Prove your humanity: 9   +   9   =  

‘Earth Skills’

Lord of the Flies meets Star Trek in the second episode of the new dystopian series, The 100. Bring on snark-filled team bonding and intriguing new characters, as well as, finally, the success of fresh food in town: yummy black jaguar.

You heard correctly. Mutated black jaguars seem to be Earth’s new fast food, and the 100 – technically 98 if you count the two casualties from the previous episode – are quick to feast on it.
the-100-earth-stills-01Above in the sky, and running out of oxygen, the episode opens with the conflicted council of The Ark. Clarke’s mother, Abby, is strongly opposed to sacrificing 200 on-board residents, and the deciding vote later goes to the Chancellor, who is still slowly recovering from Bellamy’s inflicted gun wound. He abstains from the vote, leaving Abby time to fix the communicator wristbands before the vote is recast.

Of all the on-board team, Abby is by far the most likable crewmember, and this week she finds a helper in the form of rebellious newcomer, Raven, the youngest mechanic on The Ark with a burning curiosity. Abby is granted ten days to fix the connection to Earth and prove it fit and habitable for residents to descend. So a mutual team-up is quickly formed, with Raven promising to fix an old escape pod with the agreement that she will go down to Earth alongside Abby.

This all felt a little too easy. Drama is surely to be expected, and although we’re still unaware of where Raven’s interest to an unknown ‘loved one’ on Earth lies, I’m fairly certain it will cause conflict at least. However, a rusty old escape pod doesn’t bode well.

Meanwhile on the ground, Clarke leads Bellamy, Finn, Wells and Bellamy’s right hand man, John, on a mission to rescue Jasper. If you remember, Jasper was shockingly speared from afar in last week’s cliff-hanger. If you’ve been holding your breath, now would be the time to relax. He’s alive. Though whether for much longer is to be decided, as Clarke is adamant he’ll die if he doesn’t get medicine soon. The group return successful, armed with the wounded Jasper and, of course, food. One dead cat coming right up for the happy campers!
PilotIt’s already clear who the characters to watch out for are. Clarke is a born leader, yet also shows signs of vulnerability and self-preservation, whereas other characters like Finn, who unfortunately seems to be there only to provide a love interest for Clarke, have yet to be properly fleshed out. Even antagonist or possible anti-hero Bellamy shows greater signs of possible future growth. His sister, Octavia, clearly brings out his humanity, and I hope we see more of their relationship. She certainly won’t be happy to find out that Bellamy has abandoned her current flame, Atom, atop a tree. If you thought your siblings were protective, think again!

The 100 has kept me interested enough, with the ambiguity of the ‘Grounders’ who strung up Jasper, as well as the lovely but vaguely explained glowing butterflies. Curiosity over what conflict is stirring between Bellamy, Clarke, Finn and the rest of the surviving 100 also provides an intriguing hook. I’d prefer to see teamwork and unity, but the 100 seem to be fans of Lord of the Flies with Bellamy’s twisted ‘food for wristband’ rule and the disturbingly easy decision to appear dead to those on The Ark.

Next week promises more drama and action, so once again, keep an open mind and the show will keep you entertained. After all, there’s always someone worth rooting for. Or against.

★★★

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