Nobody said being the leader of a post-apocalyptic civilization would be easy.
But with one game-changing choice, Lexa broke an alliance, betrayed the woman she loves and left the Sky People prisoners in the lurch. All in all, The 100 Season 2 Episode 15 incited a strong fan reaction with some supporting Lexa's decision and others rallying against the logic behind it.
On this week's Round Table, TV Fanatics Lindsay MacDonald, Paul Dailly and Amanda Festa - along with super fan Marko Pekic - gather around to anticipate the death, destruction and all the feelings that are to come on the season finale...
Where do you fall on Lexa's choice? Do you understand her controversial move or was her decision flawed?
Lindsay: Her choice was so in character and yet still so surprising. Lexa leads with her head, not her heart, and I think she obviously made the right choice for her people. No Grounders had to sacrifice themselves in the fight, and every single one of her imprisoned people got out of the mountain. But speaking as a someone who dearly loves all those Sky Kids... she's definitely going straight to hell for that choice.
Marko: I understand it. As it is often said, nothing is just black or white in the world of The 100! Lexa's decision wasn't 100% right, but I understand it. Lexa is sick of the war, sick of the obligations she was forced into, sick of losing people she loves and I'm sure that was a huge part of the decision she made. Of course, the threat of the Mountain Men doesn't stop here, but I'm sure the Grounders are dominant in a battle on the ground.
Paul: I understand her move, but it was a horrible choice. She's now back to square one with the Sky People. There is going to be a lot of death going forward, and the blood is on Lexa's hands.
Amanda: I think it was a bad choice. I understand the reasoning behind it, but once you get past the immediate pros, the long-term cons outweigh any benefits. Sure, the Grounder prisoners are free and they can retreat safely, but Lexa is someone who admittedly doesn't trust easily.
Trusting the same people who used a number of her people as human juice boxes and turned others into Reapers seems like a quick turn. Especially since they were poised to succeed in their mission and eliminate the Mountain Men threat for good. If they had been at a tactical disadvantage, I would understand her choice better. But the door was open!
While Clarke may understand what went into this choice, would she have done the same? What does this mean for future Sky People/Grounder relations.
Lindsay: I don't think Clarke would have made the same choice. We saw her agonize over sacrificing Ton DC, and then her declaration to Lincoln: "You are my people." After this betrayal though? I can see her offering up Grounders on a plate if that's what it takes to save her friends. She still has a pretty damning secret about Lexa and Ton DC. I'd hate to be Lexa if Clarke decides she's in a vengeful mood.
Marko: I doubt Clarke would make the same choice. There are no Sky People/Grounder relations anymore. I can't even imagine how angry Clarke must feel now. The next meeting between Clarke and Lexa will be an intense one.
Paul: I'm not so sure she would have done the same, but she would have certainly thought about it. She did kill Finn after all. With regards to the alliance – there is none. Lexa proved this.
Amanda: As I talk about in my review of The 100 Season 2 Episode 15, I don't believe for one second that Clarke would do the same. She struggled so much with the decision regarding the missile strike, and I believe that was a turning point for her. While protecting the greater good does come first, there is a line that she has trouble crossing, and betraying a solid alliance when the mission was going as planned would not be an option.
She does kill Finn, but she does it more to save him from the inevitable torture he would have sustained at the hands of the Grounders than for any tactical reason. If he didn't give himself up, she wasn't willing to sacrifice him for the alliance. The only way I can see Clarke even contemplating this deal would be if they were clearly at a tactical disadvantage, poised for a loss, and making the deal would save Bellamy, Jasper, Monty, etc. That said, I don't even know if she would make it then.
We do not see Lexa making the deal, so we don't know what was offered or threatened. Do you think there is more going on than meets the eye here?
Lindsay: Maybe so, but I doubt it. They presented this as a very cut and dry betrayal by Lexa. Stay with Clarke and risk losing everything or take Cage's deal and sacrifice the Sky Kids. If it turns out there was more to that story though, I can see Clarke and Lexa reestablishing their bond over time.
Marko: Early in the episode another missile was mentioned, and I think that was a negotiation point for sure. The Mountain Men were in a desperate situation – they surely threatened to use that missile.
I don't think there is more than what meets the eye, even though Mountain Man Carl wasn't happy with the way Cage was handling things. It seems pretty clean cut between the Mountain Men and the Grounders at this point, and there is no coming back from that.
Paul: Nope. She took the deal and didn't think twice about it. I don't have much else to say about this.
Amanda: I want to believe that we weren't privy to the deal for a reason. I want to believe that the Mountain Men had something to hold over Lexa to make her have to take the deal. But, at the end of the day, that is probably not the case. She chose to save her people in the short-term, sacrificing the long-term. And with the numbers of Grounder prisoners that were captive at the mountain, once they get stronger, she will have an even more substantial army, which would most likely be able to handle a Mountain Men attack on the ground should the deal go sour.
Let's talk about the Wallace family. Dante is back... and evil?! He orchestrated the Grounder deal and seems to be helping Cage now. What do we think about this turn?
Lindsay: I still can't call Dante totally evil. Seeing those children and revolutionaries again, you have to see the big picture. Dante was worried for his people and he made a choice, just like Lexa. Both their choices kind of screwed over the Sky People in a big way, but the theme of the episode really seemed to be how far leaders will go to protect their people. What lines they will cross. On The 100 Season 2 Episode 16, we'll probably see Clarke cross a line.
Marko: I agree with Lindsay on this. We can't call Dante evil. He made a choice not to hurt those kids while his people were safe. Now that the situation has changed, he made the right decision. But Dante's overall body language was telling me he hasn't forgiven Cage and that he will not let his anger go that easily.
Paul: I think he will double cross Cage when all is said and done. I can't see him resisting killing these people all season and then just changing his mind in an instant. He said it because he knew it would buy some time.
Amanda: While he didn't want it to come to this, I think he realizes there is no other option for Mount Weather survival at this point. In that great scene, he tells Cage that it is Clarke and not the Commander they should be worried about. This leads to a deal being extended to Lexa. I think it's great that at the end of the day, they believe the stronger threat is Clarke – and I think Dante knew that Clarke wouldn't take the same deal.
Everyone was pretty badass in tonight's episode. Was there one character who stood out to you in particular?
Lindsay: Octavia. I know I say this every week, but she just blows me away. Her last line, "I have no home" was so powerful. This is a girl who has never belonged anywhere, and she's just been soundly kicked out of her tribe after barely 10 minutes in it. Jason Rothenberg said it best when he noted that Octavia realizes she is not a Grounder or a Sky Person. She's a Blake. Bellamy is all she has left, and she's going to fight like hell to get him back.
Marko: Octavia going up against Indra was quite impressive, and her "I have no home" line was so powerful – loved it. But I have to say Octavia's performance has been outstanding for a couple of episodes now, so I'll go with Lincoln this week. Lincoln stepping up and becoming the warrior we remember from The 100 Season 1 is something I have been waiting for. He was so focused, strong, determined – and I'm sure he won't let his Sky people friends fight this battle alone.
Paul: Lincoln. He has come a long way from the Grounder we saw in The 100 Season 1. He has gone through so much, and it has shaped him into one of the best characters on the show.
Amanda: I agree with everyone about Octavia and Lincoln. I thought both were standout performances. And I particularly loved how Lincoln protecting Clarke was done in a subtle way, not a huge plot point, but it was really clear to the audience where his loyalties lie. Especially in the end when he wants to stay to fight.
I would also say Raven and Wick were amazing. The scene when Wick is forced to kill someone and Raven welcomes him to the ground was perfect. It really highlights how much the first group on the ground experienced before the Ark came down.
It's fitting that The 100 Season 2 Episode 16 reunites our core group, although they are in pretty dire straits. Now that it seems we may have been wrong about Lexa's demise, who are we most concerned about surviving the finale?
Lindsay: If I had to tap someone for death, I'd probably say Maya. She can't live outside the mountain, so if our kids do end up making it out, she's either going to stay behind and leave the story, or she's going to die and leave the story.
If they touch one hair on Wick or Raven's heads, I will scream bloody murder.
Marko: Seeing the core kids reunite will be pretty amazing. Dante, Abby, Monty and Kane are the characters I am most afraid for, with Abby being on the top of my list. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Jaha's journey takes a deadly turn for him or Murphy.
Paul: I'm concerned about how many of the Sky People make it out of the finale. Lexa will probably pop up in a few scenes. Could she decide against her decision? Quite possibly.
Amanda: If Lexa makes an appearance in The 100 Season 2 Episode 16, I will once again fear for her life. If she regrets her decision and comes to Clarke's aid, she may be in trouble.
I am also definitely afraid for Maya. After all, she doesn't have the luxury of being able to live outside the mountain. Unless a Sky Person dies and Abby manages to do a stem cell transplant on the fly, her relationship with Jasper is pretty much a post-apocalyptic Romeo and Juliet. I am trying to brace myself for the worst, but it seems like I am never fully prepared for what The 100 brings!