'The 100' Recap: The Culling
'The 100' Recap: The Culling
Josie Rhodes Cook
Josie Rhodes Cook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The Council votes to decrease the population on the Ark, and the 100 desperately try to get the attention of those on the ship before it's too late.


This episode of The 100 opens with Finn and Clarke in the aftermath of their hook-up in the previous episode. After they cuddle a bit, they head outside and discuss whether they should share the materials they've found in the bunker with the rest of the group. 

Finn argues that if they don't tell the rest of the 100, then they'll still have a safe place to hide out if something like the Murphy situation happens again. He's got a point.

But most importantly, during their little chat, the couple thinks they see a shooting star and Finn encourages Clarke to make a wish. However, she realizes very quickly that that's no shooting star -- it's a vessel crash-landing to Earth!

Finding the Pod

Bellamy and the others in the camp find out about the pod crashing as well, and he orders everyone not to go after it until first light. He claims it's for their safety, but I think we all know he has ulterior motives.

When Finn and Clarke get to the camp, they find out that Bellamy went after the ship on his own, and Clarke is upset with herself for getting "distracted" with Finn (that's one way to put it!), and letting her guard down in regards to Bellamy. 

Octavia follows her brother, and he reveals to her that he shot Jaha in order to be added to the 100 group and to protect her. He also discloses that someone came to him with a "deal" that would get him on the ship to Earth if he shot Jaha, which is news to the audience. I thought he came up with that scheme on his own.

Octavia runs off after Bellamy's revelation, and he is alone when he finds Raven, injured and out cold in the pod. He cuts out the radio in the vessel and throws it into a nearby river, but leaves her breathing for Clarke to find soon after.

Raven wakes up and spends a few minutes enjoying being on Earth with Clarke, before Finn approaches. They share an affectionate reunion while Clarke looks on, bewildered and hurt.

Out of Time

Meanwhile, back on the Ark, Chancellor Jaha tells Abby that the Council has voted unanimously for population reduction in twelve hours. Residents are already feeling the effects of oxygen deprivation, and they can't wait any longer.

Abby wants to wait to see if they hear from Raven before killing off 320 people, but Jaha is firm. He gives Abby oxygen so that she can help the others in the med bay, and she still holds out hope that they'll hear from Abby and the culling won't have to happen at all.

In the medical area later, Abby examines a little girl who has lost sight in one eye due to the depleted oxygen levels. Her father approaches Abby after and wants to know if they're going to "fix" the oxygen situation, but Abby can make no promises. The father is upset that his daughter is going blind and he can't do anything about it. I don't blame him.

The Devil's In the Details

After that scene, Kane and Jaha discuss the details of the culling -- Section 17 of the ship will be sealed off while its residents are sleeping, and they'll be given sleep gas so they stay asleep. Then they'll be totally cut off from oxygen, and die painlessly in their sleep. To the rest of the population who is blissfully ignorant, the whole thing will appear to be an unfortunate accident.

Jaha tells Kane he has to be the one to give the final order, as he is stepping down as Chancellor and giving the title to Kane so that he can act as one of the sacrifices in 17. "Their fate will be my fate," he declares, and he tells Kane that the other man will be a better leader during the upcoming trying times, as he isn't "weakened" by sentiment.

Abby goes to Jaha afterwards and demands to know that what she's heard about the Chancellor joining the others in Section 17 isn't true. He tells her that he can't ask his people to make a sacrifice he isn't willing to make himself, and she calls him a coward. One part of me agrees with her, but another part can understand where Jaha is coming from. It's a tough situation.

Abby's Announcement

Abby isn't about to let the culling happen without a fight, and after her conversation with Jaha, she makes the decision to release her husband's video about the Ark dying to the public. After it is aired, she speaks directly to the population, telling them about the decrease in population and how her husband died when he tried to warn them of the impending issue.

Of course, Abby's found just after she finishes her little speech, and Jaha worries that her reveal will cause a riot. Hundreds have already gathered outside the room where she, Jaha, Kane and a few others are discussing the situation, and they're out of options.

Jaha is told that someone from the group would like to talk to Abby, and that someone is the little girl's father from the earlier med bay scene. He volunteers to be one of the sacrifices, because it's the one thing he feels he can do to help her.

Several others volunteer as well, and in the end, they actually have to turn almost 100 people away. Jake Griffin believed that knowing about the problems with the Ark would only bring out the best in their people, and he was right.

Raven's Revelations

Back on Earth, Finn apologizes to Clarke, saying he's known Raven his whole life, but she doesn't want to hear it. She turns her attention to giving Raven medical attention, and to finding the radio when they discover that it's missing.

Raven tells Clarke that her trip to Earth was her mother's idea, and that she was going to come with the young mechanic. She states that Clarke's mother loves her more than she's ever seen anyone love someone, but Clarke is reluctant, the whole situation with her father's death still on her mind.

Raven also informs them of the upcoming culling, and Clarke becomes more determined than ever to contact the Ark. Hence, the search for the missing radio.

Confronting Bellamy

Clarke, Finn and Raven find Bellamy and confront him about the radio. Raven brings up the boy's assassination attempt on Jaha, and tells Bellamy that it didn't work and the Chancellor is still alive. 

Clarke uses this revelation to her advantage, telling Bellamy he isn't a murderer and that if he tells them where the radio is, he'll be helping his sister - as he's always fought to do -, and their people. But it's too late, since Bellamy already threw the thing in the river and all.

While the group looks for the radio, Finn tries to bring up what happened with Clarke again, but she brushes him off. Their interactions are going to be a bit awkward from now on, huh?

Plan B

They find the radio, but Raven isn't sure she can fix it. She does come up with a different idea, however; why do they need to talk to the Ark, she asks, if the people on it just need a sign that the 100 and herself are there?

So the next plan is to launch rockets into the air from the 100's campsite, in order to catch the attention of those on the Ark and let them know the culling is unnecessary. 

Back on the Ark, Jaha tells Kane he's still planning on being in Section 17 when the population reduction occurs, as he's been inspired by Jake just as the volunteers were. But Kane convinces him that their people still need a leader like Jaha, and talks the Chancellor down from being a sacrifice himself.

The Culling

What happens next definitely has an emotional impact on me. There's a short scene of the little half-blind girl's father telling her he's working a double-shift, and when he says goodbye, she doesn't know that it's goodbye for good. Before he goes into the Section, Jaha thanks the man, Lemkin, for his sacrifice, and the father tells him he's doing it for his daughter. Oh, my heart.

Kane tells Abby he's having the radio monitored until the very last second before the culling, just in case Raven tries to contact them, and the doctor appreciates that effort. But it's no use. 

As the scene cuts back and forth from the 100 on the ground trying to launch the rockets, to the volunteers in the Ark slowly dying in Section 17, Jaha presses the button to seal the section and release the gas that will kill all those inside. The rockets manage to launch, but the teenagers were too late to save the volunteers.

Too Late

After, Abby goes in herself, along with a few others, to close some of the still-open eyes of the volunteers, and to carry bodies out. It's a bleak scene, and one that didn't pull any punches for the viewers. It was a tough, unfair call to have to make, but the volunteers made the choice to sacrifice themselves, and it was an unselfish, moving scene to witness.

In Abby's chambers later, Jaha comes in and tells her to get some sleep, but she can't; not after what happened in the section that day. The two talk and look through a skylight in the ceiling, just in time to see the rockets the 100 launched, too late to save the Section 17 sacrifices. 

Octavia's Encounter

Near the end of the episode, Octavia, who had run off after Bellamy's revelation about shooting Jaha, is out in the woods by herself after having fallen and gone unconscious running from something. That someone, we are shown when she wakes up, is a man. Presumably? One of the Grounders the 100 are so afraid of.

Will Octavia escape from her encounter with the Grounder alive? We'll have to keep watching to find out!

The 100 airs Wednesday nights at 9pm on the CW.

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(Image courtesy of CW)