The 100 3×08 Review: “Terms and Conditions”
“Terms and Conditions” is meant to refer to Pike and Kane’s conversation and Kane’s “surrender”, but it feels to me like something for the fans as well.
You know how every time iTunes updates, you have to re-accept the terms and conditions of the software? That’s what this episode felt like to me. It’s like The 100 is undergoing a software update (version 3.0, where they “fix” things that weren’t broken and introduce new features that people neither want nor need), and you basically have to either click the little box saying you accept the new normal, or uninstall the program completely.
I’m not going to lie to you, I haven’t been happy with a lot of things about The 100 this season. Poor pacing, lazy writing, and backsliding characters have run rampant. However, “Terms and Conditions” finally started to show some cracks in the show’s shiny new armor. Halfway through the season, and we’re finally seeing signs of sanity in characters I’d previously thought had gone insane. It nowhere near makes up for some of the awful storytelling this season (Lexa’s poorly-handled death is still fresh in the minds of many fans), but it gives me a small glimmer of hope that eventually I will be reminded of why I fell in love with this show in the first place.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that for much of “Terms of Conditions”, I was spouting off the same angry tweets that have been a Thursday-night staple since the show came back two months ago. Much of the show still makes me ill, not only with the characters’ treatment of other characters (Pike in particular is starting to sound more and more delusional), but with the show’s treatment of its own characters. A lot of this has to do with pacing, which has been a major problem this season. It wasn’t until the second half – actually, almost close to the very end of the episode – that I stopped frothing at the mouth.
Bellamy is back, you guys. Or, at least, he’s starting to turn from the dark side. I’ve mentioned before that it’s purely by the grace of Bob Morley’s face that I haven’t fully given up on Bellamy yet. I was sorely tempted when he shot the Grounder messengers at the beginning of the episode. Or when he confronted and arrested Sinclair. (It doesn’t help that getting arrested was part of the plan so that Sinclair could get to Lincoln; Bellamy still did it and it’s not like he knew the plan.) While the script has Bellamy acting inexplicably, completely out of character, Bob’s facial expressions indicate a massive inner turmoil. But at the end of “Terms and Conditions”, when he learned that Pike actually intended to execute Kane, he seemed to realize how bad things were. His decision to keep Miller and Harper’s involvement secret shows that he hadn’t gone full dark side. It just really, really, really looked like it. For a long time.
Jasper’s plotline has been very grating for me much of the season, but he’s almost totally forgiven just for freeing Raven from the ridiculous “City of Light” nonsense that I still don’t care about. Obviously it would have been eight thousand times better if Raven had freed herself – a feat that may not have been possible considering we don’t know a whole lot about the “red pill” that she swallowed – but I’ll gladly accept anything that gives Lindsey Morgan more to do. And watching her struggle with the knowledge that she couldn’t remember anything about Finn was heartbreaking but so, so good simply for the fact that she needed a scene like this.
So as I mentioned, I haven’t been a huge fan of Jasper this season, but this episode reminded me a lot of how he was in season 2. His line of questioning about Finn and only forgetting the bad stuff seemed calculated to me, as though he agreed to help her just so he could find out more about that side effect of whatever Jaha is giving people. After all, he was there with Abby when it was revealed that Jaha had forgotten Wells.
We spent the entirety of “Terms and Conditions” at Arkadia, perhaps to balance out last week’s Polis-centered episode, which means that unfortunately we don’t get to see how Clarke is handling Lexa’s death. The fans, however, made their feelings known with the “LGBT Fans Deserve Better” campaign on Twitter, which was active during the live-airing of the episode and had over 250,000 tweets. And though it in no way makes up for the treatment of Lexa’s character – her hasty, badly-timed death and the loss of one of the few canon lesbians on television – this was the first episode where Miller and Brian actually looked like boyfriends. We learned that they live together, and they even shared a kiss. However, this domestic bliss was kind of ruined when Brian slipped a bug into Miller’s pocket so that Bellamy could spy on the resistance. At least he felt bad about it – another crack in the armor, that now those who were loyal to Pike at the beginning are starting to see the folly of this plot.
Lincoln made a rare appearance this episode, helping the resistance by staging a fight with Sinclair that led to a full-scale prison riot – a riot that was merely a distraction so that Kane could abduct Pike and attempt to deliver him to the Grounders. With Ricky Whittle set to star in American Gods on STARZ and rumors of behind-the-scenes drama, I fear for Lincoln’s safety in every episode. I don’t want him to go, and at the same time I accept that he will probably not survive the season. I don’t like it, and I wish he was getting better material if this is indeed his last season, but it’s being hinted at pretty heavily that he is going to die. Perhaps this episode is a sign that he’ll be getting more to do from now on.
So, while “Terms and Conditions” was full of a lot of the garbage that they’ve been shoveling us lately, there may yet be light at the end of the tunnel. For some people this may be too little, too late, but I’d already decided to give it until the end of the season, so for me it’s like a drink of water after a long drought. It’s not enough to quench the thirst, but it keeps me pacified a little while longer.
What did you guys think of “Terms and Conditions”? Let us know in the comments!
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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