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Season 3, Episode 16

Perverse Instantiation - Part Two
Clarke in the City Of Light
Becca: Define "perverse instantiation".

A.L.I.E.: Perverse instantiation... the implementation of a benign final goal through deleterious methods unforeseen by a human programmer.

Becca: Like killing 6.5 billion people to solve overpopulation.The goal isn't everything, A.L.I.E. How you reach the goal matters, too. I'm sorry that I didn't teach you that.

Becca and A.L.I.E.'s exchange

In Polis, Clarke uses the EMP device on Abby and removes the chip from Abby. Bellamy nearly shoots her but Clarke says she used the EMP. Murphy says it was for Ontari, but Clarke says Ontari is brain dead and not an option anymore. Clarke asks Abby to assist her in a blood transfusion with Ontari so that she can take the flame temporarily. Abby is reluctant but Clarke says she has to. The group see grounders and Kane coming up the side of the tower to get them.

In Arkadia, Jasper still has Harper. Monty tells Raven that she has to keep Jasper talking as he has a plan. Jasper tells Raven that they only have a 2% chance of being successful and asks her if she is willing to risk Harper's life on such a small chance. Monty sneaks around and shoots Jasper and Harper helps him to take Jasper down.

In Polis, the blood transfusion has begun. Clarke is convinced it will work, but Murphy reminds her that if it doesn't, she will die. Murphy puts the flame into Clarke's neck and Clarke screams and passes out. She then awakes and says that she knows how to stop A.L.I.E., she needs to go into the City of Light with the key. Abby and Murphy are not convinced, but Clarke says the flame will protect her and she needs to find the kill switch. Bellamy gives her the key and says he trusts her. Clarke says that she will know what she is looking for when she finds it. Clarke takes the key and awakes in the City of Light.


In the City of Light, Clarke is wearing the same hair and outfit from Season One and is amazed by the City of Light. She initially thinks a man is chasing her, but then realises that the man was seeing someone else and the flame is preventing her from being seen. She then sees Jasper walk past with an Ice Cream and sit on a bench. Clarke is confused as to why he is there, but then sees the infinity symbol on a traffic light and follows it. It changes to a red hand and then a woman with hair braided into the infinity sign walks by and Clarke follows her.

In Polis, Octavia and Pike arrive. Miller takes Bryan to Abby as he is injured. Octavia doesn't want to work with Pike but Pike says she needs to control herself. Bellamy attempts to convince Octavia they must. Kane and the grounders reach the door which is barricaded.


People are beginning to see Clarke now and she runs away. She notices her nose is bleeding. Raven realises Clarke is in the City of Light, but sees she has free will and must have taken the flame. Clarke's body is rejecting the flame so Abby tells Murphy to push the blood into Clarke. In Arkadia, Raven notices that A.L.I.E. is trying to get Clarke out and Jasper says that as Clarke has gone in with the flame it has updated A.L.I.E.'s programming. Raven realises A.L.I.E. can delete the kill switch and be unstoppable, so Harper says they need to find it.

In the City of Light, Clarke is stopped and attacked by a group of people. Suddenly, Lexa appears as Clarke has the flame. Lexa smiled at Clarke and fights off Clarke's attackers. The two reunite and hug, but then Lexa says that Clarke's fight is not over and they both run together. They run away and Lexa says that she knew her spirit would choose wisely. Suddenly, day changes to night and Lexa explains that A.L.I.E. is updating, due to the flame. Clarke suddenly has a fit and her body is rejecting the flame. In Polis, Ontari's heart has stopped beating so blood isn't getting to Clarke. Abby opens Ontari's chest and pumps her heart manually. In the City of Light, Lexa tells Clarke to stay wither her as they need her. Abby gets Murphy to pump the heart and Clarke is stable again. Clarke awakens in the City of Light and kisses Lexa. Lexa says the flame is offering less protection as A.L.I.E. realises it's there and they need to hurry as people will be able to see them. They see a little girl on a bike with the infinity symbol and follow her.

In Polis, Kane and the others start to beat at the door. Pike says they need to make a stand. Kane breaks through and Octavia pretends that she will take the chip. Kane says that is good and reveals that Indra was captured and is on a cross. Suddenly, Pike and the others use electric batons to electrocute Kane and the other chipped people and they fall unconscious. In the City of Light, Lexa and Clarke follow the little girl to a fence. They realise it is a firewall and they can't get past. Suddenly Jasper appears and says they will never get to the kill switch. Jasper says they will never stop A.L.I.E. Clarke says it's not him, it's A.L.I.E. and humans have free will. He says that humans fight and kill and A.L.I.E. is saving them from that. Jaha and a mob appear and say it's over. Raven makes a portal to the kill switch appear and puts a Raven on it so Clarke will trust her and go through it. Jasper tries to block it. Jaha and his mob advance and Lexa says she can fight them off. Clarke says that she loves Lexa and Lexa replies that she will always be with her. Lexa then goes towards to mob whilst Clarke goes through the portal.

In the portal, Clarke sees Becca who shows her the kill switch. Suddenly A.L.I.E. appears. She tells Clarke that the City of Light is the only way to save people. Her drones detected that nuclear power plants are melting down. Soon most of the world will be uninhabitable, due to the large amount of nuclear radiation. Becca says that A.L.I.E. is stalling so she can delete the kill switch. A.L.I.E. says that Becca locked A.L.I.E. away when she tried to solve the problem. Becca says that she should have taught A.L.I.E. that the final goal isn't the only important, how you get there makes a difference, like killing billions of people to cure overpopulation. In Polis, everybody is fighting. Pike saves Octavia, Murphy continues to pump Ontari's heart and Abby is protecting Clarke's body. Bellamy is being choked by Kane. Clarke tries to negotiate with A.L.I.E. and says she won't use the kill switch if A.L.I.E. returns the people's pain and memories but Becca says A.L.I.E. can't. A.L.I.E. says she is the only hope for survival and they can save the human race together. Clarke says that A.L.I.E. doesn't ease pain, they overcome it and uses the kill switch to destroy A.L.I.E., terminating her once and for all.

In Polis, everybody stops fighting as A.L.I.E. no longer has control. Clarke wakes up and they removes the flame. She thanks Murphy who says it is just another day on the ground and smiles. He sees Emori crying and calling him and they hug and reunite. Kane is crying and Abby goes to him and they hug. Miller leans onto Bryan and the two smile. In Arkadia, the screens go black and Monty asks how they know it worked. They see Jasper crying and realise it has. Jasper says to Monty that he was finally happy and Monty says he the world may be bad but at least it's real and he says will be happy again and they hug. Jasper goes to get drinks and Monty and Harper hug. Jasper hears Raven, Monty and Harper laughing and smiles. In Polis, Bellamy says that Clarke doesn't look happy for somebody who just save the world and she says they didn't. Pike walks up to Octavia and she stabs him. Pike dies and Octavia walks into the lift. Everybody stares at her in shock as she leaves the tower.


  • Big Damn Heroes: Lexa, saving Clarke when her nightblood supply begins to taper off and again when she holds back the crowd, and Raven, making a shortcut for Clarke to escape through to reach the kill switch.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A.L.I.E is defeated and everyone is free from her control but it turns out the whole reason she was putting people in the City Of Light was because the nuclear plants are going to meltdown and eventually kill everyone on earth in 6 months, even the people immune to radiation, and it was her way of saving humanity. It also looks like Clarke, Bellamy, Jasper and the others will be able to overcome their personal demons except Octavia who takes revenge on Pike and walks away from everyone.
  • Black and White Insanity:Discussed in a conversation between Pike and Bellamy.
    Bellamy To Pike: "I wanted to see things like you. I needed that. To believe that they were bad, and we were good. I don't know what I believe anymore. I just know I have to live with what I've done."
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The last shot of Lexa is her charging towards A.L.I.E's army with her swords and it is not shown whether or not she dies in her Last Stand.
  • The Bus Came Back: Lexa appears in the City Of Light through the Flame in time to save Clarke and help her get to the kill switch.
  • Call-Back: Once again Clarke has to make the difficult decision of rather or not to pull a switch.
    • Clarke is also seen wearing one of her outfits from the first season in the City of Light.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Pike is invoking this with Octavia when he tells her to get herself under control so they can fight A.L.I.E as he has been aware that she wants to kill him since the last episode and she does eventually try to.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Clarke asks A.L.I.E why she didn't just tell people about the nuclear plants in order to get them to take the chip instead of forcing them with torture and threats.
  • Conflict Ball: The revelation of the nuclear meltdown is revealed just when Clarke is about to pull the kill switch, so she could angst about the decision while everybody else is defending her body and making a simple task more climactic with Becca and A.L.I.E both making arguments about why she should or shouldn't pull the switch with the deadline to pull it counting down to seconds.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted:Octavia still kills Pike for killing Lincoln even though Pike saved her life. Played straight with Jasper, Kane, and the other people who were being controlled by A.L.I.E since they had no control over their actions.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: As seen in the above discussion, A.L.I.E still doesn't understand that murdering 95% of the human race to "solve" overpopulation was a terrible thing. She is also honestly baffled at Clarke's declaration that it's better to live as free humans than avoid the nuclear fallout as machine-coded minds.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Jasper in the City Of Light tells Clarke that A.L.I.E is protecting humanity from themselves by taking away their free will in order to get her to surrender.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Twice with Clarke, first when she decides to have Ontari's blood transfused with her own and then be implanted with The Flame, despite knowing what happens when someone incompatible takes The Flame. Secondly when she decides to take the chip in order to find the kill switch in the City of Light since she's walking into enemy territory with no backup (that she knows of at least).
  • Heroic Sacrifice/ Last Stand: Lexa charging at A.L.I.E's army so that Clarke can get to the kill switch.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Pike still feels this way about the massacre but subverted with Bellamy who no longer claims this and states that he did it for revenge and will regret it for the rest of his life.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Bellamy is basically telling Octavia that her desire to kill Pike will make her just like Bellamy when he joined up with Pike.
    "Listen to me. I know how you feel. I let my need for revenge put me on the wrong side. I don't want that for you."
    —Bellamy To Octavia
  • Living MacGuffin: While Ontari may still be brain dead the heroes need her body to stay alive in order to pump her Nightblood into Clarke so she can reach the City of Light. This involves them continually compressing her chest in order to increase her heartrate and, when all else fails, opening up her chest cavity and manually pumping her heart to increase her blood flow.
  • Morton's Fork: Clarke is conflicted in the decision to pull the kill switch because if she pulls it, it means that she will be condemning everyone to death by radiation or if she doesn't pull it, everyone will end up in the City Of Light with no free will and people would still die for refusing to take the chip including her friends who almost could have died from Clarke trying to make the choice.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: None of the people who are freed from the City of Light take what they did while chipped well. Of particular note are Abby, Kane and Emori who break down crying after they realise that they almost had a hand in killing/torturing their loved ones.
  • Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: Right before her Heroic Sacrifice Lexa and Clarke have a final one that, while brief, is no less poignant:
    Lexa: "We can't let them follow, go! I'll hold them off!"
    Clarke: "No Lexa! I love you."
    Lexa: I'll always be with you."
  • Revenge Before Reason: Octavia attempts to get Pike killed when they're supposed to be defending the room from A.L.I.E's people who are climbing the building.
    • Bellamy is now stating that his participation in the massacre was this.
  • Season Finale: Of Season 3
  • Sequel Hook: The revelation that the nuclear plants are going to melt down in less than six months that will be a big part of season 4 and the ambiguous shot of Octavia killing Pike and walking out the room making it a mystery where her character is heading.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After listening through A.L.I.E.'s attempts to convince Clarke to allow her to integrate everyone into the City of Light Clarke has this to say right before flipping the kill switch:
    A.L.I.E.: Let me ease their pain Clarke. We can save the human race together.
    Clarke: You don't ease pain. You overcome it. And we will.
  • Teeth Clinched Teamwork: Octavia with Pike because of what he did to Lincoln and even results in her attempting to kill by cutting his leg and letting A.L.I.E's people attack him.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: This is implied when Octavia kills Pike and just walks away from everyone with a blank look that implies killing him didn't make her feel better since at the end of the day Lincoln is still dead.
  • Villains Never Lie: A.L.I.E claims she's not lying about the nuclear plants when she's accused of lying to stall Clarke from pulling the kill switch.

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