Exorcist 5: The Ravening.
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.
Man, these last two episodes have been terrific. Season 3 of The 100 had some particularly notable missteps – and has had some huge backlash and fallout from decisions made both onscreen and off since – but when this show delivers, it freaking delivers. And I’m feeling really good about where we’re going right now with this storyline.
I was really liking “Nevermore” from the start, but it got increasingly involving and intense as it went on. This was just an amazing episode for Lindsey Morgan, who showed so many different facets here as Chipped Raven, ALIE and, finally, as good ol’ Raven (yay!) – beginning with her going completely primal at the start, as she did everything in her power to escape and find out where she was for ALIE.
But when that failed, the mind games began. And that’s where the episode really got great and Morgan got to shine, as we saw Raven – in an episode that had huge Exorcist overtones – become quite the Devil, doing all she could to tear her friends apart from within. That is when she wasn’t directly turning into ALIE, with Morgan again doing an uncanny impression of Erica Cerra’s really intriguing performance as ALIE.
The 100 is commendable for never forgetting its history. Past events, character deaths, big decisions… these things matter and are brought up often. But this episode went really big on that front, because Raven/ALIE was using everything she could to get to these people by bringing up every bit of dirty laundry possible.
This episode somewhat (I do wanna stress somewhat) even helped retroactively sell some of the things that have been criticized about this season. I still think Bellamy’s decision to help Pike felt way too hasty and unmotivated, given how monumental it was, but this was the episode where it truly felt like he was being called out on how ludicrous and single-minded it all was. And not just by Raven, but Octavia and Jasper as well.
On top of that, there was Raven bringing up Bellamy’s actions in Season 1 that led to hundreds of death and the fact that no one really is blaming him for the deaths in Mount Weather that he also participated in. In general, this Pike pike in the road aside, I like Bellamy as a character — and thus was especially disappointed to see that huge initial decision to help Pike in that massacre feel so rushed through — but by bringing up all of the awful things he’s done, it felt like we were getting a better perspective on his entire history. It also better helps sell the idea that he could possibly come out of this experience taking stock of his decisions up until now and the terrible mistakes he’s made. It’s not nearly enough to wipe the slate clean, no, but it’s at least a start. And having Niylah (the always-welcome Jessica Harmon) give a face to those Bellamy had helped kill, by revealing her father was among them, was another impactful aspect of this episode
As for Jasper, man, you have to hand it to Kim Shumway, who wrote this episode, for basically being ahead of the audience here (remember, all these episodes were filmed months before The 100: Season 3 began airing). Because while I’ve felt Japser’s storyline has been compelling this season, I’ve seen plenty say something akin to “Get over it, Jasper!” about how he’s fallen apart in the wake of Maya’s death. And Raven basically was saying exactly that, pointing out that Jasper was wallowing while everyone else was at least moving forward.
And yeah, there was no group hug at the end, but you felt that going through this experience, and saving Raven together, had gone a long way to fixing some of the damage done between these people. Jasper returning the Flame, and what’s left of Lexa, to Clarke, was a very emotional moment, given all it meant both for Clarke and her love for Lexa and for the friendship between Clarke and Jasper.
And while “Nevermore” was very much about the original “Adventure Squad”, as Lindsey Morgan put it when I spoke to her about this episode, finally reunited, I loved the inclusion of Sinclair as well! His scene where he told Clarke how worried he was that he would lose his surrogate daughter (okay, he didn’t use that term – but come on!) was so poignant, with some really strong work by Alessandro Juliani.
The only thing I would say didn’t have the impact it could have here was Monty killing Hannah, simply because we had no reason to ever care about or like Hannah and the portrayal of her had been murky anyway, as far as her fanaticism for Pike vs. how much she was trying to protect Monty. The fact that chipped Hannah really didn’t feel too different from unchipped Hannah kind of illustrated that point.
Still, Christopher Larkin had some great moments here, first when Monty told Octavia she was, when all was said and done, one of The 100 and then at the end, as he realized that his mom could have been saved (though, let’s face it, likely at the expense of Octavia’s life given the situation).
This was such a standout episode, I’ll just allow myself to be bemused by the questionable science when it comes to consuming a large technological “chip” that somehow ends up at the back of your neck and then leaks out as liquid when you’re cut open after a car battery-powered EMP overloads it.