Jeffrey Kopp

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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."

TV REVIEW: ‘The 100’ – ‘Demons’

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

The 100 - Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Bob Morley as Bellamy -- Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
The 100 – Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Bob Morley as Bellamy — Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

“The 100” takes a dark and emotional turn in the latest shocker of an episode. After the great victory last week, tragedy strikes our band of characters once again. With significant character development and several different twists and turns, this episode is yet another thrilling addition to this phenomenal half-season.

An incredibly creepy scene opens the episode; Miller, Harper and Bryan take shelter from a storm in the cave. For some odd reason, Miller decides to share the frightening story about a massacre that happened on the Ark shortly Unity Day. Miller leaves the cave to use the bathroom and Bryan leaves soon after to check on him. Harper follows to investigate after hearing a noise; suddenly she is attacked by an anonymous figure wearing a mask. This opening sequence expertly establishes an eerie tone that continues through the rest of the episode.

Clarke and the team make their way back to an abandoned Arkadia. It appears that A.L.I.E. and Jaha led the mindless citizens of Arkadia, including Abby, to find their next group of victims. Octavia struggles after the death of Lincoln, however, Jasper consoles her. Jasper and Octavia have both lost loved ones, so this scene is truly touching and further develops both characters. Octavia discovers Lincoln’s notebook full of drawings of her; this only adds to the devastation felt by viewers and Octavia alike. The notebook also contains a map to the location of Luna, the sole survivor of Lexa’s conclave and one of the final remaining Nightbloods. Out of nowhere, Jasper and Octavia are attacked by the same mysterious man that assaulted Harper, Miller and Bryan.

While the others formulate a plan, Bellamy checks out Arkadia’s armory. He discovers that Jaha and A.L.I.E. left all of the guns and ammunition. Meanwhile, Raven and Sinclair share what they have learned about the Flame with Clarke. They realize that the Flame is voice activated, so they begin saying common Grounder phrases. Sinclair is able to deduce that the keyword is likely a Latin phrase due to the fact that Becca’s book contains many Latin writings. They say the phrase “seek higher things” in Latin; this activates the Flame, but it quickly shuts down due to its lack of a host. Only a Nightblood can be a host; anyone else that tries to use the Flame will be killed by it. Clarke and Monty make their way down a hallway to investigate creepy music that has suddenly begun playing. They find the source, a toy carousel, but are quickly ambushed by a barrage of red smoke. The mysterious attacker, equipped with a gas mask, arrives and viciously attack Clarke. She fights back, managing to remove the gas mask; the attacker is revealed to be Emerson, the last survivor of Mount Weather who was last seen in “Bitter Harvest.” Clarke is able to escape Emerson and make her way back to Bellamy, but the situation only worsens from here.

Clarke radios Raven and Sinclair, who are in the hangar bay studying the Flame, to warn them of Emerson. Raven and Sinclair lock the area down, but Emerson has already made his way in. He cuts the power and stalks Raven and Sinclair with his night-vision goggles. Raven hides in a rover as Emerson brutally attacks Sinclair. A highly emotional scene follows as Raven tearfully says goodbye to a dying Sinclair. Emerson apprehends Raven and drags her away as Bellamy and Clarke arrive. These scenes are incredibly tense and frightening to watch; the return of Emerson is yet another shocking twist to the story. Clarke radios Emerson and tries to establish a deal; she demands that Emerson let her friends go if she agrees to turn herself in. Emerson accepts the offer and tells Clarke to meet him at the airlock without any weapons; Bellamy follows closely behind, armed.

The other storyline of this episode follows Murphy and Ontari in Polis. This subplot is far less interesting than the events occurring in Arkadia, however, some major developments do occur. While strolling the markets of Polis, Murphy reunites with Emori; their romantic relationship continues, but out of the eyesight of Ontari. Murphy basically explains everything to Emori about his fake role as Flamekeeper for the Commander. Later, Ontari sits in the throne room and listens to the grievances of her constituents. Out of nowhere, Jaha shows up and begins cleverly persuading Ontari to join the City of Light. Emori arrives and shows support for Jaha’s claims; she also completely throws Murphy under the bus by revealing him as a fraud in regards to his role as Flamekeeper. Emori, feeling betrayed after hearing the revelation, has Murphy arrested. Later in the episode, Ontari is shown with Emori and Jaha in the throne room with A.L.I.E. sitting in the Commander’s throne; A.L.I.E. chillingly declares that it is time to fill the City of Light. This scene perfectly represents the rapid rise to power that A.L.I.E. has had this season. With A.L.I.E. calling the shots now, will anyone be able to put a stop to her madness?

Back in Arkadia, Clarke makes her way to the airlock, but Emerson immediately demands that Bellamy turn over his weapon and join the other hostages. Emerson holds Octavia at knife-point, prompting Bellamy to instantly follow the commands. This highlights Bellamy’s true caring nature that he has towards Octavia, regardless of everything they have been through lately. Emerson exits the airlock and shuts off the oxygen supply before grabbing Clarke. With the lives of nearly all of her friends at stake, Clarke makes a sharp decision and utters the Latin phrase before jamming the Flame into Emerson’s neck. The Flame digs itself into a squirming Emerson as Clarke rescues her friends; Emerson dies a truly horrific death that is strikingly similar to the deaths of the victims at Mount Weather, minus the strange technology. The episode ends in a truly touching way as the group gathers to hold a traditional Grounder funeral ceremony for Sinclair and Lincoln. Octavia breaks down at the sight of Lincoln’s lifeless body; Marie Avgeropoulos gives an absolutely stunning performance in this episode, specifically in this scene. The bodies of Lincoln and Sinclair are burned as the group recites Grounder and Skaikru sayings. Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and Jasper head out to find Luna while Raven and the others stay behind in Arkadia. Is Luna the key to stopping A.L.I.E. and Ontari?

“Demons” is yet another thrilling episode of “The 100” that perfectly blends emotions with intense action. This episode features the shocking death of Sinclair, who has been a mainstay of the Sky People since the very first episode. How will the loss of Sinclair affect Raven and the others? I’m very much interested to see the enigmatic Luna, who has been teased throughout the last few episodes. What is her relation to Lexa? My prediction is that Luna is a long lost twin of Lexa. Will Clarke and the others be able to find her? Be sure to tune in to “The 100” next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.

TV REVIEW: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ – ‘We All Fall Down’

Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “Fear the Walking Dead”

Chris Manawa and Seth Geary. (Photo courtesy of Richard Foreman/AMC.)
Lorenzo Henrie as Chris Manawa and Jake Austin Walker as Seth Geary. (Photo courtesy of Richard Foreman/AMC.)

Is land safer than the ocean? The latest episode of “Fear the Walking Dead” explores this question in a dark and disturbing excursion. Following last week’s polarizing premiere episode, “We All Fall Down” serves to build the world and develop the characters. While not perfect, “Fear” seems to be taking several steps in the right direction.

Following the intense ending of “Monster,” this episode picks back up on The Abigail as the characters come to terms with the situation. Strand actively monitors the rapidly approaching vessel on the radar while Madison scolds Nick for foolishly swimming into the wreckage of the capsized boat. Nick responds by sharing his desire to help those that are in danger. The group collectively reads through the capsized yacht’s log book. They learn from the book that San Diego has been burned down by the military. Strand sets a course for the nearby Catrina Island, which he believes will offer as a temporary refuge from the mysterious boat that seems to be stalking The Abigail. Before docking, Madison notices a strange light coming from the island. This episode expertly establishes an eerie tone at the beginning, which carries through to the end.

After docking, Travis, Madison, Chris, Alicia and Nick get off the boat to investigate, while Strand, Daniel and Ofelia stay put. The group, led by an intrigued Travis, approaches a house on the island. A mysterious family emerges from the house and introduces themselves to the group. The Geary Family consists of George (David Warshofsky) and his wife, Melissa (Catherine Dent), along with their three children, Harry (Jeremiah & Maverick Clayton), Willa (Aria Lyric Leabu) and Seth (Jake Austin Walker). George invites the group into the house, where some interesting developments take shape. George talks to Travis about the lack of safe places that exist now. He shares what he learned from his communications with other ranger stations; most major cities on the western coast of North America have been napalmed by the military in an attempt to contain the outbreak. The United States-Mexico border was sealed, as well. These are interesting revelations that line up perfectly with knowledge from “The Walking Dead” about the containment attempts by the military during the beginning stages of the outbreak; Atlanta was napalmed early on. Obviously, viewers know that any attempts at containing the disease are futile as every living human being is already infected. George explains to Travis his belief that the outbreak is simply nature correcting itself. He also shares his plan to survive on the island with his family for as long as possible. Melissa questions Madison about her job as a high school guidance counselor. Harry takes Nick to his room and shows him several of his action figures. He also mentions that his family has “power pills” that prevent people from getting sick. This scene demonstrates Nick’s good-nature and cheerful spirit; Nick has quickly become my favorite character of this series due to his various interesting qualities.

On The Abigail, tension erupts as Daniel keeps an extremely close eye on Strand. Daniel accuses Strand of not caring about the other members of the group. While Strand is away, Daniel searches the bridge of the yacht. He finds a locked compartment, which he opens and finds a gun and a map of Baja, Mexico. Later in the episode, Strand is shown alone, talking on a satellite phone; “It’s all clear now. Sundown, I’ll be there” he tells the anonymous voice on the phone. Does Strand have malicious plans for the group? This episode also highlights the splintering point in Daniel and Ofelia’s relationship. Daniel’s actions during the first season, including his torture of Corporal Adams, have warped the way Ofelia views her father; she flat out calls him “cruel.” This fractured relationship between Daniel and Ofelia is an interesting storyline and will surely develop further as the season progresses.

Night falls and the group heads back to the docked yacht. Nick and Alicia stay up late and discuss the positives of life in the apocalypse. Nick mentions the lack of light pollution and smog, which allows for the stars to be seen. This scene is a touching moment that demonstrates the strong sibling bond that Nick and Alicia have even among their hardships, both before and after the outbreak. The next day, Chris meets up with Seth on one of the island’s beaches that is protected by chain-link fences. Several Infected have washed up on the beach and are now slamming against the fence. Seth explains that it is his chore to kill the Infected at the fence with his pickaxe. Travis arrives as Chris kills several of the Infected himself. Chris’ eagerness to kill the Infected is troubling to Travis; he mentions to George that Chris was just a normal boy doing normal things not long ago. George responds by saying “this is how we manage now.” This is a thought-provoking situation as killing Infected is obviously a harmless and beneficial task that also allows for a much-needed tension release. However, anyone that kills Infected for fun makes me incredibly uneasy, as the Infected were once living people. Could Chris be headed down a darker path due to his experiences thus far?

Nick comforts a frightened Harry. (Photo courtesy of Richard Foreman/AMC.)
Nick comforts a frightened Harry. (Photo courtesy of Richard Foreman/AMC.)

Later, George enlists the help of Travis in fixing a fence on the island. This particular fence blocks access to a nearby marina on the island that according to George, has been overrun with the Infected. George explains that regardless of the situation, his family will never leave the island. Nick sneaks into the Geary home and searches for drugs. He discovers a hidden baggie of pills in George’s office, but he is quickly interrupted by Willa. This particular aspect of Nick’s character is incredibly riveting as he is having to deal with his addiction among the various threats; he is also unable to acquire drugs as easily. Madison confronts Melissa about the light she saw before docking. Melissa admits that she intentionally sought the attention of Madison’s group because of her growing fear for her children. She asks Madison to take Willa and Harry away from the island to a safer place where they may have better lives. Melissa also tells Madison that she has multiple sclerosis and even though she isn’t close to dying yet, she would rather her children not have to see their mother become sickly. Madison meets with Travis and Nick to share what she has learned about the family. Nick alerts Travis and Madison of George’s possible plans for his family; Nick was able to realize that the pills he found contain poison. This dramatic turn of events creates a feeling of sadness and devastation; clearly, many people living at the end of the world would choose to end their life rather than face the difficulties and uncertainties of the future.

Nick, Travis and Madison return to the Geary house where Melissa hurriedly explains several habits of her children. This scene is highly emotional as a caring mother makes the difficult choice of handing over her children to strangers. George arrives and begins questioning everyone before being interrupted by a frightened Harry, who alerts everyone that something is wrong with Willa. Melissa finds Willa dead upstairs after swallowing the “power pills” that Nick discovered earlier. A tearful Melissa holds Willa in her arms, but Willa reanimates and attacks Melissa, biting her in the jugular. George sends Madison and Travis away with Harry; George was likely killed, however, his status remains unknown as viewers did not see him actually die. Nick carries Harry back onto the Abigail as Travis and Madison follow. Strand and Madison argue over Harry being allowed to board, with Strand claiming that children are dead weight. Seth, armed with a rifle, boards the boat and demands that Harry be returned to him. Madison pleads for Seth to join the group on the boat, but he refuses. Seth and Harry begin making their way back down the dock, but are stopped as an Infected Melissa makes her way toward the two. Madison distracts Harry as Seth shoots his undead mother. The entire final sequence is tense and heartbreaking, but also problematic. Will the remaining Geary family members return later in the season? What is the purpose of introducing several intriguing new characters, only to never see them again? Hopefully, Harry and Seth (and possibly George) will be featured later on in the season.

“We All Fall Down” is a step up from last week’s average premiere episode. The setting of the California coast provides a refreshing feel to the universe of “The Walking Dead.” Seeing zombies stumbling around on the beach and in the ocean is something I have definitely never seen before. The introduction of a new band of characters was handled well, although, their quick exit proves to be a problem. What is the next destination of the Abigail? Is Strand leading the group to a trap in Mexico? What happened to the enigmatic ship that was following our crew earlier? Find out by tuning in to “Fear the Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

TV REVIEW: ‘The 100’ – ‘Nevermore’

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

Erica Cerra as Alie / Becca -- Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Erica Cerra as Alie / Becca — Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

After a few problematic episodes, “The 100” delivers a thrilling and intense episode that reunites many of the main original characters. As one threat is subdued, another rises up and attacks in a very unusual way. More conflicts arise as our characters are forced to work together to save themselves.

Last week’s episode ended with the daring escape of Jasper and Raven from Arkadia with the help of Clarke. This episode picks up with Jasper driving a truck to a nearby cave where Octavia and Bellamy wait. A tense argument erupts between Octavia and Bellamy while they wait for Jasper and the others; Octavia holds Lincoln’s death over Bellamy and insists that she will never forgive him. Having these two close sibling on opposite sides is incredibly unsettling, but definitely moves the plot in an interesting direction. Jasper and Clarke arrive and explain what has happened in Arkadia. Raven (controlled by A.L.I.E.) awakens and begins questioning the group about the Flame that Clarke has in her possession. A.L.I.E. realizes that the Flame is her second version and sends Raven running out of the cave in an attempt to figure out the group’s location. Jasper drugs Raven before she is able to describe her surroundings to A.L.I.E. Clarke takes charge and leads the group to Niylah’s outpost.

Niylah has one of the last remaining wristbands, which the group hopes can be used to short-circuit the chip in Raven’s head. Niylah is not happy to see Clarke and the gang as her father was one of the many victims in Pike and Bellamy’s massacre back in “Hakeldama.” Niylah declares that she is no longer a friend to Skaikru and attempts to send them away. Raven begins to wake up so Bellamy points his gun at Niylah and leads everyone into the back of the outpost. Bellamy and the others struggle to tie Raven down to a bed; Raven dislocates her shoulder and reopens her wounds in the process. Clarke establishes shifts to watch Raven, but Jasper immediately shuts her down, highlighting the clear lack of trust among the group. Jasper’s anger towards Clarke after her actions at Mount Weather at the end of Season 2 is also displayed. Possessed Raven lashes out at Clarke by mentioning the deaths of Wells, Finn and Lexa as failures of Clarke’s leadership. Clarke gets angry and yells “we’re going to fry you” to Raven; this declaration from Clarke allows Raven and A.L.I.E. to piece together the group’s plan of using the wristbands.

The plan of the group is put into place as Monty and Octavia make their way to the Dropship to collect an electromagnet that will be used to short-circuit Raven’s chip. The pairing of Monty and Octavia is incredibly dynamic and feels reminiscent of the first season. Monty reassures Octavia of her place among the group by stating “you’re one of the 100.” Unfortunately, the plan takes a drastic turn as Monty’s mother, Hannah, reveals herself and begins claiming that she escaped from Arkadia. Monty quickly realizes that she is yet another mindless minion under the control of A.L.I.E. There’s a conflict as Hannah attacks Monty, prompting Octavia to get involved. Hannah holds Octavia at knife-point, leaving Monty only one option: to shoot his own mother. This emotional scene is sure to develop Monty’s character, however, I am not sad to see Hannah go as she is partly responsible for many of the hardships faced this season.

Back at Niylah’s outpost, Raven begins taunting Bellamy and Jasper. Bellamy makes Jasper leave the room due to the irrational nature of Jasper; Bellamy takes all of the jabs that Raven throws his way. Niylah bursts into the room after realizing Bellamy had a role in her father’s death. A.L.I.E. is able to determine where the group is based on Niylah. However, Sinclair is able to configure the wristband leaving A.L.I.E. with very limited options. She causes Raven to bash her head against the wall in an attempt to kill herself. They manage to get the wristband on Raven’s arm and successfully send an EMP through her body, knocking her unconscious. In a fit of anger, Jasper threatens to destroy the Flame, which Clarke panics and declares “it’s Lexa.” This nicely parallels the situation that Clarke found herself in during the Mount Weather situation with Jasper’s girlfriend, Maya. Normal Raven wakes up and complains about the pain she feels; this assures the fact that Raven has returned to normal as people in the City of Light do not feel pain. The group realizes that they must leave the outpost and find a new place to hide from A.L.I.E. and the others. Before leaving Clarke apologizes to Niylah and tells her to leave, fearing A.L.I.E. may arrive to recruit her. The final few moments show Raven explaining that the Flame is the only thing that can stop A.L.I.E. Jaha and A.L.I.E. stand in the City of Light and decide that their only course of action is to kill Clarke and the group. The entire City of Light storyline is a definite refreshing and reinventing turn in the plot that also creates a terrifying tone. Will anyone be able to stop A.L.I.E. and Jaha?

“Nevermore” is a frightening twist in the story of “The 100” as Raven is essentially possessed by technology. The performances across the board are spectacular, specifically Erica Cerra and Lindsey Morgan as A.L.I.E. and Raven, respectively. The City of Light storyline is finally revealing itself to be a horrific threat to the entire cast of characters. Will the group be able to escape the various threats? Be sure to tune in to “The 100” next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.

TV REVIEW: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ – ‘Monster’

Spoiler Warning for the Season Premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead”

Madison, Alicia, Ofelia and Strand aboard The Abigail. (Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC)
Madison, Alicia, Ofelia and Strand aboard The Abigail. (Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC)

The tranquil ocean becomes a zombie-infested battleground in the premiere episode of “Fear the Walking Dead’s” second season. After a short and problematic first season, “Monster” sets the stage for a thrilling and frightening adventure in a brand new setting.

Following the tragic death of Liza in the first season finale, the story picks up a few hours later after night has fallen. The epic opening scene throws viewers straight into the action as the characters scramble to make their way to Victor Strand’s yacht “The Abigail.” Strand drives a Zodiac inflatable raft from the beach to the yacht with Nick, Alicia, Daniel and Ofelia on board. Meanwhile, Madison and Travis gather supplies on the beach as Chris sits by his mother’s corpse. Explosions and fire can be seen in the background as the Infected begin making their way onto the beach; Nick arrives on the raft to pick up the remaining survivors. Madison and Travis use an array of makeshift weapons to fight off the undead as they make their way into the water; Travis carries Liza’s body with him. After boarding the raft, they realize that the Infected are following closely behind. Nick uses the raft’s propeller to creatively kill one of the stragglers. They reach the yacht and watch as military jets fly over and bomb the city. Last season, several members of the military referenced “Operation Cobalt,” which prompted our group to effectively flee. Seeing the operation play out in the form of Los Angeles being absolutely decimated is truly chilling to watch; the bombings also represent a shift in the story as the characters will never be able to return to the city.

The next morning, Strand shares that The Abigail will be able to travel up to 3,000 miles if they conserve fuel. Several members of the group notice a small boat nearby that is overcrowded with passengers that are pleading for help. Madison and Alicia immediately declare that they must rescue the ill-fated passengers, but Travis and Strand decisively argue against it. Instead, Travis gives Alicia the task of using the ship’s radio to listen for possible safe areas. Strand announces to everyone that he has set a course for San Diego in the belief that the Navy or Border Patrol may be of assistance. Over the radio, Alicia hears a transmission from the Coast Guard announcing that they will no longer be able to rescue anyone in distress; a truly frightening declaration. The episode takes on a slower pace towards the middle of the episode to allow for the characters to settle into their new home; this slower pace also lets viewers become reacquainted with the characters.

Much of this episode shows the fallout of Liza’s death through the eyes of Chris. The sudden apocalypse, along with the death of his mother, puts Chris in a difficult place, especially with his father. Chris bonds with Daniel as the two fish off the back of the ship. They exchange condolences for their respective losses as Daniel reels in an eel. Later, the group gathers as a funeral is held for Liza. Travis delivers an emotional eulogy highlighting Liza’s impact on the other characters. Chris angrily pushes Liza’s body off the side of the yacht before storming off. Travis checks in on Chris, who blames Travis for the death of his mother. This anger Chris has towards his father is refreshing as characters on “The Walking Dead” tend to get over deaths relatively quickly with the mourning process being somewhat ignored.

The other large subplot revolves around Alicia and her attempts to establish communication with other survivors. She discovers a frequency that has David Bowie’s “Five Years” playing. A man named Jack strikes up a conversation with Alicia as the music plays. They discuss the precarious state of the world, but as the episode progresses, Jack slowly manages to pry information out of Alicia about the yacht and its location. The radio conversations are a bit repetitive after a while, but help to establish the fact that other survivors exist nearby. Later in the episode, a panicked Jack tells Alicia that the boat he is on is sinking; she shares the location of the Abigail in an attempt to gauge how far away Jack’s sinking ship is. Alicia alerts Travis and the others about the situation, but Strand shows up and scolds Alicia for naively trusting a stranger. Strand furiously tells everyone that the boat is his and therefore he is in charge of what happens on board. This episode establishes Strand’s character as one of the most intriguing survivors; his mysterious demeanor and relative preparedness are just two of his interesting qualities.

Travis rescues Chris from the Infected. (Photo credit: Richard Foreman/AMC)
Travis rescues Chris from the Infected. (Photo credit: Richard Foreman/AMC)

The final act of the episode begins with the group sitting down for dinner. This scene elicits a calm feeling of normalcy as the characters are given a moment of relaxation and levity. This is only temporary as Chris wanders to the back of the yacht and jumps into the water. Nick follows behind and dives in to rescue Chris. Chris tells Nick that he is just going for a swim, which Nick immediately accepts without question; was Chris really “just going for a swim” or was he attempting to harm himself? In the water, Nick is attacked by a floating Infected in a beautifully shot sequence. After resurfacing, Nick notices floating corpses and a capsized boat filled with bullet holes; this boat is the one seen earlier in the episode. Nick swims over to the boat and collects the log book; his reasoning for doing this is not really explained. On the Abigail, Strand notices on the radar that a vessel is rapidly approaching the yacht’s location. He deduces that the passengers on the approaching ship are responsible for what happened to the capsized ship. Nick makes his way back to the yacht as it begins to sail away. Could the approaching survivors be Jack and his people? Before the episode ends, Jack eerily tells Alicia “I’ll see you soon.” Alicia’s actions during the episode may have catastrophic consequences later in the season.

“Monster” is a definite strong start to this season of “Fear the Walking Dead.” The setting of a yacht on the ocean is innovative and refreshing to the world of “The Walking Dead.” The open ocean presents many different potential directions that the story can go in. Will the survivors choose to remain at sea or will they take their chances on land? Be sure to tune in to “Fear the Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

CAB Spring Talent Show 2016


Photos by Chris Crews.

McKnight Hall came to life on Friday, April 8 during the Campus Activities Board Spring Talent Show. With a packed crowd, some of UNC Charlotte’s brightest young stars take the stage to demonstrate their talents.

Darren Brand from MTV’s “Wild N’Out” and comedian, Tyler Does, hosted the two hour showcase of music, dance and poetry. Darren and Tyler kept the audience laughing and brought a fresh and energetic feel to the auditorium. The DJ also kept the audience’s attention during breaks in performances and inspired people to get out of their seats and dance along to the music.

After a few opening jokes from the two hosts, the show kicked off with a dance and musical performance by Benjamin Iuliano, who embodied the rhythm and style of Michael Jackson. The performance as a definite highlight of the show and drew the crowd to their feet in roaring applause. Benjamin ended up taking the second place prize in the end.

Another one of the standout performers was Zachary Timmons, a spoken word artist. Timmons recited two of his self-written poems to the attentive audience. Using language as his medium, Timmons brought chills to everyone. The moving and powerful performance prompted the crowd to snap their fingers and cheer. At the end of the show, Zachary Timmons was awarded the third place prize by the judges.

Some of the other notable performers included acapella group, Finer Niners, who delivered a mashup rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love.” A multi-talented guitarist sings and raps a cover of Childish Gambino’s “3005.” Melissa Olarte shows off her talent as she beautifully sings a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Best Mistake.” The show also featured two rappers and several dancers. The various group performances were also highlights of the showcase. Overall, the show spotlighted a very diverse group of talents

Amidst a few delaying technical difficulties and a random departure of one of the hosts, the show was definitely an enjoyable experience. The excitement and the interaction of the large audience absolutely contributed to the lively and energetic feeling of the talent show. Each of the student performers deserve recognition for getting up on stage and pouring their heart out to a crowd of their peers. The Campus Activities Board hosts several on-campus events throughout the year. For more information about CAB and the assorted batch of upcoming events, be sure to visit https://cab.uncc.edu/events/upcoming for more information.

TV REVIEW: ‘The 100’ – ‘Fallen’

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

Paige Turco as Abby -- Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW
Paige Turco as Abby — Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW

The world of “The 100” changes drastically in the latest episode. However, could these changes be pushing the series down a road of destruction? With multiple strange character inconsistencies and a general feeling of overcrowding, this episode is one of the season’s weakest. Although, several developments do move the plot forward in an intriguing direction. As conflicts intensify, the bonds between the characters begin to shatter.

Following the not-so shocking death of Lincoln in last week’s episode, an angry and devastated Octavia reunites with Bellamy. She lashes out at him for his role in Pike’s rise to leadership, which led to Lincoln being executed. This emotional scene demonstrates the deep divide that has been forming between these two siblings. Octavia’s relationship with Bellamy has always been troubled, but episode marks a massive turning point for these characters. The insurgency led by Kane is one of the primary focuses of this episode. With Bellamy as their hostage, Kane leads several members of the insurgency, including Octavia, to the Dropship to meet with Monty. After his acts of espionage were discovered by his mother during last week’s episode, Monty is forced to sneak out of Arkadia to avoid persecution by Pike. He shares a final goodbye with his extremely irritating mother before he leaves. While outside of Arkadia, he manages to contact Kane and the others via walkie-talkie. At the Dropship, Octavia holds Bellamy at knife-point as Pike reveals himself with Monty as a hostage. Bellamy manages to overpower Octavia, giving Pike and his men a strategic advantage over the insurgency. Bellamy tells Pike that he is completely against the insurgency and offers to take Pike to the location of the other rebels. They make their way through the forest until they are stopped by the sound of horns. Pike quickly realizes that they have crossed the boundary of the Grounder blockade. After appearing to be on Pike’s side, Bellamy betrays the strained trust that Pike had in him. Bellamy hands Pike over to the Grounder warriors in a stunning display of change in Bellamy’s character; this whole season has featured Bellamy acting against the best interests of his people. Kane decides to tag along with the Grounders as they transport Pike to Polis and the new Commander. Meanwhile, Monty comes to terms with the fact that his own mother turned him in to Pike; this solidifies Monty’s mother as one of the worst characters in the series.

The other major storyline revolves around Raven and the City of Light. Since the second season’s finale, the City of Light has been teased and slowly revealed, with viewers and characters questioning its legitimacy. This episode solidifies the notion that the City of Light is indeed a cult with Jaha and A.L.I.E. leading. Raven attempts to ignore the constant presence of A.L.I.E. by overloading her senses. She listens to loud music, recites phrases and works out, all to keep A.L.I.E. from invading her mind. Her tactics aren’t exactly successful, so she enlists the help of Abby and Jasper to fully exit the City of Light. Raven is able to deduce a way to short-circuit the key in her head by using the wristbands that were worn by the 100 prisoners that were originally sent to Earth. Jasper is able to locate several spare wristbands, however, he is caught by Jaha and several of his followers. Meanwhile, A.L.I.E., under the command of Jaha, returns the feeling of pain to Raven in an attempt to break her down. This method turns out to be effective and Raven loses all control of herself; A.L.I.E. essentially infects Raven’s mind and turns her into a human robot. Jackson is also drawn to the City of Light and becomes one of the mindless minions that help further the goals of A.L.I.E. With nearly everyone in Arkadia losing their minds, Abby is pushed to her limits.

Jackson and Raven, under the control of A.L.I.E., capture Abby and force her to swallow one of the City of Light keys. She initially refuses, but A.L.I.E. slashes the wrists of Raven. Abby is given an incredibly horrific ultimatum: swallow the key and help Raven or watch her bleed out; Abby accepts the key and saves the life of Raven. Jaha then enlists the recently turned Abby to begin convincing the remaining citizens of Arkadia to enter the City of Light. Meanwhile, Jasper is able to escape and find Raven, who he knocks unconscious to prevent any interception from A.L.I.E. Jasper loads Raven into a truck and drives straight through the front gates of Arkadia. A confused Clarke arrives and jumps into the truck as the residents of Arkadia attempt to retrieve Raven. Clarke notices Abby and panics at the sight of her own mother turning to the dark side. The entire City of Light subplot is interesting, but feels somewhat out of place in the general story of the show. After ten episodes, viewers still know very little about what the City of Light actually is. Will anyone be able to stop A.L.I.E. and Jaha’s plans?

My major problem with this episode is the entire subplot dealing with Murphy and Ontari in Polis. Following Ontari’s self-declaration as the new Commander, several of the ambassadors begin questioning the legitimacy of her ascension to the throne. Much of the storyline this episode includes Murphy helping Ontari convince the ambassadors that she is the rightful successor to the throne. There is an odd back-and-forth between the two characters as Ontari reveals that she does not fully trust Murphy. The character of Murphy has been thrown into various subplots this season, leaving him feeling out of place. Murphy’s reasoning for helping Ontari is never really explained, aside from the fact that there appears to be some romantic tension between the two. While the next Commander is an important aspect of the story, I found myself lacking any interest in this particular part of the episode.

After an intense and heartbreaking episode last week, “Fallen” is able to maintain the level of intensity, but struggles with several of the problems from earlier episode this season. However, the performances this episode are definitely a high point. Lindsey Morgan gives a standout performance as the tortured and damaged Raven. The threat of Pike is another positive of this episode. What will Clarke and the others do to save their loved ones? Be sure to tune in to “The 100” next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.

TV REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead’ – ‘Last Day on Earth’

Spoiler Warning for the Season Finale of “The Walking Dead”

Negan lines up Rick's group. (Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC)
Negan lines up Rick’s group. (Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC)

The episode of “The Walking Dead” that fans have feared for years has finally arrived, but with a lackluster and lazy ending, fans had nothing to actually fear. This 90-minute episode has several highlights, but overall serves as a commercial for the next season. With the frightening threat of the Saviors lurking around every corner, the line between life and death becomes blurred.

Following the shocking ending to last week’s episode, the season finale picks up in Alexandria as Rick prepares a team to take Maggie to the Hilltop’s doctor. In the infirmary, Carl tells Enid that he will not allow her to go along on the trip. Enid argues, claiming that she refuses to leave Maggie’s side. Carl locks Enid in a closet and joins Rick and the others as they prepare to leave; before he leaves, he tells Enid to “just survive somehow.” Carl’s role in this entire episode felt odd and unnecessary and made me question why Rick would allow him to join the journey. Gabriel meets with Rick to go over Alexandria’s defense plans. This scene demonstrates Gabriel’s growth as a character. When he was first introduced, his cowardly and selfish ways threatened the safety of the group. Now, Rick has enough trust in Gabriel to appoint him leader of Alexandria and guardian of Judith while he is away. The problem that I have with this scene is the fact that Rick allows so many of Alexandria’s strongest survivors to leave and venture out into enemy territory. A simple drive to take Maggie to the Hilltop in the RV features Rick, Carl, Abraham, Eugene, Sasha and Aaron. Meanwhile, Morgan, Carol, Rosita, Daryl, Glenn and Michonne are all still missing. This makes Alexandria completely vulnerable for an attack.

This episode also follows Morgan as he tracks Carol and tries to convince her to return to Alexandria. While searching, Morgan finds a horse; this horse is later revealed to belong to the man that Rick and Morgan encountered last episode. Morgan finds Carol injured and weak after being stabbed by a Savior in last week’s episode. He treats her wound as she begs him to leave her alone. Carol explains that she has gotten to a point where she can no longer kill in order to protect the people she loves. Morgan leaves to investigate a walker that is making noise outside, but when he returns, Carol is nowhere to be found. The injured Savior that escaped Carol’s shootout in “East” catches up to Carol and attacks her; he steals her gun and shoots her in the arm and leg. The man wants Carol to die a slow death, but Morgan arrives and kills the Savior after giving him a few warnings. This moment represents a massive shift in Morgan’s character as he ignored his “all life is precious” philosophy to save the life of someone he cares about. Was this just a one-time thing or has Morgan finally learned that killing is necessary at times to protect the people you care about? Two strangers wearing armor arrive (one is the man Rick and Morgan met) and offer to provide medical assistance to Carol. Who are these men, where do they come from and can they be trusted? Readers of the comic-series may know the answers to these questions.

On the road, Rick comforts a bedridden Maggie and shares his belief that both she and the baby will be okay. This moment is incredibly touching and demonstrates the unbreakable bond between Rick and his people. Abraham stops the RV after noticing a group of Saviors blocking the road ahead. The group’s leader (Steven Ogg) commands that Rick’s group turn over all of their belongings, but Rick immediately refuses. Rick and the group turn around and begin searching for a new route to the Hilltop. The new route proves to be impassible as yet another gang of Saviors block the road. Rick begins to realize that he severely underestimated the size and capabilities of the Saviors. The RV comes across a roadblock of walkers chained together, clearly set up by the Saviors. Rick and the others get out to investigate and discover Michonne’s dreadlocks on one walker and Daryl’s crossbow arrows stuck through the body of another. Saviors begin shooting at the group’s feet as they rush into the RV and continue down the road. Much of the episode is an intense game of cat-and-mouse between Rick’s group and the Saviors. These scenes showcase the size and organization of the Saviors and also serve to parallel the techniques used by the residents of Terminus to trap our group back in Season 4. These scenes also highlight Rick’s drive to protect his people; he is willing to drive around with enemies everywhere just to save Maggie.

Morgan and a kind stranger. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC.)
Morgan and a kind stranger. (Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC.)

As the RV’s fuel begins to dwindle, Eugene proposes a plan to trick the Saviors. He volunteers to drive the RV around while Rick and the others carry Maggie on foot to the Hilltop. Night falls and Eugene hands Rick instructions for manufacturing bullets (this was first explained by Eugene in “Twice as Far“) in the event that he is killed. Abraham and Eugene share one of my favorite moments from the episode as they tell each other goodbye. Abraham tells Eugene “you’re a survivor” and they hug; this scene marks a shift in Abraham and Eugene’s relationship and further develops both characters. The group carries Maggie through the eerie forest on a makeshift stretcher. Suddenly, the sound of whistling can be heard as Rick’s group realizes they are surrounded by dozens of Saviors. A bloodied Eugene is also among the daunting band of enemies; his courageous plan was presumably figured out immediately. Rick and the group are disarmed and forced on their knees as Glenn, Daryl, Rosita and Michonne are dragged out of a nearby van by Dwight. Seeing our group of heroes being forced to their knees is simply gut-wrentching and unsettling; this is truly a sign of defeat. The entire sequence of events is absolutely terrifying to watch, but the terror is only escalated moments later when the new big-bad villain is finally introduced.

A man with slick black hair, wearing a leather jacket and clutching a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire steps out of the RV and introduces himself as Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). He maniacally tells Rick “you work for me now” and explains the various rules that he has. Negan shares that he will not allow the actions of Rick’s group to go unpunished. He holds up his baseball bat, named Lucille, and declares that he will use it to beat someone to death. Negan then begins pointing Lucille at each of the survivors as he sadistically sings “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” The face of each character displays pure fear as Negan continues. He finally settles on one of the characters as the camera switches to a point-of-view shot. Negan warns the group against trying anything to stop him before slamming the bat down. Blood trickles down the screen and the screen cuts to black as Negan repeatedly swings his bat down on an unknown target; the other characters scream and cry out in sheer horror. After months of endless hype and buildup, the season ends with a cheap cliffhanger that kills the momentum. Negan’s victim remains a mystery that will haunt fans for the entire seven month hiatus.

The introduction of Negan, as well as the entire final sequence (minus the final few seconds) was handled expertly. The cliffhanger poses a major problem that this series has in regards to storytelling. A season finale is meant to wrap up storylines while teasing events from the next season. By splitting this moment up, the intensity level drops severely. This cliffhanger is a clear marketing ploy to draw in viewers for the next season premiere. After the entire Glenn debacle earlier this season, it’s clear that the writers are struggling to commit to killing off a major character. Regardless, Jeffrey Dean Morgan delivered a chilling and epic performance in his first appearance as Negan, the deranged leader of the Saviors. Negan’s iconic comic-book counterpart comes to life on screen with lines of dialogue such as “are we pissing our pants yet?” and “I do not appreciate you killing my men.”

Aside from the problematic ending and the odd inconsistencies with certain characters, this episode is rich with character development, specifically for Morgan, Eugene and Rick. The acting talents of the entire cast are also a redeeming factor for this episode, especially in the final moments. Overall, this season has been phenomenal with the high point being “No Way Out.” Hopefully, the Season 7 premiere episode is able to reignite the fear and intensity felt this episode. “The Walking Dead” will return this October, but until then, “Fear the Walking Dead” will hold fans over beginning with its second season premiere next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

TV REVIEW: ‘The 100’ – ‘Stealing Fire’

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

The 100 -- Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia -- Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
The 100 — Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia — Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

After a short hiatus, “The 100” is back along with the heartbreak and betrayal that is all too familiar to the characters and viewers alike. With incredibly high stakes, the war between the Grounders and Sky People continues to brew. This episode is a thrilling return to the world of “The 100,” however, there are problems present.

Following the tragic death of Lexa in “Thirteen,” the conclave for the next Commander officially begins. Grounders believe that when a Commander dies, the spirit chooses the successor. During the conclave, the Nightbloods (Grounders with rare black blood that are descendants of Becca, the original Commander) battle to be selected by the Commander’s spirit. In the Polis tower, Clarke tells Murphy that they must assure that Aden be chosen as the next Commander; Aden was Lexa’s mentor. Titus brings Clarke and Murphy to where Lexa’s body is being prepared for her funeral. Aden’s loyalty towards Clarke and Skaikru is displayed as Aden and the Nightbloods bow down to Clarke. Ontari (Rhiannon Fish) of the Ice Nation bursts into the room and attempts to kill Clarke, but is stopped by King Roan. Ontari declares that when she becomes Heda, she will assure that Skaikru is eliminated. The exploration of the Grounder mythology is interesting and helps to further develop the story.

Over in Arkadia, Lincoln tries to bring hope to his fellow Grounders in the jail cell. Kane takes note of Lincoln’s positivity and tells him that he inspires the Grounders to not give up. Pike and several guards arrive at the jail cell to alert Kane, Lincoln and Sinclair that they have been sentenced to death for organizing the coup. He declares that the executions will take place in the morning. This shows Pike’s ruthlessness as a leader; he is willing to execute two of the Sky People’s most critical members. Bellamy and Monty visit with Miller and Harper to alert them of the upcoming executions. Bellamy reveals the listening device on Miller’s clothing. Miller and Harper clearly show their mistrust of the two, which Monty questions. Regardless of their lack of trust, they arrange a meeting between Octavia and Bellamy. Octavia knocks Bellamy unconscious and takes him to a cave where Indra waits. Indra and Bellamy share a few great scenes that demonstrate both characters’ love towards Octavia.

Back in Polis, Clarke questions Titus about Ontari’s right to participate in the conclave. Titus explains that Ontari is one of the Nightbloods and therefore may be selected as the next Commander. The sound of a horn interrupts their argument and draws their attention to the Throne Room. Ontari sits on the throne covered in blood, proudly holding the head of Aden. Titus and Clarke watch in horror as they realize what Ontari has done; she has also killed the other Nightbloods. Roan manages to smuggle Clarke and Murphy to the outskirts of Polis to protect them from Ontari. Clarke concludes that Roan must be against Ontari, but he explains that he supports her because of his allegiance to the Ice Nation. Roan references Clarke’s actions at Mount Weather as an example of how far Clarke is willing to go in order to protect her people, similar to how Ontari defends her people. Rather than leaving, Clarke formulates a plan to steal “the flame,” which is essentially the spirit of the Commander.

Clarke and Murphy make their way back into Polis and discover where the flame is being held. Titus arrives and begins discussing the flame with Clarke. The flame will be rejected by anyone that is not a Nightblood. Clarke is able to deduce that Ontari is not the only remaining Nightblood based on Lexa’s descriptions of her own conclave. Titus explains that a girl named Luna survived Lexa’s conclave, but fled from Polis. Clarke decides to take the flame to Luna and Titus declares Clarke the new Flamekeeper. He also sends Murphy to distract Ontari in order to give Clarke time to get away. Roan brings Titus before Ontari and explains that he has lost the flame. Titus calls Ontari out for her crimes and declares that she will never become the Commander. He slyly uses Roan’s knife to slit his own throat; before Titus dies, he utters a chilling message to Ontari: “for Lexa.” This creates a problem for Ontari as Titus was the only flamekeeper, at least as far as she knows.

The chaos continues in Arkadia as the rebel group’s prison break plan is underway. Pike allows Kane a few moments to say goodbye to Abby. Kane and Abby embrace and he tells her to stay away from the rebel group. The day of the execution arrives and Octavia concocts a plot to stop everything. Being that she was forced to hide from authorities for most of her life on the Ark, Octavia is able to hide Sinclair, Lincoln and Kane under a panel in the floor. Miller and his boyfriend Bryan, along with Abby, Harper and Monty all aid in an escape attempt from Arkadia and Pike’s leadership. Pike makes an announcement over the intercom that Lincoln and the others must turn themselves in or he will execute the remaining Grounder prisoners. Lincoln refuses to leave and makes a difficult decision to turn himself in. He and Octavia share a final goodbye; Lincoln drugs Octavia to prevent her from following him. Kane and the other prisoners make their way out of Arkadia as Octavia wakes up. She sees Lincoln being led by Pike to the center of Arkadia. Pike tells Lincoln that he won’t free the Grounder prisoners, but he also won’t kill them. Lincoln kneels on the muddy ground as Pike pulls out his gun. Pike shoots Lincoln in the head and his body collapses into a puddle as Octavia watches on in absolute devastation. The loss of Lincoln is a substantial emotional jab to both the characters and viewers. This will surely be a large splintering point in Bellamy and Octavia’s relationship as Bellamy contributed to the rise of Pike. Ricky Whittle gave a commendable performance as Lincoln during his run on the show.

“Stealing Fire” is a tragic returning episode of “The 100” and helps to establish the dreary and hopeless tone. Few minor problems exist, such as Raven’s complete absence and Murphy’s awkward role in the events of the episode. The death of Lincoln is not entirely shocking as it demonstrates just how far Pike is willing to go to maintain his power; losing the character is major as Lincoln has been in the series since the first season and has contributed to the relationship between the Sky People and the Grounders. Will Clarke be able to find Luna? Will Ontari be able to assume the role as Commander? Be sure to tune in to “The 100” next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.

TV REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead’ – ‘East’

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

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC)
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC)

The blood is flowing in the latest episode of “The Walking Dead.” With the threat of The Saviors at an all-time high, characters are pushed to their absolute limits in order to survive. While a few problems are present, this episode is yet another intense and jarring chapter of the story.

A large focus of this half season has been on Carol’s internal struggle of having to kill people in order to survive and protect her group. The beginning of this episode shows Carol preparing a bag of supplies, which she hides under the bed from Tobin. He shares with Carol his sadness over the death of Denise, but Carol zones out. Later, Carol is shown sneaking away with her supply bag as Tobin sleeps. A sequence follows that shows several characters going about their daily tasks as Johnny Cash’s “It’s All Over” plays; if that isn’t foreshadowing I don’t know what is. Glenn and Maggie shower together while Abraham takes over Sasha’s post at the gate lookout post. Rosita awkwardly watches Abraham and Sasha have a brief moment of flirtation. Michonne and Rick are shown cuddling in bed where they discuss the threat of the Saviors. This scene displays just one example of religious imagery that this series frequently incorporates. Michonne and Rick snack on an apple; possibly symbolic of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Later, Michonne meets up with Glenn and Maggie to establish security plans. Maggie proposes that they hide caches of guns and ammunition throughout Alexandria to assure that weapons are available in the event of an attack. At the main gate, Daryl drives up in his motorcycle and hurriedly leaves, amidst protests from Abraham and Rosita. Glenn and Michonne rush over and leave with Rosita to try to catch up with Daryl. Tobin arrives at Rick’s house, where he delivers Carol’s goodbye note. They meet up with Abraham, Sasha and Morgan at the front gate and conclude that Carol snuck out when Sasha and Abraham were changing shifts. Morgan and Rick take a car and leave Alexandria in search of Carol. This is a problem that I have with this episode. Some of the group’s strongest fighters leave Alexandria in midst of a major crisis. The search efforts for Carol and Daryl were not well organized and feel amateur for our group.

On the road, Carol drives past a group of Saviors in a pickup truck who shoot out her tires. Carol steps out of her car and pleads for the Saviors to leave her alone. They demand information about her camp, but Carol tells them that she has no home. The Saviors are able to deduce that Carol came from Alexandria based on the spikes on her car; several cars with spikes are outside of Alexandria’s gate as a way to trap walkers. Carol tearfully begs for the Saviors to leave, but they maniacally joke about her weak nature. This proves to be a deadly mistake as Carol uses a hidden gun in her sleeve to shoot nearly all of the men. After the shootout, a lone Savior chases after Carol, but she uses a one of the spikes to impale him. Carol’s run in with the group of Saviors is incredibly ironic as Carol originally left Alexandria because she didn’t want to kill anyone else. However, the harshness and danger of the world places Carol in the position where she must kill. Once again, Melissa McBride delivers a stellar and award-worthy performance; Carol is truly one of television’s finest and most complex characters.

Morgan and Rick follow Carol’s tire tracks and eventually arrive at the scene of the shootout. Before they arrive, however, a surviving Savior staggers away from the scene and into the forest. Rick proclaims how proud he is of Carol for eliminating the threat; he also refers to her as “a force of nature.” Rick and Morgan follow a trail of blood into a field, which they presume is from Carol. Morgan shares with Rick that he learned about Carol’s banishment from the Prison after she killed Karen and David in order to prevent a virus from spreading. Rick explains that she made the right decision, even if he didn’t agree with her at the moment. Rick’s decision to banish Carol rather than kill her allowed for her to save the group at Terminus. Morgan and Rick come across a farm where they encounter a man armed with a Hilltop Colony spear who claims he is looking for his horse. Walkers arrive and the man flees, but Rick tries to shoot him; Morgan intervenes claiming that the man is possibly innocent. Morgan decides to tell Rick about the altercation with the Wolf in “Start to Finish” and “No Way Out.” He explains that because the Wolf saved Denise, she was able to save Carl in turn. Morgan’s justification of himself keeping the Wolf as a prisoner is incredibly flawed. Denise never would have been taken hostage by the Wolf if Morgan would have killed him the first chance he had. Also, it’s unclear how Morgan knew that the Wolf saved Denise as Carol was the only witness. I understand where Morgan is coming from, however, his logic is questionable. Morgan sends Rick back to Alexandria while he continues searching.

The other search party of Rosita, Michonne and Glenn return to the train tracks where Denise was killed by Dwight. Michonne discovers Daryl’s motorcycle and Rosita infers that Daryl is hunting Dwight. Rosita leads Glenn and Michonne in the direction that Dwight fled and they eventually catch up to Daryl. Glenn and Michonne plead for Daryl to return home, but he refuses, citing his role in Denise’s murder; in “Always Accountable,” Daryl naively chose not to kill Dwight, who later escaped with his crossbow. Rosita decides to join Daryl, clearly as a result of her shared guilt about Denise. Michonne and Glenn begin making their way back, but are ambushed by Dwight and Saviors. Daryl’s quest for vengeance is completely understandable and truly develops his character.

Dwight holds Daryl at gunpoint. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC.)
Dwight holds Daryl at gunpoint. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC.)

Rick returns to Alexandria and meets up with Abraham. These two characters parallel each other as they share their similar fears of becoming romantically involved with someone new; Rick with Michonne and Abraham with Sasha. Enid and Maggie share a few scenes together in this episode. Maggie arrives at the pantry to take a break and eat lunch before resuming her lookout shift. Enid decides to take over her shift and orders Maggie to rest and relax. Later Enid arrives at Maggie’s house where she gives her a haircut; Maggie comments “I have to keep going and I don’t want anything getting in my way.” This haircut likely represents a shift in Maggie’s character, similar to when Shane cut his hair and when Rick shaved his beard. Suddenly, Maggie collapses to the floor in a fit of pain. She screams as Enid watches in horror. Did Maggie lose the baby? The danger of pregnancy is only heightened by the fact that Alexandria no longer has a doctor; the Hilltop luckily does have Dr. Carson, who is an obstetrician. My fears about Maggie’s pregnancy are linked to a theory proposed by Lori during her pregnancy in Season 3; if a baby dies in the womb, will it turn and devour the mother from the inside? Hopefully, Maggie’s baby is safe, but this disturbing theory is a definite possibility. The episode ends with Daryl and Rosita locating Michonne and Glenn bound and gagged next to a campfire. Glenn tries to warn them, but Dwight and a Savior ambush Daryl and Rosita at gunpoint. Dwight fires his gun at Daryl and a massive amount of blood splatters on the camera. The screen cuts to black and Dwight chillingly says “you’ll be alright.” This massive cliffhanger creates multiple questions; was Daryl actually shot and will he survive?

“East” proves that Rick and the group severely underestimated the capabilities of the Saviors. This penultimate episode is truly amazing and nicely sets up the finale.  As the season comes to an end, the various individual storylines are beginning to merge together. Few problems exist with the actions of the characters, however, these problems are nothing new to this series. With multiple cliffhangers, next week’s season finale is sure to be action packed. The previews promise that “the price will be paid” and tease the arrival of Negan. What madness awaits our characters? Be sure to tune in to the Season Finale of “The Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

2016 Sanskrit gallery exhibition review


Photos by Pooja Pasupula .

If you’re at the Student Union, be sure to take a stroll through the Art Gallery to view some of the phenomenal work featured in this year’s edition of the Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine. Sanskrit is UNC Charlotte’s nationally recognized and award-winning literary-arts magazine. Featuring submissions from artists around the world, Sanskrit Magazine features handpicked poetry, short stories and artwork. The impressive team behind Sanskrit truly creates an impressive and inspiring gallery that will undoubtedly spark creativity in anyone that visits.

The gallery, on display now through March 28, showcases several select pieces of artwork from the magazine. Those that visit the gallery will notice a wide variety of different art mediums from photography and canvas print to photolithography and digital media. Some of the standout artwork includes “Galaxy” by Alaina Chapman and “Slow Hello” by Jayne Dinh, as well as “Heart” and “Spine” by Meghan Clemm. Two of the digital media pieces, “Bird Man” and “Duckface and Ula,” both by Anthony Lopez, are other highlights of the gallery. Some of the other pieces featured in the gallery include “One World” by Alaina Chapman and “Lion” by Caroline Kerrigan, both of which are oil on canvas paintings. This gallery truly offers something unique for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.

There isn’t much to be said about the gallery in words, as the work truly speaks for itself. The pieces are stunning concoctions that are simply meant to be seen in person, beyond your computer screen. The gallery has been open since March 8 and closes on March 28. This gallery is definitely worth your time, whether you spend a few minutes or several. The gallery is located on the main floor of the Student Union and is open to the public. Copies of the Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine are available at the gallery. More information about Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine can be found at sanskritmagazine.com.

TV REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead’ – ‘Twice as Far’

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

Abraham Ford and Eugene Porter. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC.)
Michael Cudlitz as Abraham Ford and Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC.)

Tragedy strikes the characters of “The Walking Dead” in a completely shocking and devastating, yet problematic episode. As the season finale nears, certain characters are put in the spotlight to develop the story. While it does have problems, this episode stands strong with the others of this half-season.

The opening sequence shows several days passing in Alexandria through the activities of several characters. Olivia opens the fully stocked pantry, while Eugene and Sasha stand guard at the gate. Morgan finishes building a jail cell, which Rick curiously inspects. Morgan explains to Rick that this jail cell provides the group a place to put enemies rather than killing them. Rosita and Spencer are shown to be having a romantic fling that Rosita appears to immediately regret. Carol asks Daryl about his newly returned motorcycle and his encounter with the mysterious couple that he met in “Always Accountable.” Daryl tells Carol “I should’ve killed them.” This opening sequence fully displays what life is like during times of peace; each character has their own task.

The primary focus of this episode is on two separate groups that leave Alexandria on very specific missions. The first group consists of Abraham and Eugene, who head out in search of an industrial workshop. While walking to the workshop, Abraham humorously jokes about Eugene’s mullet, which has been refashioned into a ponytail. Eugene then begins listing off his various contributions to the community before telling Abraham “I’m a survivor.” They find the workshop and Eugene explains that he plans on using the machinery to produce bullets. This is an incredibly important development and task for Eugene’s character as ammunition will surely be running low on supply soon. As the two talk, a walker coated in dried liquid metal approaches and Eugene decides to prove his survival skills by attempting to kill the walker himself. Unfortunately, the liquid metal on the walker makes it incredibly difficult for Eugene to kill. Abraham steps in and stabs the walker with a piece of rebar, prompting Eugene to lash out in anger. Eugene furiously tells Abraham that he can survive on his own and doesn’t need Abraham’s assistance anymore. Abraham tells Eugene to find his own way home and exits the building. This conflict is one of the problems with this episode. Eugene understandably wants to prove his strength as a survivor, but his anger towards Abraham feels very unusual coming his character. The relationship between these two has always been rocky, but they have recently been on very good terms. Regardless, the humorous dynamic between Michael Cudlitz and Josh McDermitt provides some of the greatest lines dialogue in the series.

The other group consists of Daryl, Denise and Rosita, who head out in search of medicine from a local apothecary that Denise believes may be fully stocked. Before leaving, Daryl and Rosita attempt to persuade Denise to stay in Alexandria for the simple fact that Denise is the community’s only doctor. Denise refuses to stay behind and the three leave in an old pickup truck. These three characters have only interacted briefly, so this supply run creates another interesting dynamic. While driving, Daryl struggles with the gear shift as Denise provides some truly humorous commentary. They are forced to stop at a fallen tree blocking the road, which Rosita and Daryl decide to investigate and discover a few bottles of liquor. Rosita proposes that the group take a shortcut by walking down nearby railroad tracks, but Daryl refuses and leads Denise down a different path while Rosita heads down the tracks alone. This moment is incredibly poignant for Daryl’s character due to the horrific circumstances surrounding his journey to Terminus on train tracks in Season 4.

Later, Rosita is shown waiting for Daryl and Denise after taking her shortcut. Denise asks Rosita about her weapons training and Rosita explains that a long list of people helped get her to where she is now. The group arrives at apothecary and begin searching for supplies. They discover a fully-stocked pharmacy that Daryl and Rosita immediately begin clearing out. Denise hears a noise from another room and walks over, armed with her machete, to inspect. She finds a trapped walker, as well as a child’s shoe in a blood-filled sink. The scene absolutely horrifies Denise, who rushes out of the building in disgust. Her reaction is completely understandable as Denise has very limited experience being outside of Alexandria. They leave the apothecary and Daryl strikes up a conversation with Denise. They discuss Denise’s twin brother, Dennis, who was both brave and angry. Daryl responds by telling Denise “sounds like we had the same brother.” referring to his late brother, Merle. They take the railroad tracks back and Denise notices a cooler in a nearby car. She opens the car door and is quickly caught in an intense struggle with a hidden walker; she manages to kill the walker herself. She opens the cooler and discovers a can of orange soda, which she proudly keeps for Tara. This scene displays Denise’s potential to become strong survivor. That is until, the next few moments dramatically change everything.

Dwight and the Saviors in a standoff with Rosita and Daryl. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC.)
Dwight and the Saviors in a standoff with Rosita and Daryl. (Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC.)

Rosita and Daryl scold Denise for risking her life over something so unimportant. Denise explains that she wanted to go on the supply run to confront her fears. This greatly parallels Eugene and his reasoning for leaving Alexandria this episode. Denise tells Daryl that she asked him to come along because he makes her feel safe; she asked Rosita to join to help her get over the breakup with Abraham; Denise fully pours her heart out to Rosita and Daryl. Suddenly, in mid-sentence, a bolt from a crossbow passes through Denise’s head and out her eye, killing her, but not before she is able to utter a few final words. Rosita watches in complete horror as Daryl catches Denise’s falling body. The camera turns revealing a large group of Saviors, including Dwight (The man who stole Daryl’s crossbow and motorcycle in “Always Accountable”) and Eugene as a hostage. Half of Dwight’s face has been burned; this will likely be explained later. Dwight orders Daryl and Rosita to turn over their weapons and lead him to Alexandria. Eugene spots Abraham hiding nearby and alerts Dwight. Eugene takes advantage of Dwight’s momentary lack of attention and bites him on the crotch. Abraham begins shooting at the Saviors, allowing Rosita and Daryl to recollect their weapons and kill a handful of the aggressors. Eugene is hit by a stray bullet and Dwight flees with his men, leaving behind Daryl’s crossbow. This entire fight sequence was frightening and fast-paced.

The death of Denise is the major problem that I have with this episode. Denise is a character that was introduced at the beginning of this season, but has gone through an extensive arc in her short time. This episode proved her potential strength, not only physically, but also mentally. The death itself feels like its sole purpose was to shock the audience and further other characters rather than Denise herself. Tara, who is currently on an extended supply run with Heath, will feel the full brunt of this loss, however, we will likely not see Tara’s reaction until next season, because Alanna Masterson was nine months pregnant during filming for the final episodes of this season. Daryl will also likely feel guilty as his crossbow was used to kill Denise. Yes, characters need to die in this series, but Denise’s death feels like a waste one of the most promising characters. Death is sometimes handled extremely well as seen with Hershel and Deanna, but also poorly as seen with Andrea, Beth and now Denise. The show also loses Merritt Wever, who gave remarkable performances throughout her run on the show as Denise.

The episode continues in Alexandria as Rosita tends to Eugene in the infirmary. Abraham arrives as Eugene wakes up. Rosita explains that the bullet simply grazed Eugene and that he will be okay. Abraham apologizes for questioning Eugene’s ability to survive and adapt. Abraham leaves and visits with Sasha, who invites him inside; this solidifies the fact that Abraham and Sasha will have a romantic relationship. Daryl and Carol bury Denise in Alexandria’s cemetery and Carol affirms Daryl’s regret about not killing Dwight the first chance he had. Tobin discovers a note from Carol, which is read to viewers by Carol as daily life is once again shown in Alexandria. Carol’s letter reveals that she has left Alexandria, citing her fear of killing to protect the people that she loves. She also references the time that Rick banished her from the Prison. She ends the letter by telling everyone to not come after her. With the looming threat of Dwight and the Saviors, as well as Negan, Carol’s departure from Alexandria comes at the worst time. Where did Carol go? Who will go looking for her?

“Twice as Far” is far from a bad episode, however, the death of Denise brings to light the recurring problem that this show has of killing off characters at odd times. Now that Alexandria has lost their doctor, how will the community treat those that are injured and sick? This episode does positively develop several characters and further the plot. The perfect pacing of this half season is present in this episode. With Alexandria now vulnerable to an attack, will the survivors be able to join together once again to protect their home? Be sure to tune in to “The Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

‘Hamletmachine’ – A unique take on a Shakespeare classic

Photo courtesy of the UNCC official website
Photo courtesy of the UNCC official website

Upon entering Belk Theatre, I didn’t exactly know what to expect from this production. My foggy memory of reading “Hamlet” in high school provided some expectations, however, “Hamletmachine” is truly unique. Originally written by German playwright Heiner Müller and loosely based on the work of William Shakespeare, this play is both thought-provoking and disturbing.

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Photo by Danny Tulledge

The major highlight of this UNC Charlotte production are the performances from the student actors. Across the board, the acting is profoundly spectacular and captivating. The truly stunning performances bring the audience into the world of the play with enchanting monologues and rapid body movements. Each actor utilizes the stage and fellow performers to create a series of chaotic and dramatic scenes that deliver the intended message. Whether one or many actors are present, the stage feels full and alive. From Hamlet and Gertrude to Ophelia and Horatio, as well as several other famous characters from the original play, are all present in many different forms to explore society and the human condition. The various musical performances within the play are also worth mentioning as major high points. The passionate and engrossing performances by the entire cast are just one of many reasons why this production of “Hamletmachine” is worth your time.

Something that I noticed throughout the duration of the play was the constant and eye-catching use of lighting and props. Not a minute goes by without something on stage drawing your attention. Whether it be movement in the background or flickering television sets, the team behind the scenes fully helped to present the audience with extensive imagery. With the openly interpretive nature of this play, the use of imagery definitely presents viewers with material to provoke contemplation. Another takeaway from the show is the distinctive costumes for each of the characters. The wardrobe team expertly provides a possibly overlooked component of the overall production that also contributes to the extensive use of imagery. Lastly, the set design is yet another fantastic piece of the large puzzle of this production.

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Photo by Danny Tulledge

Explaining the plot of this performance would simply be impossible, as it is far from standard in structure. This is truly something that must be witnessed firsthand to fully appreciate. With gripping drama and sensational work behind the scenes, UNC Charlotte’s production of “Hamletmachine” is a true gem that is worth your time.

Performances run March 19, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and March 20 at 2:00 p.m. at Belk Theatre in Robinson Hall. More information can be found at the following link: http://coaa.uncc.edu/news/theatre-department-presents-hamletmachine.

TV REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead’ – ‘The Same Boat’

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

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)

Without any doubt, Season 6 of “The Walking Dead” will go down as one of the most intense seasons of the series. This episode continues the dark and disturbing tone as it focuses on two of the more hardened characters. With high stakes and emotional character development, this episode is a true gem in the chaotic undead world of “The Walking Dead.”

“The Same Boat” opens up with several scenes from last week’s episode, but from a different viewpoint. Maggie and Carol argue as the alarms ring at the Savior compound. A Savior, later named Donnie (Rus Blackwell), tries to sneak up on the two, but Carol manages to shoot him in the arm. Suddenly, three Saviors ambush Carol and Maggie, holding them at gunpoint. After the sun comes up, the group of Saviors notice Rick holding a lone survivor at gunpoint after their attack in the compound. Paula (Alicia Witt) communicates with Rick through walkie-talkie to discuss a possible exchange, however, Paula realizes that the exchange would not be totally fair; she tells Rick that she needs to think and will get back to him later. Paula’s group blindfold Carol and Maggie and drive them to an abandoned slaughterhouse. This slaughterhouse is a frightening setting that is eerily reminiscent of Woodbury and Terminus from previous seasons.

Carol and Maggie are left bound and gagged in a room alone for a few moments while Paula and her group check out the rest of the building. Carol begins hyperventilating as Maggie watches on in both worry and confusion. Viewers are well aware that Carol tends to act weak around strangers to disguise her deadly strength, but in this episode, it is not totally clear if Carol is putting on an act or not. Maggie pleads for someone to remove Carol’s gag and Paula’s group maniacally joke about Carol’s “weakness.” A member of Paula’s group named Molly (Jill Jane Clements) begins smoking and Carol asks her to stop, citing Maggie’s pregnancy and the dangers of secondhand smoke. Donnie begins threatening to kill Carol, but Maggie trips him and Paula knocks him unconscious.

Alicia Witt as Paula, Jeananne Goossen as Chelle and Rus Blackwell as Donnie. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)
Alicia Witt as Paula, Jeananne Goossen as Chelle and Rus Blackwell as Donnie. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)

Chelle (Jeananne Goossen), another member of the Savior group, takes Maggie into a separate room to interrogate her. Chelle parallels Maggie in this scene as she explains her pregnancy that presumably ended prematurely. Maggie’s strength is displayed here as she refuses to give up any information about Alexandria or her group. Meanwhile, Carol explains why her group attacked the Savior compound. She tells Paula and Molly that it was simply a retaliation for Daryl, Sasha and Abraham’s run in with the group of Saviors in “No Way Out.” She also mentions Negan as reasoning behind the attack to which Molly declares “we are all Negan.” Paula also shares her story of being trapped in Washington DC at the beginning of the outbreak; she was not able to be with her husband or children. Paula eventually contacts Rick again and tells him that she is willing to make the trade and directs him to a nearby field. She notices a lack of static over the walkie-talkie and infers that Rick and the group must be near the slaughterhouse. She then radios another group of Saviors that are on their way as reinforcements. Carol, Paula and Molly demonstrated an interesting dynamic between three strong survivors. Carol is left alone in the room where she uses a crucifix she found to escape. The use of the crucifix is incredibly symbolic as it represents Carol’s struggle with faith and the recurring role of religion in the series.

Carol locates Maggie and recommends that they quickly leave, but Maggie declares that they must kill Paula’s group first. Maggie and Carol return to the holding room to discover that Donnie has died and is beginning to turn. Maggie uses rope to tether him to a pipe as a trap. Molly returns to the room and is attacked by a turned Donnie, who bites her on the arm. Maggie steals Molly’s gun and uses it to repeatedly bash her head in as Carol watches in horror. Maggie and Carol flee down a hallway, but are stopped by a large group of impaled walkers; the walkers were most likely positioned to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the building. Paula arrives and begins firing her gun, but misses both Carol and Maggie. Carol points her gun at Paula and tells her to leave, but Maggie repeatedly urges Carol to kill her. A walker frees itself and lunges for Carol causing her to shoot Paula in the shoulder. Chelle arrives and Maggie rushes to kill her, but Chelle puts up a strong fight and manages to slash Maggie’s abdomen with her knife. Carol arrives and immediately shoots Chelle in the head without any hesitation. Paula makes one final attempt at Carol’s life, but is thrown onto a spear and brutally devoured by a walker. Alicia Witt delivered an incredible performance as the wicked Paula.

After their intense altercation, Carol and Maggie receive a call on Paula’s radio from a Savior sharing that the reinforcements have arrived. They quickly create a plan to kill the Saviors. While waiting, Carol tells Maggie that she has killed nearly 20 people; this is beginning to weigh heavily on Carol. The group of Saviors arrive and Carol manages to trap them in a room doused with gasoline which she swiftly sets on fire. The group of Saviors are burned alive as Carol watches on in horror. Rick and the rest of the group arrive and reunite with Carol and Maggie. Glenn comforts Maggie, while Daryl consoles an emotional Carol. Rick demands information from his Savior hostage, Primo (Jimmy Gonzales), who declares “I’m Negan.” Without any hesitation, Rick pulls his gun out and shoots the man in the head. Now that the group believes the threat of Negan and the Saviors to be over, how will they react when Negan is officially introduced?

“The Same Boat” is rich with character development, specifically for Maggie and Carol. This episode marks a major turning point for Carol, who seems to be less eager to kill. Maggie’s pregnancy contributed to the overall intensity of the episode. Will Maggie lose the baby or will she finally have good luck? Both Lauren Cohan and Melissa McBride delivered some of their best performances to date this episode. Maggie and Carol have rarely interacted on-screen in the past, so it is interesting to see them working together. The larger world that our characters are discovering is filled with both good and bad. With even more blood on their hands, how will the group react when they discover that more threats lie on the horizon? Be sure to tune in to “The Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

TV REVIEW: ‘The 100’ – ‘Terms and Conditions’

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

Ricky Whittle as Lincoln. (Photo courtesy of The CW)
Ricky Whittle as Lincoln. (Photo courtesy of The CW)

Conflicts come to a head in one of the most intense episodes of “The 100” to date. While intense, this episode suffers from a wide variety of problems, many of which are present in other episodes this season. Many of the problems surround the characters and their actions, or lack thereof. However, numerous engrossing developments are made in regards to the various storylines.

Following the controversial ending last week, this episode focuses on life in Arkadia under Pike’s dictatorship. Two Grounder warriors arrive at the main gate to announce the blockade army surrounding the camp. They also tell Pike to turn himself in to the Grounders or else harsh consequences will be placed on the Skaikru. Bellamy refuses to acknowledge the threat and immediately shoots the two warriors, leaving everyone, including Pike, surprised. Pike rallies his corrupted followers into spying on the citizens of Arkadia to find out who is part of the underground rebellion. Monty is put in charge of the surveillance efforts; this is one of the major problems of the episode. Why is Monty betraying his friends and putting everyone he cares about in danger? Monty and Pike are both from the Farm Station, but there has been almost no development of his character that would explain his sudden turn against his friends, whom he has been surviving with since landing on the ground. Monty does show some guilt, but proceeds anyway. This is one of many cases where the characters act vastly different than normal.

Arkadia’s insurgent group is led by Kane and includes Miller and Harper. Abby is completely absent from this episode without any explanation whatsoever; considering she was a vocal voice against Pike’s leadership, her absence is strange. Kane, Miller and Harper discuss what can be done to stop Pike. Harper proposes a violent approach, but Kane opposes. Kane and Pike meet and the two discuss the Grounder’s demand; Kane attempts to persuade Pike into turning himself in, but Pike mentions Finn as an example of how negotiating with the Grounders leads nowhere. Later, Pike shares a fake plan with his close allies to trick the insurgents. This fake plan involves planting mines in a field to kill a large number of Grounders. Kane unknowingly falls into the trap by enlisting Sinclair into sabotaging one of Pike’s rovers. Sinclair is immediately caught by Bellamy, who arrests him and charges him with treason. Sinclair is taken to the ever-growing prison where he meets with Lincoln, who he tells to prepare for an escape. The underground rebellion aspect of the episode is truly fascinating. Seeing Kane in a very different leadership position creates a compelling dynamic.

Kane and Bellamy secretly meet where they both try to persuade each other to join the “right side.” Kane pleads for Bellamy to understand that the real threat is inside Arkadia with Pike rather than outside with the Grounders. At the prison, Lincoln pretends to attack Sinclair to set in motion a large plan. Guards rush into the prison cell and chaos erupts as the prisoners brutally attack the guards. Meanwhile, Pike confronts Kane about his involvement in the rebel group. Kane shock lashes Pike and throws him in the back of a rover to leave Arkadia and deliver him to the Grounders. Monty overhears Kane’s plan and alerts Bellamy that the prison riot is simply a distraction to allow Kane to escape. Bellamy makes his way to the front gate and manages to stop Kane before he can escape. The execution of the rebel plan was intense and action-packed. Unfortunately, Bellamy’s actions only further my increasing dislike of his character; Bellamy began the season as one of my favorites. Kane is instantly arrested and sentenced to death under the far outdated rules of the Ark’s Exodus Charter. Bellamy finally shows some sense of his true character as he asks Pike if they are going too far. Will Kane be able to escape his death sentence?

While the chaos of Pike’s leadership consumes much of the story, Raven and her relationship with the City of Light is also explored. Jaha tells Raven that more people need to be brought over to the City to help find the second version of A.L.I.E. Unfortunately for Jaha, the machine used to make the pills has been confiscated and stored in Pike’s office. Raven recruits Jasper to help retrieve the machine; being that Monty is the head of security, Raven believes Jasper’s friendship with Monty will be beneficial to their efforts. Jasper uses his knowledge of Monty’s interests to crack his passcode to Pike’s office. In the office, Jasper shares that the current situation reminds him of the predicament with Finn. Raven appears puzzled at the mention of her former boyfriend, similar to Jaha’s confusion at the mention of his deceased son. This development establishes memory loss as a side-effect of the City of Light. Thankfully, Raven is able to resist pleas from A.L.I.E. to focus on the mission at hand; Raven realizes that the City of Light is not the utopia that she initially thought it was. Raven’s aspect of the episode is a major highlight, as her strength is put on full display. Now that Raven has broken free, how will she fight against A.L.I.E. and Jaha?

“Terms and Conditions” is much weaker than its predecessors this season. Raven’s storyline, along with the action sequences and underground rebel aspect are definite highlights. However, the inconsistencies with numerous characters is frustrating. The absence of Clarke, especially after the shocking death of Lexa, is rather odd, but allows for developments in other storylines. As Pike continues to grow more unhinged, will anyone be able to save our characters from a costly war with the Grounders? Tune in to “The 100” when it returns on March 31 at 9 p.m. on The CW.