Last time there was no sign of the chancellor guy who had made it to earth in the previous episode. This is rectified at the start of this episode with a visually interesting sequence where a figure walks across the desert and finds a parched and barely conscious chancellor under the remains of a parachute. There is a distinct Mad Max feel to the sequence which I am sure is deliberate. The figure turns out to be a young boy who takes the chancellor back to the hovel where he lives with his parents.
It turns out the boy is badly disfigured by radiation. His parents had to leave left people as mutant children are usually left to die and they were not willing to kill their son.
One minor criticism. The woman playing the mutant’s mother spoke her dialog in a very “Stargate alien” way. Now, I’m a big fan of the Stargate shows, but the people they encountered on other worlds always spoke very formally, very “welcome stranger, I will take you to our village and introduce you to our elder,” sort of thing. It just sort of popped out at me when watching this episode and I wish she had spoken a little more naturally.
Then again the Earth-born characters in this show tend to have their own languages and dialects which is a nice detail and I think it is implied that English is a second language for a lot of the natives, so from that point of view this “formal speak” was probably done very deliberately.
Anyway it turns out the parents betray the chancellor to some “bad men” in order to escape punishment for helping him and also to get a horse to take them to a mysterious “city of lights”. The chancellor is fairly philosophical about being handed over as he knows they are doing it for their son who he has grown fond of.
A nice touch, we see the chancellor handed over in the distance. He approaches the “bad man” on a horse who just swipes down with a club and the chancellor falls. It’s all done as point-of-view long shot with no sound effects and it is very effective.
But enough about the chancellor, what about Clarke and Anya? Well as promised Anya is taking a captive Clarke back to her people where they will no doubt be annoyed at having 300 warriors fried by Clarke. Soon the pair realise they are being chased by mountain men who fire tranquilliser darts at them. One hits a tree and Clarke grabs it. I’m sure that will come in handy later…
Clarke realises that Anya has a tracking device imbedded. As she’s working out how to remove it with some sort of sterile blade Anya just bites into her arm and spits out the device. Seems she’s not keen on going back to the mountain.
Meanwhile Bellamy’s gang finds the crash site of another piece of the Ark. There are lots of bodies of former crew members scattered around the ground with the noise of flies buzzing around. They hear a cry for help and find a terrified girl dangling from a branch halfway down a vertical cliff. One of the gang wants to help get her up. Finn says they can’t waste the time and he tries to convince Bellamy of this. It’s a testament to how this show goes dark that Bellamy eventually agrees. But not waiting for permission the other dude goes down the cliff face with a rope to get her.
And then the knot slips and he falls to his death. Bellamy then decides to go down himself and gets the others to make a new rope. He goes down and there is predictably many tense cliffhanging (ha-ha) moments. To complicate things some Grounders attack as they are trying to pull Bellamy and the girl up.
A fog horn sounds and the Grounders run off. (Remember fog on this future Earth is deadly.) But it’s Octavia who sounded the fog horn to scare off the Grounders. Bellamy is understandably happy to see his sister. He decides to take Octavia and the injured girls back to the camp. Finn and Murphy are to keep looking for the others and Bellamy will catch up.
Back at the Ark crash site Mister Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica puts Raven to work on building a radio beacon to try to contact any other Ark survivors who made it to the ground. Eventually she hits on the idea of putting up a balloon as a visual beacon. There’s some other guff about how she is adapting to having a leg that doesn’t work correctly.
Elsewhere Clarke gets Anya with the tranquilliser dart she hid earlier. So now Clarke is leading the half-conscious Anya back to the old drop-ship camp site . Obviously there is no longer anyone there but she sees the message that Abby wrote on the drop-ship, albeit badly faded from exposure to the elements.
She and Anya fight. Anya just won’t give up so Clarke starts beating her to a pulp. Eventually Anya smiles groggily and says Clarke fought well.
Clarke sees the balloon Raven put up so now she knows how to get to the Ark crash site. Of course it also means that every Grounder for miles knows where it is too. Back at the Ark Raven gets a telling off for this. I actually kind of like this as it’s an example of a smart person doing a stupid thing because they are so focused on solving a problem that they don’t consider the implications.
In any case as night falls Clarke and Anya make it to the Ark crash site. Clarke decides to free Anya. Well, the fight between them must have done wonders for Anya’s attitude as she and Clarke now finally make friends. Anya promises to try to get her people to help fight the mountain men. They clasp hands. Friends at last! Things are looking up!
Then a shot rings out and Anya drops to the ground mortally wounded. Clarke cradles her dying body as the Ark camp guards appear. They mistake Clarke for a Grounder and knock her out. I love the incredible irony of that shock twist where fate intervenes and says “no you’re not getting away with it that easily”. I did feel sorry for poor old Clarke after everything she went through to free Anya and escape from Mount Weather.
So another strong episode. I look forward to the next one.