‘The Other Side’

It’s not over until it’s over – and until that Death Wave hits, The 100 is ensuring that the action, the drama, and the fight to survive are all still a huge part of this show. If last week’s brilliant episode was about fighting to live, then ‘The Other Side’ did its job and took on the other side of that argument just as powerfully; what happens to those who are left to die – do they fight, or do they give up? This episode had a lot of story to tell but The 100 has never let that stop them before, and it doesn’t here either. Between Bellamy and Clarke’s stand-off in the bunker, Octavia’s newfound leadership position already under threat and Raven, Jasper, Monty and Harper all making their choices to live or die, ‘The Other Side’ delivered a truly intense, impactful episode that didn’t let up once.And, really, Clarke should have known better than to come between the Blake siblings. Bellamy and Octavia’s relationship and all its ups and downs have been one of the true constants of this series, and there was no way Bellamy was accepting his new life in the bunker without knowing what had happened to Octavia – and even less of a chance when he heard that she was alive, had won the Conclave, and promised to share the bunker so everyone could survive. It was another of The 100’s no good choices moments, and you can see both sides: Clarke couldn’t take the risk that Luna would win and condemn humanity, and even with Octavia as the victor, opening the bunker door would be chaos, and a choice that would kill most of the skaikru.

For Bellamy though, the choice is much simpler: he’s fighting for Octavia, and he’ll die trying. It shifted the dynamics between the pair significantly, putting both of them and their ideologies in opposition. Clarke is about the big picture, while Bellamy is sticking to his “we do better today than we did yesterday” philosophy and, as was referred to in the episode, what Clarke and Jaha are doing in taking the bunker for themselves was like being back on the Ark and submitting to its totalitarian, act-for-the-greater-good rules. The stand-off resulted in some strong moments, from Bellamy blindly fighting his friends to get to his sister and torturing himself until he’s standing in bloody manacles to Clarke pulling a gun on Bellamy in a bid to ‘do what she has to’ and stop him. But ultimately, it made Clarke face a terrible choice she couldn’t follow through on for once, and it’s nice to finally see some human emotion in the leader that’s put her people first so often.And when it came to terrible choices for Raven and Jasper, each of their stories ended up with very different outcomes. Raven’s arc saw her emerge triumphant, with her brain bringing her the form of the man who was her mentor, Sinclair, to fight logic with Becca’s logic in a proverbial angel and devil situation. One side of Raven is fighting for her to live while the other side is fighting for her to die, and what started out as a plan to get to space for one final spacewalk turns into Raven Reyes and her brilliant brain coming up with a solution that helps her to choose life, fight for it and even be willing to die for it. Lindsay Morgan does brilliantly throughout this plot, but her ‘death’ scene, followed by her jolting back to life and being ready to live again, was something truly wonderful to behold.For Jasper, though, his self-destructive arc could only end one way – which didn’t make it any less heartbreaking. Monty and Jasper’s final moments together unfolded with excruciating intensity, from Jasper’s trying to make sure Monty doesn’t have to live with his final words being something he’d regret to Monty’s painful ‘I love you’ coming just a moment too late. Most poignant though, was the fact it all happened at the same bay window where Monty and Jasper used to sit and think of life on Earth in the Ark, with the view now overtaken by a radiation soaked sky and a blood red moon. “For all its faults, Earth is really beautiful,” Jasper says, and the whole scene was a heart-wrenching goodbye to one of the series’ longest-serving characters.The Other Side’, while a little cluttered, was a wealth of poignant moments nonetheless, and filled with the kind of decisions that will drastically shape the rest of the season. What it boiled down to was Octavia emerging as the great, equalising leader the Grounders needed to survive – in large part due to Bellamy’s unending fight for his sister – and, once again, skaikru are left with the need to choose just 100 people to survive, bringing us full circle. With just two episodes to go, The 100 is ensuring it’s as dark and dramatic as ever, delivering powerful moments of triumph and despair in quick succession – and making it very clear that there’s absolutely no going back now.

★★★★

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