The 100, Season 2, Episode 14, “Bodyguard of Lies”
Written by Kim Shumway
Directed by Uta Briesewitz
Airs Wednesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW
On this week’s The 100, Clarke and Lexa have a heated disagreement, Octavia discovers the truth about the missile attack, and Wick and Raven help Bellamy shut down the acid fog.
“Bodyguard of Lies” marks the beginning of the attack on the Mountain Men, but that isn’t why the episode is notable; instead, the most important moment of the episode is a kiss between Clarke and Lexa, two powerful and complex female characters (and leaders). The 100 is unafraid to push boundaries and to throw moral dilemmas at the audience and the show’s characters, but this episode reveals just how willing the show is to be revolutionary. Because, yes, having a bisexual female lead on television is a revolutionary move.
The scene, and the pair’s growing relationship, is obviously not played for titillation, but simply to express natural human behavior in the midst of war. Also, the scene feels well-earned and organic, as the show’s been sticking Clarke and Lexa together ever since the death of Finn (fittingly, Finn is why Clarke ultimately turns away from Lexa’s advances–she’s still very much grieving for his loss) and putting the duo in very tension-filled and serious situations. Who wouldn’t bond under such circumstances? Even Wick and Raven get the chance to relieve some of the fear and uncertainty floating around all of the characters right now. Plus, The 100 rightfully chooses not to put any labels on Clarke or Lexa, because labels don’t matter when everyone’s number one concern is survival. Clarke and Lexa’s kiss is beautiful because it’s so understated and unremarkable on the show–to The 100, this is just more of life on the ground.
And, life on the ground includes people discovering your secrets, especially when everyone’s in such close contact, so it’s no surprise that Octavia–easily one of the show’s smartest characters–realizes how Clarke survived the missile. Clarke and Octavia haven’t had much of a relationship develop between them–they’re comrades, and maybe friends, but they haven’t had much one-on-one time. But, this doesn’t really matter, because Clarke still cares about Octavia as much as she cares for all of her people. So, it’s heartbreaking to watch Clarke beg Octavia to keep her secret and then turn around and save Octavia’s life (without Octavia’s knowledge). These two could be great friends and allies, but war keeps getting in between them. Oh, and the scene where Clarke prevents Octavia’s death with impeccable timing is incredibly tense, mainly because Octavia has become such a fascinating and well-developed character. The stakes are high going into this war against the Mountain Men because everyone’s lives are at risk, and The 100 has made the audience care about them and their survival.
Almost equally important is the Mountain Men’s obvious intelligence; they make a decent adversary to the Grounders and Sky People, thus ensuring this war is as tense and thrilling and frightening as possible. It would’ve been disappointing if Bellamy merely sauntered into the acid fog room and turned the machines off–his struggle to prevent the death of his people comes from his quick thinking and intelligence (as well as the help of Wick, Raven, and a few Mountain men rebels, not to mention a well-shot explosion sequence), which is ultimately much more satisfying then battling against a hapless enemy. Of course, without the help of their number one weapon, the Mountain Men seem poised to fight a battle they are entirely unprepared for (but, in true The 100 fashion, it probably still won’t be that easy for the Grounders/Sky People to rescue their own).
Meanwhile, Jaha is still in full-on prophet mode, and the episode even gives him the obligatory crisis of faith in the form of a minefield. When dealing with a futuristic world, it’s easy to forget the little details in the things left behind, so it’s nice for the show to remember that not all dangers lie in the form of human armies and giant gorillas. The minefield scenes are appropriately scary and tense (actually, all of this episode would be overwhelmed by tension if it weren’t for a few wartime kisses and some much-needed levity courtesy of Wick), but the best part comes after Jaha and Co. cross the minefield. Presumably, the show is about to introduce a new group of left behind humans, and they have access to technology like drones. Already, they’re far more advanced than the Grounders, and possibly even the Mountain Men. This could get exciting.
“Bodyguard of Lies” strength comes from, as always, The 100‘s examination of humanity and human nature–the big, action-y things, like war and minefields, only matter because the people do. Luckily, The 100 understands this better than a whole lot of shows on television right now, and they know how to handle telling action-filled stories that rely on human behavior and character decisions. Plus, how many other shows can boast a bisexual female lead?