Clarke and a small group of the 100 take on another mission, and those left on the Ark realize why it appears that the kids on Earth are dying.
Tonight's episode, "Earth Skills," does the whole split narrative thing again, and manages to balance the time between Earth and the Ark fairly well.
First off, remember how Jasper was staked in the previous episode? Well, early on in this one, Clarke and the others in the smaller group originally headed for Mount Weather hear him scream while they're running away from the scene of the attack. So they know that he is, in fact, alive.
"This is Home Now"
Meanwhile, back at the camp the rest of the 100 have put together, Wells buries the couple of kids who died when their ship landed, and takes their clothes back to the main area. But Bellamy intercepts him, and when Wells insists that they share based on need, like on the Ark, Bellamy reminds him that Earth is home now, and the rules of the Ark no longer apply.
The rest of the 100 are basically running around being hooligans, enjoying their freedom, making out with each other, you know, the sort of thing a bunch of teenagers let loose on a deserted planet would do. So when the clothes Wells grabbed are tossed away, a bunch of them scramble for the goods. That's probably not a good sign of things to come, when things get even tougher for the group.
Not long after, Wells gets into a fight with another member of the group when he finds the guy holding a girl near the fire, saying that if they want people on the Ark to believe they're dying before they take their wristbands off, maybe they should suffer a little first.
At first, Wells holds his own, but then Bellamy hands him a knife when the other guy pulls one and says he's just making it a fair fight. Wells gets slashed, but he gains the upper hand again and holds the knife to the other guy's neck just as Clarke shows up and tells him to stop. Good timing.
The group explains that they didn't make it to Mount Weather, and that there are other people there, 'survivors,' besides them. Good news? This means the radiation probably won't kill them. Bad news? These survivors, or 'grounders,' as they are called, might.
Clarke notices Wells' missing wristband, then calls everyone who's taken theirs off (24 and counting) idiots. She reveals the secret of the dying life support on the Ark, and says that by making those on the Ark think they're dying, they're killing both their group and everyone back on the ship.
But Bellamy works them all into a frenzy, calling her one of the 'privileged,' and saying that the wristbands make them prisoners. "We can take care of ourselves!" he declares, and the group cheers in agreement, so Clarke stomps off to figure out what to do about the Jasper situation elsewhere.
Back on the Ark, Dr. Abby and others are trying to figure out how to re-establish communications with the 100. Someone else monitoring the screens tells Abby that the way the kids appear to be "dying" could indicate death by radiation poisoning, but she won't believe that explanation.
The Chancellor shows up, only to see that it looks like his son is dead. "We sent them down to die," he says, but Abby corrects him. "No," she says. "We sent them down to live."
Soon after, Kane plans a council meeting, and Abby talks to the Chancellor about it beforehand to see where his head's at with the whole situation. He's in a tough spot; if he and the council don't act quickly, the whole population on the Ark will be dead in four months. However, stopping that requires culling the population, and soon.
It seems that with his son's death, the Chancellor's hope is wavering. But Abby believes that hope is everything, and she says so just as Kane shows up to chat with Thelonious. Kane tells him who his would-be assassin is - Bellamy Blake - but the Chancellor questions him, implying that Kane would in fact benefit the most from his death.
They argue, and Kane claims that he was only following the law. But the Chancellor tells him that to do his job, you have to also know when to not follow the law. Wise words. Kane thinks the Chancellor is weak and tells him so to his face before leaving. I know the Chancellor was voted in, but was this guy too? I feel like that could be grounds for knocking him down a few titles.
A New Mission
Clarke tells Wells he can't go with them to find Jasper, but Monty says he should go. Then Clarke tells him that he can't go instead, because the kid is a master in the areas of both food and communication; if something happens to the rescue group, he needs to stay behind to be of use to the other 100.
Finn doesn't want to go, claiming that the whole thing is a suicide mission, and Clarke calls him a coward. She does convince Bellamy to go, however, since he's got a gun and he needs to prove to the others that he isn't afraid of what might be lurking out in the woods.
One of Bellamy's cronies goes with him, but he tells the other, Adam, to stay behind and watch Octavia, who is injured and would slow them down. Octavia isn't pleased by this development, but she'll change her tune a bit later.
Bellamy also agrees to go because he's determined to get Clarke's wristband off of her. Even if he has to cut it off, he tells his other crony. Well, that escalated quickly.
On their trip Clarke still refuses to take her wristband off no matter what Bellamy says. When he calls her princess, who should just so happen to show up? Finn, of course, who reserved that nickname for her for himself, thank you very much!
Back on the Ark, we are introduced to a young mechanic, Raven, who has her suspicions about the launch of the ship the 100 were on that the higher-ups are passing off as a "maintenance accident." She's in a very good mood until she's informed that visitation with prisoners has been postponed for two months thanks to a quarantine in their area.
She's disappointed because as she tells Abby when she finds her, her boyfriend is in lockup, so she was looking forward to seeing him. She noticed an air duct to the area was open, which seems like a grave oversight if they're being quarantined. When Abby tries to pass it off, Raven says she's knows the council is hiding something and she's determined to figure out what it is. Clever girl.
Adam and Octavia go back-and-forth a little, until he locks her in the small vessel to keep her safe while Bellamy is gone. Monty is in there too, working on a way to communicate with the Ark via their wristbands.
Even though her brother is bound to be pissed at her, she agrees to help Monty by letting him experiment with getting her wristbands off without cutting off the signal being sent to the ship. It doesn't work, but hey, it was worth a shot!
The Mission Continues
The rescue group continue searching for Jasper, and Bellamy and Wells have a short conversation in which we find out Bellamy can tell Wells has the hots for Clarke. But he tells the other boy that the girl doesn't even see him. Ouch.
Finn and Clarke figure out that the river is a boundary for the grounders, which still begs the question of how they're going to get to the supplies there. They do find a stream, so they have water, at least.
They splash around and flirt in the water a little, until Clarke sees a trail of blood and something of Jasper's on the rocks nearby. Buzzkill. Also, Finn makes what I guess is supposed to be a wise comment about Clarke wanted to save people because she couldn't save her father, but it's a little out of place and clunky for my taste, unfortunately.
Back on the ship, Abby catches Raven listening in on a conversation about the 100, but she's in luck, because the younger girl gives her some insight into what's actually going on down below. She informs the doctor that the kids aren't dying, they're just taking off their wristbands.
When another person questions why the kids would do that, Abby grins and says they were told not to. Teenagers aren't exactly known for always doing what they're told, after all.
Abby tells the council at their meeting about her finding, and reveals that the more violent criminals have been the ones mostly taking their wristbands off thus far. Kane changes the subject, and reminds the group that their engineers need six months to figure out how to fix the Ark, and they only have four to spare.
The stakes are high. Every day that they wait, in order to preserve their people for as long as possible, ten people will need to be sacrificed. So the council votes, and three vote that 209 people need to be culled ASAP, and three vote against that plan. The Chancellor, after giving a speech about their generation's possibility of finally returning to Earth and generally speaking about how tough the decision is, ultimately abstains from voting. He has hope, he remarks. Score one for Abby!
So the vote will have to be taken up again in ten days, and Kane leaves the room, angry, after the Chancellor's decision. Thelonious tells Abby she has ten days to figure things out, and she rises to the challenge.
Back on Earth
On Earth, Adam and Octavia become closer. After she chases a glowing butterfly to a field full of the beautiful creatures, they share a moment and proceed to make-out. Teenagers, I'm tellin' ya.
Elsewhere, the rescue group finds Jasper tied to a tree, looking like nothing less than bait. But what for? Or whom?
Clarke almost falls into a trap, but is rescued by a reluctant Bellamy, and then the others when he doesn't pull her up fast enough. While she stays on the ground with Bellamy and Wells, Finn and Bellamy's other crony cut Jasper down.
The group on the ground is attacked by a wildcat; not a real one for viewers, mind, but an only barely passing CGI-version of one. Luckily, Wells somehow got a hold of Bellamy's gun, and he shoots the creature dead before it can get to Bellamy.
So when the group returns, they've got dinner for the others in the form of fresh meat. Bellamy gets the glory for the kill, and after settling Jasper in for medical care, Clarke wanders out to find Finn watching the others cutting off their wristbands for food, Bellamy's orders.
Clarke says she won't do it, but Finn tells her she won't have to, then goes to grab meat for himself without cutting off his wristband. Bellamy's crony tries to stop him, citing the rules, but Finn quips that he didn't think there were rules anymore, and he walks off with his food anyway, Clarke following soon after. Bellamy punches another kid who tries this, and it's clear he's not happy being undermined that way.
On the Ark, Abby employs Raven to help her get an escape pod up and running, after telling her about the status of the ship and that people will have to be sacrificed if she can't prove that Earth is survivable.
As the youngest mechanic there in 50 years (impressive!), Abby thinks Raven is the girl for the job. She wants to be able to take the pod to Earth herself in just ten days, which seems an impossible task.
However, Raven agrees to do it, but only if she can go with Abby. Apparently, she has someone she cares about down on Earth too. Abby agrees, so it looks like the two are going on a little adventure of their own in a future episode.
There's a quick scene showing a connection between Raven's necklace and a little figurine Finn shows Clarke down on Earth; I'm assuming it means that Finn is the one Raven cares about. Her boyfriend, perhaps?
In the Woods
Near the end of the episode, Bellamy catches Adam and Octavia kissing, and big brother is not pleased. He has Adam strung up to a tree for his transgression, and he and some of his lackeys leave the poor guy there.
Deep in the woods, someone wearing a mask watches from afar, giving us our first glimpse of just who else might be occupying Earth along with the 100.
Will we see more of the 'grounders' in the near future? Will Jasper make it to the next episode? We'll have to keep watching this entertaining new drama to find out!
The 100 airs every Wednesday night at 9pm on the CW.
(image courtesy of the CW)