The 100 Review by John Keegan

The 100 1.05: Twilight's Last Gleaming

The 100 1.05: Twilight's Last Gleaming

Written By:
Bruce Miller
Directed By:
Milan Cheylov


It’s funny how the official description of this episode focuses primarily on how Raven’s arrival on Earth threatens the rather new relationship between Clarke and Finn.  Does this really even constitute a plot thread in the episode?  Yes, Clarke and Finn fell into a relationship due to their assumptions of isolation and future prospects.  Yes, Raven happened to survive her landing, and considers herself Finn’s paramour.  But I doubt anyone was really watching this episode with that matter in mind.



 

Far more was happening back on the Ark, where the growing effects of oxygen depletion are throwing the established order into a tailspin.  The threat of killing more than 300 residents of the Ark to re-balance the resource books, with no evidence that Earth is habitable, has been lingering since the very beginning of the series.  It was speculated by many that this would simply be a driver for the drama over the course of the season, though.

 

This episode undercut that assumption in the best possible way.  If the action on the ground evokes shades of The Walking Dead: Teen Edition, then the Ark is doing its best Battlestar Galactica impression.  When the Exiled were prepping the flares to signal the Ark that they were still alive, I was anticipating some kind of last-minute reprieve of the volunteers.  After all, isn’t that how it usually works out?



 

Not this time.  We were even spared the notion that the signal would have been noticed, but Kane would demand the sacrifice anyway.  The writers instead opted to make Kane a far more nuanced character, much less of an outright villain, and made the conflict less about avoidance of sacrifice than choices vs. mandates.  Abby’s issue wasn’t that people had to die so much as the secretive manner in which it was being implemented.

 

Kane’s main sin is that he’s overly pragmatic, and what he sees as quick and decisive can also be impulsive and short-sighted.  It’s the classic depiction of a dominant leader with empathy issues.  That doesn’t change the fact that the cold equations are what they are, and the Chancellor’s point that Kane has the necessary detachment to make the hard decisions is a fair one.  If Kane and Abby could get over their interpersonal issues, Abby’s more sympathetic approach could help moderate Kane’s impulsive desire for quick action.



 

Now the question is how the evidence of survival on Earth will be handled.  Will Kane suppress this discovery, to avoid the backlash over the population reduction?  Granted, such a reaction would be more emotional than logical, since there is still the not-so-small problem of how to get those living on the Ark down to the surface in a timely and orderly manner.  And as we saw at the end of the episode, the Exiled haven’t even begun dealing with the Grounders, which is an element that would have to factor into questions of viability.  These are all factors that episodes like this give me confidence the writers will tackle well.


Our Grade:
A-
The Good:
  • The events on the Ark were excellently handled
  • The show continues to be based in solid SF principles
  • The true villain is human nature
The Bad:
  • Do we really need a love triangle?

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

The 100 by - 4/18/2014 7:37 AM245 views

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