The 100 Review: “Rubicon” (Season 2, Episode 12)


It’s not every episode of The 100 that we get to see something blown up, but it does seem to happen more often than not. Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and her emotional roller coaster struck again and the outcome wasn’t anything that she’s going to want to brag about at the next council meeting, (err, that is, if they still have a council). It seems like they would need more than two people for that, right?

It’s not everyday that you get a chance to save a village of important people from an impending missile attack and decide not to take it. Of course, the twelve Grounder tribes will elect new leaders, or however their system deals with this type of situation, but will replacing them solve the problem? At the root of this latest travesty, we have two characters who have very different ideas about how to lead. Clarke may have unenthusiastically bowed to Lexa’s (Alycia Debnam Carey) demands, but there was no doubt that she disagreed. Too bad the Clarke that fans grew to love in season one, the one who would sacrifice herself for the safety of others, never showed up to save the day.

This brings us back to the point I made last week about Clarke’s noncommittal attitude toward the general idea of emotions. Lexa certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on feeling that emotions are a weakness that you can’t afford in war, but Clarke is having trouble keeping up the charade on a consistent basis. Her instincts toward self-preservation won out tonight, but if her intent was to do nothing the entire time, or if she truly didn’t care, she wouldn’t have rushed over to warn Lexa. She wouldn’t have risked revealing anything to the others by running in to save her mother at the last moment. And, she definitely wouldn’t be putting the rest of “her people” in jeopardy to save 45 (maybe less) people who she may or may not have ever bothered to learn most of their names.

The 100 has been exploring several themes this season – betrayal, survival, grief, etc. – but one that has become increasingly apparent is the relationship between parent and child. Clarke and Abby (Paige Turco) have taken on new roles since the Ark was grounded and with their relationship already on rocky ground, the recent change in dynamic hasn’t helped matters. Abby has become accustomed to being in a position of power, so she wears the daunting task of protecting “her people” like an old hat. Clarke, on the other hand, is relatively new to this lifestyle. She’s used to being in the shadow of her parents, but besides her quick rise in season one, she’s never really had any of her own. And, unfortunately, she’s getting a crash course on the consequences of her decisions, or in tonight’s case, indecision. Not unlike what’s going on within the upper echelon of Mount Weather.