The 100: 210 “Survival of the Fittest” Review
Reviewed by Owen Bush.
We’ve had our fair share of animals on The 100, from Murphy’s monstrosities to innocent killer Charlotte, and not to mention that of our favourite (least favourite) Mount Weather torturer, Cage. This episode, titled Survival of the Fittest, took the word “animal” to new, superior heights as we were introduced to a randomly placed and rather mediocre gorilla stomping around making a lot of noise and not really doing much. Although, we saw conflict at its highest, and the tension between groups is taking a mysteriously dark route…
After Clarke’s rather intelligent move previously, we encounter glimpses of Bellamy and Lincoln throughout the episode. It’s a shame they weren’t recognized more, both characters have large potential – and particularly with Bellamy, it was nice to see him actually show his bravery as seen in Season 1. It lacked from his ruthless leadership and the writers seemed to have rather ignored his ongoing development into kindness and understanding the difference between right and wrong. These scenes were possibly my favourite of the episode, as they really delved deep into the emotions of both characters during the segments about Lincoln’s bravery towards Octavia as well as supplementing those emotions with the right amount of dramatic sequences and melodrama, without walloping too many ideas at the audience – an important factor in gauging the balance between intensity and entertainment.
Both actors played their roles with ease, and I hope they both continue to grow and develop on The 100, as the subtle scenes from this episode suggest. Unfortunately, their moments felt drained in the episode, with too many large plots diverging the attention away from the pair, and in that case, it would have been complementary to finally get a large offering of development for both Lincoln and Bellamy. Either way, these scenes were beautifully important in upholding the emotion and intensity within the show.
Let’s just encounter the fact Indra has definitely not been on my ‘friend list’ since her abrupt entrance in Season 2, as she’s tight-roped between power and hunger, and as this episode implements, she’s not one to be trusted. Her and Kane’s relationship was stiff to watch, in the right way. Neither has been powerful enough to sustain leadership, but both have had for thirst for brutality. The difference is that Kane has divorced that anger and married it to morals, whereas Indra struggles to develop her trust and sustains that anger into madness.
I’m quite diverse about the way the writers have began to portray Jaha, once a bitterly brave leader, who would do anything for his people, has changed into a doubtful opposition, who would do only do anything if he knew it was honourably right. On one hand, his new developments have been on the verge of irritating, with his opinions just bruising the chance of hope, but on the other hand, he’s always been a leader who will vengefully fight for the right, and he’s always trusted his instincts, which justifies becoming a strong-minded person. Him and Murphy merged into an sort-of alliance, and this is something I definitely did not expect when originally fighting for both Jaha’s safety and Murphy’s immediate death, but it’s an interesting turn of events, and definitely keeping me intrigued.
Clarke began to rearrange back into her badass leadership qualities as she took new responsibilities on handling the glorious new alliance between the Sky People and The Grounders. Surprisingly (not), it didn’t go to plan, as after a rather spontaneously random series of events, Clarke’s guard was arm-less, a dismissive Grounder was left for dead and a giant gorilla was let loose – wow, the writers seriously had to revert to a gorilla to proceed the narrative? For me, the sequences felt too structured, too random and not entertaining to watch, although the gorilla fights were fun and a chance to express the creativity of CGI, they didn’t carry enough weight for the heavy topics being introduced, and rather felt like an excuse for graphics and to trap Lexa and Clarke together for some well needed bonding time – aww. However, the pair did have some excruciatingly truthful moments, with Lexa persuading Clarke to make those tough decisions needed in life, and Clarke battering down Lexa’s excuses for a lack of love. But seriously, a gorilla?
We’ve seen Octavia fight for her life in Season One, defying the opinions set by the audience of an attractive, annoying, self-loving teen, but in Season Two she began to trail into the other side of annoying – whiny. However, this episode pushed Octavia back to her roots as she struggled with fitting in, she has developed a love for the grittiness of The Grounders but her Sky People roots force her to be weak and feeble. She took a slashing as she defied odds and continued to battle through barriers, giving me the nice opportunity to finally compliment her character this week as brave and tough. Like Kane, I’m just worried where her allegiance will go with Indra and The Grounders, and what it really means to be an apprentice.
Although the episode may have been filled with lots and lots of ideas and complications (possibly too many), it would have been nice to return to Mount Weather after Monty’s gruesome capture, with only small glimpses recently, I hope a Mount Weather-central episode is on the horizon to begin to complement that of The Sky People and The Grounder scenes.
As the episode began to draw to a close, Jaha left for the City of Light, and although this doesn’t entirely make sense due to the complications of getting there without being slaughtered by a random gorilla or a unexpected attack of gassy fogs, it’s a pleasure to see Jaha return to his moments when he originally landed on Earth, remembering the friends he made in a subtle way. Murphy followed the lead, and I know things will be quite eventful as they find the city (that is probably just a metaphor). The titles were soon to roll in, and things were sort-of going to plan for Lincoln and Bellamy, until Lincoln gave in to the ugly serum and dispensed back into confusion, leaving poor Bellamy to be dragged away in a shocking, ruthlessly satisfying conclusion.
With far too many sub-plots and a slight lack of direction, Survival Of The Fittest doesn’t live up to The 100’s usually accurate pacing however, with the constant intensity and subtle emotion, the story continues to throw new concepts at the audience, making up for the misdirection and achieving in pulling the audience by it’s strings. Oh and also, where was Abby?