The 100 Review: “Many Happy Returns” (Season 2, Episode 4)



The 100 added another action packed episode to its ranks tonight. “Many Happy Returns” was filled with cat fights, rescuing damsels in distress, and blood. To top it off, there were plenty of necessary reunions rounding off the hour of drama with just a touch of emotional release.

Lindsey Morgan soaked up an awful lot of screen time tonight as her character, Raven, struggled to adjust to life on the mend. Morgan was the surprise star of season one, and she continues to bring a depth to the cast that it desperately needs. Raven shares a lot of the same bold traits as Clarke (Eliza Taylor), but she has more of a subtle edge to her. As much as they butt heads, they compliment each other that much more.

Not that Clarke can’t switch on her survival mode when the situation calls for it (you guys saw her fight with Anya, right?), but she relies too much on the people around her to do what they’re good at. She’s a leader – not someone who does the grunt work. Raven lives for the grunt work. When her battle wound prevented her from climbing the tower, she was 50 shades of depressing emotions about not being able to do the job solo.

Ultimately, this episode did little more than move the characters from point A to point B, but it did so in a very direct manner. No gratuitous scenes that could have (err, should have) ended up on the cutting room floor. No awkward out-of-character plot twists. The writers have been slowly setting the stage for a reunion between multiple estranged members of the 100 and tonight they pushed forward with that agenda, moving the pieces around just enough to make it happen.

The only thing about this episode that I’m struggling to wrap my head around is the purpose of killing off Anya (Dichen Lachman). One magical sisterhood of the traveling pants bonding moment and she’s served her purpose? With Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) out of commission for the foreseeable future (and, on rocky terms with his Grounder pals anyway), Anya could have been a liaison between the two groups. It at least seemed like a plot point worth exploring. Plus, the writers already killed off a peripheral character earlier in the episode, so it’s not like they needed to add another fatality to keep their death toll on track.

That creative choice aside, Clarke being back with the “Sky People” is a good thing. Right? Now Bellamy (Bob Morley) can go find Finn (Thomas McDonnel), and he can finally stop acting like such a tool. Was he really planning to leave that poor girl dangling on the side of that cliff? There’s nothing admirable about letting an innocent teenage girl die because it delays your agenda a few minutes. In fact, it’s probably the most un-Clarke decision he could have made. Shameful.

Since the moment Raven pushed him out of the nest, he’s been making questionable decisions. It’s possible that Murphy (Richard Harmon) borrowed his moral compass and forgot to readjust it when he returned it. It seems like just as likely an explanation for his abrupt change in behavior as anything. The great part about it though is that he’s already mentally prepared for being rejected by Clarke, something I think we all know is coming – or at least hope, in a desperate sort of way.

The 100 continues to breed violence as the credits rolled and Clarke lay muddy and shot at the hands up her own people. Just wait till her mother finds out about this. Someone is definitely losing their weapons clearance.