The 100 - Twilight's Last Gleaming - Roundtable Discussion + "What Did You Think" POLL By Jimmy (April 17, 2014, 2:58 am)
The fifth episode of The CW's The 100 set the bar even higher in terms of character interaction, intensity, and sheer heartbreak. Thanks to The CW, SpoilerTV has access to screeners for several of the season's episodes, so we can bring you a bit more content than we normally can for many of the other shows we cover. Our roundtable discussion for the fifth episode has questions by Jimmy Ryan, with comments thanks to Daniel van der Veer, Bradley Adams, and Pablo Troncoso Uriarte. The opinion poll is further down below.
Let's get underway.
Jimmy: First off, the main talking point in this episode will no doubt be the several hundred people making the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humanity. What were your own initial thoughts after this occurred?
Daniel: It was really emotional to see. And very shocking. The show has already shown that it’s willing to go to very dark territory but this tops everything they have done so far. What’s more, the 100 were racing so hard to make sure the Ark knew they were alive and in the end, they failed. The people that sacrificed themselves did that for their families, which is a hard yet beautiful thing to do. I almost cried, which I hardly do when watching a TV show! The scene itself was beautiful also because of the music used. In general I’ve been happy about the music they used as it mostly fits well into the episode.
Bradley: I wasn’t overly surprised. I was a little shocked when the first guy came up to Abby and said he wanted to sacrifice himself, but after that it was obvious why the rest of the people were outside the door. I enjoyed it because it wasn’t a case of them sacrificing themselves for humanity. It was sacrificing themselves so someone they loved could live just that little bit longer. It was an emotional scene, and you could sort of feel hope that the 100 would get the flares up and save the several hundred people, so it made it even more shocking when they were killed.
Pablo: I think it’s the first time we truly see a glimmer of hope for human kind in this show; while most of the time we see the teens going at each other on Earth and the adults on the Ark trying to keep order, this is the first time we see actual collaboration. I was surprised that the show decided to take that route after being as dark as it was last episode, but it was nice, and at the same time it was tragic and sad, a mixture of feelings that made the sacrifice emotionally affecting, even if the ones being sacrificed are people we don’t know anything about.
Jimmy: While continuing to acknowledge the enormous sacrifice made by those citizens, the extent of the classist nature of society on board the Ark became a lot clearer in this episode. Those who weren’t skilled were sacrificed ahead of those who were. Do you think this approach is the right one, or does everyone deserve equal treatment?
Daniel: It’s really all about survival. If you want to survive, you need to have the most skilled people up in the Ark to ensure that survival. There is no excuse for having to kill hundreds of people, but you would be better off sacrificing hundreds of expendable individuals than to sacrifice all your mechanics for instance.
Bradley: All of those who were sacrificed were volunteers. They all wanted to be sacrificed. So, the approach of sacrificing the least skilled first is absolutely correct. The whole point of the sacrifice was to help prolong humanity, so it would have been mind-numbingly stupid to sacrifice those who will do that!
Pablo: Everyone has skills, how useful they are is just a matter of how they use them. Nowadays people recognize intellect over handiwork, but handiwork is what moves the world and it is as important as intellect. Everyone deserves equal treatment because everyone has important skills to bring into the mix, but the Ark decided to kill off those who were seemingly less important, but that’s just because they didn’t give these guys the time to show off. Then again, there is no such thing as “time to do stuff” in the Ark, they are in crisis after all, so it’s no surprise they took the quicker route
Jimmy: Clarke got a bit of a shock when the person on board the pod turned out to be her boyfriend’s girlfriend. However she remained diplomatic and understanding the entire time. It’s rare to see conflict like this avoided in a television series, so what were your thoughts about that?
Daniel: Clarke dealt with it in a really professional way. I think she realized what was at stake here so she put aside her conflicts to focus on saving these lives. There is not a lot of time to start hating each other and to fight one another. Eventually, the 100 all need each other to ensure their survival. So avoiding the love triangle for this episode was the right thing to do!
Bradley: I’m not a fan of the love triangles, so at the end of last week I was dreading this episode. However, I was glad that they didn’t really go down that route. I’ve found it difficult to like Clarke thus far, so to see her take the high road here and not be territorial (which would be ridiculous since they’ve had sex once, while Finn and Raven have been together for a while).
Pablo: I like that she is so understanding, it’s a very rare thing in TV (and even more rare in the CW) that someone would take it as well as Clarke did; she understands the position they are in, she understands that is more important to focus on getting in contact with the Ark than dealing with a love triangle, and she also understands that Finn got with her thinking he would never see Raven again. It all makes sense to her, it hurts her, but she is able to put things on perspective, and that’s a virtue I like in lead characters
Jimmy: Bellamy could be considered as solely responsible for the sacrifices of those on board the Ark, despite the choices he made being driven by his desire to protect Octavia. Is this fair, or do you think the blame falls onto other parties?
Daniel: There is some guilt resting on Bellamy. After all, he destroyed the radio that could make them talk to the Ark directly. Had they done so, it might have saved all these lives. But then again, as Bradley points out, would they get the dropships ready in time or would that take another days/weeks/months? Also, it was still the Council’s decision to sacrifice all these people, and in the end all these people willingly sacrificed themselves.
Bradley: I think it’s harsh to blame Bellamy, for two reasons. Firstly, the sacrifice turned out to be a choice by those who sacrificed themselves. It wasn’t just the council picking random people, they chose to help save others. Secondly, even if the Ark was contacted, we don’t even know if they have fully working pods to get everyone down at a moment’s notice. For all we know, it could take them another two weeks to be able to get people down to Earth. And, Bellamy was trying to protect his sister. It wasn’t like he was just doing it because he can - there was a logical reason for it.
Pablo: I think he is partially responsible, if they contacted the Ark it would have changed everything, but we can’t forget that it was the people on the Ark who also decided to carry out the sacrifice, it was them who couldn’t wait just a little longer. What Bellamy did is understandable, but it can’t be justified, he put his sister’s and his own life’s on top of everyone else, and that’s selfish, and he should face the consequences for that, but the ones who pulled the trigger were those in the Ark too.
Jimmy: In the video that Abby broadcast, Jake said that the people had pledged their lives to ensure humanity doesn’t come to an end. This puts a piece of the puzzle in its spot regarding the origins of the Ark, and who was selected to live on board 97 years ago. Did you pick up on this?
Daniel: Not really actually. I thought he was only talking about the current situation that the Ark is dying. I hadn’t made the connection to the very first selection process when it was decided who got to go on board the Ark and who didn’t.
Bradley: I hadn’t picked up on it. To be honest, I don’t believe there was any sort of selection process as to who got on board, but what has happened is that their daily life is all about trying to figure out how to keep the Ark and everyone on it alive, and figure out how and when they can return to Earth.
Pablo: Actually, I didn’t. I didn’t think much about it. When Jake made the video I was sure he was talking about their current situation. But now that I think about it I imagine that the beginning of the Ark must have been quite a horrifying process to determine who gets to go. I hope The 100 does a flashback episode about that along its run.
Jimmy: Chancellor Jaha was intent on dying with those sacrificed for much of the episode, but Councilman Kane talked him out of it. This was out of character for both men from what we’ve seen of them so far. Your thoughts?
Daniel: Jaha spoke a lot of wise words throughout the episode and I think he truly wanted to make this sacrifice. Yet Abby’s words that he is a coward are also true, because he is running away from a sinking ship. Kane eventually talking him out of it made me like his character a bit better. It must have been very hard for him to admit that he is not ready to be Chancellor, because he has been wanting to get the job since the beginning. So it was very out of character for Kane, and I’m hoping we will see him show this side more.
Bradley: I was surprised when Jaha said he wanted to die, but even more so when Kane talked him out of it. From what we’ve seen so far, Kane seems the sort of person who would do anything to gain power. Jaha basically dangled it right in front of him, and yet he turned down the opportunity. It was a nice scene though, and I enjoyed the way the two were presented in different ways. I’m not sure whether they’ll continue to show us Kane in a positive light, but it would be nice to see more of him being more than a heartless annoyance.
Pablo: It made me like Kane a little more. While I don’t approve his methods and his approach to his work, I can’t deny that the guy is truly trying to do what’s best for the Ark and humanity even if it means making hard choices and taking the blame for those choices. It is also a quite rare moment of vulnerability when he admits he doesn’t think he is ready to take on the Chancellor’s job and that makes for way more complex character. And I was surprised that Jaha was talked out about sacrificing himself, I think deep down the guy wasn’t ready to die and he wanted someone to tell him that he could live on.
Jimmy: Octavia fell victim to a grounder at the end of the episode, and next week we see how the 100 respond to that. In 10 words or less, how would you describe next week’s episode
Jimmy: Finally, any other thoughts you would like to share?
Daniel: This was a really great episode. Very dark and very emotional. The stories on Earth and on the Ark ran parallel, which was a nice thing to see. I can’t wait to see how the hundreds of deaths will impact both the 100 on Earth and the people on the Ark.
Bradley: Bellamy with multiple women was funny. This was my favourite episode so far. It provided quality on all fronts. Keep doing that, the quality will only improve.
Pablo: I honestly loved this episode, minutes just passed by without me noticing; it was quite poignant and tragic how these people sacrificed themselves. For the first time, what happened on the Ark managed to be as engaging as what happened on Earth, and that’s an amazing step forward for this show.
That concludes the roundtable for episode 5 of The 100. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! If you're curious about something, or want to pick our brains for spoilers, follow us all below and send us a tweet! We'd love to hear from you.
Below is the weekly "What did you think of" poll, which we've combined into this article for your convenience instead of creating two different posts. After you've voted, be sure to share your thoughts about the episode and roundtable in the comments below!
On next week’s episode, titled 'His Sister’s Keeper,' we witness the early years on board the Ark for Octavia and Bellamy, and we find out how Bellamy came to shoot the Chancellor, in an episode which all Ark scenes are flashbacks. On the ground, members of the 100 out to rescue Octavia are forced to run for their lives as the grounders come out in numbers, and Clarke and Raven discuss their relationships with Finn.
Thanks for reading and voting! See you all next week for the roundtable of 'His Sister’s Keeper'.
The The 100 roundtable team.