Another episode of The 100 means there’s another round of big decisions to make. Now that the Death Wave is just 10 days away and black rain storms are ravaging the Earth more often, the choices made in ‘God Complex’ are bleak and desperate – which is, let’s face it, no less then we’ve come to expect from this show. The fact this week’s episode opened with the failure of yet another solution to survive wasn’t particularly a surprise, but the fallout sparked more ethical dilemmas, more frantic reasoning and, yes, more terrible choices. It may not be anything particularly new for The 100, but that didn’t stop ‘God Complex’ from using four seasons worth of character dynamics as the centrepiece of an episode that still managed to deliver game-changing new developments too.And where else to start but with the horrible, radiation-induced death of the innocent Grounder set up by Emori to test the viability of Nightblood as a solution to survival? It doesn’t take long for Emori’s lies to catch up to her, and the age-old The 100 question of whether it’s right to kill one to save the many takes on a whole new slant when it’s someone they know, and their actions are becoming more and more like Mount Weather’s before them. Raven’s cold accusations serve as a harsh reminder that she’s been in Luna’s position before – strapped down while her bone marrow was forcibly taken from her – but it’s the discussion between Clarke and Roan that served to really drive home the harsh reality of their choices.
When it comes to making these kind of decisions, Raven has always been quick to condemn Clarke’s choices but never takes on the burden herself, while Roan, who’s a leader in his own right and one who’s made his own tough calls, gets it. And between Roan’s pep talk – consisting of telling Clarke she was born to lead (and that Lexa knew it too) and if they die, they’ll do so knowing they did everything they could to save their people – and Murphy’s lashing out with a timely reminder that other people have helped her as she saves the world, Clarke’s decision to ultimately test the second Nightblood solution on herself, and not Emori, feels like an earned, if problematic, choice for her to make.Meanwhile, Jaha’s quest to find the Second Dawn bunker returned with a vengeance here after being sidelined for quite a few episodes, and played fascinatingly into the Grounders’ history, linking the bunker to Becca, the first commander, and therefore connecting the Second Dawn doomsday cult to the religion and customs of the Grounders that we’ve been seeing over the last three seasons. Not only did it give us a chance to see more of Monty and Gaia than we have done in a long time, but they actually found a bunker, which is the most promising hope of a solution that we’ve had yet. Although, the fact it was found amidst the rival Grounder clans breaking alliances and warring with one another means, of course, there will inevitably be a fight on their hands to hold onto that chance to survive.
And it looks like that hope can’t come soon enough for some of the Arkadians, with Jasper and Bellamy’s whole arc feeling like the most honest, most human storyline we’ve seen on The 100 yet. It’s been easy to dismiss Jasper this season as a bit of an afterthought, largely because he and his wildly different approach to the end of the world has been underused. Here, though, he gets to have his say – and what he does have to say makes a lot of sense, helped by some wonderful nods back to hazy days of season one and the reminder of everything Jasper and Bellamy have been through. As Jasper says, at the end of the world, nobody gives a damn, so do you spend it wallowing or doing whatever the hell you want… “and really mean it this time”.‘God Complex’ was another strong episode of The 100 and one that saw the Death Wave become more of a tangible threat, upping the stakes even higher and causing the characters to become ever more reckless in their choices and behaviour. When it comes to the questions raised and morals pondered, the series is beginning to tread old ground a bit too often, albeit in newly disturbing ways each time. But what this episode did best was revisit some of the events of the show’s four seasons to deliver some really worthwhile moments between longstanding characters – not to mention some uncomfortable throwbacks to past storylines now the characters are on the other side of the equation. This was a quick-paced episode that played out really well but, mostly, it feels more like its purpose was to be a brilliant set-up for the fallout to come.