EPISODE REVIEW: The 100: “Earth Skills” (Episode 2)

Kevin Long
Kevin Long's picture

Sorry for the delay in reviewing this. I’ve had 3 doctors appointments in 2 days.

Anyway: We pick up exactly where we left off last week, with Jasper being run through with a spear, and the rest of team Clarke hauling ass away. Despite being clearly dead last week, Jasper isn’t dead this week, and they hear him scream. Rather than going to get him, they head back to the landing site for reinforcements (Probably a good move)

 

Everyone is still partying down in the Landing Site and Kane and his thugs are still in charge. Wells, who was injured last week, is fine now (Odd, as this episode takes place the day after yesterday’s episode). After a lot of posturing, Clarke leaves the Smart Asian Kid and Octavia behind (Octavia being bit by a giant snake in the previous episode and still injured, and the Smart Asian Kid being too intelligent to risk on a mission like this). Clarke tells Kane he’ll look cowardly if he doesn’t go with her on the rescue attempt, so he leaves one of his thugs – Adam – behind with specific instructions to not let Octavia leave the camp, not let anyone touch her, and to get cracking on building a fence out of fallen logs to protect the camp.

 

We get some standard Lost walking-and-talking scenes (Did I mention that Desmond from Lost is in this show? And he’s the deputy Chancellor of the Ark?), when they eventually get to the point where they last saw Jasper. The guy with the tears-for-fears haricut got an A in “Earth Studies” and is mysteriously able to track the bad guys (Actually, the idea that they’d teach earth skills is kinda’ clever). Eventually they find him staked up to a tree surrounded by tiger traps. Clarke almost falls in, but they manage to save her, during which time Wells grabs Kane’s gun.  As they’re cutting Jasper down, a black panther attacks. Wells kills it using all the bullets and saving Kane’s life in the process, so the gun is now out of play.

 

Back in camp, Smart Asian kid is trying to figure a way to contact the ship using their armbands. It’s not working. Octavia knocks boots with Adam, thereby violating 2 of Kane’s dictates (And honestly the wall is pretty piss-poor at this point, too)

 

The team gets back to the camp with Jasper and the dead panther in tow, and they feed people if the people will get rid of their wristbands. Tears For Fears Haircut Guy and Clarke refuse, and take food anyway. Kane blunders in on Adam and Octavia, and leaves Kane hanging from a tree all night.

 

MEANWHILE, back on the station the crew are trying to figure out why the kids appear to be dying. A nosy teenaged mechanic suggests the kids are taking the armbands off specifically because they were told not to. They’re criminals after all.

 

Vice Chancelor Desmond From Lost puts forward a measure to kill 209 people to stave off the collapse of the station’s life support for another two months. The Chancellor tables the bill, which will be revisited in 10 days, after which time they’ll have to kill 219 people for some reason. He tells Clarke’s mom to find him proof that the kids are still alive in that time.  

 

Clarke’s mom gets the nosy mechanic girl (“Raven” I think) to get an old escape pod working so she can go to the ground herself and look for them.

 

The End.

 

OBSERVATIONS

 

This show takes place QUITE a bit in the future. Like 2232 AD or thereabouts. How do I know? Easy: Raven identifies the escape pod as coming from “Mir 3 in 2102. You want me to get a 130 year old spacecraft running in nine days?” 2102 + 130 = 2232, give or take since they’re probably speaking in round numbers. That means the war took place in 2135 for some reason.

 

About half the episode takes place on the station, and though there’s not a lot going on up there, it’s still more interesting than the ground stuff. The ground really did take a lot of pages from the Lost playbook this week: wrecked survivors, mysterious others, and the empty-an-entire-clip-into-a-big-scary-animal-charging-in-the-high-grass scene, which is totally Sawyer from the first season of that show.

 

The kids found what looked like a human skeleton with an exaggerated gorilla skull. Either real gorillas (Unlikely) or mutant people (Far, far more likely). We’re supposed to believe these are the people who tried to kill Jasper, but that’s a pretty clear fakeout. We get a glimpse of a “Grounder” in the last scene, and he’s clearly a normal human. So the mutants are probably a threat to both the 100 and the Grounders.

 

Easy way to use biowristbands to communicate with the station: turn their data feed on and off repeatedly, and use that transmission to send a Morse message. Hell, they did that in Space: 1999 40 years ago, and that was a TERRIBLE show!

 

Things the kids do effortlessly that they shouldn’t be able to:

 

1)      Fire a gun accurately the very first time you’ve ever handled one, against a charging and agile animal.

 

2)      Build a fence out of fallen logs. (I mean, I own a saw and a hammer and nails, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it)

 

3)      Bleed, clean, dress, and cook a large predatory cat

 

4)      Track a wounded captive (I’ll give ‘em this one since they hung a lantern over it)

 

Anyway, it suffered less from the exposition-fever of last week, and though it doesn’t fully make sense, and isn’t particularly believable, I do like the way they’re handling the stuff on the station. The Chancellor is a good man who’s forced to do horrible things, not a mustache twirler. Vice Chancellor Desmond is a bit more of a mustache twirler, but he DOES appear to think it’s for the best for the station. It’s implied that he might have been involved in the assassination attempt in the pilot.

---------------

Kevin Long is a well-reviewed Science Fiction author, who has written three full-length anthologies, and has a fourth one coming out any week now. He used to blog under the name “Republibot 3.0,” but now that his stalker is dead, and he can afford to be less paranoid, he uses his real name. His personal website is here and his Smashwords page here. Or, if you prefer Amazon, his books are here, here, and here. Check out his site, and buy one of his books. He’s got a wife and kids to support!

 

Tags: