Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “The 100”
A perfect mixture of high emotion and science fiction creates one of the greatest episodes of “The 100” to date. “Thirteen” marks a major turning point for this series. Nothing will ever be the same after this shocking and devastating episode of television’s most underrated show.
Following last week’s surprising revelation about the Ark’s history, viewers are given even more information. The narrative shifts to 97 years in the past aboard the space station, Polaris. A.L.I.E’s creator, Becca, is informed by an associate on the ground that A.L.I.E. has begun cracking nuclear launch codes. Becca, her assistant and Polaris’ commander watch in horror as numerous missiles launch across the globe. Sometime later, Becca works hard in her laboratory on a second version of A.L.I.E., but this version will be more compassionate to the needs of humanity, according to Becca. The commander and assistant alert Becca that her actions are dangerous, especially considering the first version is responsible for the nuclear apocalypse on Earth. They also alert Becca that Unity Day is quickly approaching; Unity Day is when the space stations remaining in orbit joined together to create the Ark. Becca shares her plan of installing the second version into the Ark’s network, which would greatly increase the chances of survival for everyone on board. The assistant and commander disagree with the plan, prompting Becca to take control of the station and delay its docking with the rest of the Ark. The flashbacks were nicely done and help to establish a necessary timeline of events.
Back on the ground in present time, Lexa hosts the Grounder holy celebration of Ascension Day. The celebrations are interrupted by a Grounder warrior who delivers Octavia to Lexa as a prisoner of war for the attack on Rendon. Rather than calling for a retaliation attack, Lexa orders for the 12 clans to establish a blockade around Arkadia until the Skaikru put Pike out of power. She also orders that any Sky Person who attempts to cross the blockade shall be killed. The warrior disagrees with Lexa’s proposition and attempts to kill her, but is immediately stopped by Titus. This act demonstrates the loyalty of Titus to Lexa, although, he does question her throughout the episode. Most of Titus’ worries stem from Lexa’s relationship with Clarke.
Titus also remains busy as he continues interrogating Murphy in a Polis temple. Titus leaves and Murphy is able to free himself and begins investigating art on the temple walls. The walls detail an important figure leading people after the nuclear war. Titus returns and Murphy begins explaining everything he knows about Polaris. Titus listens initially, but then proceeds to knock Murphy unconscious. Meanwhile, while waiting for Clarke, Octavia seeks out Indra, who is still recovering from her injuries sustained in “Hakeldama.” Octavia tells Indra to get back on her feet and to get back to work. Indra calls Octavia weak and the two separate; they later reconnect and join hands in unity at the end of the episode. The relationship between Indra and Octavia has always been strained, but this episode seems to mark a turning point between the two.
With the blockade going into effect soon, Clarke realizes that she must head back to Arkadia. This represents an important shift in Clarke’s character. As much as she wants to remain in Polis with Lexa, she realizes that she needs to be with her people if they are going to take Pike out. Before leaving, Clarke visits Lexa in her room to say goodbye. A simple embrace turns into a kiss which leads to sex. This scene highlights the fact that Lexa and Clarke are much more than just friends; they truly care about each other on a deep emotional level. Amidst all of the death and darkness, this scene is lighthearted and cheerful. This happiness is temporary as Clarke leaves to collect her belongings before heading to Arkadia; she discovers Murphy tied up and Titus armed with a gun. He begins shooting at Clarke, who is able to dodge his bullets. Unfortunately, Lexa enters the room and is struck in the stomach by a rogue bullet. Clarke rushes to her aid and tearfully tries to save her, but both Lexa and Titus realize nothing can be done. Titus begins the commander death ritual while asking Lexa for forgiveness; she responds by demanding that he never attack Clarke again. Lexa tries to comfort Clarke by sharing that her spirit will live on through the next commander. In her final breaths, a peaceful Lexa declares “my fight is over.” This incredibly powerful scene highlights the acting talents of Alycia Debnam-Carey.
With the death of Commander Lexa, Titus continues the death ritual. What happens during this ritual links the flashback story to the present. Titus roll’s Lexa’s body over revealing an infinity symbol tattoo on her neck. He makes an incision on the tattoo and a small chip crawls out. Titus claims that the chip is the spirit of the Commander, but Murphy recognizes it as an Artificial Intelligence, similar to A.L.I.E. The final set of flashbacks also reveals a shocking connection to the Grounders. Becca’s delay in the docking with the Ark prompts the main station to fire on Polaris in order to make an example for the other stations. Before Polaris is destroyed, Becca escapes in a drop-ship that eventually lands on the radiation-soaked Earth. She lands in Polis and discovers a large group of survivors to which she tells “I’m here to help.” The camera focuses in on her space suit with the title “Commander.” This is a major story development that serves to explain the origin of the Grounders and link their history to that of the Sky People.
With the heartbreaking death of Lexa, Clarke is sure to radically change. How will this death affect the relations between the Grounders and the Sky People? Chancellor Pike will likely lead to even further problems between the two groups. The clever science fiction aspect of this show is put on full display this episode. Now that A.L.I.E. is known to be the cause of the nuclear apocalypse, what will her next move be? Be sure to tune in to the mid-season finale of “The 100” next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.