shelter”, there is one more option – straight up injecting someone with Luna’s blood and then immediately exposing that person to massive amounts of radiation, which might mean killing said “lab rat”, so you know, Abby didn’t want to do it.
I find this frustrating because Abby has made some pretty harsh decisions the past few seasons; also, are you seriously telling me that not one person could be found who would agree to [only POSSIBLY] sacrifice themselves for the good of everyone else? I get that they were in a time crunch but Clarke and Roan seemed to get to the island pretty fast, and other than Emori’s personal belief that they would use her, there was no other evidence that they actually needed to use someone who was already there.
Therefore it seemed pretty convenient that a bad guy from Emori’s past would show up just in time to be injected with the Nightblood and then exposed to radiation, but you know, at this point I’m down with just about anything that will maybe please gods stop The 100 from spending every single episode threatening an end to all things at the expense of the show’s overall plot. That said, in case you can’t tell, I’m a bit torn about their need to use someone who was already right there, considering how fast Clarke and Roan got to the island, and I’m also not sure how I feel about the revelations regarding Emori’s character. At first I thought, hey, cool, we’re getting to know more about her past! But nope…it turned out that she was lying, she didn’t know this guy at all, which meant he’d never tortured her, and she’d only lied because she “knew” that she would be the lab rat if she didn’t.
(Which again I still think is bullshit; at the very least I feel like they would have drawn straws. Or who knows, maybe Murphy would have continued to show character growth and offered up himself in order to ‘save’ Emori? Seriously there are so many ways they could have gone with this even if they didn’t want to just try bringing in someone from Arkadia who was willing to [again, POSSIBLY] sacrifice themselves for the greater good.)
The island plot may have been the most frustrating in “Gimme Shelter”, but the most useless was definitely Bellamy’s. Again, can the writers not give ANYONE a break? Sure, part of the issue is that Bellamy keeps trying to redeem himself from throwing in with Pike, but every time he tries he fails miserably…only none of those failures are really his fault. That is, unless they were trying to make a talking-on-the-‘phone’-and-driving statement when Bellamy was on the radio and then ended up stuck in the mud and therefore unable to save to two rando Arkadians who had been full on exposed to the black rain. So anyway, everything about Bellamy’s story in this episode pretty much bored me, and even though in the end he agreed with Kane that you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, I feel like he goes back and forth with that and other similar cliches. His character has always been a bit maddening, but lately I find myself liking him less and less. Please, show, give him something to DO!
Moving on to Octavia, well, I’m torn about her journey as well. She was so badass for the first six episodes of this season, but one night with Ilian in “Gimme Shelter” and she’s throwing away her weapons and offering to take him home to his farm? Does this mean warrior Octavia is totally gone? I hope not, though it would be nice to see her not deal in extremes for once. With the right balance she could be a truly great character – likely better than Clarke has ever been, if you ask me.
While I don’t think “Gimme Shelter” was the worst episode of the season, I’m just so tired of nothing working out for the characters on this show. I mean literally nothing. They have one tiny somewhat positive thing happen, and then minutes later everything goes to shit again. It’s honestly *exhausting*, and if the writers don’t start giving them a few more breaks – particularly lengthier ones – personally I’m going to end up so jaded that I won’t want to watch the show at all anymore.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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