Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The 100: “Inclement Weather” recap and review

by Kayla Kenny, Writing Intern

Season two of The 100 started off well, and keeps chugging along with its second episode of the season, “Inclement Weather.” After the battle with the Grounders in the season one finale, season two finds the group split up.

On the Earth

Raven: She undergoes an emergency surgery after being shot in the battle. Ultimately, it could kill her or leave her paralyzed. She becomes crippled in one leg—the worse fate, in her opinion.

Bellamy & Finn: They manage to escape from the watch of their people. They set off to find the rest of the remaining 100 on their own.

Clarke: Everyone tells her that this underground society isn't a threat. She doesn't buy it. She’s right. Clarke discovers a secret room where hidden experiments are conducted on people from the ground. One of these prisoners happens to be Anya, a Grounder enemy. Clarke’s met her before. She vows to get Anya out of there.

Octavia: She’s fully recovered from the Grounder battle. Lincoln got a fellow Grounder to heal her. The deal puts his life in jeopardy. Octavia gets violent to get the man she loves back. She holds the Grounders’ healer hostage. When the exchange finally occurs, Reapers knock her out and take Lincoln away.

Up In Space

Chancellor Jaha: He just about called it quits until a baby’s cry sounded out at the end of season two’s first episode. The baby motivates him to find a ship that can get him to Earth with the rest of his people. The baby ends up being an illusion, brought on by oxygen deprivation. He lands safely on Earth, in the middle of nowhere.
Conceptually, the show is novel. Themes here don’t include the soap-styled love triangles that typify CW shows. There was a bit of a love triangle in season one, but that was never central to the show. Plots focus on the sci-fi, and the weird communities that have lived through this nuclear war.  It’s a story of survival.

This episode included many twists and shocks. Most of them dealt with the communities on the ground. The Reapers were foreshadowed. The viewer knew they’d watched Octavia. Yet, it came as a shock when they sprung up during the hostage exchange, and took both Lincoln and the Grounder healer. They left Octavia unconscious though. Why didn't they take her too? Or the Grounder woman who brought Lincoln to the exchange?

Clarke’s discovery shocked too. Again, the foreshadowing, of a bad thing, was obvious. The scene transitions started with sounds of static and cuts to shots of long, empty, narrow hallways within the society. This viewpoint made for a truly terrific eerie feeling. The viewer feels Clarke’s suspicion. She finds a room of captives. They’re trapped in cages. They await their deaths. The people in the society want to use their blood to heal themselves somehow. The room’s poorly lit. It has this bluish green tint to it. At first, the audience doesn't see the room. We only see Clarke’s stunned reaction. Then, the shot spins to a view of two bodies hung upside down. The bodies’ blood is being drained. Clarke, always inquisitive, meanders slowly through the room. It’s not long before she walks between two cages full of people. They are ragged and dirty. They reach their hands out to grab her. They beg her for help. The scene shows the grotesque nature of the underground society and emphasized the dystopian nature of the show.

The big baby twist surprised me more than most surprising things surprise me. Isaiah Washington’s acting isn't particularly wonderful, but the viewer felt his burst of fear when the baby cried out. His frantic search for the child kept viewers on their toes. He jumped through space to the other side of the ruined ship. The baby’s tucked inside his spacesuit. The helmet cracks. Hearts pound. Why have him live this long, just to die? He reaches an oxygen-safe zone. He unzips his suit. The baby has vanished. Hearts sink at the thought of a child floating lifeless in the expanse of space. Jaha nearly breaks down at this thought. Then, a vision of his dead son appears. Hallucination. Every scene in this episode, with Jaha, manages to build suspense. Will he live or will he die?

The show and the shock is great. The acting, on the other hand, is mediocre. Clarke (Eliza Taylor) has the same look of frustration on her face in nearly every episode. Her look of shock looks like her look of frustration. Octavia’s a tough girl in this episode. Marie Avgeropoulos comes off as a young girl trying to act tough. Also, Raven’s scene should be so powerful. It’s not. Lindsey Morgan lacks the ability to convey the deep emotions of someone who just found out she won’t be able to walk anymore. Finn (Thomas McDonell) responds to her disability in a burst of anger. His frustration should be deeper; his effort is too visible. 

This episode leaves the viewer questioning and wanting more. It could have been more powerful with better acting. Viewers should feel this show and respond as the characters might.  Here, intrigue and a good concept alone just isn't enough.


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