EPISODE REVIEW: The 100: “Murphy’s Law” (Episode 4)

Kevin Long
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Despite the gratuitous gore, last week’s episode was a big stride forward for this show, filling in backstory and giving us a focus and some reasonably complex characterization. It also saw a drop of nearly 400,000 viewers from the week before. And we’re down about 800,000 from the premier. This has nothing to do with storytelling (Which is improving) but simply whether or not people are watching. Which dictates whether or not the show will get a second season. It is WILDLY too soon for me to call that one way or another, and irresponsible for me to do so, but I’m gonna’ say it won’t get a 2nd season.

Why? It’s misjudged the spirit of the times. It’s a gritty SF/Space drama full of dysfunctional people who are fighting their inner demons as much as they’re fighting to survive. That’s sooooooooo last decade. No, honestly, nobody wants to do that anymore. Nowadays it’s all fantasy. If a vampires and unicorns and zombies turned up, then it’d be a hit. Teens from a  failing space station land on earth? Yawn. Teens from a failing space station land on an earth occupied by armies of the undead? Instant hit. I don’t know why I’m right, but you KNOW that I am.

 

(Incidentally, did you all hear that Universal is rebooting Galactica AGAIN? And that Ronald D. Moore is not connected with it at all? Hooray!)

 

Anyway: On this week’s episode of Battlestar Galactica Meets Lost:

 

ON THE ARK:

 

Clarke’s mom and Raven attempt to fix the drop-pod, but need a pressure regulator for it. Raven attempts to get one from Nigel, head of the black market, but Nigel insists she whore herself out for it. She refuses. Clarke’s mom trades heroin for the part. Nigel then tells Councilman Stark about the deal, and he arrests Clarke’s mom. Raven takes the drop-pod and heads for earth.

 

ON THE GROUND:

 

Bellamy’s lieutenant, Murphy, is an unpopular task master. He’s mean, abusive, demeaning, and just an all-around hateful thug. When Jasper and Octavia find some of Welles’ fingers next to Murphy’s knife outside the camp, they tell Bellamy. Bellamy doesn’t want anyone to know, but Clarke goes all high-and-mighty. “The people have a right to know” and of course this causes a lynching. Murphy gets the living crap kicked out of him, and is strung up and hung. The only thing that saves his life is that Charlotte confesses.

 

Trying to figure out what to do, Clarke and Bellamy argue while Murphy screams for blood outside. Bellamy tells Clarke and Fin (The guy with the Tears-for-Fears haircut) to take care of Charlotte while he deals with the crowd. They sneak away while Bellamy points out that the majority of the people hate Murphy, and were only too happy to string him up. Furthermore, only five or six people agree with Murphy that they should kill the little girl. Murphy attacks Bellamy, and heads off to find Charlotte with a small batch of people.

 

Meanwhile, Fin, Charlotte, and Clarke go to The Hatch to hide. I know I joked about that last week, and it was just a buried van. This week, though, it really IS “The Hatch” from Lost. It’s an unused bomb shelter. They hide out there for a while. Charlotte, feeling guilty, runs off into the night to give herself up to the mob. Well, it’s not a full mob. More like a mob-ette. Bellamy tries to save her, but Murphy’s people catch them on a Cliffside. Various shouting and threats take place, and then Charlotte – feeling very guilty, and not wanting anyone else to get hurt – jumps off the cliff to her death.

 

Bellamy beats the living hell out of Murphy, and orders everone back to camp. Clarke decides to banish Murphy, and he agrees.

 

Back at the camp Jasper and the Asian guy who’s name I can’t remember work on using the wristbands to signal the Ark. This goes horribly wrong, and ALL of the wristbands cease to function. Octavia gives Jasper a kiss for trying, and Fin pitches a fit in The Hatch, which results in him and Clarke having sex.

 

To Be Continued…

 

OBSERVATIONS

 

WOW! I totally didn’t think they’d really kill Welles! This show is a bloodbath! 2 died on landing. There were the 2 kanoodling kids, Adam, and Welles last week. This week Charlotte. The 100 is now the 93.

 

The scene where Fin gives Clarke a pencil, and how excited she is when she sees it was very nicely done.

 

There’s an interesting hint of religiosity this week. There’s a pseudo-religious group on the Ark. Stark’s mother runs it. They tend to a bonsai tree and spew some bunkum about taking care of the earth (symbolically by taking care of the tree) and the earth will welcome them home, or whatever. Starke was the tree-tender in his youth. The group seems small and not particularly well regarded, but when Nigel complains about it being a waste of water, he says “Not for them, it isn’t.” Later on, when Stark arrests Clarke’s Mom, she says “I still have faith” in a way that’s pregnant with meaning, and he looks…awkwardly knowing when she says it. Clearly he’s no longer one of this cult, but she might be.

 

Raven is – or was – Fin’s girlfriend.

 

My friend Mae watching Clarke and Fin getting undressed in The Hatch: “So, like, that’s a hundred-year-old bra, right?”

 

Definite mention of bombs while in the bomb shelter tonight. They still haven’t really said what happened on earth, but it was definitely a war. I was hoping when they brought it up we’d get more info, but, nope.

 

The romance angle in this episode was waaaaaaaaaay too forced, but on the other hand I really liked how quickly folks turned on Murphy. He really is a thug and I hated him from the moment I first saw him. As I was supposed to, obviously.

 

Stark’s fake American accent is pretty good, but it fumbles once or twice in the scene where he’s arresting Clarke’s mom. I recognize that he’s the big bad of this series, but he’s not being portrayed as evil, just someone who’s convinced their way is the only option. And though he’s wrong, we have more info than him. Based on the information he’s got at this moment, he’s right. He’s not happy about it, though.

 

Now that Clarke’s Mom is under arrest, Stark’s measure will pass at the next council meeting.

 

Bellamy is quickly mutating into a likeable, complex character. He is visibly shaken by the idea that his pep talk to a little girl got a guy killed, and he’s murderous with rage when she dies. He risks himself to save the girl, and listens to reason, which he hadn’t done previously. He agrees to share power – at least provisionally – with Clarke.

 

I liked that Clarke’s sanctimony was immediately proven wrong, and she admitted it at the end.

 

So: crime on the Ark, huh? If all crimes are capital, then what must people be willing to risk to run a black market? It appears to trade mostly in pot, booze, and prostitution.

 

Anyway: Better than last week or weaker, what do you think?

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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!

 

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