Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “The 100”

Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Nadia Hilker as Luna -- Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Nadia Hilker as Luna — Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

As the season finale of “The 100” draws closer, the situation intensifies and the characters are pushed harder than ever. With a powerful and organized threat, our heroes must figure out how to save themselves and each other before it’s too late. This second half of the season continues to prove its strength as some of the show’s best material to date.

Under the harsh reign of an A.L.I.E. controlled Ontari, Polis begins to collapse as its citizens are turned into mindless minions. In the prison, Pike creates an escape plan with the help of Indra and Murphy. Rather than simply escaping, Pike and Murphy propose that A.L.I.E.’s hard drive must be destroyed. After a tense confrontation with several guards, Indra sends the Grounders away from Polis while she, Murphy and Pike head to the Flamekeeper room. After all the conflict this season, the trio of Indra, Pike and Murphy is odd, but demonstrates the importance of working together to destroy a common enemy. A.L.I.E. quickly figures the plan out and sends guards to the Flamekeeper room, along with Emori. Pike immediately kills the guards, but Murphy pleads for him to spare Emori. Murphy discovers A.L.I.E.’s hard drive and attempts to smash the fuel cell, but Emori warns that the fuel cell is nuclear-powered and would destroy the entire city if tampered with. Emori’s placement in the situation is critical in showcasing the sheer ruthless nature of A.L.I.E. and her tactics of getting what she wants.

At Arkadia, Monty and Raven work tirelessly to examine and better understand A.L.I.E.’s complex code. Raven is able to figure out that Jaha is rapidly chipping the Grounders and has taken over Polis. With the help of Becca’s notes, Raven locates a password that would give her backdoor access into A.L.I.E.’s system. Monty warns Raven against using the password until Clarke and the others return with Luna. Harper arrives and pulls Monty away for some unexpected romantic time. Raven walks in on Harper and Monty, unsurprised by this new relationship. After being cast into the background for so long, I am glad to see Monty being given a larger role among the group. Raven shares what she has found with Monty; a citadel surrounded by water in the City of Light that A.L.I.E. is likely using to hide something. Monty mentions that he only sees code, but that Raven is still able to see the City of Light. This episode demonstrates Raven’s total strength, not only physically, but mentally.

After Monty falls asleep, Raven decides to enter the password to gain access to the administration part of A.L.I.E.’s system. In the City of Light, A.L.I.E. realizes that her system is being accessed by Raven and alerts Jaha. In order to stop Raven, Jaha decides to use Monty’s mom as a distraction. Hannah speaks to Monty through the computer system and repeatedly proclaims her desire to be reunited with him. Raven tells Monty she can stop Hannah by deleting her code, however, if the code is deleted, Hannah will be gone forever. Monty tearfully takes control and deletes his mother from existence for the second time. Raven returns to the citadel and triumphantly discovers a kill switch that would effectively destroy A.L.I.E. forever. Before she is able to flip the switch, A.L.I.E. removes herself from Arkadia’s computer system. This devastates Monty as he realizes that he deleted his mother for no reason, but Raven claims that they now have the knowledge of the kill switch. Will Raven be the one to save everyone from the vicious terror of A.L.I.E. and will her friendship with Monty be further damaged in the process?

Over in the middle of the ocean on the oil platform, Clarke and the others are introduced to Luna’s community of non-violent Grounders, many of which have been orphaned by the past wars. Luna still refuses to be the next Commander, but Clarke does not let up. Meanwhile, Jasper takes a liking to a girl named Shay, who has never been off the oil platform. Seeing Jasper in a more upbeat mood is definitely a plus after all the sadness he has had to deal with this season. Clarke tells Bellamy and Octavia that she thinks planting the flame in Luna without her permission may be the best course of actions. Octavia shares her belief that Clarke’s plan would be no better than what Jaha and A.L.I.E. are doing. Clarke ignores Octavia and approaches Luna before whispering the flame’s activation code. Clarke tries to install the flame in Luna, but Luna fights back and takes the flame away from Clarke. Luna tells Clarke that she fled from the conclave not out of fear, but because she knew she would win; she also mentions that she killed her own brother in the first round of the conclave.

Luna decides that it is time for Clarke and the others to leave. She places them in a shipping container as several of Luna’s people return from land. Shockingly, the returning Grounders have been chipped after A.L.I.E. used a drone to discover the location of the oil platform. One of Luna’s friends steals the flame and locks Octavia, Bellamy and Clarke in the shipping container. Jasper is still with Shay when the attack happens; after realizing that A.L.I.E. is on the platform, he tells Shay to warn the rest of the Grounders. Suddenly, a Grounder under the control of A.L.I.E. appears and shoots Shay with an arrow. The chipped Grounders round up Jasper and Luna and tie them up before trying to force them to take a City of Light key. Luna is water boarded by her chipped friends, but she still refuses to take the key. Meanwhile, in Polis, Pike and Murphy work against the clock to figure out a way to destroy the hard drive. Emori pleads with Murphy to reconsider, claiming that if the hard drive is destroyed, everyone in the City of Light will be lost forever. Murphy passes off the task to Pike, who destroys the hard drive without hesitation. Unfortunately, the migration to the City of Light has been completed, therefore, destroying the hard drive has no effect. Murphy, Indra and Pike escape from the Flamekeeper room as guards rush in. A.L.I.E. is revealed to have connected herself to the computer system of the remaining section of the Ark that still orbits in space. What sinister plans will be enacted now that the City of Light’s population is higher than ever?

A still somehow alive Shay manages to make her way to the shipping container and free Clarke, Bellamy and Octavia. The chipped Grounders take a new approach to recruiting Luna by threatening the life of a young girl. Luna appears to surrender, but instead bites one of the Grounders and kills the remaining guards in the room. Clarke and the others rush in to find a devastated Luna crying for one of her friends. This episode highlights Luna’s strength as fighter, even though she tries to live a peaceful life. Later, Luna holds a funeral ceremony for the Grounders that were killed in A.L.I.E.’s attack. Clarke once again begs Luna to take the flame and ascend to the role of Commander, but Luna stands firm. Suddenly, Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and Jasper begin passing out after drinking wine that was spiked by Luna. Clarke and the others wake up on a beach confused and disoriented. With Luna refusing to assume the role of Commander, what will Clarke do next?

“Red Sky at Morning” is yet another strong episode that demonstrates the many different strengths and skills that the characters possess. The threat of A.L.I.E. proves to be a gripping and terrifying force that cannot be suppressed. The inclusion of Pike on the “good guy” team is a shocking, but fitting twist that opens up a possible path to redemption for the seemingly evil character. With the two-part season finale beginning next week, will the City of Light swallow everyone up? Be sure to tune in to “The 100” next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Jeffrey Kopp is the Community Editor of the Niner Times. He is a senior double majoring in Communication and Political Science. His interests include writing and keeping up with an excessive amount of television shows. He is also the go-to expert on all things “The Walking Dead."