There is no total victory. As viewers of The 100, we’ve been led to understand this concept very well. Sacrifice is necessary to achieve a semblance of peace and tranquility. The 100 has often shown that the bigger the sacrifice, the longer the extent of peace. Clarke mercy-killing Finn led to the tenuous truce between Skaikru and Grounder (losing Finn in the process). Then, Clarke and Bellamy committing the Mt. Weather genocide led to a peace that lasted the interminable gap between seasons two and three (at the expense of many innocent lives and pieces of Bellarke’s soul).
These grandiose gestures have the most immediate return on investment in this universe but it is the small act of kindness that plants the deepest seed, waiting to sprout and ensnare everyone in its path of nurture.
In “Ye Who Enter Here”, we are given the comeuppance for all the compassion doled out by our characters. It seems thematically fitting that Murphy and Jaha sit this episode out as Murphy knows firsthand how his compassion with Emori ended up killing the entirety of their traveling band across the Wasteland while also leading he and Jaha to the sure-to-be-poisonous City of Light ideology. Once again, it’s time for Clarke and Bellamy to learn from their wartime decisions.
When Bellamy infiltrated Mt. Weather in season two, he took pity upon his Grounder cellmate, Echo and made sure she and the rest of the Grounder captives had relative safety (before being saved entirely by Lexa). In the present, Bellamy and Octavia sit outside the Mt. Weather entrance as Echo is reintroduced to their lives, taken captive by fellow Skaikru Farm Station members. Echo and Bellamy most definitely remember each other and although Bellamy doesn’t know it yet, the trap has been set.
Also in season two, during Clarke’s takeover of Camp Jaha (today’s Arkadia), she lets loose Mt. Weather Lieutenant Carl Emerson. As Emerson was held captive by Abby, Clarke fought on his side during discussion of torture for information. When Clarke finally set him free, it was under the condition of sending a message to Mt. Weather, albeit under nearly impossible conditions considering the amount of air in his suit. Still, he made it back home and proceeded to continue wreaking havoc against Skaikru. Emerson, having finished his treatments to survive the ground outside, escapes Mt. Weather when things go south and becomes the Last Mountain Man, in the words of Ice Nation Queen Nia.
Each piece of compassion goes hand-in-hand during “Ye Who Enter Here” as Echo leads Bellamy and Octavia toward Polis under the guise of stopping an assassin who is sure to kill the entirety of the Skaikru delegation, sent to make another truce and reclaim Clarke.
The episode shows its deft hand in creating tension and subverting our feelings moments later as we pray Bellamy and crew arrive in time to stop the supposed assassination but also to not ruin this truce brewing between Skaikru and the Grounders as they start to accept the idea of becoming the 13th member of Lexa’s nation. In tow with Bellamy is Pike, who already hates the Grounders and throws down the gauntlet when killing an Ice Nationer in the tunnels beneath the alliance meeting (also forcing Bellamy’s hand to kill the second guard). We know of his hatred and are thinking about what effect these actions will have on any truce when the rug is pulled completely out from under us as the assassin is shown to actually be inside Mt. Weather.
Echo deftly led Bellamy, Octavia and Pike away from the real site of destruction (then sneaking away with equal deftness) as the assassin plunges his knife into the stomach of Bellamy’s current girlfriend (c’mon, we all knew she wouldn’t be long for this world) and enters secret codes which initiates a Mt. Weather self-destruct program. Raven and Sinclair, who were just trying to find missile launch codes to send death toward Polis hear Bellamy’s soon-to-be-deceased girlfriend as she tells them about the forty seconds they have remaining to escape. Sinclair barely makes it out, tracking the assassin and being rushed by him once exiting. Just before the assassin is able to cut Sinclair’s throat, Raven overcomes her sluggish speed and shoots the assassin dead. But it’s too late for all the innocent Farm Stationer men, women and children inside Mt. Weather as the entire thing goes up in a ball of flame.
All because Clarke and Bellamy decided to show a little bit of their mushy underbellies. Actually, mushy underbelly is a bit of an overstatement as they both did things we as decent humans wish we could do in those situations. I would want to save as many people as possible, no matter what their affiliation is. Captivity is captivity and I couldn’t stomach leaving someone behind to die. Leave it to The 100 to teach me a lesson when it comes to the longevity of compassion’s benefits. This isn’t normal life. This is survival. This is war.
At the end of the episode, Lexa swears her undying fealty to Clarke in private, showing another form of compassion. Lexa feels awful for her betrayal at Mt. Weather and may have just signed her own death certificate in kneeling to Wanheda. I want Clarke and Lexa to come to terms over the awful decisions they were forced to make (and let’s face it, Clarke would’ve totally done the same thing to Lexa if their positions at Mt. Weather were switched) but that isn’t how this world operates.
The stakes have been raised to such a high degree so early that I’m not entirely sure what kind of emotional roller-coaster ride we’re in for from here on out. “Ye Who Enter Here” is one of the best episodes of The 100 yet in showing us that the rules of war and survival preside over all others. Leave your love at the door as we continue down the path of lovely brutality that is season three.
Check out Monkey Fighting Robots’ reviews of previous episodes of ‘The 100’ here: