“The 100” recap (2.15): Blood Must Have Blood, Part 1

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Well, that happened. Since I think a direct rundown of the episode wouldn’t help any of us process the Big Moments, we’ll approach this recap a little differently, how about that?

This episode really hinged on leadership.

The President’s Smarmy Son starts off by doing everything wrong. He encouraged the people of Mount Weather to turn on each other in an effort to flush out the 44 fugitives/unwilling bone marrow donators. You can see the logic behind his move but that doesn’t necessarily make it a SMART decision.

Which is pretty much what Daddy tells him when Smarmy Son visits. To Smarmy’s credit, now that he has his back to the wall and an army at his front door, he seems to get that he screwed up. He pleads with his dad for help.

“They’ll destroy everything.”

“You already have.”

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Ouch.

Clarke is decked out in grounder armor and Lexa takes a back seat in their military briefing to let Clarke explain the details of their plan of attack. It’s nice to see how in sync the two of them are, never more so than when Lexa starts up a chant in the grounder language, “Blood must have blood,” and Clarke joins in.

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When Clarke and Lexa reach the front door to Mount Weather, Lexa extends an invitation for Clarke to see the grounder capital. She thinks it might change Clarke’s perspective on the grounders.

“You already have,” Clarke says.

The two of them press the button to blow up the door to the mountain, together. It’s a detail that shows literally that the two are as united as they ever have been.

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Which is why Clarke is shocked when Lexa returns from taking out some enemy shooters and reveals that she made a deal with the Mountain Men.

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Yeah, Clarke. We feel you.

I can honestly say I didn’t see this coming. The more I think about it, though, it makes sense.

Lexa has bent for Clarke, sure, but she’s never broken. She made it clear from the beginning where her priorities lay. I think she has real affection for Clarke, but she also has the ability to compartmentalize these things. She’s always had that ability, since the first time she warned Clarke away from making leadership decisions with her heart and not her head. Really, we maybe should have seen this coming. Lexa takes her responsibilities as Commander incredibly seriously. She has to. The grounder population is one that has hoisted that responsibility on to her and Lexa has responded in kind by becoming the militaristic leader they have always needed. One that would, absolutely, make a deal with an enemy if it means the safe return of her people. Even if that deal comes at the expense of a new ally.

The title of this episode, “Blood Must Have Blood,” reminds me that as much as Octavia and Clarke have dressed themselves as Grounders and adopted some of their mannerisms—they are not grounders. It’s something that I think we, the viewers, find easier to forget than likely any of the characters do. So as much as Lexa may really care for Clarke—Clarke is not of her blood. And Lexa must protect, first, her blood, her kin, her people.

It makes her move astonishingly similar to Octavia’s.

Octavia is with Indra in the Reaper tunnels under Mount Weather when they hear the horn calling for retreat. Indra wants to immediately leave, but Octavia resists. She’s not leaving without Bellamy.

I don’t question that Lexa really does care for Clarke—and likewise, I really do believe Indra cares for Octavia. But Indra is also a product of grounder culture, and is as willing to adopt Octavia as she is to abandon her when Octavia prioritizes her brother over grounder leadership.

It still hurts. I think it’s definitely meant to. Seeing Octavia blossom under Indra’s mentorship was great. Likewise, it was wonderful to see Clarke gain an equal, a friend, a potential love-interest, who shared the same pressures of leadership. To have that pulled out from underneath them, and us, is…staggering. But it’s also one of the reasons I love this show. It doesn’t resist taking the harder, tougher, more character-building road.

Indra leaves Octavia in the tunnel. One of the sky people asks Octavia to also retreat.

“Come home with us,” he says.

Octavia replies, “I have no home.”

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Ouch. Again.

Smarmy returns to the President’s jail cell/room and we find out that it was the President’s idea to make a deal with Lexa. The President doesn’t look happy. You get the idea that this is another leader making a decision he’d rather not make for the good of his people. He doesn’t want to hurt the 44 in Mount Weather, and he doesn’t want to hurt the grounders or the sky people, but when Smarmy applied pressure in the form of, “All your people will be killed if you don’t help,” the President gave in.

The episode ends with Clarke standing outside the mountain’s door, where Lexa left her, refusing to believe it’s over. 

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I’m kind of refusing to believe it too. Though, I have to say, if this is how the show has opted to write out Lexa for a while, I’m mostly okay with it. Alycia Debnam-Carey has been cast in the upcoming Walking Dead spinoff and likely will have obligations towards that eating up her schedule in the near future. Lexa’s exit as it stands leaves the door open for her to return and pick up her very complicated relationship with Clarke sometime in the future, as Debnam-Carey’s schedule allows. And I’m interested in seeing how Clarke deals with this betrayal. I’m hesitant to even call it that, because I get Lexa’s motivations, but Clarke is likely feeling it was a betrayal and very much at the end of her rope.

Next week should be interesting. Strap in, kids!

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