The 100: 208 “Spacewalker” Review
Reviewed by Owen Bush.
I’ve been reviewing The 100 for 8 weeks now, and throughout this series of ramblings and heavily described opinions, I have continuously criticized one character: Finn, and this episode, titled Spacewalker, was to be an episode heavily featuring that character. I normally would have ranted in front of the TV screen over Finn, but did this episode, focused on the actions of Finn, change my perspective? Surprisingly, it did but just not enough to produce emotion the writers wanted from the audience.
I had high hopes for the mid-season finale of The 100 – due to the incredible depth of story covered in the last two episodes, I was expecting a bloodthirsty war, multiple intense revelations, a giant leap forward into the plot of Mount Weather and an epic conclusion towards many subplots or something similar. Although I didn’t get that, it wasn’t exactly a bad thing as we took a slower approach to the themes explored through the character of Finn – there was almost a distinct similarity to some episodes in Season 1 with a mirage of memories scattered through the episode, directly following the emotions that are happening currently. Of course, it was clever, we know this from previous flashback scenes, but particularly this episode felt more appropriate. The reveals of the past didn’t seem overused or distracting but rather complementary.
The episode continued directly where we left off previously; Clarke, a damaged hero, was left in pieces at the realization that the only way to get peace was for her once-lover and beloved friend, Finn, to be executed. This, obviously, caused a stream of anger from the residents of Camp Jaha. They weren’t going to let a once-criminal ruin their chances of living in peace – and right they were, for Finn’s actions were both terrifyingly horrific and criminally insane – but is he really worth a death that no-one would dare wish on anyone? Consequently, this was the key theme of the episode: is Finn worth it? If you asked me this question at the beginning of the episode, my immediate response would have been to scream “NO!” loudly whilst probably spraying you with saliva, but as the episode progressed, the writers really started to wipe that saliva away and scream “YES!” back at me – and they were louder than I was.
Flashbacks blew throughout the episode at key moments, to really distract the audience into answering the question that was on all the characters’ minds, by giving us a healthy reminder of the Finn that once was, and possibly still is. The connection between Finn and Raven was suitably believable, I didn’t have trouble seeing the beauty between them both – a spark that soon died when Finn landed on Earth was reignited and I only ponder why Finn ever lost interest as Raven would do anything for him, and as these special moments suggested, he would do anything for her. Although these slow scenes felt like a peek into a beautiful love story, they did begin to feel a little over-played and cringey, and even sometimes like they were filler for the episode, as many moments didn’t need a pause between them to deliver an effect.
Throughout season 2, government has been a big issue and theme that has been devoured by the writers, from Jaha deciding his people needed him on Earth, readying to take the next heroic step, to breathtakingly interesting arguments between previous Chancellors, current Chancellors and once-missing Chancellors – we really have had a selection. The mid-season finale continued this tension, as Jaha continued his whining, Abby battled through difficult decisions and we even saw the return of Kane! With the help of once-Grounder, once-Reaper, now-not-quite-sure, Lincoln, who also made some helpful comment, the group were guided into the decision that there was nothing more they could do. Finn murdered so many of their people and to be fair, it was right for him to pay the price.
Although the Finn hatred was a little weaker this week, I still don’t seem to be able to stop thinking that the love between Clarke and Finn is too forced and not anything compared to the emotion between Raven and Finn. I don’t know whether this is purposefully written in this way to suggest Clarke will find a stronger love, but the scenes all felt so overly animated, and tediously scripted. At one point I was screaming, “I don’t ship it!” at the TV, because ultimately, I can tell the writers are so desperate for me to feel the harmony between the pair, but I don’t because of this exact reason.
Finn and his group of saviours did enjoy moving about and trying to convince the audience to suggest Finn won’t die, but for me it just felt like avoiding the main situation constantly. Rather than pushing through threatening plot points, it felt like a dry section of moving from place to place trying to stop Finn from dying, but by that point, I think we all knew it would be his end. Contrary to this, we did get more emotionally bruising flashbacks with Raven becoming a spacewalker (hence, the title) and this felt more interesting than Finn avoiding his death. The scenes were incredibly acted and almost painful to watch due to many things that are now not the same, like Raven being able to walk, the fierce love and sacrifice between Raven and Finn, and the kindness Finn shows towards everyone. I think this was perfectly suited to the themes of the episode, because in the end, Finn was just someone who sacrificed himself for the good of others and to help others, meaning he didn’t necessarily always do the right thing – causing me and many others to become frustrated at his character’s annoying habits.
The plans kept failing and falling after Kane suggested they could kill Finn himself, and things began to get a little slow as we moved towards the conclusion of the episode. Then, Finn finally understood there was nowhere else to go, and even though it may have seemed to be a little obvious, he chose to be taken, sacrificing himself for the good of the people. There was also more tragic backstory, as almost in sync, Finn decided to sacrifice himself for Raven, as he was 17 and she was 18, meaning that she would be able to continue to become a pilot and he would not be executed.
Almost because of this flashback realization, Raven offered a knife to Clarke as she walked to say her final goodbyes to Finn and possibly find a solution (again…), meaning that if this were declined (again…), Clarke would stab the Commander. Wait, what?! As the final touching moments occurred, I was scared Clarke really would stab the Commander, turning into a full savage as she murders someone who was only doing the best for her tribe. But, no – Clarke took the brave decision to put an end to the horrific situation by saying goodbye to Finn in the most safe, beautiful way as she pushed the knife into him. It was a clever, interesting direction for The 100, but ultimately not as effective as it would have liked to have been due to the forced relationship between the pair.
Proving to be more than action, The 100 spills into unbreakable beautiful emotion after the feisty accomplishment of horror last week. Spacewalker may have featured some sincerely beautiful flashbacks but scenes felt a little tedious and things weren’t as structured as usual. The mid season finale was unexpectedly calm, but more depth was needed to feel the real emotion that was trying to be conveyed from the deeply personal themes. Onto the mid-season premiere next week!