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Recap / The 100 S 01 E 03

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Season 1 Episode 3

Earth Kills

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Clarke-Wells-Finn

"This is Earth, Everything's Toxic."
Finn To Wells

In a flashback to a year ago on The Ark, Clarke and her father, Jake Griffin, are watching a soccer match from 2001 on a projection along with Wells and his father, Chancellor Jaha. They joke with each other about the predictable outcome of a game that happened 147 years prior as Abby returns home. She tells Jake that the Systems Analysis he asked for is ready. Jake checks his watch and excuses himself.
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Back in the present time in the drop ship on earth, Clarke is checking Jasper's pulse after he was speared by Grounders. She tells Monty to keep an eye on Jasper while she goes to get him some water. Once outside the drop ship, she hears a 13-year-old-girl, Charlotte, crying out in her sleep and goes to wake her from her nightmares. Charlotte tells Clarke that she sees her floated parents. Clarke tells her that her dad was floated, too, and she asks Charlotte what got her locked up. Charlotte tells her that she assaulted an Ark Guard who took her parents' things to the redistribution center. Clarke points out a bright star in the night sky and tells Charlotte that the Ark up there is something they can move past and the ground is their second chance.

Meanwhile, Trina and Pascal are wandering around in the woods, having been lost for two days. Pascal promises Trina they'll find the drop ship tomorrow when a rumbling sound is heard and a yellow fog starts to envelop them. They start to scream that it burns.

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The next day, Bellamy is teaching Murphy how to throw sharp objects when Atom arrives and tells him that they haven't been able to find any sign of Trina or Pascal. In the background, Jasper's cries of pain echo throughout The Camp and Atom tells Bellamy that it's not helping morale. Bellamy tells Murphy to stay behind while he takes a group hunting.

In the dropship, Clarke is inspecting Jasper's wound and realizes the Grounders saved his life by cauterizing the wound. She notices that the wound is infected and worries that he might be septic and tells Wells to hold Jasper down. Meanwhile, Octavia enters the lower level of the drop ship and invites Atom to join her in the butterfly field but he ignores her. She storms off to Bellamy's tent and confronts him about what he did to Atom. Bellamy tells her it was because Atom disobeyed him, not because of Octavia. She tells him that the next time he decides to go on a power trip, he needs to leave her out of it. Just then, Jasper's cries turn to screams and Octavia and Bellamy take off back to the drop ship where Clarke is trying to cut away Jasper's infected flesh. Bellamy tells Clarke she can't save Jasper's life and his screams are making people uncomfortable. Clarke tells Bellamy that this is not the Ark and down here every life matters. Bellamy calls Jasper a, "lost cause," and tells Clarke if Jasper isn't better by tomorrow, he'll kill Jasper. Bellamy tells Octavia to leave with him but she refuses. Finn tells Clarke that Bellamy happens to be right.

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In a flashback on the Ark, Abby asks Jake how his discussion with Jaha went. Jake tells her it's definitive that the Ark only has a year or two of oxygen left. He can't fix it because it is a system failure and the people have a right to know. Abby tells him he can't let people know because they will panic and asks him to promise her that he will obey the Council's orders and keep it quiet, at the very least for Clarke. Abby warns Jake that if he does it, he'll get floated. Clarke eavesdrops the whole conversation.

Back at The Camp, Clarke tells Finn he and Bellamy are wrong and that Jasper is not a lost cause. She takes apart the poultice the Grounders had used on Jasper and Wells recognizes the red plant as seaweed. Clarke, Finn, and Wells then leave to go find the seaweed. On their hike, Wells tries to discuss their relationship but Clarke refuses. They stumble across an old vehicle buried in the dirt and Clarke tells them they can look at it later because Jasper can't wait.

Meanwhile, Bellamy is hunting a boar in the forest and throws an ax toward some movement, narrowly missing Charlotte who has followed him. The rest of the Delinquents chase after the boar while Bellamy and Atom confront Charlotte. Atom tells her it is dangerous for a little girl outside the camp and she tells them she is not little. Bellamy hands her a knife and asks if she has ever killed something before, telling her she might be good at it.

Once Clarke, Wells, and Finn reach the riverbank, Wells points out the red seaweed floating in the water. Finn starts discussing a way to retrieve the seaweed while Clarke wades in and grabs it. A flock of birds suddenly swarms overhead as a foghorn is heard. They look up into the sky and see a massive yellow storm cell bearing down on them. Clarke tells them to run.

In a flashback on the Ark, Clarke is distracted while playing chess with Wells and he asks her what is wrong. She admits to him about how her dad found a problem with the oxygen system and the Council doesn't want anyone to know but she thinks he is going to go public anyway. Wells promises he won't tell anyone.

Back on earth, Clarke, Finn, and Wells flee the Acid Fog and take shelter in the abandoned vehicle while Bellamy and Charlotte make it into a cave. Atom trips and is swallowed up by the fog, calling out for Bellamy. At The Camp, all of the Delinquents pile into the drop ship and they close the door. Monty promises Octavia that Bellamy will be fine. Back in the vehicle, Finn finds some whiskey and he and Clarke begin drinking from it.

In the cave, Charlotte is having another one of her nightmares and Bellamy wakes her up from it. He tells her it doesn't matter what she is scared of; what matters is what she does about it. He tells her to slay her demons when she is awake and they won't be there when she is asleep. She cannot afford to be weak or afraid because down on earth, that means death. He takes the knife he gave her and tells her that when she is scared, she needs to hold onto the knife and say, "Screw you. I'm not afraid." Charlotte takes the knife and repeats the phrase.

In the car, Clarke is tipsy from the whiskey and grumpily explains how she can be fun. Wells tells her she is fun and then tries to reminisce with her before Clarke interrupts him, saying, "remember that time you betrayed me and got my father executed?" She then goes on to ask him why and Wells admits he made a mistake. Clarke tells him she wants an explanation and Wells says he can't give her one beyond trusting his father. Wells grabs the whiskey from Finn and takes a swig.

In the dropship, everyone is trying to sleep while Jasper moans and groans. Murphy gets up and decides to end it for everyone. Monty climbs up to the third level where Octavia is sitting with Jasper and warns her that Murphy is on his way up to kill Jasper. Octavia kicks Murphy down the hatch and they get the door closed on him. Monty sits on top of it while Octavia grabs a pipe and wedges it across the hatch, locking Murphy out. In a flashback on the Ark, Jake is recording his video to the people of the Ark about the air shortage and Clarke asks him if he is really going to disobey the Council. Clarke tells him she wants to help him but he tells her she can't. Just then, Ark Guards burst in and arrest Jake for treason. Clarke promises to find a way to warn the people and the Ark Guards also arrest her.

In the forest, Clarke discovers the fog has cleared and they head back to the camp with Clarke walking ahead. Finn tells Wells that he knows Wells is covering something up. Finn later tells Clarke that Wells isn't giving her a straight answer about Clarke's dad and he wants to know how sure Clarke is that Wells is the one who told about Clarke's dad.Bellamy and Charlotte leave the cave and Bellamy calls out for Jones and the other Delinquents who had made it to another cave in time but Atom isn't with them. Charlotte begins screaming when she finds a dying Atom, covered in burns from the Acid Fog with his eyes clouded over. Bellamy crouches down next to him as Atom begs him to kill him. Charlotte walks over to Bellamy and hands him her knife, telling him to not be afraid. Bellamy orders everyone back to The Camp and kneels beside Atom. He holds the knife, trying to work up the courage when he notices Clarke arrive. Clarke kneels on the other side of Atom and shakes her head at Bellamy that she won't be able to save him. She tells Atom she's going to help him and begins humming to him as she takes the knife from Bellamy's hand. She gently pushes the knife into Atom's carotid artery and continues to hum to him as he expires. Meanwhile, Charlotte observes, hidden from view.

Later that night, they return to camp with Atom's body. Bellamy orders them to get Clarke whatever she needs as Wells tells Bellamy he'll go dig Atom's grave. Octavia comes running up and Clarke tries to pull her away. Bellamy also tries to stop her but she pushes past him and sees Atom's body. She storms off and Bellamy asks Murphy how it went at the camp. Murphy tells him how he tried to kill Jasper and starts to call Octavia Bellamy's "psycho little sister" when Bellamy grabs Murphy threateningly. Murphy clarifies it to, "little sister," and apologizes. Murphy is then left alone and throws his knife in anger, finally successfully embedding it in a tree.

In a flashback on the Ark, Jake is saying goodbye to Abby prior to being floated, telling her there is no choice but to tell the people the truth. Abby tells him the earth is their chance. He hands her his wedding ring and is about to give her his watch for Clarke when Clarke runs in and they hug. He hands Clarke his watch and tells her to keep it for him. Jaha tells him it is time and Jake tells Clarke he loves her as he walks through the airlock. Clarke says, "I love you," back as they close the airlock and then Jake is floated. Clarke collapses into her mother's arms crying inconsolably.

Back in the drop ship, Clarke has made a tea from the seaweed and is forcing Jasper to drink it. She tells Octavia that she is sorry about Atom and Octavia says they will have to get used to people dying, but not Jasper.

Clarke finds Wells digging Atom's grave and asks him if it was her mother who told his dad. She did not want to believe her father's death was her mother's fault and this whole time Wells had let her believe it was him to protect her from that. Clarke asks if he can forgive her and he tells her it is already done and they hug.

In the drop-ship, Octavia, Monty, and Finn are passing around the bottle of whiskey when Jasper asks for some. They welcome him back and Clarke comes up, telling him he will have an impressive scar and thanks him for not dying.

Wells is outside the camp, sitting on watch when Charlotte approaches him. She tells him she has nightmares every night but she thinks she has found a way to make them stop. She tells him she is sorry and then stabs him with a knife in his carotid artery like she saw Clarke do to Atom. Wells grasps at his throat as he reaches toward her and she slices two of his fingertips off as he tumbles down the trench. Charlotte joins him at the bottom of the ditch as he is gurgling and gasping. She tells Wells as he dies that she sees his father every night and every day she sees him. The only way for her to make the nightmare end is to slay her demons. She then begins to softly hum as she sits next to Wells' corpse.

Tropes

  • Absentee Actor: Kane and Raven are both absent this episode, while Abby and Jaha only appear in flashbacks.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Charlotte gives an agonized "I'm sorry!" before stabbing wells in the throat. Then she sits next to him as he dies and hums to his corpse.
  • Bad Dreams: Charlotte confesses to Wells that she has these every night, and believes they will stop if she kills Wells.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Well's death is considered this because he is the first main character to die in the series and he is also the only main black character who was a member of the 100, while his father is a main character on the Ark. Although technically Atom was the first character who get any sort of characterization and die.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted. We get a brief view of the pool of blood under Atom after Clarke sticks a knife in his throat.
  • Character Death: Several:
    • Atom gets burned up by the acid fog and Clarke mercy kills him.
    • Minor characters Trina and Pascal are killed in the fog.
    • Wells is killed by Charlotte.
  • Death World: Earth seemed like a somewhat nice place for the first two episodes, although the Grounders and wildlife are dangerous. This episode introduces acid fog, which burns horribly on touch and springs up seemingly at random.
  • Disposable Love Interest: Atom to Octavia.
  • Flashback: The story of what happened to Clarke's father and why she is angry with Wells.
  • Fingore: Charlotte slices off two of Wells' fingers when he tries to defend himself after she stabs him in the neck.
  • Foreshadowing: Clarke discovering that the grounders cauterized Jasper's wound and that it saved his life is showing that they are not what they appear to be.
  • Due to the Dead: Wells continues his role as caretaker of the graveyard, and is the first to volunteer to dig Atom's grave.
  • Genre Shift: This episode marks the start of the show moving away from the somewhat serious sci-fi Teen Drama of the first two episodes into a more gritty Anyone Can Die sci-fi thriller. It doesn't fully transform until Season 2 though.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Bellamy gives Charlotte a knife to protect herself and help her deal with the trauma of her parents death. She later uses the knife to murder Wells, hoping it will avenge her parents.
  • Heal It with Fire: Offscreen. The Grounders cauterized Jasper's spear wound to keep him from bleeding to death.
  • Honor Before Reason: The revelation that Wells lied and took the blame for Abby's betrayal results in this. He could have saved a lot of anguish on the ground if he had come clean to Clarke in the first place.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Atom is this, after spending a night in agony after being horribly burned by the acid fog, to the point where he can't move and reduced to pitifully begging to die. Bellamy tries to oblige him with a mercy kill, but is unable to. Clarke does it for him instead.
  • Internal Reveal: Several.
    • Flashbacks show Jake Griffin discovering the oxygen systems failure aboard the Ark.
    • Clarke realizes it was her mother Abby who turned Jake in to the authorities and got him floated, not Wells. Wells just took credit so as not to destroy Abby and Clarke's relationship.
  • In Vino Veritas: Clarke's resentment of Wells comes out in full force after she gets tipsy off the whiskey Finn finds.
  • Ironic Echo: Charlotte, quoting Bellamy's words of comfort to her.
    Charlotte: The only way to make it end was to slay my demons.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Clarke hums the lullaby "All the Pretty Little Horses" by Becky Jean Williams to Atom as she euthanizes him, as a way of easing his suffering. Charlotte later hums the tune to Wells' body immediately after murdering him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In Universe, Finn points out that Bellamy's opinion that they should Mercy Kill Jasper makes sense, as based on his current condition, he's basically experiencing a prolonged and agonizing death.
  • Lens Flare: The flashbacks aboard the Ark are stylized to appear with these.
  • Locked in a Room: About a third of the episode deals with three groups of delinquents doing this voluntarily to escape the acid fog. Clarke, Finn, and Wells spend it getting tipsy in a buried van. Bellamy spends the time mentoring Charlotte in a cave. The rest of the group spend it locked in the drop ship, listening to Jasper's agonized screams as he suffers from a septic wound.
  • Mercy Kill: Clarke killing Atom because of the pain he was going through after getting burned up by the acid fog.
    • Murphy claims that this is what he trying to do for Jasper.
  • Mood Whiplash: We get the seemingly optimistic ending of Jasper beginning to heal from his wounds, giving hope to the camp, and Clarke and Wells finally making peace. Then Charlotte kills Wells. Definitely a Downer Ending.
  • Motive Rant: Charlotte gives one to Wells after mortally wounding him, describing her nightmares of seeing his father Thelonius executing her parents.
  • Reality Ensues: Jasper's spear wound gets infected, due to the 100's filthy living conditions, and the wound being cauterized.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Jake certainly believed this, thinking it was the only hope to fix the oxygen system. Abby and Jaha disagreed.
  • Shout-Out: The acid fog is almost certainly one to The Hunger Games.
  • Silent Treatment: Atom gives Octavia this when she tries to persuade him to meet her for a romantic encounter in the butterfly field, mostly because he feels chastened by Bellamy stringing him up in the woods.
  • Sins of the Father: Wells is killed by Charlotte because she was having nightmares about what his father did to her parents on the Ark.
  • Taking the Heat: Turns out that it was Abby who turned in Clarke's father and Wells was taking the blame for it to spare Clarke the pain of knowing that it was her own mother who was responsible for his death.
  • The Tee Totaler: Wells doesn't approve of drinking the whiskey Finn finds in the car they are Clarke use for shelter from the acid fog. Although later he finally decides to take a swig.
    Wells: Alcohol is toxic!
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: How Jake dies. Also a case of Face Death with Dignity, although he is in tears as he says goodbye to Clarke and Abby.
  • To Unmasque the World: Jake Griffin wanted to do this, as shown in flashbacks. He discovered the failure of the oxygen systems and tried to illegally go public with the knowledge, hoping that the only way to fix the problem was to crowdsource it. This got him killed.
  • Tragic Keepsake: We see the origin of both Clarke's watch and the ring Abby wears around her neck. They both belonged to Jake, and the final thing he did before he died was to impart them to Abby.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Clarke accuses Wells of being this, as a reason for why he betrayed her and told his father about Jake's plans.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Flashbacks show that the Griffin and Jaha families used to be very close, with Clarke and Wells being childhood friends, and Thelonius and Jake also best friends.
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